Every organization today is attempting to get the greatest engagement and productivity from their employees.  In my recent interview with author Joan Kingsley the author of ” The Fear-Free Organization” we discuss the important characteristics required to create a fear free organization.

Leadership and trust are obviously a key characteristics that that help to build confidence in the employees, but  neuroscience shows that individuals and organizations are more successful when people are encouraged to take risks, to explore new ideas, and to channel their energies in ways that work for them.  In my interview with author Joan Kingsley we explore how to make your organization less fear driven and more fearless.

I hope you enjoy this wonderful interview with Joan Kingsley about her new book entitled ” The Fear-Free Organization”  You can learn more about Joan and the book by clicking here to be taken to her consulting organization website.

Leadership, it is a hot topic these days.  If you look inside businesses most organizations are looking for good leaders.

In my recent interview with author Scott Edinger we discuss his new book entitled “The Hidden Leader’.  Scott has been working with leaders for years developing the best and the brightest.  In his his new book we discuss the characteristics that he finds in all good leaders, and frequently these hidden leaders are overlooked by the management of the organization.

There are probably many people you can think of that are hidden leaders within your organization.  Most of these hidden leaders have amazing interpersonal skills,  strong values, high levels of integrity, focus on results and the customer.  They have already developed the traits and characteristics of a leader, and have not officially been given the title.  If you want to learn more about discovering and developing the greatness within your organization I recommend listening to my interview with Scott Edinger the author of “The Hidden Leader“.

If you would like to view Scott’s website just click here, or you can connect with him via Twitter by clicking the link.  I hope you enjoy this great interview with Scott Edinger.

The new book Holacracy-The New Management System for a Rapidly Changing World is a book that will get anyone in business thinking about how to organize their company.  As a matter of fact, many major companies have embraced Brian Robertson’s Holacracy System including the forward thinking organization Zappos.

In my interview with Brian we take an in-depth look into how to design an organization with this new management model.  Holacracy is a combination of individual accountability, team transparency, and flexible, face-paced tactical meetings to help in creating greater levels of efficiency, adaptability and productive operations.  Holacracy also develops absolute habits of making commitments about when you will deliver a particular project or action.  For instance in tactical meetings you capture next action, but do not attach deadlines or commitment to them.  You might be asking why?  Committing to deadlines has downsides and obscures a more dynamic, reality-based approach.  Brian states that by accepting the next action item in your role, is by definition making the commitment to continuously track the action, and to consciously do the action as soon as it becomes the most important item among your possible actions.

I encourage you to listen, take notes and learn from Brian Robertson a man on a mission to transform how organization run, and how the cultures are transformed.  He has a fascinating approach and one that is worth your investigation of time to understand.  If you want more information about Holacracy you can click here to be directed to his book site, or click here to be directed to Holacracy.org.

I recently interviewed author Ron Friedman PhD the author of a new book entitled “The Best Place to Work, The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace”.  As many of you might be aware the levels of engagement in the US workforce is abysmal with levels of disengagement at about 71%.  So just why do we have such an amazingly high rate of disengagement from employees?

The answer to this question and many more can be found in Ron” new book ” The Best Place to Work“.  Ron spent years studying the best places to work, he interviewed people and heard stories. He researched motivation, creativity, management, behavioral economics, neuroscience and combined this into his new book.  In my interview with Ron he provides insights into what is required to create the “Best Place to Work.”  It is not an easy formula for their are so many factors that affect how people perform and engage at work.  Autonomy, Purpose, Meaning, Fun, Play are just a few of the many elements of the workplace formula that Ron and I discuss in our interview.

I know that you will find my interview with author Ron Friedman to be enlightening and give you new perspective on what companies are doing and can do to develop environments in the workplace that foster  more productivity, creativity and innovation.

I hope you enjoy my interview with Ron and please check out his book website for the book by clicking here, you can also follow him on Twitter, and learn about his consulting organization called Ignite 80 by clicking the link.

 

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

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.

 

 

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.

Soren KaplanIs the element of surprise something that we can all use to create breakthrough in our businesses?  Author Soren Kaplan in his new book entitled “Leapforgging” believes that surprise is the power that can help businesses jump start their creativity and embrace ways to reinvent themselves.  Kaplan states ” Instead of fighting against uncertainty we should use it to break down limiting mindsets and barriers to change the game.”  We can find both opportunity in both good and bad surprises. Soren encourages leaders to embrace counter-intuitive ideas, manage paradoxes and even welcome failure.  This is what he refers to as the key to “Leapfrogging“–creating or doing something radically new or different that produces a significant leap forward.  I always appreciated the Albert Einstein quote ” The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result“.

Soren’s new book “Leapfrogging” can certainly assist anyone in finding new ways of looking at and transforming their ideas and thoughts into breakthroughs both personally and professionally.  His book helps the reader overcome existing mindsets by introducing whole new possibilities–and consequently new assumptions–into the mix. Soren states that breakthroughs share three common characteristics: 1) They challenge fundamental assumptions about existing products, services, business models or organizations. 2) Breakthroughs transform existing ways of doing business by rewriting rules or revolutionizing current practices. 3) They apply resources in entirely new ways, whether people, knowledge, relationships or technology.

Soren’s new book is a great resource for anyone who feels stuck. He has provided great stories along with strategic questions after each chapter to challenge your mindset, and help you learn how to “Leapfrog” into new breakthroughs. If you would like to learn more about Soren Kaplan you can click here to be directed to his website, or you can watch a great Ted-X video presentation by clicking here.

Enjoy this great interview with author Soren Kaplan.

Dan PallottaI personally appreciate the position author Dan Pallotta has articulated about the unjust discriminatory rules that society imposes on charities.  In his new book entitled “Charity Case-How The Non-Profit Community Can Stand Up For Itself and Really Change the World.” Dan states that virtually everything our society teaches about charity is backwards.  The donating public is told to measure the effectiveness and moral character of charities by how little they spend on “overhead” never being taught that overhead is really investment without which the nonprofit sector can never hope to solve massive social problems.  The media and government unwittingly perpetuate these views, condemning charities that invest in behind-the scenes infrastructure or attempt to lure talent away form the for-profit sector.

I personally have volunteered thousands of hours on charity boards helping to organize and raise money to assist with the funding of this program or that, and believe me the task is a challenging one at best.  Charities are always fight the battle to attract and keep good loyal and committed donors, and those donors frequently are judging the charity on how they control their expenses, and how much of their donated dollar is going to work.  Believe me just like any other business, charities can waste money but the charities I have been involved with have been lean mean fighting machines and truly use the donated dollars quite effectively.   I understand what Dan is saying in “Charity Case” is that the public sentiment has always been one of suspicion. While we spend money with other private-sector businesses and never once give a thought to how they spend their money on expenses or advertising as long as we receive the good or service we purchased.

In my interview with Dan we speak about his movement to help reposition charities in the eyes of the public.  Dan has a very interesting proposition about building an anti-defamation league for charities, the purpose would be to unite charities and create an advertising campaign that would inform the public about all the good that they are doing.  A great example is the ad campaign that “Got Milk” did that was funded by the  Milk Advisory Board which is comprised of dairy cattleman who have united and created advisory board to help build a positive image about milk.  Dan states that charities have never united together, and put their resources to work building a positive image for themselves with the public.  I personally believe this is a great idea, and one that is long overdue.

 

If you are interested in learning more about how Dan plans to help the charities of the world unite and overcome the ill-conceived views of the public I encourage you to read both “Charity Case” and Dan’s previous book “Uncharitable“.  You can also learn more by visiting his website by clicking here.  Enjoy this great interview with author and activists Dan Pallotta.