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 am certain that the talk around the water cooler doesn’t default to leadership in this country, but I am certain that it is a topic of discussion more than we think.  It seems like everywhere we turn we see leaders falling from grace due to improprieties in their judgement and or just not doing an adequate job.  What is happening?  Is there a lack of competent leaders with great skills and strong emotional intelligence.

In my recent interview with author Jeffrey Krames we discuss his new book entitled ” Lead with Humility-12 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis”.   What is it about the new Pope that is attracting lost Catholics back to the church, and his acceptance by the congregation at one of the highest in history.  According to Jeffrey Krames Pope Francis possess amazing leadership skills such as  1) Leading with Humility, he states that authentic humility empowers leaders like no other leadership quality.  How this translates for business leaders is never use you position of leadership for selfish reasons, and make yourself accessible to your employees.   2) Smell Like Your Flock: which means to immerse yourself deeply into whatever group you lead to aspire to lead, in a meaningful way.

I know you are going to thoroughly enjoy my interview with author Jeffrey Krames, you will also learn more about the traits and qualities that Pope Francis possess that make him one of the greatest leaders in modern history of the Catholic Church.

To learn more about Jeffrey Krames and his other books please click here to learn more, you can also learn more about the book by clicking here to be directed to the Facebook landing page.

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.    

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.

 

 

Michael HollaufI have recently been doing podcasts with organization and authors that have productivity tools that I believe are excellent personal growth and mastery applications.  I was introduced to Michael Hollauf the founder of MindMeister through Gerald Aquila the founder of FireTask, and we speak in this podcast  about an amazing cloud based application for mind mapping that he developed with his team called MindMeister.  This application is  so popular that within less than 6 years his user base has grown to over 1.6 million users.

If you are not familiar with mind mapping, it was made popular by British psychologist Tony Buzan.  What is important to remember about mind mapping is that it allows our non-linear brains that normally  think randomly to be able to capture the wonderful ideas, thoughts and inspirations on paper or the computer in a visual map.

Mind Mapping and the use of computer technology over the last 10 years had really excelled, and the cloud based application that Michael and his team has developed is a wonderful example of a collaborative cloud based application that makes the job of capturing ideas and thoughts with a team of people a snap.

A mind map starts usually with one central word or idea, then branches out from this initial concept. The branches then turn into sub-branches and you continue to develop the mind map as your thoughts flow and are recorded onto the mind map. It is like a cognitive map of sorts.  I have links to some of the samples that MindMeister clients have shared just to give you an idea of what is possible using the MindMeister cloud based application. Just click here for a few examples.

The practical tools that would not be available using paper vs a cloud based system are that you can link notes, hypertext links to website, video, graphics, pictures almost anything that will help you in developing your brainstorming session and making it more comprehensive in nature.   The best part about MindMeister is the ability to share your ideas with others on a team and publish your map for their feedback.

If you are in business or a student, then utilizing a cloud based mind mapping software is a wonderfully practical tool.  I highly recommend the MindMeister cloud based system.  If you want more information or would like to watch a few training videos about how to use the system please click here.  You can also download a 30 day free trial by clicking here.

I hope you enjoy this great interview with the founder of MindMeister Michael Hollauf.

Mark NicholasI really enjoyed my interview with author Mark Nicholas about his new book entitled ” I Come First-How the Individual Ego Rules Every Business Decision“.   Mark points out that in business we encounter a world very much out of our control.  We find mangers and colleagues of all types, each with individual aspirations, issues and priorities.  Same are very smart and competent; others, difficult, bossy and incompetent.  Mark says that no matter how hard we work, or how powerful we become, the business world is as it always has been: a bit unpredictable, subject to strong personalities and aspiring politicians, and more than a little personal.

Business is the adult version of the neighborhood playground and Mark’s book at its core is a discussion about how we interact in the business sandbox with all of these colorful characters.  You see…the playground is as it always has been, undeniably and overwhelmingly human–and none of us can change the underlying nature of human beings.

First, Mark’s book strives to help you play in the sandbox, and offers formulas for success. Second, he offers short courses in negotiating, and discusses perception issues and political tactics used every day and in a practically every workplace interaction. Third, this book hopes to convey information not from a psychological or therapeutic viewpoint but from the point of view of people who live in the trenches: aspiring, hiring, firing, scrapping, fighting, negotiating and maneuvering every day in some very complex environments.  Fourth, unlike books that direct their attention to people aspiring to the highest levels of the business world, this book is designed for the daily battles in the trenches.  Fifth, you will not be asked to change the nearly unchangeable fabric that defines who you are, but hopefully you will find that you might improve in our ability to see your world more objectively and understand those various tools available to you.

Mark lends some wonderful advice for all of us working in the business world–” The solution to surviving and succeeding within business lies in knowing how to see, understand, and take advantage of the behavior that surrounds you, all the while knowing how to utilize the best and most effective characteristics of your own humanity, along with your talents, skills, and resources in a manner that allows you to get where you want to go. ”
If you are working in business and want a book that will help you navigate the land minds in which we are working, then I highly recommend that you read Mark’s book “ I Come First“.  You can learn more about Mark and his book by clicking here to be directed to his website.

Dean DrawbaughI recently had the privileged of interviewing author Dean Drawbaugh.  Dean has a great new easy to read book entitled “The Art of Making Things Happen In Your Life“.   The essence of this book is to provide the reader with self-assessment and reflections on ways to manifest their desired outcomes and goals.   At the end of each chapter Dean provides thought provoking questions and short assessment as a tool to assist the reader in determining where they are now,  and what they can do to change the current situation for a more positive outcome .

I love the story that Dean tells in the book and in our interview about the two wolves that live inside of us.   One evening a warrior in a remote village began to prepare his son to face life as an adult with the inevitable afflictions and adversities he would face.  The warrior told his son that all challenges ultimately are fought first between the two wolves inside him.  One is the wolf of fear which takes control of emotions and masquerades as lies, regret, feelings of inferiority, self-pity, envy and anger.  The other wolf is faith, consisting of trust, hope, joy, peace, humility, power and love.  The son thought about the scenario for a few minutes–of the two wolves battling against each other in his mind.  He asked, “Which one wins, Dad?” The wise father simply said, “The one you feed.”
How true this story is, and what a great way to illustrate a point.  We are what we think about, and if we can change our thinking we can change what we become.  Dean’s book “The Art of Making Things Happen In Your Life” is truly about observing what is happening now, and with some shifts in our thinking and our actions creating a better life.

I highly recommend this great little book, packed with practical advice on how to make things happen in your life.  If you would like to learn more about Dean Drawbaugh you can click here to be directed to his website.

I hope you enjoy this interview with author Dean Drawbaugh.

Mark SamuelI was introduced to author Mark Samuel by my good friend and author Jonathan Ellerby.  His book entitled ” The Power of Personal Accountability” is really a wonderful read for anyone who is interested in taking action with relation to your desired outcomes.

During our dialogue in this interview we discuss Mark’s “Personal Accountability Model” which has two loops.  The first loop is that of being a victim, and the second loop is that of being accountable.  What I find interesting is that accountability is all about a choice.  If a situation arrises and we set our intention to become accountable, then we own the outcome and it is so much more empowering.  On the other hand if we choose to be the victim, them we frequently go into the blame game and rationalize our actions.

Mark has identified “forgiveness” as one of the legs on his accountability loop.  As Mark states ” forgiving others–and one’s self–is like hitting the “un-scribe” button in response to those annoying e-mails you get, which you never asked for.  That unsolicited spam is just there, taking up space in your e-mail box, taking time in your day. They don’t add anything; they’re just a nuisance. The same holds true for those judgments: they take the place of creative thoughts, of loving thoughts.

If you are at all interested in learning how accountability to yourself and other can empower you, and propel you into understanding the power of your stated actions and desired results then you need to listen to this interview with author Mark Samuel.  Mark has been teaching classes and conducting seminars for years empowering people about accountability.  Through self-examination you learn the most important thing, to have control over yourself.
If you would like to learn more about Mark Samuel then I would recommend that you visit his website by clicking here.  Enjoy this wonderful interview with a master in accountability, Mark Samuel.

Roger ConnorsI recently interviewed author Roger Conners, and was so intrigued with the message that I invited him back to discuss another one of his other successful books entitled ” The Oz Principle“.

Many of us who are involved in the personal growth and human potential fields know that one of the first things we learn is personal responsibility.  This concept is at the cornerstone of being in integrety, and living a life of authenticy.  In my interview with Roger we discuss the “Oz Principle”  which by the way is borrowed from the characters in the Wizard of Oz.   I know everyone remembers the journey of Dorothy and her cast, the Tin Man, The Scarecrow, and the Lion.  And if you remember all of them were seeking something to make them whole, and they all were victims.

One of the most challenging situations for individuals and organizations is when they get into the cycle of being a victim as Roger explains it.   In this book Roger explains how the attitude of victimization has captured businesses everywhere in a chocking stranglehold.   In the book Roger explains why people in organizations must avoid the debilitating effects of the victim cycle in order to achieve results.  Also revealed are the “Steps to Accountability” as the key to obtaining what you desire, or yourself, your team and your organization.

If you are at all interested in creating personal accountability in conjunction with organizational accountability, then I highly recommend that you obtain a copy of “The Oz Principle“.  It is a must read for any person in management seeking to improve the performance of their organization, and create a happier, healthier and more creative organizational culture.  If you would like more information about the “The Oz Principle” please click here to be directed to the Partners In Leadership website.
I hope you enjoy this interview with a very knowledgeable change agent Roger Conners.