Alignment Foundation: Building a Naturally Innovative Organization™ Part 2

[one_sixth last="no" spacing="yes" center_content="no" hide_on_mobile="no" background_color="" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" background_position="left top" border_size="0px" border_color="" border_style="" padding="" margin_top="" margin_bottom="" animation_type="" animation_direction="" animation_speed="0.1" class="" id=""][/one_sixth][two_third last="no" spacing="yes" center_content="no" hide_on_mobile="no" background_color="" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" background_position="left top" border_size="0px" border_color="" border_style="" padding="" margin_top="" margin_bottom="" animation_type="" animation_direction="" animation_speed="0.1" class="" id=""] The Alignment Foundation: The Core 4 The Alignment Foundation is about the Core 4: Purpose Values Mission Vision Nothing earth-shattering here. Many of us have heard that we need to have these four pieces in place. But what I'd like you to consider is whether they are REALLY part of your who your organization is, deep to the core. If an employee was acting outside of the core purpose or values of the company, would every other person in the company step in and provide some correction? It starts with the senior leadership team. Each person on the senior leadership team must exemplify each of the core values of the company. They must know the purpose of the company and be able to tell what that looks like when realized. They need to be able to quote the values and mission (both short), and do so with real conviction. And sharing the vision needs to be second nature, with stories of what you are creating and what it will look like in the future. Your Purpose Organizations exist for a purpose. Many would consider that purpose is to make money or create an impact. But purpose goes deeper. Purpose to a faith-based leader may be to glorify God. Purpose to a non-profit leader may be to save millions of lives. And the purpose of a for-profit leader may be to have both a profit and impact. Your Purpose is your WHY. Your Purpose never [...]

By | 2016-04-18T15:06:00+00:00 March 7th, 2016|Innovation, Leadership, Revenue Growth|0 Comments

Building a Naturally Innovative Organization™: The Big Think High Performance Spearhead

Building a Naturally Innovative Organization™: The Big Think High Performance Spearhead Many companies struggle with staying on the innovation front-end rather than getting bogged down and decimated by competitors that are more innovative. At Big Think Innovation, we have been talking to leaders and thinking about what differentiates innovative firms from those that are just getting by. And we’ve created the Big Think High Performance Spearhead to show how pieces build on each other and fit together to drive innovation in an organization.   The Alignment Foundation Starting at the bottom, we have the Alignment Foundation in purple. The Alignment Foundation focuses on getting everyone in the organization moving in the same direction, with passion and engagement. These three elements are the core of building a Naturally Innovative Organization™. They provide direction and get the right people in the organization from the start. The Core4 includes Purpose, Values, Mission, and Vision. Before over-communicating the Core 4 to others, the leadership team must Live the Core 4 to show integrity, and also use the Core 4 as a key element of hiring and review. Inspiration and alignment are natural byproducts of establishing the Alignment Foundation. High Performance Core These three elements build on the foundation by providing detailed guidance and assuring that all people in the organization are working at top effectiveness and in the same direction. Building a sharing a comprehensive strategy that connects to peoples’ roles is important. Then you need to adjust the organizational structure to assure that the strategy can be executed effectively. Finally, you need to install a management system that is based on fairness and trust, and that focuses leaders to take care of their people and get out of [...]

By | 2016-04-18T00:50:46+00:00 February 7th, 2016|Innovation, Leadership, Revenue Growth|0 Comments

5 Ways to Develop and Market Content to Grow Your Business

Content Marketing. You hear about it all the time. Many are doing it (some well, some not so much). Some have no clue what I’m talking about. Developing and marketing content has become a great way to promote and grow your business. But, many business owners and executives are not taking advantage of this tool. They are concerned they don’t have the time or the skill  to write and market content. I have found that this is not always the case. Here are a few tips on how to use content marketing for business: 1. Start writing As simple as this may sound, it truly is the backbone of content marketing. Write about what you know, your passions, why you love the industry you serve. The more your write, the easier it will become, and the more you will improve. Start by writing out a list of subjects that interest you, refer to that file and write to those subjects on a regular basis. 2. Use the LinkedIn Publishing platform I have been writing on LinkedIn for more than two years, and I do so because I believe it is an amazing content marketing tool. I articulated the reasons why in a recent blog post you can see here. ( My 30 LinkedIn posts have garnered more than 40,000 hits and countless new business opportunities. The LinkedIn publishing tool is quick and easy to use, and a great way to develop and market your content. 3. Let others know about your content, and share theirs I often say that social media is the "anti Field of Dreams." You can build it (in this case write it) but if you don’t promote it, they won’t come. [...]

By | 2016-02-19T11:03:34+00:00 February 7th, 2016|Expert Business, Marketing, Revenue Growth|0 Comments

Increasing Revenue: Raise Your Rates or Your Clients?

This is a pervasive small business issue. I was talking with a friend today who has the potential to change the world, but he was charging small-time pricing. As I thought through the issue, I realized that like many people I have met, he had a block to seeing the potential for larger fees. I think there are several potential issues going on here and for others: One's network is made up of small thinkers and cheap people. One's clients are used to paying smaller fees. One's self-perception is not great enough to allow for big pricing. The value offered is not worth more than the small pricing. Here's one of my answers to him (I thought it was brilliant): It is easier for us to change our pricing to match our networks than change our networks to match our pricing. But if we want true abundance, we need to change our networks/clients to match our BIG vision. Here's a response to each of the points above: This limits our thinking because we calibrate based on the people we are around. Back to the adage "You will rise to the level of the five people closest to you". Change your clients. Go up-market. Start working with people who will create a bigger impact. If you want to maximize your impact during your lifetime, you need to work with people who have major impact, or who will soon. Working with people who are concerned only with themselves or maybe a few others will not juice most people enough to keep going strong. Focus on maximum impact. I have a great friend, Paige Armstrong, who is a psychotherapist and coach (psycho-coach :-)). She has helped me and [...]

Identify Customer Needs: Step 1 in Building an Effective Sales Funnel [Sales Funnel Part 2]

[This post is Part 2 of the Build Your Sales Funnel series, a 10-part series. Here's Part 1. Every company needs to build a sales funnel to maximize revenue.] Amusement parks know that there are millions of thrill-seekers like me who are willing to pay to ride rollercoasters. They also know that there are millions of people who don't prefer fast rides. Parks are designed to accommodate both, helping to optimize their revenue. They know that families and groups are made up of thrill seekers and those who like to play games and watch shows. And those willing to watch the kids and eat a funnel cake... When we're building our sales funnels, we need to identify customer needs. Actually, to know what it is that customers really want. Customers often don't buy what they need, but they do buy what they want. I've struggled with this one. I see that companies need strategy help, but many only want marketing help, which is just a portion of the goodness I can offer. For a long time, I tried to convince them of their need, until I finally relented and started selling what they wanted, and Big Think's revenues doubled almost overnight. Finding the Fit Market Fit is the term used to describe the proper fit between a product/service offering and what customers want. To see more about this, see Fit Product to Market, which is the first part of the Big Think Revenue Generator model. You need to find what customers are actually searching for on the Internet, and what they are buying in stores. What flies off the shelves versus what just takes up shelf space. There are several approaches to discover or identify customer needs and wants: Ask people Observe [...]

By | 2015-08-04T09:19:24+00:00 January 9th, 2015|Expert Business, Revenue Growth|0 Comments

Is Your Sales Funnel Like an Amusement Park? [Sales Funnel, Part 1]

I love rollercoasters. I'm an admitted risk junkie - pilot, SCUBA diver, hang glider, skydiver - you get the picture. I love it. But there's nothing quite like a great rollercoaster to get the heart pumping. And it makes a great analogy to building a profitable business. For me to get to ride my favorite ride, I have to: Find a day my boys and I can go (they're my rollercoaster buddies, and if I go without them, it wouldn't be pretty) Drive four hours to get to King's Dominion (or more for Busch Gardens) Pay for parking and park the car in the expansive lot and try to remember where I parked (we usually get there before it opens, so parking is closer) Buy the tickets ($50+ bucks each) and enter the park Walk/run/sprint to the coolest coaster before the line piles up Stand in line at the ride FINALLY get to ride the rollercoaster (for about 60 seconds) FUN! Here it is in a sales funnel form: It's totally crazy when I break it down like that. Eight hours of driving, a few hundred bucks once you factor in tickets, food, and gas. All for about 20-30 60-second-or-less rides, depending on the crowd. But the park was built for me. And millions of others like me. It is a destination because they created the product I want to consume. Application to Your Business The same thing goes for our businesses. Some people have a more difficult time explaining WHY someone will want to experience what they offer. But let's break down the application to our businesses, because I think it's a great analogy: Identify the Need/Pent-up Demand. People have to know they need something to start searching for [...]

By | 2015-08-04T09:17:59+00:00 January 2nd, 2015|Expert Business, Revenue Growth|5 Comments