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  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  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 Segme
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".


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.


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

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

Monday, October 13, 2014

Our Local Economy & Entrepreneurial Events

Virtual Internship Design

"Tug on anything at all and you'll find it connected to everything else in the universe."
~ John Muir

Community events play a major role reflecting community values and generating efforts that benefit local residents as well as others.  Their success depends on the buy-in of a significant number of residents and dedication to the purposes of those  worthwhile events.

Examples of these include Taylor's 4th of July Rodeo, the Corn Festival and Snowflake's Pioneer Days Celebration & 12 Days of Christmas.  In addition, a number of other events sponsored by local/regional organizations impact our community for good.    

These events provide residents "experiences" that unite the community, cultivate its unique character and attract visitors to come and experience those benefits often.  Carefully chosen, they produce greater prosperity in all dimensions of living for our community and region.

Consider the following Entrepreneurial-Driven Events and how they can help create experiences that make entrepreneurship part of our culture and a skill-set that is valued in our community. There are many more, but these lend themselves to our present circumstances.  

1) Virtual Internship Design Workshops/Projects
2) Entrepreneurial Skills Workshops/Projects
3) Startup Saturday Workshops/Projects

In this post I will focus on Virtual Internship Design; specifically, how it lends itself to knowledge work and ROWE (Results Only Work Environments); two key factors shaping the landscape of the world of work, now and in the future.

Virtual Internships

Definition:  An internship performed anywhere and anytime via the Internet.  Virtual Internships make it possible to do work for any organization anywhere in the world from your location and work with a team geographically dispersed statewide, nationwide, or worldwide.

Virtual Internships provide an excellent platform to jump-start the launch of an entrepreneurial community.  For you, they create an abundance of work opportunities via the Internet and its complementary technologies.  In addition, they provide a venue to learn, consistently apply, and master valuable, high demand skills (skills relevant in the present and future of work); gain valued industry experience; and earn substantial income while doing so.  Furthermore, they provide a practical way to build a rewarding, responsive, and resilient online career.

This ability to work from anywhere, anytime is fast becoming the norm for knowledge workers through a ROWE.  The world of work is rapidly changing; and the work of the future, the work that is in high demand, highly valued, and highly paid will be done in and through virtual/online environments.  It will be done by individuals willing take responsibility and produce desired results.  It will be done by individuals with purpose and initiative.

Thus the importance of virtual internships; of learning, applying and mastering the skills required to prosper in an online environment.  They are key factors in building a resilient local economy; a thriving economy based on the proven principles of entrepreneurship in an ever changing world of work.


Results Only Work Environments are becoming and will continue to be the preferred method of performing knowledge work in the years to come.  By gaining experience in a ROWE, virtual interns acquire competencies vital to career prosperity now and in the future:

They fine tune their ability to identify vital tasks and how to best accomplish those tasks.
They learn how to manage themselves in a real world setting and produce desired results in their work and satisfy their personal life needs and wants.

They learn what their strengths are and how they can use them to perform at their best.
They learn how to accomplish what's important to them (what they value) while fulfilling the purposes, achieving the goals and accomplishing the objectives of the organizations they work for.
They learn how to use their freedom wisely and become responsibly accountable,  

They learn how to build effective working relationships with others from around the world and from diverse cultures.
They learn how to communicate effectively and perform at their best in a virtual environment.

The above are just a of the few the many advantages working in a ROWE offer virtual interns.

Concluding Observations

So how does all this contribute to building a local entrepreneurial community?  Virtual internships connect our rural community with the world of work, whether it be in Phoenix, AZ; Boston MA; or anyplace in the world.  Through ROWE's, virtual internships provide residents of our community access to a variety work that is high paying, rewarding, and vital to building resilient careers that meet their individual circumstances.  In addition, those who choose to start and grow businesses in our community have access to the talent and abilities of knowledge workers worldwide.

The opportunity for economic progress in our community has never been better and virtual internships provide local residents a practical way to succeed in such an advantageous climate.

For more information about virtual internships, the state of knowledge work and ROWE's check out these links:

Virtual Internships



Partnering Technologies will be posting a Virtual Internship Design Overview within the next two weeks. It will present how virtual internships, knowledge work, and ROWE's can create high-paying careers for local residents and strengthen our local economy.

What Do You Think?

As always, your constructive comments are welcomed.

Next Post

Acquiring Entrepreneurial Skills:  Local Workshops & Projects

The Silver Creek Economy 2014 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.

Visit their website at and find out what they are doing to build a more prosperous economy for our community in 2014.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

An Entrepreneurial Community Launch for Our Local Economy

A Closer Look:  Goals, Objectives & Action-Steps

"Our dreams inspire us, our goals & objectives chart our course,
and our appropriate actions accomplish our objectives, achieve our goals,
and fulfill our dreams."

Launching and maintaining an Entrepreneurial Community (EC) is a balanced blend of vital goals, targeted objectives, and timely action-steps.  In addition, ongoing evaluation of progress toward those objectives and goals give us valuable feedback as to how well we are doing.  Each objective provides direction towards our goals and each goal direction towards fulfilling and maintaining our purpose.

With that in mind, I suggest the following; not as a final answer, but as a beginning point for our purpose of Launching & Maintaining An Entrepreneurial Community.

Goals, Objectives & Action-Steps

Assessment of each of the six activities essential to growing an EC.  This will give us a good idea of where we are in journey to that end.

1) Entrepreneurial Density
2) University
3) Transportation
4) Local Early-Stage Risk Capital
5) Local Entrepreneurial Community Entrepreneurial-Driven Events
6) Business Community Support

I am addressing each of the above activities in six consecutive posts, first giving a brief assessment, then identifying three goals, three objectives and three action-steps for each that can move The Silver Creek Economy toward becoming a strong and resilient EC.

This effort to strengthen our local and regional economy is in no way intended to replace the dedicated efforts (past, present & future) of local businesses, chambers of commerce, city & county governments or regional organizations, but complement them.

At Partnering Technologies, we will commit significant manpower to this project as local individuals enroll in our SPP (Strategic Partnering Program) as OPI's (Online Partnering Interns).

Closing Thought

This closing remark from the above cited post (
highlights the opportunity we have to launch a new era of economic prosperity for the White Mountain Region as well as our Silver Creek Community:

The democratization of entrepreneurship has created a huge opportunity for any region [community] with the right characteristics to create its own sustainable tech cluster. But, as with any true democracy, it won’t happen without the combined participation of the community and desire of entrepreneurs to lead the movement. This is happening in Bend, and I look forward to hearing from others about your own experiments.

A Question for Your Consideration

How do these suggestions agree or disagree with your approach to launching an“entrepreneurial community” for our local economy?

What Do You Think?

As always, your constructive comments are welcomed.

Next Post

Goals, Objectives & Action-Steps for Local Entrepreneurial Community Entrepreneurial-Driven Events

The Silver Creek Economy 2014 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.

Visit their website at and find out what they are doing to build a more prosperous economy for our community in 2014.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

THE ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET: Engineering An Entrepreneurial Community for Our Local Economy

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity
an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
-Winston Churchill

With the rapid advancement of hyper-communications, our community has the opportunity, as never before, to engineer & build an entrepreneurial community.

In my post today, I will share six elements necessary to engineer and grow, what I call an entrepreneurial community.  They are taken from a series of posts from Steve Blank, serial entrepreneur turned educator and mentor in the lean startup movement; teaching at Stanford University, Cal Berkeley, and Columbia University. He cites what is being done in the Bend, Oregon Region (  For obvious reasons these six elements require adaptation to our Silver Creek Community and White Mountain Region.

These following are the six elements of engineering an entrepreneurial community (he refers to it as a "tech cluster") and adaptations as appropriate.

Entrepreneurial Density

In layman's language, that is a high concentration of entrepreneurs in a geographic region; for our purposes the Silver Creek Community and the White Mountain Region.  In his post he defines density as follows:

...the connection of like-minded firms and their support services...

Adaptation:  As mentioned above, hyper-communications are making it easier and easier to tap into resources worldwide (high tech expertise, mentoring, etc.).  The resources are available.  The difficulty/opportunity is how to best access them.


He suggests a local tech university is an element that "provides a source of technical talent, research, etc."

Adaptation:  Our Northland Pioneer Community College recently added a Associate's Degree in Mechatronics ( to their offerings.  In addition, NAU offers a number of programs offering technical education and research opportunities at the graduate level.  This may sound like a broken record, but again, hyper-communications are making these types of resources increasingly available to rural communities such as ours.


The Show Low Regional Airport and Taylor Airport provide us with some promising opportunities to reach major airports throughout the West, especially Sky Harbor in Phoenix.  Additionally, our local railroad adds to our commercial logistic capabilities.  We are also located on one of the major north/south highways in the state (Highway 77) and regionally connected to a highly traveled east/west interstate route (I-40).

Local Early-Stage Risk Capital

This is a major opportunity to be exploited in our region.  Again, hyper-communication offers greater access nationally and internationally to such resources.  Furthermore, as our entrepreneurial community develops the pool of local investors grows to help in meet these demands and attracts interest from out of region investors.

Local Entrepreneurial Community Entrepreneurial-driven Events

These are solely determined by local initiative.  Local chambers of commerce can play a substantial role in this respect.  Partnering Technologies, an Arizona-based learning and development organization is in process of developing such events and currently offers a program including paid internships, training in key skills/competencies, and peer coaching/mentoring (

Business Community Support

This is a direct quote from his post:

One of the most difficult things to do is technically the easiest – a dispassionate self-assessment to understand what assets your community has and what you lack.

First, what is your value proposition to a family or business to locate in your region? Recognize that a big part of your job is to remove friction, drive awareness, and amplify the efforts of your local entrepreneurs. Successful entrepreneurs attract other entrepreneurs, so it’s vital to kick start the cycle.

Next, identify your goal. Is it creating a job works program? Stopping brain drain in the region? Attracting and building some key core competency in the region? Ideally your existing talent base and ecosystem naturally support the “core competency magnet” you want to develop.
Adaptation:  Again, remember resources are available, the opportunity is in accessing them.


The key to engineering and growing an entrepreneurial community is cultivating the practice of entrepreneurship.  Quoting again from his post:

In the past most regional growth strategies have focused on attracting established companies looking to expand or open a new plant. While it may be strategic for the region to recruit some of these established businesses, those deals usually involve huge tax subsidies and typically create a small finite number of jobs. What isn’t part of most regional growth plans is the organic growth of an entrepreneurial tech cluster in the region. If successful, sewing the seeds of entrepreneurship can lead to a more rapid and sustainable job growth for the region.

A Question for Your Consideration

In what ways could you promote and cultivate the Silver Creek Community as an “entrepreneurial community”?

What Do You Think?

As always, your constructive comments are welcomed.

Next Post

Local Entrepreneurial-Driven Events

The Silver Creek Economy 2014 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.

Visit their website at and find out what they are doing to build a more prosperous economy for our community in 2014.