2018 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of the Obvious Part 2

While reviewing my notes for this blog, I noticed that I omitted two Elizabeth McCormick BFOs from Part 1
  • When thingsimg_1523-for-blog get hard, ask yourself “Do I Want This?”
  • CAN
    • Communicate – Positive & Proactive
    • Aviate – Take Action
    • Navigate – Clarity
  Elizabeth McCormick was followed by Chris Voss, CEO of The Black Swan Group, LTD and co-author of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It.  He spent 24 years working in the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit and was the FBI’s chief international hostage and kidnapping negotiator from 2003 to 2007.  There were only a few BFOs from Mr. Voss, however they were MAJOR.  During negotiations:
  • Banish “I Understand” from your vocabulary. It is condescending.
  • Build confidence & trustworthiness – “Will you listen to what I have to say?”
  • Open by asking a question or making a statement with the expected answer or response of NO. For example: “It looks like there is no way to get the hostages released safely.”  Going for the NO gets the other side to tell you what they are really after.  Chris gave several sales-oriented examples: “It looks like you are not interested saving money for payroll processing while getting quicker service.”
  • Never say “you’re right” only say “That’s right” and then shut up!
  • Perceived EMPATHY is a Truth Serum
Our next speaker was Dr. Tony Alessandra, CEO of Assessments 24×7, LLC.  Dr. Alessandra is a prolific author with 30 books translated into over 50 foreign language editions, including the newly revised, best-selling The NEW Art of Managing PeopleCharismaThe Platinum RuleCollaborative Selling; and Communicating at Work.  ActionCOACH has a strategic partnership with Assessments 24×7 that enables my colleagues and I to offer a variety of online assessments, including the widely used DISC profile, the Hartman HVPMotivators (Values/PIAV) assessment, and several 360º effectiveness assessments.  BFOs from Dr. Alessandra include:
  • “Prescription before diagnosis is malpractice.” This represents a prime reason we at ActionCOACH offer a complementary diagnostic coaching session before suggesting a coaching program to prospective clients.
  • Establishing a competitive advantage is founded on an understanding of customer needs (not wants) and the ability of competitors to meet those needs. Understanding your competitive advantage allows you to sell value, not price.
    • Understand your Uniqueness’s, Advantages & Disadvantages
    • To dig deeper and to differentiate your offering from your competition in a given situation use this tool
Your Advantages compared to competitor Your Disadvantages compared to competitor
Competitor A ? ?
Competitor B ? ?
Competitor C ? ?
Competitor D ? ?
  • Feedback Questions
  • How well does our solution address the needs and goals you expressed earlier?
  • What other advantages do you see in our solution?
  • How closely does this solution fit your budget & timeline?
  • How will you determine the success of our solution?
  • What needs do you see that I might have missed?
  • Alessandra presented three case studies on the effectiveness of using various combinations assessments during recruiting and hiring. As the saying goes, “your results may vary.”  Nonetheless, using assessments before offering a position to a candidate increases the likelihood of a successful hire.
This concludes the major BFOs from the first day of the Business Excellence Forum.  Stay tuned for day 2’s BFOs, coming soon.

2018 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of the Obvious Part 1

For the third year in a row I must say, the Business Excellence Forum (BEF) gets better each year, and the 2018 event was no exception.  This year there were more than 700 business owners, executives, team members and business coaches in attendance in San Diego, California.  With that many attendees, there was an abundance of formal and informal exchanges of ideas, strategies, success stories and best practices. This year’s forum had an extensive list of keynote speakers whose presentations yielded many Blinding Flashes of the Obvious (BFOs) and new ways of looking at things.  The following are some of the BFOs that struck a chord with me, most of which will enhance the value I bring to my clients.  I am sure that some of these will have a similar effect on you. During the opening session, Brad Sugars, founder, and Chairman of ActionCOACH shared the following during a presentation of the 21 Biggest Mistakes in Marketing:
  • Mistake #4 – No Numbers / At ActionCOACH we have the concept of Measure & Test. For example, in creating marketing materials, such as advertisements, we coach our clients to test multiple headlines and measure the level of response, rather than simply using one headline.  After measuring response, our clients can hone in on an effective headline.  Brad suggested that Google or Facebook are perfect venues to test marketing headlines.
  • Mistake #9 – Going for 1 sale vs. 100 / The concept of marketing for multiple sales, rather than going for one sale. This involves targeting out-bound message, while calling for in-bound response.
  • Mistake #12 – Wrong Words/Pictures / Marketing materials must address your target’s values, not your company’s values. I will be blogging and tweeting more of the 21 Biggest Mistakes during the next few weeks.
Our first Keynote speaker was Elizabeth McCormick, an amazing lady.  Ms. McCormick was the first female helicopter pilot in the US Army.  In addition to teaching the entire audience how to fly a helicopter, she laid out many gems, here are a few:
  • “If you believe that something is hard, it will be hard. If you believe something is easy, it will be easy not as hard
  • She demonstrated the “Can you exercise.” She asked a volunteer to the stage.  The volunteer extended their arm out to the side with their thumb down.  Elizabeth then:
    • Pushed down on the volunteer’s arm while the subject was resisting to establish a benchmark of the amount of force needed to overcome the resistance
    • Next, she had the subject say “I can’t” three times. When she pushed the volunteer’s arm down this time she was able to easily overcome the resistance.
    • Finally, she had the subject say “I can” three times. This time she had to apply much more force to overcome the volunteer’s resistance. Just in case we thought she was faking, the entire audience paired off, did the exercise and came up with the same result.
    • The purpose was to move us from our comfort zone to our Potential Zone.
  • “We all have a responsibility to lead from where we are.”
Stay tuned for the next installment of BFOs from the 2018 BEF.