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Found Online: Building Your Online Strategy For 2010

by Rick Baker
On May 13, 2010
Last week, we had the pleasure of attending ‘Found Online: Building Your Online Strategy For 2010’, an education seminar presented by Erin and Ryan Schnarr of Springpad Media. www.springpad.com 
 
This event was a well-attended Centre For Family Business’ education seminar. www.cffb.ca
 
Here are a couple of the good pieces of advice provided by Springpad Media at the event last week.
 
Questions you should ask when Building Your Website Strategy:
  1. What is the goal of the site?
  2. How will people find you?
  3. What are your competitors doing?
  4. What is the desired action for each visitor?
Following these points, Springpad Media presented a flowchart showing the various ‘action steps’ taken by different types of visitors ‘walking through’ a website.
 
Much of this resonates with thoughts we have been working on.
 
Question 2 above…How will people find you? resonates perfectly with Question #5 of the 7 Powerful Answers series, that is  How do you PLAN to connect with those people who care? 7 Powerful Answers #5
 
Springpad Media provided many tips about website design. Here are examples: keep your website content simple, focused and relevant and don’t limit yourself or do more than your customers want.
 
Great advice!
 
We appreciated the way Springpad Media customized their presentation to fit the audience.
 
Here is another introduction to Erin and Ryan’s advice…about online advertising:
 
What’s your goal?
  • building brand awareness?
  • creating customer response?
At this section of their presentation, Erin and Ryan explained how different website design approaches fit different goals. I will not try to relay their advice, which is based on their many years of solid experience…I recommend contacting them to learn more. www.springpad.com 

Tags:

Marketing

Canada 3.0/2010

by Rick Baker
On May 11, 2010
How do we Canadians use digital media technologies to build value into 'our economy'?
  
How do we Canadians use digital media technologies to gain differential advantage in the global marketplace?
 
How does an individual Canadian, like you or I, use the power of digital media technologies to create commercial value?
 
These sorts of questions were running through my mind as I listened to the opening presentations of the "canada" conference. http://www.canada30.com/
 
We Canadians recognize we are in the midst of a technological growth explosion.
  
As a small example, this blog was written via BlackBerry...a tool I knew nothing of 10 years ago but prize as my most-valuable tool today...a tool created by [in relative terms] a young company, Research In Motion, which now shines as an example of business excellence in Canada.
 
As I wrote that last paragraph I looked to the person on my right...and saw an iPhone in use. I looked to the person on my left...a BlackBerry in use. I looked over the shoulder of the person in front of me...a BlackBerry in use. I looked behind me...another BlackBerry in use. (And, my son Jack was sitting beside me so he can verify I didn't fabricate any of this.)
 
So, there is no question the use of technological tools is rampant...and growing.
 
But, how do we Canadians use and build digital media technologies to gain differential advantage in the global marketplace? And, how will we Canadians know our use of technological tools and our development of new digital media technologies is building value?
 
It seems to me we Canadians need to first understand our strengths.
 
The leaders of the canada 3.0/2010 conference talked about the U.S. President Kennedy and the early-60's mandate he set for the placing the first man on the moon.
 
Yes, from what has been documented about the process President Kennedy followed as he reached his first-man-on-the-moon mandate, we Canadians can use this 'analogy' as a guide.
 
Speaker Tony Chapman talked of our Canadian strengths. He talked about the confidence around our capital markets, our positive multi-cultural fabric, our tolerant society where people work together toward shared goals, and he praised regional leadership such as 'The Waterloo Way'.
 
After Day 1 of the canada 3.0/2010 conference, I'm excited about ‘our moon shot’…and 2017...when Canada will achieve its goal of global, digital media leadership.

Tags:

Community

P=2S+O…and Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats

by Rick Baker
On May 6, 2010
I have written about P=2S+O©,..a philosophy and a template to help create good habits for problem solving:
P=2S+O presents ideas about a mindset for problem solving and it provides a simple template, which can be carried in a binder or briefcase…as a daily reminder and a daily tool for problem solving. P=2S+O provides an introduction of How To solve problems.
 
Many experts have provided education on the topic of problem solving. One of my favourite authors for this topic is Dr Edward de Bono. www.edwdebono.com
 
Below is an excellent example of the calibre of help Dr de Bono can provide.
 
Before providing a quick introduction to de Bono’s idea, I want to mention my son, Jack, recently purchased for me an original signed edition of de Bono’s ‘Six Thinking Hats’, (1985).
 
de Bono suggests we should approach problems from 6 different directions. He suggests we use a mind picture - putting on six thinking hats [like our teachers used to say…except six of them]. Each hat represents a different way of approaching the decision.
 
A summary of those six de Bono thinking hats…I have copied these directly from pages 31 and 32 of the book:
White Hat    White is neutral and objective. The white hat is concerned with objective facts and figures.
Red Hat   Red suggests anger [seeing red], rage and emotions. The red hat gives the emotional view.
Black Hat   Black is gloomy and negative. The black hat covers the negative aspects - why it cannot be done.
Yellow Hat   Yellow is sunny and positive. The yellow hat is positive and covers hope and positive thinking.
Green Hat   Green is grass, vegetation and abundant, fertile growth. The green hat indicates creativity and new ideas.
Blue Hat   Blue is cool, and it is also the color of the sky, which is above everything else.  The blue hat is concerned with control and the organization of the thinking process. Also the use of the other hats.
There are some interesting consequences of putting on 6 different hats when we make decisions and solve problems. If nothing else, the six-thinking-hat mind exercise allows us to better understand others’ perspectives. And that, on its own, is a rather important skill.
 
More on Six Thinking Hats later…

How To - Pitch Your Business Idea

by Rick Baker
On May 4, 2010
A fascinating experience…
 
…watching people pitch their business ideas to people who possess money
 
For example: Dragon’s Den, Shark Tank, and other such TV shows enjoy a level of popularity. Our universities have business-pitch contents. Also, our community has its Golden Triangle Angelnet. goldentriangleangelnet.angelgroups.net  
 
And, of course, Spirited Investors receives many requests. www.spiritedinvestors.ca
 
In an effort to help people who struggle with pitching their business ideas I am working on a book, which will provide ‘How To’ advice.
 
Here is a sample –
 
How To Pitch Your Business Idea
  1. Know the way business funders think
  2. Project a pleasing presence…unleashing your personality
  3. Impress them with your natural confidence
  4. Keep it concise...in less time than provided, absolutely nail a few key points
  5. Keep it simple...do not bore them with details or annoy them with jargon
  6. Anticipate the questions...and when they are asked, answer them crisply
  7. Know the way business funders think
A couple of points:
  • Yes, I know I repeated “know the way business funders think”. I wrote that twice because I thought writing it 5 times might annoy you and subtract from the value.
  • Business Idea Pitches:  it seems to me this is an extreme territory for human communication.  Certainly, it is much more intense/extreme than everyday business communication. And, it is more intense/extreme than the average sales pitch or deal negotiation. 
For most people who take the adventure, doing a Business Idea Pitch is one of the most-challenging communications in business.

Tags:

Investor Funding | Personalities @ Work

STOP THE PRESSES! #7

by Rick Baker
On Apr 29, 2010
You are the CEO.
 
For some strange reason a loud voice declared “STOP THE PRESSES” and everything at your operation, all the people and all the machines, came to a screeching halt.
 
But, you were unscathed.
 
So you took some time to rest and relax. Then, after doing that for a while, you became bored and you asked yourself:
 
"How should I get things back on track?"
"How should I re-start the people and re-start the presses?"
“What are the right things to do?”
 
As you stopped to think, ideas came to you…here’s the “Right Things” you decided for your business future:
 
***
 
We Enjoy the Time We Spend at Our Workplace because:
  • our workplace exudes a hassle-free atmosphere where winners Share the Right Culture
  • our people understand one another’s talents and we Make the Most of Our People’s Strengths
  • we ensure stress levels are under control and we Maintain an Appreciation of Humour
 
We Truly Connect With People because:
  • our people commit to understanding themselves and others and we Make Networking a Career Goal
  • our people feel generous about going all those extra miles and we Commit to Delivering Value First
  • we refuse to let policy or process get in our way and we Guarantee We Will Get Things Done Right
 
We Are Idea Leaders because:
  • our people always work to revitalize self-confidence so we always Empower Decision-Making
  • we know with certainty ideas are a key ingredient for success and we Inspire Creativity
  • our people are convinced prosperity happens with new things and we Promote Emergent Change
 
We Excel at Doing Deals because:  
  • we feel so good about our company, and our services that Every One of Us Promotes Our Company
  • we are confident enough to take the right risks and We Commit to Leading With Deals
  • we feel so strongly about the merits of action we rekindle a habit called We Celebrate Our Errors
 
We Are Always Able to Prove We Deliver Value because:
  • our people decided they will only do fair deals and they will live by the motto Fair Deals Or No Deals
  • we do money decisions while in the other guys’ shoes under The Other Guy’s Shoes Money-Rule
  • we truly know our target markets and their value perceptions… a mindset we call Tarmarvalproda
***
 
You wrote out your detailed plans for these things so you could share them with all your people. You made a commitment to yourself…these things would be in place when you re-start your people and you re-start your presses…when you re-start your business and STOP THE PRESSES becomes a very fond memory.
 
You were pleased with your accomplishment. You decided to sleep on it one more night.
 
To be continued…

Tags:

Entrepreneur Thinking

STOP THE PRESSES! #6

by Rick Baker
On Apr 28, 2010
You are the CEO.
 
For some strange reason a loud voice declared “STOP THE PRESSES” and everything at your operation, all the people and all the machines, came to a screeching halt.
 
But, you were unscathed.
 
So you took some time to rest and relax. Then, after doing that for a while, you became bored and you asked yourself:
 
"How should I get things back on track?"
 
"How should I re-start the people and re-start the presses?"
 
“What are the right things to do?”
 
As you stopped to think, ideas started to come to you…
 
***
 
Wouldn’t it be great if We Are Always Able to Prove We Deliver Value after we re-start our operation.
 
How might we go about making sure that happens?
 
What if…
  • What if our people decide they will only do fair deals and they will live by the
    motto Fair Deals Or No Deals …that would help
  • What if we commit to handling money decisions as if we were in the other
    guy’s shoes and we adopt The Other Guy’s Shoes Money-Rule …that would help
  • What if we truly know our target markets and the value propositions they
    perceive and we cover this in a mindset we call Tarmarvalproda …that
    would help
***
 
You gave these things deep thought, creating plans for Fair Deals Or No Deals, The Other Guy’s Shoes Money-Rule, and your marketing mindset called Tarmarvalproda so you and your people will be able to accurately state We Are Always Able to Prove We Deliver Value.
 
You wrote out your plans for these things so you could share them when the time was right.
 
You made a commitment to yourself…these things would be in place when you re-start your people and you re-start your presses.
 
You decided to sleep on it and see if any more ideas came to you.
 
To be continued…

Tags:

Entrepreneur Thinking | Marketing | Sales

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