Where Do I Learn? – Part 1 – Podcasts

microphone
microphone
microphone

I regularly listen to podcasts. If I’m travelling between clients, I’ll usually be listening to a stream of podcasts. Even when taking a shower or eating breakfast, I can have a podcast playing in the background.

I used to listen to a lot of podcasts as I drove between client sites. The podcast format was ideal for the time behind the wheel and expand my thinking for the few hours that I was on the road. So I had a variety of subjects and presenters. Over time, I’ve narrowed the list down to :

1. Podcasts with a focus on sales

I’m not from a sales background, although I have worked on bid teams, and pre and post sales teams. Yet I fully believe that a significant part of a consultant’s job, especially those such involved in innovation, business architecture, business analysis and change management, is to sell the ideas to stakeholders. I don’t think of this as used-car dealer selling, but more ethical selling. More akin to Rob Jolles’ concept that selling is helping a potential client to arrive a decision quicker than they would have without your involvement, even if they decide not to purchase from you. I’ve seen numerous good ideas fail because the consultant didn’t spend enough effort on selling to the stakeholders. So I include 3 sales podcasts in my list.

1.1 The Salesman Podcast

Will Barron’s daily interview podcast, largely focussed on B2B sales. Although the guests are international, there’s often a UK perspective which isn’t present in many other podcasts. You do hear a number of guests that are doing the podcast circuit, but you definitely get a B2B sales focus and usually a different angle to what you may hear on other podcasts.

Link: The Salesman Podcast

 

1.2 The Sales Podcast

The Sales Podcast with Wes Schaeffer. These are shorter episodes but with a slower, more considered approach. I find the content in this more cerebral than in the Salesman Podcast. More importantly, this has a wider focus, not restricted to B2B sales.

Link: The Sales Podcast

1.3 The Sale Evangelist

These are usually short sessions with a few common themes across the podcasts. The Podcast series is hosted by Donald C Kelly, with short 5 minutes episodes, mixed with more in-depth interview episodes. The mix is refreshing and motivational. The only problem I have is keeping up with them so invariably I miss a few.

Link: the Sales Evangelist

2. Innovation

2.1 The Innovation Ecosystem

This is the only pure innovation podcast that’s remained in my list. I introduced it to my list as I found that the rest of the podcasts had a skewed bias and I still wanted to keep up-to-date with innovation within larger corporations. I like that the interviews are with the people who are introducing innovation within larger organisations, rather than just the standard series of podcast guests appearing on other podcasts.

Link: the Innovation Ecosystem

2.2 The Twenty Minute VC

Not purely about innovation, but about investment, specifically venture capital. This ties together the themes for me of innovation and startups. It’s short (designed to be short enough for a commute) and full of information with a high calibre of guests. In listening to it, I gain further insight into the world of less-mature organisations and advice given to them.

Link: The Twenty Minute VC

3. General

3.1 The Jocko Podcast

This was the first podcast I listened to, well actually I’d heard about Jocko Willink and listened to his interview of Steve Austin’s podcast (so that was the first one), but Jocko is the first host that made me click ‘subscribe’.

Jocko Willink is an ex-Navy Seal commander, now martial arts gym owner, public speaker, author, business consultant and seller of tea. His episodes typically include him reading excerpts from military books (usually military history and first-hand writing where possible), commenting on them and then a question and answer slot at the end. More commonly the Q&A is appearing in a following episode. These are long episodes, easily over an hour.

I continue to listen to these because I agree with 80-90% of his business perspective and I find that he has a clear insight into how to resolve problems. Often that takes the form of reframing the problem from the original question. It’s a similar approach to what I take and it’s good to hear someone from a massively different background doing similar.

Link: The Jocko Podcast

3.2 Ted Talks

They’re short (designed at less than 18 minutes) across a number of themes. Easy to digest and easy to listen to at an increased speed.

Link: Ted Talk Audio

Business Architect for Free*

Idea Post-its

I’ve got some time in between clients where I’d like to contribute back or pay-it-forward. I’d like to donate my time for free and raise a bit for charity while I’m doing it.

Idea Post-its
Idea Post-its

What’s the offer?

You get a Business Architect for free*

*What does free mean? You don’t pay for my time. Instead, you pay expenses (we can agree up front and they could end up being zero) + you make a donation to a registered charity (I’ll leave the amount up to you).

You’ll get me for up to a day, plus time beforehand over email/messenger to discuss how to use that time.

Alternatively, if you just want a chat in person/over Skype, I’m happy to get involved.

This is open until Fri 25th August 2017 to one more company or organisation initially. I have one already booked in, so there’s one more space.

Next steps

Get in touch via @alanward.

What could we do?

Business Architecture is an odd profession. The common route in is through strategic application of many different business analysis methods, but it is possible to come in through other routes. Which means that no two Business Architects have the same skills, experience or expertise.

I specialise in three areas:

  1. Innovation: specifically bringing activities more commonly related to startups into larger organisations, kick-starting innovation if you’re just starting, have stalled or hit a brick-wall
  2. Customer  Focus + Lean: evaluation of your current operations, plus how to transform them into something more efficient and relevant to what your customers require
  3. Motivation: specifically Business Motivation rather than individual motivation, although the two are closely related.

The trick would be finding something that we could achieve in one day. I’m up for that challenge. Are you?

The future

If this works out well, then there’s a good chance that I’ll do this on a regular basis. So please, get in touch. Even if we don’t meet this next time, I’ll remember you for the next round.

Mentoring and Training

Bottle Stack
Bottle Stack

All of the changes facing every organisation require skilled personnel, either increasing a team’s knowledge in the tools and techniques used for change or by mentoring analysts, providing guidance and supervision.

Training

Training packages can be developed in the following:

Each training package is bespoke, specifically tailored to the client’s needs.

Mentoring

Mentoring is a longer engagement than training, designed to offer support to your staff in their profession. For those involved in the change profession (change analysts, business analysts, business process analysts), we can provide a mentoring service; either with regular drop-ins or remote via email or onto your organisation’s existing discussion forums. This service should be considered as supplementary to the standard employee mentoring and welfare within your own organisation.

It is ideal for SME (Small-to-Medium Sized Enterprises) with one or two business analysts, but who do not have sufficient need or resources to accommodate a wider analysis function. This service provides mentoring by a senior analyst, reducing what could otherwise be an costly commitment for a small organisation and providing experience from a number of industry sectors.

This mentoring service will open up the opportunity for your own staff to think more strategically and, eventually, develop your organisation’s target operating models.

Want to know more, then contact us.