相信可以改變世界

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2013 / 5月

文‧滕淑芬



就在我準備一個重要會議的前半小時,電話響起,對方是移民美國矽谷二十多年的光華讀者林華玉小姐。

她讀了光華北美版二月號的封面故事「返鄉進行曲」,熱情地將意見回饋給我們。當時我們介紹了一群回到故鄉耕作、或開家小店,同時改造社區環境的年輕創業故事,她謝謝我們讓國外朋友看到台灣美好的一面;而雜誌中的綠色田園照片,也讓她懷念起老家台南麻豆,因此準備今年11月帶著矽谷當地的NGO和媒體朋友到台南農業改良場和亞蔬中心參訪,希望可以串起台灣農業科技和矽谷NGO的合作。

對於每天深陷於文字泥淖和大小管理「事件」的我,這一劑強心針,讓我從「事件」中掙脫,回到工作「願景」的想望。

這是作家王文華在《創業教我的50件事》書中提及的概念,幾年前他因參與創辦若水社會企業,有機會到麻省理工學院教授、《第五項修練》的作者彼得‧聖吉的課堂上進修,他得到的最大啟發就是「看事情的五層次」。

「這是我這輩子最寶貴的一棟『豪宅』」,王文華解釋,五個層次由下往上依序是事件、模式、結構、心態、願景,剛好排成一棟5層樓的房子。

事件指的是一次性、沒有前因後果的事情。模式,是重複發生的事件。結構,是造成模式不斷發生的系統性原因,例如產品的出貨期一再延誤。心態,則是指當事人對於事件、模式、結構的態度、看法或信念,例如光華相信傳播台灣的正向力,可以強化民眾的信心,也為世界打開一扇了解台灣的窗口。

最高層次的願景,是指我們以這樣的信念,所採取的行動和預期看到的成果,而若想建立一個有熱情的團隊,就要從願景打造起。

創業需要一個遠大的願景,創業基因誠然植根於台灣土地,但不同於父執輩那一代為了生存而創業;這波由三十世代主導的創業潮,多是從他們身體力行的生活經驗中找出商品與服務內容,有更大的熱情,也相信創業可以讓世界美好。

一張張年輕帥氣的臉孔,頭銜是創辦人,但身著T恤和帆布鞋,神態輕鬆自在,自己就是生命的主宰,將生活融入工作,是這期封面故事主角的最大特色。之初創投的林之晨,希望藉由網路解決各種不公義現象;自許為音樂傳教士的吳柏蒼,相信音樂可以改變世界;打造設計平台的顏君庭,要讓設計師不用擔心產品賣不出去,專心創作;愛評網何吉弘為了追女朋友而創業,這種動力也果然讓他「人財兩得」。

正如林之晨所說,創業成功的關鍵不在於點子而是人才,有沒有執行力、決心、熱情和願景,這個價值觀與理念不只適用於創業,也適用於企業管理與未來成長性,是我得到的最大啟發。

相關文章

近期文章

EN

Believing You Can Change the World

Teng Sue-feng /tr. by Scott Williams


I got a call the other day, just as I was preparing for a big meeting. The caller was Ms. Lin Huayu, a Taiwan Panorama reader who has been living in Silicon Valley for the last 20-some years.

Lin had read the cover story “A Better Life: Leaving the City,” in our February 2013 US edition, and wanted to share her thoughts. The story reported on young entrepreneurs who were going back to their rural hometowns to take up farming or open small businesses, and in so doing were helping rebuild their communities. She thanked us for bringing this side of Taiwan to the attention of people in other nations, and said that the photos had reminded her of the verdant fields of her hometown Ma­dou in Tai­nan County. The article also inspired her to organize a November 2013 trip to the Tai­nan District Agricultural Research and Extension Station and to the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center for friends at Silicon Valley NGOs and in the media, in hopes of fostering cooperation between Taiwan’s agricultural technicians and Silicon Valley’s NGOs.

This was powerful medicine to someone who spends her days knee-deep in words and in the management of matters large and small. It reminded me of my “vision,” of why I got into this work.

Author Tom Wang brought up something similar in his 50 Things I Learned from Starting Companies. Wang was involved with the establishment of Flow, which gave him the opportunity to take a class with Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline, at MIT. He writes that his biggest takeaway from that class was the idea that we can perceive events on five levels.

“It was the most valuable framework I’d ever encountered,” says Wang. He explains that the levels form a five-story framework with the “event” itself at the bottom, and moving up through “pattern,” “structure,” “mental model,” and “vision.”

“Events” refers to one-off occurrences independent of cause and effect. A “pattern” is something that happens repeatedly. A “structure” is a systematic reason for a pattern to recur, such as the reason that a product shipment date is repeatedly pushed back. A “mental model” refers to the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of people towards events, patterns, and structures in which they are involved. For example, Taiwan Panorama believes that publicizing Taiwan’s positives bolsters public confidence and fosters greater global understanding of our island.

The top level, “vision,” refers to the actions our convictions lead us to take and the results we expect. Starting a business requires a grand vision because you can’t build a passionate, committed team without it.

Taiwan is known for its entrepreneurial spirit, but our younger generations are using that spirit for something more than satisfying their material needs. Instead, most of our current wave of young entrepreneurs are creating new products and services drawn from their own life experience. As a result, they have more passion, and a firm conviction that their businesses can make the world a better place.

This month’s cover story focuses on these young entrepreneurs. Founders of their firms and laid-back masters of their own fates, they have figured out how to integrate their work with their lives. Jamie Lin, founder of app­Works Ventures, hopes to use the Internet to right wrongs and resolve inequities. Wu Po­chang, founder of iNDIE­VOX, Taiwan’s biggest platform for downloading independent music, believes music can change the world. Peter Yen, founder of design portal Pin­koi, wants to enable designers to focus on creating new things without needing to worry about whether their products will sell. Sky Ho, founder of ­iPeen, started his business to impress a girl and was lucky enough to have both the business and the relationship work out.

As Lin says, the key to a successful startup isn’t the idea but the people, and whether they have the determination, passion, vision, and ability to execute. My biggest takeaway from their experience has been that these traits work well in fields other than entrepreneurship, that they can be applied to management and personal growth as well.

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