Posts Tagged ‘innovation’

Stand Up & Stick Out!

October 14, 2015

Whether you like him or not, everyone knows the name Donald TrumpDonald Trump, host of the television series "The Celebrity Apprentice," mugs for photographers at the NBC 2015 Winter TCA Press Tour at The Langham Huntington Hotel on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) He’s ‘that guy’ running for President that speaks his mind regardless of being politically correct. He’s unpredictable, bombastic, entertaining and arrogant.

AND……..he’s the candidate people talk about the most.

In the highly competitive entertainment industry, artists are vying for attention from the media, fans, recording labels, agents and producers. When they make it big, the next challenge is how to stay on top to avoid being forgotten. Lady Gaga appears in outrageous costumes, uses unique props to perform  and constantly finds innovative ways to make her entrance on stage.

In today’s marketplace with more companies competing for the same customer and more candidates looking to fill the same job, how do YOU stand out from the crowd?

Innovation. Do something different. Learn new ways of working, marketing, communicating. In this digital age we live in, calling people has become SO seventies. Reach out and touch someone – really. A personal phone call can make or break a deal because it’s simply being human.

As a keynote speaker I was talking to a company at their annual conference who said they have “Thank you Thursdays”. Employees hand write thank you notes to five people every week. Sometimes it’s to customers in appreciation of their business, sometimes it’s to coworkers for helping out with a project. Do you remember the last thank you note you received? 

Stand up and stick out. It will get you noticed by potential customers and bosses…….in a good way

Funny Stuff Happens When You Mix Up The Generations

August 26, 2015
                                                                              Doing the YMCA thing
Legal waiver: There were no alcoholic beverages involved in the taking of this photo.
This was the scene at a recent conference for the Texas Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (TACVB.org) where I was the closing keynote speaker. After three days of serious sessions about the travel and tourism industry these folks were ready for some serious fun.
centers around standing out from the crowd to succeed in today’s marketplace and I emphasize points by playing popular songs on the piano. (OK, to be clear…this is not me playing piano with a flaming shoe).
This audience spanned across four generations from Millennials to Baby Boomers and since the client had said there were major challenges working together,
we set out to prove differently.
A key point in the presentation is about innovation.
                                                                                   Great teamwork!
I divided the audience into teams with all four generations in each team and told them to perform the song “Yellow Rose of Texas” in the most creative way possible. The only rule was to listen to ideas from each generation.
OMG! Talk about funny! Talk about creativity at it’s best! Old song, new interpretation, impressive results.
For this group of destination marketers we discussed how to make their area shine by highlighting unique and exciting things to do and see. One idea was to feature the colorful Hispanic culture with its lively energetic music, so we ended the program with reps from each generation on stage banging tambourines in tempo to a popular Spanish song. Olay! Oh yay!
                                                  Audience members participating in the music of ‘Malaguena’
Who says the generations can’t work together?
This is where you hear crickets…

Passion, Possibility & Elephants

November 18, 2014

One of my favorite groups to talk to is admins because they’re efficient, organized and innovative. They know how to get things done. And……..they’re always ready to have fun.

They’ve been called secretaries, personal assistants and the backbone of a company. Without them chaos rules.

Last week I was the keynote speaker at an awards banquet for a great group of admins from various companies around Houston and the Clear Lake area. We talked about how the power of passion is the beginning of all success because it motivates people to do whatever it takes. The admins receiving awards had the discipline to earn their certifications because they wanted to be the best on the job. They SO rock!

We did a fun exercise on teamwork and the importance of being creative. I divided the audience into groups and gave  each a song to perform with instructions to find out the strengths in team members to see who could sing, do back up, dance, mime or anything else to demonstrate innovation.

The first team sang Sweet Caroline sitting at the table. The second team exited the room and made an entrance singing Hello Dolly. The third team’s song was Margaritaville. One woman laid on the floor pretending to be a tourist on the beach covered with oil sipping a margarita, while the rest of her team acted “wasted away in Margaritaville” singing and swaying to the music. LOL hilarious!

Team C’s passion to be the best
opened up new possibilities.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

How did the elephant cross the river?

Why, by boat of course

Being A Little Crazy Could Be Your Big Success

August 27, 2014

Recently I received a call from American Express asking if I would be the keynote speaker at their annual meeting in Chicago. The man explained the purpose of the event was to unite major clients with Amex staff to collaborate and communicate.            American Express brand logo

United Airlines is one of their biggest clients and in the TV ads for United they use the theme from Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. It’s quite cool. Watch video HERE.

The man from American Express asked if I could create a program to include some of the Rhapsody with a relevant motivational message for his group. (I play the piano during my speeches) Errrrrr sure, said I. Just give me a couple of hours and I’ll send you an outline. (Gulp! I hadn’t played that music in 30 years)

Lady Gaga leg on piano with fireMy presentation on extraordinary performance in the workplace refers to Lady Gaga and how the wild costumes and bizarre stage acts resulted in her fame and fortune. She stands out from the crowded entertainment industry by constant creativity and innovation. George Gershwin composed amazing music using a unique combination of a classical style infused with jazz chords and irregular tempos. Unheard of at the time. 

I called the man from American Express with a program titled “From Gershwin to Gaga: Extraordinary Performance is the New Norm for Changing Times!” He loved it.

Whether it’s your resume, an office project, team work or an interview, get a little crazy. Think outside the proverbial box. Search the internet, brainstorm ideas and run with something different.

Sticking out from the crowd will get you noticed….and you don’t even have to play the piano.