Helping Others Make the Most of Their Conative Strengths – Kathy Kolbe

This year I got an extra special treat – I got to meet and get to know Kathy Kolbe.

I had known about Kathy’s work for years and had my own Kolbe A™ Index done in 2005. (My M.O. is 4-3-9-2) Since then, I have used the Kolbe Assessment Tool Set and Kolbe certified consultants to gain insights into creating high performance teams.  But it was not until we started chatting on Twitter that Kathy and I actually set a date to get together for lunch and started to share ideas. 

About a month later, at Kathy’s suggestion, I got certified myself so that I could better apply the power of understanding my own innate abilities to what I do an and learn how to use Kolbe Wisdom™ to make the most of the natural strengths of others in my home life, at work, and in my various community activities.

I continue to learn something new about conation every time I listen to Kathy (here’s a podcast she did recently with Koren Motekaitus) or by following @KathyKolbe on Twitter.  Here is an article Martha Beck wrote in O Magazine about the Kolbe Index.

Understanding what my natural strengths are and how I can make the best use of them has been a huge advantage for me over the years.  So when I started the “People Making a Difference Series on Little Life Stories – Kathy was a natural to interview. 

An Interview with Kathy Kolbe – the world’s leading expert on Conation.

JKW: Kathy, I hear your name every time someone talks about Conative Abilities.  How would YOU describe yourself?

KK: Theorist by nature, entrepreneur by preference & writer by pure determination, I’m also a severe dyslexic who has created paths to my freedom to be me. I strive to develop expertise & opportunities to help others do the same.

As the author of 100+ books & programs teaching creative problem solving for kids – thru my biz, Resources for the Gifted -Time Magazine named me (1985 Man of the Year article) 1 of 7 people representing America’s Can-Do Spirit.

Shortly after, a near-fatal car accident left me unable to walk, talk, read or write. I’d been exploring little known instinct-driven conative actions & reactions, and this provided the unique opportunity to experience the isolated use of that source of personal power. The recovery process gave me a higher education in the conative part of the mind. When the book I later wrote (Conative Connection) became a best seller, it was clear that my life’s work was to help others discover the power of the differing but equal innate abilities I’d unearthed. I do that through Kolbe Corp and the non-profit Center for Conative Abilities.

kolbeJKW:  Many companies are learning the importance of understanding conation in the workplace – but it does not stop there.  You’ve shared some great examples with me.  Would you share one with our readers?

KK:  A favorite application of my work is what happened when I was helping a CEO build and lead his exec team. He asked if I could also help with family problems. His wife and 16 and  12 year old kids completed the Kolbe A Index or Kolbe Youth Indexes, and by phone we discussed natural conflicts in their MOs (or Kolbe Index results). His wife came to realize she was on his son’s case because he didn’t stick to her sense of order. She was also uncomfortable with her husband’s innate degree of risk taking. The daughter, who they feared was ADD, was actually able to thrive once they understood her conative need for hands-on, multitasking activities. In three teleconferences, a family in crisis became one with an appreciation – even a sense of humor – about their differing instinctive responses to one another. And, like a doctor who faces family illnesses, the CEO became a better leader.

JKW:  You have inspired thousands.  Who inspires you?

KK:  My greatest inspiration has come from my grandchildren. When I see their joy when they have the freedom to be themselves, their persistence in overcoming obstacles, their compassion for each others’ conative needs, and the great wisdom in how they use this information, I am in awe of both the power within them and the way they put it to use.

JKW:  Why do you do what you do?

KK:  I do what I do because it is what I believe I was meant to do. I am fulfilling my sense of purpose.

JKW:  If you had three wishes, what would they be?

KK: Wish #1 – That every human being knew the nature of his or her instinct-driven conative powers, found joy in it, humor in their differences from others, and had the freedom to use it purposefully. 

Wish #2 – That our culture would stop pathologizing conative strengths (false ADD and other misdiagnoses ) and stereotyping these universal traits by gender, age , and race (“men are more mechanically inclined”).

Wish #3 – That the combination of human intelligence, compassion, and conative creativity could be used to rid humankind of poverty, pain and wars against one another.

A Special Gift from Kathy Kolbe

Kathy Kolbe’s gift to all of us is the ability to better understand HOW we will do what we do to solve problems, find solutions, and get things done. Understanding our personal M.O. (Modus Operandi) and identifying our natural talents helps us understand how we do our best work and why certain things come so easily to us while others do not.

Kathy even has set up a special page on her website just for you as a thank you for reading this post.  For a limited time, you, our readers can receive a 20% discount ($10.00 off) on the Kolbe A™ Index. See offer and more information at: http://kolbe.com/jkw .

When you take your Kolbe A™ Index, be sure to listen to the audio portions of your report, recorded specially for you by Kathy.  They are incredibly helpful. 

Plus – as a special gift from me (I can’t let Kathy do ALL the work) – I’ll be happy to spend an hour with you on the phone or via Skype chatting about how you can put this knowledge to work for you.  Just send me a note by clicking on this contact link.  In your note, include Your Name (exactly as you entered it in the Kolbe system) your four number MO (mine is 4-3-9-2) and your email address so I can review your report and get back to you to set up a time.

Taking the Kolbe A™ Index is the first step to learning how to emphasize the things that come most naturally to you and how to stop fighting your natural instincts.  Isn’t that a great way to kick off 2010!

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

For information on Kolbe Corp copyrights and trademarks, click here

Customer Service – Be Careful What You Automate

Few companies will argue that that customer service is important.  We see messages relating to the importance of customers appear in mission statements, value statements, and strategic plans on a regular basis.

Yet, when you call these same companies, too often you reach not a customer sensitive employee, but instead an automated voice response unit or VRU.  These marvels of efficiency creating technology are happy to give you a wealth of choices – often without an obvious or expedient option to talk to a real person.  Worse, when you actually discover the secret code, you get a very pleasant voice sharing with you that ‘due to high call volume, your call will be answered in ____ minutes.”  Sometimes the wait time is short, others not so short.  My favorite was the company that shared how important I was as a customer and that the anticipated wait time was FORTY MINUTES.  Then to add insult to injury, their hold message was bragging about their recent prestigious award for customer service!

Yes, reducing costs and increasing efficiencies is important.  But, be sure you understand the REAL message you deliver to your customers by your service or lack of it.

As you can see in this humorous clip from my friend Dave Griffiths  (@Bensonix on Twitter) automatons don’t make the best customer service agents or tech support staff.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOJrXlRT-60]

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

The Generous Nature of Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are dreamers, creators, innovators, and builders.  They come in all shapes and sizes, and have businesses that run the gamut from global ventures and high technology to localized products and services.   But if there is one thing that entrepreneurs have in common, it is their generosity and willingness to help others.  It’s probably because entrepreneurs understand what it means to strive, to struggle, and to work towards a dream.

OTEF LogoEvery year for the past 5 years as Chairman of OTEF ,  I have watched as entrepreneurs from Arizona and across North America gather at the Arizona Entrepreneurship Conferences to learn from each other AND to help OTEF, the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation, raise the money need to fund programs that help at risk populations realize economic self 19742-logosufficiency through entrepreneurship with classes, mentoring, and other resources.  To learn more about OTEF and it’s programs – click here .

But even after the ‘show’ is over, the continuous challenge of funding these activities continues. 

This week, we got yet another example of the generosity of entrepreneurs when the team at  Pillsbury Wine Company, reached out with a wonderful offer to help in furthering our mission.

Pillsbury

Pillsbury Wine Company is the brainchild of Sam Pillsbury, award-winning New Zealand  and American film-maker (The Quiet Earth, Free Willy 3, Endless Bummer) and former co-owner of Dos Cabezas winery in Southeastern Arizona. Wine is his passion and Sam has done it all- from planting vines to serving Dos Cabezas wines at the White House. Dos Cabezas wines have received stellar reviews over the years and Sam is now ready to take his skills and experience in a new direction.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=si2_KbBFs2U]

Sam is joined in the project by winemaker Eric Glomski, formerly with David Bruce and Caymus wineries in California and by Rob Dunaway, attorney/businessman, voted one of Phoenix’s top 12 business advisors in the New Times 2001 Readers Poll.Rob, also a founding member of OTEF’s board of directors, brought us a special opportunity and now I am sharing it with you.

Your Opportunity

It is the opportunity to support  the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation this holiday season with a gift of wine to yourself, to a loved one, or for a valued business associate. In return, PILLSBURY WINE COMPANY, the hot Arizona Wine Company that critics are raving about, is donating 12% of the wine sales to OTEF.It’s really easy – just email LindseyHigginson@aol.com and let her know which and how many of the AWARD WINNING, FOOD ENHANCING RHONE VALLEY STYLE WINES  Pillsbury has to offer you would like to order plus  your contact information so Lindsey can get back to you and “This is for OTEF” to trigger the donation!Bottles signed by Sam Pillsbury can also be arranged.See this really is a great opportunity.  In one fell swoop, you get to help OTEF teach entrepreneurship skills to at risk groups as well as present great programs like AZEC09, plus you get access to wonderful, award winning wines, AND if you have not finished your holiday shopping – here’s your chance. 

The Wines of the Award Winning Pillsbury Wine Company

For your shopping pleasure – here is the list of wonderful Pillsbury wines…Pillsbury 2008 Rosé     $20Provençal style ‘onion skin’ pink with hints of watermelon, red cherry and strawberry on the nose, bright and refreshing in the mouth, with a clean finish. It will pair well with any light fare, especially salads, fresh fruit, and cheese and crackers. 94 Cases made. Alcohol 14%.‘Local Product of the Month’ Phoenix Magazine, August 2009.Pillsbury 2008 Pinot Gris ‘Casa Blanca’    $20We call this ‘Casa Blanca’ because the Pinot Gris made from these high altitude Arizona vines have twice been served at White House State Dinners. It has a nose of freshly chopped apple, followed by ripe peaches and apricots on the palate. It pairs well with salads, seafood or lighter chicken dishes. 230 Cases made. Alcohol 12.5%. Not yet rated.Pillsbury 2006 Roan Red    $24A blend of Grenache and Mourvedre with a small amount of Syrah and Petite Sirah, aged in neutral oak. Bone dry, unfined and unfiltered. Fragrant herbal nose with hints of lavender and honeysuckle. It has spicy ripe red-cherry fruit, with hints of vanilla and tarragon and an autumnal, forest-floor character, with a lovely long finish. Pair with pastas and lighter meat and poultry dishes. Alcohol 13.7%, 329 cases made.93 points. Mark Tarbell, AZ Republic (highest score ever given an AZ wine)Pillsbury 2007 Roan Red  $2493.2% Syrah, 6.8%Grenache. This Roan Red is different than the 2006. Our Syrah vines are an Aussie Shiraz clone we planted in the Arizona High Desert in 2000. This is an intense wine with a spicy nose, cherry/cranberry and dark berry fruit with silky tannins and hints of sweet walnut, cucumber and blood orange. Pair with lamb, pasta or robustly flavored chicken dishes. 186 cases made. Alcohol 14%. Not yet rated.Pillsbury 2007 Diva  $3664.3 % Grenache, 21.4% Petite Sirah, 14.3% Mourvedre. This blend is a Chateuneuf du Pape style blend, and once again made with our ripest fruit and matured for 15 months in neutral American and new French oak. A fragrant wine with suggestions of super-ripe wild strawberry, macadamias, tobacco and bitter-sweet chocolate with ample tannins, making it perfect for steak or barbeque and big rich casseroles. 173 cases made. Alcohol 14.5%.Gold Medal, 2009 Arizona Wine Growers Association Competition. 2006 Diva called Best Wine in AZ by San Francisco Examiner and Wine Spectator gave it 89 points.Pillsbury 2007 Petite Sirah.  $54This monster Petite Sirah was picked late at 28 brix and develops an intense, almost chewy chocolate-like quality and some real fruit complexity. We tend to avoid late-pick reds as the overripe fruit and high alcohol tends to obscure the complexity of the fruit, but Petite Sirah seems to come into its own when made like this. It is bone dry, has hints of intense black berry fruit, roasted cocoa, green apple, sweet blueberry, crème brulée and rose petal with big tannins. 30 cases made. Alcohol 15.4%.

Ya gotta love it!

Glorious wines from Generous People coming together to make life better for others. Like I started off saying – entrepreneurs are some of the most generous people I know.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Are you a juggler? How to keep those balls in the air.

Are you a juggler? Do you always have at least three balls in the air at all times.  For me that is just the way I am made up.  Multiple businesses, family, writing projects, community involvement activities and other stuff are in constant motion.

Some people look at jugglers in awe.  Other’s shake their heads in dismay.  But for a juggler, it’s a natural state – there is no other way.

Recently I got to spend three days at Kolbe Corp with the wonderful Kathy Kolbe and her team. Together with others being certified to use the Kolbe Method, I learned about the instinctive talents that we all have and how the combination of those talents help us get things done as individuals and on teams.  I also learned another word for my juggling abilities – it turns out that my particular combination of talents is termed an Innovator. Go figure.

For me, getting that ball up in the air is as natural as breathing, but keeping it there, circling with all the others takes more.  It takes the discipline to make sure the balls don’t  drop.

So, if you are a juggler like me, here are some tips on the things I do to keep things moving in the right direction and avoid that embarrassing drop.

  • Make lists of what needs to be done for each project and check them off as they are completed and by whom.  (Your list may be on a piece of paper, a white board, a planner, or a PDA – but however you do it – record it, schedule it, and check it off when it is done.)
  • Do the annoying little ‘must do’ things first.  Get them out of the way and then reward yourself with the more exciting projects.
  • Build a great team and delegate.  Know what you are good at and what you are not.  Find others who compliment your natural abilities to get things moving with other who are great at gathering facts, creating systems, and implementing solutions. Work with them to create a team that can’t be beat.

Even though others may believe that you can not possibly handle one more thing – always be on the look out for the next great idea, project or opportunity.  It’s where your energy comes from.  Don’t let other people make you believe you can’t when you know you can. You are a juggler, it’s what you do.  So, do it well.  The stage is yours.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

The Quest- In search of a transformational company

clip_image002In literature, as in legend, there have been many great quests. One in particular that has captured imaginations, for over two thousand years, is the search for a simple cup used in a great tale of transformation. Yes, The Quest for The Holy Grail.

This quest has been the inspiration that sparked great literature, epic poems, and motion pictures running the gamut from Monty Python to  Indiana Jones.

While my quest is not one of such mythical proportion, as I sat pondering how to share my plans with you, the legend of The Holy Grail leapt to mind. 

My Quest

I am, together with a valued group of friends, looking to acquire a controlling interest in a very particular company.  Our search and the legendary quest have more than a few things in common. In both cases they combine Innovation, Leadership, and Growth to create Lasting Value.  These are my personal passions. There is nothing like the feeling you get when you discover something with true potential and then do what it takes to Make It Great.

What’s been happening?

This year, I have been working with a small team of friends and advisors to search out really cool deals.  We’ve found some great ones, but not the right one. Not yet. 

Along the way, I have gotten much more active in connecting to friends old and new via a range of social media tools

However, it all came together when I was having lunch last week with Morris Callaman at a beautiful resort nestled against a mountain in Paradise Valley called Montelucia

Morris asked –

“Joan, what do you think about expanding this search and inviting your social media network to participate? You could literally ask for help crowd-sourcing this acquisition search.”

And that’s how it started.  So, here I am asking if you will help me locate the company I would like to lead next. If so, then what follows are some of the criteria we find necessary to successfully recognize our “grail” when we find it.  Ready? OK. Lets discuss a little detail around what this company is, and perhaps even more importantly, what it is not. An ideal company will be one where we can combine Innovation, Leadership, and Growth to create Lasting Value.

Innovation

Innovation in my book is doing something in a new way to make life better for the people who matter most to us – in this case employees, customers, investors, and strategic partners.  It is a company with a product or service that can transform an industry or niche.  For example, my friend Amilya Antonetti changed the way we look at soap in her quest to save the life of her son and now she is on a quest to help other entrepreneurs ask the right questions, get the right information and the things they need to succeed.

Criteria #1:  A product oriented company that will transform its market by creating new value through a better way of doing something(s). 

Unlikely Fits: Singing pop bottles, Presidential Pet Rocks, the corner store, or the next great social media tool.  While there may be lots of investors looking for these, I am not one of them.

Leadership

A great idea only gets you so far before it needs more.  In this case more is the ability to see the future direction of the company’s journey and to predict and obtain what it will need along the way.  Many a great new company has lost crucial momentum when the leader that led the way for the first stage of the journey is not ready for the next stage of that steep uphill path, which many entrepreneurs forecast and yet few would want to travel alone. 

The prize we seek on this quest will have a founder and a team that is looking for a new guide as they begin the climb to revenues and profitability so that everyone, employees, customers, investors and strategic partners alike, benefit from the next stage in the company’s growth.

Criteria #2: A dedicated team in search of experienced leadership and resources to help them successfully move along the growth path.

Unlikely Fits:

  • If ALL YOU NEED IS MONEY so that you can continue along the path you are already on.
  • If your goal is to maintain the status quo.
  • If, as the owner, you are not interested in passing the baton to the next runner in the growth relay.

 

Growth

The company must have solid growth potential and demonstrate how it could scale to provide a more than reasonable return to the investors.   

Growth curves come in all shapes and sizes.  There’s the steady incremental growth of a mature business, the graceful leaps of the Gazelles, and the inevitable ‘Hockey Stick” that appears over and over at every venture conference I have ever attended.  Yet, in the real world, it’s not the pretty charts and pictures that matter, it’s the foundational elements that make a transformational company stand out.  Some Gazelles grow to be great companies, while others rapidly run out of steam after the initial burst of growth.  Hockey Stick Growth Curves can be ‘the big pay day’ or they can simply be a sign of a business in danger of snapping under the pressure of too much, too fast.

Criteria #3:  The best true indicators of growth potential are not charts and graphs, but rather how does the company (or product) provide a solution that is usable by a large number of people and BETTER than substitutes (or lack thereof)?

Unlikely Fits:

  • One more “me too” solution in an already overcrowded market.
  • A terrific solution for a very small customer base (since these rarely can scale.)
  • Product or services that are not designed to fill a genuine customer need (since customers must ultimately be willing to pay and karma is important to me).
  • A ‘great idea’ that has not ever been built, tested, or sold to ANYONE (since I’d like it to already have at least one customer).

Lasting Value

And in the end, building a great company is more than just creating a widget, jobs, or shareholder value. 

Criteria #4:  It’s creating something to believe in, and be proud of, for the people who matter most to us (employees, customers, investors and strategic partners). 

Unlikely Fits:

  • Products or services you would be embarrassed to discuss with your parents.
  • Products or services that add no value to or potentially even harm the community, the environment, or others (since that just isn’t who I am). 
  • Any product or service that makes promises it cannot keep (since that certainly isn’t me either).

So that’s my list.  Have YOU seen this company?

Of course, there are at least two BIG differences between my quest and the search for The Grail of legend.  One, I know that I’m going to find what I am seeking, and Two, this is more than a personal journey, it is also an experiment in the power of social media.  So, if you’ve seen this company please let me know.   You can always leave me a note here, on my blog or, if you want to keep it confidential, you can also contact me by clicking here.

As long as we are on the subject, if you happen to be looking for a company too, just let me know what YOU are searching for and I’ll be happy to pass along what I may find for you along the way. Unlike the fabled Holy Grail, there is more than just one great opportunity out there.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

clip_image003P.S.  One of the best parts of this journey is connecting, engaging, and being inspired by fellow entrepreneurs.  On Thursday, November 12th in Phoenix Arizona I will be doing just that at AZEC09.  Who knows maybe I will see YOU there and we can chat.

Looking out towards 2010

AZ Ent logoHow did it get to be NOVEMBER already!  It seems like just the other day I was writing articles about Embracing Change in 2009 and now, in just two short months, 2009 will be one for the record books. 

It’s still to be written what the final outcome of the health care debates in Congress will be, or how the year will wrap up from an economic perspective, but many will tell you they can’t wait for 2010 to make its arrival.

But there have been some bright spots in this recession that we have all struggled through.  Companies that are making great things happen in the world of social media, women’s health, green materials, and a host of other industries.  That’s why, as I prepare for the exciting things that I know will happen in 2010, I am getting ready today by attending the 4th Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference on November 12th. 

As chairman of the board of OTEF, the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation, November is always a busy time as we prepare for the conference.  Each year’s conference is vitally important since all of the proceeds go to fund OTEF’s efforts to provide entrepreneurial training and support to at-risk populations – giving them a better chance for future financial sustainability.

But, as an entrepreneur, I look forward to the conference for the many great ideas I know I will receive there each year.  This is the only place I know where, in one day, I can gain insights from national thought leaders like Tara Hunt and Michelle Robson (EmpowHer) , connect with fellow CEOs from TiE and EO to learn what’s working for them, and get the latest updates in technology and business trends from CEOs and thought leaders who are on the front lines.

I’m also excited this year that we have friends coming from far and near to share ideas.  Patti Dragland (@StrategicSense) is coming in from Calgary, Tara Hunt (@MissRogue), author of The Whuffie Factor,  from Montreal, Howard Lindzon (founder of StockTwits), Kevin Surace, of Serious Materials, is flying in from Sunnyvale, and my favorite entrepreneurial blogger, Marty Willing (@StartUpPro), will be there not to mention fellow conference team members and great friends like  Francine Hardaway (@Hardaway), Steven Groves (@StevenGroves), Ed Nusbaum (@EdAZ), Merlin Ward (@MerlinWard) and many more!

November 12th is an important day for gathering new ideas, making connections, and to just get that extra dose of inspiration that will come in real handy in 2010.  I know where I will be on November 12th.  How about you?

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Drawing a Crowd in the Cabbage Patch

I was scanning some articles online this morning when I cam across a fun one at How Stuff Works titled 23 Must-Have Toys from the 1950s and Beyond.  So I decided to check it out.  Of the 23 ‘must haves’, only Strawberry Shortcake never made it into either my or my children’s toy collection.  But it was the Cabbage Patch Kids that brought back the memory of how one innovative toy really drew a crowd.

imageXavier Roberts was a teenager when he launched his Babyland General Hospital during the 1970s in Cleveland, Georgia, allowing children to adopt a “baby.” In 1983, the Coleco toy company started mass-producing these dolls as Cabbage Patch Kids. Each “kid” came with a unique name and a set of adoption papers, and stores couldn’t keep them on the shelves, selling more than three million of the dolls in the first year.

 It was just before the Christmas holidays in 1983, and my fiance Chris worked at Coleco, home of the Cabbage Patch.  EVERYONE was trying to get their hands on the little darlings – even employees.  The company had to even hold a lottery for employees to be able to purchase them.  So after months of lotteries, we had a small collection of six Cabbage Patch Kids ready for adoption. 

I really did not give it too much thought when I lined up the ‘Kids’ on the back seat of my car and left my home in South Windsor, Connecticut on a Saturday afternoon to drive down to see our families in Danbury, Connecticut.  But I got a real lesson on what it is like for an innovation to draw a crowd when I stopped at a McDonald’s along the way to get a Diet Coke.  The young girl at the drive thru window saw into my back seat, and exclaimed!

WOW!  Where did you get all those Cabbage Patch Dolls!

That’s all it took.  Before I had even been given my cup, my car was surrounded by Moms, wallets and checkbooks in hand, asking me what it would take to sell them “Just One.”  I explained that they were gifts and that they were not for sale, but finally the manager had to come out and move the eager Mommies away – before I could put my car in gear and make my escape from the drive thru.  I learned a lesson that day…

When an innovation capture’s the public’s imagination – it draws a crowd.

Over twenty-five years have passed and I have seen many innovative new products come and go.  Some are just a passing fad, but others have real staying power.  As an investor, I look for those companies with inventions or solutions that can make life better in one way or another.  Products or services that capture the imagination and can, with the right resources, literally draw a crowd in their chosen marketplace. 

Some of these companies have been in technology – like when Bernie Vonderschmidt, the first Chairman and CEO  of Xilinx, shared his vision of the next generation in silicon technology,the FGPGA, or when Dr. Michelle Hanna of RiboMed helped me to imagine a day when we could detect and treat diseases like cancer BEFORE it was too late and our loved ones were suffering.  Others have not.  But none of the innovations I have invested in have been toys.  Perhaps because I never got over the experience of being ‘mobbed by Mommies’ at McDonalds.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

 

The ICK Factor

Millions of articles and blogs have been written on the topic of branding.  Google the word  ‘branding’ and you will get over 33 million hits!

Unfortunately too often, businesses spend lots of money creating and protecting their marketing message and not enough time protecting the value of their brand. Continue reading

Valuing a Company

From time to time, I get involved in answering a tricky question.  “What is this company worth?”  Sometimes the question comes up when speaking to a business owner or executive who is truly trying to increase the value of their organization.  At other times the question is raised from someone looking for investors or buyers.  And then most importantly – I ask it myself when the buyer or investor might be me.Continue reading