C Level Service

95% of Small and Mid Sized Company Owners Fail to Achieve Their Goals
We help CEOs Overcome Barriers to Achieving Their Goals

C-LEVEL Services provides part-time expertise in finance, accounting, strategic planning and other diverse management projects. We work at a senior level, counseling ownership, top management and guiding existing staff toward the creative solution of complex financial problems, development of strategic initiatives development of improved management systems and inspired teams, and innovating to disrupt markets. You get not just advice but expertise to help implement changes that will improve your organization and its ability to reach the goals you set. We help both for profit and not for profit organizations.

Don’t DUCK the Controversy

I just read a short piece stating that the icon has spoken.

Charlie Sheen takes on Phil Robertson by dropping down to basement talk and slinging ‘you’re a dumb redneck idiot’ talk on Twitter. Really! Charlie Sheen the poster boy for stupidity calling anyone else stupid and being taken seriously?

We are seeing 1 Cor 1: 27, “for God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise….’ come to life right before our eyes.

My take on that principle is exactly what we are seeing. The ‘wise’ in their own eyes will not accept true wisdom, but rather rant and rail based on their mind games they set up to help them feel ok in spite of overwhelming evidence they are really headed downhill on a runaway humanistic created theology headed for a cliff.

The evidence is everywhere. Today’s paper has an editorial from the editor of the editorial page about how the current pope doesn’t care about politics and closes with let religion stay where it belongs, ‘in church on Sunday.’

Well my Bible says just the opposite. My religion belongs on the street everyplace I go. It is part and parcel to WHO I am. It cannot be removed from daily life.

Phil is getting hammered for quite simply believing this very concept. Live according to Biblical principles because you truly believe them. He called sin a sin. This is simple yet profound, and not something the world wants to hear. Charlie Sheen says this is unforgivable. Really. It is just the opposite. This is the core of true love! It is calling white black and believing you just redefined colors.

Jesus came and said, “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

He provided me a way to solve my main problem, living under the power of sin in my life. Sin that creates failure at all levels of life and even leading to death. Failure in every relationship, in every enterprise, and in basic functioning in a joyful satisfied way.

Jesus’ solution is not available until I understand sin and call it what it is; wrong, and my fault.

Once I get the great Ah Ha, sin is my problem and the source of all my problems; I now have a resolution to all these problems. Repentance!

But until the Ah Ha I was lost, foolish, darkened in understanding. I was smart, got good grades, lived a moderately successful life, but was inwardly miserable. I was doomed to ultimate failure over and over and over again. But unaware of my pitiful stupidity.

So is the way of the world.

Railing at something as simple as – here is a list of things God says are wrong. I love you and have a way for you to solve your issue. But I am God, not you. And you must solve your problem that you created, my way. Through Jesus’ payment of the penalty for doing wrong things. You must turn your desire to be a god over to the one true God. Accept the payment and you will be changed to a new creation, with a new life and eternal safety.

So the world rails at Phil.

It will rail at me.

It will rail at you.

But in taking our ‘religion’ and turning it into our witness of God’s love to us then taking it to the streets, we begin to change the world we come into contact with.

The world can argue theology, religion, church, and the right wing. But it can’t argue about the greatest message of all time, the changed life Jesus gave me and you.

We will be a force for change as we prepare the way of the Lord for His return. We will be a force for good and transformation of lives. We will be an occupation force on all streets, every place we go.

But we will also be railed against by those who don’t like the sound of ‘you are doing something God says is wrong.’

But we must say this because this is the core definition of LOVE.


Brain Rules

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12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

This book can improve your life.

This book is not a “leadership-lite” book filled with cute and truthful antidotes, but a book with hard science communicated in an interesting way. Dr. John J. Medina is a developmental molecular biologist.

Presenting science in an interesting and useful way isn’t easy and Dr Medina succeeds sometimes and fails sometimes. But overwhelmingly, if you push through there are nuggets of gold to be found in this book.

Six of useful things I learned that can be productively applied:

1) If I make a presentation to a group for over 10 minutes and don’t do something to re-engage their interest, I am wasting the rest of my presentation. (Interesting application, for pastors, teachers, consultants or anyone trying to pass on knowledge.)

2) If I don’t exercise, I am basically killing my brain one cell at a time. But it takes very little effort (as little as thirty minutes of aerobic exercise, three times a week) to have a major positive improvement on brain function, including reducing the effects of some age related disease.

3) Multi-tasking is a myth and I lose significant productivity if I allow myself to be interupted. In fact, if I multi-task in the car on my cell phone, I have about the same safety factor as a drunk driver.

4) Sleep greatly helps brain effectiveness, and an afternoon nap can give a big boost to productivity.

5) Our brains were built to operate when our bodies are actively exercising. Creativity is enhanced when exercise is part of the daily routine.

6) Vision trumps all other senses when passing on learning, especially text, so I need to radically change how I do power point presentations.

Dr Medina explains the current state of scietific research and findings, gives interesting anecdotes and stories and gives some valuable implications to our daily lives.

This is a must read for anyone trying to pass on knowledge- pastor, teacher, consultant, business owner, or parent.


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10 Skills for Inspiring Leadership

Factors leading to leadership success

Factors leading to leadership success

Regardless of the venue. leading others requires these 10 skills if you want to succeed in inspiring your team to excellence. I can’t see success happening if any these are missing.


Three Missing Pieces

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Did you know that 95% of Small and Mid sized Companies fail to reach their goals?

 

This is an amazing statistic but fortunately you don’t need to be stuck without hope in your Organization!

C- LEVEL Services uses a proprietary process to help its clients overcome the obstacles to achieving their goals.

This process requires leaders to change how they think and requires implementation of Three Pieces usually missing – Optimization, Strategy and Innovation.

Optimization sets in place a continuous improvement process that documents and fine tunes processes and discovers leverage points in the organization that produces maximum results. It also produces inspired performance based on basic principles of motivation and management.

Strategy takes control of your future and defines the goals and objectives of the organization, the barriers to reaching these goals and objectives and creates strategies and action plans to achieve them. To be effective these objectives and action plans need to be defined at the department and individual levels and compensation plans developed based on these goals and objectives. All of a sudden the strategic plan becomes an operating document and the whole organization begins working together in UNITY! This creates amazing results!

Finally, Innovation helps change the future. Peter Drucker said, “If you are not putting yourself out of business with new products and services, your competition will.” Most disruptive new ideas come when a specific process is used for innovation.

So if you want to reach your goals, reactive behavior needs to be replaced with proactive behavior and these Three Missing Pieces implemented.


Company Turnarounds – CEOs Getting on the Fast Track

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Company Turnarounds START from the Mind UP!

Lets get real for a minute.  Something needs to change. Results need to improve. You can not change results doing the same old things.

To get started on company transformation into a cash generating machine, it doesn’t matter why results are now what they are. Because, all transformations start at the same place.

YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR MIND!

Transformation requires change, change requires action, action requires a choice, choices are based on mind set, mind set is the lens through which you decide to view the world.

Positive transformation can not take place with a faulty world view.

A flat world view kept thousands of explorers from venturing over the seas in search of gold at the end of the rainbow. Until Columbus decided to have a round world view, then a new world was discovered and … well you know the rest of this story.

Many CEOs, business owners and business leaders have a flat world view. Their paradigm only goes as far as they can easily see. It is limited to things they know well and/ or are comfortable with. Frankly most business success comes from providence, being at the right place at the right time. This kind of success is not sustainable, changes in the marketplace occur and the company finds themselves continually reacting to these outside circumstances. Then they find there are internal constraints that this reactive state keeps bumping into.

The solution is to have a round world view. Think the real world is not limited to what you can easily see or what you know or what is currently chomping at your feet.

Transformation starts from the mind up. Change to a round world view. Most disruptive ideas come from outside an industry. Someone puts a new spin on satisfying a market need based on a round world view. Truth is not limited to what I see, know or have experience with.

Another mind set a successful CEO needs is to change how you see yourself. Many if not most CEO/ founders have a vision, have some early success then find their results slipping and themselves putting in more and more and more time trying to stick their fingers in the holes springing up in the dike.

As a  CEO you need to change your mind about who you are. At your very core you need to have a “Founders” mind set; not an employee or boss or Hero mind set. Here is the difference:

Many companies are started based on a good idea to satisfy a market need or a skill or knowledge base the owner has. The new owner handles every detail and reacts to issues and problems that arise because they are Heros, knowledgeable about the issue and empowered to make a quick decision to solve it. That works at first to solve the issue…. but…. The solution can be worse than the issue if processes are bypassed and the solution is not repeatable or scalable. Heros, bosses and employees react to problems and create quick fixes, but often the fix is like how I fix home reapir issues, using wire and duct tape. They are not long term fixes.

The CEO with a Founders mind set see that they are building an organization that can go on without them. This requires effective, efficient, repeatable and scalable processes, organization, and procedures in the hands of great people who are actually smarter and more informed than the Founder and are empowered to be creative and solution finders within a continuous improvement process.

The winning Founders mind set – they see a future with themselves as expendable, not indispensable. They lead an inspired group of leaders who are empowered to make changes quickly in advance of market changes not reacting to market changes.


Do Your Books Balance?

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 If your books don’t balance you can’t blame it on anyone else!

I was sitting at a local restaurant trying to read a book in preparation for a meeting and a guy at the next table kept talking to me. He was an old guy talking about this watch he found and trying to return it to get a few dollars, which he obviously needed, then went on to his Dad etc etc. He really didn’t care if I was paying full attention but I couldn’t help hearing him out of the corner of my attention.

Then out of the clear blue he said, “If your books don’t balance, you can’t blame it on anyone else!”

All of a sudden all my attention went to that statement. I’m not sure why, but it seemed so out of place and as I considered the statement, I realized how profound it was.

“If your books don’t balance you can’t blame it on anyone else!”

Of course this is true at face value, but as I meditated on the wisdom of this simple principle, I realized it can apply to a lot of areas of our lives.

How often do I blame circumstances, how others have treated me, or just plain bad luck when things are not going my way; instead of taking personal responsibility for choices and decisions that I have made that put me in the situation? A lot!

I am going to purpose to live more by this principle of personal responsibility so that I can take control over my circumstances, make better choices and actually have a positive effect on the future.

So just remember, when life is throwing you a curve….

If your books don’t balance you can’t blame it on anyone else!


Everyone wants “something—-” but….

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Key Life Principle!

Everyone wants something, put whatever something is in this space, but no one wants to change.

There is a very basic law of life that is true for business, personal issues, spiritual life, everything.  What is it?

We have a God given power over unlimited opportunities to change and determine our future, from now as far forward as we can imagine… Its the Power of a Choice!

But… The consequences of choices are set – unchangeable – like laws of nature.

However , our problem often is we keep doing the same things, making the same choices and try to change the consequences. This is very important, so let me repeat…

We try to change our circumstances by trying to change the consequences of our choices instead of changing our choices! This does not work.

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I think a lot of us operate in our daily lives on the edge of insanity.

So here is our takeaway..

We need to change our choices if we want to change our realities of life.

1) Be careful who you listen to. Don’t listen to fools/failures or you buy into their lifestyles.

2) If you have a goal or vision you want to achieve, pick someone who is successful at that thing and make the same choices they make, do what they do.


Best Success Advice I Can Think Of

Are you interested in Success in Life?

You can choose to have success.

At the risk of every other post on this blog being completely downhill, here is the BEST tidbit of advice I can think of. This is not some feel good psycho blabber, but rather good old meat and potatoes practical advice you can implement immediately!

Where there is UNITY God commands a blessing!

That’s it?

Yep!

First of all it sounds simplistic. That is because it is! If it were too complicated we’d never get it:-) It is a core principle stated in many ways throughout the whole bible. Unity is the basis of God himself as the Trinity. He says others will know Jesus is truly sent by God by our unity. He calls the church to oneness and unity. Families to unity. Men to unity with one another. So it is simple because it is a foundational principle.

And it works in business, family, friendships, church and on and on.

Plus, it is something we can choose. We choose how to take comments and discussions and what motives we ascribe to others.

This week at work I saw several instances of conflict between co- workers. Usually caused by poor communication and the poor communications were cause by people not trusting each other’s motives so taking offense when none was intended. Then conflict occurred that involved more people picking up offense for the original parties, and on and on.

But when all parties are pulling in unity – amazing things start to happen and the fruit is BLESSINGS.

So today- try this little test. Choose to ascribe good motives to everyone you come into contact with and see the results.


Turnaround Secrets – Cash In

72450__280x280_072450-lime-green-white-pearl-icon-alphanumeric-dollar-signIs your company in trouble?

Join the crowd. The economic recession has put many well run and successful companies on the verge of closing their doors. Layoffs are the norm. Summer jobs for young people are almost non existent. Slashing payrolls have left many homeowners trying to figure out how to keep their homes. Consumer confidence continues to slide and the cycle continues to worsen.

There is hope! There are proven principles to follow in order to stop the slide and in fact be an early turn around success.

I have been involved in several successful turnarounds and will begin a series about these principles and share specific things you can do to survive through hard times.

The first principle is “Cash In“.

Cash In means that every person in the organization must focus on bringing cash into the company. SHOW ME THE MONEY! This must become a primary focus. It starts at the top and must permeate through to the lowest levels of the company. I can not repeat this mantra enough!!!! CASH IN- SHOW ME THE MONEY.

Everything the company does must be rebuilt to make this CASH IN a key metric for survival and turnaround success.

Here are some specific steps and tactics:

1. Build a business model that shows the cash generated or used each month. A business model is NOT a business plan and it is NOT a budget and it is NOT a simple spreadsheet of income and expenses. Without a true business model, you will likely fail!

So what do I mean by a business model? I mean a model you build that recognizes the key Metrics (success factors) of your business and their interrelatedness. If you sell more of X what else changes? When does the cash come in and when does it go out? Are you selling more and enjoying it less because your accounts receivables are growing? The business model should have a page of assumptions that are all in one place so it is easy to do “What If Analysis”. If you change any assumption how does my cash change? The model needs to be built at the detail level so that it provides each month a projected amount for each item on your general ledger. The model needs to be built at a foundational level that shows your UNIT ECONOMICS. Businesses are built on units. A unit may be a location for a franchise; or a publication for a publisher; or a crew for a remodeler; or a product for a manufacturer. Determine how to make each unit function better, faster, cheaper and then replicate the units. But you can not use up cash on a unit and make it up on the volume!

You will want to compare your actual results with the model each month and take the time for a continuous improvement process on the model. How did the model compare to actual results and how does it need to change to do a better job of projecting results? This is a never ending process.

But it yields some amazing results- You sleep better at night; you will understand your business better every month; you will find yourself creating new strategies that improve your Cash In; your outside parties of interest (BOD, investors, banks) will have more confidence in the business; you will deserve the confidence.

What are the benefits of a true business model? A business model lets you brainstorm creative strategies to improve your business. The end point of the new strategy run through the business model is simply, “did I get more Cash IN”? The model lets you target a unit and figure how to make the unit run more efficiently, and bring more CASH IN; then you can develop strategies to expand into more units.

Unless you are running a very simple one product, one person home business, no one can keep all the interrelationships in mind without a business model. I have seen many times where a trusted professional advisor gives reasonable advice, except it is WRONG!

Rather than go into more steps and tactic to bring more Cash In, let me share to an important Turnaround Secret:

You can not survive by cutting costs alone! Cost cutting always lags the economic realities your company faces. The slide and slope is always faster than you can react to… and if you try to react too fast without a business model, you will makes killer mistakes. Negativity is like a shot in the head to a company.

The ultimate Cash IN machine is knowing your business model and interactions between key metrics; understanding your unit economics and fine tuning them; and then…

Developing creative strategies to do more business. The survival and success answer is always about how to do more business that brings Cash IN.

Don’t get me wrong, cutting fat and renegotiating lower costs is very important. I look at every line item and religiously hack away at the cost of our business- but not at the expense of the business model and our unit economics. We have renegotiated and bid out every cost from our phone and internet and other connectivity costs all the way down to the cost of our landscape service. You can get some great deals by companies hungry to generate Cash IN. But cutting 10 or 20 or even 30 or more percent of these costs can not make up for a significant slide in sales.

But here is the good news. All this work to reduce the monthly overhead and improve the unit economics and gain better control and understanding of the business creates a CASH IN MACHINEthat will become very profitable when the consumer confidence does come back!!! Your business can be one of the remaining survivors that will increase market share and prosper in the days ahead.

Check back for more principles and specific strategies and ideas that are proven winners in the CASH IN sweepstakes…..


Building a Professional Network

linked-in-ebookI have been on LinkedIn for several years and have recognized its a beneficial place to build a professional network of contacts.

Unfortunately, I never put much effort into building my connections.

I procrastinated.

Recently, I decided to put some effort into building professional connections and begin doing a better job of managing my lifelong network of friends and business associates.

In the midst of that process, I came across this nice easy to read e book written by Jonathan Milligan, an executive recruiter from Florida. I could give you a summary, or share some of the ideas, but decided the best way for you to respond is to go to Jonathan’s blog and request your own free copy.

Here is his table of contents:

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Build an Online Network
Why You Should Consider LinkedIn
Linkedin Step #1: Optimize Your Profile!
Linkedin Step #2: Grow Your Network Fast
Linkedin Step #3: Value Your MIC’s (Most Important Connectors)
Linkedin Step #4: Develop a Game Plan
Linkedin Step #5: Track Your Progress
Conclusion 

This is an excellent TO DO LIST of step by step process to building your professional network on LinkedIn.

This is a great guide for anyone, not just a CPA or finance professional!


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OMPL Vol 1: 1 – God’s Opens Up His Message For Today

God spoke to me like a streaming video download and said, “Occupy My Promised Land.” (OMPL)

I was getting ready to teach an equipping hour class on a new book I had just finished, Marketplace Christianity (see review in this blog). The Holy Spirit sped me through a revelation of what God’s plan for the earth in the coming days looks like and how I am to be involved.

The short and sweet version is – God plans for each of us to be marketplace ministers listening to the Holy Spirit every place our foot steps to occupy our personal part of the Promised Land by bringing His Kingdom into every circumstance.

This video is a good start to understanding the Gospel of the Kingdom.

In the book of Matthew, Jesus tells us how to pray, “Our Father who are in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”

God gives us a divine human cooperative to fulfill. He has prepared works for us to do. These He prepared even before the creation of the universe and then He made each of us speficically with the gifts, talents, and even flaws to do these works.

All this is so amazing to consider… Let meditate on this revelation for a little while!


Loser – The New Winner

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I hate to Lose! 

No, I really HATE to lose!

In sports its been my hardest task to lose gracefully. In close contests I wanted to be the one to take the last shot or be up to bat with the game on the line because I knew how much coming through meant to me, and wasn’t always sure of others.

Am I connecting to some of you?

In business situations this can be a help in not giving up in hard times. It can also lead to conflict when someone on the other side of a negotiation gets into a win/lose attitude rather than a win/ win attitude.

And in my marriage, my avoiding conflict until backed into a corner then coming out with guns blazing to WIN was a dysfunctional pairing of attributes. Rather than building up my wife I was tearing her down. I was supposed to love her like Christ loved the church, who gave Himself up for her that He might present her spotless and blameless before God. I used that with my daughters dates, but didn’t always live it out in day to day life. Probably still don’ do this as good as I should.

So I do hate to Lose.

Unfortunately for me, that’s not how God feels.

 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

The Kingdom principle is that its the losers who are the winners!

 So much of what I read in the Bible could be changed out with Loser. God loves a cheerful giver (loser); The poor in spirit (losers) will inherit the Kingdom of God; Love your wife like Jesus loved the church who gave His life (loser); ……You can probably give a bigger list.

But this LOSER is someone who is willing to Lose his own rights to benefit others, to exhibit sacrificial love for others, to build others up, to bring glory to God.

So I’m trying to learn the Kingdom principle that Loser is the new Winner because in God’s Kingdom is the ultimate fulfillment of the old saying. “He who laughs last laughs best!”

 

 

 


Servant Leadership

I was reading the first Chapter of “David”  by Charles Swindoll and he raises an interesting point about our teaching regarding servant leadership in evangelical circles.

How often do we hear Servant leadership but in our heads it looks like servant Leadership? We take Cap S and small l and turn it into small s and Cap L, when in fact Jesus doesn’t really use leadership in His teaching, just the SERVANT part.

“I came not to be served but to serve and to give my life a ransom for many.”

“He who would be first must be last and vice versa.”

In God’s Kingdom it seems leadership isn’t a place to strive for but rather is earned based on service and love and granted by God through Jesus.

And Jesus, what an example. He came to serve and when he is leaving earth for a season He is able to say, “All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to Me.”

There is a lesson here that i need to learn and take to heart! (small i on purpose:-)


Marketplace Christianity by Robert Fraser

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*****

This book was a catalyst that helped change the direction of our entire church.

We are now directing our energy 24/7 into the marketplace seeing our job as equipping ordinary people to change the world. That started a little over a year ago.

After reading MC I taught an equipping hour class and was led by the Holy Spirit to an incredable revelation about what God is doing around the world to prepare it for Jesus return.

More on that later- now for the book itself.

Robert Fraser tells about his crisis of confusion. Led to be a minister for Jesus but he found the only open doors to be in business. His journey ultimately leads to the realization that he could do more for building God’s Kingdom as a marketplace minister in his business than as a pastor in a church.

Bob combines his encouraging journey and stories with practical applications to help us take our faith into the marketplace.

But be forewarned- you will want to respond after you read this book. I used it to teach a 12 week equipping hour class and have given it to a number of my business friends.


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Get In The Drivers Seat Of Your Business Or Church

 

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A friend of mine, Bruce Woodard, has developed a great service for small businesses and churches. Geared for those business owners and pastors who don’t want to become accounting or tax experts but realize they need help to do these things right. So who can you trust? You can trust ACTS.

ACTS is a better, faster, and cheaper financial management tool, that helps you put more cash on your bottom line!

ACTS is your Business’ GPS, finally putting you in the drivers seat of your business; PLUS its pennies on the dollar vs your other options.

Like your GPS for driving, you can easily see where you have been and better yet where you are heading so you can plan your most effective route for your business; plus it’s available anywhere you have an Internet connection for you and your business advisers.

ACTS online financial management system manages your accounting process, gives you valuable tax and cash flow information, helps you control your banking and credit card functions, and provides you a MENTOR to help you walk through financial mine fields. You’re never alone!

(Clients tell Bruce that ACTS helps them sleep better at night!)

Acts also provides other services like incorporating your business, handling your payroll and payroll tax reporting, tax planning, and doing your personal and company tax returns. All of this can be built into one monthly fee, no more big tax preparation bills all at once.

As a FREE add on benefit, ACTS has a large library of training videos and provides regular updates on current events that can affect your business finances and taxes.

Interested? Call Bruce and tell him you are interested in taking over the Drivers Seat of your business that you heard about in Tom’s Blog.

He’ll give you a special 20% discount.

Call Bruce at 407-834-0337


Sync Stinks

I taught our youth group a new word this week – syncretism.

Wikipedia definition- The attempt to reconcile disparate or contrary beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought…

Its a fancy word for the “Frog in a Kettle” concept. Many of us have heard this before. How do you boil a live frog? Put him in a kettle of cold water and slowly raise the temp. He just sits there as the temp goes up and boils to death.

This is how the evangelical Christian church has slowly lost its savor in this country. Research by Barna and Gallup suggests that the statistics of “bad behavior” doesn’t differ much between the general public and the evangelical church. Divorce rates, infidelity, pornography etc……

What’s up?

The Bible tells us to not be conformed to the world. So I guess Sync has been happening a long time!

In the world of technology sync is used to mean when 2 databases are conformed into identical copies of each other. What is good for databases stinks for Committed Christians. When business people are Synced we call this operating like Babylon, where money is the only “good” and integrity, loyalty, and service take a back seat.

So if Sync Stinks, what is the answer?

Well, we may not like the answer- The Bible says to let our minds dwell on what is good, to protect our eyes and ears, to not love the World but instead set our eyes on Jesus, and set our minds on the things above.

The bottom line is the fire is getting turned up. Movies and TV are no longer safe for adults to watch much less children. Political correctness is seeping in to our churches. people don’t confront bad behavior. We were hooked on new technologies only to find they are portals to pornography and other temptations. We are too busy to read our Bibles and soak in meditating on what we read. Memorize scripture and study theology so we know principles and can use them in specific circumstances – no way, too time consuming and difficult. I am too busy.

Its not easy to get off the stove, but:

Lets read our Bibles, ask the Holy Spirit to open the meaning up like a beautiful flower after a spring rain, memorize passages so we have them at our finger tips, constantly ask the Holy Spirit to talk to us about every situation we are in and ever person we talk to, praise our heavenly Father for our blessings and hard times, hold each other accountable for bad behavior, and ask to be filled with the fruit of the Spirit:

Love; Joy; Peace; Patience; Kindness: goodness; Gentleness; Faithfulness; and Self Control.

Ouch – I just put myself under conviction:-)

Sync Stinks!


New Wave of Collaboration From Google

Here is an advance screening from Google’s developers conference last weekend of a new product called Wave, that will bring collaboration and other apps together with email and do so on a hosted basis.

The developers of Google Maps have created another application that threatens to disrupt an even bigger market- the 40 year old email market.

Google Wave will be available later this year and this is your chance to hear about it at the same time Google’s developers are hearing about it.

This is a shot aver the bow of Microsoft and its Outlook product. This will be a hosted application and another software as a service killer app.

Its over an hour long but verrrrry interesting.


Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim

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*****

What would it be worth to your business to:

“Create Uncontested Market Spaces and Make Your Competition Irrelevant?”

That is the promise of this international best seller of over 1 million copies.

This book is based on obsessive research and gives a precise actionable plan for changing the way companies do business. I ate this book up because it talks about strategies. Strategies are sorely lacking in business today. We hear a lot about vision and tactics, but the missing link is the compelling strategies that creatively give competitive advantage.

The beginning premise is that the best seller business books that come out about once per decade such as In Search of Excellence and Built To Last form opinions based on a set of companies and research but the list of companies of excellence and built to last change every decade. The great companies keep changing! If the principles worked, why does this happen. The obvious answer is the principles developed from the research worked for a season, but what really was happening was the back testing of principles was a self fulfilling prophecy of what had already happened. Its kind of like a day trader testing a new trading system and it works based on the date fed into it for the last 10 years, then when used in real life the trader loses money.

What happened?

Finance, the economy, people, life all change and never are the same again. So how can any SYSTEM work?

Good question, and this is exactly what Blue Ocean Strategy focuses on. It makes a very compelling argument for value innovation to disrupt markets and that there are repeatable constructs that can be followed to achieve these disruptive strategies- or BLUE OCEANS. One way is a strategy canvas regarding the state of the current market and the factors the new strategies will use to create disruption.

Well worth the few hours it takes to read. My book is full of notes and underlines!


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Made To Stick- Chip & Dan Heath

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*****

This is a must read.

I am convinced the principles disclosed in the book can supercharge ideas and concepts that anyone needs pass on to others.

What makes an idea last and pass from person to person virally. How does, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” last for thousands of years and exist in every major culture around the world? And no one has a big PR or ad budget being spent on it!

Are you a pastor that needs to pass on life changing concepts to a congregation?

Are you an entrepreneur with a new business to sell to investors?

Are you an Internet publisher/ blogger who needs to find an audience for your product or service?

Whatever group or individual you are targeting, these principles can multiply the effectiveness of your communication. How much is that worth? It’s Priceless!

Pastor/ Teacher– What if the way you were taught to prepare your sermons or lessons is not just ineffective in communicating your important message, but actually the reverse of the way people process information and remember key concepts?

Entrepreneur– What if your business plan presentation made it improbable that any investor would take the time to understand your compelling new business concept?

Blogger/ Writer– What if a key reason 97% of Internet publishers make very little was how you are presenting your message to your prospects?

All guilty on all counts!

The good news is that simple concepts can be used in all these cases to guarantee SUCCESS in passing on key ideas and concepts to others.

This book clearly lays out the 2 Steps and 6 Principles necessary to form ideas that will stick with your target audiences.

Read the BOOK! That is an order- It will change your life!


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Building a new small business from the ground up- First steps

I had coffee this morning with a friend starting a new community services project for the Christian business community called Marketplace Christianity. I will be one of his founding advisers and its contract CFO/ COO.

Our discussion centered on our target clients and what that target client has as  felt needs that we can use social networking technology to satisfy. We have partnered with a technology partner who will help us provide an integrated social networking platform with CRM, Web 2.0 Community, and web page all fully integrated. The platform will allow small businesses and associations to create communities and viral membership while also providing an infrastructure to manage the relationships and monetization of the their communities. It will have both publishing and unit characteristics.

Marketplace Christianity will also offfer content that supports and encourages all the members in all the communities to integrate their faith into their daily lives, and involve their friends and family in their own private and public communities.

These strategies are critical to fulfilling the vision of MC (Transforming Societies Through Kingdom Businesses) and a necessary link between the vision and day to day operations.

Many small businesses have a defined vision and go right into daily operations without the necessary strategies that tie the two together.

Current strategies we are working on include determining the felt needs related to community building of our target market, the technology necessary to fulfill the community building needs of our target market, and the resources needed to reach the market and expand the services offered.


  

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