This group is needed to enhance and improve the business and skills of owners, executives, management and solo practitioners of all industry types around the world. This will provide opportunities for members to globally connect and do business around the world with like minded business people. The purpose is to establish a community of colleagues, contemporaries and peers without rank, whose members learn from each other on a ongoing and enduring basis.
Being a member of this group will not teach you how to be a better recruiter. However, you will engage in discussions on how to market, grow and catapult your professional practice to extraordinary results no matter what the economy is doing. You will be able to discuss how to attract and acquire clients; expand business; build referral systems; create next level marketing; develop your fundamental value proposition; evaluate intelligent pricing strategies specifically for your business; and grow sales and profits fast!
When you decide that you need another person on your team; is it because you need another body? Is it because you need another process worker? Another cog in the wheel or as Pink Floyd sang, “Another brick in the wall”?
If that is what you want, then identify people who aren’t really motivated, have low self-esteem, and just want to get through the day and go home. People with low self-esteem are many times happy to be dictated to, bossed around, taken advantage of, and micromanaged.
If, however, you want to raise the bar and grow your organisation replete with people who look for how to make things work better, faster, stronger, then identify those people who have good self-esteem (not pseudo-esteem) and like to think for themselves, be heard, rock the boat and ask questions of the status quo.
This doesn’t mean they are disrespectful, disobedient or erratic. But they certainly aren’t compliant.
Industries and professions that need to subjugate or demonstrate power of their employees are always on the prowl for people they can hire and then immediately diminish. Our objective, for fine people like you and me who lead great organisations, is to find people that we can encourage, nurture, and mentor to be as impatient with mediocrity as we are.
Mastering Business Advantage for Owners & Executives
This is the ultimate business program to set your strategy, develop action plans and prepare yourself and your business for the success you have been seeking and deserve.
Do you want to develop strategy that guarantees you will attract more clients, do greater business and achieve higher profits?
Would you like to better leverage your current strengths successfully into the market?
Would you enjoy your life more by decreasing your personal exertion and intensity to regain balance?
Do you want to make 2013 the new beginning to your career and your business results?
Are you ready to turbo-charge your already powerful engine?
I’ve designed a new program for those in business who want to reach the 1% pinnacle of excellence. It will be held in Australia in January 2013. There will be a VERY STRICT limit on numbers due to the intensity and personal interaction of the four-day program. For the first time ever, I have created a developmental experience specifically for successful business owners and executives who aspire to be in the TOP 1%.
This is a LIMITED PARTICIPATION workshop. It will be intensive, it will be in-depth …. it will be distinctively unique to anything you have ever considered participating in before.
You will learn, master and begin:
Leveraging your current strengths successfully in the market
Decreasing your personal exertion and intensity to regain balance
Creating “next level” marketing to break through current revenue levels
Establishing powerful brands that make you a person of interest
Building your own community and network of strategic alliances
Establishing a position of thought-leadership with clients and peers
Adapting powerful pricing philosophies and implementation
Engaging in exceptional leadership and masterful management
Applying and implementing successful, practical change management
Using pragmatic approaches to business negotiations for cooperative success
I am regularly interviewed on radio about my perspectives and approaches to establishing exemplary leadership, masterful management, cohesive goal-aligned teams, and techniques for successful business management. My intent is to help you fully understand the underpinnings of successful management, leadership and overall business wisdom.
I do not intend to offer this program again within the next year or two in Australia. I may well offer it in London in 2014.
Components of the Workshop
Four days of intensive interaction with me and a very small group of colleagues.
There will be over 30 hours of work, discussion, learning, and fun.
We will enjoy some social activities, some meals, and a large amount of pragmatic work on individual issues.
The MBA Manual of more than 300 pages, containing templates, forms, guides, aids, articles and slides used and discussed in the program.
Lifetime Premium Access to the Members-Only sections of the Executive Wisdom website.
Individualised pre-college work to maximise your value.
And the component that only I can provide: Inclusion in the Mentor Program for six months.
This is a challenging experience for participants, combining intensive workshop instruction and practice, with comprehensive support materials in both print and audio formats.
Here’s what’s in it for you
These are just some of the aspects, attributes and areas that will improve as a result of this experience:
Understanding strategy and tactics
Create your value proposition
Develop an unforgettable brand
Develop a pragmatic template for innovation
Uncover and distinguish psychological cues in others
Create a trusting, peer-level relationships with stakeholders
Create engaging business meetings
Create strong proposals
Expand business continually and gain referrals repeatedly
Create forms and templates to increase your efficiency
Learn how to work with the media
Understand how to make life balance work in your every day
The ideal participant
Currently earning between $200,000 and $700,000 per annum
Has been involved in their current profession or career for at least three years
Is willing to learn quickly and suspend past habits and practices, if needed
Can check your ego at the door and be an equal among peers
Enjoys taking prudent risks, both in the program and subsequent to it
Enthusiastically wants to participate and grow the business
The 4-Day MBA is something that I am extremely passionate about. But to be successful, I know that, ironically, the fewer the better. So attendance is confined to about the size of a ‘U-shaped’ table (though we may not always be in that configuration). Early registration is recommended. Early-Bird Registration by September 30.
January 15 – 18, 2013 – Substantial discount on tuition if you register before September 30.
Exclusive dinner for the first 10 to register.
The first 10 people to register for the 4-Day MBA will be my guests for an exclusive dinner at one of my favourite restaurants. Be one of the first 10 to register and pay your deposit, and join me for dinner on the first night of the program. We will have some fine food, exquisite wines and wonderful discussion with our group.
There’s also the Mentor Program
Since 2004, over 200 people have participated in my Mentor Program. In the Mentor Program we work together on your individual needs, particularly those which emerge from the Workshop. Graduates of the 4-Day MBA are eligible to join the Mentor Program at 50% of the normal investment. For six months you will be able to consult with me as your partner while you build upon the techniques from the MBA Program and as you deal with the development of your business. If you are currently in the Mentor Program, you can join the 4-Day MBA and either extend your involvement by three months, or you can take advantage of the discounted tuition shown in the table below. Either way it is a great offer.
Patterns are a specific way to generate ideas. The poet, Alexander Pope said, “Order is heav’n's first law”. When people speak of intelligence they generally may be referring to our ability to notice, identify and recognise the order in the form of patterns.
Examples to give some context to this include:
1. Cycles: Plankton yields conform to a strict four year boom-bust cycle. What cycles might you identify that have influence over your business, your markets, your products and services, your clients or your competitors?
2. Sequences: The sequence with which you normally get dressed. We are creatures of habit and tend to do many, many tasks in exactly the same sequence every time. When was the last time you drove a different route home from work for no other reason … just because? What sequences could and should you be noticing?
3. Processes: How to convert, egg, milk and bread into French Toast. The FedEx business model was developed by Fred Smith because of what he saw as process weaknesses. Are you aware of and examining processes both internal and external to your organisation?
4. Tendencies: These are far less obvious at first, but no less powerful. For instance, did you know that cracks in dried mud usually form 120 degree angles? Look for the tendencies that have information or value to you and your business.
5. Similarities: What similarities in otherwise totally unconnected events provide impetus and inspiration for you? For example, the way water drains out of your sink through the plug hole and the stellar galaxies spiral in the same way.
6. Behaviours: I mentioned before, we are creatures of habit. What behaviours will inform you of opportunities arising? What behaviours have you recognised and identified that might inform you of an anticipated market need?
7. Probabilities: It is of course no coincidence that I made this one the seventh item on my list. Look at probabilities to provide inspired thinking. What’s the likelihood of throwing a ‘seven’ at a Crap Table in the casino? Define the probabilities and the prudent risk you are willing to accept for your new ideas.
What patterns do you detect, identify, and recognise? How might you use those patterns to better understand your business thinking?
When was the last time you were sitting in a conference room with the obligatory mints and bottled water, when it happened? That flash of brilliance where you were inspired to innovate and you generated new ideas that catapulted the performance of your business over the next six months.
How often does that happen?
Not a lot, really, does it?
Then why do it?
Inspiration, innovation and successful business ideas come out of the blue. Most times when you least expect it. They fly in from the edge of consciousness and delightfully startle us. They are random, sometimes the result of wrong turns, errors, mishaps and misdirection. They don't naturally and regularly occur when we're forcibly confined in the staleness of another conference room that emits a musty odour of damp carpet.
If you're looking for inspiration, innovation and successful business ideas you need to be having fun. Drop the qualitative thinking. Don't invite the devil's advocate. And, ignore conventional wisdom and practicality.
Inspiration, innovation, blue ocean ideas do not evolve from conservative thinking and approaches. They come from having fun and being excited. Let's do it! You know it works.
A sanguine Ric Willmot was interviewed by journalists at the CPA Australia Congress - Canberra in 2009 after his two days of MasterClass presentations. Back in 2009 Ric was very upbeat about the future of Australian business when most pundits were remaining pessimistic. How interesting it is to look back and consider of whom you would rather take note: Ric Willmot or the naysayers.
Sport is often correlated with business by many pundits without really considering the big picture or the fact that business does not have a set of rules by which all competitors must adhere; the playing arena is not marked with sidelines and out of bounds areas clearly identified; there is no impartial, independent referee or umpire to ensure the rules are upheld, no time-offs or full-time siren or finish line to cross. It really is naïve to compare sports with business and think that’s where it starts and ends.
However, sporting strategy theory can assist business owners, CEOs and managers make better strategic decisions when confronted with the uncertainty of competition. Competitive conduct will not always be 'fair play' and if you don’t change your game plan to seek out the advantage, your competition will. In rugby, I would always comment to the players I coached; “No opportunity is ever lost, if you fumble the ball, the opposition will always pick it up.”
Chess can teach us a lot about strategy. I coached rugby professionally in Ireland in the 90s and my assistant coach in Dublin was a brilliant chess player. His thought processes added immense value to our game-plan strategy meetings. Chess players understand that superior strategic decisions necessitate that you consider, and focus careful forethought on, the likely moves and counter-moves of your opponent. Chess players studiously examine their opponent’s methodology to the game and ascertain the expected sequence of moves that will follow any particular move they themselves make. By looking forward and reasoning backward, they drive the game toward a checkmate!
This talent to look forward and reason backward is extremely effective for strategic-decision makers. The success of new marketing or pricing strategies relies on whether competitors replicate them. In oligopoly markets, it is hard to identify a strategic decision that isn’t influenced by the retaliatory counter-moves it sets off. The finest business strategists must be accomplished at forecasting forthcoming rounds of competitive conduct.
Easier said than done, I realise. Ambiguity often surrounds competitive conduct, and many leaders either, expect the companies they compete against to employ the manner of competitive behaviour they see as typical, or make some other educated guess. But such assumptions can be treacherous. Businesses unintentionally set off value-destroying price wars, get buried when incumbents retaliate in markets those businesses have attempted to enter, and cannibalise their own core markets because they have either ignored or made incorrect assumptions about the reactions of competitors.
The good news is that game theory offers a well thought-out process that can aid you to make better strategic decisions when confronted with the uncertainty of competitive conduct. Game theory isn’t new; economists, mathematicians, and political scientists have been developing it for more than 60 years. What is new is an increased emphasis on game theory as a practical tool that real-world business owners and alike can use for making strategic decisions.
A good game theorist gets inside the heads of competitors to understand their economic incentives and likely behaviour. To do this, you should focus on five key elements of competitive intelligence.
1. Identify the strategic issue: What decision are you trying to formulate: pricing, capacity, market entry? How is it interrelated to other strategic decisions being made in the market? If your decision is on capacity investment, for example, it is vital that you know whether others in the market are also considering entering or leaving it.
2. Uncover the significant players: Which competitors’ actions will have the maximum impact on the success of your strategy? It is a mistake to assume that all your strategic games are played against competitors and that there is always a winner and a loser. Many strategic decisions revolve around the dealings of other players in the market—suppliers, distributors, providers of complementary goods—and 'win-win' outcomes are achievable.
3. Ascertain each player’s strategic objectives: In real business games players often base decisions, at least in the short term, on criteria such as market share or growth. It is vital to get such criteria correct. If you make the decision to enter a new market in the belief that the incumbent players are 'profit maximisers' when they are really driven primarily by short-run 'market share' objectives, you might suffer unexpected losses when the incumbents slash prices to maintain share.
4. Uncover the probable actions for each player: For each player in the game, including your organisation, develop a list of potential actions on the strategic issue. Generate this list from the perspective of the other organisations, not just your own. What options might they be considering? How will they evaluate these options? Don’t assume that you and your competitors have the same set of strategic options. Competitive role-playing exercises involving external experts, peers and your own employees can help generate these lists.
5. Resolve the possible structure of the game : Will decisions be made simultaneously, in isolation, or sequentially, over time? If sequentially, who is likely to lead and to follow? Will this be a one-shot decision, or will it be repeated? Most business games are repeated, sequential games; pricing decisions, for example, are made over and over in sequence in most markets.
Learning from the game
You need not identify unique, robust equilibrium solutions for this approach to be a valuable strategic-decision-making tool. Since the process itself compels you to think unambiguously about the incentives and likely moves of other players, it can generate a breakthrough in strategic insight even when the game can’t be mapped-out explicitly. Qualitative role-playing exercises and thorough discussions may engender enough insight to show the way to a variation of direction on new-entry, capacity addition, pricing, and other fundamental strategic decisions.
Importantly, while endeavouring to map-out the current industry, you invariably develop insights about how to change strategies to drive more favourable outcomes. Unlike sports such as rugby, business games don’t have fixed rules, players, and referees. Although game theory can help you play your current game better, its greatest value often comes from helping players define new strategies and 'rules.' In certain circumstances, game theory predicts that current market conditions make price wars highly likely because customers switch easily between competitors. This five step approach would help identify the need to change the strategy by implementing customer loyalty programs that create value for customers and companies and decrease incentives for destructive price competition.
Try out game theory when next you need to formulate a strategic decision about which competitive interactions are of importance. Look forward and reason backward to generate insights. If you don’t change your game to gain advantage, one of your competitors will, and there is not much value in being the best rugby player when everyone else is playing cricket.