Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Collaborating Small Business to Overcome Financial, Social and Political Constraints

Small businesses have a hard time competing due to financial, social, and political constraints on their resources. A paper by Evans (2013) explores the political dynamics and process of institutional change that underlines policy approaches that focus on modernizing small firms in Portugal. Their comparative-historical analysis helps show that successful industrial upgrading relies on intense and sustained political action led by leadership in an effort to develop benchmarks and proper implementation of financial strategy. 

Small businesses often lack resources to compete in a market dominated by better financed international companies. Payroll, financing, business, systems, etc… were not always updated appropriately. Small businesses also regularly failed to meet inappropriate legislation focused toward larger organizations leaving them unable to grow or develop.  

Other problems small business face is the legal and political structure of a country that focuses more heavily on larger industries. This structure can make it difficult for small businesses to meet regulations, export quantities, and other minimum standards. The lack of understanding of the needs of small business can have a long-term impact on the success of new entrepreneurial development. 

Small business can work in collaboration to build a stronger political voice that can impact the legal frameworks of a nation and encourage greater fairness in development. They may also work together to share resources such as payroll, financing, legal representation, etc… Sharing resources narrowed economies of scale advantages found in larger businesses. 

The study helps highlight how local and national governments must work together to ensure fresh development of industry innovation, new businesses, and stronger economic competitiveness. Small businesses will need to overcome their individualistic approaches and rivalry oriented strategies to create stronger collaboration that leads to social, economic and political transformation.  Leaders can encourage changes within the structure to ensure greater concern and competitiveness of small businesses development within their sectors that has an impact on economic development.  

Evans, A. (2013). Building institutional capacity: from pervasive individualism to sustained coordination in small firm sectors. Business & Politics, 15 (2).

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Art in Bloom" Show Brightens Usable Space

Two of nature’s most profound forms of expression came together during the July 18th to July 20th Art in Bloom show at The Spanish Village. The presentation matched floral arrangements with paintings to create a masterful display of coordinated color. Each artist attempted to make a connection between the two formats to brighten your home and better manage open space. Prices were reasonable and focused on middle class buyers.

The color combinations chosen will naturally impact ascetic appearance and mood. For example, a study by Yildirim, et. al. (2011) found that changing colors to warm, cool, or achromatic colors also changed a person’s mood. Warm colors bring higher states of arousal, cool colors bring restful feelings and achromatic colors foster peaceful emotions.  Art in Bloom offered colored combinations across all three color schematics.

The same concepts that apply to one's home can also apply to a business lobby, conference room, meeting room, or any other place where people gather. Using proper art displays not only show the good taste of the company but also can enhance the experiences of customers and clients. If you are seeking to create excitement use bright colors while if you are seeking to calm your clients down use cool colors.

Perusing the paintings and flowers were not the only activity on the menu. As patrons strolled the courtyard they were also able to listen to music by Tin Man’s Heart and attend presentations through the Botanical Foundation. Refreshments and coffee provided opportunities to sit and relax while enjoying the bonanza of bountiful colors. 

The event was hosted at The Spanish Village in Balboa Park which is an artist’s heaven in opportunities to connect, learn, and produce unique works of self-expression. Small guilds and shops are architecturally designed to give the most ascetic appearance possible. If you are looking for art classes or want to get involved in the art community you only need to start walking around and visiting the shops. 

Spanish Village Art Center
1770 Village Place
San Diego, CA

Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Review: The Philosophy of Science A Very Short Introduction

The Philosophy of Science A Very Short Introduction by Samir Okasha discusses the very nature of science and what it means to engage in scientific thinking. The book will bring you through the definitions of science, scientific reasoning, realism and anti-realism, scientific revolutions and philosophical problems. It is solid reading for students and laypeople that desire to get a basic grasp of science.

Science started in the 1400 to 1700 with people like Copernicus who built a model of the universe and Aristotle who put forward ideas of physics, biology, astronomy and cosmology. Science is a way in which we think about the world (i.e. scientific mindset) and how we compare and contrast elements to come to conclusions of the world in which we live. 

A key component of science is a concept called falsifiable brought forward by Karl Popper. All theories and predictions must be falsifiable in the sense that experience can determine them wrong over time. Pseudo-science was described as theories of psychotherapy brought forward by Freud because anything the patient does can be explained away with no obvious observable proofs of latent functions. 

Consider the use of a theoretical model to predict that a certain event will occur. As time moves forward the event either happens or it doesn’t thereby making is verifiable. Theories that cannot be tested and shown to be false are also unlikely to be true. There must be criteria to lend support or take support away from the theory. If you can’t prove or disprove it then it isn’t a theory.

More pointedly the book discusses induction and deduction as methods of understanding concepts and coming to new conclusions. The example of deduction provided by the book is 1.) The French like wine, and 2.) Pierre is a Frenchman therefore it can be deducted that Pierre likes wine.  It doesn’t matter if the inferences actually make the conclusion true but that they can lead to the conclusion. 

Inductive reasoning is difficult to use in science but is commonly applied to everyday life. It is assumed that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West every day. Using inductive reasoning we can say that the sun will rise in the East tomorrow and set in the West. We are likely to be right but that doesn’t make it a truth while the observation isn’t necessarily proof that it will happen over and over. 

The book doesn’t move into this concept but it is possible to use deductive, inductive and probable abductive reasoning together to be more accurate. We may use deductive reasoning to go from the general down to the specific and then use inductive reasoning to rebuild the model outward in another place to see if it also holds true.  We can then use abductive reasoning to understand the likelihood of the conclusion holding true to the explanation in both examples. 

Either way you are likely to find the book interesting and provide a broad understanding of the basic principles of science. It is the type of book you should read if you have studied the sciences, plan on studying to a doctorate, or want to test something within your environment. The price on kindle is reasonable and retails for around $2.