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Section 4: Value Creation: Opportunity Shaping

To effectively disrupt the status quo, a transdisciplinary team must have a vehicle to transport their idea to people, markets, and communities. This section covers the entrepreneurial process of shaping that framed opportunity into a sustainable business model and includes execution issues such as pivoting. Attention to shaping an opportunity and business model can have a dramatic effect on business survival rates.

Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship

Opportunity recognition is the nuclear core of the entrepreneurial process. As an entrepreneur and entrepreneurship educator for 35 years, I have been vexed by the randomness of the ideas that are seen as opportunities and ultimately the very few that create value. Part of the problem is the way we teach in general and the specific lack of attention to teaching opportunity recognition.

Colleges and universities are typically organized around disciplines like economics or art or history. Innovation crosses disciplinary boundaries, and therefore scarce few colleges and universities have established curricula that teach it. Domain boundaries do not support collaborative education. Although a significant effort for interdisciplinary education has been made in the establishment of entrepreneurship curriculum, the fact that they are primarily in business schools limits the boundaries that can be crossed. Also, colleges tend to teach entrepreneurship as an implementation process more than ideation. The effect is to spend far less time building opportunity recognition skills. Less well-developed ideas search for a business model, risking resources along the way.

We believe that the new paradigm for organizations is pervasive innovation, and it is an approach that can be taught (see Figure 1.5). The traditional perspectives remain an important skill set. But the new perspectives are required cultural competencies.

Figure 1.5

Figure 1.5 New organizational paradigm.

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