An Interview with CorePurpose founder, Joan Koerber-Walker

A Time for Growth An interview with Ahwatukee “-preneur” Joan Koerber-Walker  It’s spring in the valley – a time for new growth, more green, and lots of activities as we get ready for our famous Arizona Summers. It’s also the favorite time of year for a valley entrepreneur who is passionate about helping companies and organizations grow.  A nationally recognized innovator and entrepreneur, Joan Koerber-Walker launched CorePurpose, Inc., in July of 2002, after a 20 year career with Avnet, Inc. CorePurpose has a simple mission – providing services and solutions that build business. Through its three divisions, Publishing, Consulting, and the CoreAlliance™, CorePurpose works with companies in and out of Arizona to assess – where they are today -where they want to be tomorrow – and most importantly helping them get there.  In addition to her roles as a CEO and advisor to businesses in the valley and around the world, Joan is an author, speaker and active member of the Arizona community, sharing her expertise with many valley organizations including the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU, the Arizona Technology Council, the National Speakers Association, and Parenting Arizona, a statewide services agency with a mission of strengthening families and preventing child abuse. In the following interview, Joan shares some of her best secrets for growth with Ahwatukee Monthly.  AM: More and more Ahwatukee residents are starting or running their own businesses – why do you think that is?  JKW: There are a number of factors driving a change in how many of us view work today. In the last five years, many workers left traditional jobs in corporations and explored new alternatives. In some cases, what they found was more rewarding than their former jobs and they will not be going back to the corporate world again. They have opened consulting practices, restaurants, retail establishments and on-line businesses to name a few. Many people, from the Ahwatukee area, have shared their enthusiasm with me for their new businesses or business ideas. Additionally, population demographics are changing. In 2010, over one half of the world population will be over 50 years old and the average life expectance in the U.S. will be approaching 100! People will be healthier, more active, and less likely to retire, but will want the flexibility of non traditional jobs. A new entrepreneurial or self employed life style is very attractive to many of the people embarking on their ‘second 50 years’. Many Ahwatukee residents have the resources and key factors for starting or growing a business – education, talent, experience, and the drive to create something new and different. Our corner of the valley is a great place to put these advantages to work and grow a business.  AM: You call yourself a “-preneur” instead of an entrepreneur. Why is that?  JKW: An entrepreneur is someone who organizes, operates, and assumes the risk for turning an idea into a business venture while an intrapreneur is a person who does the same thing within a large corporation. In both cases, you take direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable organization or finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation. The prefix before the “-preneur” simply shows where you are in the organization when you are driving change and growth. When I am at the helm of my own company – I am an entrepreneur. When working with clients – they have the ultimate responsibility and my job is to help them as the entrepreneur or intrapreneur. I like to think that as a “-preneur” you can make things happen – no matter what the structure of the organization you are in.  AM: When you speak to audiences and in your CD’s, you focus a lot on the purpose and values of an organization. Why is that so key to growth?  JKW: Defining the core purpose of an organization is actually the process of centering in on what you really care about – what you are really good at – and in the area where these activities come together – what you can do that creates a degree of value that people will pay you for. This is your core purpose or the primary reason that you are in business. If all of your strategy, goals and activities are focused only on what satisfies each of these three criteria, there is a much higher probability for success. Conversely, activities that do not fall in these areas are opportunities for outsourcing or partnerships. The basic premise is to do what you do best and for the rest – partner with whoever is best at it. This defines WHAT you do as a company. The next key factor is HOW you will accomplish it. This is where values come into play. An organization’s values define how they do things. We always talk about how a company does something but the reality is that it’s the people inside that make things happen. People’s values determine how they do things. How they act. How hard they work. How creative they will be. If you can match the values of your organization to the values of the people who are in it (or come into it), you’ve got a winner. When people share the same values, they don’t have to be motivated. They already are motivated. They find new ways of doing things. They focus on the customers. They make things happen because they believe in what they are doing.  AM: What do you think are the most important things a company should look at as they are getting ready to grow?  JKW: Probably the most important factor is to be sure that the growth fits in with your core purpose and values. Very often we see an opportunity to grow and we jump into it before we take the time to fully evaluate what it means to our business in the long term. Growth for growth’s sake can be very dangerous. Companies that grow too fast can lose their focus, confuse their employees or adversely affect the quality their customers have come to expect. In the most extreme cases they can even run out of cash and without cash everything stops. Here are a couple of questions every company should ask themselves as they mover towards growth:  1. Does the new product, location or service fit into what we have defined as our core purpose?  2. Do we have the operational and financial resources to support the levels of quality and service our customers have come to expect from us?  3. What should we be measuring each step of the way through the growth process to ensure we are continuing to move in the right direction?  4. Who are the partners we work with who can help us with this growth and how can they help us? What are they best at?  AM: You are active in the community and donate a lot of time – why do you think that is so important?  JKW: Seeing something grow and fulfill its potential is a real motivator for me. Over the last decade there are few places in the United States that have experienced more growth than Arizona. We have new businesses, new schools, and explosion of people all bringing their new ideas, challenges, and the creativity to meet them. But to sustain that growth we need more infrastructure and services to support the foundation of the community we are building within. In the early days of our state, the pioneers bonded together and helped to build that foundation. Today there are many valley organizations and volunteers who are coming together to support us all.  In the same way we build our businesses, I believe each of us has a responsibility to focus in on what we are passionate about and then use the skills we are best at to lay a strong foundation for growth in our community. My professional passion is innovation and new technologies so the Arizona Technology Council was a great place for me to get involved. My personal passion is families and children so I volunteer my time to support Parenting Arizona, a statewide organization that prevents child abuse and neglect by helping parents develop better parenting skills. Since my strengths lie in the areas of gathering information and connecting people, I combine my passions and my strengths in ways that can make a difference in our community and when we accomplish something – it’s a great feeling.  AM: On top of all your community and business activities, you are also a wife and mother of two teenagers. How do you keep it all in balance?  JKW: I wish I could say that everything is in perfect balance. But my family would probably fall off their chairs laughing when they read this article. The reality is that I get wrapped up in what I am doing and sometimes I need a reminder of what is really important. I have a great husband and two wonderful son. When I go too far one way or another they reel me back in. In the end, what we accomplish in business and the community is important – but our relationships with family and friends are the true legacy that each of us leaves.  AM: What is your best advice for someone who is thinking about starting a new business?  JKW: Find something you can get really excited about. Starting any new business is hard work and few pay off right away. You need to really care about what you are doing. It keeps you energized and enthusiastic when things get tough. Once your business is established, use your passion, your purpose, and your values as a guide. Find employees and partners that share your passions and values. Together you can’t help but grow!

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The Business of Innovation March 22, 2005

March 22nd event explores the Business of Innovation.  Phoenix, Arizona, March 8, 2005 – CorePurpose, Inc, and the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University today announced that noted entrepreneur and business advisor, Joan Koerber-Walker, will present on The Business of Innovation, March 22, 2005 at 6:00PM at the ASU Karsten Golf Course.  The event is a continuation of the Link and Learn series sponsored by the W.P. Carey MBA Alumni Council. Each event features thought leaders sharing their expertise in key areas of interest to the valley’s business and alumni communities.  Intrapreneurs/Entrepreneurs: The Business of Innovation will feature Joan Koerber-Walker, executive director and founder of CorePurpose, Inc. The Phoenix, Arizona based company specializes in helping organizations grow with innovative business and resource strategies. Ms. Koerber-Walker has spent her career taking businesses in new directions. As a corporate executive, she launched new processes and programs around the world for a rapidly growing Fortune 500 company before setting out to launch her own company – CorePurpose, Inc. – in 2002. “Whether you are an intrapreneur or entrepreneur is a matter of geography” shared Koerber-Walker. “You may be in part of of a company or launching your own – “preneurs” manage the business of innovation.” Highlights of the presentation include:  • Finding your Focus  • Finding the “-preneur” inside of you  • Creating a culture of innovation  • Connecting the dots.  About the speaker  An author, speaker and life long intrapreneur/entrepreneur, Joan Koerber-Walker is passionate about finding innovative ways to help companies grow. CorePurpose, the company she founded in 2002 was recognized in 2003 by the Arizona Technology Council as one of the most innovative new companies in Arizona. In 2004, Ms. Koerber-Walker was named one of the top women entrepreneur’s in the country as a national finalist for the Stevie – considered the “Oscar” for Women Entrepreneurs. In addition to her activities as CEO of CorePurpose, she serves on advisory boards at Arizona State University, Texas A&M, Parenting Arizona and on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Technology Council and the National Speakers Association- Arizona chapter. She was awarded a BA in Economics from the University of Delaware, and an MBA (2000) from Arizona State University.  Program details and information:  When, Where and How Much? Date: March 22, 2005 Time: 6:00 PM Reception and networking 6:30 PM – 8:00PM – Presentation Location:  ASU Karsten Golf Course 1125 E Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85281  Open to the public – Free of Charge  Registration:  W.P. Carey Alumni can register at online at https://wpcarey.asu.edu/alumnicommunity/EventsReunions/index.cfm  Members of the business community may register by sending an email confirmation to wpcareyalumni.mba@asu.edu.  About CorePurpose, Inc.  Headquartered in Arizona, CorePurpose, Inc., is a consulting and solutions company specializing in focusing companies for greater success through high impact activities that link directly to results. Together with members of the CoreAllianceSM, CorePurpose, Inc. works with companies and organizations to align internal resources to their areas focus while offering resources for mentoring, implementation and outsourcing in non-core areas or areas where additional support is required including: HR, Sales and Marketing, Operations, IT, and Finance.

For more information about CorePurpose, Inc., and to view the listing and experience of CoreAlliance Members visit: www.CorePurpose.com.

CONTACT: CorePurpose, Inc. Joan Koerber-Walker, 480/921-3933 jkw@corepurpose.net

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CorePurpose Founder elected to the Board of Directors of the Arizona Technology Council

 

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CorePurpose Founder elected to the Board of Directors of the Arizona Technology Council
10/20/04 Arizona Technology Council Announces Seven New Board Members and Paul Johnson as Returing Chairman

(TEMPE, Ariz.—October 20, 2004)—The Arizona Technology Council today announced the names of seven new members of its Board of Directors and designated Paul Johnson, President of ComSites, Inc. and former mayor of Phoenix, as the returning Chairman of the Board of Directors.

The seven new members, named for a three-year term beginning October 19 are:

Rick Crutchley
General Manager
Inflow
Phoenix, Arizona

Michelle Hanna
President and CEO
Ribomed Biotechnologies Inc.
Phoneix, Arizona

Gene Holmquist
President
Ensynch, Inc.
Tempe, Arizona

Joan Koerber-Walker

Executive Director
Core Purpose, Inc.
Phoenix, Arizona

Dan Mazzola
Technology Account Manager Computer Systems
Sun Microsystems
Phoenix, Arizona

Jon McGarity
Chairman
Arizona BioIndustry Association
Phoenix, Arizona

Robert Smith
Vice President, Strategic Technology
Honeywell
Phoenix, Arizona

“The Council is fortunate to attract such exceptional individuals to the board and I know they will significantly benefit our organization,” said Todd Bankofier, President and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. “We are also delighted that Paul Johnson will be returning as chairman of the board. He is an integral part of the Council’s success.”

About The Arizona Technology Council
Since its inception in 2002, the Arizona Technology Council has stood as the largest association of technology companies in Arizona, whose shared vision is for the state to be recognized as a top-tier center for technology-based businesses. The Council works to carry out this vision by driving partnerships, policies and programs that advance the business climate for Arizona’s technology community and by representing, supporting and advocating for member companies through initiatives, advocacy, networking and effective communications.

The Arizona Technology Council represents 30,000-plus employees at more than 400 of the leading technology companies across Arizona. Represented industries include advanced manufacturing, aerospace, biotechnology, e-learning, environmental technology, software, Internet applications, semiconductors, and telecommunications.

For more information, visit http://www.aztechcouncil.org.

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Connecting Resources now available!

 

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Connecting Resources now available!
Connecting Resources: A Primer for Electronics Distribution
Thomson Learning, Publisher
Laurie Kane-Sellers, MA, MBA
Joan Koerber Walker, CorePurpose, Inc.
Dr. Ben Zoghi, P.E.
© 2004
ISBN: 0759332495FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Phoenix, Arizona, October 4, 2004– CorePurpose, Inc., a management consulting, software and outsourced solutions provider, today announced the release of Connecting Resources: A Primer for Electronics Distribution – coauthored by CorePurpose founder Joan Koerber-Walker and Laurie Kane-Sellers and Dr. Ben Zoghi of Texas A&M University.

Approaching $50 billion per year on a global basis, the Electronics Distribution industry sits at the center of both the supply chain and the demand chain for a multitude of industries from industrial to military and from corporate to consumer goods. Now a new text from Thomson Learning provides a complete roadmap and reference manual for building lasting and profitable distribution relationships.

Connecting Resources: A Primer for the Electronics Distribution Industry delivers a comprehensive overview of the structure and challenges within the electronics distribution industry including: the history, players, business practices, policies and procedures, programs, systems, and trends. Information is organized in a logical sequence beginning with product analysis, channel strategies and partner selection, business planning, and conflict resolution. The detailed discussion of authorization agreements addresses some of the critical issues to consider in implementing successful channel relationships.

Authored by a team of experts representing the leading academic research university for distribution studies, as well as decades of practical experience from both the manufacturer and the distributor’s perspective, Connecting Resources provides a balanced view of the inside workings of the electronics distribution industry, its challenges and its opportunities.

“With the crash of the technology sector in 2000 and the subsequent hard road to recovery, many of the veterans of the electronics industry have retired, shifted to new companies or left the industry completely” shared Joan Koerber-Walker. “Connecting Resources pulls together shared learning from industry executives from both the suppliers and the distributors to create a tool to help train new employees, educate team members on the workings of distribution, and stay on top of emerging distribution trends.”

Connecting Resources is available at CorePurpose.com, Amazon.com and Borders.com

Features and Benefits:

• Chapter Inserts: Real world examples from industry executives

• Balanced Perspective: Two primary authors approach the issues from the supplier and distributor standpoint in order to present both sides of the issues

• Practical Exercises: Reflection exercises in chapters 1-14 enable readers to practice concepts discussed in the respective chapter

• Key Terms: Acronyms and terms are explained throughout the text as well as in a glossary in the back of the book

• Allegory: Allegory at the beginning of chapters 2-14 reinforces the objectives of each chapter and enables readers to understand the interconnections of the concepts and business practices characteristic of this industry.

Combining Academic Excellence with Decades of Industry Experience

The Authors:

Laurie Kane-Sellers, MA, MBA is a faculty member at Texas A&M University teaching Electronics Distribution Networks in the Industrial Distribution program in the College of Engineering. She combines twenty years experience at Texas Instruments, Inc in the areas of sales, marketing, management, and operations with her current responsibilities of Education Foundation Director of the National Electronic Distributors Association (NEDA) and staff co-editor of the Review of the Electronics and Industrial Distribution Industries, the journal focused on advancing the electronic and industrial distribution industries. In addition to her activities in the class room and across the industry, her areas of research and publications include Change Theory, Adult Education, Services Models, and the Challenges of Globalization in the Distribution Industry.

Joan Koerber Walker, MBA is CEO and founder of CorePurpose, Inc., (www.CorePurpose.com) an Arizona based consulting and services distributor. A speaker, author and advisor to business on strategies that build businesses and the execution of those strategies, Joan specializes in helping people and organizations get from where they are – to where they want to be. Her career includes over 25years of experience in technology distribution and work with over 700 technology companies worldwide. She spent 20 years with Avnet, Inc. serving in a wide range of positions including Management, Marketing, Sales, Contracts, and Operations.

Dr. Ben Zoghi, P.E. is a full professor at Texas A&M University and Registered Professional Engineer. He holds the Leonard and Valerie Bruce Leadership Chair and is the Program Coordinator of the Industrial Distribution Program and Executive Director of Thomas and Joan Read Center for Distribution Research and Education. His specialties and interests are service-based leadership, managing in complex environments and information networking. Zoghi is a Motorola Fellow and has extensive technical and managerial experience with the electronic, telecommunication and semiconductor industries. Dr. Zoghi holds a PhD. in Engineering from Texas A&M University, MSEE from The Ohio State University, and BSEE from Seattle University.

MSRP: $ 96.95

About CorePurpose, Inc.

Headquartered in Arizona, CorePurpose, Inc., is a consulting and solutions company specializing in focusing companies for greater success through high impact activities that link directly to results. Together with members of the CoreAllianceSM, CorePurpose, Inc. works with companies and organizations to align internal resources to their areas focus while offering resources for mentoring, implementation and outsourcing in non-core areas or areas where additional support is required including: HR, Sales and Marketing, Operations, IT, and Finance. For more information about CorePurpose, Inc., and to view the listing and experience of CoreAlliance Members visit: www.CorePurpose.com.

CONTACT: CorePurpose, Inc.
Joan Koerber-Walker, 480/921-3933
jkw@corepurpose.net

CorePurpose® is a registered service mark of CorePurpose, Inc.

© CorePurpose, Inc.

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Focus on Quality – The 10th session in the Ready Set Grow Series explores the impact Quality can have on YOUR business

 

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Focus on Quality – The 10th session in the Ready Set Grow Series explores the impact Quality can have on YOUR business
CorePurpose, Inc. Announces the 10th Installment in the acclaimed Ready-Set-Grow Series:

“Focus on Quality: The Value of Six Sigma” with Charles Loew, President of Maset LLC.

Phoenix, Arizona, October 4, 2004– CorePurpose, Inc., a management consulting, software and outsourced solutions provider, today announced the 10th installment in the Ready Set Grow Lecture Series : “Focus on Quality: The Value of Six Sigma”

Is Quality the Key to Total Customer Satisfaction?

“Over the years, there has been lots of talk about the importance of quality – but with what results and at what cost?” asked Joan-Koerber-Walker, executive director of CorePurpose, Inc. “In the October Ready Set Grow session, local executives will explore the impact of quality on business results and apply it in a way that makes sense no matter what the size of your business.”

Over the past 100 years there have been many innovative approaches to organizations that want to improve the quality of the products and services delivered to their Customers. Many of these approaches were developed by Quality leaders such as Demming and Juran. Most of these methods are still being used with varying degrees of success. In the early 1980’s one organization decided to use Quality as the way to compete against the onslaught of excellent products that were being imported to the USA by Japan.

The session will explore:

• Six Sigma—The fundamental methodology developed by Motorola
• Why it worked so well then
• Why it CAN work for your organization today
• And why it stopped working for Motorola in the late 1990’s.

Attendees will have the opportunity to listen to executive experts share insights and then participate in workshops designed to apply the same concepts to their own companies.

Program details and information:

When, Where and How Much?
Dates: October 19, 2004 Time:
7:30 – 8:00 AM – Continental Breakfast
8:00—12:00PM – Forum Session
Location:
Business and Industry Institute
Mesa Community College
145 North Centennial Way
Mesa, Arizona 85201
Costs
Single Sessions Pricing
Individual participant: $129 per session
Groups of 3 or more: $117 per person per session
For more details and registration – visit www.CorePurpose.com and click on the Ready Set Grow Icon

About CorePurpose, Inc.
Headquartered in Arizona, CorePurpose, Inc., is a consulting and solutions company specializing in focusing companies for greater success through high impact activities that link directly to results. Together with members of the CoreAllianceSM, CorePurpose, Inc. works with companies and organizations to align internal resources to their areas focus while offering resources for mentoring, implementation and outsourcing in non-core areas or areas where additional support is required including: HR, Sales and Marketing, Operations, IT, and Finance. For more information about CorePurpose, Inc., and to view the listing and experience of CoreAlliance Members visit: www.CorePurpose.com.

CONTACT: CorePurpose, Inc.
Joan Koerber-Walker, 480/921-3933
jkw@corepurpose.net

CorePurpose® is a registered service mark of CorePurpose, Inc.

© CorePurpose, Inc.

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CorePurpose Founder named a finalist for 2004 Best Entrepreneur of 2004

 

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CorePurpose Founder named a finalist for 2004 Best Entrepreneur of 2004

JOAN KOERBER-WALKER OF COREPURPOSE, INC. NAMED AS FINALIST IN 2004 STEVIETM AWARDS FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

The Stevies will be presented on October 22 in New York City

Phoenix, Arizona – September 27, 2004 – The Stevie Awards for Women Entrepreneurs, www.stevieawards/women, is a new national awards competition recognizing the accomplishments of women small business owners in the United States. The awards are produced by the creators of the prestigious American Business Awards, hailed as “the business world’s own Oscars” by the New York Post (September 22, 2002).

Winners will be announced on Friday, October 22 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City’s Times Square. The master of ceremonies will be Bill Rancic, spokesperson for Advanta which is sponsoring the awards and winner of the hit television show “The Apprentice.”

More than 600 nominations from small companies in virtually every industry were submitted for consideration in 18 categories, including Best Entrepreneur, Best Young Entrepreneur, Best New Product and Mentor of the Year. Ms. Koerber-Walker was named as a finalist in the category for Best Entrepreneur – Service Business.

Ms. Koerber-Walker is the founder and chief executive of CorePurpose, Inc. a consulting and services company based out of Phoenix Arizona. Since its launch in July of 2002, CorePurpose® has been dedicated to providing services and solutions that build businesses. The company has 3 divisions, CorePurpose Publishing, CorePurpose Consulting and The CoreAlliance, its network of over 40 independent services organizations which include thought leaders in the areas of People, Sales and Marketing, Operations, Finance and IT. In addition to her role as executive director and CEO, Ms. Koerber-Walker is a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, and the author of Working: A Management Tale of Changing Relationships in Changing Times (CorePurpose Publishing – ISBN 0974705608) and co-author of Connecting Resources: A Primer for Electronics Distribution (Thomson Learning – ISBN0759332495). She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Technology Council and on advisory boards to the W.P. Carey Executive MBA Program at Arizona State University, The Thomas and Joan Read Center at Texas A&M University, and Parenting Arizona, an affiliate of CPLC.

“The Finalists for the first-ever Stevie Awards for Women Entrepreneurs comprise the most dynamic women in business today. These entrepreneurs have accomplished innovative and extraordinary things while building their business,” said Dennis Alter, chairman and CEO of Advanta. “We congratulate all of them on their achievement.”

“Building my own company had been my dream. Putting it together has been my joy. But making it happen – making it real – would never have happened without the tremendous support we have received from industry and from the Greater Phoenix Business Community,” shared Koerber-Walker. “The recognition we have received though the Stevie Awards and the team at Advanta is not just for me but for all of our team members and the business community that has embraced us.”

The Stevie Awards for Women Entrepreneurs are governed by a board of Distinguished Judges & Advisors that features many leading women entrepreneurs and figures in American business, including Carrie Fitzmaurice, publisher for Entrepreneur Media Inc.; Dr. Lisa Krinsky, chairman & president for SFBC International; and Dr. Betty Spence, president of The National Association for Female Executives.

The elegant Stevie trophy was designed by R. S. Owens, the same company that makes the Oscar and the Emmy.

Details about The Stevie Awards for Women Entrepreneurs and the full list of Finalists are available at http://www.stevieawards.com/women/.

About CorePurpose, Inc.
Headquartered in Arizona, CorePurpose, Inc., is a consulting and solutions company specializing in focusing companies for greater success through high impact activities that link directly to results. Together with members of the CoreAllianceSM, CorePurpose, Inc. works with companies and organizations to align internal resources to their areas focus while offering resources for mentoring, implementation and outsourcing in non-core areas or areas where additional support is required including: HR, Sales and Marketing, Operations, IT, and Finance. For more information about CorePurpose, Inc., and to view the listing and experience of CoreAlliance Members visit: www.CorePurpose.com.
CorePurpose is a registered service mark of CorePurpose, Inc.

About The Stevie Awards
Hailed as “the business world’s own Oscars” by the New York Post (September 22, 2002), Stevie Awards are conferred in three programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, and The Stevie Awards for Women Entrepreneurs. Honoring companies of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about The Stevie Awards at www.stevieawards.com.

Contact:
Joan Koerber-Walker, Executive Director and CEO
CorePurpose, Inc.
480.921.3933 JKW@CorePurpose.net

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