Mark Hutchinson from Alphacrucis College "we train for business graduates, counsellors, chaplains, school teachers, and for a wide range of management and leadership roles in NGOs and social service organizations".
©Photo:Mark Hutchinso, Alphacrucis College
Our interview with Mark Hutchinson from the Alphacrucis College, Australia.
Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit more about you and your background?
I am an academic historian who is currently Professor of History and Dean of a professional studies faculty in a Christian liberal arts college in Australia.
And could you tell us about Alphacrucis College?
At about 4000 students Alphacrucis College is small by tertiary standards in Australia, but one of the largest tertiary institutions associated with the protestant tradition. The College is self-accrediting in the areas of theology, ministry, business and leadership, and education, and also runs programs in the social sciences (counselling, chaplaincy, etc). We are ‘dual sector’, in the sense that we offer the sorts of courses normally offered internationally by polytechnics (referred to in Australia as ‘VET’ or Vocational Education and Training courses), and also the sort of courses normally offered by universities (from Bachelors level up to PhD and some professional doctoral degrees). We are currently in the middle of an application for University College status.
What kind of services are you offering ?
My Faculty is ‘Business, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education’, so we train for business graduates, counsellors, chaplains, school teachers, and for a wide range of management and leadership roles in NGOs and social service organizations. We also run quite a lot of vocational education in schools programs, to assist students broaden their skill-sets and individualize their pathways. One of these is called the ‘Young Entrepreneurs Scheme’, and it is being piloted in an area typified by high rates of youth unemployment. The program works with the municipal council and local businesses to provide the social capital, resilience and skills for young people to become involved in new industries and startups.
What made you use the Startup Commons framework?
One of the functions our Faculty performs is to provide insights for Australian school leaders. Australia has one of the largest non-state school sectors in the world. Many of these are small and/or non-systemic - an analysis of the sector suggested that innovation was difficult for smaller, and more isolated schools. I was seeking a model which would enable us to establish the normative elements for startup innovation, particularly as this related to ideating and planting new schools. The Startup Commons framework was an approachable and well laid-out heuristic for helping conceptualize the pathway, against which the normal operations of schools could be compared.
In which context did you use it?
The framework was used as the basis for a presentation to Principals of larger, networked schools, and policy makers for the two national peak agencies, which have interests in new campus planting, and innovative forms of schooling.
Could you share your experience about using it, easy or difficult to use?
It was very clear, and followed broader literature on entrepreneurship and new startups. By providing detailed descriptions of the various phases, it enabled me to map the sub-content elements of each phase against typical school organizational behaviour. It pointed out extremely clearly the ‘hold’ points at which key decisions or actions needed to be made, and often were not.
What do you think will make other people use it?
The framework is clear and well developed.
What would be your biggest wish for the people reading us?
The idea of making startup information easily accessible is very helpful. Many founders launch into business without an understanding of the various stages, and therefore resources, skills, values and preparation that they need. Having readily accessible information, which is connected to quality research, and mentoring/ advisory services, is a real boon to early career founders.
And what could we wish for you for your next steps?
We are filling out the entrepreneurship pathway from school through to a germinator/ startup studio core for a new type of entrepreneurship degree.
Any inspirational book, talk or read you would like to share with our reader?
Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne’s Blue Ocean Strategy has been a reminder to me that innovation is central to growth, and that it happens out beyond where others are operating.
This is an originally posted by Benoit Watteyne. You are free to re-edit and repost this in your own blog or other use under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License terms, by giving credit with a link to www.startupcommons.org and the original post
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