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How Supply Chains Contribute Successful BCM, Risk, & Crisis Mgmt.

Posted by Felix Assivo on
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Business
How Supply Chains Contribute Successful BCM, Risk, & Crisis Mgmt.

Join me Oct 13/22 at 1pm EST on the VA Business Channel!

The success of Business Continuity, Risk Management, and Crisis Management, can be aided in part by having strong Supply Chain Management practices. I speak with Supply Chain and Business Continuity expert Kush Srivastava.

We talk about:

1. Domains and Common Elements,

2. The opportunities to leverage from the various domains,

3. The congruence analyzed,

4. The rolling impact of Supply Chain Management,

5. How SCRM aids in better BCPs, Crisis Mgmt., and Response & Recovery,

6. Mapping the Supply Chain,

7. Becoming a preferred customer,

8. De-clustering,

9. Flexibility in the Supply Chain.

It’s an interesting discussion that helps us understand how these four areas can work together to contribute to resilience, and realize that Supply Chain Management can be a silent lifeline for the success of each program.

Enjoy!

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Knowledge Management in Business Continuity for True Resilience

Posted by Felix Assivo on
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Business
Knowledge Management in Business Continuity for True Resilience

Join me August 11, 2022 at 1pm EST!

The use of Knowledge Management (KM) within the Business Continuity industry can help organizations with their goal of becoming more resilience. I talk with Knowledge Management (KM) specialist, Vanessa Thurlwell, who will help us understand what Knowledge Management is and the considerations for implementing a successful KM program.

We talk about:

1. Principles of resilience (A Resilient Organization, Indicators of Resilience),

2. An overview of Knowledge Management (Explicit Knowledge vs Tacit Knowledge, Knowledge Hierarchy, KM Program components (People, Processes, Tech, Structures, Culture),

3. Steps to Implementation,

4. Linking Knowledge Management principles with Business Continuity Management (Identify, Assess, Develop, Track),

5. The importance of organizational learning, and

6. Success factors for true resilience.

Knowledge Management isn’t a well-understood discipline, but Vanessa does a great job of displaying how much it can help our organizations when trying to become more resilient. Don’t miss it!

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Opportunities in the BCM Industry to be Stay Relevant!

Posted by Felix Assivo on
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Business
Opportunities in the BCM Industry to be Stay Relevant!

Join me Feb 3/21 at 1pm EST!

What opportunities are there in the Resilience / Business Continuity Management (BCM) industry that enable professionals to be – and stay – relevant? The answer that that question and many more, are discussed as I talk with the CEO of Crisis Ally, Alexandra Hoffman.

In this episode, Alexandra talks about:

a) continuous learning

b) the willingness to accept and be part of change

c) the role of Diversity and Inclusion

d) soft (Human) skills

e) linking activity to the organization’s purpose (and the overall culture),

f) the differences between resilience and sustainability…or the lack thereof, and so much more.

Alexandra’s passion for the Resilience, Business Continuity Management, and Security industry’s is easily apparent, as she shares many great insights into how industry professionals can shine before, during, and after, an adverse event. Don’t miss it!

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Birds of All Feathers: Doing Diversity & Inclusion Right

Posted by Felix Assivo on
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Business
Birds of All Feathers: Doing Diversity & Inclusion Right

Join me Feb 10/22 at 1pm EST!

Diversity & Inclusion is good for you, for your community, and good for you organization. It’s the smart thing to do. Ignoring D&I can create many issues and challenges for organizational leaders. Join me as I talk with speaker, author, and award winning Diversity & Inclusion expert, Michael Bach, about his book “Birds of All Feathers: Doing Diversity and Inclusion Right”. Michael and I talk about:

a) Define some key terms associated with D&I, including a term you may not be familiar with – Intersectionality,

b) Is ‘reverse discrimination’ a real thing?.

c) The Social Justice and Creativity & Innovation D&I Models,

d) The development of the D&I Business Case, and all that it entails,

e) Measuring D&I Success, and

f) What gets in the way of D&I. It’s a very interesting talk with Michael, who really shines a different light on the D&I topic, and clears up some common misconceptions about it. He even clears a couple of for me. If you want your organization to be better at its D&I initiative, and understand why it may not be working the way you’d hoped, listen to what Michael has to share. Enjoy!

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Sustain Business Growth, Build Relationships, & Watch Out for Tax

Posted by Felix Assivo on
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Business
Sustain Business Growth, Build Relationships, & Watch Out for Tax

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The number of businesses that fail in the United States is staggering. How does a business survive the two, three, five, and 10 year time horizons? Building relationships will help to empower you to feel confident about business growth. We will discuss strategies small businesses can use to safeguard and to hedge their bets, during start-up or to get past the two-year hurdle for sustainable growth. Learn how small businesses can be resurrected after stalling or losing market share. Do large companies have an advantage? Can even a small company use outsourcing? How do taxes come into all this? We will discuss how small business can compete and thrive by simply changing their thinking and developing the right relationships.

Click here for the fast paced information

COVID-19 Is An Opportunity To Press the Reset Button

Posted by presspass on
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Empowerment
COVID-19 Is An Opportunity To Press the Reset Button

The world is in a state of fear and anxiety over this virus. Rational thought has been replaced by fear which is leading to mob and hoarder mentality. The worst people are resorting to total exploitation holding toilet paper and disinfecting wipes hostage. Every media outlet is giving us minute to minute updates on the virus. Depending on what news you listen to the information is often contradictory. What we all want is some sort of stability, but we are not getting it externally. When fear and emotions are high, intelligence is low.
Most of our businesses are closed or if we are lucky, we and our staff can work from home. Social distancing, a word I never heard two weeks ago, is now a standard component of nearly every conversation. We are all going through a “Life Altering Event” at the same time. I host a weekly internet radio show on the voiceamerica.com network called “Life Altering Events.” This is what I tell my listeners in 22 countries every week, I think it applies here:
Life altering events present us with opportunities to seize the moment and make difference in our own life, the lives of our loved ones. They are a fork in the road where we have a choice. We can choose to fall apart or we can choose to find the courage, pick up the pieces, deal with our grief and start moving forward toward better times and better people. Always remember this, it is never too late to have the life you want and deserve.
So now what? Consider this, now that we are away from the daily grind of life, it is the perfect time to press the reset button and look at our business and our life. As business leaders, we are always thinking about things we can do better; about how we can improve our processes; and how we can improve our customer’s experience. Unfortunately, we never find to time to sit down and reflect on the hundreds of thoughts racing through our mind. Our staff, who is closer to the situation, can’t offer suggestions because they are overwhelmed with their day-to-day activities. Well now you have the time – so let’s use it wisely. Turn off the news walk to a park or the ocean or whatever place gives you a sense of peace. Keep a safe social distance from others, take a deep breath and reflect on these four points:
1. Why are we doing what we are doing? It is more than just making a living. What value do we bring to the world and our customers. Are we doing things the best way for our customers or what is easiest for us? Be honest.
2. How do we do what we do? Talk or email your staff. Ask them how can we make this process better, more efficient and more effective. You may be shocked to hear their ideas. They may be living with an ineffective process because “it is what it is.”
3. Empower your staff to execute their idea. When people have “skin” in the game; when their input is valued enough to implement; they will give a level of effort you never saw before. They become the expert in their area. You may even develop “The Next Practice” rather than following the old best practice that is past its prime. I was always taught if I am the smartest person in the room, then I am in the wrong room.
4. Focus on continuous improvement. Don’t be like most organizations who try to “milk” a product or solution rather than continuing to improve. When your customers and staff see that you are totally committed to improving every aspect of your business, you will become the “go to” company. Your customers and staff will not even consider an alternative because they know you are meeting their needs today and will be there with even better solutions in the future.
It doesn’t matter what industry you are in; these points are universal. The more we try to control things, the less control we actually have. Something I say every week at the end of my radio show is this:
None of us are in this alone. The secret to walking on water is knowing where the rocks are.
The rocks are out there. You can find them. We can help you. Stop obsessing about COVID-19 and press the reset button. If you do, you will hit the ground running after this crisis is over, while others will be just starting to pick up the pieces.

Creating Long Term Success

Posted by presspass on
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Empowerment
Creating Long Term Success

I have often heard many “business experts” discuss how leadership methods and business principles in one area or industry simply do not apply to another industry. They argue, “I am a non-profit, the guidelines used by ‘for profit’ companies simply do not apply.” Another one is “My industry is so unique that we have to come up with our own set of guidelines. I must respectfully disagree. While the industries or businesses differ in what they do, I have discovered Ten rules or steps or guideline or principles (call them what you want) that worked for me in turning around six different organizations.

After thirty years, I came to the realization that similarities between organizations in crisis, be it a business, an industry, a government entity, a non-profit, an education system, a church and even an athletic program are strikingly similar. All are failing but are unwilling or unable to try new approaches. All become very defense when a new person comes in and tries to initiate change. The majority of the current staff says they are open to hearing the new plan, but will not make a real effort to help execute the plan. They would rather pay lip service to the plan and stand on the sidelines and watch the new plan fail so they can say “I knew it wouldn’t work.” The bottom line for organizations in crisis is this – What you are doing and the way you are doing it is not working. That is why new people are being brought into the organization.

I had the opportunity to work with Jim McLaughlin the head coach of the women’s volleyball program at the University of Washington. This program had it “rock bottom.” They had finished last or near last in their conference for several consecutive years. The former coach had resigned two weeks before the start of a new season. The program was clearly in crisis. The athletic director was able to convince a Jim McLaughlin to take over a job that was described as “Becoming the captain of the Titanic after it hit the ice burg.” The athletic director had accomplished the first of my Ten guidelines.

1. Find the right leader

This is often easier said than done. How do you know if you have the right leader? Initially you don’t. You do your due diligence, set your goals and requirements, conduct interviews, check reference and make an informed decision. In other words you take a leap of faith.

2. The leader must clearly articulate the vision

If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll never know if you get there. Every leader must have a vision or a plan. Everyone in the organization must know that vision and make it his or her own. The more concise the vision the better. Coach McLaughlins’s vision at the University of Washington was three points

Graduate every player
Finish in the top three in the PAC-12 every year. This gives the team the opportunity to compete for the national title
Prepare players for the U.S. national team

3. The leader must inspire people to believe

People become inspired when they see a consistent positive movement. The leader must stay the course by continuously articulating the vision and pointing out the “small steps” that are occurring. Consistency in the message and the method is critical. At Washington the team was playing with passion and intensity. The fans and the team saw the improvement and started to believe.

4. The leader must clearly define what he/she wants to do and what pieces are needed to get there.

When you take over an organization one of the first steps is to take inventory of the existing staff, products, processes, procedures etc…The leader must quickly determine the strengths and weaknesses in each area and have the courage to make the changes that will continue to move the program forward.

At the Washington, a new defensive specialist was being added to college volleyball. The goal of this position is to keep the ball from hitting the floor (called a dig), which prevents the other team from scoring. Two returning players believed they had the inside track for this position. The Coach McLaughlin had recruited a freshman who won the position. The premise was simple. It we can make it more difficult for the opponent to score, we improve our chances of winning. Starting a true freshman in a critical role, was a courageous step but one that was needed to get the organization to where it needed to be.

5. The leader must select the right people and put them in the best position to succeed.

The most difficult task in turning around an organization is evaluating and or replacing the people you inherit. These people were there before the new leader arrived and obviously have some vested interest in the organizations success. Hopefully most of the inherited people will buy into the program and are willing to change. Those that change can be valuable assets. Those who refuse have to be let go. This is concept Jim Collins described in his book Good to Great. Mr. Collins described it as getting the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus. Most leaders will say the most important asset in any organization is the employees. This is not really the case. We discovered the most valuable asset is the right people. The right people understand and accept the vision. The right people are motivated and driven. The right people are both ready and able to execute. The wrong people do none of these things. The wrong people lower standards. The wrong people drive away the right people.

At Washington Jim McLaughlin had a system. He needed people at each job who were willing to accept their role (job description). He selected (recruited) people who understood that the collective contribution of like-minded people would produce a result greater than what could be achieved alone. He often passed on a more talented person if that person was more interested in his/her individual success rather than that of the organization.

6. The leader must focus on details and training.

Once the leader starts getting the right people on the bus, the next step is to make sure everyone knows not only what to do but how and most important, why to do it. Many leaders call this falling into a routine; I prefer to call it finding your stride. Consistency is now the key. Constant repetition or practice must occur. The leader at times seems like a broken record. Some people call this having a mantra. The leader must constantly preach three things:

This is what we do
This is how we do it
This is why we do what we do
At Washington this was accomplished by the mantra “There are no small things in volleyball. Everything we do is important and has a purpose.”

7. The leader must document everything; the organization must operate without key people present.

Far too many organizations rely on word of mouth or the company grapevine to establish processes and procedures. This works if your organization is small with little to no turnover and people interact with each other daily. Many companies in crisis wanted to avoid creating a bureaucracy particularly if they came from large stagnant bureaucratic organizations. For many companies I heard the term “flat organization.” We have someone in the organization who knows what to do when a situation arises. That raises the question, what if the person who knows the answer isn’t there? Does the operation stop? Do you wait for the person to return in a day or two? Having a plan as simple as an instruction manual that is reviewed frequently allows the organization to address and resolve issues quickly. In short people know what to do.

At Washington every step and procedure was detailed and documented. Little was left to chance. They created written practice plans, game plans, training plans, travel plans, meal plans, position plans, recruiting plans, official and unofficial visit plans, home visit plans etc… Every day the white board was filled with the specific plan for that day. Failure to plan is planning to fail.

8. The leader must constantly review all aspects of the operation making adjustments as needed to stay on course.

The only constant in life is change. Truly great leaders constantly evaluate themselves. Once they have a good sense of what the market is doing and what opportunities the market is offering, they must have the courage to change. A prime example is Walgreen’s. At one time food service, (soda fountain), was highly profitable. As then CEO Charles R. “Cork” Walgreen projected forward he saw no role for food service. Over five years he eliminated food service and focused on convenient locations and wide product availability. Today we find Walgreen stores at nearly every major intersection.

In 2004, Washington went to the volleyball Final Four. While they did not win, the vast majority of the team was returning the following year. Projecting forward, Coach McLaughlin made three major changes.

He replaced the staring middle blocker, a senior, with a physically gifted but very inexperienced sophomore.
He brought in an assistant coach whose specialty was coaching how to block at the net.
He moved his three time All American to a new position on the right side.

He knew his team was good enough to return to the Final Four, but unless they improved their blocking and generated more scoring from the right side they would have trouble beating Nebraska. The adjustments paid off handsomely. The young sophomore became a force at the net becoming an All American, and the team’s blocking went from a weakness to a major strength. Washington won the 2005 national championship sweeping Nebraska for the title.

9. The leader must continue to bring in people that are better than the ones already in place.

How and why do you find better people once you have achieved success? The answer is fairly basic. If you figured out how to become better, so will your competition. Many great leaders become more nervous when things are going well. As hard as it is to reach a high level of success, it is even harder to maintain. Success also brings competitors attempting to raid your top people. It is critical to continue to raise the requirements and expectations to attract more of the right people.

At Washington, the volleyball program went from last place in the PAC-10 to the Elite 8 and three consecutive Final Fours including one national championship in five years. Some of the best student athletes in the world were now interested in coming to Washington. A player from the 2001 team said to me, “The transformation of this program happened so quick it is beyond belief. Most of the girls I played with in 2001 would not make this team.

10. The leader cannot lose sight of the goal.

As a leader, the worst thing you can do is relax when your organization is doing well. At times success breeds apathy and complacency. A leader must guard against the attitude “We got to where we wanted now we can take it easy.” I will never forget what a speaker at a turnaround management conference in New Orleans once said: “We worked so hard to pull our company from the brink of disaster. We were able to convince the staff that we had the right plan and the right vision. As things started to improve, I noticed complacency had begun. The attention to detail was not as intense. We started to fall back into some bad habits. I saw it, but I guess I started to believe our own press releases and didn’t move quickly enough, and we found ourselves back in danger.”

Washington continued to have laser like focus. Over his 14 year tenure his teams reached the NCAA tournament 13 straight years, the eighth-longest active streak. In addition to a national title, Washington produced four NCAA Final Four appearances, three national players of the year, three Pacific-12 Conference titles, 17 players who combined for 34 American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America awards, nine CoSIDA Academic All-America scrolls and 58 all-Pac-12 awards.

Summary

I think we can safely say that the turnaround principles described here are not limited to for profit businesses. With the right leader, the rules can be applied to any type or size of business of organization. So if your business or organization is at a cross road give these rules a try. They are not easy. They will test and challenge you in ways you could never imagine, but in the end they work. Give me a call. I will be happy to help your where I can.

Listening and its Effect on Learning

Posted by presspass on
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Empowerment
Listening and its Effect on Learning

Listening and its Effect on Learning

Practical Enlightenment by Ariel & Shya Kane

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably spent more time in a classroom than you can remember. It’s likely that you continue to spend time in similar settings, maybe conferences, meetings, sales presentations, or the like. You’ve spent a lifetime listening to teachers, speakers, reading books and materials, and watching presentations, all in the quest for information. But do you really know what you’re doing?

We have a name for this: Learning. But do you really know an effective way to learn? Have you ever even considered the questions, “How well can I learn?” and “How can I learn better?” Despite the thousands of hours that many of us have invested in learning situations, we’ve really never learned how to learn. It was always something that we just sort of figured out on the fly.

There is an existing technology that can make a dramatic difference in how you learn. It isn’t a study method, a memory aid, or a way to read faster. The major component of this technology has a deceptively simple name and you probably think it’s something you already do. It’s called “listening.” But don’t let the name fool you. When you think you’re listening, you may be doing something completely different. I’ve learned that what I used to call “listening” is not what I mean when I use the word now.

I recently attended a business workshop given by Ariel and Shya Kane, entitled Transformation in the Workplace. As part of the seminar, we explored what it means to truly listen, to intentionally hear what is being said from the point of view of the person who is speaking. How many times do you remember sitting in a presentation or a class, engaging in a casual conversation and hearing something that gave you an idea? It happens to me a lot. I follow the thoughts to see what the new information might mean, or how I might use it. But by the time my attention returns to the speaker, I’ve become totally lost.

If the speaker says something that sounds like what I’ve previously learned, I think “I know that” to myself. Since I already know – or believe that I do – I don’t bother to really listen and hear it. And then there’s no chance for me to see that what the speaker is saying is new or different. Even if I did happen to know the facts involved, the speaker’s perspective is different from my own. If I truly listen, I can acquire a new insight into things. When I think, “I already know that,” it closes me off from hearing the truth and therefore learning. And if you hear yourself saying, “I agree” or “I disagree,” you are converting someone else’s words into something you already know. Again, you’re stopping yourself from truly hearing.

Having an agenda is another hindrance to listening. Consider a sales presentation for a product that I’ve already decided I want. I’m probably listening through my agenda, storing information to make the case that the product should be purchased. At the same time, though, I’m filtering out any information that might serve to change my mind – or at least cause me to further question my purchase. Because all information is passing through the filter of my agenda, I’m not truly listening to the speaker, and I’ve lost the opportunity to learn. This filtering process works exactly the same way when my agenda is to not purchase the product.

I also discovered that if I’m practicing what I’m about to say while someone else is speaking, I’m not listening. This is especially true when I’m about to give a planned presentation. I generally don’t remember who spoke before me, much less what they said during their talk because I was busy practicing my talk in my mind.

One final hindrance I want to mention is “feeling badly” for not listening. Punishing yourself is just one more way to avoid listening and learning, and it doesn’t accomplish anything positive. When you notice that you’re not listening, you have a choice. You can feel badly, or you can move your attention away from yourself and back onto the speaker. By choosing wisely, you are placing yourself back into a state where you’re listening and learning.

Since attending the Kanes’ course, I have discovered that listening goes far beyond just learning. It is about truly hearing what is being said, whether it’s coming from a teacher, a coworker, a supervisor, or a client. The simple act of truly listening allows a dramatic shift, a transformation in what you can accomplish in your life. I urge you to try it for yourself. Then, when someone tells you how you’ve suddenly become much more effective, productive and easy to be with, you’ll really be able to hear it.

Andrew Gideon has a Master’s Degree in Computer Science. He is the Vice President and Co–owner of TAG Online, a World Wide Web provider and software development corporation.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, podcast/radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, Germany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here podcast or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Being Here…Too, is available on Amazon.comBarnesandNoble.com and everywhere books are sold.

Books by Ariel & Shya Kane

Greener Pastures, an excerpt from Working on Yourself Doesn’t Work

Posted by Editor on
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Empowerment
Greener Pastures, an excerpt from Working on Yourself Doesn’t Work

Once we saw a goat put out to graze in a lush field. The grass was high and feeding was plentiful. But the goat wasn’t satisfied. It made a funny picture as it strained toward the field next door. Its front legs were suspended midair, dangling over the fence as it vainly reached for a tempting bit of green just out of reach. Of course the grass wasn’t any richer or higher or more succulent in the next pasture, but try telling that to the goat.

What pastures are you straining after? Most people are strenuously reaching toward what they think will make them happy or satisfied, straining toward something more, better, or different. The problem with this is that there is always something else that needs to be bought or produced in order for you to be happy or satisfied. Truthfully, in this moment, you can only have what you have. Anything you yearn for robs you of the possibility of reveling in the richness of your life.

People get so driven by where they are going that they miss their lives. You may actually be rushing ahead to finish this book, trying to answer some question or fulfill some agenda. While you are trying so hard to get something from the writing, you are not actually there for the reading.

Many of us live our lives as if we are looking through a telephoto lens on a camera. A telephoto lens focuses in on an object in the distance and excludes everything peripheral to that object. So you miss everything happening around you. Instantaneous Transformation is more like a wide-angle lens. It holds everything in focus whether it is close up or far away, and there is three-dimensionality and depth to what you see. The telephoto lens, on the other hand, makes things much more two-dimensional or fl at; you lose the depth of fi eld. When people are lost in a change modality, they feel annoyed when things “intrude” and interrupt their flow toward where they are headed. In a transformational approach, life becomes a dance of noticing what is rather than a tense experience of trying to exclude everything that does not seem on track to producing the things we think we want in the future to make us happy or fulfilled.

Working on Yourself Doesn't Work by Ariel & Shya KaneIt could be said that life is an unfolding, moment to moment, and we have preferences that frequently disagree with how life unfolds, because we are trying to get somewhere rather than be where we are. We think something better is going to come along because this isn’t it, when in fact this moment is all there is. This moment IS it.

People are so busy worrying about what they don’t have or how it is going to turn out in the future, they rarely allow themselves to really relish and enjoy the way things are right now. Life becomes a worry about what isn’t, rather than a celebration of what is. For if we, like the goat, invest our energy only in wanting what we don’t have and lusting after tantalizing goals currently out of reach, satisfaction is set aside for a mythical someday that never comes.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, in the UKGermany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books.  Their newest book, Practical Enlightenment, is now available on Amazon.com.

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