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.

 

 

Cindy WigglesworthWe have all read and heard about the work of Daniel Goldman regarding Emotional Intelligence, but now what I believe could prove to be equally important is the measurement of our  spiritual intelligence.  Author  Cindy Wigglesworth has just published a book entitled “The 21 Skills of Spiritual Intelligence“which  provides insight into our spiritual intelligence.  As part of my inquiry Cindy  allowed me to take the 170 question analysis that she diligently developed over many years. The quiz was quite revealing and is certainly a tool that will be quite useful both personally and in the work environment. (For more information on the click here to be directed to her website.)

Cindy defines spiritual intelligence as “the ability to behave with wisdom and compassion while maintaining inner and outer peace regardless of the situation.” Wow, now thats  a skill set  that most corporations would love to instill in their employees.  Cindy states that “transcending our smaller nature and growing into our full potential as human beings is the most important and fulfilling thing we can do with our lives.  The set of skills that are collectively known as spiritual intelligence are designed to help you become more fully who you are, to continue to grow and develop, and to live with greater consciousness, direction, wisdom and compassion.

Cindy uses her newly defined spiritual intelligence in conjunction with the other identified intelligences, physical, cognitive, emotional intelligence.  When combined and analyzed they become a powerful tool that can assist the management of organizations in defining how employees will best work, inspire and collaborate with one another.  There are 21 skills that have been identified as part of our spiritual intelligence , and those skills have been classified into four (4) quadrants.  Self-Awareness, Universal Awareness, Self Mastery, Social Mastery/Spiritual Presence.  To better understand the spiritual intelligence model I recommend that you click here to be directed to Cindy’s Deep Change website.

I hope you enjoy this wonderful interview with Cindy Wigglesworth, the author of “The 21 Skills of Spiritual Intelligence“.  You can click here to watch a great PBS interview in which Cindy provides the viewer with insight into her personal philosophy and history.

 

Dan PallottaIn my interview with Dan Pallotta we discuss a his newly designed program called “Change Course“.  I have interviewed Dan previously about his book entitled “Uncharitable-How Restraints on Non-Profits Undermine Their Potential.”   Dan Pallotta has been involved in  lifting up the profile of non-profits for years.  At age 21 he organized a bike ride across America to raise awareness about world hunger,  he also launched a for profit enterprise that was responsible for developing AID’s rides as well as the 3-Day Brest Cancer walks.  Needless to say Dan Pallotta is not stranger to the world of non-profit.

Dan realized that many people are torn mentally and emotionally about where to spend their time.  So many of us want to help in the non-profit sector, yet we feel that we are not doing enough or don’t have the time.   We want to know how to make the transition and feel comfortable with our decisions. This boot camp for idealists, activists and social entrepreneurs and anyone exploring how to make a good living and a big difference will help anyone seeking to have fulfilling work while making a living.  In Change Course, Dan and his team are going to guide the attendees and inform them about: 1) the pros and cons of a non-profit career 2) making a difference in every moment 3) duty and responsibility vs. joy and opportunity 4) social enterprise vs. social entrepreneurship 5) maximizing the impact of personal philanthropy and much more.

If you are like most people you may want to get involved with charitable work, but  could or would you every make a career of it?   Dan will help guide attendees in determining what their options are, as well as help resolve the dilemmas that many face in making non-profit work a career.   If you want to learn more about the Change Course, please listen to this informative podcast.  You can also click here to be directed to the Change Course website which will provide you with the information you will need to make your decision about attending the course.

Greg LinkI recently interviewed my good friend and co-author of “Smart Trust“, Greg Link.  Yet another great book from the Covey Link team.

Many of you may remember a book entitled ” The Speed of Trust” which sold more than 1 million copies in 2006  in which Stephen M.R. Covey wrote about the importance of preserving and restoring trust was one of the most important elements in business today..

In “Smart Trust” Greg and Stephen provide a lens to see how trust issues impact every situation, and how you can cut through traditional either/or thinking to extend what they call Smart Trust, enabling you to operate with hight trust in a low trust world.

Greg speaks with me during this interview about how high trust organization time and time again outperform low-trust organizations by nearly three times.  Moving from a low-trust organization has hugh implications and opportunity abounds.   Organization that can embrace “Smart Trust” have the benefit of having employees, customers and communities that support their organizations thus , employee engagement, profitability and innovation are just a few of the benefits of operating with “Smart Trust“.

Greg and I discuss what they refer to in the book at the “ 5 Actions of Smart Trust“, and how Smart Trust Leaders consistently take these actions.  1) Choose to Believe in Trust–this creates the foundational paradigm out of which all other trust-building behaviors flow. 2) Start with Self–focus first on developing the character and competence that enables them to trust themselves and to also give others a person–or a team, organization or country–they can trust 3) Declare their intent…and assume positive intent in others–they signal goals and intended actions—both what and why–clearly in advance, and generally assume that others also have good intent and want to be worthy of trust. 4) Do what they say they’re going to do–they follow through and act to carry out their declared intent; walk their talk. 5) Lead out in extended trust to others–they are the first to extend trust an initiate the upward virtuos cycle that leads to prosperity, energy and joy.

One thing that I know for certain is that “trust” and “fear” can not co-exist.  If we can move our people, businesses and planet to to understanding the importance of embracing “Smart Trust” we will certainly move toward more equanimity. We would have a world where we work in cooperation with one another without the conflict that fear creates.  Competition would be replaced with collaboration and wonderful synergies would emerge  benefiting humanity as a whole.

 

If you would like to learn more about Greg Link and Stephen Covey please click here to be directed to their website.

You can also check out this YouTube Video about the 13 behaviors of high trust people. I hope you enjoy this wonderful interview with Greg Link from the Covey Link Team.