Written Articles

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BounceBack Helps Miller Center Alumni Recover and Grow

Miller Center developed the BounceBack program which launched this month because every one of our alumni is suffering as a result of the pandemic. Some enterprises were badly damaged and are facing major recovery and rebuilding challenges. Others are in better shape but their business models were dented and their markets diminished or altered. They need to regain their robustness and get back on the path to growth. A small number weathered the storm relatively intact and are poised for growth using remote services and new product delivery business models. But they are confronting new market conditions and transformed ecosystem dynamics. BounceBack addresses the needs of all three.

BounceBack uses guided inquiry to uncover the priority areas needing improvement, rebuilding, or recasting. Because every enterprise faces distinct challenges, mentors and entrepreneurs collaboratively build a tailored plan using an interrogative framework to explore the current robustness of the business model and determine the new and emerging market characteristics that each enterprise faces.

BounceBack was conceived as part of Miller Center’s scenario planning process, conducted in the first months of the crisis. We weren’t sure what the future would be, but in every scenario considered it was clear that surviving alumni would need help to recover and grow as the crisis continues and ultimately subsides. We began development, prototyping, and testing in the spring. Alumni surveys showed that by August, many were ready to shift out of their survival mode and begin recovery and growth. The first BounceBack cohort of 15 social enterprises is currently underway,  coached by a stalwart group of mentors.



Creating Shelter in the Storm: Pivoting Your Business in Response to COVID-19

(excerpted from business.com article)

This is an extraordinarily difficult time for every organization. The current situation is chaotic, and we are unsure of what lies ahead. For your organization (and almost all others), it means the existing business model has been disrupted – maybe even obliterated – and your cash flow is drying up.

At Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, we’ve been working with organizations around the world to help navigate a way through the crisis. Over the past three weeks, one message has come across loud and clear: Pivoting the business model into survival mode is foremost on the minds of leaders.

Pivots generally carry significant risks, but leadership recognizes that the potential benefits outweigh the risks. For companies looking at defensive pivots, it is clear that changing business models is less risky than doing nothing. This is the situation many organizations face today — inaction will lead to a failed business. This crisis makes defensive pivots essential for many companies.

For more information and my Rapid Pivot Framework, check out these resources: