Humane Entrepreneurship in Action

Humane Entrepreneurship in Action

Humane Entrepreneurship in Action

Saturday, August 29, 2020, by Ayman El Tarabishy

In guiding our actions towards Humane Entrepreneurship, we can be an organization that does not only preach about Humane Entrepreneurship but one that also practices it.

Following our reflection last week discussing the “End of the Status Quo,” we think it is time that we seriously share and discuss the steps that ICSB has and will continue to take as we endlessly strive towards a more humane-centered way of acting entrepreneurially in this world. Over the past couple of months, we have reflected upon the theory and practice of Humane Entrepreneurship. Now, it is time to move beyond thinking and imagining; now is the time to model Humane Entrepreneurship.

As promoters and upholders of Humane Entrepreneurship, what an excellent opportunity we have to exemplify the practice ourselves! Given the perspective-altering moments of the past couple months, ICSB has been able to genuinely narrow in on what is important to us as an organization, including our values, the organization’s sustainable practices, and our collective community. Flowing from this reflection, ICSB has worked to center all of our programmings around the interests of our members as well as new and pressing topics that we see as crucial to the formation of our community. We are centered around the human, being empathetically oriented to the whole person and not just the sliver of our members’ lives, which pertains to ICSB. We have attempted to curate an empowering environment, working consciously to open up opportunities to women and younger entrepreneurs. Enablement has and continues to develop as we formalize programs, bolster the ICSB Gazette, and continuously try to discover new and enticing opportunities for our members. ICSB models the equitable work of Humane Entrepreneurship as we provide discounts for members from developing nations, ensuring that all voices are brought to the table, and work to promote MSMEs for the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

As we are continually attempting to show up as our best selves for this community, we recognize that we have a way to go to reach the peak of the Ideal orientation for our Humane Entrepreneurship categorization. Reaching for this Ideal status, at ICSB, we are focusing on ways that we can formalize our desire to promote a human-focused conscious while creating sustainable patterns of growth. It is from this place of discovery; we have created the ICSB Resiliency program.

This program focuses on supporting the individual. It combines ICSB’s top-level programs into one calendar and cost so that you can fully engage with the learning available to you. Finishing with an ICSB diploma and a heightened understanding of your entrepreneurial interests, this formal connection to ICSB offers and opens clear pathways of communication with ICSB leadership, which will be ever more critical as you become be a vital role in leading the ICSB community as well as the local community to the 2021 ICSB World Congress in Paris.

Being the first of its kind, the ICBS World Congress will bring Humane Entrepreneurship to “l’Exposition Universelle,” so that entrepreneurship and SMEs can take the lead in ushering the world into peace, prosperity, and happiness. This event works innovatively and creatively to bring together all voices throughout the field of entrepreneurship so that we can pull down the unnecessary walls that keep communication and support at a distance from the people that need it the most. In moving into Humane Entrepreneurship, we are building a resilient community that can succeed no matter the circumstances.

We look forward to you joining us on this journey to and with Humane Entrepreneurship. ICSB recognizes the necessity to both offer and realizes a humane-entrepreneurial orientation (H-EO), meaning that we are concurrently advocating and partaking in the widespread adoption of HumEnt. In knowing that “large-scale organizational performance effects are more likely to occur as a result of shared cultural values and beliefs that are accepted by organization members,” we must work individually for the greater collective. In guiding our actions towards HumEnt, we can be an organization that does not only preach about Humane Entrepreneurship but one that also practices it.

References:

Kim, K., A. El Tarabishy, Z. Bae (2018). “Humane Entrepreneurship: How Focusing on People Can Drive a New Era of Wealth and Quality Job Creation in a Sustainable World,” Journal of Small Business Management 56(S1), 10–29.

Article by:

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy
President & CEO, ICSB
Deputy Chair, Department of Management, GW School of Business

The End of the Status Quo

The End of the Status Quo

The End of the Status Quo

Saturday, August 22, 2020, by Ayman El Tarabishy

In creating sustainable and continuous cycles of growth, our enterprises must see themselves as part of a greater whole.

As transparency increases and the global population stands firmly and united in their demands to promote a just and green economy.

In December of 2019, ICSB provided a message to its entrepreneurship community, indicating the foreseeable “End of the Status Quo.” ICSB was expecting the need for a great upheaval of our past societal structure to meet the needs of an advancing world. With the growing demand for employment opportunities, attention to global health trends, and humanitarian justice, we can no longer ignore how our status quo has failed us. At the turn of the decade, we understood a need for change, and, now, almost 9 months into this Decade of Action (United Nations), it seems complicated to imagine how we managed to exist within that ancient platform.

Welcoming in this new paradigm, brought on by the need for change and subsequent crises that forced that change, we might find it challenging to articulate precisely where we are. Luckily, as always, with entrepreneurship, we can choose with which perspective we wish to engage in. Without ignoring the struggles and challenges presented by the current status of our global community, ICSB would like to participate with the new and exciting changes, unearthed by the recent crises, which can no longer be ignored. From significant alterations in education systems and the digitization of the entire world to discussions around a universal basic income, we can choose to capture the opportunities from these events. In thinking about the dramatic changes in the political world, the rise of the gig economy, and constant changes in national and international relations, ICSB has spent time reflecting on the major themes emerging from this moment.

Over the past couple of months, we have pressed ourselves to create a weekly reflection on Humane Entrepreneurship. During the struggle of the COVID-19 induced lock-down and border closures, we were uncertain of any resemblance of the present and the future. However, we felt that it was essential to build a presence that embodied our aspired future. Therefore, we have spent months creating content about the theory of Humane Entrepreneurship as we were sure that, regardless of our future, we wanted it to involve the guiding principles of care and protection for the human person as well as for our shared environment. This theory bridges the current entrepreneurial ecosystem and the ideal and future one by providing guidelines through which we might categorize enterprises. These reflection pieces have been incredible in helping shape our understanding of who we are, as an ICSB community, and where more effort and impact is needed.

The status quo is no longer enough, and in building our world anew, we might consider that we do not wish to create a new status quo, but rather that we can, instead, define our current situation through the trends it exhibits. ICSB considers four guiding themes that will push us forward into the future. The themes, being forgiveness, frugal innovation, Humane Entrepreneurship, and resiliency, represent the important topics with which we, as a community, must engage to step freely and gracefully into our future world.

In creating sustainable and continuous cycles of growth, our enterprises must see themselves as part of a greater whole. Enterprises who start to view their ventures through the perspective of frugal innovation will consequently create solutions for more people without utilizing additional resources. The businesses who are willing to honestly admit their missteps regarding employment policies, working conditions, and environmental exploitation will be able to incorporate an application of forgiveness and subsequently transition towards more virtuous practices. This execution will be part and practice of focusing on the human-specific theory of Human Entrepreneurship (HumEnt). HumEnt will ultimately leverage a firm’s, an organization’s, or a nation’s ability to create quality employment opportunities and therefore sustainably increase their wealth, which will generate patterns of resilience in the face of crisis.

As transparency increases and the global population stands firmly and united in their demands to promote a just and green economy, ICSB sees the smaller entrepreneurial units as key players in these transitions. When we begin to see the positive effects of putting an end to our past status quo, we will no longer stand for the same injustices. Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) have an incredible capacity to incorporate these strategies and themes into their structural DNA to promote an equitable future for all more greatly.

Please follow with us as we expand our reflection series to include all players in the “End of the Status Quo.”

 

Article by:

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy
President & CEO, ICSB
Deputy Chair, Department of Management, GW School of Business

The Changes in Wealth

The Changes in Wealth

The Changes in Wealth

Saturday, August 15, 2020, by Ayman El Tarabishy

We must think about if our output is wealth for wealth’s sake, where does that leave our world, our human community, our humanitarian systems, and the ecosystem?

Altering Perspectives with Humane Entrepreneurship

In the introduction to our paper, “Humane Entrepreneurship: How Focusing on People Can Drive a New Era of Wealth and Quality Job Creation in a Sustainable World,” Dr. Ki-Chan Kim, Dr. Song-Tae Bae and I posed the question, “Where — exactly — is the wealth of nations?” We lead from this specific question because it demands that we alter our perspective before even engaging with a theory of Humane Entrepreneurship (HumEnt). This purposeful act of expansion and openness allows readers to set aside their preconceived ideas and judgments that may prevent them from fully connecting with and receiving the ideas of HumEnt.

Returning to the idea of wealth, we must discuss how this expansion and change take place and what these might resemble. Going back to the basics, we will return to the World Bank definition published over 10 years ago describing wealth as “a complementary indicator to gross domestic product (GDP) for monitoring sustainable development in a country.” This definition demonstrated to the masses that wealth is not solely about specific amounts, a surplus of financial or physical resources, nor richness. Wealth now has grown to include the management of “a broad portfolio of assets,” including those that are “produced, human, and natural resources.”

As we know today, it is not just about the outcome of doing business, achieving performance outcomes, or leading a nation. Still, rather global trends tell us that it is more about how we carry out these activities. The recent and ever-evolving health and humanitarian crises have very much illuminated that if we do not make this necessary shift to achieving a virtuous and continuous ‘how,’ our world will not be able to continue caring for and housing the same amount of inhabitants that it does currently. Therefore, in other words, we must think about if our output is wealth for wealth’s sake, where does that leave our world, our human community, our humanitarian systems, and the ecosystem?

That is why we first must push for wealth to include the effort and resulting outcomes of the pursuit of sustainable development, as the World Bank indicated, as well as to initiate a conversation about protecting what we already have.

We have fallen so quickly and so easily to the charm of agile development that we have forgotten the value of the resources that we have. Luckily, Humane Entrepreneurship calls for heightened importance in the person and the community, so that with HumEnt we can begin to practice frugal innovation, which demands us to look at what we have, admit that it is enough, and use that to strive to provide equitable products and services for those who our system has systematically excluded.

Neither the evolution of our definition of wealth nor the complete acceptance and transition towards HumEnt will come first. These are two noble goals that we can think of as working collectively. Their combination will help us reframe and repurpose our business pursuits so that they have higher outcomes that involve sustainable and equitable change for all.

Let’s get started.

Article by:

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy
President & CEO, ICSB
Deputy Chair, Department of Management, GW School of Business

SDGs and Humane Entrepreneurship

SDGs and Humane Entrepreneurship

SDGs and Humane Entrepreneurship

Saturday, August 8, 2020, by Ayman El Tarabishy

We as human leaders, employees, businesses, etc. must, in fact, change ourselves and our attention in order for the SDGs to work.

Being the Change, You Wish to See

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals seem to be the most united and comprehensive guide in which our global community might simultaneously survive and heal its inequalities that have been plaguing our world. Resulting from historical injustices, the world is far from equal. As mentioned earlier in this series, the concept of Humane Entrepreneurship (HumEnt), regarded on a large scale, poses our only survival mechanism to enable the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, one grand mistake that we are collectively recreating in regards to sustainable change and promotion of the SDGs is that we forget that we as human leaders, employees, businesses, etc. must change ourselves for the SDGs to work.

More clearly, the achievement of the SDGs is not solely a means to create a more just world; however, more so, they are the end, the results of our ability to highlight and focus our attention on the humane, or to care for our fellow humans. Currently, many, but certainly not all, enterprises are focusing on profit. They forget the power of benefit, meaning the potential benefit an enterprise could have on its community, its customers, and the environment. That is why I pose that the SDGs’ success will be determined by our ability to instill, or at least introduce, the principles of Humane Entrepreneurship to our students, mentees, and future leaders in their formative years.

By nurturing future and current entrepreneurs, and in so doing, exhibiting the principles of HumEnt ourselves, we might be able to demonstrate a tangible image of how the Sustainable Development Goals will be achieved. Teaching the Sustainable Development Goals is much more than sharing the 17 goals and understanding how they work interconnectedly with each other; it is about helping learners understand how they both affect and are affected by the Sustainable Development Goals. It is in seeing how we are part of the same system for which the SDGs were created that will ultimately allow us to move beyond accepting the current injustices of the world as just “how it is” and understanding how, by refocusing our values, we might create the world anew.

It is for this reason that ICSB has concurrently launched the SDG certificate program and the ICSB Educator 300. These two programs are dependent on each other. In building the Educator 300, ICSB is committing to gathering a group of educators who are ready to evolve so that entrepreneurship education can adapt to societal changes. However, to prepare educators for the future ahead, training in the study and practice of HumEnt is essential. The SDG certificate program complements this new educator platform as it both helps to provide educators with the necessary knowledge of today while introducing the results of including HumEnt in program design and instruction.

Humane Entrepreneurship is not only for the boardroom. It is a lifestyle choice. To center empathy, equity, enablement, and empowerment in our teaching and leading is a decision that we must make for ourselves. The future is bending towards HumEnt, and we, at ICSB, want to prepare all our members for this mighty change. These changes are right at our fingertips, let’s decide to welcome these future changes, and in turn, be the changes we are so accustomed to studying. The future begins with us. 

Let’s get started.

Article by:

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy
President & CEO, ICSB
Deputy Chair, Department of Management, GW School of Business

Knowing Knowledge and the Future

Knowing Knowledge and the Future

Knowing Knowledge and the Future

Sunday, July, 26, 2020 By Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy

In a fully connected and ever-changing world, what does knowledge mean?

In a fully connected and ever-changing world, what does knowledge mean? The global public has access to seemingly all the information that one might desire to know. However, despite this possibility, understanding and information are still somehow disconnected from each other. There seems to be only a select few who can decipher data in a way that presents that data. Yet, again, this translation often does not reach the general public or even the practitioners and professionals that might use it.

So, we might take a few steps back and ask ourselves, first, “What is knowledge?” Knowledge is the absolute, indisputable truth that is often provided in the form of information or indicated intuitively. Knowledge is grander than memorization or recollection because it involves a processing phase, one in which an individual or group absorbs specific information in a manner that allows them to heighten their understanding or to earn from such information.

Upon defining the concept of knowledge, we can return to our first question and ask, “What does knowledge mean?” and further, “What does knowledge represent?” An ageless discussion, knowledge is sometimes pursued individual understanding in and of itself, yet more often, knowledge is sought as a means to an end. As a vessel of transportation, knowledge is often necessitated throughout and within the search for solutions. However, in a world where problems are vast and solutions sporadic, a conversation on the obtention and usage of knowledge might be at hand.

Knowledge is absolute; yet, the vast connectedness of our world often makes it difficult to transmit this importance. Our system demands some sort of network for the spread and sharing of knowledge so that our interconnectedness and subsequent delivery of expertise will not be corrupted by political sway nor by personal beliefs. The world has a great need for reliable data and transparent information so that we can create solutions. This need will not be met in a single location nor come from an exclusive mindset.

We must have a more meaningful conversation on Knowledge Management (KM), and more so, a discussion about the platform from which we can appropriately discuss KM. In the age of information, why is knowledge attainment so difficult?

“Knowledge Management is the process of capturing, distributing, and effectively using knowledge” (Davenport, 1994).

Organizations must be given instruction and access to construct and promote their systems of Knowledge Management. This has mostly been the missing step in the process of obtaining information and drawing out knowledge from that information. Therefore, there must be a more significant network that allows individuals, or better pre-existing organizations, who wish to seek and assist in the dissemination of knowledge, to connect with and be supported by each other.

The International Council for Small Business Launches A Knowledge Network

It was off of this basis that the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) launched their Knowledge Hub, or KHub, network. The idea was originated and promoted by the Chair of ICSB, Mr. Ahmed Osman. Operating in collaboration, these KHubs work to promote entrepreneurial missions across the globe. With ICSB functioning in the middle of these centers, they will work to connect and uplift the voices of those who seek real knowledge.

Their KHub structure works similarly to a membership role in that organizations from around the world subscribe to ICSB in the form of KHub members and are thereby given the benefits of individual members and receive support as an organization at large. This bolstering relationship not only connects KHubs to other ICSB members and organizations, but it also provides the KHubs with a platform off of which to operate and with support from the ICSB Senior Leadership. Therefore, organizations that are interested in encouraging a culture of entrepreneurship and the stimulation of small businesses are now capable of developing their organization and their reach even further. Portrayed in the form of monthly access to collaborative mentoring, ICSB Leadership helps and supports KHubs, provides critical reviews of how an organization can advance in its vision, and better supports their organization’s participants.

If KHubs is the solution to connecting individuals and organizations to real knowledge, then the International Council for Small Business has well used the principles of frugal innovation to work to fill the void in the entrepreneurial understanding of knowledge. In hopes of creating more significant opportunities for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises worldwide as well as for the more significant human population, we might consider the practice of Human Entrepreneurship as a common goal to connect these KHubs. Not only could a virtuous standard of HumEnt be regarded as a motivating factor, however, but KHubs can also aspire to further their Knowledge Management en route to practicing HumEnt. KHubs behold the potential to change the channels of Knowledge Management significantly worldwide toward the attainment of a positive Humane Entrepreneurship status for firms and, potentially, for national Leadership.

To learn about ICSB Knowledge Hubs: https://icsb.org/khubs/

Article by:

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy
President & CEO, ICSB
Deputy Chair, Department of Management, GW School of Business 

Resources

https://www.academia.edu/36256033/Knowledge_Management_as_an_important_tool_in_Organizational_Management_A_Review_of_Literature

The Future of Leadership

The Future of Leadership

The Future of Leadership

Saturday, July, 18, 2020

By engaging with the human spirit and, further, embodying this engagement, leaders become servants to the very people that they seek to guide.

As I am transitioning into a new leadership position, I am confronted with the higher truths of leadership and how they unfold within an entrepreneurial orientation and, further, a humane entrepreneurial orientation (as found in the theory and practice of Humane Entrepreneurship, or HumEnt). Leadership grasps the critical importance of creating workplace climate and culture, thus determining the state of the Humane Entrepreneurship at any given enterprise.

Since performance is often considered the result of environmental characteristics and an organization’s internal structure and systems, we must look to the climate and culture creating mechanisms at play within organizations. Leadership is one of significant, if not total, importance. 

Within the examination of leadership, effective leadership most often refers to the “ability of a firm’s top managers to select and apply the ‘correct’ strategic approach or effectively implement an appropriate strategy” (Kim et al. 2018). In motivating employees, or “followers,” to carry out activities determined by leaders, such leadership must provide “desirable rewards for effective performance or undesirable consequences for poor performance” (Hollander 1992). Termed “transactional leadership,” this is typically categorized into “social exchange” (Graen and Uhl-Bien 1995). Conversely, “transformational leadership” works based on inspiring individuals to “perform at exceptional levels” (Bass 1985). In this case, a leader inspires their followers by creating an ecosystem of similar values, beliefs, and goals, so that followers feel a sense of ownership and commitment to their work.

In either case, this top-level leadership determines organizational performance. Leadership within organizations that are humanely and entrepreneurially orientated serves “more complex and difficult roles than traditional leaders” (El Tarabishy and Sashkin 2006). These specific roles involve the typical leading requirements of encouraging employees and followers to engage with their work as well as their own innovative and proactive projects.

Within an entrepreneurial spirit, which itself belongs to the principles of innovation, leadership involves discovering new ways to connect with one’s employees, and therefore, entrepreneurship is deeply seated in the great adventure of connecting to the human spirit. It is this relation, namely, that if successfully fused, it can seamlessly generate a culture of efficacy, empathy, progression, innovation, creativity, and determination.

In understanding this quite spiritual force at play within-firm success, our definition of Humane Entrepreneurship must consider an even greater appreciation of appropriate leadership strategies that will eventually direct us to a type of leadership that functions more authentically and aligns more closely to the human person.

If leaders can be a driving force for organizational performance, we might consider servant leadership as a final solution to our incomplete leadership equation. In understanding that an organization based and, even, created in light of humane entrepreneurship will generate enormous wealth and increase employment opportunities, the role of the leader in this climate and culture-creating effort must also come from a human-focused center.

The servant-leader is the servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions. The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?” (Greenleaf 2016).

In my understanding of building a workplace climate and culture that is both cyclical and just, servant leadership seems to be the missing, next step in our high-performance puzzle. Despite society’s desire and sincere belief that followers work most efficiently by submitting to orders, the application of the principles of Humane Entrepreneurship, and specifically those components of servant leadership, flips this idea on its head, by stating that employees will produce higher quality work at greater efficiency when they are lifted as individuals first and as employees second. By engaging with the human spirit and, further, embodying this engagement, leaders become servants to the very people that they seek to guide.

Servant leadership can, then, be thought to be the way of the future. In signaling to our teams and employees that their advancement, autonomy, and growth, both professionally and personally, is of utmost significance in our lives, we might just initiate a new wave of enterprise for our firms, nations, and society at large.

Article by:

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy
President & CEO, ICSB
Deputy Chair, Department of Management, GW School of Business 

Resources

Bass, B. M. (1985). Leadership and Performance beyond Expectations. New York: Free Press.

El Tarabishy, A, and M. Sashkin (2006). “Entrepreneurial Leadership: Exploration of a New Construct,” Paper presented at the Bi-Ennial Gallup National Leadership Conference, Washington, DC, October.

Graen, G. B., and M. Uhl-Bien (1995). “Relationship-Based Approach to Leadership: Development of Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Theory of Leadership over 25 Years: Applying a Multi-Level Multi-Domain Perspective,” The Leadership Quarterly 6(2), 219–247.

Greenleaf, K. (2016). “The Servant as Leader,” Center for Servant Leadership. Available at (click here)

Hollander, E. P. (1992). “Leadership, Followership, Self, and Others,” Leadership Quarterly 3(1),43–54.

Kim, K., A. El Tarabishy, Z. Bae (2018). “Humane Entrepreneurship: How Focusing on People Can Drive a New Era of Wealth and Quality Job Creation in a Sustainable World,” Journal of Small Business Management 56(S1), 10–29.