OTHER COOL STUFF...

  • INTERNET DEPRIVATION

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Other Cool Stuff...

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    dep·ri·va·tion
    deprəˈvāSHən
    noun
    1. the damaging lack of material benefits considered to be basic necessities in a society.

     

    Stacey and I moved to a new house a month ago.  As a resident of Kansas City, I’ve been extremely exited about the promise of Google Fiber and it just so happened that the new house was in a “Fiberhoood” with an earlier install date than our old location.

    We moved in on the 10th of August and decided to forgo internet and television for a few days until the Google Fiber guy graced us with blazing fast internet speed and HD Television broadcasts.  The “few days” we thought we were in for turned into 3.5 weeks and it was a lot more painful than either of us had originally imagined.

    To be perfectly honest, I could have gone a lot longer without TV.  I spent the first 18 years of my life without cable television.  Going to grandma and grandpa’s house meant we could hide away in the basement for hours catching up on marathons of Heathcliff and Inspector Gadget.  The TV at their house had amazing content compared to the analog dial that was in the living room of the TV back in our home on the outskirts of Omaha.  It wasn’t until college that I came to realize the benefits of Jon Stewart and Eric Cartman.  While extremely entertaining, paid TV content has always been a luxury (something I couldn’t afford to pay for until I realized that I was spending more money in sports bars during Husker football season than I would paying to Dish Network for the entire year).

    No, TV has always been nice to have…..Internet, that I’ve come to realize over the last month, is something that I can’t live without.  Sure, I had my phone and was able to connect with the outside world, but my news feeds, my blog and *gasp* my social accounts were basically impossible to keep up with.  I went to work one day to hear friends discussing the “situation in Syria” to which I had to ignorantly ask “what situation in Syria.”  My email inbox was out of control every morning due to the fact that I hadn’t logged in to clean it out during the evening news.  I had limited ability to reflect on the day as this blog sat idle over the last month.  I had been cut off from the world.

    It wasn’t all bad…  My wife and I were given the opportunity to completely unpack.  We took evening strolls through the neighborhood.  We read books before bed.  In what seemed to be a sad statement on our personal life, we both felt extremely out of touch.

    Judge both of us as you will, but I started to think about the word deprivation and what it truly means.  This technology that literally didn’t exist 2 decades ago had become so integral to our lives that the thought of living without it received odd stares from close friends.  It wasn’t a question as to if we could live without it, but a matter of how much longer could we handle it.

    On Wednesday, September 4th, Josh (our Google Fiber installer) walked up to my door.  It was 8am and I can’t remember being happier to see a service installer walking toward me.  I posted on my social sites whether or not it would be inappropriate to hug him…..most of my friends said it would be cool, so I did.  It was strange, but he went with it.

    When I looked up the word deprivation, the definition made me feel a little guilty.  How would my Great Grandpa Wullschleger look upon this post?  Surely he would shake his head at my digital dependency….  My thoughts quickly transitioned from my Great Grandfather to the 90 year old me, what will my great grand children consider to be necessities 60 years from today?

  • TECH TREK – DAY 1…

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Innovation, Mobile Tech, Other Cool Stuff..., Tech Trek

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    My eyes shot open and I looked above my head to see the upside-down characters on the alarm clock…somehow my brain made out the fact that it was 3:30 AM, but it didn’t matter I couldn’t sleep any more.  I reached up and turned off the clock so it wouldn’t blare and wake up my wife when it was scheduled to go off at 3:45.  I rolled out of bed to see my wheeled carry-on bag and backpack bursting at the seams, sitting along the wall.  Both bags were stuffed with enough t-shirts, clean underwear and technology to last me 7 days on the road.

    My beautiful wife eventually woke up and graciously drove me to KCI where I barely made my flight out.  Airport security at 6:12 AM runs just as fast as you do at that time….  Day 1 of the Tech Trek had begun:  8 guys, 7 days, 5 stops, countless experiences with the bleeding edge Google Glass hardware in tow, all documented on video.

    After some flight confusion and missed connections by some others we eventually assembled as a team in Silicon Valley.  A Mod Squad of technologists, creative designers, innovators and entrepreneurial minds assembled on the patio of a German style beer garden in down town Mountain View:

    Chris Shaw – Entrepreneur In Residence at Think Big Partners and founder of the Tech Trek (LinkedIn Twitter)

    Hampton Stevens – Freelance journalist for the Atlantic, ESPN the Magazine, Playboy and many more (LinkedIn Twitter)

    Blake Miller – Partner at Think Big Partners and Managing Director of their Accelerator (LinkedIn Twitter)

    Andy Olson – Innovation Leader at Hallmark Cards (LinkedIn Twitter)

    Tom Brantman – Innovation Leader, Immagineer at Hallmark Cards (LinkedIn Twitter)

    Jason Grill – Media Relations, Public Affairs, PR, Attorney, Entrepreneur, TV Analyst, National Writer, Radio Host, Fmr MO Rep (LinkedIn Twitter)

    Spencer Walsh – Documentary Filmmaker, Owner of Piscator Media (LinkedIn Twitter)

    and me….

    We kicked off the day talking with Wade Foster, a graduate from MU who founded Zapier and just recently moved out to Silicon Valley. Over brats and a .5L of beer we talked about his experience with Y Combinator, the benefits of the Valley and his desire to eventually come back “home” to Missouri.

    After killing some time at  the Googleplex in Mountain View, we headed back to our hotel to prepare for the main event….picking up Glass in downtown San Francisco.  We arrived at a nondescript corporate office building close to pier 28 and took the elevator to the 5th floor.  Greeted by Google security, only a couple of us were actually allowed to go into the Glass Receiving area…a stripped down concrete floor with modern/minimal furniture accented by Glass branding.  Chris was seated at a table with a Glass specialist who helped him with the fit and walked him through a very detailed orientation.  It’s clear the technology is new and Google is trying to reduce the learning curve as much as possible.

    We played around, geeked out, asked a bunch of questions and then we were off…on our own in downtown San Francisco.  We navigated to a local pizza joint using Glass and devoured our food.  Everyone took their turn passing Glass around the table and envious onlookers peered through the window to see what we were doing.  We were having a great time but many of us were coming upon our 24th hour awake and we were ready for bed.

    Today is a new day, we’ll be exploring the bay area a bit more talking with a few early stage companies and then doing some of the touristy things.  I would love to take you all along with me on this experience over the next 7 days and you’ll be able to do that because of the technology we have in tow.  Stay tuned here, keep an eye on the TechTrek Blog and Twitter as well as my social media sites….we’re capturing a lot of content with the intent to share!!

    Tech Trek Blog:  http://techtrek.co/

    Tech Trek Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TheTechTrek

  • I SPENT THE DAY LEARNING ABOUT PROCESS…AND I DIDN’T HATE IT

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Innovation, Life Lessons, Other Cool Stuff...

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    …I might have even learned something.

    Jenny Tarwater and I have formed an improbable relationship.  Not because she’s a boring person (she’s full of just as much energy as I am), not because she’s a downer (she’s SUPER positive) and not because she’s stuck in her ways (I would argue that she is VERY innovative).  No, we’re a lot alike aside from our love (or in my case avoidance) of process.

    I’ve always known of Jenny, but never really knew her.  A few weeks ago I decided to go formally re-introduce myself because I had walked by these crazy “Kanban” boards and heard so much about “agile development.”  After a quick tour and crash course on what she’s started inside of our product development group, I was intrigued.  The thought of process serving a real purpose in allocating the proper skills for a particular job, encouraging communication, bringing people closer together to make quick decisions and more than anything speeding up delivery was a foreign concept for someone so used to the process that I thought I knew….

    Jenny encouraged me to jump into an upcoming training course taught by the equally amazing Hollie Carrender-Shephard.  So I did…and I brought a couple co-workers with me.  After making a few immature jokes about flicking spit wads and finding my seat in the back of the class, Hollie got me under control and we spent the day learning about visioning, themes, user stories, Kanban, definition of done, iteration and more.  If you would have told me a month ago that I would be sitting through a day of training on process…….and enjoying it…..I would have fallen on the floor laughing.  To be clear, I’m still not the right person to implement everything I learned today, but I sure as hell respect it.

    After a long day of listening and asking questions, Jenny and I went to grab a quick beer to talk about the application of agile to my tiny marketing team.  There are many companies adopting “Agile Marketing” practices and my team has started to champion the merits of this idea…I’m always looking to pick an expert’s brain.

    I get schooled on multi-tasking…at a bar

    I tell you all of this only to provide context…  I’m now at a bar with a process expert (remember…an innovative process expert) and she says she wants to show me a quick experiment on multi-tasking.  I’ve enjoyed two beers, so I oblige…what could she teach me about multi-tasking?  I take on everything I can and juggle it all without any issues.

    She grabs two receipts and flips them over, handing me a pen.  As she grabs her iPhone she tells me to start writing numbers in sequential order…as many as I can in 30 seconds.  She yells “TIME” and I stop writing, I made it to the number “22.”  She resets the timer and tells me to start writing my ABC’s.  This time I’m really ready and I fly through the alphabet.  By the time she yells “TIME” again I had blown through the letter “Z” and started writing “A, B” already.

    Now for the lesson…she grabs the other receipt and this time has me write both characters together, “1A, 2B, 3C, 4D, 5E, etc…”  I make it to 18R.  This set was noticeably harder as I had to start engaging my brain on what pair came next (though my brain figured out a trick once I got to the number 8 that sped me up a bit…ask me in the comments and I’ll tell you about it).

    When my brain was given the ability to focus on an individual task (writing number or letters individually) I was able to get through 50 characters.  When my brain had to think about the sequential order of both numbers and letters, I only got through 36 characters.  The theory here is that multi-tasking engages your brain in context switching and actually requires more attention and time OR increases the risk of errors.

    As a person who is frequently (VERY FREQUENTLY) distracted by shiny objects, this is something I need to be aware of.  While Jenny admitted I scored better than most, the risk of switching context explains a lot about my productivity.  Figuring out how to effectively tackle something with my full attention will produce the best result.

    As for me and my new found friend in process…I’m happy to have learned so much about it but thrilled to be surrounded by people like Jenny who can keep me on track.

  • EXECUTION WINS OVER IDEATION

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Life Lessons, Marketing Brilliance, Other Cool Stuff...

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    I had breakfast today with a really (REALLY) insightful friend.  He shared many pieces of wisdom, but there was one interesting theory that stuck with me.

    This friend had a lot of experience working for startups (before it was cool) and was involved in a lot of the day to day business decisions.  Years back, a venture capitalist told him about the 25-5-1 rule while talking about the viability of his great new idea:

    25 people already had your idea in Silicon Valley, 5 came up with it in Austin and 1 had the same idea right here in Kansas City.  What makes you any different from them?

    It was a validating moment, I too believe ideas are cheap commodities.  In fact, I think that’s why I connected so well to the GoDaddy.co commercial during the Superbowl:

     

     

    Yes, you’re unique….you’re an amazing individual…your mom thinks you’re hilarious…but your next great idea has been dreamt up by a number of other people.  Facebook wasn’t the first social network, Google wasn’t the first search engine, Southwest wasn’t the first airline, Henry Ford didn’t make the first automobile.

    All of these companies had the novel idea but also found a way to get it done in a manner that their competitors couldn’t touch.  They built ideas that spread virally, they unlocked sustainable/revolutionary business models, they found ways to compete with non-traditional competitors, they developed a more efficient production system.  Most importantly……..they EXECUTED.

    Don’t be the guys on the couch, and more importantly don’t fool yourself into believing simply registering a web domain will get you to the finish line.  Build a unique and sustainable vision, EXECUTE where others are afraid to….earn that Sky Waitress.

  • PRESENTATION SECRETS…

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Life Lessons, Other Cool Stuff..., Project Thank You

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    Today I was given an AMAZING opportunity to talk with our talent management group in HR.  I was originally asked to come talk about the “Thank You Thursday” program but decided to find a common link between that and the recent Hack-a-Thon that my team won here at Sprint.

    As I was preparing for this presentation I did the usual….

    1. Establish a working outline around the narrative
    2. Build a skeletal presentation with the content I needed to tell a complete story
    3. Practice….Practice….Practice
    4. Remove almost ALL of the words and insert pretty pictures

     

    Step 3 is crucial.  Where I originally relied heavily on the words within the page, the practice in a private spot allowed me to grow comfortable with that content.  By the 3rd run through I was able to utilize the pictures on the page as a visual cue, turning my presentation into a supporting actor and not a distraction.

    While those 4 steps helped me, I did find that there was one final key….the live presentation.  As I walked toward the conference room I reminded myself to punch up the energy, look people in the eyes, don’t dance around in one spot and watch the “um’s.”

    Because I KNEW MY CONTENT so well, I could focus on these minor details making the presentation far more entertaining to the audience, ensuring they weren’t distracted by any of those things.

    What are your presentation secrets?  Anything I’m missing

  • STUFF I’M IN TO (JANUARY 2013)

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: App Test Drives, Cocktails, Life Lessons, Other Cool Stuff...

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    It’s been a while since I’ve posted and I realize I’m probably losing any loyal following I may have built up…  The holidays were awesome to me with a lot of time around family, a trip to see my parents in their amazing Florida habitat and a quick trip out to Colorado for a little snowboarding with good friends.

    Being perfectly honest, I have a draft of a post that I can’t seem to hit the publish button on so this is a lame attempt at keeping the conversation going.  Rather than just ignore my blog completely, I thought it would be a good opportunity to do a quick list of some cool stuff I’ve encountered in January…here it goes!

     

    Thought Leader:  Larry Page

    Larry recently gave an interview to Wired Magazine (the best interview in that magazine since last month’s WILD expose on John McAfee).  I tore through it with enthusiasm learning a little more about his leadership styles and vision for Google.  He’s definitely a one of a kind guy and it’s encouraged me to seek out some more information on his career.  Larry is a true leader and isn’t looking to make incremental changes to how the world operates.  He instead looks for ways to make 10X improvements in the projects he works in, fundamentally changing society in his wake.

    Reports of his health issues are concerning and I hope that his chronically hoarse voice is something minor because he has a lot of impact left to make.

     

    App:  Bike Race

    A friend of mine showed this app to me in the last week and I can’t seem to get enough…this game evokes memories of excite bike with awesome physics and simple game play.  To make things even better it has a turn based multi-player challenge mode that allows you to compete with your friends across platform (Android, iPhone/iPad)…  Think Excite Bike meets Words With Friends!

    If you already have the app, click this link on your phone to play me:  http://bikerace.me/ACIXhw

     

    Liquid Culture:  5 Cocktails Everyone Should Know How to Make 

    Imbibe Magazine (something you should probably subscribe to) covers all things liquid culture…Coffee, Tea, Cocktails, Beer and more.  This month they published a list of 5 drinks every aspiring cocktail aficionado should be able to perfect.  So far I’m tight on the first 3 (Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Last Word), but haven’t dipped into the Sidecar or a real Whiskey Sour but will be working on that soon.

    Check out their article for the recipes and click on over to the subscribe link if you’re looking for a really interesting magazine that you’ll read cover to cover each month.

     

    TV Show:  Justified

    I accidentally discovered Justified 3 years back after going through some severe Jack Bauer withdrawals.  My craving for twisted plot staring a bad ass American law man was fulfilled with the acting of Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens.  It’s honestly hard to pick my favorite actor in this with habitual bad guy Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) playing the antagonist and a good buddy of mine from college (Abby Miller) playing a growing role as Ellen May, a back woods prostitute who has lost her way but now finding Jesus.

    As a bonus…I discovered that the series is based on a few short novels by Elmore Leonard and have made it through 2 1/2 of them so far.  Season 4 just started and it hasn’t disappointed yet.

  • 5 REASONS YOU [YES, YOU] SHOULD PARTICIPATE IN A HACKATHON

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Life Lessons, Marketing Brilliance, Mobile Tech, Other Cool Stuff...

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    This past Thursday/Friday I had the honor of joining a team in a company hosted hackathon.

    Quick vocabulary check (because many have asked)…I would define a hackathon as a set amount of time where a group of people work together to solve a problem with the goal of bringing a viable solution together before the end of the contest.  

    While the term hackathon could include any contest where you are hacking a solution together, most focus on software design (Facebook’s “Like” button was the product of an internal hackathon, the super secret algorithm that decides what Netflix movie you should watch next was a during an open hackathon and one of my favorite success stories, “GroupMe” was created at Techcruch Disrupt – and later acquired by Skype/Microsoft for more than $40M).

    The rules for Sprint’s hackathon were fairly simple:  1 – It had to be a mobile app, 2 – it had to be related to Sprint, 3 – it had to be marketable and make money.

    I had always heard about hackathons and was excited that Sprint was going to host one internally…  I never thought anyone would see value in bringing a marketer into the group, but to my surprise I was asked to join a team!  On Wednesday, the four of us (two developers, one designer/UX expert and me, a marketer) sat down for 30 minutes and brainstormed.  We left there with a good idea of each other’s capabilities and I went to work on what I believed to be some important pre-work…. defining the problem statement and the current marketplace.

    The contest started Thursday afternoon at 2pm and the sound of keyboard clicking filled the room.  We huddled as a team to quickly review some of my research and came to a consensus on the problem statement, the target customer, the current solutions for that problem in the market, and what we believed to be some blue ocean/white space to exploit.

    Our pre-work paid off, we were extremely focused and full of purpose.  Everyone knew their role (mine at times was simply filling cups of coffee), we communicated well and executed on the shared vision.  24 hours later (after a 4-5 hour nap back at our respective homes) we had a solution that looked a lot like what we set out to create.  As a cherry on the top of our beautifully executed plan, we also won the contest with an app that looked/worked great, had a realistic business model and most importantly, solved a real problem.

    So, what did I learn?  Aside from the fact that I probably only utilize about 1% of my Mac Book’s computing power…I witnessed a few things about the hackathon concept that can be applied to any problem solving situation in ANY functional organization:

    1)  Solve real problems – This is the most important component of them all.  If you’re not working on something that matters then find something that does.  We picked a problem that we were all passionate about and would be meaningful to Sprint.  By 2:15am, we were all ready for bed.  We took off from the campus and went home for some shut-eye.  By 6:30am, I was tossing and turning in my bed, obsessing over our project.  I jumped out of bed, hit the shower and headed back to work.  I wasn’t too surprised to find that my whole team was already there, back to work on our solution…they were personally invested and believed in the cause.

    2)  Make friends with people who can do stuff you can’t – I was flat-out, blown-away by the skills of my teammates.  We were well balanced and everyone learned something from someone else on the team.  There are people in your company right now with some amazing talents (you’re one of them).  Some are creative, some have analytical skills, some are fantastic communicators, some can write strings of code that turn into apps.  Until you get them out of their individual corners (or in my case…gigantic organizational structures), onto a diverse team, they’re not really working for you…

    3)  Set a deadline – The pressure of a 24 hour contest was palpable…with 6 minutes to go, our two developers were merging the final code together (the designer and I exchanged nervous glances behind their backs).  With total exhaustion setting in, they were both dead set on delivering their piece of the puzzle…they were not going to let the team down.  With a short period of time, everyone is forced to put everything they have into the problem…and if they’re not, maybe they don’t have your best interests at heart when the pressure is on during normal business hours.

    4)  Learn to Prioritize – Because of the deadline, we were forced to leave some components on the cutting room floor…and probably for the best.  Through the normal course of business, we’re all tempted to analyze the data one more time, add a couple more slides, slide in one more disclaimer, pour over the details to the point where nothing makes sense any more.  The short deadline forces you to trim the fat and dump the details that aren’t critical to success….what you may find is the solution didn’t need any of that stuff to ship in the first place.

    5)  Celebrate Progress – About 9 hours into the contest, we had our first look at the app running on a phone.  The user interface hadn’t been added yet, the buttons were boxy and the text wasn’t in the right spot….but it worked!!!  We all stood up from our huddled position around the phone and celebrated with high-fives and cheers [as though we just landed a man on the moon].  We can get beat down from time to time about the status of a project or how things aren’t going the way we want.  Find a way to celebrate what’s working.  Start evaluating what’s not.  You might be fretting over one of those details that should be left on the cutting room floor.

     We took something from concept to a working reality in less than 24 hours.  With a few more hours worth of work, we can put our app into the Google Play store and get some real-time feedback from actual users.  Had we set out to tackle this same problem through the normal process it would have taken months and most likely never launched.

    I’m a believer that the hackathon framework should be re-purposed for all kinds of problem solving exercises.  Is your business looking for new market opportunities?  Want some ideas on brand strategies?  Looking for innovative programs to build a better corporate culture?  Putting a well-rounded team of individuals on a hilariously short deadline to solve a real business problem could be the answer to what is keeping you up at night.

  • EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LEADERSHIP….I LEARNED FROM THE WORLDS OF FUN GAMES DEPARTMENT

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Leadership, Life Lessons, Marketing Brilliance, Other Cool Stuff...

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    I was coming home from Omaha on a Sunday evening a few months ago, jamming to NPR.  This American Life was about to start and Ira Glass hopped on the mic with a preview of the evening’s story.  He mentioned that this episode would be about Amusement Parks; to my delight his first stop was Worlds of Fun in Kansas City to talk with the Manager of Games, Cole Lindbergh.

    I won’t do the story justice in writing….so you should go listen to it when you have 30 minutes free.  Don’t have time right now?  I’ll do my best to sum it up:

    Cole Lindbergh is a 26 year old who started in the games department when he was 14 (you know…ring toss, pop a shot, guess your height, weight, age, win amazing plush prizes….games).  Since that time, he’s worked his way up the ladder to manager of the entire games department, responsible for more than 120 teenagers every summer.  He’s energetic (some would say silly), he loves what he does, he accomplishes large goals and most importantly he gets the teenagers around him to do the same thing.

    Needless to say, the story really got to me, producing one of those infamous “driveway moments” that NPR is known for.  I sat in my car listening to Ira and Cole discuss empowerment, motivation and the challenge of leading millennials.  Ira at one point noted that “it’s rare to witness anyone so happily great at any job.”

    The story ended and I shut off my car, closed the garage door and went straight for my computer.  I found the Worlds of Fun Games department Facebook page and sent a message about how proud I was of Cole and how well he represented Kansas City.  It took a few months, but I jumped at the chance to connect with him one on one (I offered to buy him some tacos….he should have charged me WAY more).

    Through a conversation that lasted well over 90 minutes, I learned a lot…a better investment than some of the business books I’ve read.  For most of us, Leadership is a trait you have to practice and hone over time.  Leadership is part of Cole’s fiber, deeply embedded from the days of helping his father unload cargo from airplanes when he was only 12 yrs old (2 years from officially entering the workforce himself).  He has a drive and work ethic you don’t see often….and it’s viral, he even put a spring in my step as I headed back to the office.

    During our conversation, I heard 3 common themes that I would attribute to his success:

    1) Set a Mission/Vision/Objectives

      • This sounds simple in nature, but it’s often overlooked.  Providing your crew with a North Star (not necessarily an instruction manual) is critical to success.  Empower your team members to do the same…there should never be a question as to the mission (team or individual).

     

    2) Invert the Org Chart

      • Fight for your team, not with them.  If things aren’t going in the right direction, it’s because you failed on #1, not that they have bad ideas.
      • Cole walks the park every day, takes an interest in every single one of his employees (120+ of them…), surely you can do the same.  Innovation is happening on the front line and Cole had an example where an idea from a 16 yr old working the ring toss came to him with an idea that DOUBLED the revenue for the game she was working on.

     

    3) Attitude is Infectious

      • Cole has drive and exudes work ethic, enthusiasm and passion…he even mentioned that he “would never work for someone who doesn’t want to have fun.”  It’s no wonder his employees emulate his attitude, take part in zany training videos and come back year after year to work with him.
      • Because of the seasonal nature of amusement parks, he has to rehire all 120+ people each year.  He boasts a retention rate better than 75% year over year (meaning he only has to fill and train a fraction of new employees each year…most of them coming through referrals)
      • His current lead team has an average tenure of 4-6 years (ridiculous when you consider the fact that these supervisors are just over 20 years old).  There’s something about Worlds of Fun they like….I’ll give you one guess.

     

    I have no idea what the future holds for Cole, but I can guarantee you this….he’s going to continue to be successful (and hopefully keep in touch with me as he enjoys that success).  His next challenge will be to take a step back and realize that he’s a lot more than a games manager at Worlds of Fun, his skill set transcends what he’s doing today.

    My advice to his current employer, find a place for this kid….he’s got the right stuff.  Put him in a place where his leadership skills can be of most value to you.  If you wait a few more years….you wont be able to afford him because someone else will.

    Keep it up Cole!

    Follow him on Twitter:  @colelindbergh 

  • OUR SHARED WORKSPACE – CUBERTINO

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Other Cool Stuff...

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    A few months back, the marketing groups at Sprint were consolidated into one building (finally) and the moving process was underway.  I asked a simple question in my director’s staff meeting that stirred up a bit of a dust storm….”do we have any other options aside from cubicles?”

    Before I knew it, the corporate real-estate team was all over it, showing us layouts, walking me through floor plans and detailing out all kinds of options we had…they were thrilled with the opportunity to accommodate.  In exchange for a little bit of personal space, the new floor-plans brought more open areas, collaboration space, lounge chairs and a personal meeting room for our team.  With a half-way enthusiastic group, we took the plunge, complete with a name for our new home…Cubertino (graphic design work thanks to our creative friends at Fervor)

    We’re now a few months in and the feedback has been extremely positive.  Just our team asking the question inspired others in marketing to opt for a more open workspace and we even encouraged a team on our floor to convert after moving their stuff in.  I’ve noticed that we hold more “standing meetings” (meaning we don’t waste time on the calendar), we socialize more around coffee grinders, french presses, assorted baked goods and more than anything, we’re all much closer as a team.  Our personal conference room has become a place others want to come and ideate, complete with a whiteboard table and a fancy 360 degree conference phone for remote members of our team.

    While our shared workspace won’t rival those of Digitas, Google, Spotify, Lookout or some of the other tech startups I’ve visited…it beats the heck out of a normal cubicle!

     

  • GUEST BLOGGER FOR A DAY

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Other Cool Stuff...

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    I’m not the next Design Star, but my friend Kelly asked me to writer her a post on her design blog with a technological slant.  I decided to talk about my favorite thing to do with my Instagram pics (bring them to life in the real world).

    It’s up and you should be following her blog….go check it out:  http://www.twentysixeast.com/2012/09/insta-interior-design.html

    She’s a fantastic blogger who covers design, style and local KC businesses….if you’re not following her go do it now!

     

    26 East’s Facebook Page:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/26-east/117893888358242