Austin, Texas – the place that I call “home” – has undergone a radical metamorphosis over the past five decades, from what was admittedly a provincial capital city in the 1960’s to what is now considered the number 1 place in the US to launch a “start-up” business. This transformation, affectionately called, “The Austin Model,” was fueled in large part by the “Triple Helix”: collaboration amongst thought-leaders in Government, Industry and Academia. The University of Texas at Austin was a “prime mover” of that development, so we know and thing or two about it, and how to create a legacy by creating companies, jobs and wealth.
Recently, I had the opportunity to read excerpts from the 2018 Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) Bhutanese political party platform. As a result of a recent national election, DNT is the governing party of Bhutan’s National Assembly.
I was very impressed by an overarching concept that drives their strategic initiatives, called the “3 C’s”: Coordination, Collaboration, Consolidation. Although this three-pronged initiative is focused on the metamorphosis of national governance, it is informed by a desire to achieve a similar ecosystem to that which has been created in Austin, Texas, and it fits equally well into governance of an entrepreneurial venture. Any developing enterprise will do well to keep planning (Coordination), teamwork (Collaboration) and good stewardship of resources (Consolidation) top of mind as integral components of a long-term strategy.
Reading the DNT “3 C’s”, I was struck by the synergy with what I call the “4 C’s” of business opportunity development:
Creative Capital: a “sixth sense” allowing the entrepreneur to perceive problems as opportunities, thereby envisaging ideas for products and services as solutions.
Innovation Capital: builds critical mass to “put meat on the bones” of the idea, with a view to offering complete solutions aligned with customer needs.
Human Capital: arguably the most valuable “C” of the four, it provides the “horsepower” to fuel product and service development, delivery of value to customers, and growth of the enterprise.
Financial Capital: funds required for accelerating product and service maturation, company expansion and diversification.
Smooth sailing on these “Seven C’s” can be a daunting task, requiring foresight, planning and “intestinal fortitude” as you strive to keep your ship aright. Sleepless nights, worry, and industrial quantities of aspirin, might well be the result!
One of my heroes, Beto O’Rorke, Texas Congressman, put this feeling of angst in perspective: “We can be defined by our fears, or we can be known by our ambitions!”
How do you want to be remembered? Successful navigation of the “Seven C’s” will help you create the business legacy that you deserve and desire.
Enjoy the journey!
Contributed by Glenn E. Robinson
Managing Director at IC2 Institute, The University of Texas at Austin, and XLr8 Andhra Pradesh Technology Business Accelerator, Senior Training Consultant to the DHI Business Acceleration Program (BizAP).