What happens when you mix an idea-fixated writer, a vast social and business trend, and a flexible yet distracted federal client? You get one of the most original and least influential congressional reports of the 1990s: Capitalism’s Newer Half: Women Business-Owners in Post-Corporate America. I conceived and produced it, and the lessons from this excitingly missed opportunity are here for you.
Who might be "you"? Anyone running an innovative project for a distracted group of decision-makers. Although this retrospectus emanates from the DC suburbs, the only acronym you’ll need is "WBO,” for Women Business Owners. I can even offer you a preview of the advisory:
Do whatever it takes to help activists within the client group get truly comfortable with the endeavor’s core premise. That probably means slimming down your original idea -- narrowing its scope in a way that deepens its relevance to the sponsor. The imperative is to come out the other end with an analysis you can respect, in the form of a product – yes, think of it as a product – that "they" will want to advertise. If the sponsor still can’t do so, at least make sure you can walk away clean, as the unfettered deployer of your own research and prose.
Consultants who function in part like journalists will appreciate much of the content and narrative here. So will certain rising politicians who are open to a new spin on “women’s issues.” Speaking of new spins, the Exacting Editor believes that repackaging can salvage past creativity. So let me spell out your “WBO” options on this site:
Purpose, Method, Findings -- an executive summary of the entire project meant for the media but never released
From Glass Ceiling to New Structure -- one of two chapters meant for this 1996 congressional report but removed before publication
Alison Maitland on “The Puzzle of The Lost Women” (March 2005) showing how bloody little Big Business has changed – in the media’s massified mind anyway -- since I wrote in ’96
"Today's Female Passion for Entrepreneurship," a marvelous July 1997 analysis by Barb DeLollis for the American Enterprise Institute
Gregorsky on The Pains & Gains of a Long Project – link below
Authentic WBO: Sue Hawkinson of Appleton, Wisconsin, and her 15-year trek from gung-ho idealism to fiscal conservatism and earned hope
itself was non-partisan, although the people directing the Committee, and nearly
every person in my client group, were Republicans. Did someone say
“Committee”? Oh yes, forgot to make clear: The “sponsor” of this unusual
analysis of the social and economic messages from female entrepreneurs was the Joint Economic Committee, the only congressional panel with
membership from both houses and an exact partisan balance. Nothing on this
website should be held against them.
© 2005, Gregorsky Editorial Services
Go to WBO Chronology and “Lessons Earned”