Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Economic Opportunity for Our Community...(Part Two)
A Recipe For Rural Economic Prosperity


Three key technologies are opening doors for economic opportunity in rural communities everywhere.  Through these technologies individuals and organizations are connecting with resources to create and deliver compelling value in the marketplace regardless of geographic location, experience, or education.
Consider these three...

1) The Internet
2) Virtual Internships
3) Business Model Innovation

The Internet provides the platform; virtual interns the brain power; and business model innovation the framework.


Work Anywhere, Anytime With Anyone?

Since its inception, the Internet has made it increasingly easier for individuals and organizations to communicate with one another, access timely information, and network in ways that were impossible prior to its advent.  

What once took days or weeks to communicate, now takes only a few keystrokes.  Our ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world at anytime is almost instantaneous.  It's amazing, we can now text/talk in this manner, while just a decade ago we were, for the most part, limited to communication systems that were time consuming, expensive and and not widely available to the general public.  

Strategic information is now available to people through search engines such as Google, Bing, etc.  In his bestselling book, The World Is Flat, journalist Thomas L. Friedman identified the Internet as one of the game changing technologies helping greater numbers of individuals access key information.  (See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_World_Is_Flat#Ten_flatteners).  Information vital to creating valuable innovations and accomplishing what's important to them.

Moreover, the Internet through its growing number of applications makes it possible for individuals to network and collaborate globally with others.  This partnering of talent worldwide is available to anyone connected to a mobile device or desktop computer via the Internet.  With a few keystrokes it's possible to work with others who can provide the missing links for completing important projects that provide prosperity to communities large or small, the world over.

With the Internet, rural communities have access to the resources needed to thrive economically.


What About Experience?

One of the most perplexing dilemmas for individuals in the world of work is getting the experience needed to advance in their chosen careers.  No experience often closes the door to many for a rewarding career.  Whether just out of high school, in college, or making a career change, acquiring the valued experience for advancement is a formidable barrier.

Internships have been a move in the right direction, but more needs to be done; the concept and practice is still in its infancy.  Some have benefited, yet for a majority, balancing education, work, family and other social responsibilities requires a highly flexible interning experience.  One that blends the needs of the work to be done in organizations with satisfying the needs of those wanting and needing a rewarding internship.  

A promising development is gaining notice in the form virtual internships.  This next generation of interning provides a number of viable options to overcome the drawbacks of traditional interning.

Among others, it offers extreme flexibility, good compensation, and the opportunity to gain valuable experience in any industry.  Barriers to geographic location and work schedules are eliminated.  Desired results are defined, understood, and delivered in a timely manner through meaningful projects and mentoring.  The need to work a job on the side is eliminated.  It is an internship model where valuable career experience is acquired while being well paid for contributing to desired results.

With the multitude of technical capabilities for working online, virtual interns prepare for the future of work in the present.  They gain core skills that will survive and help them thrive in the ever changing world of work.

On the flip side, organizations of all types can benefit by embracing the changes in the interning process as they evolve.   As they pursue internships with a Win/Win mindset, virtual interning gives them access to the unlimited brain power of promising interns worldwide.  Those companies who nurture positive relationships will reap ongoing dividends now and in the decades to come.


Why Business Model Innovation?

When combined with the Internet and Virtual Internships, Business Model Innovation (BMI) completes a triad of technologies opening the door to economic prosperity for rural communities.

In today's world of rapid change, BMI helps organizations transition smoothly through uncertainty in the marketplace with as little friction as possible.  With shifting customer needs and wants it provides agility to meet those demands.  As the supply and cost of available resources ebbs and flows, suitable options are identified and acquired.  In a number of situations, new business models emerge and create a needed competitive edge.

It's a simple framework.  According to Harvard Economics Professor, Henry Chesbrough, the function of a business model is value creation and value capture.  (See http://cms.sem.tsinghua.edu.cn/semcms/res_base/semcms_com_www/upload/home/store/2008/7/3/2982.pdf).  In other words, creating value for the customer, whether a product or service, and capturing some of that value (compensation/profits) for each of the stakeholders who contribute to creating and delivering it to the end user.  

The innovation element of the framework is an adaptive process that delivers value to customers that keeps pace with their demands and expectations.

To better understand BMI as a working process, Alex Ostenwalder created the Business Model Canvas (BMC).  It consists of nine building blocks, each representing a function vital to creating and delivering value to the customer.

The are as follows:

1) Customer Segment
2) Value Proposition
3) Distribution Channel
4) Customer Relationship
5) Revenue Streams
6) Key Resources
7) Key Activities
8) Key Partners
9) Cost Structure


BMI lends itself to organizations of all kinds, not for profit as well as for profit, large or small, rural or metropolitan.  Creating innovative business models is becoming a high-demand skill/discipline in the world of work.  It lends itself to virtual interning.  It is a discipline that can be learned and applied anywhere (rural/metropolitan), anytime and a discipline that will continue to be in high demand for organizations who want to prosper in the coming years.  As it has been said, "innovate or perish".


Conclusion

This triad of technology (the Internet, virtual Internships and BMI) is a viable solution to creating greater economic prosperity and career opportunity for rural communities.  It provides our Silver Creek Community a way to substantially improve our economic well-being.  It can provide meaningful training and work for a number of our local residents and serve as a catalyst for economic prosperity for all residents.


What Do You Think...?

As always your constructive comments are encouraged and welcomed.


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The Silver Creek Economy blog is sponsored by Partnering Technologies, an Arizona-based Learning & Development Company.  Their focus is helping individuals and organizations learn, consistently apply, and master a skill-set that is always in high demand, always highly valued, and always highly paid.  Its founder is Jim Sanderson. Contact him at madison85937@yahoo.com.


Visit their website at www.partneringtechnologies.blogspot.com and find out how their Strategic Partnering Program can help you take advantage of this triad of technology now and in the future..

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