What we need in incubators

Women on Business

Around the country politicians, industry leaders and small businesses have screamed their support for small business development centers and universities to get involved in creating business incubators that help build and sustain small business. The goal is admirable, small businesses stimulate economies and create more jobs. But there is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction amongst small business, what do we really need from business incubators?

"We've got to grow together." the quote of the evening!

Jason Womack

Last Tuesday, I had a great dinner with a new friend just outside of Boston, founder of Elite Leadership Solutions: Bob Maitland. During our conversation, he told me about the business incubator program at Hannah Grimes , here in Keene, NH. One visit to the website, www.HannahGrimes.com , and I realized that Hannah Grimes is not just a person (born in 1776), but an idea. The more I learned, I knew I had to meet the woman behind this effort: Mary Ann.

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The Core Incompetencies of the Corporation

Harvard Business Review

Deep change, when it happens, is belated and convulsive, and typically requires an overhaul of the leadership team. Most of the recommended remedies—idea wikis, business incubators, online collaboration, design thinking, “authentic” leadership, et al —are no more than minor tweaks. Large organizations of all types suffer from an assortment of congenital disabilities that no amount of incremental therapy can cure. First, they are inertial.

Where to Find Authentic Entrepreneurs

Harvard Business Review

I still remember when Steve Jobs was featured in business school case studies as an example of bad leadership style. Coming out of Peru, you’ll find Kola Real, formed during a coup d’état in 1988, not exactly an ideal environment for business incubation. At the time, Apple was a less-than-successful computer company, and Steve – ever the loner – had moved on to create Next, another less-than-successful one.

The Economy of Punishment

Harvard Business Review

That is to say, given the applied "street smarts" and talent — the art of the hustle, the leadership and prowess of running a drug business — what is it all worth? That these guys who had run drug businesses had all these entrepreneurial characteristics like scrappiness, charisma, and real skills in leadership and management." We love hearing historical stories about Robin Hood-like men, about bank robbers, pirates and outlaws on the run.