Category

Coaching

WeWork host the August edition of Business, Bikes and Breakfast

By Business, Business Coaching, Coaching, Entrepreneur, Motivation, Motor Bikes No Comments

The Jo’burg team at WeWork helped successfully pull off the coaching element of last week’s Business Bikes and Breakfast event!

The prior months group voted on “Social media strategy” as the August theme and after doing a fun ice breaker event on top of Northcliff Hill we pulled into the Link building [scaring the security guards] where coffee and coaching was served!

All pics by Brandon

Business, Bikes and Breakfast – a Radical Accountability Program. Jo’burg April 2019.

By Business Coaching Lifestyle Mentoring Motivation Motor Bikes Photography No Comments

This month 10 business owners shared insights into their big ambitious business goals and how to start with a strategy to deliver this.

Some of the tools used included a Value Proposition canvas and a customer window matrix.

Unsure what these are? Contact us to find out more brent@spillly.com

All pics with love from Brandon.hinton.jpeg

Business, Bikes and Breakfast Radical Accountability Program #BBBRAP 1 Feb. 19

By Business Coaching Mentoring Motivation Motor Bikes Public Speaking No Comments

Business, Bikes and Breakfast Radical Accountability Program #BBBRAP 1 Feb. 2019

After months of planning and building the methodology, the first Business Bikes and Breakfast Radical Accountability Program was held on 1 February with 14 delegates each riding their motorcycle our from Parkhurst, Johannesburg to Parys in the Free State.

It rained. It rained a lot. Let’s be clear, it was wet but the riders were in good spirit even after half the crew took the wrong highway off ramp and got lost on a dirt road that was not ideal for Harleys and Ducati Panigales.

Breakfast and coffee was served at the Dog and Fig Brewery just outside of Parys whereafter the group coaching program was facilitated by Brent Spilkin, aka, Spillly.

The program started with a fun introductory and memory exercise and some deep reflection on 2018, the year gone by. After this some perspective was given on the highs and lows of their year, we ran planning and deliberation on what 2019.

Using the #BBBRAP redline worksheet, each biker looked at their personal lives and business life and devised 4 crucial plans to improve these over 4 periods. These were shared, under no obligation with the rest of the participants, leaving pride off the table and vulnerability in the open.

It was a new experience for all with friends and memories being made as well as driving away with some clarity and purpose for the coming months.

Here is what a few delegates said:

“Over all a really open and vulnerable experience. Spillly also has a way of communicating in a way that makes sense to me plus invites me to get to down to the ‘nitty gritty’ if where the challenges lie…in me!!! Great way to meet new people. Often those people are a mirror to your own experiences, both personally and professionally, so you kind of all help each other out.”

_______________________

“Spillly helped me finally put a strategic plan-to-action down to paper on things that had been dwelling in the back of my head for months – such a refreshing and inspiring way to start the year. That’s for not only being a good coach Spillly, but a friend in this process too.”

_______________________

“This platform allowed me to reevaluate aspects of my life from a personal and business perspective and in turn, opened my mind to making positive changes. Best of all, I was able to do it with like-minded business people.”


Each Biker walked away with some insight into themself and appreciated taking the time out the office to focus on growth and improvement across all elements of their life! They also had a working document to reflect back on, as well as a few stickers and a unique BBBRAP poster for the days ride.

Friends were made and bonds of trust established – all crucial for the next ride out on 1 March 2019!

“REFLECT | WRITE | PLAN | SHARE

Here are a few images of the day thanks to Joe at Bonafide Studios.

The top 8 things advertising agencies should be doing to build their business models around freelancers

By Business Coaching Freelance Mentoring No Comments

Not too long ago, agencies hid freelancers behind the curtain as they quietly pumped out work. Today, success requires you to view freelancers as strategic assets. With the growing gig economy and technology making it so easy to work remotely, it is becoming irrelevant whether
a worker is a freelancer or belongs to permanent staff. Clients do not care who does the job — they want to know you have the experts available to produce quality work on time and within budget.

Here’s why you need to create a freelancer strategy

Many agencies look to freelancers to provide cost-effective, quick labour. However, if you do not manage freelancers appropriately, they can cost more time and money than you realise. It takes time to find them, manage them, and to fix their work if something goes wrong. These hours add up and take away from your margins.

When you hire freelancers correctly, i.e. build them into your business model, your bottom line will benefit from the consistently superb quality work they produce. Freelancers add value. Most projects need a team of experts, and few (if any) agencies can have them all on their staff. Additionally, the best talent for the project may not be available locally.

Freelancers help you reduce overheads, increase specialisation and improve service levels. Providing higher-quality output and lower costs to clients is why you should be gearing your agency towards operating via freelance talent.

Developing an arsenal of trusted freelancers, who are well-coached in your company culture, and creating systems for scaling, can help your agency grow without straining your budget or sacrificing quality. Here are the top 8 things your agency should do to build your business model around freelancers:

1. Have a wide bench of talent

Instead of the same teams hiring the same freelancers, ensure you have a wide choice of freelancers on the bench which any team can access when they need specific talent.

 2. Consider their rates, as well as their ratings & reputation

 Thoroughly vet talent until you can trust their work is up to scratch and that they know how to deliver what you expect. Contact your peers to chat to them about their experiences with some of the freelancers you are considering adding to your bench of talent, or use online freelance resources where they are rated by the companies who have hired them before.

 3. Develop relationships with them

 To improve work consistency, shorten ramp-up time and minimise costs, build relationships with your go-to freelancers and ensure you always have a reliable pool of talent on hand.

4. Let freelancers know they are assets

You are hiring freelancers to add value, so treat them like they are valuable. To benefit from cost-effective, high-quality results, your freelancers must feel that their talent and experience are beneficial to your team.

5. Give them all the information they need

When a freelancer is empowered with all the information they need for a project, they become more dedicated and willing to collaborate on making said project successful. You can further assist them to develop a deeper understanding of the client and project by including them in relevant meetings and connecting them to the right people to answer their questions.

6. Communicate expectations clearly

 Be upfront about what the work entails, what the deliverables are, and what success looks like for you. On the other side of the coin, invite the freelancer to express their expectations too, so that you know what they will be billing, have an idea of their availability, and any other essential details which may affect the project.

7. Bring contractors onboard earlier

 Before your pitch to a new client / for a new project, bring your freelancers onboard to help shape the project scope with their specific expertise and assist in defining what success looks like, as well as to better estimate the rate your agency will charge for the work you are pitching.

8. Give them access to your tools

From day one, give your freelancers access to your collaboration tools, such as Asana or Slack. This promotes open communication, which helps them resolve issues efficiently and hold each other accountable.

The bottom line for agencies hiring freelancers is to find the best possible talent and use them wisely. By building a contingent workforce into your business model, you can increase your agency’s immediate margins and ensure that the value of what you are offering grows over time.

Are you becoming a Betterman?

By Business Coaching Lifestyle Mentoring Public Speaking No Comments

About a year ago I was fortunate enough to coach Erik Kruger from Betterman and have remained in contact over the past few months, watching his business grow and define its position in the market.

Betterman is a website dedicated to the thinking man. The man who lives with intention. The man who takes action. It’s a gathering place for those who seek influence and those who seek to make an impact in the world.

Under the Betterman umbrella is the Apex Club, an event that happens for dapper men who want to learn about life, entrepreneurship and leaving an impact. Last week I was asked by Erik to tell my story and share knowledge and learnings about my businesses and experiences. It was a pleasure to have 35 men who genuinely cared about the organisation engage with me and each other at the Maxim Lounge in Sandton.

Here are some pics taken during the event, where I was seen in a jacket [a rare thing indeed!]

 

Email Is Ruining Your Relationships

By Business Coaching Mentoring Motivation No Comments

I started working in my business in 1995. I had an “old fashioned” telephone with push buttons by my side and next-door in my bookkeepers office, stood two facsimile machines. I say ‘facsimile’ because I know what that is and I’m proving a point… more of that to follow.

 

Lets be clear. No Internet to be heard of. No Facebook. No email. No cell phones. We had the yellow pages and written CRM lists. Our invoicing and accounting package ran off a Pentium processor with a dot matrix printer attached via cable. It was slow but reliable.

 

Life and business was actually way simpler and way slower. As tech caught up with our need for speed and the Internet moved into our communication reach, our once heavily focused cold calling and telephonic relationship-based business started moving to the written word and my first email address [for the whole company] was set up. This in my opinion was the beginning of the end. Everyone from customers, suppliers and staff now started building a culture of “covering my tracks” and putting every last word in 11 point Calibri. Again, it worked for the most part very well. Productivity did improve and information flowed exponentially faster. But this was at the cost of relationships. Here is my visual estimation of how that looked:

 

So, as we started typing away, we stopped calling people and then the Hiroshima of communication was dropped – cell phones. As soon as short message system [SMS] became a ‘thing’ the written word became more powerful than our voice. We lost tone. We lost pace. We lost the sound of LOL and we started losing eye contact. Internet 2.0 brought us social media and along with mobile domination and Wi-Fi proliferation the problem was escalated.

 

We stopped making calls. We stopped taking calls. We huff when our mothers call and cant understand why they just don’t text us. We aim for the impossible Inbox Zero and are suffering from email fatigue. Add to that Slack fatigue, Whatsapp fatigue, Skype fatigue, Text fatigue, Social media fatigue, messenger fatigue and now Story fatigue.

 

We don’t LOL anymore ‘cause it’s lame. FFS. We have stopped laughing in text – never mind in real life. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s called the telephone. It’s a place where you can address an issue in 2 minutes rather than bouncing a string mail back and forth 20 times to resolve something simple. It’s a place where you are not cc’d, Bcc’d or even forwarded useless, untimely information. There is no spam *gasp* in your conversation and you can in worst-case follow up with a simple bullet point email to “cover your ass!” [If need be.]

 

The phone is your friend. It’s the place you spent hours chatting to girlfriends, boyfriends and family in your youth. A place where you can laugh and even entertain the quiet moments, between words and thoughts. It’s the place you can enjoy people ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’ to your voice. The phone gives you instant satisfaction and recognition.

 

This is a call for action. It’s a call to return to the decades before Snapchat and pick up the phone. Cut through the bullshit. Take a chance. Can you hear that ringing?? Answer the call.

 

 

Recent Update: It has become clear that more and more of my clients now are responding to mail with a call and making more calls in order to re-establish a missing feeling and ACTUALLY speed up the pace of their business. Voice is and always will be, quicker than your fingers.

Innovation and disruption labs exposed.

By Business Business Management Coaching Innovation

At first Google ruined our perception of culture and set standards so ridiculously high that most business in South Africa doesn’t even attempt to fix their culture because the bar has been set so high. Now with their skunkwork’s “Solve for X” and the acquisition of Idealab Google have outsourced the smart thinking and can afford to hire the best minds in the world to help solve problems most of us don’t even know are problems yet. This should not stop even the smallest business from being innovative and disruptive in their immediate space. But what is Innovation and disruption besides the trendy terms that are thrown around and leadership conferences?

 

Its important to get your head around that fact that all disruptors are innovators, but not all innovators are disruptors. A disruptive technology or idea literraly changes the way we think, behave and buy and can influence countless people to experience something new in their lives. Innovation can do the same thing but more often than not, is incremental and has a smaller impact on the general populus but does simplify, speed up and improve something to justify the change.

 

The next imporant fact is that you are more than likely not going to be the ground breaking innovator in your industry and your opposition will be first to market. And thats perfectly okay. In Adam Grant’s book “Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World” he beautifully explains how marketing researchers Peter Golder and Gerard Tellis compared the success of companies that were either pioneers or settlers.

 

The pioneers were first to market: the initial company to develop or sell a product. The settlers were slower to launch and waited until the pioneers had created a market before entering it. When Golder and Tellis analyzed hundreds of brands in three dozen different product categories, they found a staggering difference in failure rates: 47 percent for pioneers, compared with just 8 percent for settlers. Pioneers were about six times more likely to fail than settlers. Even when the pioneers did survive, they only captured an average of 10 percent of the market, compared with 28 percent for settlers. Feel better?

 

When you see disruptive innovations coming from outside your organization you have 3 options:

1.     Option 1: Chase the market

2.     Option 2: Find new markets based on your expertise

3.     Option 3: A non-productive approach, to deny that the disruptive innovation will affect you market at all and continue business as usual. Lets all bury our heads in the sand, shall we?

 

When you learn of a radical new invention that threatens to disrupt your business and market, do not ignore it and don’t “insulate” against these disruptive threats and try preserving your current business model. Don’t be afraid to educate the market if the move is happening especially if you are leading the charge.

 

So how should you bake innovation into your company?

 

At the pharmaceutical giant Merck, CEO Kenneth Frazier decided to motivate his executives to take a more active role in leading innovation and change. He asked them to do something radical: generate ideas that would put Merck out of business. His executives worked in groups, pretending to be one of Merck’s top competitors. His team developed ideas for drugs that would crush theirs and key markets they had missed. Then, their challenge was to reverse their roles and figure out how to defend against these threats as Merck.

 

This is referred to as a “Kill the company” exercise. Its super powerful as it reframes a gain-framed activity in terms of losses. When deliberating about innovation opportunities, the leaders weren’t inclined to take risks. When they considered how their competitors could put them out of business, they realized that it was a risk not to innovate. The urgency of innovation was apparent

Running an innovation lab or disruption session in your business is a great starting point. Start with some hard-hitting questions that address what actions might your competitors take tomorrow that would keep you awake at night. Other questions you can pose your team are as follows:

 

 

a.     What new technology could potentially destroy our business model?

b.    What new legislation/law could potentially destroy our business model?

c.     What’s happening in another part of the world that you could adopt and adapt in your environment?

d.    What are some of the disruptive changes in your industry that might serve as the source of innovation for you and your company?

e.    What are the key emerging technologies, and how are they being used inside and outside your industry, company, and region to create proprietary advantage?

f.      Is there new business models emerging that you can adopt or adapt to deliver radical improvements in the way you and others do business?

g.     Can you expand not just your “share of market” but also your “share of wallet” by adding new business models—for example, if you currently have a product business, can you add information, services, or solutions?

h.    Can you expand into adjacent businesses by either taking over activities that used to be done by someone else in your industry, expanding into new markets, or adding new products?

i.      Are there fragmented industries where significant value can be delivered through consolidation?

j.      Are there shifts in power with an entry or exit of a key player or consolidation of several players, which threaten your existing position or create opportunities to partner in your existing business or enter a new one?

k.     Are new markets or businesses emerging in other parts of the world that create opportunities or threats?

l.      Are there opportunities to create value by outsourcing or offshoring activities that you currently perform inside your organization?

m.   Is there activities that you currently source from outside that you should be doing inside to create proprietary advantage?

n.    Is there impending or shifts in regulation, political power, or society that threaten to disrupt entrenched power bases and provide opportunities for new entrants?

o.    Where is the greatest complexity now?

p.    What are the most “emotion-generating/engaging” service attributes you can offer that you could never satisfy?

 

It is never a bad idea to throw in a PEST or SWOT analysis into the mix to thicken out the risk elements. Always think of worst-case scenario first and work your way towards a winning strategy. Successful entrepreneurs are able to recognize patterns before an opportunity takes shape and search for ideas at the intersection of markets, industries, and emerging technologies. Look for business models that work well in one market and can be adapted and applied in another.

 

An innovation workshop is never the only step to creating disruption in your business or market place. The stages you should try including are:

 

a.    Problem identification (customer journeys for anywhere between 1 month and 1 year)

a.    Clarify and challenge the biases and business models in your firm and in your industry

b.    Analysis and research; always have facts and figures as the basis for decision-making.

a.    Listen to—and learn from—the market: Identify sources of significant problems that cannot be solved using today’s product and service offerings. Focus first on the problem—not the solution. Be sure that you don’t just listen to your current customers.

c.     Design thinking stages (internal and collaborative); this helps you discover new product ideas.

d.    Unpacking the designs into options, road maps and feasibility.

e.    The decision making process.

f.      Assessment of capability and resource gap analysis.

a.    Identify important global and local trends that signal potential revolutionary shifts in customer behaviour

g.     The case for a business plan with revenue and value potential.

h.    The narrative for staff and the market.

i.      Design and implementation (includes assigning all your required resources)

j.      Testing the ecosystem.

k.     Launch and iteration.

 

Labs like these should take place on a set agreed frequency and adding external people for a unique POV adds a rich layer of brains that doesn’t have the same industry bias’ that your people do and broaden your perspective.

 

Here are a few tips on Innovation ideas and disruption workshops that spark original ideas:

 

·      Run an innovation tournament.

o   Welcoming suggestions on any topic at any time, doesn’t capture the attention of busy people.

o   Innovation tournaments are highly efficient for collecting a large number of novel ideas and identifying the best ones.

o   Instead of a suggestion box, send a focused call for ideas to solve a particular problem or meet an untapped need.

o   Give employees three weeks to develop proposals, and then have them evaluate one another’s ideas, advancing the most original submissions to the next round.

o   The winners receive a budget, a team, and the relevant mentoring and sponsorship to make their ideas a reality.

·      Picture yourself as the enemy.

o   People often fail to generate new ideas due to a lack of urgency.

o   You can create urgency by implementing the “kill the company” exercise [Stolen from Lisa Bodell, CEO of Futurethink.]

o   Gather a group together and invite them to spend an hour brainstorming about how to put the organization out of business—or decimate its most popular product, service, or technology.

o   Then, hold a discussion about the most serious threats and how to convert them into opportunities to transition from defence to offense.

·      The Pitch:

o   Invite employees from different functions and levels to pitch ideas.

o   At DreamWorks Animation, even accountants and lawyers are encouraged and trained to present movie ideas.

o   This kind of creative engagement can add skill variety to work, making it more interesting for employees while increasing the organization’s access to new ideas.

o   Involving employees in pitching has another benefit: When they participate in generating ideas, they adopt a creative mind-set that leaves them less prone to false negatives, making them better judges of their colleagues’ ideas.

·      Hold an opposite day.

o   Since it’s often hard to find the time for people to consider original viewpoints, one of the smart practices is to have “opposite day” in the boardroom and at conferences.

o   Executives and staff divide into groups, and each chooses an assumption, belief, or area of knowledge that is widely taken for granted.

o   Each group asks, “When is the opposite true?” and then delivers a presentation on their ideas.

·      Word Banishment

o   Ban the words like, love, and hate.

o   At the non-profit DoSomething.org, CEO Nancy Lublin forbade employees from using the words like, love, and hate, because they make it too easy to give a visceral response without analysing it.

o   Employees aren’t allowed to say they prefer one Web page over another; they have to explain their reasoning with statements like “This page is stronger because the title is more readable than the other options.”

o   This motivates people to contribute new ideas rather than just rejecting existing ones.”

·      Welcome criticism.

o   It’s hard to encourage dissent if you don’t practice what you preach.

o   When you receive an email criticizing your performance in an important meeting, copying it to the entire company sends a clear message you welcome negative feedback.

o   By inviting employees to criticize you publicly, you can set the tone for people to communicate more openly even when their ideas are unpopular.

·      Shift from exit interviews to entry interviews.

o   Instead of waiting to ask for ideas until employees are on their way out the door, start seeking their insights when they first arrive.

o   By sitting down with new hires during onboarding, you can help them feel valued and gather novel suggestions along the way.

o   Ask what brought them in the door and what would keep them at the firm, and challenge them to think like culture detectives.

o   They can use their insider-outsider perspectives to investigate which practices belong in a museum and which should be kept, as well as potential inconsistencies between espoused and enacted values.

 

In summary, throwing innovation and disruption workshops may be seen as a cool new thing but they stand for ground zero in change for big business and can be leveraged to unlock creativity for youur business and for customers and their wider community. Build an innovation lab to make sure you do not underestimate the value it can deliver.

21 Signs You Should Invest In Business Coaching.

By Coaching Mentoring

Running your own business is hard. It’s lonely at the top. Often business owners just wish they had someone [who isnt a friend or spouse] to just give open, honest and objective advice on what they should do and not do next. That’s where business coaching plays a vital role in your organisation. If you aren’t even sure what business coaching is work out how many of these 21 points resonate with you?

  1. You can’t determine what’s really important on a daily basis and aren’t even focusing on the ones you feel are. You are unsure what to do next and even what sequence to follow.

  2. You aren’t seeing the blind spots and feel you need someone to clue you into things you don’t know exist

  3. There is no one that you are accountable to and feel that having to answer to someone will keep you on track.

  4. You say yes to every opportunity and aren’t chasing the most fruitful ones.

  5. There is no focus on your weaknesses and you aren’t developing your strengths further.

  6. Your company lacks a differentiating factor that will advance your growth quicker and separate you from the pack.

  7. Your team are looking for a strong leader with powerful techniques to improve their own skills and keep them motivated.

  8. The business is treading water and just not growing fast enough and not reaching the potential you knew was there when you started the company.

  9. On a daily basis you are not happy at your workplace and are making excuses to not engage with clients and staff. You are looking for clarity, joy and increased success.

  10. There is no objective soundboard in your life that you can bounce ideas and frustrations off.

  11. Decisions are being made with no confidence and you are tired of making these choices alone. You know that what you are doing has been done before and just want someone to show you how.

  12. There is still passion in the business but you are finding it impossible to articulate this to potential clients and often find that people don’t really understand what it is you do. You lack a clear message and a juicy desirable brand.

  13. The constant “No’s” have bruised your ego and confidence. Getting new business is harder than you thought and you are too exhausted to keep trying.

  14. Your income is a roller coaster with great months and terrible month back to back, making it impossible to plan for stability and giving your team a feeling of insecurity.

  15. You really want to make more money and don’t know why its taken this long and aren’t sure if its meant to be this hard. Questioning yourself has become almost a daily occurrence.

  16. Marketing and cold hard sales are not your friend, but you would like them to be.

  17. You have heard of this myth called “work-life balance” and are desperately looking for a little of this.

  18. Comparing your business to other businesses has become a pastime and opposition are always quicker off the mark than you are.

  19. Your version of success has become muddy and your goal dates have come and gone more than a few times.

  20. There are no set processes in the daily operations and you keep repeating yourself to your team and making the same mistakes over and over.

  21. You’re serving everyone but yourself and you want better clients and don’t even know what your ideal client looks like.

If you don’t know how to build a business and are looking for the “Ah-ha” moments that will make your company a great company and getting a job is not an option, then you are ready for a business coach. Invest in your business. Invest in you and receive incredible value and freedom.