Saturday 29 September 2012

tips on closing an efficient meeting articles usually have fantastic titles but often lack depth and substance.   The article 3 Ways to Keep Meetings Short , however, is brief with some useful reminders of how to set up a productive meeting with some non-obvious takeaways. It speaks to one hour meetings which may or may not meet your "short' criteria for a meeting.  I'll share the non-obvious tips part with you :

How to wrap up a meeting - very similar to closing a sale. I would recommend this approach for a one-on-one or a small group meeting with a client: 
  1. "In one sentence, what was your single biggest takeaway from this meeting?
  2. In one sentence, what is one topic that should be discussed in our next meeting?
  3. Give one word or phrase describing how you feel about this meeting?"

One and three may be repetitive - but try it out and see for yourself. Sometimes repetition is what it takes to get the info you want flowing. 

 This technique certainly reinforces that you care about what your client wants and is a great opportunity for feedback and building trust. 

Wednesday 26 September 2012

The Essence of Starting with Heart

I am sharing a work in progress. My designer will cringe as he has not yet seen it, nor therefore touched it. If you click on the link below it will take you to a powerpoint presentation. Images are rough, and the sound is even scratchy - how did that happen? Maybe some kind of intelligence on behalf of the MAC? This is an early communication from a startup hence let's select scratchy garage 1970s recording sound? 

I'm interested to know what kind of content could enrich the presentation. It is meant to help startups find a place to actually start their startup from. I put it together in early early days when the to do lists were overwhelming and impeding creativity and progress.

If you don't feel like going to the presentation a synopsis of the notes are below. 
Start with heart – Finding the Start Up Essence 

I am sharing some of my own discoveries and wonderful wisdom of other entrepreneurs that only experience can bring 
  • The learning curve can overwhelm:   Business models, financial systems, technology, competition, creating pitches for funding, engaging partners and sponsors, revenue models, corporate tax, how many people will we need to hire, what skills will we need, where will the money come from, … the daunting list goes on

  • Business schools are big on teaching how to build business models and business plans….But there are so many reasons why the best place to start is on your idea – the essence of your start up – your product or service.
  • Trying to do to many things at once can block creativity.
  • Building a worthy product takes some stretching of the imagination, questioning our own idea, testing our ideas, throwing some away, starting over, finding better solutions. 
  • And until we have our product prototype designed - most of the to do list will need to be redone anyway.
When you want to bring a start up to market, creativity can be one of your best allies.  To put your best foot forward:
  •  Step back and take a long look at your start up 
  • Set your own preferences aside and step into your customer or users wardrobe. 
  • Live in their space, think about their joys, problems, influencers, inspirations.. 
  • Feel how your idea change your customer’s world – even if just a little bit?  
  • Or think how would you like to change their worlds?
Find the reason you must bring your idea to your customers. 
There are a lot of people we need to reach, engage and motivate to be on our team: start up partners, investors, clients, end users, collaborators.
Your business model will be essential – but it will not enchant the people around you. 
We typically have about five minutes to convey that our startup is worthy – of partnership, of funding if we are delivering that message personally.
Passion conveys confidence, it is contagious. Get an angel investor excited about your idea and your opportunity for success skyrockets. 
What can you say in a short time to gain interest in your idea? How many words do you need to use to prove your point? How long will you have a key  person’s interest?
Passion and enthusiasm will get attention and it’s infectious – just like laughter. An excited audience pays attention. 
We learn by doing, we remember through activity. Demonstrate and test your prototype. A prototype shows you mean business and are not just batting an idea around, Your business is the real thing. 
Heart and authenticity build trust with your users and investors
 Most importantly – live your customer's/user's life. Understand their desires, their problems, their culture, how they make decisions. Love them. Love to help them. That’s how you will create an authentic business and attract a trusting audience.
You need heart for your clients and for your partners. If you love your customers.. then you will love your solution and this creates passion. 
Passion is contagious and fuels courage and tenacity. 
 If you build your business with heart, if you love it, so will others.

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Using Behavioral Economics, Psychology, and Neuroeconomics to Maximize Sales — Ecommerce Blog by Shopify

Using Behavioral Economics, Psychology, and Neuroeconomics to Maximize Sales — Ecommerce Blog by Shopify

Do You Run Your Meetings Like Apple and Google

 Quick tips for meetings according to a handful of industry leaders

Here are the top 7 winning tips for productive and enjoyable meetings according to the Arabstarts virtual meetings

  1. Keep it positive - when brainstorming don't kill ideas
  2. Adopt the - "what if there were no limitations" to brainstorming sessions 
  3. Have an agenda and end time
  4. Schedule regular meetings at the same time every week for efficient scheduling
  5. Each agenda item has an in-charge person indicated
  6. All items are resolved with action items and assigned an in-charge
  7. Participants come prepared to defend their ideas and update last meeting assignments

How To Run Your Meetings Like Apple and Google
Illustration: Oscar Ramos Orozco 99u blog

Monday 17 September 2012

Family support is key to Emirati businesswomen’s success |

Family support is key to Emirati businesswomen’s success |

Daily Creative Juice

29 Ways to Stay Creative 

Creativity levels and energy can vary depending upon the task, mood, shared collaboration and input, positivity, external and time pressures and about a hundred other variables. Most of us have a scale of creativity, from ideas streaming faster than they can be captured to the infamous "hitting the wall"  blocking the idea stream.

This video is a great reminder of how to step back and gain that fresh perspective that will help unlock ideas. Enjoy

Friday 14 September 2012

Fadi Ghandour's Next Investment: Building a Future for Arab Social Entrepreneurship - Arabic Knowledge@Wharton

Fadi Ghandour's Next Investment: Building a Future for Arab Social Entrepreneurship - Arabic Knowledge@Wharton

Make the shift from follower to change maker

Tired of waiting for somebody else to change the world? First steps from follower to change maker.

Photo Credit:

Here's all it takes: 

  1. Choose your cause; like change the world, change a life, change a process, make the world a better place, make the world an easier or kinder place...
  2. Own the cause - don't ask for permission. Share your ideas, learn more, meet the cause community; become a thought leader
  3.  Find an audience. Seek out people who care about the same things you do
  4. Give yourself a title - CEO of my own great cause, Thought Leader of my cause, Community Outreach for my great cause...
  5. Watch people gather around to hear you. Find a path, figure out how to make your cause mission a reality and march down that path, leading your community with you.
  6. It's that simple!

Thursday 13 September 2012

10 easy ways to improve creative team thinking for project leaders and entrepreneurs

And nobody enjoys being painfully dragged in circles by a directionless manager or client at work. We may think efficiency and straight line approaches will give us the best outcome, but do such approaches also stifle creative problem solving?

Tuesday 4 September 2012

The Urban Yogi opens in Dubai

Listen to this envisioned entrepreneur and be inspired to get your Yogi Design on.