Thursday, February 8, 2018

Sparkmag: Compromise and empathy - listen!!

Sparkmag: Compromise and empathy - listen!!: Great  post on collaboration and a few comments - from  Ben Wise My wife's Catholic. I'm Jewish. She practices yoga. I'm into m...

Monday, January 29, 2018

8 things that Phil Lee suggests to get into the 2018 groove

  1. (Goals) Spend some quiet time thinking about what you want to achieve this year (not just at work) and then write it down and put it somewhere where you can see it.
  2. (Tasks) Daily schedule the 5 most important and productive things you need to do that day. 
  3. (Action) Do them. 
  4. Do the hard things first. (Eat the frog)
  5. (Wins) Celebrate your wins - even the small ones.
  6. (Nice) “Be nice” Be kind to others as a regular practice AND be kind to yourself.
  7. (Accept failure) Instead of viewing problems and frustrations as setbacks view them as learning and growth opportunities. Perhaps one of the biggest growth opportunities is learning to let go of your own personal melodrama.
  8. (Br grateful ) Be Grateful Look for opportunities daily to serve, smile and say, "Thank you

The 10 Marketing fundamentals in the current world

Written by Adrian Stewart

As silos crumble around us and the world becomes more connected, integrated, and seamless, it’s becoming harder to see where one thing ends and another begins

1. Start with Why

It’s been proven that purpose-led organisations outperform their competitors. With a clear unifying purpose, your team and your stakeholders have a clear focus to rally behind and your customers have more than something to buy — they have something to buy into

Recommended reading: How Organisational Purpose Will Make You Outperform Your Competitors

 2. Know Your Market

One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make is trying to speak to too many people. In an increasingly competitive environment, understanding your market and your customers is more important than ever. Taking the time to do a deep dive into both gives you the necessary insights to deliver real differentiated value that your customers actually care about.

Recommended reading: How to Achieve Product/Market Fit


3. Present Your Value

It’s not how good you are; it’s how good you appear to your customers. You may have the best product around, but if you aren’t communicating your value clearly, succinctly, and persuasively, be prepared to get lost in the noise.

Recommended reading: The Advanced Guide to Brand Positioning


4. Get Focused

Time and time again, businesses try and do too much and end up getting nowhere. Strategy is about choices, and by identifying the top opportunities and challenges upon which to focus, you can more effectively leverage your limited resources for maximum results.

Recommended reading: The Death of the SWOT Analysis and the Rise of the Strategic Radar


5. Check Your Foundations

In the quest for innovation and pursuit of the next big thing, it’s easy to forget about the fundamentals. But without strong foundations, no amount of innovation will save you. Fixing the foundations by taking a look at your customer journey — from the way customers find out about you to the way your customers are asked for referrals or reviews — often yields the biggest returns because, after all, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.


6. Establish Your Digital Fundamentals

As the lines between physical and digital become increasingly blurred, the importance of optimising your digital presence is greater than ever. Your customers’ lives are not neatly split between physical and digital; rather they’re a seamless whole. The more effectively you capitalise on that, the more successful you’ll be.

Recommended reading: What CMOs Need to Know about Digital Marketing


7. Identify Your Customer Experience Multiplier

Word of mouth has long been one of the most effective forms of marketing, and nowadays the scale of reach has increased ten fold. Deliver a remarkable customer experience, known as lightning strikes, and make it easy for your customers to talk about you and reap the rewards.

Recommended reading: 6 Things You Should Be Doing to Engage Your Customers (But Probably Aren’t)


8. Find Your Step Change 

To paraphrase Jack Welch, if you’re not innovating faster than the market, you’re losing. And in a time of constant change and evolution, staying still is a recipe for disaster. The pressure is on to continually be growing, developing, and looking for ways to improve on previous performance.

Recommended reading: Unpacking Innovation: How You Can Be an Innovator


9. Define Your Strategy

It’s all well and good to launch a series of growth initiatives, but unless they’re part of a coherent strategy, you aren’t realising the full value. Taking the time to focus, make the tough choices, and crystallise a clearly defined and understood strategy ensures that your growth initiatives work together to achieve your core objectives.

Recommended reading: The 3 Absolute Essentials of Good Strategy


10. Get Moving 

The real value of any strategy lies in its execution. An average strategy well executed is better than a great strategy that sits in a bottom drawer. But the true value comes from a great strategy well executed. But no strategy survives its first engagement with reality, so move quickly, be agile, and develop safe-fail tests where required.



So there you have it, a very brief helicopter view of Growth Strategies: A Marketing Toolkit for the Modern World.

adrian-stewart.jpegAdrian Stewart is a Senior Strategy Exec at Step Change. He is a strategic thinker and lifetime improviser with a passion for understanding human behaviour. With over 10 years’ experience in the world of marketing, he’s covered a range of roles in sales, account management, training, strategy, and copywriting. He’s worked with all manner of big global brands, small businesses, and startups. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Power of Communities

Written by

Humans connect together in unique ways. Finding a sense of belonging is a basic human need- just like the need for security, shelter and food. 

Making deep connections to other people is pivotal to our experience of fulfilment in life. This is often found in communities. 

Communities can be found in a religion, friends or family and it provides a sense of the collective; we all want to be attracted and compelled by a purpose. 

As described by social psychologist McMillan & Chavis, “sense of community is a feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members’ needs will be met through their commitment to be together" (1976). 

How to build community in the workplace? 

To build a sense of belonging and community in the workplace amongst coworkers requires three factors. 


Create a sense of membership in your teams. Membership means belonging to a group of like-minded people, which requires personal investment and specialised skill-set, values and/ or character. 

As a leader, ensure you control membership by creating boundaries on how people become members- keeping other people out who don’t fit in with the groups collective culture and criteria. 

As a result, membership makes people inside the group feel special because they are a part of something that has a shared identity. 

The role of identification provides a sense of belonging and acceptance by the group, fostering stronger relationships between members and encouraging greater contributions and accountability to output. 

Create platforms to congregate 

Colleagues need to be able to connect at work. The “water-cooler” theory has found there is significant impacts of workplace socialising.

Social cohesion increases productivity, collaboration and job satisfaction. Face-to-face time together, either through daily huddles, team gatherings or information exchanges, encourages positive conversation that are open and transparent as well as relationship building amongst teams. 

Leaders who make time and space for employees to gather together to get to know each other is an invaluable investment in workplace community.

Acknowledgement & Recognition  

In order to successfully grow and sustain communities, leadership needs to recognise contributions and team achievements within workplace communities. 

Authentic acknowledgment & recognition creates a work environment where colleagues feel valued and aligned to their organisation and community they hold memberships to.  

Ensure your recognition is personalised to each membership. This is how you further embed the values and behaviours you want to see in your workplace communities.  

Finally, acknowledgment should always go hand and hand with empowerment. Trust your team’s expertise in the workplace community and provide team players with more responsibility when its earned. 

Written by

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

There is nothing to beat nurturing relationships to create KLT

In a world where technology is quickly depersonalising the business world, one company knows that personal trust is still the best way to grow enterprise and industry alike.


As business becomes more automated, robotised and disrupted are we facing the possibility that it

could become depopulated?

Not if Toni Fitzgerald has anything to do with it.

She’s the keynote speaker, award-winning writer and business consultant who specialises in helping CEOs of small and medium businesses gain the opportunity to grow through developing their own personal brand and extending the reach and influence of their personal contacts.

Toni is adamant that personal communication will always be a critical factor in business best practice and that’s why she became a founding member of Business Builders Group.

The BBG model is essentially about bringing CEOs of SMEs together in an environment that provides solutions to the perennial challenge of how to grow their business.

There is arguably no lonelier job in the world than that of a CEO who can’t meet corporate growth objectives. CEOs in big companies have the internal expertise to call upon for help but arguably the best source of support for those running SMEs is BBG.

BBG’s primary focus is on encouraging a mindset of Know Like and Trust between members and making it a catalyst for business growth opportunities through an exchange of business referrals.

However, by no means does that comprise the full extent of member benefits.

BBG provides in addition an environment where CEOs communicate personally with their peers to exchange the business intelligence, ideas and insights that help them stay in touch. There are also presentations from experts in business disciplines and personal contact between members is increasingly leading to initiatives such as alliances tailor-made to securing new business opportunities.

Also on The Big Smoke

Toni is creating a range of products and tools exclusively for BBG members.

They will be designed to help CEOs become famous in their market categories, equipping them with an image and authority that facilitates development of a personal contact network with profitable prospects.

Toni’s turnover has increased by $45,000 through personal referrals from other BBG members and her referrals on their behalf have produced a similar result. The sort of Know Like and Trust that generates lucrative business referrals doesn’t happen overnight but when it does, Toni bears testimony to its potential as a powerful business-building force.

The clear message both from Toni and BBG is that no matter how technologically advanced a company is it will never reach full potential without the benefits of effective personal contact at top management levels. That can never be replaced by the Internet.

BBG holds special functions like Mastermind Lunches and Gala Events that afford members the opportunity to bring along clients and prospects to reinforce personal relationships.

Regular meetings of BBG chapters are scheduled for early in the day in order to minimise the demand on member work-time and membership fees are set at levels which guarantee they become a profitable business investment.

BBG members comprise solicitors, accountants, physiotherapists, manufacturers, travel agents, financial planners, business consultants like Toni and many more.

The best way to take a closer look at BBG is to attend one of their forums or regular meetings as a guest free of charge. If you are located in Australia phone Geoff Hirsh on 0411 681 122 or in Singapore phone Susan Seah on 65 6339 8505. They will advise about membership availability in your local chapters and the best opportunity to join a team with the potential to grow your business.

You’ll find BBG offers a unique opportunity to grow by staying in touch.

So What is this thing called KLT?

Join us as a gust at our next breakfast - register at

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The most important secret of a successful Networker

How to network as a BBG Member 

Networking isn't a transaction, or a series of transactions. You have to build real relationships with people over time to make your networking effective. 

People who network with a view to help other people get incredible benefits from it. 

We call it a”Spirit of Generosity”

When you ask someone to donate their precious time and attention to you by having lunch or coffee with you, you are asking for a big favor.

Instead, try meeting people for coffee and making the meeting all about them - not you. People love to talk about themselves, the same way you love to tell people about your business. 

Ask them questions about what they're working on and what's new in their lives. They will blossom when you show a real interest in them. Maybe even offer to refer someone to them (using referron of course ;)) 

Then at a certain time in the meeting, they are likely to ask "But what about you? How can I help you?" 

It’s called the law of reciprocity 

Then you will talk about your business  like this:

Your friend: But what's new with you,  Toni? You mentioned in your message that you have a new business 

You: Yes, I am really excited about our new Training Business , where we are able to provide business owners with coaching support that could be potentially be funded by the government.

Your friend: Do you have specific companies in mind? Maybe I know someone.

You: Thanks! Yes, clients who we can add massive value to are in the fashion industry who have products that have the potential to be exported. 

Your friend: I know someone at Fashionista and I think my old friend Bev is working at Zimmerman  -- let me refer you to her!!

End of Script

You spent most of your networking coffee time hearing about your friend's challenges with her Flatmate and her subsequent move to a new suburb, but in the last three minutes before you parted she offered to make a fantastic introduction for you.

Networking is about building glue between two people -- not about pushing your agenda down someone else's throat, as tempting as it can be to do that!

Try easing up on the sales  pitch in your upcoming networking meetings, and see how both you and your friend relax!

Networking is a tremendous long-term mojo-and-muscle-building activity.

You will get great ideas and moral support from your networking pals, and you'll give them the same in return. It's amazing how good it feels to give someone else good advice when they need it!