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Leadership Trends: Lead the Disruption 2020

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Business

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The following blog is a republish of an article appearing in Forbes written by Maureen Metcalf. It is a companion to Trends interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future on Tuesday, December 31st, 2019, titled Leadership Trends: Lead the Disruption 2020.

To learn more about the 2020 Trends, click here.

During a time of ongoing organizational disruption, I encourage leaders to explore how the rapid change can serve as a pointer and inspiration to help them envision futures that were not possible as recently as last year. Each disruption opens another door to opportunity across a broad range of industries.

This annual trend summary looks at what I think are the most important business drivers to consider over the next three to five years.

  1. Disruption is accelerating. Organizations must continue to monitor trends and disruptions and look for ways to leverage them for strategic advantage. It’s often noted that businesses must recognize the importance of disrupting or get disrupted. The question for organizations and their leaders is how to monitor these trends and create an advantage.

One essential tool is the strategic planning process. This process itself looks different now than it did in the past. It provides a necessary structure for leaders to use as they consider current and potential disruptions. The planning process allows leaders to envision the future and develop a business strategy to turn disruption into business advantage.

  1. Adaptive leadership is required. As companies evolve to respond to disruption, leaders need to elevate the quality of their leadership. The challenges businesses face are adaptive: leaders need to change themselves and their organizations. We are facing problems that we can’t solve with our current thinking. Dr. Ron Heifetz, Harvard, talks about adaptive leadership as a practical leadership framework that helps individuals and organizations adapt to changing environments so they can effectively respond to recurring problems. This research has been considered in the 10 Must-Reads by the Harvard Business Review. I recommend leaders elevate the quality of their leadership rather than build skills.
  2. Organizations need to innovate who they are — and what they offer. Organizations need to build innovation into their DNA. This means they need to get comfortable updating what they do and how they do it to meet evolving strategic goals. In addition to elevating their leadership, leaders must update the overall systems, processes and cultural beliefs that underpin their organizations.

According to Bloomberg (paywall), “Leaders at some of the world’s largest companies said they plan to abandon the long-held view that shareholders’ interests should come first amid growing public discontent over income inequality and the burgeoning cost of health care and higher education.”

This level of change could mean a significant overhaul of how companies operate. Innovation must be a priority to transform organizations. Effective innovation requires creating clear accountability, assigning people, measuring results and allocating financial resources.

Attracting and retaining the right people will become increasingly difficult with changing job requirements and growing skill gaps. According to IBM Institute for Business Value’s Enterprise Guide to Closing the Skills Gap: “Arguably, one of the greatest threats facing organizations today is the talent shortage. Executives recognize the skills gap. They know it’s both real and problematic. But most of their organizations don’t appear to be actively or effectively tackling the issue.”

It goes on to say, “Compounding the issue, new skills requirements continue to emerge, while other skills are becoming obsolete. And it’s all happening quite rapidly.” Organizations must elevate their focus on the impact disruption will have on their workforce. This includes focusing on topics like creating real diversity and inclusion. We can no longer ignore or give minimal effort to the levers that are proven to drive success.

  1. Digital transformation drives and destroys value. Organizations must become more effective at leveraging digital tools. The lines between the physical, digital and biological worlds are becoming more blurred. Many organizations are now using some form of robotic process automation (RPA), business analytics or artificial intelligence.

Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all aspects of a business. It is a trillion-dollar industry, but 70% of all digital transformations fail. The most successful organizations will break the code on implementing these tools effectively and efficiently.

  1. Human resilience remains critical. As organizations accelerate the pace of change, people are often overloaded with current work and transformation work. The people who make change possible hit a point of diminishing performance that impacts their ability to deliver. Employers must provide work environments that maximize employee performance.

One important factor is creating an environment that ensures employees connect the work they do to their values. Even better, when possible, create opportunities for employees who don’t routinely interact with clients/customers to interact and see their impact. Employees also need to own their personal resilience. They can build resilience by ensuring they are taking care of their physical health, engaging in a mindfulness practice that allows them to observe and manage their thinking and building healthy connections inside and outside of work.

  1. Sustainability and the human/planet interface are critical. We continue to see an acceleration in climate volatility, high costs to businesses from weather events, lost biodiversity and environmental damage. According to the Associated Press, July 2019 was the hottest month in recorded history. Many parts of South America are burning in unprecedented forest fires. Glacial melt is accelerating, “Over 30 years, suddenly almost all regions started losing mass at the same time,” said researcher Michael Zemp of the University of Zurich. “That’s climate change if you look at the global picture.”

Addressing this trend will require everyone to act. In 2015, the UN created the Sustainable Development Goals, “the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.” They address global challenges, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity and peace and justice. The goals interconnect and are designed to leave no one behind. These goals were signed by 193 countries.

Many organizations are making progress. The World Green Building Council is supporting efforts to convert buildings to energy-efficient standards on a large scale. We see changes like the move toward more local foods across the U.S. and expanding solar power in Nigeria. These actions are a start. I encourage leaders to understand the opportunities created by disruption and envision the possibilities. As we envision the future, we can elevate the quality of our organizations’ leaders.

To learn more about the 2020 Trends, click here.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

 

About the Author

Maureen Metcalf, CEO of the Innovative Leadership Institute, is a renowned executive advisor, coach, consultant, author and speaker.

 

The WE Empower United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Challenge

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The WE Empower United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Challenge

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

This blog is a follow-up of the interview WE Empower UN Sustainable Development Goals Challenge Winners with Amanda Ellis, Hadeel Anabtawi and Habiba Ali that aired on October 8, 2019.

Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future was honored to interview Amanda Ellis, a co-chair of the WE Empower United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Challenge. Amanda shared the vision of the challenge, which is to recognize women business owners throughout the world who are contributing to their communities by running successful businesses and advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. With her were Hadeel Anabtawi and Habiba Ali, who were 2018 Challenge Winners. Their stories of challenges and triumphs are shared in the episode that aired October 8, 2019.

 

What is the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge?

It is a global business challenge for women entrepreneurs based on the United Nations 17 SDGs meant to recognize and honor those women who are inspiring those around them to promote positive change in the world.

The history of the sustainable goals and the list of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be found here. Goal 5 of these is Gender Equality and empowerment of women and girls and is the focus of this challenge.

 

What are the objectives of the Challenge?

There are three objectives of this challenge, to seek women leaders through the world and to:

  1. honor their achievements
  2. invest in their ability to create positive change
  3. ignite and excite others

 

How many finalists and awardees are there?

The challenge has 5 regions:

  1. Africa
  2. Asia-Pacific
  3. Eastern Europe
  4. Latin America and the Caribbean
  5. Western Europe & Other

Every year, in each of these regions 5 finalists are selected for a total of 25 finalists. From there, one awardee is selected from the 5 finalists in each region.

 

What’s new?

Since the recording of the show, the 2019 Challenge Winners have been announced and we wanted to briefly share about the next class of women changing our world.

 

2019 Challenge Winners by region:

 

Africa:

From the region of Africa, the awardee was Christelle Kwizera from Rwanda. Kwizera founded Water Access Rwanda, a company that works to provide safe water access to rural and semi-urban communities.

 

Asia-Pacific:

The awardee in the Asia-Pacific region was Lina Khalifeh from the country of Jordan. Khalifeh founded SheFighter, a self-defense studio for Middle Eastern women. SheFighter has grown globally to provide training and seminars on self-defense for women.

 

Eastern Europe:

In the Eastern Europe region, innovation is key to the awardee, Zoya Lytvyn from Ukraine. Lytvyn co-founded a K12 school that implements innovative education ideas, including a free online teaching program and trainings to make a quality education accessible to all in Ukraine.

 

Latin America and the Caribbean:

In Guatemala, Karla Ruiz Cofiño founded a Digital Awareness program, which is used for conferences and workshops to provide people with digital skills and knowledge and how to use it for positive influence.

 

Western Europe and Other:

Co-founding the organization 412 Food Rescue in the United States, Leah Lizarondo was recognized as the Western Europe and Other awardee. Her organization seeks to bridge the gap between possible food waste and those in need of food. Food Rescue Hero, a mobile food app, helps direct volunteers to transport extra food to nonprofits in need.

 

These women exemplify leaders who are seeking to be an innovative leader and change the world! Congratulations to all the finalists and the awardees!

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Susan Harper is the Business Manager at Innovative Leadership Institute and sometimes a travel blogger.

Photo by Christina Morillo

Pastor Gives Proceeds of Book to Local Church

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Empowerment
Pastor Gives Proceeds of Book to Local Church

What happens when the Monster you’re fighting is inside of you?

Monster in Me Book Cover.jpg

 

Pastor of Mountain View Church in Queen Creek, Arizona turns two time author. His latest book entitled “The Monster Is In Me, The Monster Is Me”is centered around three ideas: Recognizing the enemy, Resisting The enemy, and Rewriting our identity. Daniel Voss is on a mission to help others turn the monster into a masterpiece. As a leader in generosity with a heart to serve, 100% of the proceeds of this book goes right back to the local church.
“For the past 40 years, I have been running from what I thought was a mythical monster, only to discover the monster is real. The monster is in me. The monster is me. I am my own worst enemy. I wrestle daily with the man in the mirror. Dealing with a difficult person in never easy, especially when that person is you.”
∙ The first person to cause me problems is me – self-honesty.
∙ The first person I must change is me – self-improvement.
∙ The first person that can make a difference is me – self-responsibility.
I can’t promise you won’t have any more struggles after reading this book, but I can promise you will have the tools to fight them in a better way and see yourself in a new way.
Turning a monster into a masterpiece is no easy task unless God is on your side. Allow Him to crucify the old you and resurrect a new you. He paid the price of victory so you could live as royalty. So, stare down your fears, shatter your insecurities, and shake off your apathy. Today is a new day. It’s time to defeat the monster within and be the masterpiece God created you to be.
In a day and age where anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts run wild, Daniel shares a timeless truth of what’s beneath the surface will soon surface.
For more information about “The Monster Is In Me, The Monster Is Me” or Mountain View Church contact us via website MV.church or email at info@mv.church
Contact Information:
Mountain View Church
480-677-2100
Info@mv.church

4 Industries That Need Strong Leaders to Guide Them Through the 4th Industrial Revolution

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4 Industries That Need Strong Leaders to Guide Them Through the 4th Industrial Revolution

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

This guest blog is provided by Ashley Wilson as a companion to the Mark Sims interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future. This interview Delivering for the End to End Customer as a Strategic Leader aired on 6/4/2019

 

The impending 4th Industrial Revolution promises to bring radical technological transformations to enable faster, more flexible, and more efficient business processes.

Technology is already part and parcel of many industries, but Industry 4.0 takes the meaning of digital transformation to a whole new level by completely changing how suppliers, producers, and customers interact with each other.

What are its impacts on industries and how do leaders play a role in enabling its success?

What Is the 4th Industrial Revolution?

The 4th Industrial Revolution (also known as Industry 4.0) boosts business performance by linking the best of physical and digital worlds.

This is achieved through a mix of innovative technologies such as AI, robotics, cloud computing, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Industry 4.0 is sometimes deemed as the age of the smart factory, where digital systems monitor and make automated decisions for businesses with the help of the technologies mentioned earlier.

Industry 4.0 is paving the way for transformative changes at breakneck speed in every industry, from changing the face of manufacturing to revamping construction works, to enabling fintech services in needy areas all over the world.

How Will the 4th Industrial Revolution Affect Industries?

The question is, what are the industries most impacted by the 4th Industrial Revolution—and what can business leaders do to ease this change?

Manufacturing

Many manufacturing companies are behind the tech curve as their operations remain the same as how they were 30, 40 years ago.

Machine operators come into work, attend routine daily meetings with their superiors, then proceed to operate machines manually for the rest of the workday. This is nowhere near efficient for enterprises that want to embrace digital transformation.

With Industry 4.0, many of the repetitive, inefficient processes in manufacturing are automated by smart machines.

This allows employees to focus more on higher-level work which gives organizations leeway in pursuing valuable organizational, operational and digital transformation efforts.

For example, instead of relying on daily meetings to distribute tasks, manufacturers can utilize smart whiteboards to automatically display work metrics in real-time and assign tasks.

Questions like “what are the important tasks to complete today?” and “who should work on them?” are managed automatically without the need for human interference.

Smart monitoring is another avenue manufacturing companies are pursuing to improve work efficiency. In smart monitoring, digital tools assess the conditions of machines in real-time which allows factories to predict potential machine failures with the data at hand.

With this technology, factory owners can identify machine errors before they happen, increasing the long-term quality of their inventory while improving output immensely.

Some smart machines even have the ability to automatically fix itself and optimize processes, further reducing the burden of human workers.

All these advancements will see a shift in the manufacturing field from favoring labor-heavy companies to those who can adapt to Industry 4.0 the fastest—a shift that is already taking effect today.

Logistics and Supply Chains

Modern supply chains do benefit from technology by leveraging big data to coordinate processes within the supply chain.

For example, logistics companies use data analytics to help them make informed business decisions like predicting traffic, improving global collaboration, and manage container risks.

Physical platforms (e.g. logistics) also utilize technology in smoothing the flow of physical products, bringing inventory handling performance to an all-time high while keeping costs low.

Despite these improvements, supply chains still lack the capabilities needed to keep up with the unpredictable expectations placed on companies. Simply put, traditional supply chains are too slow for today’s fast-moving markets.

Industry 4.0 aims to put an end to this obstacle by enabling automation with digitized and robotic supply chain processes.

As a result, more and more logistics processes will be handled by AI and robots, leaving behind the time and cost-intensive human labor of old.

Logistics companies that have the resources to implement these technologies in their supply chains will benefit massively, as wide-scale automation saves a lot of time and effort that can be funneled towards more valuable and strategic work.

Construction

Same as the logistics and manufacturing fields, the construction industry is far behind in terms of technology adoption. Many construction companies still use manual labor, outdated machines, and outdated operating and business models.

The 4th Industrial Revolution, however, changes how construction companies are going about in designing, constructing, operating and maintaining assets.

Innovative technologies like 3D printing, robotic machinery, and prefabrication are impacting the construction field positively by reducing excess budgets and inefficient work.

Experts believe that within 10 years, Industry 4.0 could help the industry overcome its growth issues by cutting down on $1.7 trillion of wasted spending, a figure equivalent to 20% in annual cost savings.

The 4th Industrial Revolution will also help companies attract new talent which is vital considering the “boring” nature of the field.

Construction jobs are typically associated with hard work and labor, but that is set to change as future scenarios require a different set of modern skills to navigate.

Finance

Technology is crucial to financial institutions as they catalyze the innovation of solutions that help fuel economic growth, mainly through enabling global financial access in less developed areas.

Technology in finance also promotes the greater knowledge of financial tools to the needy, while also increasing transparency—a much-needed solution considering the discrete nature of financial institutions.

The biggest benefit of the 4th Industrial Revolution to the finance industry is its role in simplifying customer-facing technology (e.g. mobile banking), which promotes user engagements, eventually leading to the growth of financial markets.

Most of today’s banking operations will be automated in Industry 4.0. Thus, financial institutions would shift their business model towards offering business insights and higher-level services (e.g. consulting) with the use of data analytics, bringing an end to basic bank teller services.

New financial service models are also expected to appear for operational, business, and specialized finance, with tasks being done by a combination of humans, robots, and AI.

This forces banks and other financial institutions to rethink their business strategy to pull through the 4th Industrial revolution.

Why These Industries Need Strong Leaders to Navigate Through the 4th Industrial Revolution

The ever-changing environment of the 4th Industrial Revolution creates a level of uncertainty and expectation that requires businesses to be agile and flexible—a task that falls on the shoulders of business leaders.

In a Deloitte study, 86% of business leaders said they were “business-ready” in terms of embracing Industry 4.0 and were doing “all they could” to make the transition as seamless as possible.

The same study was repeated six months later and surprisingly, only 47% said they were prepared for Industry 4.0—less than half the previous figure in just under a year.

While this figure may seem worrying at first sight, it represents a welcome change in the attitude of leaders towards the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Instead, this mindset shift suggests that key executives are now more aware of the effort it takes to overcome Industry 4.0’s biggest challenges.

The Skills Every Top Leader Needs to Embrace Industry 4.0

Leaders play an important role as they’re the ones responsible for easing digital transformation in the workspace.

That role begins by putting people first and empowering them with the tools and skills needed to adapt to change.

Agile and Flexible

The rapid speed of change in the 4th Industrial Revolution means that leaders need to be agile and flexible in embracing change.

More importantly, strong leaders see change as an opening for organizations to innovate, not as a liability.

This skill, along with the flexibility to cater to the changing demands of employees, working environments, and business tools, is crucial as strategies that work today may not work in the future.

Hence, leaders need to be on their toes in keeping up with change and making the best out of it.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence is an important skill to have in the future as leaders are expected to manage employee sentiment well as well as their own emotions.

As machines and smart systems enter the workforce, leaders will need to be even more empathetic to maintain their team members’ wellbeing.

A good leader in the 4th Industrial Revolution is someone who is willing to have honest, open conversations with their team not only about work but also on personal topics outside of work.

Responsibility

Leaders can only earn the respect of their team if they’re responsible and accountable.

Industry 4.0 preaches a transparent workplace, leaving no room for irresponsible employees including leaders themselves.

It’s crucial for leaders to take responsibility for the outcomes of business decisions while ensuring that team members are protected from criticism should any unwanted events occur.

Tech Literate

Industry 4.0 is driven mainly by advanced technology.

As a result of this change, future leaders must be tech-savvy to understand rapidly changing tech landscapes.

This allows them to identify the right technology for their organization rather than blindly following what’s in trend.

Teamwork and Collaboration

In contrast to today’s offices, future leaders won’t have their own exclusive workspace—they’ll be working with the team instead.

Leaders will still have executive powers but collaboration will be the number one factor that separates strong leaders from mediocre ones.

The importance of collaboration is further amplified by the diversity of future workspaces.

With employees coming from different backgrounds and parts of the world, they need strong leaders to appreciate and leverage the differences of every individual to benefit the team and the organization.

Industry 4.0 Needs Equally Transformative Leaders

As the 4th Industrial Revolution changes how we work in the future, business leaders must prepare their teams by leading by example.

No matter how much AI and smart machines impact the workforce, excellent leadership will—and always will be—the driver of organizational success.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Ashley Wilson is writing about business and tech, and the intersection of the two. Personally, she has been known to reference movies in casual conversation and she enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. If you need a new writer, get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.

Photo from: pixabay.com

Life Derailed

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Empowerment
Life Derailed

I host a radio weekly internet radio show on the VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel called Life Altering Events (https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/3902/life-altering-events). People often ask me what exactly is a life altering event? I tell them this – It can be something we choose or something that is thrust upon us that dramatically alters the trajectory of our life.

On August 20, 2019 my guest was Latachia Morrissette Harper who is a truly remarkable and inspirational women. You can hear the conversation at https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/116498/life-derailed.

Latachia is the author of the book Life Derailed, A Divorced Mom’s Survival Guide. Her inspiration to write this book was to recover from a very traumatic divorce and let other women and men know they are not alone. Latachia addresses that your emotions, feelings, grief, sense of loss, how will I pay my bills, fear of the future are not unique. If you have not read this book – do it today!

Latachia is also a public speaker, writer, and entrepreneur. Her passion is to motivate and inspire women, especially women with children impacted by divorce. Being in an abusive relationship is a life altering and divorce can be terrifying and debilitating but which is worse? She equips women to find their independence and strength, learning how to find their voice and love themselves first.

Now men, don’t see this title and think “This is a chick book.” It’s not. Latachia provides a common sense approach at time when common sense is often absent. This common sense applies equally to both men and women.

One powerful piece of advice from her book is:

In dealing with the sorrow of divorce or a major loss in your life/family, take one breath at a time, make one decision at a time, and focus on just the current day and what you can achieve. The saddest thing for a child is to be in your presence and you not really being there. Be in the moment, embrace them. You control more in life when you don’t let the issues, things control you.

Another statement she wrote that I loved and wish I had followed is “Stop Saying you are OK.”

Stop saying you’re OK. Seriously, it’s OK to not be OK. Wait till the kids are away and SCREAM, cry and then get out a piece of paper and write it all down, random thoughts, fears and ideas. Get it out, it’s OK, you have a right to be in this place.

Remember divorce is a legal process. It is a legal process to become married and a legal process to end the marriage. It is a huge mistake to rush through the process or say to your ex “Just get the papers and I’ll sign so we can get this over.” Don’t ignore this step. There are too many important issues regarding finances, property and most importantly the needs of your children. Get it in writing up front because promises made prior to divorce often change afterwards. The children certainly don’t need to re-live these battles over and over.

Another major issue you will likely face is “the call” from your ex, suggesting you try again. Stop! Proceed with caution. Think about why things will be better or different if you jump back in. Really stop and think about it or you may find yourself in a worse situation in the next year or two. Why is your ex asking to get back together when they were so eager to leave?

Picking up the pieces is not easy. It will be the most difficult thing you will ever do, but keep this in mind, stop looking behind you, you’re not going that way. There is nothing new to see in the past so keep moving forward. Believe it or not, better times and better people will come into your life.

Changing the Odds

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Empowerment
Changing the Odds

As someone who interacts directly with over 50 Angel and Private Investors I am going to share some information with you.

INC magazine reported than one in five Americans would like to own a business. That is 2nd only to home ownership, as part of the American dream. However, more times than not, this dream of owning a business becomes a nightmare.

This is from Forbes magazine – 50% to 60% of small businesses fail within three years. 80% fail with 5 years. 70% of SBA loan applications are rejected.

What is going on here? Obviously, something is seriously wrong with the process of preparing entrepreneur’s. But how can that be when there are dozens and dozens of organizations, be they, Government, nonprofit, or for profit that have classes or seminars or webinars whose intent is to assist business owners through this very process.

So you would think that with all these programs and organizations designed to help, the odds of success would be better. They’re not.  We meet with so many people, who attended these programs and leave less than satisfied. The three statements we hear most often are:

  1. Most of the presenters have never started or owned a business
  2. They present theory not reality
  3. They provide very basic information on WHAT to do, but little to nothing about HOW and WHY to do it

The bottom line is – Far too many small business owners are not adequately prepared to navigate the land mines of becoming a business owner.

If you made it past the five year mark – congratulations! You have beaten the odds. You achieved some degree of success. What did it take?  More than likely you have been working 80+ hours a week; are juggling every crisis alone; have missed far too many family dinners and some of your children’s events just trying to survive. Not thrive, just survive.

Now if you were like me, you might think, Wow, I made it to 5 years, I can finally take a breath & relax.   Well not so fast, nothing stays stagnant in business.

If you made it to 5 years, you are about to enter yet another unknown area.  You are or will be soon in a position where you have to grow or expand or merge or scale, or sell or acquire. Regardless, you are going to need capital again. Now what? More bad news, Enterpreneurs.com reports that 50% of businesses fail after 5 years and 70% fail after 10.

Why is there so much failure? It’s not that the ideas were terrible or the owner was not capable. It is quite the contrary. The real problem is you don’t know what you don’t know, and you don’t know where to go to find out what you don’t know.

So what do you do? You talk to friend who knows a guy; or your CPA or lawyer or banker. If you’re lucky, they will be supportive but it’s not their business on the line – it’s yours.

Did you ever talk to your banker or CPA when you were at a cross road? I did turn-arounds of failing companies for over 15 years. I had more of these conversations than I cared to have. The conversation went like this: they nodded at the appropriate places, but when I looked in their eyes, they weren’t engaged. They were thinking, “Oh no, if this thing fails, we have a huge loan out to this guy”; or “We are going to have to raise the interest on his credit line.”

Their primary concern when you are facing a cross road is what happens to them, not you.

Too often when we reach a cross road, we tend to wait to make a decision. We say to ourselves, “I need more data, or “I need to see next month’s report.” As we wait the situation goes from concern to crisis, then crisis to panic. What happens in panic mode?  We either make no decision or a poor decision.

We flounder around hoping to catch lightening in a bottle. Other than Megan Markel, how often does than happen?

As I mentioned, I did turn-arounds of failing companies for several years. These were companies who had some degree of success. All had made it past five years, some past ten. Then they had reached a cross road they had not and were not prepared to address. They found themselves in crisis mode. Far too often this is when they call for help.

Of all the companies I worked with, here is what I found in every case.

  1. They admitted in hindsight they should have bitten the bullet early in the process and engaged with an organization that could have helped them avoid the land mines they stepped on.
  2. They had convinced themselves that they didn’t have the time or the money to bring in help, BUT they would have time as soon as they finished this one last project. Then another last project. You know the story.
  3. While they didn’t have the time of the money to work with someone who has been there and done that, they did have the time and money to hire a fitness trainer or a life coach, or go to three more conferences.

Something must change or this pattern of failure will get worse. So what are you going to do? Consider this!

My associates and I have all started, and successfully operated businesses for decades. We have since sold our companies and are now sharing our 130 years of combined business knowledge and experience. We have developed a four step plan, called “Changing the Odds.” Where we work directly with business owners to guide them through the process of defining, creating, and most important, sustaining a successful business.

Now, you should be saying, “Yeah, yeah Frank, why is this different from the other programs?”

First and foremost we have been there and done that. We know what it takes to successfully run businesses in the real world. Second this is not a class. We don’t present theory and give you reams of paper and send you on your way. We work directly with you through all four steps.

What are the four steps?

  1. Strategic Direction – We help you define WHY you want to start this business and if you are already in business why do you want to take this next step– what value does it provide.
  2. We create a business plan and multiple contingencies. Because no matter what the rules are today – they are going to change.
  3. Branding/Marketing/Positioning – We build you a marketing program, not a campaign, a program, which will differentiate you from the herd.
  4. Fiscal/Financial – We prepare a detailed investor strategy which works for the business and our investor. If we secure funding we stay with you to implement the plan. This will give you the greatest chance for success.

Ladies and gentlemen, we all know, insanity is continuing to do the same old tired processes and expect a different result.  Regardless of where you are in your journey, do yourself a favor and work directly with people who have been there and done that before you put your company and life savings at risk.

Let me leave you with this, the secret to walking on water is to know where the rocks are. We can show you where the rocks are. Call me, let’s talk, I’ll help you.

Commitment to Civility in Phoenix

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Business
Commitment to Civility in Phoenix

Commitment to Civility

Phoenix, Arizona , June 18, 2019 – A true commitment to civility has become priority for a group of professionals and entrepreneurs taking Phoenix by storm.

Dr. Vernet Joseph, World Civility Ambassador, National Statesmen, recognizes the gravity of responsibility relating to public life and befitting a citizen. Not taken lightly a necessity to be solution influenced by shifting increased division coarsening our culture too often fueled by vitriol of politics and public discourse.

Vernet, entrepreneur productivity speaker, best-selling author and the Founder/CEO of Live To Produce Enterprises, LLC energized the city as a world wind this year. The 3rd Annual Productive Business Summit positioned in Phoenix, at the Salvation Army Joan and Ray Kroc Center was a game changer. Attendees were startled with awe when City of Phoenix Mayor, Kate Gallego, issued a proclamation deeming June 8th as Phoenix Day of Civility, presented by the Mayor’s Director of Community Relations.
This day filled event encompassed speakers ranging from the My Financial Home CEO from California – Dr. Cozette M. White – who stressed the five biggest mistakes business owners make, and Arizona Financial Planner Ashley Folkes, who provided practical tips about being mentally, physically and financial fit, to World’s Best Connectors’ founder Denise Meridith, Crown Life Enterprises Founder Marquez Hughley, whose talk focused on increased levels of productivity, Mindset Changer CEO Jamal Cummins, whose message was “Don’t quit!” and PITCH Investors Live representatives who introduced a new innovative way for business owners and entrepreneurs to gain exposure and obtain funding.
The Productive Business Summit & Golden Rule Global awards is a collaboration with Dr. Clyde Rivers, the Honorary UN Ambassador at Large of the Republic of Burundi. Rivers has earned innumerable awards, including, in 2017, the United States Presidential Life Achievement Award for over 4,000 hours of serving the nation and humanity. He is also the Founder and President of iChange Nations (ICN), which improves the quality of life throughout the world by emphasizing honor, trust, dignity, and civil discourse. Cities and states are encouraged to join the cause. For example, communities throughout Indiana celebrated their fourth Annual World Civility Day in April, 2019.
Award recipients this year from the Productive Business Summit were presented by Dr. Vermet Joseph and Dr. Wil Moreland of Wil Moreland International. The recipients were:
IChange Nations World Civility Award (Danielle Williams),( Dr. Aikyna Finch), (Tasha “TC” Cooper),( Houssam Makki), (Bennie Randall), and (Dr. Stacie N.C. Grant)
IChange Nations Challenged Champions and Hero’s ( Anthony Ameen)
IChange Nations Women Add Value ( Dr. Cozette M. White), (PeShon ALLEN), ( Dr. Robin Hollis), (Roslyn Williams), ( Diana Gregory), (Beverly VanTull), (Nisha Witt), (Nakisha Graves King), (Dionne L. Archibald), (Pollyana Neely), (Chelsea Mandello), (Tammy Phipps), (Suzie Mills), (Johnnie Lloyd)
IChange Nations Community Ambassador (Harry Garewal), (Abraham James), (Anthony Ameen), (Sheriff Mark Lamb), (Ghazi Muhammad), (Derrick Smith), (Diana Gregory), (Denice Williams), (Dionne L. Archibald), (Pollyana Neely), ( Johnnie Lloyd), (David Winkler)
IChange Women of Global Solutions (Denise Meridith), (Tammy Phipps), (Marchelle Franklin)
Productive Business Global Agent of Change (Clarence McAllister)
Productive Business Agent of Change (Tara Laurie), (Larry Ross), (Christie Ellis)
Productive Business Community Game Changer Award (Harry Garewal), (Cozette M. White),(Sheriff Mark Lamb), (Sheriff Joseph Alvarado), (Ron Williams), (Dr. Aikyna Finch), ( Ron Williams) (Dr. Stacie N.C. Grant), (Beverly VanTull), (Dionne L. Archibald), (Johnnie Lloyd), (Denice Williams), (Pollyanna Neely), ( Houssam Makki), (Marchelle Franklin)
Productive Business Warrior Hero’s Award (Anthony Ameen), ( Tammy Phipps)
Productive Business Sustainable Developement Award (Chelsea Mandello)
Productive Business Award (Nakisha Graves King)
Productive Business Innovators Award ( Nisha Witt)
Productive Business Media ICON Award (Daniel Williams), (Roslyn Williams), (Derrick Smith), (PeShon Allen), (Javier Soto)
Productive Business Economic Developement Award (Diana Gregory)
Productive Business Entrepreneures (Abraham James), (Ghazi Muhammad), (Tamala Daniels), (Pamela Slim), (Robin Reed), (Suzie Mills)
Productive Business Philanthropy Award (Diana Gregory – Black Philanthropy Initiative)
Productive Business Volunteer Service Award (Robin Hollis)
Productive Business Veterans Award (Quincy Milam), (David Winkler)
Productive Business City of the Year – City of Phoenix

Another highlight of the evening was an attendee making an impromptu decision from the audience to enlist in a real live pitch contest for $10,000.00. Three minutes later Darryl Gooden of www.keepteachersteaching.org pitched an initiative to support teachers around the world inside and outside the classroom. The vote was unequivocally unanimous to award Gooden the grand prize.

When Joseph was asked what were the aha’s or moments that took his breath away? Joseph proclaimed, “Experiencing the power of relationships and collaboration with partners flying in from around the world.” Topped off by “Mayor Gallego’s proclaiming June 8th Phoenix Day of Civility.”

Civility lives on.

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Shift. Shine. Inspire.

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Empowerment
Shift. Shine. Inspire.

It was such a pleasure to have Viviana Lahrs Gesyuk and Tahil Gesyuk, founders of Heart Source in Berkeley, as guests on SacredExploration (November 30), sharing their experience and wisdom about creating extraordinary relationships. We usually think of issues around ‘shining bright’ as an individual challenge or fear. But, one of the things that came up in our discussion was that even couples can be afraid to experience unknown levels of happiness, ecstasy, and prosperity. Naturally, before the couple can achieve new levels of experience, each of the individuals within it must own their own ability to shine bright. Following is a blog written by Viviana in 2016, illuminating the journey around recognizing the fact that we are all free to shine bright:

Shift. Shine. Inspire.

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Who will give me permission to shine? My whole life, for as long as I could remember, I had this ever present, unseen, unconscious feeling that I had to have permission from something or someone to let myself be seen, to shine, to get big, to follow my dreams and create and do what was my calling. Yet I didn’t quite know what my calling was or know that I was even waiting for permission.

One day about 9 years ago I was sitting in a huge hotel auditorium in Burlingame. I was a real estate agent and attempting to build my small empire of real estate sales. In this two day seminar, we were being shown how to manage our lives, our business and, most importantly, how to bring in clients, keep clients and make them happy. We learned minute details like what color our flyers should be for maximum visibility, how to make a weekly schedule to have successful time management, what kind of questions to ask… some good stuff, yet I found much of it boring. Then, on the last day in the last hours, we got to what lit me up. You know that time of a big seminar when the presenters invoke inspiration, joy, and hope? Tucked in the side flap of our folders was a card with a poem on it. We were asked to get that out and read it. In that moment, as tears started to build in my eyes, my body took a deep breath in and out, and I was inspired. I felt a bell ring and I resonated with it. This lit me up! This is what I wanted. This feeling. This knowing that I could shine and that I was allowed to do so. I had permission! I didn’t need to wait for anyone to tell me it was ok. And not only was it ok, but that by me shining, others would have permission, too! You mean that I can help others shine? I can give them permission? Whoa! This is good stuff! This is what I want in my life.

Fast forward almost 9 years. Here I am. Tingling energy rushes through me now as I write this, simultaneously experiencing that moment of aha 9 years ago and feeling where I am today and seeing where I am, how far I’ve come. Tears of gratitude. I am sitting in my Berkeley kitchen with inspiring music running in my living room while I work on my laptop. My beloved, Tahil, partner in life and business of nearly 6 years, doing his work in our bedroom. We are about to open up a new workshop center that is all about heart based workshops and trainings that offer skills and resources for having more love and light in life and relationships. I am sitting in front of people daily to inspire, influence, and offer them support in creating the lives they want. I do this through teaching yoga, writing our book, coaching clients and creating a center full of inspiring offerings for healthy, vibrant, love filled lives. And this lights me up. This feels good. And it’s my life.

I took the path that came before me, one hint, one poem, one therapy session, one coaching session, one yoga class, one training, one breakdown, one breakthrough, one aha, one decision at a time. It wasn’t an easy path. Much muck was waded through with old defiant patterns dug up, dissected, and eventually loved and let go. I let go of a lot. And I’ve learned so much. There is so much gratitude. It’s not easy to stand up to old grooves of family patterning and social stigmas. And I did it, still often looking around for permission… Can I do this? Really it is OK. I am doing it. I give myself permission. I do it. And so it is.

And so now, here I write, here I stand. Shining.

What was that poem that I read nine years ago?

You probably know it. If you do you know it, you know that it never ends to inspire. If you haven’t, let me introduce you. Either way, enjoy:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

Thank you for reading this post. I am honored to be seen in this way. And in whatever way you are inspired or whatever you notice when you read my writing or this precious poem from Marianne Williamson, I welcome you to share, write to me, post a comment. For when we share, we allow a piece of us to shine, be seen and inspire another.

Shine bright. Love fearlessly.

Much love and light,

Viviana

Viviana is a therapeutic yoga teacher, life and relationship coach, workshop facilitator, and co-founder of Heart Source. Her passion is supporting your self care while holding space and presence for growth and change. She teaches how to access and learn from the darker times in life for more resources, balance, and choice now. She weaves neuroscience and holistic body-mind wisdom to help you rewrite unwanted patterns and live in your full expression! To learn more about the offerings at “Heart Source” in Berkeley, please visit www.heartsource.center. Tahil and I are super happy and excited to shine here and offer space for others to shine even brighter.

Note: Since the time of Viviana’s blog, she and Tahil got married! Talking about shining bright!

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Leaders Must Now Think Like Scientists

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Business
Leaders Must Now Think Like Scientists

This post is a companion to the Voice America show, Innovative Leaders Driving Thriving Organizations. An important foundation of the radio show is curating material that allows busy leaders to stay current with minimal time investment and encourages you to experiment with new behaviors each week. It is these small experiments that will allow you as leaders to stay up to date in a world that is changing so quickly. If you have not listened to the show, we invite you to sign up for notifications and listen to the next one that you find interesting or look at the range of speakers and topics and find one you want to learn more about.

This article is a reprint of the Forbes.com article from September 2016. During the industrial revolution, leaders managed effectively using command and control and leveraging best practices to solve problems that were common across multiple industries.

Now, however, the most effective leaders work more like scientists. They scan best practices, but also create competitive advantage by creating new and innovative solutions in the face of chaos.

Take Bill, a recent client who runs a mortgage firm in the U.K. June’s vote to exit the EU has thrown the British economy into uncertainty. Rates are dropping and the forecast is uncertain. Bill doesn’t know which direction the market will go, how fast, and what actions will be most effective. He looked to thought leaders before the vote and learned that a true Brexit was unlikely. Well, it happened, and now he needs to move forward and make the best of the uncertainty. The change might even be good for him if he makes the right calls.

Many leaders, like Bill, are facing unprecedented challenges. In the past, they could look to best practices and study what others in their industry were doing. Now, in many situations, leaders need to respond immediately, but there is little time to study and no prior model with the same level of complexity that provides a low-risk solution. As leaders, we weren’t trained for this. We were trained to set a vision, build a plan, and work the plan.

With the advent of such changes, companies are responding with strategies like “cross-functional” teams, “early delivery,” and “continuous improvement.” Terms such as “fail fast” — which tell us we need to experiment and learn faster than our competition — have become popular. Learning fast differentiates us from our competitors who are still looking for the best practices. In reality, we are the ones creating the next round of best practices.

But many of us are still stuck between the old ways and new ways of leadership. We haven’t fully embraced what it means to be a leader today and now. First and foremost, we need to rethink our role. We need to change our mindset and behavior from directing to experimenting while realizing that as leaders in complex times, we are creating new solutions rather than drawing from the past. In many situations, history will determine what was right, but if we expect to know it before we take action, we will be paralyzed.

So, what do we do?

One of the most difficult challenges for leaders isn’t changing behavior (that’s the easy part) — it’s changing how we think of ourselves. It is easy to say, “I will act like a scientist,” but when someone comes in with a challenge and the leader has no idea how to proceed, this is a moment of truth. The leader without an answer will likely feel embarrassed and frustrated. The scientist, on the other hand, might actually be excited about the challenge.

As we begin to change our mindset, we begin to approach our leadership as a scientist. Here’s how to get started:

1. Get the best people together for specific opportunities. The members will be dictated by the challenge. It is critical to have people with differing points of view. The people who disagree are often the most important to help identify blind spots and unanticipated challenges. The size of the group and the duration of discussions and evaluation will depend on the time required to respond. The participants should be from multiple geographies, functional departments and organizations.
2. Formulate a hypothesis. The group pulls together all of the perspectives and crafts a clear hypothesis of how to proceed to generate the best overall outcome given the resources, goals and constraints.
3. Formulate experiments. Using the hypothesis as the foundation, it is time to craft experiments that test the hypothesis. Experiments should be designed to prove or disprove the initial hypothesis and give enough information to support taking informed action going forward. The goal is to position the organization to take timely action, minimize risk, and maximize positive impact and learning and scale intelligently based on learning.
4. Conduct the experiment. Once the experiment is crafted, it is time to execute. This usually looks like implementing a well-defined pilot with clearly articulated metrics designed to prove or disprove the initial hypothesis. This is also the opportunity to identify barriers to proper execution.
5. Evaluate, learn and refine. One of the keys to experimentation is to learn as much as possible from each experiment to build success. This is where you will harvest your learnings form the measures as well as barriers or challenges that arose.

I work with a client who formerly worked as a physicist for NASA and now runs an organization heavily impacted by technology change. The culture of his organization is one of experimentation because it is natural to him. When I walk into his office, I see remnants of physical experiments, like a part of a drone, and the tone of the entire organization is open and excited. The physical space is one of the worst I have seen, so it isn’t the architecture but rather the tone of the leader. The leader’s mindset permeates the culture and the organizational systems. People are rewarded for launching new programs and eliminating those that are less effective.

Moving toward this mindset of experimentation allows us to master transformation and build the capacity for ongoing “renovation” of our organization. If this ability to respond quickly becomes a core competency of the organization, because of the mindset of the leader and the resulting culture, organizations are positioned to thrive. For leaders who take on the mindset of the scientist, experimentation becomes fun, they drive interesting innovation, and they inspire others to do the same.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills. You can download the first three chapters of the Innovative Leadership Workbook for Emerging Leaders and Managers for free.

About the author Maureen Metcalf, CEO and Founder of Metcalf & Associates, is a renowned executive advisor, author, speaker, and coach whose 30 years of business experience provides high-impact, practical solutions that support her clients’ leadership development and organizational transformations. Maureen is recognized as an innovative, principled thought leader who combines intellectual rigor and discipline with an ability to translate theory into practice. Her operational skills are coupled with a strategic ability to analyze, develop, and implement successful strategies for profitability, growth, and sustainability.

Harmonizing Work & Motherhood: Can We Afford Not To? By Dr. Kas Henry

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Empowerment
Harmonizing Work & Motherhood:  Can We Afford Not To? By Dr. Kas Henry

Harmonizing Work & Motherhood:  Can We Afford Not To?

 

Women are an integral part of the global work place.  They are parallel thinking multi-taskers alongside their sequential thinking male individual taskers. Men and women solve problems differently and women are more prone to natural collaboration and seeking assistance.  A good balance of both male and female perspectives to ideas and solutions are needed for business success and the brain function studies seem to affirm that much needed gender balance.

 

Research shows that

  • Fortune 500 Firms with women Board members outperform their peers by 53% greater ROE
  • Women make up half of the U.S. workforce and comprise $5 trillion in purchasing power
  • Women make up a majority of the single parent households with children in the US
  • 80% of all US healthcare decisions are made by women
  • 70% of all major financial decisions in the US households are made by women

 

 

 

Women are daughters, mothers and wives.  As such they are the care givers of their families. They are required to juggle work, family, social obligations and taking care of themselves.  Women are considered “stay at home” and “not working” when they are not employed for wages but expend energy working for the family from morning till night for no pay.  When women work for wages, they take on a second job, a job outside of the home.  This job may not pay equal wages for equal work when a male and a female perform that same job, even in developed first world nations like the US.  In a system like the US, women are actuarially valued to be higher risk for healthcare as those naturally endowed to give birth.  So, we create a perfect storm, placing women to juggle work, life, family while making lower wages and paying higher insurance alongside making majority of the financial decisions and carrying a greater financial burden.

 

 

 

Other nations like Canada places high value in motherhood and gives mothers time off to care for their new born and support the family.  Those countries value early mother-child bonding and strong family as a foundation for building a stronger society that is socially engineered for lasting and prospering.

 

 

 

 

Then there are other nations across the world, like India, that cannot even assure the safety of the woman in the workplace where women could be sexually assaulted by her co-workers.

 

This is the spectrum of women in the workplace in our global economic environment.

 

No doubt, women have come a long way in the workplace, but there is more to be done and much continue to remain a conundrum. Women not staying in the workforce and leaving to raise families while be unemployed or under employed is not healthy for business or society.  Attracting, developing and retaining women in the workforce is important for the organizational succession plan.

 

How do we support women in the workplace?  How public policy, employers, co-workers, families and society as a whole come together to create harmony of work-life-family where women can bring their best to each situation is of utmost importance today, then ever.  Because, today we have a female workforce that is more educated than their male counterparts and we have more families with single mothers across the world.  How we support working women is the foundation for how we are preparing to groom our future generations being raised by these women.  

 

As the millennial generation and Gen Zs come of age, we are also seeing more men comfortable with the stay at home role as women with their better education become the primary bread winners.  The approach to dealing with the Women in the workplace will also need to be applied to the gender reversal we see emerging. Please join me and my guests, Allison Robinson and Christine Coyle of The Mom Project, to explore how best to harness the value of women and mothers in the workplace and continue to build that into the optimal approach for supporting families.

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