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“Fear factor: Overcoming human barriers to innovation”

Originally posted in our July 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter. How can we influence ourselves and others to overcome the most basic human barrier; fear? Fear is indeed the biggest barrier to innovation, with good reason. Innovation is by definition associated with ambiguity; even with a well-defined goal, innovators simply cannot know all outcomes of their efforts. So, as we close this month’s Top of Mind, let us reflect on how we are preparing our society…

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“The paradox of ‘good’ teaching”

Originally posted in our July 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter. In research conducted around the ideas of good teaching, we learn that developing some skills can come at the cost of student engagement. For example, in this piece from the Hechinger Report, researchers found that those teachers who better prepare their students for tests often fall short when it comes to creating an engaging classroom. Interestingly, among the teachers who engage their students and improve outcomes,…

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“Startup Founders Are at a Disadvantage When Applying for Jobs”

Originally posted in our July 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter. In a recent piece published by Yale, we see an interesting pattern emerging. While employers report a need for entrepreneurial skills, they are not very likely to hire startup founders who are applying, “according to a new study by Tristan Botelho, assistant professor of organizational behavior at Yale SOM.” Interestingly, of the profiles Botelho reviewed, successful startup founders fared the worst in a job search study.…

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“The Top 12 Reasons Startups Fail”

Originally posted in our July 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter. Startups are often seen as risky, requiring significant time and monetary investment to get going. While that’s not an entirely false perception, we at ELI have found that there is much more we, as educators and entrepreneurial support workers, can do to prepare someone for the trials of starting a fledgling business. In this piece from CB Insights, we see the top 12 reasons (by their…

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“Only in Toledo: Be inspired by the story of DeShawn Willis and Lake Lawns”

Originally posted in our June 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter. For inspiration and to demonstrate to principles we’ve been thinking about this month, the ELI team wanted to highlight one entrepreneur who is making it work no matter what, DeShawn Willis. Owner of Lake Lawns in Toledo, Ohio, DeShawn is a prime example of the power of vision and persistence while showing us you do not need significant investment to start something sustainable. In this short…

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“Growth comes from repeatable scalable sales processes”

Originally posted in our June 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter. While we’re considering paths towards growth and innovation, we also need to think about developing effective systems to channel these goals. As this piece from 2019 suggests, many entrepreneurs treat each sale opportunity as a way to uniquely meet their clients’ needs. Initially, this is great for them to try out many little tweaks to their proposed solution. However, it very quickly limits you from scaling…

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“Committed innovators: How masters of essentials outperform”

Originally posted in our June 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter. Continuing to think about future societal development, what do we mean when we say innovation? When organizational leaders use that word, how are they actually committing to it? In a recent McKinsey article, the authors begin to address these types of questions. As the writers outline in a sidebar, there are eight practices to commit to when embracing innovation. These are: aspire, choose, discover, evolve, accelerate,…

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“A Brain Capital Grand Strategy: toward economic reimagination”

Originally posted in our June 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter. What is the role of our brains in societal advancement? This might sound like a silly question, but as COVID-19 has revealed, on a global level, we cannot ignore the massive impact on our mental health from pandemic conditions. For example, in an article Nature published in October 2020, we see a compelling argument for improving psychological resilience globally. As the article cites, “[b]rain health disorders…

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“The Real Reason MBA Graduates Make Worse Managers”

Originally posted in our May 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter. As many readers will have heard, we at ELI believe that entrepreneurial skills are what employers now require. What they have been getting, however, are those with MBAs. While not a bad skill set to develop, this article and the related study shed light on the fact that business administration still requires a degree of adaptability that many do not get from their master’s degree. What’s…

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