Monday, 21 September 2015
Thursday, 30 July 2015
Its Roots Run Deep
A year ago I made the big move from Toronto to Cambridge – part of the Kitchener-Waterloo region located an hour away from Toronto. It’s a beautiful part of the world removed from the gridlocked hustle and bustle of its big city neighbour. But what’s most interesting to me is that while the Kitchener-Waterloo region, also known as the Tri-Cities region, has become a global hotspot for entrepreneurship, it has much less to do with Blackberry than you might think.
Monday, 27 July 2015
Recently, I've been helping a startup position their new software product. It occurred to me that most of us are startups one way or the other. We're all trying to find a position to start a conversation or promote a product or a perspective. But what does the word 'position' really mean, and why do so many business startups fail to position their product or service at all?
Tuesday, 16 June 2015
Sunday, 31 May 2015
- Dan Heath
It's time to reach out to the people who know your organization best
Monday, 27 April 2015
Monday, 23 March 2015
Everyone wants to make good decisions. So why don't we make more of them more of the time?
The reason, of course, is that we’re human. But that’s not a very helpful answer, is it? If we want to be better decision-makers, we need to go a little deeper and try to discover the why behind the what. What’s the root cause behind so many of our poor decisions?
Tuesday, 23 December 2014
When I studied screenwriting a decade ago, one of the most important concepts I learned was specificity. When writing a story, push hard for the telling detail, said my teacher, the incomparable Nika Rylski. Don't say it is a late model sedan. Say it is a midnight blue Lexus with a broken right headlight. Don't tell us it's a Sunday. Let us feel the Sunday morning drizzle.
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
The art of being vulnerable
Leadership isn't just about being open to employees’ thoughts and insights and ideas. It’s about giving your employees permission to be open as well. But if leaders don't open up and show their vulnerability first, it's highly unlikely employees will take the risk. As a result, leaders won't get what they really need from their employees: actionable feedback.
Tuesday, 7 October 2014
Wednesday, 24 September 2014
[This post appeared yesterday on the APQC blog.]
CEOs are the racehorses of the business world. They move fast, they’re accustomed to finishing first, and they often wear blinders to avoid distractions and stay focused. And that may be a problem because today’s CEOs face a wider and deeper set of challenges than ever before.
Friday, 12 September 2014
Wednesday, 3 September 2014
Thursday, 21 August 2014
Friday, 25 July 2014
(And why thought leadership is like barbecue sauce)
In Part 1 of this post, I suggested that maybe it was time for marketers to get back to basics. CEOs certainly feel that way, as a survey by the Fournaise Marketing Group revealed:
Saturday, 28 June 2014
Monday, 26 May 2014
Thursday, 15 May 2014
Thursday, 27 March 2014
|Courtesy, Library of Congress|
Abraham Lincoln is not known as a great writer. He is known as one of America’s greatest presidents. Yet he penned one of the most memorable pieces of writing in history: the Gettysburg Address. He loved writing and understood its power to provoke and inspire and create change.
Friday, 10 January 2014
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Monday, 28 October 2013
If you’re a woman entrepreneur, your time is now.
In of this two-part post, I talked to and about the challenges facing women entrepreneurs. Female tech entrepreneurs, in particular, are few and far between, and they get funded far less often than men. Part of the reason is that angel investors and venture capitalists are predominantly male (85 per cent and 95 per cent, respectively) so they tend to relate better to male than female entrepreneurs. There is clear evidence that a subtle is at work in the VC industry.
Wednesday, 23 October 2013
My thanks go out to Andrea Guendelman and Fran Maier for taking the time to share their thoughts on an important subject: women entrepreneurs and startups. Here is the first of two articles I wrote as a result:
Building a business is never easy, but do women entrepreneurs have an extra hurdle to overcome?
"Only 8 per cent of venture backed companies are women-owned. Only 11 per cent of venture capital partners are female. Only 15 per cent of angel investors are female."
Monday, 21 October 2013
I wrote the following on my website and also my LinkedIn page and felt it was important enough to reiterate it here.
Story = Value
The old ways of advertising and selling are disappearing fast. Today, selling is all about telling the customer's story, not the seller's. Relevant, useful, findable content has replaced glitter and gloss because the only thing more relevant to the customer than money is WIIFM -- What's in it for me?
Saturday, 5 October 2013
"It's the narrative, stupid"
"Despite Steve Job's aversion to selling by PowerPoint, pitch decks have become the preferred option, and for early stage startups, narrative is more important than hard data. Identifying a secular trend is the key. Maybe it's the Zuckerberg effect."
In Silicon Valley, for example, most venture capitalists (and entrepreneurs) have foregone the bulky Business Plan in favour of a short PowerPoint (pitch deck) plus an Executive Summary, plus a pro forma, that lets them understand the entrepreneur's business proposition, market size, goals, direction and management team in just a few moments (VCs are very busy people). Despite Steve Job's aversion to selling by PowerPoint, pitch decks have become the preferred option, and for early stage startups, narrative is more important than hard data. Identifying a secular trend is the key. Maybe it's the Zuckerberg effect.
Sunday, 29 September 2013
Ever wondered if your business plans are as compelling and persuasive as they could be? For many top executives and entrepreneurs, a business plan is the most important document they will ever write, because the future of a company or product is at stake and once in a lifetime monetary gain often rides on the outcome. Yet business plans are seldom written as persuasively as they could be.
Saturday, 10 August 2013
When interviewed by the Harvard Business Review a while ago, the interviewer asked media mogul Peter Guber a very pertinent question: