Fresh Octane® Tour Celebrates American Business Leadership and Innovation

Alpha Board’s 2017 Fresh Octane Business Leadership Tour Gives Voice to American Businesses

Fresh Octane® Energy to Grow: It’s time to plant the seeds of renewed prosperity on behalf of American Business. NeuVision Group and Alpha Board are proud to announce the 2017 Fresh Octane Tour to showcase great businesses that are truly committed to leadership, innovation and progress. The tour will highlight business leaders and leading businesses across America who will be driving business growth in the months and years to come.

We’re searching for some of America’s best and brightest to feature in our Fresh Octane Business Leadership Tour. We are seeking leaders, products, services and companies that will be driving business forward, despite the conditions around them.  We’re also looking for leaders who are seeking new energy and a nice boost in the marketplace. If you fit any of these criteria, we’d love to hear from you.

The Fresh Octane mandate is to drive bold, repeatable marketplace visibility. This visibility is designed to translate into new business leads. We’re using a powerful new platform to help leaders consistently light up the market using proven, unique and highly effective systems. Our programs are designed to help innovators reach the most active market influencers with their business stories. As a result, companies will have the opportunity to expand their reach, reputations and revenue in the marketplace as their individual stories capture the attention of market influencers, new prospects and customers.

“We believe those who do achieve success must be celebrated. One of the greatest gifts we can provide to business-focused cities, companies, leaders and innovators is visibility. Staples often refers to their ‘easy’ button, providing convenience for office supply shoppers.  We have established the Alpha Board and Fresh Octane platforms as a ‘start’ button for leaders to push if they need marketplace attention to jump-start new sources of growth,” says Dave E. Anderson, President and Founder of NeuVision Group.

The Fresh Octane® process follows unique, proven market practices we’ve deployed and refined for over two decades to grow marketplace support and enhance customer adoption rates.  We’ve used this approach to launch and grow more than a billion dollars in new product sales.  We now have the added enhancements of state of the art viral market tools that were not available even five years ago.  We’re now making this system available to CEOs, business owners, and executive business advisers through Alpha® Board.

“The momentum created by Alpha Board and Fresh Octane is designed to provide a readily available source of market horsepower for participants to tap into when they need a powerful marketplace voice to jumpstart growth. Have you ever sat at your desk wondering how to quickly and easily light up the marketplace with your business story? I have.  The program is designed to “give leaders that power,” says Mark Makovec, VP of Business Development with Borns Group, a NeuVision Group market partner.

Among leading CEOs, 95 percent say that closer communication with customers and the marketplace is their number one goal over the next five years. A majority also know your methods need to be innovative to break through the market clutter with your story. Fresh Octane will drastically improve your odds of getting noticed by the people who matter.

Where are the targeted regions?  We can’t share all the good news up front.  However, this won’t be all business as usual. We will include many of the traditional coastal “hot” markets in our tour, but that is not all! Business growth dynamics are shifting. While U.S. coastal cities have historically held an advantage with respect to business growth and innovation, mid-continent cities, towns, and rural areas are catching up.  Financial, tax, political, and budgetary issues are starting to outdistance historical innovation factors. Also, quality of life, family friendliness, a pro-business climate, lack of congestion, ties to the nation’s food supply and “room to grow” are all advantages for non-coastal regions as key growth drivers in the “now world order.”

We are currently starting tour plans across the Midwest.  If you are reading this, there is a chance you may be on our radar.  For more information, you may call Dan Vasey at our Denver office at 303 255-1742 or email him at Dan@NeuVision.com.  Or you can also reach me, Dave Anderson, in Kansas City at 913 685-4850, in Minneapolis at 612 810-4000 or via email at Dave@NeuVision.com.

About NeuVision® Group

NeuVision Group helps leaders, companies and new product teams manage the risk and maximize the opportunities associated with new products, new companies, and major new growth initiatives. Clients have ranged from the most innovative new ventures to many of the world’s most respected companies and brands. NeuVision Group, its president and founder Dave E. Anderson, and NeuVision Group’s sister company, Alpha Scouts®, have worked with companies like Pfizer, 3M, IBM, Dell, Microsoft, Toshiba, Hewlett-Packard, Seagate, Iomega, Caterpillar, Monsanto, Deere, CNH, MarketWatch, and many more.   Our previous Business Drive Time® efforts, which served as a market test for Alpha Board and Fresh Octane, received national and international attention, and were recognized by major media outlets such as BusinessWeek, Forbes, CNBC, MSNBC, Reuters, Bloomberg, MarketWatch, EuroInvestor and more. For more information NeuVision® Group visit us on the web at www.NeuVision.com.

About Alpha® Board

Alpha Board is an executive initiative designed to further the cause of great business leaders and the companies they represent.  As a “National Business Leadership Roundtable,” Alpha Board is designed for the benefit of growing companies, their senior executives, their new product programs, their trusted advisors, and marketplace partners.  Alpha Board is available to “Alpha Grade” business leaders throughout industry. Alpha Board programs include keynote speakers, executive interviews, corporate profiles, leader roundtable discussions, news stories, and live open-house events for businesses. While relatively new, Alpha Board has team leaders in each of three initial high-growth regions working on an ongoing series of tours that will reach leading companies throughout the business community. Alpha Board provides the opportunity for enhanced reach, reputation, and revenue for the companies involved in the program, locally, regionally, and nationally. More information on Alpha Board and the Fresh Octane® Tour can be found on the web at www.AlphaBoard.com.

PostScript

Alpha® Board leverages unique, proven techniques to help leaders consistently achieve enhanced visibility and broader marketplace support. One of the most critical success factors is not just how many people you reach, but who you connect with. Prospects can be finicky. But, if you consistently impress key respected influencers, you ultimately convince the others.

Alpha Board and Fresh Octane are designed to make it easy to be seen in the right places. We provide an innovative market platform, distinctive stories, influencer access, and an organizational commitment to consistently gain visibility. The late David Thomson, former author, speaker and McKinsey & Co. consultant, devoted an entire chapter of his book Blueprint to a Billion to the concept of inside/outside leadership.  His point is that for the best and brightest to win in the marketplace, you must devote extensive, focused leadership internally, but also have a healthy dose of power and energy devoted to external market visibility. Alpha Board and Fresh Octane are the how, but why?

The best indication of why you need to devote resources to outside leadership and visibility is this. More than 80 percent of significant purchase decisions, business transactions, and marketplace reputations are influenced by outside references and internet research. You need a team with the expertise to influence the marketplace on your behalf. Our job is to help you gain the maximum level of market exposure while respecting your need to go about your daily responsibilities.

Through our team, our firms, and our career experience, we’ve worked with dozens of companies and senior leaders ranging from the venture company around the corner to highly respected, Fortune 50 level global leaders. Our team members have achieved coverage and/or been quoted in many of the most prestigious business and general news media outlets in the U.S., as well as receiving extensive coverage around the world. Just like investing in stocks, past performance is not an official indication of future performance. However we understand how to efficiently and effectively deliver profitable, measurable market results. Welcome to Alpha® Board and the Fresh Octane® Tour.

NeuVision, Alpha, Alpha Scouts, Fresh Octane and Business Drive Time are all registered trademarks of Dave E. Anderson.

Cities of Innovation Tour and National Business Leadership Roundtable are trademarks of Dave E. Anderson.

©Copyright 2008-2017 NeuVision Group. All Rights Reserved.

What’s Your Growth Superpower?

How are strategic planning and growth even related?  Everyone loves growth, yet “strategic planning” are two of the most dreaded words in business.  Don’t make it that way!

A strategic plan is your future.  It documents where you are, where you are going, and how you will get there.  It forces your thought processes to get organized beyond the day-to-day tasks of running your business and places you in the mindset of the future growth of your company.

PrintMany, if not most organizations that even do a strategic plan are just going through the motions.  Someone from above told them they have to put together the notebook and the slide deck.  Once it’s reviewed and blessed, it typically goes back on the shelf for next year.

And, if you are not one of the lucky ones that have a demand on you, from a banker, and investor, a board, or from someone… to do an annual plan, you may not have one.  For most persons, that can be a bureaucratic relief.

Don’t be one those people!

Let’s take a minute to see it from the other side.  There are logical reasons that you need a plan, even if it seems difficult.

  • Strategic direction is real and it is how you achieve growth! It’s not just the sum of short-term tactics.  It requires thought and documented market knowledge.
  • The data portion of a plan should be factual. That forces learning, discussions and information gathering.  It also forces a specific discipline within your business.   It is NOT easy to turn directional market opinions into verifiable facts.
  • It is a time allocation thing. Putting together a plan, and identifying a person who is the ongoing keeper of the plan, requires you to identify resources to be your strategic and/or informational eyes and ears.   Most organizations don’t have time for a plan. Which means, most organizations either don’t have time or don’t take the time to really look forward strategically.
  • A plan can serve as the impetus for you to find the “thinkers” within your organization. You may also need to reach out to outside resources to help with the process.

Find the big idea.  It’s not (just) an academic process.  Don’t stop at the numbers and format.

  • One of the best leadership skills in the world is intuition.
  • For intuition to be accurate, you must base your thoughts on a mutually accepted set of facts and market dynamics.
  • For you to have the skills and bandwidth to really create a vision for your company, you have to start with the mojo-moment-intro-photofoundation. The basic set of facts. Then you must remove yourself from the clutter and truly find a strategic direction. The two (facts and vision) are often separate tasks, but you cannot consistently rely on one without the other.

The market moves. Don’t forget!

  • The biggest danger of fact gathering is to forget that everything is moving.
  • Your big ideas need to be based on where the market is going, not just where it is.

Your goal is marketplace leverage.

  • What is the one big thing that makes you better than your competitors?
  • What is the element of your business that distinguishes you in the eyes of your customers?
  • Will that one thing be enough going forward to continue to lead you where you’d like to go, or do you need to find another leverage point?
  • The numbers and planning in the life of your company will not replace the need to prioritize, synthesize and identify the strategic leverage points for you to grow.
  • Most organizations can identify 10-12 major tasks or elements within your business.
    • Two to three of those elements can be critically important for growth.
    • Two to three of them can be buzz killers, which, if not managed properly, can kill your momentum entirely.
    • The remainder of the items on the list are qualifiers. You must have them to be in business, and you must perform at a decent level.  But they are also not strategic leverage points.

“Lead, follow or get out of the way.”life-cycle-chart

  • Pick a direction that is realistic, and fit within your financial and organizational means.
  • The plan literally should tell you where you are going, and how to get there.
  • Businesses have a natural ebb and flow. One highly effective measure of future growth potential is market maturity.
  • New, undefined and/or rapidly growing markets offer opportunities for rapid growth.
  • Mature markets and companies can be opportunities, roadblocks and/or an impetus to go in an entirely new direction. Make sure your plans are aligned with market reality.
  • Be creative, strategic, committed but also pragmatic.
  • Companies should understand where they are with their current business, what their chances are to achieve renewed growth and at what cost.

Commit Your Plan to a Financial Forecast

  • Everyone has their own terminology. My definition of a forward financial projection is a “forecast.”  Many view that as “budgeting” although it goes deeper than a budget.  Regardless of the terminology, you need tracked, verified and continuously monitored financial projections.
  • A forecast makes your plans real. There is NOTHING better to force the tough conversations and commitments than to translate your plans into financials.
  • It must start with a forecast of sales, overall, and by product or service.
  • The forecast then goes to costs of goods, overhead, investments, profits and cash flow.

Conclusions

  • Gather, organize and maintain a set of relevant facts. You need ongoing knowledge and an analytics about your company, customers, competitors, and marketplace.
  • Center your initial thinking around a traditional set of planning documents, but don’t stop there!
  • Step back from the plan and think. The numbers are not the plan. The numbers help you with the comfort, process, and facts to discover the real plan.
  • Great plans are about creativity, vision, and intuition. Step away from the spreadsheets and day to day in order to really think.
  • Allocate the necessary time and proper human resources. Don’t be afraid to ask for outside help.  Planning is a specialized task.
  • Create strategic leverage. You must have leaders dedicated to managing all aspects of your company.  But, you must also understand where the true leverage points are that will create our opportunities to win over the less wise and the less organized.
  • Create and maintain a detailed forecast. Without financials, the plan is hollow.
  • Be realistic with your growth goals. Grow where you can, and don’t overplay your hand.  It’s a competitive world out there, and few are invincible.
  • Make your plan a living breathing document. Review regularly, not just annually.  Task a “keeper of the plan” with the ongoing responsibility to keep the document current, relevant, and fresh within the minds of your teams and company.template

Growing up KC

We are currently a key player in a national leadership tour, market study and business leadership exchange.  The program is a showcase platform to highlight distinguished business leaders and leading businesses across a number of major metros throughout the United States.

As a part of the Alpha Board tour, we’ll be highlighting distinguished companies, business leaders and cities that are poised for major business growth over the next five years.  The tour will include more than a dozen cities across the country, as well as some hidden gems in key rural and small town regions.

kcskyline-crop

We have some special plans for Kansas City area leaders.  The Kansas City metro is our home, and we want to take this opportunity to showcase the city and it’s leaders on the tour.  While our organization is national in scope, the Kansas City area has been headquarters for the past 13 years.  We have lifelong ties to the region and a strong affinity to the people, the communities, the businesses and the lifestyle of the greater Kansas City metro.

Because of our commitment to the Kansas City region, we’re developing a special platform to promote Kansas City based businesses, industries and leaders in conjunction with our U.S. Alpha Board tour.  Our “Growing up KC” program is a special series to promote KC area leaders, companies, lifestyles and growth opportunities on a local, regional and national scale.

roundtableSo, what does that mean?  Quite simply, “leaders wanted.”  We are putting together a list of some of the standout leaders who represent not only the legacy of the region, but the future.  We are seeking business owners, CEOs, senior executives, business advisors, and also “Kansas City lifestyle” experts to helps us tell the story of Kansas City to the world.

It’s an opportunity for leaders to interact with each other, meet other leaders in other cities, highlight their businesses, and frankly get placed in the news.  We cannot promise the cover of Rolling Stone magazine but our past efforts have been well received.  Our work has been recognized by BusinessWeek, Forbes, CNBC, Reuters, Bloomberg, MSNBC, EuroInvestor, and dozens more.  One lucky chap that went through this process subsequently became the featured cover story for Fortune Small Business. Through Alpha Board, we will host speeches, CEO interviews, panel discussions, a series of leader roundtables, and also work with leaders to develop news profiles about their respective companies.  There will be some significant opportunities beyond this, but one thing at a time.  If you are an Alpha Grade leader, and spend at least a portion of your personal and professional life associated with a Kansas City area business, we’d love to have you join us.

One quick word of note.  We’ll be working with key industry leaders and innovators in other cities, states, companies and industries across the country.  A major goal of the program is a national leadership exchange, providing national visibility and opportunities to develop new relationships with business leaders throughout the U.S.  Our Alpha Board Leadership Exchange will bring national leaders and experts to Kansas City and Kansas City leaders to other markets across the nation.   We believe your reputation is like rainfall.  You need to spread it around a bit even to grow anything at home.

Growing Up KCWe are working with a group of global leaders in business leadership, innovation and new products, who will be visiting Kansas City in 2017 as a part of our tour.  People who participate early in the “Growing up KC” program and/or the national Alpha Board activities will have the opportunity to meet with members of their group, hear them speak, and participate exclusively in KC area Alpha Board Leadership Exchanges.  As a result, there is some urgency and advantage to getting your name in the hat, and getting involved early in the process.

For more information on Alpha® Board, and/or to include your company in our publicity efforts, you can call me at 913 685-4850 or 612 810-4000, or reach me via email at dave@neuvision.com.  You can also speak by phone with Dan Vasey in Denver at 303 809-9058, or via email at dan@neuvision.com.

Alpha Board and NeuVision Group are founding hosts of the 2017 Fresh Octane® Tour.  In addition, we’ll be including sponsors and co- hosts throughout America’s Heartland.  More market partners will be announced as the tour rolls on.