The Boardroom Incubator – The Idea explained

This discussion is a little bit of background behind the concept of ‘The Boardroom Incubator’.

We currently work mostly around Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England. The university and some of the colleges in Cambridge have start-up incubation hubs in and around the city. These incubation hubs are spin-offs from ideas and innovation created in the laboratories of the university. Some work and some don’t.

The idea behind ‘The Boardroom Incubator’ came to me after attending an Inspired Group presentation on 14 July 2011. During the session the presenter, Mark Doyle, mentioned some training and development they were doing for women to encourage listed organisations in the UK to redress the imbalance of woman representation on FTSE250 Board of Directors. They were addressing some of the issues, but it struck me that more could be done. This is the basic idea and spark that led me to create group.

Let’s do it now, for ourselves, before the government interferes and legislates quotas and targets into the corporate governance frameworks of UK plc.

theMarketSoul ©2011

Link to the LinkedIn ‘The Boardroom Incubator

Collaborative nano and micro business ventures

Don’t waste a good crisis” – not entirely sure who first uttered these immortal words, although a Google search on initial analysis seems to attribute it (or some very similar words) to Rahm Emmanuel, the current Chief of Staff of the White House, part of the Barack Obama administration.  The actual phrase might be attributed to an economist called Paul Romer.

However, irrespective of who uttered the words initially, it is true that borne out of crisis the spirit of innovation always seem to rise like a new Phoenix bringing both hope and opportunity with it.

That is the great gift that the ‘study of scarcity’ that is economics provides us with.

We have the chance to think creatively about new platforms of collaboration and how Charles Handy‘s ‘Shamrock Organisation’ will eventually play out.

At the moment we are conducting a research study into how nano and micro businesses might find new routes to market and sustain themselves during these strained economic times as part of the extension of the outsource provider to the Shamrock Organisation.  We will be trying to uncover some of the factors that lead to collaboration and other forms of formal and informal business structures that promote and underpin this form of collaboration.

Please watch this space for updates in the very near future.

theMarketSoul ©2010

End to End or Integrated systems and thinking processes


We hear this management buzz word quite often touted in office settings, and conferences in the media, etc.

We argue today that silos are cultural norms.  They are national cultural models possibly endemic of certain national cultures.  We certainly have no empirical evidence for this, so this is pure opinion and conjecture on the part of theMarketSoul contributors.

In our previous article titled Increased Friction Costs we briefly touched on the issue of processes being back to front in Britain.  Processes are very much driven by the national ‘Carrot & Stick’ approach, rather than an enablement, ‘build and they will come’ approach where solutions are found and embedded then suitable and profitable markets are found for those solutions.

Now we can argue that in a very narrowly defined risk management culture and faced with the reality of reduced opportunity to obtain and procure financing to ‘build solutions on speculation’, we just cannot afford to change our exiting disastrous management and control processes.

But this is exactly where we have to stop the train as quickly as possible and change direction to ‘climb the hill ahead’ so that we can experience the potential and opportunity to ‘see the view from another mountain top vantage spot’…

We are in a tight spot.  That is a fact.  However, we are being held to ransom at the moment by a ‘political’ system and governing party trying to string out the last days of their tenure in power.  [This article was initially written before the General Election in Britain].

There is hope, there is a sliver of light and opportunity on the horizon.  However, we will need to learn to deal with some pain, as we readjust the ‘crowding out’ of growth by the public sector and debt burden.  However, we need to recognise that we will have to apply a bit more ‘market discipline’ to finding, scoping, building and implementing solutions to our problems.

Small and localism are in fact parts of (but not the entire) solution, where small providers (entrepreneurs) are incentivised and tasked with coming together to experiment and create solutions, that hopefully mitigates the risk of large scale failure, but at the same time find scalable solutions that can rapidly be deployed to solve some of the challenges we currently face.

In IT deployment and development projects they call this kind of rapid, ‘low hanging fruits’ approach to development work Agile Development or AD for short.  Maybe this together with the professional service chains and clustering we will touch on in subsequent articles is the way forward.

theMarketSoul © 2010