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Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on UnsplashCompanies market their products. They market the customer benefits.

They rarely talk about their deeply held values, as if that’s not relevant or interesting. But younger parts of our population are placing more importance on the company that stands behind their products.

We older folks do that, too, by the way. We just don’t tend to be quite as vocal about it.

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Photo by Sebastián León Prado on UnsplashEverybody wants to have a great company and a great life.

I’m fortunate to work with a number of inspiring business leaders, but it’s easy for them to lose their spark under the day-to-day pressure. No matter what your story is, you still have to make sure that nitty-gritty stuff gets done.

Paying the bills. Filing taxes. Paying your workers.

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I know you have the greatest invention in the history of mankind. Something that nobody thought was even possible.

And you’ve applied it in a totally innovative way that just blows people away.

Unfortunately, this led you to create a business plan that is entirely product-centric. When I see your plan, as an outsider, I’m worried about how fragile it is. All it takes is the NEXT whizzy innovation, and you’re in bad trouble.

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Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on UnsplashThe term “conscious” has taken hold in recent years in the context of business. The concept has been around for a long time, but until the last decade was always considered a bit of an oddity.

So what does it mean?

There are two primary usages of “conscious” in business. Read the rest of this entry »

Photo by Gamze Bozkaya on UnsplashI just got off the phone with the publisher of a magazine I’ve written for in the past. He was wondering why his emails to me have been bouncing, so he gave me a ring.

How’s THAT for personal attention? They have thousands and thousands of subscribers, but he remembered my name even though we’ve talked maybe three times in the past 15 years. I’ve written a handful of articles for them.

Whenever something surprises me, I try to ponder what I can learn from the experience. In this case, some interesting lessons come to mind.

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Events like these Startup Weeks can be absolutely transformational. Because, for a whole week, you can immerse yourself in learning new approaches, being inspired, and meeting amazing people.

The format for this used to be industry conferences. But as they became more and more dominated by vendors, they became less about learning and growing. So many of them have died or become irrelevant.

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Photo by Gilles Lambert on UnsplashWe sure do focus a lot on innovation in technology.

And that’s fine, I guess, but it leads us to think that tech is how most problems get solved. And in my experience, it’s usually not the problem.

Most often, innovation needs to happen in the way people think and interact.

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The end of a year can feel a bit limiting. After all, with so little time left, how could I possibly catch up on all the great things I had intended to get done?

Some things just aren’t going to happen.

I view this as an opportunity, though, to do a personal reboot. Read the rest of this entry »

louis-amal-365211You’re super busy. I get that – we all have lives totally crammed with activities, obligations, and tasks.

That’s a choice you’ve made. And that’s OK.

But the important distinction is that there’s usually a gap between what you intend and what you deliver. When the gap gets too big, that’s a problem.

Let’s say that I told my friend I’d meet her at 6:00. That’s pretty clear, right? Read the rest of this entry »

sai-kiran-anagani-74899We love to hold up technology advancements in examples of moving society forward. Steam engines. Light bulbs. Drones. Cell phones.

But we only do this because they’re tangible. You can take a picture of it, perhaps even hold it in your hand.

I would argue that the vast majority of innovations aren’t technological at all. They’re process refinements, business models, and marketing strategies.

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