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New River LeanCoffee Starting up

October 11, 2012 Leave a comment

So I am starting a LeanCoffee group in the New River Valley. We’ll probably meet in one of the Panera Bread location…Blacksburg or Christiansburg.

Contact me if you want to join and be part of it.

Allan

 

Lean Coffee started in Seattle in 2009. Jim Benson and Jeremy Lightsmith wanted to start a group that would discuss Lean techniques in knowledge work – but didn’t want to start a whole new cumbersome organization with steering committees, speakers, and such. They wanted a group that did not rely on anything other than people showing up and wanting to learn or create.

Now, Seattle Lean Coffee happens every week, is very popular, and requires only that someone who has been there before shows up – and even then it’s just so they know where we stash the post-it notes.

HOW DOES LEAN COFFEE WORK?
The format for a Lean Coffee is very simple. This is intentional. It is meant to be the least structure necessary for a coherent and productive meeting. No more, no less.

1. Set up a Personal Kanban

Create a Ready | Doing | Done -> The simplest Personal Kanban

In this Personal Kanban we have the items to discuss, what we are currently discussing, and the discussed columns.

This provides a structure for the conversation. Next we populate it

2. What to Discuss

People all get pads of post-it notes and a pen. They then start to add their topics for conversation into the “to discuss” column. These can be literally whatever people want to discuss or follow a theme. Right now, we want to encourage as many unique ideas as we can.

When the ideas start reach a certain point (an you’ll be the best judge of when that is), each topic gets a 1 to 2 sentence introduction. This way people know what to vote for.

3. Vote and Talk

Each participant gets two votes. You can vote twice for the same thing or for two different topics. Simple put a dot on the sticky you are interested in. Tally the dots. Then you are ready to have a conversation.

The power here is that you now have a list of topics everyone at the table is interested in and is motivated to discuss for real.

For more info, go to leancoffee.com

Walmart Sustainability Index Means Big Business.

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Walmart’s sustainability assessment offers both a huge business opportunity and a potentially huge environmental business. Walmart suppliers will likely find opportunities to wring inefficiencies from their operations through the process of assessing their environmental footprints, while a bumper crop of consulting and accounting firms is springing up to help suppliers navigate the journey.

by: By Tilde Herrera – Greener World Media

If you are a consultant you might want to check this out.  It is going to be the next gold rush.  If you are a business, you need to be careful as well…  Tilde states…

He compared choosing a consultant to picking a doctor: Do your homework.

“I would caution companies that there are a lot of people coming out of the woodwork who may not know what they’re talking about, but are well intentioned,” he said. “Any time you have a gold rush … “

Well said, I think if you have been positioned well, now is the time to cash in.  Consultants! It’s time to help companies succeed! If businesses and consultants need to discuss this, we have a new forum where you can network with each other.

To your success!

10 Newspapers That Will Survive The Apocalypse

August 25, 2009 2 comments

According to Nicholas Carlson, there are investors who still want to buy local newspapers. That is news to me!

So what do these investors see in the newspaper industry that the rest of us don’t?  Here is a list of ten newspapers worth acquiring…

The Roanoke Times is a “good product,” a “community type paper.” Roanoke is the kind of place where if the car dealers start selling cars again, they’ll start taking out ads in the local paper again. The Roanoke Times also own the Blue Ridge Business Journal which serves 17 counties.

Elizabeth Parsons, their current editor has certainly brought new blood and excitement to the Business Journal. I have had the privilege of being interviewed by Kelly Queijo who is exceptional at being accurate and great at putting people at ease.

It’s good to know some will weather the storm. I think if they can adopt and adapt to the new way people want to get their news, they will be ahead of the curve. Be warned, this is not new news by now but I just found this out a few weeks ago so since it is new to me, it is “news” to me.  Not to mention it is good news. And guess what, it was by old fashion human contact, not electronically.

88owls – Second Company to be on Rackspace's Tech Showcase

August 5, 2009 Leave a comment

88owls interviewed for Rackspace Tech Showcase

I was honored to be interviewed by Kelly Queijo who was writing an article on 88owls for Rackspace’s Tech Showcase.  You can read more at Handshake 2.0.

Here, I got to share the advantages of what a good strategist, business advisor or coach can do for a company and how 88owls wants to be part of that.  To help equip consultants so they can help business and to help create a community where businesses can come and find experienced consultants and get sound advice.

The following is the video from that interview:

88owls, an award nominee announced at TechNite

May 21, 2009 Leave a comment

On May 21st, 88owls along other technology company in South Western Virginia was nominated as a “Rising Star” at the TechNite awards banquet. The 2009 Award nominees were announced on April 15th by United States Senator Mark Warner

We were honored to be among Aegisound/Adaptive Technologies, ADMMicro, Design Marketing/Performance Link, FITnoke, Inorganic Ventures, Koofers, Librato, Modea, Prime Photonics, Schultz-Creehan, and Pixel Optics.

It was good to see the kind of companies representing this region.  It was at the same time humbling to be among these terrific companies some which have been around for over a decade and some with multi-million in revenues already. As a new company, 88owls couldn’t be among better company.

It was good to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.  I think NCTC threw a fantastic event. The good food and free drinks helped…