Happy Anniversary, Growth Igniters Radio − What We’ve Learned and What’s Next
Listen to Episode 54:
Episode 54 Transcript:
Chris Curran: Growth Igniters Radio Episode 54: Happy Anniversary, Growth Igniters Radio − What We’ve Learned and What’s Next.
This episode is brought to you by Business Advancement Incorporated − enabling successful leaders and companies to accelerate to their next level of growth. On the web at www.BusinessAdvance.com. And now, here’s Pam and Scott.
Pam Harper: Thanks Chris. I’m Pam Harper, Founding Partner and CEO of Business Advancement Incorporated. And right across from me is my business partner and husband, Scott Harper. Hi, Scott.
Scott Harper: Hi, Pam. As always, it’s a real pleasure to be together with you again for another episode of Growth Igniters Radio. And if this is your first time listening out there, our purpose is to spark new insights, inspiration and immediately useful ideas for leaders to takes themselves and their companies to their next level of success.
Pam, it’s been almost exactly a year since we started our first episode of Growth Igniters Radio.
Pam Harper: It’s true. It’s true. It’s hard to believe and yet, it was February 11th, I think of 2015.
Scott Harper: That’s correct.
Pam Harper: So much has happened over this year. It makes sense to look back and think about what have been some of our best learnings from this. Also, to look ahead and say, “What’s next?”
Scott Harper: OK. Right off the top of your head, what do you think is one of the biggest insights that you’ve had from this past year of Growth Igniters Radio?
Pam Harper: The first one is that the case studies we’ve featured have really been a favorite for people. We are so gratified to hear back from people saying what tremendous insights they’ve been able to get, that there’s no one right way of doing things.
Scott Harper: These are the conversations we’ve had with the actual CEOs of these successful companies…
Pam Harper: That’s right. The ones that are transforming the face of business. They really are so exciting to speak with and to learn from. Each and every one of them had a turning point, something that made them look at how they were doing things and what they were going to need to do even better to get to that next level.
Scott Harper: The thing that really stands out to me is that as you say, each of them is unique, but there are real themes that run throughout almost all the case studies. The importance of culture…
Pam Harper: Yes.
Scott Harper: The importance of communication, the importance of metrics, − but what’s really striking is that each one of these very successful CEOs in all these different companies and different industries approach it from their own individual direction.
Pam Harper: There’s no recipe for success.
Scott Harper: No recipe; no one right way.
Pam Harper: No one right way. The moment that we begin to think that there is a right way, that’s a danger sign.
Scott Harper: But what’s that say about best practices? Because all of us like to think, “Whoa, there’s a best practice, we’ll take this best practice and put that to use …”
Pam Harper: There are the best practices that are right for your company and your situation.
Scott Harper: So, general principles will work, but you really have to adapt it.
Pam Harper: That’s true. Even when we’re speaking with some people who believe in the contrarian approach, you could say they were going against best practices in some cases. So what does that say? It says you have to be able to use your own judgment. As the world becomes increasingly complex − not that it isn’t already − but as it becomes more so, and we’re exposed to more big data and other kinds of personal experiences, we’re going to have to be able to rely on ourselves even more to say, “Does this work for us? Yes, it is true. It’s the best practice. What can we take of what we’ve heard? Apply it to our situation so that it’s going to work best.”
Scott Harper: Well, that’s right. What we’re really saying is that leadership at its highest level is really as much art as science.
Pam Harper: You’ve got it.
Scott Harper: The artistic CEO, the one who can be creative in the moment and really adapt to what’s going on as life changes all the time, those are the ones who really pull it off and pull it off consistently.
Pam Harper: Leadership is mastering the craft.
Scott Harper: Okay. What’s another top insight we’ve had from this past year?
Pam Harper: I would also say that just in general, people are increasingly taking advantage of mobility. They’re listening to us while they’re doing other things, they’re downloading.
Scott Harper: That’s right. In fact, that’s why we started Growth Igniters Radio in the first place, because we have for years written white papers, and reports, and blogged, and we’ve gotten a lot of feedback from top leaders and CEOs that they want a lot of input, they want insights from other places, other leaders, top authors, but they don’t always have time to read.
Pam Harper: When you’re sitting on a plane, or you’re exercising, or you’re commuting − those seem to be the times, [to take in new insights,] and the people who’ve been giving us reports back say that’s when they’re finding the time to listen, and it’s productive time.
Scott Harper: It is. What’s interesting is that we’re still finding that CEOs specially are not always on top of social media.
Pam Harper: What does this say? It actually says that we’re still cutting edge, folks.
Scott Harper: Yep. You people out there listening − you’re on the forefront.
Pam Harper: That’s right. What it also says is that this is a special way to get information, insights and other kinds of knowledge that you couldn’t necessarily get, say at a conference. It’s a different venue, and it brings different richness to it. We’re going to continue on doing it.
Scott Harper: Speaking of insights, another thing that we’ve really observed and gotten feedback from over the past year is that we started doing book reviews, and we took the somewhat unique concept of pairing books, pairing complementary books, sometimes on the same topics, sometimes on slightly contrasting topics, to really give a feeling for how to maybe get a deeper insight. People have really liked our book review episodes.
Pam Harper: They have been among our most popular episodes, and there is a good reason for it because it’s hard to access all of the books that are coming out there. The other thing we’ve been doing is we’ve been reaching back with our book pairings and saying, “Here’s a new book, but you know what, it goes really well with another book that came out, say, even ten years ago.” How do you take this and make sense out of it? It isn’t like we just throw away what’s already out there.
So we’ve decided that we’re going to do these four times a year.
Scott Harper: Quarterly book pairings…
Pam Harper: That’s right, because there is so much that’s coming out and so much that’s worthwhile pulling out from the past.
Scott Harper: Another thing that we’ve heard is we’ve had a request − a couple requests − for us to have episodes that feature just you and me talking, in addition to the episodes we have with guests. We’ve gotten some good feedback from that as well.
Pam Harper: That’s right. One of the things that we are going to be dedicated to over the next year is coming up with more critical analysis, critical thought, so that we can challenge all of us to get to that next level, because the more we see of what’s going on out there, it’s not same old, same old. It’s going to require a new way of looking at leadership, a new way of thinking about transformation. A new way of thinking about growth and that’s what we’re going to be doing over this next year.
Scott Harper: We’re constantly evolving our own thinking and our own practices and we’ll share it with you out there.
Pam Harper: What isn’t changing is that people like once a week; they like to hear from us once a week on Wednesdays. It’s reliable. We’ve seen a growing listenership and community evolving, which is what we had in mind in the first place when we started Growth Igniters Radio.
Scott Harper: That’s right.
Pam Harper: Remember?
Scott Harper: I do. In fact, the very first episode we had was you and I talking about, “are you getting the most from your business communities.” So today, we are going to reprise the second and third segments of that very first episode of Growth Igniters Radio.
Pam Harper: And join us next week for an all new episode of Growth Igniters Radio with Pam Harper and Scott Harper.
Scott Harper: Until then. Let’s listen…
Scott Harper: You are listening to Growth Igniters Radio, with Pam Harper and Scott Harper. Brought to you by Business Advancement Incorporated. On the web at www.businessadvance.com. We enable successful companies to accelerate to their next level of innovation and growth, and if you like what you’re hearing, spread the good word! Go to www.growthignitersradio.com and use the share links for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter at the top right of the page to tell your social media communities all about us. While you’re there, sign up for our weekly alert of upcoming episodes, so you’ll always be up to date.
Pam Harper: Welcome back to Growth Igniters RadioSM with Pam Harper and Scott Harper. In our last segment, we were talking about some of the ah-ha’s that Scott and I have had about communities, and how they are transforming. Now, we’re going to talk about Growth Igniters Radio.
Scott Harper: A new community…
Pam Harper: Who is … The new community we’re forming, because we can, because mobility makes it possible. We’re going to talk about who it’s for and what it can do for you.
Scott Harper: Who is the Growth Igniters RadioSM community for Pam?
Pam Harper: If I think about it, these are some characteristics of the people I think who’ll get the most from this community: They’re successful, innovative top business leaders who are committed to lifelong learning. Now, this sounds like a mission statem| Business Leadership, Community, Innovation, Strategy, Growthent… I’m just thinking about different aspects of it − the people who are committed to lifelong learning, because that’s really the focus of this community. They want to be …
Scott Harper: They want to pick up new ideas and inspiration…
Pam Harper: They want to become even more successful. Our listeners, the ones who are really going to get the most from this community, Growth Igniters RadioSM, are committed to making a significant difference in the world. They want to leave a legacy.
Scott Harper: The leaders we’re talking to want to leave not just footprints in the sand, they want to leave footprints in the concrete.
Pam Harper: Exactly. The other thing is that our listeners, the ones who are going to get the most out of Growth Igniters RadioSM are the ones that want to get the most out of business and life.
Scott Harper: Right, but they’re in a dilemma because they are very busy. They are successful…
Pam Harper: Extremely busy.
Scott Harper: They are time-stressed. We’ve talked to people, and they say, “I wish that I could go to this conference, or talk to this person, or interact with this group, but I’m so stretched. I’m herding cats myself. I don’t have time to go everywhere.” − As you said Pam, with mobility, they don’t have to go anywhere. We’re coming to them.
Pam Harper: That’s right. In fact, what we’re doing, is we’re sharing our network with you out there who are listening, because that’s one of the biggest things that we can do − we can take some of the world’s foremost authorities on business, on conversations, on building relationships, on building trust…
Scott Harper: Strategy…
Pam Harper: Recruiting talent…
Scott Harper: Pam, you are a people collector. Ever since I’ve met, you all those years ago, you just go around collecting fascinating people. I guess it’s genetic, because your mom and dad did that too. You’ve developed this tremendous community that’s really diverse. Some of them are really fairly famous people.
Pam Harper: That’s right.
Scott Harper: Others, maybe not famous so far, in the conventional clhannel.
Pam Harper: They’re emerging.
Scott Harper: They’re emerging …
Pam Harper: They’re emerging thought leaders.
Scott Harper: … thought leaders.
Pam Harper: Of course the world keeps changing so …
Scott Harper: It does…
Pam Harper: … emerging thought leaders are emerging. One of the best things that we can bring in terms of value is getting the word out and helping feature these people so that we can all share in the things that they bring to us. That’s very exciting.
The other kinds of people, the other people that we’re going to be featuring, are CEOs of companies that are successful − especially in middle market companies, but companies of different sizes too, where they’re doing amazing things. They’re transforming the face of business.
Scott Harper: I bet they are.
Pam Harper: That is so exciting. I mean that’s where my passion is. I love to see this. I want to feature them. I want people to know about them and to learn from them. This is all what Growth Igniters RadioSM is about.
Scott Harper: We’re going to talk to them about more than just best practice,s or how did you get here, or how did you do that, but really − the transformational experiences of their lives, and inspirations and the ah-ha moments, perhaps, that some of them have had that really turned their careers and their companies into significant forces.
Pam Harper: That’s right. That’s why we say that the purpose of Growth Igniters RadioSM is sparking the inspiration, the insights and immediately useful ideas. We are committed to making sure that this is not just an academic exercise. By the end of any Growth Igniters RadioSM episode, there will be at least one or two ideas that you could take and use and apply to your own business.
Scott Harper: I say you’ve set the bar for us today.
Pam Harper: That’s right, I have.
Scott Harper: We’d better do that.
For instance, let’s get specific; who are some of the people that we’re going to be talking to in the next few weeks?
Pam Harper: Well, next week we’re going to have with us Jim Blasingame, who is the Small Business Advocate®. He is one of the foremost experts in the world. I won’t go into it now, but he certainly has an interesting take on the age of the customer.
Scott Harper: An expert in entrepreneurship and small business…
Pam Harper: That’s right. Judith Glaser, another world-renowned expert on conversational intelligence in creating, what she calls Creating WE, the CreatingWE Institute.
Scott Harper: …Bestselling author.
Pam Harper: Bestselling author. We have Leslie Austin, who is affectionately known as “the lion tamer,” that’s right, talking about how do you deal with difficult star performers and stay sane and keep them − retain this talent.
Scott Harper: Make them even more productive…
Pam Harper: That’s right.
Scott Harper: Leslie is an old friend.
Pam Harper: That’s right. That’s just to start out with. What we’ll do is, we’ll have a list of some of the people who are going to be joining us so that you can look online and see ahead of time.
Scott Harper: The cool thing about Growth Igniters RadioSM and why we’re doing it now, is because there are more ways to take in things like this than ever before. We will be available on iTunes and Stitcher, perhaps other networks as well, as well as on our website at www.growthignitersradio.com.
You can listen streaming. You can download. You can listen in your car or while you’re exercising. Any number of ways − it’s information and insights and inspiration for you when you want it, the way you want it.
Pam Harper: That’s right. On the page, you’ll also be able to get a transcript. You’ll be able to ask questions − there’ll be a link to ask questions of us. What we’re looking at is a full range of ways that you can participate.
Scott Harper: With a number of other resources as well.
Pam Harper: That’s right.
We’re going to take another quick break and when we come back, we’re going to talk about immediately useful ways to get the full power of Growth Igniters Radio or for that matter, any other community you belong to. Stay with us.
Scott Harper: You’re listening to Growth Igniters Radio with Pam Harper and Scott Harper. We’re brought to you by Business Advancement Incorporated − on the web at www.businessadvance.com.
If you like what you’re hearing, go to growthignitersradio.com, select episode one, and use the share links at the bottom of the page to tell your communities all about us. Sign up on iTunes or Stitcher. We encourage you to subscribe so you won’t miss a single episode.
Pam Harper: Welcome back to Growth Igniters Radio with Pam Harper, that’s me, and Scott Harper. Now, in the last two segments, we’ve been talking about what is happening in the world of communities, which is they’re transforming.
Scott Harper: Changing radically.
Pam Harper: Transforming. We talked about how Growth Igniters RadioSM fits into all of these. Now, as promised, let’s talk about some immediately useful ideas for how you can get the full power of your business communities, including Growth Igniters RadioSM.
Scott Harper: Pam, when you see people joining communities and being part of communities, you’ve seen sometimes it’s very effective and sometimes they say, “This community stuff just doesn’t work.”
Pam Harper: That’s right. I think we all know how to join a community, but not necessarily do we take full advantage of being there once we’re there. I think the reason is a few-fold. What happens obviously is bandwidth; you get in to all the issues of different priorities. That’s why I would say that the first and foremost thing to get full power of your business community would be to be strategic.
You need to find the relevance. People who say, “Well, this isn’t my real work,” those are the people who are not going to be long. The moment I hear somebody say that, I know they’re not long for the community, because building relationships, learning, exchanging ideas, resources, that is the real work.
Scott Harper: Why? Why is that the real work?
Pam Harper: Because we can’t just depend on the old traditional ways of gaining those kinds of benefits. Our organizations are changing. Our own positions and organizations are changing. People who are with an organization now are starting different companies. People in companies change positions within companies. People are buying and selling companies.
There are so many things that are going on that we need to be able to stay very fluid. The people who say, “Well, this is not relevant to me anymore,” they’re not necessarily thinking about strategy − what is the strategy.
Scott Harper: If they’re focused, they’re going to get more out of it because they’ll say, “This is not what I want to do, but these are the sorts of people that I want to meet. This is the kind of relationship I want to build, and this is how it fits into my career, my company, everything else I’m trying to do.” Is that right?
Pam Harper: That’s right. You need to be looking at “what is it that I need to get most of all in a year?” Think about it like in a year. What is it that we need most of all this year? We need to take a greater emphasis. For example, one year we were focused on a particular industry, so we joined an industry association. Later, we made a switch, and we decided to go broader in terms of how many industries we reached − and we do reach something like over 30, and so we needed a different type of community.
Those are ways that you think about it so that it isn’t like, “Oh, I’ve just… this isn’t relevant anymore.” You need to stay strategic. You need to evaluate it on a year-by-year basis. That’s the first thing, but that’s not the only thing.
Scott Harper: That’s true. As I said before, from my learning in my career, relationships are so critical. You can’t just join a community, “I’m joining a community,” and go in and expect people to welcome you with open arms and be productive and give you stuff. You really have to take the time to think about “what am I doing to listen to people, to create relationships, to help people understand what I want from this relationship and what I can provide in return.”
Pam Harper: Let’s actually flip it around. “What is it that I can give to this relationship?”
Scott Harper: Even better.
Pam Harper: Actually, “why am I here? How can I add value?” That really takes me to the third point, which is the people who are going to get the most out of any community are the ones that realize that it’s about giving, even more than it’s about getting. There’s a get in the give, if that make sense.
Scott Harper: That does make sense. It’s about more than just showing up.
Pam Harper: I mean, I chair the 2015 ACG, Association for Corporate Growth New Jersey, Corporate Growth Conference and Awards, and I have to tell you, it’s been one of the most rewarding things that I have done. It’s a tremendous amount of work, but in that work has been developing relationships, has been learning, has been so many opportunities to learn how to do things that are really vital for our own growth as Business Advancement Incorporated. That’s what I mean by giving as well as getting. The get is in the give.
Scott Harper: How have you built this community? Because I remember when you first took on this world, there was that herding cats thing again.
Pam Harper: You know, you learn. Sounds very Zen but the fact is that that’s just a part of what you do. I happen to be good at it. Aside from that, those are three things. Let’s talk more specifically because this is a virtual community, about what it is that we can do here that parallels those three principles.
Scott Harper: We’re talking about …
Pam Harper: The Growth Igniters RadioSM community, specifically, because we want to be immediately practical. We want to be talking about what people can do now that we’ve talked about in any other community. The first is show up. How do you show up for a virtual community?
Scott Harper: You listen. You download, and you make it part of your schedule because you never know when you’re going to get that inspiration. You’re going to hear somebody who dings something in your head, and it really resonates. If you’re not listening, if you’re not showing − up and you can show up anytime because this is on your own time − when you show up, you open yourself up to possibilities and opportunities that just aren’t going to be there any other way.
Pam Harper: That’s right. That’s why we’re going to give you a schedule of who’s going to be guesting so you’ll know and you’ll be able to schedule that in.
Scott Harper: That’s part of that strategic thing you’re talking about.
Pam Harper: That’s right. The second way is to share, to share what it is that you’re learning. To put a twist on it too, and share that with your communities, your other communities. By spreading the knowledge, there’s a certain amount of giving, but you’re also getting.
Scott Harper: You’re talking partly about sharing on social media.
Pam Harper: That’s right.
Scott Harper: Even beyond that, if you get an idea, write it down. In fact, one of the things that I was taught a long time ago when going to conferences − it applies almost anything, meetings, whatever, conversations − come back and debrief yourself very quickly. Sit down; think about, “What have I just heard now? What are one or two things that I can take from this that sparked an idea, that resonates with something that’s important to me right now?”
Pam Harper: That’s true.
Scott Harper: Write it down.
Pam Harper: You know, sometimes, the most unlikely people can spark some of the most relevant insights that I’ve ever had. I’ve spoken with people in totally different fields that have so much to share, and on surface, people say, “I never thought I would get that from you, or I never thought I’d learn that.” We do.
Scott Harper: If you write it down, it stimulates a whole different part of your brain. It really makes it sink in. Then, you’re going to be sharing because you’re going to be taking those ideas and sending them out to the people you work with, the people you interact with. That’s a whole different level of sharing.
Pam Harper: That’s true. The third way that you can get the most out of Growth Igniters RadioSM community is to contribute. For us, we’re interested in your questions. I think that anybody can − although we’re not going to have formal comments per se − you will have an opportunity to contact us with your questions. Your questions will become the basis for future programs, future episodes.
Scott Harper: What’s on your mind? What is something that you care about or you’re interested in? What do you want to find out? Who do you want to listen to? What topics are important to you? This is all important for us because it will help us build this community to serve you, our listeners out there. We’ll get better and better and better at it as we go along.
Pam Harper: This is the baseline. The fact is, like every other community out there, the Growth Igniters RadioSM Community is going to grow. We’re going to evolve. We’re going to be, as we learn more about you and you learn more about us, we’ll be able to be even more relevant to each other going forward.
Scott Harper: That’s great. Pam. Now, what’s the one thing that people could take away from today’s conversation that they could put to use and to be thinking about?
Pam Harper: Be clear about what you’re looking for in your community. Stay alert to the new opportunities for building community and then get fully involved. Focus on building mutual value. When you do those things, you will get so much power from that community − whatever community you belong with, I should say. We really hope that you continue to come back every week. On Wednesdays, you’ll find out about a new Growth Igniters Radio episode.
Scott Harper: With that, join us next time when our guest will be Jim Blasingame, author of the award-winning book The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance. He’s one of the world’s foremost experts on small business and entrepreneurship. He’s the creator and host of the weekday radio program The Small Business Advocate Radio show.
Pam Harper: Until next time, this is Pam Harper…
Scott Harper: And Scott Harper…
Pam Harper: Wishing you continued success and leaving you with this question to share with others on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and anywhere else.
Scott Harper: If you lived in a perfect world, how would you know it?