The Power of the Kitchen Table

11 June 2013

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As I dive deep into the depths of business here at Oxford, I will learn much and have many insights that I believe will benefit each of you in ways beyond what you may imagine. Many people shy away from business because it appears to fall in the grey area of our black and white society, but I am hear to tell you that YOU need to understand basic business principles. Everyone needs to understand business and be financially literate. I am learning strategy and implications of business principles in areas such as social innovation, a topic that everyone many not fancy. My goal for this blog is not to expand on complex ideas and business theorems that are specific to my field of study, but to reveal broader insights that will greatly benefit each of you. Oxford is one of the most important brands in the world. Trust me, Oxford knows its stuff, and I am here to share some of “it’s stuff” with you. I would listen up.

Dr. Hoffmire has made it quite clear in each of our lectures that virtue must stand in the business setting. So many people find themselves caught up in the excitement of new opportunities and growth that they find themselves compromising on many things they never imagined the would ever compromise on. You must understand the details and stick to your moral platform despite the temptations to ride the line of unethical behavior. Sustainable growth is nourished by ethical practices, in life and in business.

Always be innovative. Creativity is something that is being lost in society. Dr. Hoffmire made a comment that I will never forget. He said that entrepreneurship, the ability to think creatively, and innovative practices are taught AT THE KITCHEN TABLE. Business minds are created in the home. In England you rarely eat, you DINE. Dining is more about the conversation being evoked between people rather than the food being served. Dine and learn business principles at the kitchen table. I have such a strong belief in developing homes where creativity can be seen and breathed even in the air. We need to dine more often in the United States.

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Rarely will you use the first idea you come up with, and in business rarely will you use the next 199 ideas either. It takes time, so do your research.

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In this day and age people do not want to take risks. There is ALWAYS risk, you choose your risk…but know you ALWAYS have it.

“The time for talking is over.” Sus Zanganepour a great business mind from Iran working with the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford. He posed two questions to us. How do we turn knowledge into action? How do we turn to leadership for action?

Be truly authentic in your motivations. Be true to yourself. Either you are here to make change happen or you are not. We need to take complicated problems and simplify them, so that they can be solved for everyone. Frame ideas in a way that makes sense to the organization. Disruptive innovations are hard because disruption is a lonely road. But it is necessary because these things don’t exist, you have to create them from within.

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Change and time are interesting companions.

Dr. Robinson: Varieties of Character
See the world as THEY see the world around them.
life is not always right for the microwave.

Make yourselves something
Nothing is written until we write it. The future is in our hands.
Character is something we create ourselves.
Take time to dine.

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Dr. Clayton Christensen Second lecture of the Clarendon Lecture Series
Choose the better ideas and throw out the others. Strategy must go on 24/7. Dr. Christensen is a man with ideas that have the power to change the world.
McDonalds Milkshake example.
IKEA is hired to get the job done.
Make the focus of the company around the job to be done. The job that needs to be done is not changed over time, but what to hire to get it done does change.

Visit to Merton College

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Opening Social Dinner at Italian restaurant

Schedule:
9:00-10:00 Overview of Impact Investing
10:00-11:30 Crowdfunding
11:30-12:30 Interview with S Zanganehpour (SBS, Skoll Centre for Social Entreprenuership)
12:35-1:15 Lunch at SBS
1:20-2:30 Varieties of Leadership
2:30-3:30 Discussion
4:00-5:00 Merton College
5:00-7:00 Clarendon Lecture
7:30-9:00 Opening Social Dinner

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