Wednesday, January 21, 2004

New Conference to Strengthen Neighborhood Meetings



The new Colorado Neighborhood Caucus Conference will be held Monday, January 26th from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Colorado State Capitol, Senate Committee Room 356. The Colorado LWV Legislative Conference is that morning. The new Caucus Conference is free and open to all.



The defeat of Amendment 29 in the fall of 2002 gave our wonderful neighborhood caucus-assembly system a reprieve. This event will generate an increased level of interest and participation. It may take a couple of election cycles, but we believe we can help revitalize the Colorado grassroots.



MC for the event will be Theresa Jones, Voter Service Co-Chair, Denver League of Women Voters. Theresa has been a member of the LWV for over 10 years. Speakers will include: Julie DeWoody, Colorado Democratic Party, Interim Executive Director; David E. Wardrop, Colorado Republicans, Executive Director; Mike Nelligan, Denver Republicans, Chair; Sharron Klein, third term Chair, Denver Democrats; Jo Anne Gray, former Republican National Committee Person; and Frank Sullivan, Denver Democratic Captain.



Speakers will each give their perspective on the current health of caucus system and what needs to be done to restore it to full strength. After their brief statements there will be questions and answers. Written questions submitted in advance will be given preference. Submit questions to: John Wren, 1600 Broadway, Suite 2400, Denver, CO 80202-4921 or JohnSWren@aol.com or at the event.





Colorado Common Caucus Report



Mayor Hickenlooper and Governor Owens, will you help us out here in Denver and Colorado?

I’ve just had an idea I think the two of you will really like, and that could radically alter the course of Colorado and possibly national politics.

Governor, you took an active role in the Iowa caucuses over the past few days. We need you to use the power of your office to give us help here in Colorado between now and next April 13, the date of our own Colorado caucuses.

Mayor, you’ve told me that you think the caucus system just doesn’t work, based on a bad personal experience and what your friend Rutt Bridges has told you. Denver and Colorado need you to put aside your old ideas about the caucus-assembly system and take an active role in preserving and promoting what 60% of the voters in Colorado know is a wonderful, grassroots system.

The Colorado caucus-assembly system was created by the Colorado legislature in 1912 as part of the Teddy Roosevelt era reforms that were sweeping the country at that time. The Colorado League of Women Voters says the neighborhood caucus is where the ordinary citizen can have the most influence. (see http://www.members.aol.com/lwvco)

Here is my idea:

Neither of you could do this alone. This needs to be bi-partisian effort. Together, you could become the leading national spokespeople for our wonderful caucus system, grassroots citizenship and good civil discourse.

Yes, there have been problems with the way our caucus-assembly system has worked here in Colorado over the past couple of decades. Power brokers and hardball politicians have tended to stifle the voice of the common person. There has also been almost no local media attention in recent years, information that helps the average citizen understand the system.

But the caucus is still the last, best hope of the individual to have an impact on our government. We don’t junk a Rolls-Royce because it has a flat tire.

Walter Issacson, the new head of the Aspen Institute has called for a renewal of good civil discourse.

We can take the lead in doing just that, if we have your combined leadership, Mayor Hickenlooper and Governor Owens.

Because of the current high level of interest in the 2004 Presidential campaign and politics in general, the defeat of Amendment 29 which would have squashed the Colorado caucuses, and the elimination of the Colorado Presidential primary, we have a unique opportunity to create a national model here in Colorado.

With the right leadership from the two of you, the Colorado caucuses could become a model for the nation. Our caucus system could become our leading export! The timing might be just right to even play a part in the formation of the new government in Iraq!

Local community newspapers would give the caucus much more coverage if statements were coming from your offices between now and next spring.

National media attention for Colorado, we would get if the two of you would combine in the effort, could also be a big boost to tourism in what is usually a very slow month. April is too late for skiing, too early for summer vacations.

As a first step towards this cooperative effort between the two of you, I invite you both (along with you, dear reader) to join us for the first of what we hope will become an annual Caucus Conference at the Capitol.

This new, free Colorado Neighborhood Caucus Conference will be held Monday, January 26th from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Colorado State Capitol, Senate Committee Room 356.

MC for the event will be Theresa Jones, Voter Service Co-Chair, Denver League of Women Voters. Theresa has been a member of the LWV for over 10 years. Speakers will include: Julie DeWoody, Colorado Democratic Party, Interim Executive Director; David E. Wardrop, Colorado Republicans, Executive Director; Mike Nelligan, Denver Republicans, Chair; Sharron Klein, third term Chair, Denver Democrats; Jo Anne Gray, former Republican National Committee Person; and Frank Sullivan, Denver Democratic Captain.

Speakers will each give their perspective on the current health of caucus system and what needs to be done to restore it to full strength. After their brief statements there will be questions and answers.

Please, join us next Monday! No RSVP is required. We expect a good crowd, so we’ll save a couple of seats for you.



New Group Helps People Learn About Practical Politics



The Colorado Caucus Community of Practice (CoCaCoP, see www.orgsites.com/co/cocaucus) was recently started by John Wren to help restore the Colorado caucus-assembly system to full strength for its 100th anniversary in 2012, and to maximize informed participation at the next caucus April 13, 2004. CoCaCoP has a model meeting, free and open to all, the 2nd Wednesday of each month at Panera Bread Café, 1350 Grant Street, Denver. Other meetings are forming. For more information contact Wren at 1600 Broadway, Suite 2400, Denver, CO 80202-4921 or JohnSWren@aol.com or at the Caucus Conference on next Monday.



Main Street Business



For the next few weeks here in Main Street Business I’m going to serialize my little book, Daring Mighty Things—The Simplest Way to Start Your First (or Next) New Business.



Amar Bhide, Ph.D., Professor of Entrepreneurship at Columbia University (www.bhide.net) has said of it “This is a very useful book for anyone who is starting a new business. I recommend it.”



The title Daring Mighty Things comes from the Teddy Roosevelt quote: “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failures, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”



(Want a free copy of the whole book? If you are starting a new career, project, or business, you can get a free copy of the newly revised 2nd edition that will be published after this serialization when you schedule an appointment with John Wren – contact information below. You can check out the 1st edition now through the Denver Public Library.)



The world needs your new business!

To understand my system for starting your new business, it is necessary to first appreciate the nature of business in a capitalistic, free market economy.

The world will always have government, big-business, and big-labor: government for those things individuals cannot do for themselves; big-business and big-labor because of certain efficiencies of scale. Unfortunately, the large scale of these three forms of bureaucratic operations leads to problems:

1) Efficiency comes at the expense of intelligence and creativity. The large organization has a tendency to get better and better at doing what eventually is the wrong thing.

2) Power corrupts. Governmental corruption is kept in check by our process of representative democracy. Big-business corruption is kept in check to the extent that the free market is allowed to operate. That is why big business hates competition.

The world view of the bureaucrat is necessarily different from that of the entrepreneur. The steps recommended here for starting a new business will not make sense to most bureaucrats.

If you decide to us a business coach or consultant, it is important that you work with someone who subscribes to the following philosophy of business. This person almost always will be an independent business owner.

Beware of seminars about how to start a new business; the most deadly advice for entrepreneurs comes from bureaucrats, public or private, active or retired.

Yes, the world really does need you to create a new business!

There is always a shortage of entrepreneurs, that’s why it pays so well.

The shortage is caused by two things:

1) The infinite power of the human mind to create new ways to help people, and

2) People’s unlimited need for help.

Read today’s newspaper. It’s easy to see the world needs help. To the entrepreneur, these problems are opportunities in working clothes.

Each human life is a story told by God. The entrepreneur’s story is about doing Good Work. Good Work (see E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful, 1973) has three qualities:

1) Good Work helps customers by providing a necessary and useful product or service at a price they are willing to pay;

2) Good Work provides an adequate income for the entrepreneur and everyone involved in the business; and

3) Good Work provides a path for personal growth. Starting a new business is the best form of adult education!

The word entrepreneur comes from a French word which means “to undertake.” The entrepreneur is a person who starts or undertakes and assumes the risk for a new business or enterprise. Entrepreneurship has been the vital catalyst to economic growth derived from three technological revolutions over the last five thousand years:

1) The agricultural revolution, caused by the invention of farming, which led to the first surpluses and the need for organized markets;

2) The industrial revolution, caused by the invention of the printing press, which led to mass production and mass marketing; and

3) The current communications revolution, caused by the invention of the computer, and we have no idea where it will ultimately lead.

Each of these technological revolutions created the need for entrepreneurs. New businesses are constantly needed to transform the new technology into new products and services. Because of the recent communications revolution, there are more entrepreneurial opportunities today than ever before. (see Alvin Toffler, Powershift, 1990)

Theoretically, the alternative mechanism for transforming new technology into new products and services is the planned economy. A benevolent dictator could, in theory, be much more efficient, but because of human nature the planned economy has never worked.

The competition of free market capitalism keeps any one person from becoming too powerful. History has demonstrated repeatedly that power corrupts. Despite its inefficiencies, competition provides more consumer benefits that the potentially efficient, planned system.

The planned system concentrates power and eventually corruption grows to the point that the system fails. In the free world, corruption is weeded out through the mechanisms of free market capitalism and representative democracy.

Is there really room for another entrepreneur in the world? Yes! There are an infinite number of possible new businesses. The illusion of scarcity of opportunity is created by some bureaucratic economists. As Kenneth Bolding, a right-minded economist who taught at the University of Colorado, said, “The problem is the economist’s pie-chart. There is no pie; there is just a bunch of damned little tarts!”



Next Week: The Free Market Environment & The Most Important Key to Entrepreneurial Success.





Since 1979, John Wren has done business consulting with entrepreneurs. He is the founder of the IDEA Café Startup Workshop. He facilitates Franklin Circles, adult self-directed learning groups following the example of the first group started in 1727 by Ben Franklin and his friends. A free IDEA Café for people starting a new career, project, or business is held each Friday from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Panera Bread Café, 1350 Grant Street, here in Denver. For more information see www.orgsites.com/co/poorrichard or contact Wren at JohnSWren@aol.com, 1600 Broadway, Suite 2400, Denver, CO 80202 or (303)861-1447.



John Wren welcomes your comments via return email.





John S. Wren, MBA
I help people turn their ideas into Success with
a new business, project, career, or campaign!
960 Grant St. #727, Denver, CO 80203 (720)495-4949 JohnSWren@AOL.com
What is True Success? How can I help you? See: John Wren's Homepage.



"Since 1979 I've been helping entrepreneurs, small business owners, managers, and
professionals to do more Good Work while we increase their sales and profits. I'm
most helpful to my clients in starting new projects, new businesses, or new directions
for their own careers. Contact me now and let's discuss how I can help you achieve
what Tom Morris calls True Success." John Wren