A Learning Journey

Design For How People Learn (Voices That Matter) jumped off the shelf at me when I saw this one key theme, The Learner’s Journey. See what author Julie Dirksen has to say about it in this Business901 Podcast. Julie is an independent consultant and instructional designer with more than 15 years of experience creating highly interactive e-learning experiences for clients from Fortune 500 companies and technology startups to grant-funded research initiatives. She can be found at usablelearning.com

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Turning Prospects into Customers

For almost 20 years, Craig used Trigger Event strategies to become a top sales performer at EVERY company that has hired him – including WorldCom where he was named the #1 salesperson within six months of joining the company.
Craig has co-authored the book Shift!: Harness The Trigger Events That Turn Prospects Into Customers which is as good of description I have found for what is lacking in today's selling.

Craig's promise is the delivery of unique, compelling, and highly relevant content that clearly demonstrates how to:

  • Identify the specific Trigger Events that create demand for your products or services
  • Discover which decision makers experience the Trigger Events identified
  • Close more sales by getting to decision makers who experience Trigger Events before your competition!

Craig makes a special offer in the podcast that is hard to turn down.

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Your Organization, Your Story

Your Organization was started to change the world. (Read that again). You are involved in a mission to change the world and that’s a story just about anyone wants to be a part of!  - An excerpt from The Nonprofit Narrative: How Stories Can Save the World authored by Dan Portnoy.

If you don’t believe this why are you at where you are at? If you can’t turn around and say, “I am destined to change the world.” If you can say that, why are you doing what you are doing?

If you believe the first two paragraphs, stories are simple. And as Dan puts it, “simple but not easy.” If you need a way to start, I encourage you to try out The Nonprofit Narrative: How Stories Can Save the World. The book is short, to the point and will make an impact on how you tell your organization’s story. Dan can be found at The Portnoy Media Group.

The Nonprofit Narrative: How Stories Can Save the World

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It’s the Way You Think About Work

Get a glimpse into Menlo Innovations joyful and disciplined “agile” methodologies that are the foundation on how they have built our business culture. This Business901 podcast with Menlo founder and chief Agilist, Rich Sheridan discusses the Menlo WayTM.

At this date I am sure there is only limited seating left for an action packed day (August 26th) at Lean Frontiers outstanding training facility in Indianapolis, IN.  

In this session you will learn…

  • how Menlo’s iterative design processes uncover root problems and provide a framework for adapting project requirements as needed
  • the tactile methods Menlo uses to plan project tasks, ensuring transparency with project sponsors around project cost and timeline
  • about the importance of estimation and actual in project planning
  • about what it means to remove fear from your company culture and the impact on team communication around project deadlines and more

Listen to podcast and get a small glimpse of what you might be able to enjoy on August 26th at Lean Frontiers.

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Making the Most of Your Important Conversations

Chris Ertel talks about his new book Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations That Accelerate Change in this Business901 Podcast.  Chris is an innovation and strategy consultant with years of experience advising senior executives of Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and large nonprofits.

This is one podcast I wish that I could do over. Since the interview, I have re-visited and used parts of his book it several times. I even bought the audio book to listen to on the way….to a strategic conversation.   

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Build a Power Grid of Influence and Connections

Judy Robinett takes the word “Networking” not only to a new level but re-defining it into a dynamic "power grid" of influence and connections. How to Be a Power Connector: The 5+50+100 Rule for Turning Your Business Network into Profits is an excellent book and one of my best summer reads, so far.

Judy is a business thought leader who is known as “the woman with the titanium digital Rolodex.” She has been profiled in Fast Company, Forbes, Venture Beat, Huffington Post, and Bloomberg Businessweek as a sterling example of the new breed of “super connectors” who use their experience and networks to accelerate growth and enhance profitability.

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A Scrum Drawing for Lean Marketing

Before the podcast, Design Think Your Way to Sales with Régis Lemmens,at Sales Cubes, we had a discussion about applying Service Design Thinking, Scrum and Agile to sales and marketing. The conversation turned into a discussion about this drawing on my website.

It is reflective of a Scrum sprint. Scrum is an iterative, incremental framework for project management and agile software development. The sprint is typical a two to four week process with the large loop representing the overall process and the smaller (top) loop representing a twenty-four period and the daily scrum meeting. In the Value Stream Marketing Process, I use the loops to demonstrate a higher level of intimacy with a prospect. The top loop is for existing customers to nurture an even stronger relationship. Time is not part of the process loops.

The three separate areas of the diagram will have their own Kanban board, if there are separate teams working on them, or you could visualize each as a separate swim lane. Separating these three processes apart allow you to better identify the process steps and the tools needed to facilitate the value stream flow. And, of course, using a Kanban board for this process will help you identify where the process is not working or where the bottleneck is occurring. Below is how the conversation went.

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Design Think Your Way to Sales

Could this approach actually make Sales a Noble Profession?

I had the pleasure of discussing with Régis Lemmens his new book, From Selling to Co-Creating. He is a partner at Sales Cubes, a sales management consulting firm located in Belgium, specializing in sales and key accounts management. He is a firm advocate of design thinking in business and helps organizations to apply this approach to innovate and redesign their sales processes finding new ways to add value to their customers.

Regis is a member of the team of experts at Impulse Brussels (the Bussels Enterprise Agency for starting and experienced entrepreneurs) where he serves as coach for startups to help them to develop and implement their commercial strategies. He also volunteers as a coach at the 'Startup Weekend’ events in Belgium where he helps future entrepreneurs with the development of their business ideas.

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Maximizing Your Storytelling

Dr. Nick Morgan is one of America’s top communication theorists and coaches. A passionate teacher, he is committed to helping people find clarity in their thinking and ideas – and then delivering them with panache. He has been commissioned by Fortune 50 companies to write for many CEOs and presidents. He has coached people to give Congressional testimony, to appear on the Today Show, and to take on the investment community. He has worked widely with political and educational leaders.

Nick wrote this little treasure, How to Tell Great Business Stories, which is how I happened upon him. Since then he has published a new book, Power Cues: The Subtle Science of Leading Groups, Persuading Others, and Maximizing Your Personal Impact.

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The Origins of Customer Think

Bob Thompson is founder and CEO of CustomerThink Corporation which includes being editor-in-chief of CustomerThink.com, the world’s largest online community dedicated to helping business leaders develop and implement customer-centric business strategies. In a short podcast, edited out of last weeks podcast (either Bob or I talked to long) What It Really Means To Be Customer Centric, we discussed the origins of Customer Think. Bob started this community before we were calling them communities.

Bob’s new book, Hooked On Customers: The Five Habits of Legendary Customer-Centric Companies takes a fresh look at customer-centric business management, exploring what Bob Thompson has identified as the five key organizational habits that enable any company to execute its business strategy more effectively and, ultimately, to outperform its competitors.

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What It Means To Be Customer Centric

Find out if you meet the criteria that successful customer-centric companies set. In this podcast, we explore this term and find out what it really means to be Customer Centric.  Author Bob Thompson, an international authority on customer-centric business management who has researched and shaped leading industry trends since 1998. Bob is founder and CEO of CustomerThink Corporation which includes being editor-in-chief of CustomerThink.com, the world's largest online community dedicated to helping business leaders develop and implement customer-centric business strategies.

Bob’s new book,Hooked On Customers: The Five Habits of Legendary Customer-Centric Companies takes a fresh look at customer-centric business management, exploring what Bob Thompson has identified as the five key organizational habits that enable any company to execute its business strategy more effectively and, ultimately, to outperform its competitors.

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Will Employee Experience Mimic Leadership Experience

I have always thought that the Customer Experience will mimic the Employee Experience. After this discussion with Kathy Cuff, I might take that saying one step further.

Kathy Cuff is a senior consulting partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies and co-author of LEGENDARY SERVICE: The Key is to Care. Kathy seems to have done just about every job at the joined the Blanchard Companies and help create many of the custom products for their clients.

In characteristic Blanchard style, the book is a quick and entertaining read for people at all organizational levels in every industry. When applied, its lessons will have a profound impact on the service experience your customers will receive. Whether a CEO or a part-time employee, every person can make a difference-- and customer service is everyone's job.

Enjoy the podcast as we had a great discussion on “customer service.”

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