As someone that still spends most of their time writing projects, giving lectures or working with organisations and businesses in the entrepreneurship arena I am a firm advocate of the value and importance of entrepreneurship.
I am a particular advocate of entrepreneurship as a life choice for the young men and women of the world and as a real alternative to the socially acceptable white-collar work for the well-qualified academic.
I am greatly encouraged by the work being done in education, in business and in academic institutions to reverse the trend of conformity of the last 150 years and to counter the outdated beliefs of society.
However, as 2016 starts, I feel a real despondency at the performance of governments in supporting this necessary change to an entrepreneurial society. Nowhere was this more obvious that in the United Kingdom.
As is traditional at the start of a new year, the UK published their honours list. However the list was notable for the country honouring the usual collection of entertainers, civil servants and political party contributors.
When it came to entrepreneurship the most high profile award went to someone who brought the world sexist women’s clothing and her most significant innovation was introducing the vibrating rabbit to the bedroom!
Mind you, it is hardly a surprise given that the Prime Minister felt compelled to make another female a Member of Parliament’s second chamber and then appoint her as his small business Tsar! Now before you accuse me of sexism, let me point out that the person in question found fame in a joint venture with her husband selling bras and since separating from him has managed to fail at nearly all of her attempted ventures.
If that is the level of understanding of entrepreneurship, don't hold your breath for innovative solutions facing governments in 2016. Don’t expect enforced regulation to be replaced by incentives, and don’t expect new approaches to global conflict as long as bombs make good business.
Until politicians recognise that they are way behind the innovation pace, that the old ideas of regulation, power, control and enforcement don’t work, 2016 will lurch onwards the same as before.
At the same time the rest of society will become more and more innovative DESPITE rather than with government.