February 8, 2021 8 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
There has never been so much talk about entrepreneurship as in recent months. Even the Silicon Valley effect, a precursor to the global startup movement and open innovation, was small for the size of the Brazilian numbers in this pandemic period.
Brazil, from where I am writing this text, is already the second country in the world with the highest number of COVID-19 cases, only surpassed by the United States. In less than six months, more than 716,000 companies closed their doors. However, in the last four months, more than 580,000 new MEIs (individual microentrepreneurs, a figure created through a government program that allows the registration of companies in a more simplified way) were created; and if we count the number of unemployed, potential workers and underemployed they exceed 30 million.
These numbers are not even close to reality, as they are the ones that were officially recorded, but they represent people who need to reinvent themselves to survive the breakdown caused by the crisis.
The same level for everyone?
Faced with the disruption brought to us by Clayton Christensen (father of disruptive innovation) as a phenomenon that transforms everyday life through the introduction of simplicity, convenience and accessibility – elements that define the coronavirus – a globalized chaos was created, manifesting deglobalization, localism, self-protection of countries, organizations, families and individuals.
If the chaos that Edward Lorenz speaks of is manifested by a small initial change in any event producing great unknown consequences for the future (Butterfly Effect), in addition to creating a great disorientation (since everything alters it, which is theoretically normal); It could be said that in the countries of the Southern Hemisphere, some of the poorest in the world, the chaos after the disruption would give rise to a world model like Mad Max (Australian film franchise based on a post-apocalyptic future).
However, what we saw was that the lack of reference to what to do, how to act and not being able to predict or even try to design possible futures, placed developed and developing countries at very similar levels.
In Brazil, inequalities, social differences, credit difficulties of small entrepreneurs have been accentuated. At the same time, solidarity, humanism, concern for oneself and for the other. Learnings that we must maintain in the post-crisis.
Chaos, instability, uncertainty, complexity, overt volatility, also create great opportunities. This especially for those who become determined leaders of “new” models of behavior, models of coexistence, business to lead a new normal, presented by Paul Glover as a different state that is established in society after a crisis.
New act entrepreneur
In the face of chaos-generating disruption that disrupted the context beyond comparison for purposeful and synergistic actions that disrupt human behavior, how should entrepreneurs and / or intrapreneurs act?
If we were already concerned about soft skills, given that human behavior, especially in business, was becoming less and less human, what can we do to mitigate the chaos to create the minimum of the minimum?
Let’s analyze the meaning of the word resilience , proposed in the title. I have some discomfort for the use of the concept, since I never believed that someone resilient can be someone transforming (resilience refers to something or someone who undergoes some pressure and returns to its original state).
Maybe that’s why the transformations don’t happen, because if you take a pressure and go back to the original state, you just held the pressure, but there was no change, that is, you did not learn. Or if you learned it, you didn’t apply it.
For this reason, I feel more comfortable when I use the concept of neuroplasticity or even the concept of the moment about antifragility, because the restless human being will always learn something from change and will always try to solve the problem or fight against those who create it.
In this historical moment we need people who seek to solve the problem. That is why I made some additions to the concept of entrepreneurial intelligence.
Entrepreneurial intelligence is the mixture of definitions of intelligence, emotional intelligence and entrepreneurship, being the courage and wisdom to act on opportunities in various unknown conditions, based on three pillars: mindset, opportunities and connection.
The mentality and lifestyle consists of the practice of curiosity, starting with what you have, resisting routine, being unique, added to being passionate about the solution and achieving by applying knowledge.
The practice of curiosity turns the entrepreneur into someone curious, restless, wanting to transform, to satisfy their emerging needs, to survive, to increase what they already have or to create new possibilities.
Starting with what you have is the portrait of the entrepreneur based on need, since he uses frugality to redesign his relationships with the context.
Resisting routine turns frugality into anti-fragility, since fragility is broken and robustness makes change impossible.
Being unique, given that the crisis turned everyone into live stars, created a hazy and fuzzy atmosphere, in which what I don’t like became a routine of the day, creating an environment where consistency requires exhaustive mining on the part of those who need to act to transform themselves.
And, be passionate about the solution and carry it out, since we can, at this time of a pandemic, define people as complainants and entrepreneurs.
When we go to the pillar of opportunities, we talk about finding, searching, creating, designing, as well as acting and transforming.
The subject endowed with an entrepreneurial intelligence must find opportunities, seek institutions and their relationship networks together, so that, based on their skills, they can build possibilities for themselves and for others.
It creates opportunities when it manages to perceive solutions to the problems that surround it by connecting the variables presented by the context and simplifying the complexity, either to satisfy emerging needs and / or to create something new.
Draw the scenarios so that you can identify the best possible normals and that you can even be a promoter of the present and the future. Its design must be based not only on creating solutions that can generate value, but mainly that can generate a positive impact for the transformation, since this will contribute to individual, collective, social and environmental development.
Acting to transform is in the field of implementation, experimentation, leadership, the effective generation of the transformation process, guided by the wisdom and balance that arise from the daily exercise of emotional intelligence, to build the best decision-making, with the best resources and the search for greater impacts.
Last but not least is the connection with myself and with the other, in which our addition occurs in the connection with machines, with animals, nature and the universe.
The connection with myself is based on the search for self-knowledge and the balance of rational and subjective aspects, but in this moment of crisis and disruption it is based on emotional balance. In the search to appease the individual inner universe, creating moments and sensations of relaxation, well-being, balance, in the search to provide a better awareness and perception of their reality and the context in which they live.
The connection with the other can manifest itself through the connection with myself, through empathy, solidarity and contact with reality, listening to hear and seeing to observe.
The connection with machines, from digitization and automation, which were previously seen as a 4.0 concept, have now become one of the main alternatives to reduce human contact and at the same time the main alternative for human contact, given the need to use technological devices for communication, since confinement led everyone to experiment with information and communication technology, promoting hyperconnectivity.
The connection with animals, since for the loneliest the need for company, communication (although oral communication is hampered by the difficulty of coding a dog’s bark, for example) and the affection of the pet makes us have moments balances and distractions.
The crisis sheds light on the need of human beings to take care of nature and the environment, since the coronavirus, in addition to depending on people in their homes, limited access to the outdoors, contact with nature, breathing air. pure, not even hear the waves of the sea. By being confined at home without mobility, consumer behavior was redesigned for what is really necessary, that is, the useful while eliminating the useless.
Finally, a relationship with the universe, since we are not alone. And in these moments of crisis like this, many who are emotionally unbalanced began to reflect on the search for other planets or understand the meaning of space expeditions. But you don’t have to go that far, just watch the children’s movie Wall-E, or the documentaries about Steve Hawking, in which you will see how the universe impacts us.
Thus, combining entrepreneurship with emotional intelligence can be one of the ways in which we can create better normal futures, alleviating tensions and concerns of the present, acting from a lifestyle, which in connection can generate processes of transformation, generation of value and positive impact.
Possible challenges for the human being, which only require the exercise of balance, the search for the middle way to create solutions and opportunities.
Geraldo Campos is CEO of Sapienza Brasil, a Brazilian knowledge management company for companies and universities.