In the first two parts of this post triptych, I have endeavored to assert conversation’s essential role in the phenomenon of entrepreneurial activity. In part 1, I attribute value to ideas as the raw materials with which entrepreneurs wreak their business alchemy and I identify conversation as a foundational tool for their ideation. The methodology of building an entrepreneurial ecosystem also leverages the capacity for conversation, which I note from Tom Chapman’s work referenced in Part 2 of this series. In this final part, these concepts are given visual depiction by the ingenuity of Andy Stoll.
Stoll mapped his vision of the entrepreneurial growth model in the community alchemy diagram below. Tellingly, Stoll insists that, “Throughout the process we must tell a story and create conversations that share a ‘positive vision focusing on the opportunities of the future.’” This dictum is threaded through each phase of the process, from developing the social fabric in Connecting Resources, the participatory activities in Mix, the mentoring and coaching within Funnel and elements inherent to Build the ecosystem.
It seems to me that numerous commentators on entrepreneurial ecosystems and entrepreneurial activity obliquely observe conversation, but do not focus their gaze upon that concept as an integral feature of a rich system of entrepreneurial factors. My hope is that conversation will be given due attention.
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