[Part of the Learning Series© by Marilynn Force, Regis University affiliate faculty member and Educational Consultant at the John J. Sullivan Chair.]
In our last article we explored a new way to examine the Entrepreneurial Mindset by reviewing a training I attended at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City May, 2012. This training was based on the new book, Who Owns the Ice House: Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur© by entrepreneurial thought leaders, Clifton Taulbert and Gary Shoeniger. This new take on entrepreneurial training is brilliant in that it examines a holistic approach to an entrepreneur’s development of their knowledge base from which to set a context for their business goals and outcomes.
As we stated in the previous article, this methodology examines, the mindset of the entrepreneur, the environment an entrepreneur resides in and how they build their knowledge sets and how they can best use their varied resources.
This approach in determining what drives an entrepreneur and how they know what they know is new. The uniqueness of this approach is in describing how an entrepreneur establishes successive, sequential knowledge so they can execute that knowledge.
So let’s examine why this approach is so ground breaking and unique to what exists in our culture today:
The entrepreneurial mindset is established in actual brain science as described by Dr. Joseph Pear of the University of Manitoba in his book, The Science of Learning (2001). As Taulbert and Shoeniger discuss the presence of tacit knowledge, that being the sequential, successive knowledge that we all build through our life experiences throughout a lifetime, Dr. Pear’s focus is in the examination of describing a person’s ability to develop tacit knowledge or how a structured knowledge base lies in two fundamental theories.
Pear (2001) describes this grounded development of knowledge as the Ontogeny = the history of the individual’s interactions with the environment and Phylogeny = evolutionary history of an individual…e.g. the selection & pressures operating on its ancestors. An entrepreneur takes their tacit knowledge and then engages and applies that knowledge to the current circumstances around them when the react and a response cycle occurs within the “decision making process” (Kauffman, 2012) of their business decisions.
To expand on the theory toward the development of knowledge, Davenport and Prusak (1998, p. 5) define knowledge as, “a fluid mix of framed experience, contextual information, values and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information.” Notice that there are two parts to their definition that builds upon Pears description of knowledge development. Therefore we are constantly comparing and contrasting our frames of reference.
We can correlate these scientific processes with the development and application of the Ignatian Pedagogy. The development of the spiritual exercises provided a context for an individual to develop their decision making process. Within the spiritual exercises developed 500 years ago.
St. Ignatius developed these exercises to provide his followers the ability to perform their duties, which are “contemplative in action, which then leads to action of human consciousness” (Martin, 2010, p7 & p391). Contemplative in action allows us to provide discernment; a way to decide and consider the best actions to take while we are experiencing the react and respond cycle of all business interactions. The cycle of a decision process never ends but builds upon itself. The entrepreneur’s reaction in how to respond and build upon experiences that allow for good decisions and the success of the business.
If we would look at a diagram of how these interactions would occur it would look like this:
As we go forward in examining how our culture will rebuild from our country’s financial situation and the development of new business model worldwide, it will be important to understand how we can make better decisions and from what context those decisions are made from. Understanding how we establish knowledge and why and how we make the decisions we make will be critical to our continued development in repairing a challenged economy.
Shoeniger, G. Taulbert, C (N.D. Library of Congress Cataloging, Publication Date applied for) Who Owns the Ice House: Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur. Kansas City: KA. The Kauffman Foundation.
Davenport T., Prusak L. (1998). Working Knowledge. Boston, MA. Harvard Business School Press
Martin (2010). The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life. New York:NY. Harper Collins.
Pear, J.J. (2001) The Science of Learning. Philadelphia:PA Psychology Press.
Kauffman (2012) College 2.0 an Entrepreneurial Approach to Reforming Higher Education: Overcoming Barriers and Fostering Innovation. Kansas City: KS. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Marilynn Force is an affiliate faculty member who has been teaching for a total of 22 years, 15 of which have been spent at Regis University focusing on finance and accounting within the School of Management. She has also taught for Metro State College and Webster University. Most recently, she has been brought into the Educational Consultant to the John J. Sullivan Chair for Free Enterprise program at Regis University as an Education Consultant. Ms. Force’s career has focused on all aspects of small business development, entrepreneurship, management, communication and the creation of effective learning processes and anxiety cessation within the academic and business environment so critical thinking can occur. She is currently an ABD Doctoral Researcher working on the completion of her PhD in Education.