You might be familiar with all the buzz around something called the “Business Model Canvas”.  There are currently three books in the series which started with “Business Model Generation” then “Business Model You” now a new book ” Value Proposition Design“.  So why the interest from the business communities in this interesting way of developing a business model.  Simply put, it is engaging, inclusive ,compelling and it works.

Authors Alex Osterwalder, Yves Pingeur, Greg Bernarda and Alan Smith are the dynamic team behind the business model canvas.  I recently had the pleasure of having a dialogue with Alex Smith the brains behind the book designs, which I might add are a big reason for the success of the books.

During our dialogue we discuss the key elements in creating a great value for customers, we also get into the steps necessary to create the value proposition canvas: Customer Profile, Value Map and Fit all  extremely important considerations in the developing a any new product design.  Alan and his colleagues refer to gain creators, and pain relievers as one of the most important elements in developing great designs.

While this all might sound simple it is daunting to create a new product, test it and know that you are creating something that is really needed and wanted by your customers.  Developing something in a vacuum is crazy,  where your perception of what will relieve your customers pains is exactly that a perception and not the reality of the situation.  Developing then testing your product is so important, I speak from experience I have developed a few products and testing is so important so you can gain feedback.

Alan and his team have recently released a cloud based software system allowing teams to collaborate on developing a business model canvases, it is called Strategyzer.  In my humble opinion I have never seen software as simple as Strategyzer, providing results in minutes.  If you work with a team and you are in the process of developing a new product or service I would highly recommend checking out this amazing new cloud based software.

I encourage you to listen closely to Alan Smith as he guides the listener to a better understanding of Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition Design.  If you want to just click on the links provided below that will take you to the related websites associated with Value Proposition Design.

Value Proposition Design

Strategyzer

I think that many American’s ask the question on a regular basis, especially with our congress “Where are the leaders”?  Yes, leadership is a skill and talent that is learned, and just because you have a law degree or any other degree in higher education doesn’t qualify you to be a skilled leader.  I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Eric Kaufmann the author of a new book entitled ” Leadership As A Hero’s Journey“.

In our interview together we discussed how “Joseph Campbell’s” famous “Hero’s Journey” is an important element of all brave and committed leaders. Eric states that leadership as a Hero’s Journey unfolds on three levels 1) results 2) wisdom and 3) spirituality.  He also states that there are four virtues associated with leadership and they are 1) Focus: What am I creating? Focus sets direction and clarity for the journey. 2) Courage: What am I avoiding? Courage enables full engagement that is otherwise blocked by anxiety and fear.  3) Grit: What am I sustaining?  Grit drives action forward in the face of fatigue and disheartenment.

I know you are going to enjoy this wonderful interview with author and consultant Eric Kaufmann about his new book.  If you want to learn more about Eric please click here to be directed to his website.    

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing author Lisa Nirell.  She has another new book that has just been released entitled ” The Mindful Marketer.”  

In Lisa’s new book she questions traditional marketing methodology, and provides the reader with alternative ways to implement effective marketing strategies.   Lisa states that the traditional chief marketing officers are facing extinction because of the use of big data, and how it is transforming the way we work as marketers.  She states that that modern marketing leaders are expected to be tech savvy, data driven brand ambassadors on the vanguard of change.

I appreciate Lisa’s approach to this book.  She exposes how our always-on mindset and the consistent need for speed and innovation has created an environment of mindlessness.  She states we need to stop, breathe and reflect mindfully on future opportunities and daily decisions if we are to effectively make deep meaningful connections with our customers.    Lisa recommend a “middle path”, a nexus between data-fueled, analytical thinking and creativity to a humanistic approach to marketing.

I hope you enjoy this wonderful interview with a leader in the marketing industry.  If you want to learn more about Lisa you can click here to be directed to her website.

 

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Larry Johnson the author of a new book entitled “The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising”.  His book is designed to help anyone in the non-profit sector better understand how to accomplish sustainable fundraising.  While this may seem like something simple, many nonprofits are still stuck in what we refer to as “transactional” activities, not long term donor development.  If you want to have a successful campaign you must be thinking about matching the values of your donors with the charity.

I hope you enjoy this wonderful interview with a great professional Larry Johnson.  If you want to learn more about his consulting practice please click here to be directed to his website.

I have been working on a capital campaign project with a local nonprofit, and while I have done this kind of work before I wanted to reach out to the experts and get their advice and guidance.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Andrea Kihlstedt the author of “Capital Campaigns Strategies that Work.”  She has consulted and run numerous campaigns for nonprofits and with tremendous success.  In our interview together we speak about her book and the strategies that have worked for her and other so successfully.   As Andrea states capital campaigns grow out of a “big idea” and help to springboard and organization and breath life back into the donors.

If you are in the middle of a capital campaign or about to embark upon a big campaign project, then I highly recommend that you listen to the words of wisdom from author and consultant Andrea Kihlstedt.  If you want to learn more about her consulting business please click here to be directed to her website.   

This podcast is the second in my series with author Ari Weinzweig the author of “Building A Great Business”.

In my previous interview with Ari we spoke about ” Managing Ourselves” where we discuss everything from visioning to the 12 Tips of More Effective Self-Management.

In this interview Ari weI focus on the 12 Natural Laws of Building A Great Business. One thing that Ari knows for certain is that a strong inspiring and strategically vision leads the way to greatness—especially if you write it down. Ari teaches a great technique for writing your vision. He calls it the “hot pen’ technique. Pick up your pen and just keep writing 15, 20, 30 minutes whatever it takes to articulate your vision in word pictures that you can see and believe your vision manifesting.

He also has a tip that you need to “give your customers a really compelling reason to buy from you”. Now while this seems obvious— when was the last time you had a bad meal at a restaurant and failed to tell anyone, but you said to your spouse we will never recommend or go back to that establishment. It happens all the time, and because the restaurant not only served a subpar meal, but your service was most likely lacking you had no reason to do business with them again. The combination is a disaster in the food service business.

I encourage you to listen to and learn from one of the wisest men in the food service business speak with me about 12 Natural Laws that when applied to both your personal and business life they can transform an organization and the people that work within the organizations.

If you want to learn more about Ari and his trilogy of books please click here, or if you want to learn about his training company Zing Train please click here to get information about the various training programs.

Enjoy this great interview with a wonderfully engaging author, businessman and civic leader Ari Weinzweig.

 

Author Shawn Hunter is truly and out of the box thinker. In my recent interview about his new book entitled ” Out Think, How Innovative Leaders Drive Exceptional Outcomes”

Shawn shares with me what is required to be an innovative leader in our new era. We have entered an age of imagination, ideation, conceptualization, creativity, innovation—take your pick. Creativity, mental flexibility, and collaboration have displaced one-dimensional intelligence and isolated determination as core ingredients of competitive advantage states Shawn.

These mindsets that are needed to drive innovation are only found by tapping into the discretionary levels of passion and initiative within us. It is these new mindsets that makes up where “Out, Think” come from. Shawn presents in each chapter key ideas, behavior and or the mindsets so that the reader can practice and put into practical application the “Out Think” principles.

I hope you enjoy this dynamic interview with a really fun and exciting author. If you want to learn more about Shawn you can click here to be directed to his website or click here to go to his Facebook page.

Eric SinowayMany of us are privileged enough during our lifetime to have a wonderful mentor.  Howard’s Gift is a book about Eric Sinoway and his amazingly wise mentor and professor at Harvard University Howard Stevenson.  This book is filled with compelling stories and lessons that Eric learned from Howard throughout his years at Harvard and beyond.   Howard was a towering figure at Harvard Business School, and the man who literally defined entrepreneurship and taught thousands of world’s most successful professionals.

Many of the lessons you will take from this book will be quite valuable, and the way that Eric tells the stories are quite inviting and compelling.  One lesson that Howard speaks with Eric about are “inflection points“.  So just what is an inflection point and why is it important?  An inflection point as defined by Andy Grove the founder and former CEO of Intel is an event that fundamentally changes the way we think and act.  Usually, an inflection point isn’t a little change. It is a moment when–by choice or not–we pivot from the path down which we are traveling and head in an entirely new direction.   I would venture to say that almost everyone has inflection points in their lives, and it is the experiences and moments like this that we remember forever and change us– almost always for the better.

Howard advocates business planning for your life’s work.  In other words  develop and image of where you want to be and this place is not defined by our title, pay or stature.  As human beings we are complicated souls seeing meaning and purpose in our lives, but when you look at the individuals that have made a difference on our planet they have done so by having a vision of creating something much greater than just making money.  They have a mission to change our culture and society with their inventions; Apple, Facebook, GE, Toyota, Tesla, Google and the list goes on.

If you are driven to make our world a better place to live by whatever means, then you owe it to yourself to read “Howard’s Gift“.  This book is filled with great stories and lesson learned by Eric Sinoway the author by his mentor and wise confidant Howard Stevenson.

Enjoy this wonderful interview with Eric and for more information about the book please click here or watch short video on juggling priorities on YouTube by clicking here.

 

 

Simon MainwaringIt is not often that I come across a book and author that has life transforming ideas, and ideas that I believe will have a positive impact on our world.

I recently interviewed author Simon Mainwaring about his new book entitled “We First-How Brands & Consumers Use Social Media to Build A Better World.”  His  book is not only a must read for anyone in business, but for anyone who is part of the socially responsible movement and wants to impact the world for the better.

Simon really believes that we need to transform the engine of capitalism  because our current structure is not performing in ways that benefit the whole. As the title of the book eludes, we need to move to a “We First” instead of a ” Me First” mindset.   He points out that the book is not about doing away with capitalism, is is about recognizing the advantages of capitalism as a generator of progress and prosperity, but at the same time acknowledging the mounting criticisms–if left unchecked, a capitalist system will run off it own rails.  Many noted economists, thought leaders, and social visionaries around the world are all recognizing that capitalism has become dysfunctional.  It has lost is way as an effective, self-regulating, and sustainable economic system. It has devolved into a single-minded pursuit of profit and wealth for a small elite at the expense of the overall society.”

We First points out that the unresolved tension between self-interest and selfishness is no a philosophical debate.  It is at the root of corporate and individual economic behavior, shaping how brands and consumers participate in capitalism on a daily basis. It affects the choices we make about our use of natural resources, or habits of consumption, our views of investment and profit, our attitudes toward both poverty and ethical business conduct, and the political debates that ultimately determine what type of society we want to live in.

If you are interested in reshaping your personal beliefs, and join a movement that will have a positive impact on how we consume good and services then I highly recommend that you read and study Simon’s new book “We First“.  He also has an amazing course which is both available on the Internet, and there is an upcoming live event in the Los Angeles area in March of 2013.

If you are interested in  Simon’s course offering please click here to be directed to a landing page with more information about the event.  I will be taking the course and attending the live event, you will not want to miss this opportunity.    If you purchase admission to the on-line course you are entitled to attend the live event in Los Angeles in March of 2013, and you are eligible to bring a non-profit of your choice at absolutely no cost.

You can also watch a very cool presentation that Simon did at TED Talks by clicking this link.

 

I hope you enjoy this great interview with a man that is going to change our world, through influencing our choices, consumption and behaviors.