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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

B2B Sales disruption using tactics from retail (published on Forbes)

October 15th, 2013 No comments

A disruptive new sales model is emerging. Business-to-business (B2B) companies are adopting digital-enabled tactics resembling those used by Amazon and eBay when they disrupted retail a decade ago.

Companies that have embraced the model we lay out in the article below can optimize sales, marketing, and product design, with impressive results: double the revenue growth and 30 percent better sales efficiency.

There is a revolution coming in B2B sales — read the article to find out more!

Forbes-logo (1)B2B Sales Is Being Massively Disrupted
(Hint: It’s Looking More Like B2C)

Double revenues by becoming a hot-lead generator (published in HBR)

February 28th, 2013 No comments

speedIn an age of big data, the most valuable thing a media company has is not real-estate for yet another banner ad. It’s the deep customer understanding that can be gleaned from closely observing user behavior.

Leading media companies today are using that knowledge to help e-commerce partners make more sales by letting them know what each customer wants… and doubling digital revenues by earning affiliate margins rather than selling cost-per-click.

Find out more in this recent article:

HBR-Logo1_0How Digital Media Companies Can
Boost Ad Revenue

 

5 tactics to make short classes work

July 16th, 2012 3 comments

http://www.flickr.com/photos/childofwar/3097124543/sizes/m/in/photostream/Have a short (1-4 hour) class/tutorial to give? Want your students to learn tons and rave about the class? Want them to teach you and stay engaged in the topic moving forward?

Here are a few tips I’ve picked up from running mini-classes in academic and professional settings:

  • Listen to the room
  • Build skills through lessons
  • Let them get their hands dirty
  • Do the boring stuff in advance
  • Follow up with homeworks

These are mostly related to programming-type topics (see here and here from some examples), but I’ll bet the ideas are broadly applicable. Hopefully you can share some of your experiences as either a student or teacher in the comments!

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How to be more insightful

November 7th, 2011 No comments

Ball made of gearsOne way consultants add value by being “insightful,” but what does that really mean? What’s more, if you aren’t “insightful” already, how do you improve?

I’ve been thinking about this lately and distilled 4 ways to push your thinking and get more insightful.

  • Change your shoes
  • Find parallels to things you know
  • Ask ‘how’ and ‘why’ to dig deep
  • Get super specific

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Why you should be using Instapaper

October 31st, 2011 No comments

Who knew I spent so much time staring at walls… I now use that time to read articles, papers, reports, and more! Instapaper helped me find HOURS per week in my already jam-packed that I can spend reading.

Instapaper is a “read later” service that has changed my life. It allows you to easily capture content from multiple sources and store it in the cloud so you can consume it at your leisure.

Simply click, “read later” across Instapaper’s many incarnations and the service comes through the internet to capture text and images from an article. That content is now available to read whenever and wherever you have some free-time.

It’s a ubiquitous and beautiful reading experience that I never knew I needed.

  • You’ll find new time in your day
  • It goes where you go

Read on to find out more, and check it out at instapaper.com.
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Question-Data-Action: Structure your work-plan

February 13th, 2011 1 comment

As I’ve transformed into a consultant over the last year I’ve started structuring everything… The trick always finding the right structure. Here’s a great one!

I recently worked with a colleague who uses a work-planning structure that breaks big, wide-open questions into actionable next-steps. The Question-Data-Action framework is thorough, thought provoking, and easy to communicate with 4 simple steps:

  1. Define key questions
  2. Refine to sub-questions
  3. Determine what data is needed
  4. Identify actions to get the data

Each step gets you closer to an actionable workplan that will make your life easier and help you communicate timing and deliverables with clients and colleagues.

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A PhD’s Guide Getting Consulting Jobs

August 1st, 2009 11 comments

In this three-part series I’ll give you a how-to for getting an interview, preparing for it, and dazzling the interviewers once you’re across the table. These are the main topics we’ll cover:

Leaving academia and joining consulting firms is a something many PhD students (myself included) are getting interested in. Firms like McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and Bain & Associates once hired mostly MBAs but are now branching out to hire MDs, lawyers, and PhDs.

I wanted to make a big impact with the skill I learned during my PhD. I got excited when I heard about consulting because it promises just that. In the next three parts, I’ll take you through the big lessons I learned while preparing and interviewing: How to get an interview, how to nail the case, and how to dazzle them with your experience.

Part 1: Branding Yourself and Making Making a “Wow” Resume gives you pointers to polish that scruffy science look off your C.V. and generally control your “personal brand” so that interviewers are impressed with you long before you walk in the door.

Part 2: Preparing for Your Case Interview to Get Bulletproof talks about how to approach the case and how to practice so that you can shine while others look dull. I’ll give you some simple exercises that will improve the structure and creativity of the “case” portion of your interview.

Part 3: Talking about Your Experience and Sounding like a Bad-ass covers an important and often overlooked portion of a consulting interview… talking about yourself! I know you have some amazing stories to tell. This sections shows how to make your stories say the right things about you.

Please enjoy!

Disclaimer: I recently went through the application and interview process with a top firm, came out with an offer, and signed it! In this series, I share my experience and give some ideas for people on a similar path. However, at the time of writing (July 2009), I do not have any inside information on how any company conducts their hiring. These are just my thoughts!

The Science of Success

April 22nd, 2009 1 comment

Koch Industries is the second largest privately held company in the world. In “The Science of Success,” the C.E.O. talks about the management philosophies that his company uses to be so successful.

 

In short, the techniques called “Market-based Management” (MBM) described in the book are string of very sensible ideas. The true power of the book is that it shows how to join these sensible ideas together into a cohesive and effective management strategy. In this review, I’ll briefly describe the points that really hit home with me.    Click to continue →

Categories: Books, Business Tags: ,

Inerpersonal Check List

August 18th, 2008 No comments

My father, a well known psychotherapist, uses a personality model known as the Interpersonal Check List (ICL). This model is notoriously hard to administer, score, and graph. I developed a program to do all of these things automatically.

Interpersonal Check List

This is a 128 question test where people mark whether or not adjectives describe them. Thus a person might check yes to “Good Leader” and no to “Hard to Impress.” Once all the appropriate answers are marked, each one is weighed and put into an appropriate bin. The size of each bin marks the prominence of that personality trait in the person.

I’ve used this program as my first e-commerce venture. Visit http://www.shawnlankton.com/icl to get information about the program, download the fully-featured demo, or purchase the full program!

Categories: Business Tags: ,

Wisdom from Stephen Fleming

October 18th, 2007 1 comment

I attended a talk last night as part of the Georgia Tech Business Plan Competition Workshop Series (pdf). This was such a fantastic talk that I will have trouble putting it succinctly into this post.

Stephen Flemming
“Transforming Innovative Tech into Business”

As with any other person who has been a VC or angel investor, Steve was incredibly sharp, and seemed like he would be impervious to BS either on the giving or receiving end. Steve began his talk discussing the pros and cons of starting a business in the Southeast. He went on a diatribe about how ludicrous the spending in California is. Then he pointed out that although there isn’t much VC investment in Georgia and the surrounding states, there is a better tax situation, and much better access to real estate, talent, and customers.

Steve continued by discussing the cyclical relationship between institutional investors, VC’s, and entrepreneurs giving some insight into how that relationship drove VC’s behaviors. Some interesting take-aways were that VC’s want the entrepreneur to get rich, and that they’ll only have to be brutal and cruel if they have to in order to make the returns they promised their investors.

After giving some insight in these areas, he began enumerating the things that you must convince investors of when trying to raise capital for a business.

  1. You have a large, fast-growing market segment
  2. You have a technological advantage that will block competition
  3. You have reasonable financial terms
  4. You have measurable milestones for success

He went on fleshing these out for most of the remainder of the talk, but kept peppering in useful tips. I’d like to point out some here:

  1. Get a good referral (from another investor, an attorney, etc.) If you’re plan comes pre-qualified it. You’re in.
  2. Make a 20 page business plan with a 2 page executive summary. No More!
  3. Power-Point deck using the 10-20-30 rule (10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 point type)
  4. In all of these documents, sell the company, not the product.
  5. Do your homework on the investors you’re presenting to and tailor the presentation. It will help you and impress them.
  6. Choose your investor wisely. Don’t just follow money; find someone that can help you with experience, expertise, contacts, etc.

Check out Steve Fleming’s website as well. Here you can find his blog as well as some useful information about starting companies.

Furthermore, here is a list of other resources and websites that Steve
suggested:

Categories: Books, Business Tags: ,