The Building of a City – Business Drive Time® in KC

It’s Business Drive Time in Kansas City. What does that mean?  Kansas City is growing!  Embrace it!

About 100,000 companies, including ours, are sitting at the national epicenter of business opportunity.  We’re all running the business race each week, and as committed leaders, a large number of Kansas City’s businesses are consistent, profitable winners.  We’re all living and working in a fine, centrally located Midwestern city that is poised for great things, now and in the future.

IMG_0115 FWHow do we define Kansas City’s drive?  It’s difficult to articulate, but easy to feel.  Joyce Hall, Hallmark Cards founder, and Norman Rockwell found it easier to depict visually. Kansas City culture has an unstoppable determination that is wrapped in the warm approachability typically found in a town less than one tenth its size.

Kansas City is among the most welcoming, inviting, yet results-driven cities in the nation.  KC is the perfect blend of a globally recognized cultural metro with a happy hometown feel, and a people-friendly, Midwestern culture.

It’s the perfect atmosphere for starting, leading and growing a successful business.  And, the Kansas City metro is a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Like great local barbeque and Boulevard beer, Kansas City goes down smooth and spicy wherever you are from.  The city of Kansas City and all it represents puts smiles on the faces of visitors from Boston to Bangkok, from Toledo and Tupelo to Toronto and Tokyo.

This is not only a local story.  We’re on a national press tour of “Business Builder” cities.  Kansas City is among the first three cities IMG_0695 FWon our list. We’re targeting a baker’s dozen of the best up and coming U.S. business metros for profitable growth opportunities over the next decade.  Livability, an educated population, traditions, culture, a critical mass of job opportunities and a place people want to live, work and start companies are all considerations for the cities we choose.

We’ll be featuring leaders, companies, industries, products and lifestyles in each of the cities.  In addition, we’ll be offering opportunities to connect business leaders across the country with each other.  Growth is about getting your name out.

The Fresh Octane® Tour also involves networking and spending time with peers and other business leader from a variety of industries and professions.  We’ll be featuring companies, hosting events and leadership round-tables, holding company open houses, conducting new product reviews and putting Kansas City in a national news reel about growing cities. There are many ways to participate and they are all about showcasing great leaders and providing new market opportunities.

013 blue three FWKansas City is the headquarters for our company and will serve as home base for our national, ultimately global Alpha Board Fresh Octane Tour.  www.freshoctanetour.com

We’ll be speaking about the hidden and not so hidden drive behind the city and its people.  We want to learn more about KC’s determined quest for progress, success, growth, great lives, opportunity and at least at times, national attention.

For you, your company, your local customers, and for Fresh Octane cities and companies across the nation, it’s “Business Drive Time®.”   It’s time to grab the stage, the spotlight and the microphone.  It’s time to tell your story and share it with other leaders around the town, around the Midwest and around the country to let them know that Kansas City is “On the Move.”

We’re looking for committed leaders to feature. For more information about the Alpha Board Fresh Octane Tour, I can be Printreached by phone at 913 685-4850, or via email at dave@alphaboard.com.
You can also follow tour progress at www.alphaboard.com and on Twitter at @Alpha_Board.

 

 

 

© Copyright 2014-2017 by Alpha Board.  All rights reserved. Alpha Scouts®, Alpha, NeuVision®, Fresh Octane® and Business Drive Time® are all registered trademarks of Dave E. Anderson.  All other brands are trademarks of their respective companies.

Seeking the Finest Business Drivers in America

 

Alpha® Board 2017-2018 Fresh Octane® Tour

National Business Leadership Exchange

Executive Overview

Join the conversation!  Are you a great business driver?  We’ve working with some of the finest Alpha® Grade leaders in American business, and we’re looking for additional standout leaders to be involved.  Which business leaders in your market do you believe are creating the greatest regional, national and global market impacts?  What industries, companies, people and products are moving business forward?  Got Drive?  Let’s talk!

MarketFacing-featAlpha® Board Fresh Octane® National Business Leadership Tour:

  • Fresh Octane® Tour: Showcasing innovative new products, Alpha® Driven companies, Alpha® Grade CEOs, and outstanding business leaders throughout major growth markets across America.
  • It’s about creating excitement, gaining visibility and driving inbound leads.
  • Helping to grow the reach, reputation and revenue of the region and nation’s finest business leaders.
  • A chance to place the great business drivers’ stories on the national stage.
  • Alpha Board Fresh Octane® Tour is a field tested system with well-designed, unique and powerful approach.
    • Proprietary, centralized system to drive marketplace attention
    • Innovative design based on rock-solid product launch/market acceptance techniques
    • Proven exponentially more efficient and powerful than comparable single company initiatives
    • We have market partners committed and participating from across the U.S. and globally.
    • CEOs, CEO advisors, business developers, celebrity guests.

Alpha Board Fresh Octane Executive Programs

  • Centralized visibility system for leaders:  executives, companies, products and services
  • Leverages two decades of experience creating visibility and market adoption for new products
  • Alpha Board Portraits of Leadership Executive and corporate showcase interviews and profiles
  • Alpha Board News Reel: Video shorts and comprehensive news film (local, regional and national video)
  • Alpha Board Fresh Octane CEO/Business Leader Roundtable discussions
  • Alpha Board Exchanges: Newsworthy leader exchanges among other cities and high profile venues
  • Alpha Board Ambassadors: Serving as a host for CEOs, business advisors, and/or celebrity guests
  • Alpha Buzz: Corporate and individual news content, social media, SEM, SEO

For more information, you can reach us via telephone or email.  In Denver, call Dan Vasey at 303 809-9058 or via email at dan@neuvision.com.   In the Twin Cities or Kansas City, call Dave Anderson at 612 810-4000/913 685-4850, or by email at dave@neuvision.com.

 

Alpha® Board’s 2017-2017 Fresh Octane® Tour

Alpha Driven Winners

Alpha BoardWho are the best business drivers in America?  Which of these business leaders are making national and global impacts?  What industries, companies, people and products are moving business forward?  We are seeking some of the finest drivers of business success, to include in the Alpha® Board Fresh Octane® National Business Leadership Tour.

The Fresh Octane® tour is a national effort to showcase Alpha® Driven companies and Alpha® Grade leaders across the United States and ultimately beyond.  We’re starting the tour in three U.S. cities, all known for their ingenuity, new technologies, and a business climate that embraces innovation and fosters business growth.

We are working with innovative businesses and business leaders in these three regions as we assemble a targeted group of organizations and professionals that we would like to recognize during the first leg of the tour.  We would like you to consider being involved.  Why, you ask?  It’s about creating excitement, gaining visibility and growing the reach and reputation of the regions’ finest leaders. It’s quite literally a chance to place the great business drivers’ stories on the national stage.

A great business, just like a high-performance racing team, is a well-oiled machine.  Both are designed and built by professionals, with the finest components, proper assembly, an experienced maintenance and repair crew, a talented crew chief, and a great race driver.  Even with everything designed and prepared perfectly, you still have to face the competition and race.  Track conditions, other drivers, when to pit, wrecks to avoid, and when to really push to pass.  There is a huge amount that goes into a winning the race.  Not just on the track of motorsports, but also on the track of business.

Alpha BoardAnd, just like great sports teams, businesses, business leaders, and business teams must be recognized, respected and learned from.  We are involved in a major program to do exactly that.  Alpha® Board is working with NeuVision® Group (Kansas City, Minneapolis, Denver), Jeff Andretti Motorsports, and Mesa Research Group (Los Angeles, Paris, Shanghai) to identify and provide recognition to some of the greatest business leaders throughout the Midwest and across America.  We’ve devised a formal program to accomplish the task.  We are identifying targeted leaders and participants throughout the U.S.

The Alpha Board Fresh Octane® Tour has been field tested and it works.  CEOs, business owners and senior executives that have participated in past effort have been excited about the visibility and camaraderie associated with the programs. We have and will continue to develop new features and fine tune the program based on ongoing market feedback.  Finally, we’ve shown that through this effort, we can efficiently gain much needed market attention among key opinion leaders, the business press, and also among participants’ major targeted customers.

We are working with leaders across the region to gather people, products and companies that we should include in our tour.  We would love to have you participate, and we also welcome ideas and suggestions regarding companies and leaders that we might feature in our National Business Leadership Tour.

About Alpha® Board and the Fresh Octane® Team

Alpha® Board

Alpha BoardAlpha Board is a National Business Leadership Exchange, designed to provide added market reach and further the cause of great business leaders and the companies they represent.  The 2017-2018 flagship program is a national leadership press tour and market study on leadership and innovation.  Other Alpha Board programs include keynote speakers, executive interviews, corporate profiles, leader roundtable discussions, news stories, and live open-house events for businesses.  Alpha® Board is a collaborative venture between NeuVision® Group, Mesa Research Group, and local, regional and national participants throughout business.  Alpha Board provides the opportunity for enhanced market reach and visibility 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.

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.  NeuVision Group is the initial founder of Alpha Board and is working with other partnering organizations throughout the U.S. to join the effort.  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 across North America and beyond with organizations like Pfizer, 3M, IBM, Dell, Microsoft, Toshiba, Hewlett-Packard, Seagate, Iomega, Caterpillar, Monsanto, Deere, DuPont, CNH, MarketWatch, USDA and many more.   Our previous Business Drive Time® efforts, which served as a market test for Alpha Board and Fresh Octane, received national and Alpha Boardinternational attention, and were recognized by major media outlets such as BusinessWeek, Forbes, CNBC, MSNBC, Reuters, Bloomberg, MarketWatch, EuroInvestor and more. For more information on NeuVision® Group visit us on the web at www.NeuVision.com.

MESA Research Group

MESA Research Group is a privately held global consulting and leadership development company created through the collaboration of Cam Danielson, Bill Davidson, and Francois Dupuy. Through their partnership, MESA maintains offices in Los Angeles, Paris, and Shanghai. MESA operates with a global and diverse team of world-class thought leaders, practitioners, and academics. They work with CEOs and rising star executives around the world on leadership, innovation, business development and executive coaching. Partner clients have included companies such as 3M, Aditya Birla Group, Alcatel-Lucent, Anthem (Wellpoint), AT&T, BAE, BP, Boston Scientific, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Duke Energy, Credit Agricole, Dow Chemical, EDS, Eli Lilly & Co., ExxonMobil, FedEx, GDF Suez, Indus Towers, Ingersoll-Rand, Mahindra & Mahindra, Manitowoc, Monsanto, NASA, Philips Electronics, Polaris Software, Prudential (London), Rolls-Royce, Shell International (London), Sara Lee, Schneider Electric Industries, UTI, Whirlpool, Xerox and more.  Learn about Mesa at www.mesaresearchgroup.com

 

Jeff Andretti Motorsports and JAM Marketing Partners

Alpha BoardWith Alpha Board, we want to have fun.  And we want you to have fun.  And fun drives excitement and buzz. That requires blending some unique, distinctive, Alpha® Grade activities with the tour.  In December 2013 we began working with JAM Marketing Partners and Jeff Andretti Motorsports to become marketing and promotional partners with NeuVision Group and Alpha Board.  We’re providing access to marketing and promotional programs for clients and companies that would like more sizzle in their marketing efforts.

Jeff Andretti Motorsports and JAM Marketing Partners are providing us with access to cool venues that would only be available through celebrity connections.  While some of the promotional activities are directly related to racing, they also include access to specialty luxury cars for filming and fun, resorts locations for meetings, executive lifestyle promotions and celebrity related endorsements.  This not only drives pleasure for Alpha Board members, but also visibility. Our joint efforts will drive excitement, create buzz, and help boost attendance for Alpha Board member events.  This program will also provide access to newsworthy meeting venues, as well as other CEOs and business celebrities across the country.  In addition, our work with Jeff Andretti Motorsports, JAM Marketing Partners, their clients and our joint marketing efforts will provide exponential boosts in web presence for participating Alpha Board clients. The extent of our working relationship will be client, company and circumstance dependent, but in the name of leadership, family business, sports and branding dynasties, there are few names out there as timeless and recognizable as the Andretti racing family.  In addition, the relationship is expected to kick open a few doors for all interested parties.  We believe this is an example of the caliber of reach and market access we can provide for Alpha Board participating companies and executives.

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