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Commanding Business

The challenge with growth is that the habits that got you here become the limitations that prevent you from getting there. Growth not only requires us to learn new habits. It requires that we unlearn old ones. I’m Tim Hamilton, CEO of Praxent and host of the Commanding Business podcast. Each week, I interview authors, experts and real world leaders about how they grew their teams, their organizations and ultimately themselves. From leadership to management and marketing to innovation, we’ll cover a variety of topics with an aim to uncover actionable takeaways you can implement in your own organization today.
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Jan 18, 2017

Band-aid strategies for pleasing customers isn’t enough to differentiate your business—it needs to be designed for service from the ground up.

In today's interview with Patricia O’Connell we discover the importance of service design in businesses that compete today. Patricia shares her journey of discovery in the field of service design and the inspiration behind Woo, Wow, and Win, a guide to service design, strategy, and the art of customer delight. Patricia currently serves as the President of Aerten Consulting, in New York City.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:03] As a journalist transitioning from print to web, Patricia found service design thinking a necessity.

[4:30] The big idea behind Woo, Wow, and Win.

[7:12] The importance of co-creation.

[9:40] The 5 Principles of service design.

● The customer is always right, provided they are the right customer for you.

● Don’t surprise and delight your customers, just delight them.

● Heroics should not be required for good service.

● Anywhere you play, you have to play well.

● You’re never done.

[28:22] The 10 E’s of Customer Experience.

[31:49] Patricia can be found on Woowowwin.com

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Woo, Wow, and Win: Service Design, Strategy, and the Art of Customer Delight, by
Thomas A Stewart and Patricia O'Connell

Woo Wow Win

@Woowowwin on Twitter

Praxent

@PraxentSoftware on Twitter

Jan 11, 2017

Woo, Wow, and Win reveals the importance of designing your company around service, and offers clear, practical strategies based on the idea that the design of services is markedly different than manufacturing.

Most companies, both digital and brick-and-mortar, B2B or B2C; are not designed for service—to provide an experience that matches a customer’s expectations with every interaction and serves the company’s needs.

When customers have more choices than ever before, study after study reveals that it’s the experience that makes the difference. To provide great experiences that keep customers coming back, businesses must design their services with as much care as their products.

Tune in for our interview with Tom Stewart, an authority on intellectual capital and knowledge management, and an influential thought leader on global management issues and ideas.

 

Key Takeaways:

[02:04] Service design is the most important management discipline you haven’t heard of.

[3:56] Services are experiences, and therefore open to user interpretation.

[6:45] It's harder to produce planned outcomes with services.

[11:36] Starbucks is a beautiful example of service design, from start to finish.

[16:06] The four design archetypes:

  • The Trend-Setter
  • The Classic
  • The Old Shoe
  • The Bargain

[19:58] Design your business around customer emotion.

[25:33] Critical moments can make or break your customer relationships.

[30:06] Providing an omnichannel experience is hard.

[32:50] A big city hospital designs the patient experience.

[35:16] Growth is the great enemy of strategy.

[38:38] How to learn more about Thomas Stewart or Woo, Wow, and Win.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Woo, Wow, and Win: Service Design, Strategy, and the Art of Customer Delight, by
Thomas A Stewart and Patricia O'Connell

Tom Stewart on LinkedIn

Tom Stewart on Twitter

Praxent

@PraxentSoftware on Twitter

Dec 28, 2016

Service design thinking is the designing and marketing of services that improve the customer experience, and the interactions between the service providers and the customers. We interview Marc Stickdorn, consultant, speaker and author of This Is Service Design Thinking. 

Key Takeaways:

[1:03] The big idea behind This Is Service Design Thinking.

[3:47] How the linear approach can waste two years of your life.

[8:01] Silos make an organization easy to manage, but this creates friction.

[11:10] The classic trap of change management.

[12:43] Adapt the process to the existing culture in small increments.

[16:20] Fail early. Fail safe. Fail cheap.

[17:54] Effective ways of prototyping and market testing.

[24:45] A “Service Safari” requires management to use their product and sell it.

[26:41] Becoming a customer-centric organization.

[28:21] This Is Service Design Doing is a more experienced approach to integrating service design.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

More Than Metrics

This is Service Design Thinking, by Marc Stickdorn

This is Service Design Doing, by Marc Stickdorn

Praxent

@PraxentSoftware on Twitter

Dec 21, 2016

In The Customer Funded Business, best-selling author John Mullins uncovers five novel approaches that scrappy and innovative 21st century entrepreneurs working in companies large and small have ingeniously adapted from their predecessors like Dell, Gates, and the Zieglers. John Mullins is an Associate Professor of Management Practice at the London Business School and a worldwide speaker and educator. He is a regularly published author at Harvard Business Review and MIT Sloan Management Review.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:05] The big idea behind The Customer-Funded Business book.

[3:30] Raising capital is a huge distraction. There is a better way.

[6:57] Does Venture Capital funding ever make sense?

[9:55] Three out of four VC-funded companies fail to return the capital that goes into them.

[12:26] The pay-in-advance and subscription models allow entrepreneurs to collect a customer’s money before delivering the product.

[16:54] The scarcity-based model uses a limited time offer to lure an immediate purchase.

[23:49] The key to a successful service-to-product model is segregating the two offerings.

[30:40] Airbnb is a good example of the Matchmaker model.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Customer-Funded Business: Start, Finance, or Grow Your Business with Your Customers' Cash, by John Mullins, Ph.D.

How to Finance and Grow Your Startup Without VC

Built to Sell

Praxent

@PraxentSoftware on Twitter

Nov 30, 2016

Keith Casey is co-author of A Practical Approach to API design: From Principles to Practice. Former Developer Evangelist at Twilio, his current work with Okta focuses on identity and authentication APIs. Keith is a software engineer focusing on creating open architecture, specifically APIs. His goal is to get good technology into the hands of good people to do great things.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:43] Keith Casey describes APIs from a business perspective.

[5:04] Why would a business adopt an API strategy?

[7:01] Twilio eliminates the need for a carrier contract and provides enterprises with immediate cost structure.

[10:03] Zapier captures an event and then sends the information to another system.

[12:48] Jeff Bezos’ memo ensured APIs would be part of Amazon’s future.

[19:23] Salesforce and their development community built APIs to integrate with other systems and platforms.

[21:45] The concept of API-First gives users a toolbox instead of a finished product.

[25:45] Security implications shouldn’t keep a business from designing an API strategy.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

The API Design Book

Casey Software

@Caseysoftware on Twitter

Praxent

@PraxentSoftware on Twitter

 

Nov 23, 2016

Journalist, author, and speaker, Karen Dillon is a former editor of Harvard Business Review Magazine, and the former Deputy Editor of Inc. Magazine. She recently co-authored Competing Against Luck with Clay Christensen. 

Using the Jobs to Be Done framework, Karen Dillon and her co-authors help businesses understand what causes customers to "hire" a product or service. With that understanding, a business can improve its innovation track record, creating products that customers really want. Jobs theory offers new hope for growth to companies frustrated by their hit and miss efforts

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:11] Karen Dillon defines Clay Christensen's Theory of Disruption using a real-world example.

[8:02] Can an incumbent company’s actions be predicted when faced with a threat from an entry-level rival?

[15:57] Karen explains why "likelihood to purchase" is still so unpredictable, even with today's plethora of customer knowledge and data gathering tools.

[19:42] Customers make choices based on the Jobs to Be Done in their lives.

[21:08] Karen Dillon outlines three dimensions of the Jobs to Be Done framework.

[27:03] Trigger events often occur before a customer makes an actual decision to buy.

[34:39] The Jobs to Be Done Interview is used to identify a customer’s trigger event.

[40:58] Karen Dillon provides a tip for marketers who sell business-to-business.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Competing Against Luck

Jobs to Be Done

Karen Dillon

@KarDillon on Twitter

@ClayChristensen on Twitter

Praxent

@PraxentSoftware on Twitter

Nov 16, 2016

David Hubbard is a Revenue Growth Expert and CEO of Marketing Outfield. He works with private and public companies to strategically align sales, marketing, and product development efforts and grow annual revenues by 25-50%. He creates growth machines by integrating a company’s core values into the customer decision-making process.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:14] Many companies struggle to find alignment between the three revenue-producing functions of product management, product marketing, and sales.

[3:31] When companies struggle with alignment, the customer experiences mixed messages in the purchasing decision-making process.

[9:11] Technology is causing marketing efforts to be more complicated than ever before.

[11:42] Make the most of sales and marketing efforts through integration.

[17:28] Align systems to create a growth machine.

[24:00] Focus on the core value of the company.

[25:33] Making a product successful in the marketplace is the greatest cost a company has.

[28:09] Pressure can force entrepreneurs to do things faster than they should be done.

[31:00] A good product manager is the most important thing you can have in your business.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

@MOutfield - David Hubbard on Twitter

David Hubbard on LinkedIn

Praxent

@PraxentSoftware on Twitter

Nov 9, 2016

Jim Kalbach is a noted author, speaker, and instructor in user experience design, information architecture, and strategy. He is currently the Head of Consulting and Education with MURAL, a leading online whiteboard for digital collaboration. Previously, Jim has worked with large companies, such as Audi, SONY, Elsevier Science, Lexis Nexis, Citrix, and eBay, among others. Jim Kalbach authored #1 Amazon Business Development Bestseller, Mapping Experiences: A Guide to Creating Value Through Journeys, Blueprints, and Diagrams.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:05] Jim Kalbach never worried about what title was on his business card. His focus is on facilitating big-picture, strategic conversations.

[3:36] Jim marries the idea of design information architecture with visualizing strategy in Chapter Three of Mapping Experiences.

[5:46] Customer-centric thinking is a fundamental shift in the way business gets done.

[8:54] Business leaders can use customer journey mapping, or experience mapping, to create a visualization.

[11:04] Blue Ocean Strategy gets to the core of why an organization exists, and what value they are creating.

[16:35] Organizations must look at strategy as a creative endeavour.

[23:36] Unpacking Clayton Christensen's Jobs to Be Done framework.

[29:16] Jim Kalbach’s view of Jobs to Be Done has six dimensions and goes well beyond task analysis.

[34:03] With business strategy, deciding what you're not going to do is as important as deciding what you are going to do.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Mapping Experiences: A Guide to Creating Value Through Journeys, Blueprints, and Diagrams, by Jim Kalbach

Experiencing Information

@jimkalbach on Twitter

Praxent

@PraxentSoftware on Twitter

Oct 26, 2016

Author of the NYT and WSJ bestseller, Flash Foresight, Daniel Burrus is a leading futurist in global trends and innovation. A leading consultant to Google, Proctor & Gamble, IBM, and many other Fortune 500 firms, Daniel Burrus provides strategic advice for predicting forthcoming market innovators and anticipating disruptions before they disrupt. His Anticipatory Organization Model uses the key components of hard and soft trends to identify transformative, pre-active solutions.

Key Takeaways:

[1:33] To see the invisible and do the impossible, you must start with certainty.

[7:02] How a forecaster can separate hard trends from soft trends.

[9:45] The three categories of hard trends:

● Technology

● Demographics

● Government Regulations

[19:24] Examples of how soft trends can be influenced and manipulated.

[22:41] The anticipatory organization must be agile.

[25:28] Amazon is using anticipatory techniques along with hard and soft trends to create a new experience for their customers.

[29:25] The key is to be pre-active to future known events.

[30:48] The next four years will include the transformation of every business market.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Daniel Burrus

@DanielBurrus on Twitter

Daniel Burrus on LinkedIn

Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible

Praxent

@PraxentSoftware on Twitter

Oct 19, 2016

Author of six books, with a seventh in the works, Bill Halal is a Professor Emeritus of Management, Technology and Innovation at George Washington University. As the President of TechCast, Bill Halal and his team study the impact of artificial intelligence, the age of knowledge as compared to the age of consciousness, and future forecasting with a goal of simplifying change at the meso-economic level.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:09] TechCast is a collective intelligence system that collects background data on emerging technologies, social trends, and wildcards.

[2:56] TechCast has forecasted that 30% of routine knowledge work will be automated by 2025.

[9:08] Bill Halal explains the Age of Consciousness, a great frontier to be explored.

[11:59] In the future, the corporation will be redefined as the focus of making money becomes obsolete.

[15:39] The future of organizations is one of small, self-contained enterprises.

[19:39] A stable economic system less prone to booms and bust is a possibility of the future.

[21:00] Universally guaranteed income may allow people's innate goals and interests to emerge.   

[24:56] How can managers use forecasts to navigate a meso-economy?

[27:34] Traditional corporate accounting systems do not include social impacts.

[29:00] A successful corporation needs a committed labor force.

[30:36] US corporate leaders need a transformation from their single-minded focus on money.

[34:40] Find out more about Dr. Bill Halal. 

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Bill Halal

Bill Halal Books

TechCast Global

Conscious Capitalism

Praxent

@PraxentSoftware on Twitter

Oct 12, 2016

Best-selling author of three customer service books, John DiJulius shares how a company can make their customer service approach and their customer experience their single biggest competitive advantage. Training is the #1 factor in an employee’s ability to recognize and deliver world class customer service. In order to extract the gifts of a millennial workforce, an organization must include them in the corporate purpose.   

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:32] Is it possible for a business to make price irrelevant, by competing in experience wars?

[7:36] A real business example of how Lexus breeds customer loyalty by reducing a ‘grudge by’ factor.

[10:24] How to reinforce the customer service vision statement using the 3 pillars:

● Quality

● Customer Interaction

● Going above and beyond.

[13:03] The Starbucks example — A customer service vision statement must be MOAT:

Measurable

Observable

Actionable

Trainable

[16:49] The currency for millennials is purpose.

[17:57] E-commerce giants give us whatever we want instantly.

[22:34] How to measure the service aptitude of a company.

[27:55] Training is the only way a business can proactively shape an employee to increase their awareness of what a world class customer experience is.

[30:55] The always and never list.

[34:39] The secret service component is the ability to collect customer intelligence and utilize it to personalize their experience.

[35:30] How FORD represents the most important things to the person you are serving:

Family

Occupation

Recreation

Dreams

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

The DiJulius Group

The Customer Service Revolution

Praxent

@PraxentSoftware on Twitter

Sep 28, 2016

New York Times bestselling author and applied neuroscience expert Christine Comaford knows what it takes to move people from the Critter State into the Smart State, where they have full access to their own creativity, innovation, higher consAciousness, and emotional engagement. When an entire culture maintains that state, it becomes what she calls a SmartTribe. Focused. Accountable. Collaborative. Imbued with the energy and passion to solve problems and do what needs doing, again and again and again. Today, Christine Comaford unpacks those ideas for us, offering practical tools for business leaders and managers.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:53] Christine Comaford shares the big idea behind the predictability of building a company.

[3:09] Leaders should assist employees in moving from the critter state to their smart state.

[6:55] Christine outlines key questions for creating an Outcome Frame:

● What would you like?

● What will having that do for you?

● How will you know when you have it?

● What of value might you risk or lose?

● What are your next steps?

[17:24] The Outcome Frame helps leaders teach others to arrive at insights and aspiration.

[19:40] Advocacy shows a lack of trust in an organization. Leadership development is much more effective in the long run.

[23:07] Christine explains how to deal with conflict via the Feedback Frame:

● What’s working is…

● What I would like to see more of is...

[30:48] Christine outlines a tool for helping teams operate in their smart state by focusing on high-value activities, as opposed to low-value activities.

[41:02] Revenue inflection revolves around people, money, and business model. Christine describes the characteristics that are present at each major level of company growth.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Smart Tribes Book

Smart Tribes Institute

Praxent

Sep 21, 2016

Tim’s guest, David Evans, is one of the world’s leading authorities on multisided platform-based businesses. Many of the most dynamic public companies, from Alibaba to Facebook to Visa, and the most valuable start-ups, such as Airbnb and Uber, are matchmakers that connect one group of customers with another group of customers. Don’t let the flashy successes fool you, though. Starting a matchmaker is one of the toughest business challenges, and almost everyone who tries to build one, fails. In today's episode, David Evans explains how matchmakers work best in practice, why they do what they do, and how entrepreneurs can improve their chances for success.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:03] The 3 big ideas behind the book Matchmakers.

[3:15] David Evans describes three scenarios for overcoming the critical mass challenge that platform entrepreneurs face.

[8:01] Scenario three requires pre-commitment from one side of the match to encourage investments into the platform. David gives an example from the video game industry.

[11:37] The crux of the platform-based business is that there's reluctance on both sides of the platform, and entrepreneurs have to overcome that reluctance.

[14:09] David Evans describes how Apple used the self-supply strategy model to gain commitment and users.

[20:20] Developing the right pricing model is crucial to a successful matchmaker business. David Evans offers some pointers.

[24:37] David Evans offers a description of the history and future of the payment card industry, which all started with Diner’s Club.

[36:50] Using mobile devices and payment platforms to move money can transform economies in developing countries.

[42:38] Why haven't mobile devices and payment platforms taken off in the United States? Friction must exist and be big enough to make consumers change habits and adopt new technologies.

[47:25] How to best connect with David Evans and gain additional insights on Matchmaker businesses.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Matchmaker Economics

Praxent

Sep 14, 2016

The smartest, most successful companies are using radically new membership models, subscription-based formats, and freemium pricing structures to grow their customer base―and explode their market valuation―in the most disruptive shift in business since the Industrial Revolution. Today's guest, Robbie Baxter, unpacks The Membership Economy: Find Your Super Users, Master the Forever Transaction and Build Recurring Revenue.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:09] The big idea behind the membership economy.

[2:47] Cost certainty is part of the appeal to subscribers of membership-based organizations.

[8:18] Robbie Baxter unpacks three components within the membership economy: suspension, community, and loyalty.

[16:02] Businesses who adopt the membership economy business concept experience major benefits, including recurring revenue.

[22:27] Incumbent businesses in classically organized industries can adapt to the membership economy by focusing on and building off of the mission of their members.

[30:42] Robbie Baxter explains how a manicure business demonstrates the difference between fixed cost and incremental cost and why this matters in the membership economy.

[36:24] How to best Contact Robbie at Peninsula Strategies and read The Membership Economy.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Peninsula Strategies

The Membership Economy

@robbiebax on Twitter

Praxent

Sep 6, 2016

Today’s guest, Jay Harman is the CEO of PAX Scientific and author of The Shark’s Paintbrush. In The Shark's Paintbrush, Harman introduces us to pioneering engineers in a wide array of businesses who are uncovering and copying nature’s hidden marvels. He shows business leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs how we can reconcile creating more powerful, lucrative technologies with maximizing sustainability. Jay Harman injects a whole new vocabulary and way of thinking into the business sphere that speaks to both small start-ups and corporate giants.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:14] Biomimicry looks to nature to determine how nature has solved a problem humans are facing.

[2:48] Jay Harman designed a boat based on the “using the least to get the most” techniques used by nature.

[7:23] Examples of breakthrough innovations that are fundamental game-changers.

[16:59] PAX Scientific projects may allow for energy savings of up to 50%, meaning we may be able to reverse the negative effects of climatic change.

[20:40] The opportunities to optimize the energy requirements of automotives are endless.

[22:57] Reverse engineering a frozen whirlpool allows for an inventory of variables to study.    

[26:16] How to best reach Jay Harman.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Praxent

PAX Scientific

PAX Water

The Shark’s Paintbrush

Aug 30, 2016

Sangeet Paul Choudary is co-chair of the MIT Platform Strategy Summit, an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD business school, and author of Platform Revolution and Platform Scale. In this podcast episode, Sangeet Choudary defines the concepts and drivers behind the platform business model, including the three trends that gave rise to this type of business entity. He also explains why he created the metaphor of the shift and how intelligent central platform businesses re-circulate learned data to create more efficient markets for the future.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:07] Sangeet Choudary contrasts the platform business model with the pipeline business model. 

[5:59] Apple and Android versus Nokia and Blackberry―an example of the shift.

[10:28] Intelligent platform markets encapsulate the flow between the producers and the consumers.

[13:54] Not all platforms are benevolent, but they should be.

[17:50] Sangeet describes three trends that have given rise to this new type of economic entity. 

[21:32] Platform opportunities differ by market structure, consumer division and new forms of production.   

[31:17] Sangeet describes the network effect―a phenomenon where the utility of a system increases its value as it is used by more people.

[34:37] Learn more about the platform business model discussed in this podcast.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Praxent

@praxentsoftware on Twitter

Platform Ed

Platform Scale

Platform Revolution

Sangeet Paul Choudary on Youtube

Aug 23, 2016

Jack Daly is a worldwide expert on sales and growing sales. He has built six companies into national firms, is an Amazon bestselling author of Hyper Sales Growth, and has completed 15 Iron Man competitions in eight countries. Jack Daly's proven methodologies focus on people driving the business. On this episode, Jack speaks with Tim on how to build an invincible sales organization, the four legs to a strong culture and the ‘hire slowly, fire quickly’ technique.

 

Key Takeaways:

[3:45] Eliminate everything from your calendar, except for High Payoff Activities. 

[8:02] Sales are created by human relationships.

[16:56] To build an invincible sales organization, put people first.

[20:04] What are the four legs of a strong culture?

[24:37] Invest in explaining the long-term strategies of the company with new hires.

[29:36] Hire slowly, fire quickly.

[33:13] How does implementing the firing quickly method impact other team members?

[36:02] Recruit as a process, not as an event.

[47:14] Is it wise to turn a rock star salesperson into a sales manager? 

[52:06] How to best contact Jack Daly.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Jack Daly

Hyper Sales Growth

The EMyth Revisited

Praxent

Praxent on Twitter

Aug 16, 2016

Marshall Van Alstyne is a Professor at Boston University and a Digital Fellow at MIT. He co-authored Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming The Economy And How To Make Them Work For You, and is a father of the theory of two-sided markets. Marshall joins Tim today to discuss how cutting-edge businesses are built on platforms: two-sided markets that are revolutionizing the way we do business. Tune in as they dig deep into the brilliant future of platforms, revealing how they will irrevocably alter the lives and careers of millions.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:06] Marshall Van Alstyne explains how the rules that managers use to navigate the competitive landscape are changing from a Porter, 5 Forces way of thinking about the world to a Peter Drucker way of thinking about the world.

[1:26] In a platform business, the mindset shifts from managing a product to managing a community.

[10:21] How to create a market, value and wealth from an area in which there are spare capacity and resources.

[13:19] What is the macroeconomic impact of platform driven markets?

[18:48] The launch problem is made easier by borrowing existing users from another platform, or by seeding the market.    

[22:48] It’s easier to add a technology to a community than it is to add a community to a technology.

[26:37] Thoughts on how business schools are teaching management practices today, and how it should be taught in the future.

[32:05] Tips to use as guidelines for managers who want to leverage their external resources.   

[37:28] Contact information for Marshall Van Alstyne.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Platform Revolution

@InfoEcon on Twitter

Praxent

Praxent on Twitter

Aug 9, 2016

Today’s guest is the multi-faceted and uniquely talented Adam Richardson. He is the author of the book Innovation X: Why a Company’s Toughest Problems Are Its Greatest Advantage, and is a contributing writer for the Harvard Business Review. Adam was formerly a design lead at Frog Design focusing on strategy and user research practices and today, he works as a product manager at Financial Engines. He shares his insights on how companies can continually bring innovation to the market, start solving ‘wicked’ problems and truly understand the customer experience.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:14] There are common problems within certain business segments. If your company is able to solve the problems you have the advantage.

[5:44] Instead of attempting to solve problems with a purely internal, operations perspective, bring in an external, customer-oriented perspective for a balanced solution.

[11:48] A wicked problem is a type of problem that is very systemic in nature. You know there is a problem, but the fundamental challenge is trying to figure out what the problem actually is.

[12:26] To understand wicked problems you need to first start forming solutions.  It's an iterative process where your understanding of the problem develops as you come up with initial solutions.

[15:35] Ethnographic research is working with a small number of customers in an intimate, emotional way.

[23:08] How can leaders adopt the challenge of the unknown to solve wicked problems?

[27:37] ‘Design Thinking’ is neither universal among designers nor exclusive to them.

[38:11] Leaders have to manage internal and external communications, and reinforce the company’s vision.

[40:54] Customer journey mapping is one of the most powerful tools a company can use.

[45:44] Relinquish some control in order to provide the customer a unique experience.

[50:06] Contact information for Adam Richardson

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Adam Richardson

@richardsona on Twitter

Frog Design

Financial Engines

Jobs to Be Done

NPR One

Praxent

Praxent on Twitter

Aug 2, 2016

Geoffrey Parker is a Professor of Engineering at the Thayer School at Dartmouth College, where he also serves as the Director of the Master of Engineering Management Program. In this podcast, he joins Tim to discuss his recent book, The Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming The Economy And How to Make Them Work for You. He also offers insights to business leaders who may be in the process of transitioning their existing data, from an informational intercompany resource into a new product offering or service.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:38] Geoff Parker defines a platform.

[5:38] A real life business example of how Marriott International controls every aspect of the customer experience vs. Airbnb who controls very little.

[10:00] The platform is part of a longer arc, which started with global outsourcing.

[15:30] Industries with regulations and high failure cost will be disrupted first and it will affect their end markets. 

[24:52] How does the globalization movement affect local economies? 

[27:22] How can leaders mitigate risk through this transitional period and should they develop their own platform strategies?

[33:07] Incumbent firms have an opportunity to repackage and repurpose their existing data into new products and services.

[39:31] How to best connect with Geoff Parker and join the Platform Revolution community.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

The Platform Revolution

The Platform Strategy Institute

Praxent

Jul 5, 2016

This is Mike Michalowicz’s second visit on the Commanding Business podcast. During this episode, we announce the release of and have an in-depth conversation about his new book, Surge: Time the Marketplace, Ride the Wave of Consumer Demand and Become your Industry’s Big Kahuna. Mike describes why companies who want to succeed need to commit to a niche and then master it to attract customers, why a general practitioner doesn’t experience the same surge as a specialist and why he vows to eradicate entrepreneurial poverty.     

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:00] A reader’s question led Mike to write a book to help businesses find explosive growth by correctly timing the market.

[3:55] Mike describes the process of selecting a narrow niche and identifying its potential.

[4:29] In his personal mission to eradicate entrepreneurial poverty, Mike identified bookkeeping as the niche with the most potential.

[6:16] How to overcome a scarcity mentality when picking a focus.

[10:39] S is for Separate. When clients are selective they are invested in the outcome. 

[19:25] U is for Unify. What movement does a business need to unify their offering? 

[24:33] R is for Rally Cry. A reason or purpose to defend yourself and your product.

[28:37] G is for Gather. Evaluating what is working and what is not working through observation.

[34:49] E is for Expansion. Find what is working and duplicate it in complementary niches.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Mike Michalowicz

Mike Motorbike

Surge: Time the Marketplace, Ride the Wave of Consumer Demand and Become your Industry’s Big Kahuna

Praxent

Jun 28, 2016

After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy at the top of his class, David Marquet was asked to become the Captain of a nuclear-powered attack submarine. One year later, Captain Marquet was given an opportunity to lead a different submarine, one which had the worst performance record in the fleet. It was on that ship Captain Marquet realized the leader-follower environment was inadequate for his organization to perform at a top level. He shares his story with us today and takes us through the journey which is documented in his book, Turn the Ship Around, a book USA Today has named one of the Top 10 Business Books of all time.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:30] Captain Marquet describes his leadership experience on the worst performing submarine in the Navy, at the time.

[7:24] How did eliminating the task and report policy help to turn the ship around?

[14:14] What are the rituals, habits and protocols of all organizations?

[18:03] What is wrong with being told to “Be Empowered”?

[22:20] Defining businesses in a two-dimensional space and why your team should function diagonally.

[28:50] Ask your people “What is the timeframe you want to win over?”

[34:21] Giving up control in very small steps and evaluating the outcome is the first step to implementing Captain Marquet’s practices.

[39:38] Give people permission to give you feedback about your performance.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Captain David Marquet

Turn the Ship Around

Jun 17, 2016

Today’s guest, Danny Gutknecht is an expert in all things, talent. He is CEO of the HR Management company, Pathways and is the author of a new book - Essence: Meaning at Work. He shares his model of Essence mining, a way for companies to uncover key information used to drive higher productivity, collaboration, and innovation within their organizations. In addition, he defines organizational meaning language and gives real world business examples of how to incorporate aspirations, beliefs, and values into core principles and goals.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:05] Find out how to build cohesive, productive teams if you understand your organizational meaning language.

[7:09] There are 3 consistent themes shared throughout organizations: aspirations, beliefs and values.

[10:17] So, is it still important to post a company’s mission statement and values for all to see?

[15:40] What is an Organizational Dynamic Lingua Franca and how does it apply to business today?

[23:17] A structured natural conversation is the best way to get to the “meaning language” and the passion with an organization.

[28:29] The connection of meaning shows that meaning can be pulled out as a separate entity.

[36:24] Contact information for Danny Gutknecht and how to pre-order his book, Essence: Meaning at Work.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Essence Mining

Essence: Meaning at Work

Pathways

Human Fugue

Jun 10, 2016

Bijoy Goswami joins Tim to discuss his ideas on bootstrapping as an entrepreneur, the Human Fugue philosophy and his book The Human Fabric: Unleashing the Power of Core Energy in Everyone. Bijoy helps entrepreneurial companies in Austin, Texas, to grow into what they want to become by creating communities, like Bootstrap Austin, which take on a life of their own after members advocate for their continuation. Tune in to hear about Bijoy’s ideas on processes and how they are ever evolving and improving.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:19] Bijoy shares his journey and how Bootstrap Austin evolved into a community.

[10:13] Comparing a Steve Jobs quote to Bijoy’s methodology.

[13:23] What are The Four Houses of the Human Fugue? 

[25:22] An authority based system of resource allocation doesn’t work.

[29:40] When we ask “What’s the meaning of life?” we have already misunderstood the word "meaning."

[36:24] The U.S. as a society tends to process things in the third house, which leads to incredible outcomes.

[41:08] How does value get created?

[42:25] What differentiates the Maestro personality from the Practitioner and the Steward?

[46:57] Models are fundamental to being human.

[50:07] The fourth house is about finding models to fit you better by discarding other models that aren’t relevant for you.

[53:33] The 3-step process for meaning is the next step of the human journey.

[58:02] Contact information for Bijoy and links to the projects discussed during the podcast. 

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Praxent

Bijoy Goswami

Human Fugue

Bootstrap Austin

The Human Fabric

Mar 15, 2016

Tim’s guest, Mark Moses, has had two ultra-successful businesses, starting his first at the tender age of 19. He is a long-time entrepreneur who is now coaching CEOs from all over the globe. He says, creating specific measurable results based on your company’s vision is the first and simplest step for an effective leader to take. According to Mark, putting the right people in the right positions will assist in driving business growth. If you follow the guidelines of his book, Making Big Happen, you too can create a billion dollar business.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:11] Mark decided to jump into the mortgage business after his student painter business took off.

[3:16] The theme of the book is how to live, work and give big.

[4:31] Knowing the specific and measurable activities – real life examples.

[9:48] The 5 things that drive business growth.

[12:01] Mark brought in Jack Daly by selling him on our vision.

[16:02] Business needs may trump personal relationships.

[18:59] Get the best coach you can and make a vision you can follow.

[21:30] What will get in the way of your vision and figuring out how to overcome it. 

[23:40] Measurable activities, which will lead to the business results you want.

[26:18] Blind Spots. 

[28:15] Contact Mark Moses.

 

Mentions:

Praxent

Make Big Happen

Grasshopper

CEO Coaching International

 

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