By Anne Anquillare, PEF Services

New research in the field of optogenetics discovered that shining a bright light on neurons in the brain can modify behavior.  This phenomenon is demonstrated in many other areas – light therapy dispels the winter blues, decreases mold growth and kills bacteria.  We need to apply this same “treatment” to organizations big and small that impact our quality of life.  And, thanks to social media, we can do this easily and efficiently.

As a long time member of the rather insulated PE industry, I’m still a bit of a novice at social media tools.  I’ve just figured out what “tweeting” is supposed to do, when my 10-year old tells me that it is now all about Instragram.  I don’t think I’m alone in this industry – probably only the venture guys have truly incorporated social media into their day to day lives.  But I resolve to get better and so should you.  We should  To shine a bright light on frustrating, inefficient and bureaucratic behavior in organizations that impact our quality of life, be it the local DMV or the government and its various sub organizations.

How you say…  a little research results in a myriad of online tools, links, blogs, associations, etc.  Some of my favorites are listed below but feel free to add your own and share with the group.

  • Association of Corporate Growth (www.acg.org)
  • Private Equity Growth Capital Council (PEGCC.org)
  • National Venture Capital Association (NVCA.org)
  • Numerous Groups in LinkedIn (Linkedin.com)
  • Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA. org)
  • Small Business Investor Alliance (sbia.org)

This is a representative list and by no means an exhaustive one.

And a few minutes on these sites you will see there’s plenty to talk about:

  • Taxes on Carried Interest
  • ILPA Reporting Requirements
  • SEC Registration and Actions
  • Recent Legislation (Dodd-Frank, JOBs Act)
  • The Potential Defined Contribution Plans Impact on Private Capital Funds
  • Alignment of GPs and LPs
  • Trends in ESG Issues
  • The Shortage of Data Scientists
  • Best Practices for Reporting
  • And the ever so popular, Fund Raising Trends

You say you don’t want to be labeled a whiner.  Shining a bright light does not make you a whiner if the light you shine reaches someone who can or should do something about the situation.

And, if we don’t shine the light, there is no reason to change behavior, apathy sets in and we continue on a downward spiral.  Just think how things might be different today, if we had all shined a light on the impending debt crisis in the mid-2000s.  Add to your 2013 resolution list (especially if you’re like me and have already blown through your original list) – shine your light, make your voice heard, show that you care about 2 issues this year.