For the first post in my series called Women of Innovation, I believe it only fitting to feature my friend, colleague, and business partner, Professor Jane Karwoski. Jane, who also is known by her media name, Dr. J, is an angel investor, a freelance online psychology professor, and an entrepreneur.
One trait that Jane feels has stood her in good stead is being comfortable with “the fuzzy front-end.” So often it is not clear at the beginning of a venture or initiative just which particular approach will be successful. That ambiguity, she says, is inherent in new projects—that’s what makes them adventures! Trusting in the process will lend enough confidence to reduce anxiety and increase comfort.
Transfer Skills and Concepts
Jane further offers the practice of transferring skills and concepts as one her secrets of being a successful business woman. When I asked Jane for an example, she offered the following. “My parents were in the real estate business, so I was familiar with the idea of prospecting for clients. I took what I had learned about prospecting (or ‘rainmaking’) in real estate and applied it to building my business as a freelance professor. I did this by researching institutions of higher education in order to find those I wanted to be involved with. I then developed these prospective clients by learning what their needs were and cultivating relationships with decision makers.”
Similarly, you can often introduce knowledge created in one field to teaching or writing for another field, and be thought brilliant, because most people know only their own specialty! For instance, Jane was able to bring insights from public administration scholarship to her work in health services research and development because both fields had literature on diffusion of innovation, or spreading best practices.
Jane is now applying the very same concepts to our mission of serving as a catalyst to aid online social networks to identify and adopt best practices. The Social Network Association™ will champion service, safety, and sustainability, with an emphasis on self-regulation to reduce cyber hate, which is largely directed against women and minorities. Jane sees cross-pollination of ideas from one realm to another as a major approach she would like to encourage others to use.
You can find Jane Karwoski on The Social Network Show and connect with her on LinkedIn.
If you would like to be featured in the Women on Innovation series, contact Jim Nico at [email protected].