Five Ways To Tell Stories That Stick

During my latest Strategies for Effective Stakeholder Engagement course, I related my Babson strategy professors admonition that stories are at the core of how humans communicate. Stories are how we conveyed knowledge and memorized facts long before the written or printed word. To that end, here’s the open of a Babson entrepreneurship post on storytelling when selling initiatives or other start-ups:

Entrepreneurs are constantly pitching, sharing their vision and venture in order to secure funding, make a sale, meet a new contact, and build out their team. Business plans are boiled down to bullets, and financials become memorized statistics.

Although these elements are vitally important to a successful pitch, the real power comes from telling a compelling narrative story.

This brief post then lays out five ways to ensure your stories stay with your audience. You know the drill, follow the link.

Source: Entrepreneurship Of All Kinds blog, “Five Ways To Tell Stories That Stick

The Zero B.S. Method To Recruiting A Killer Sales Force

Another great @a16z blog post, via @Forbes and Lars Dalgaard (@LarsLuv), founder of @SuccessFactors. Had never thought of this approach to determining sales recruit fit with your firm’s business(es):

Before the interview, have recruiting (or you can) ask the candidate to submit their W2 and fill it in with information that foots to their W2 — the previous years payroll — including commission in the last X-years they’ve been a sales rep. Put that data together by year and preferably quarters and then calculate numbers of deals done. Then let the spreadsheet show vs. tell their average and median deal size. You will find it often paints a different picture than the one people highlighted on the outside. It’s like an x-ray: Immediately, a pattern — is this a consistent killer performer or a lucky puncher? — emerges around their performance, which helps determine their likelihood of success in your particular business and its dynamics.

The advantage of this approach is that it doesn’t rely on competitive disclosure: everything can be anonymous, save the pattern.

Read it all, as they say: The Zero B.S. Method To Recruiting A Killer Sales Force

A Leader’s Guide To Deciding: What, When, and How To Decide

I liked this @stevesi piece and its emphasis on the decision-making role of the CEO. In PM-speak, it’s a responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) framework designed for a leader herself. This approach corrects the deliverables-focused tendency and problematic terminology of most RAMs. A senior leader will likely not drive the definition of his role(s) in standard frameworks — RACI, PARIS, etc. — and may not get the full richness of her role as “accountable, responsible, etc.”

While Sinovsky poses this against the RAM constructs, I propose that they’re complimentary. The traditional RAM is a better fit for work done by the core project team, there’s something different about “leader work” that he’s captured. Perhaps these categories would be useful in building a sponsor assignment matrix for at-risk deliverables, communication events, etc.

Source: A Leader’s Guide To Deciding: What, When, and How To Decide

You’re Gonna Need A Bigger List: Greatest Movie Quotes of All Times

I’m not sure how I missed this — I’m familiar with the AFI lists — but these quotes are great. My favorite is #18: “Made it, Ma! Top of the world!” That was James Cagney’s closing quote as Cody Jarrett (White Heat, 1949).


Source: You’re Gonna Need A Bigger List: Greatest Movie Quotes of All Times

I’ll be at the PMO Symposium 2015: Phoenix, AZ (8-11 November)

Are you headed out to the Phoenix PMO Symposium in November? We’ll I’ll be there too.

I’ll be on site from about 2 PM on Sunday until midday on Wednesday. I’ll be circulating, but I’d love to be booked up w/ meetings! Reach out to me via the comments or @crossderry.

Hope to see you then and there!

a16z Podcast: Tech’s Biggest Ideas and How They Take Hold

I really liked this pod from @a16Z…though it’s a @pmarca pod. Once he get’s rolling, you gotta be careful if you’re driving…I get lead-foot!

From the website’s intro:

Google, eBay, even the web itself: In the beginning all of these things appeared as point products, interesting in their way, but small. Of course, they weren’t. “There is this swallow-the-red-pill moment that happens,” Marc Andreessen says, “Where you realize something really, really big is going to happen.”

In this segment of the pod, Andreessen joins Optimizely CEO Dan Siroker during the company’s annual conference Opticon for a conversation about what’s most exciting in tech today: the spread of optimization tools, privacy trends, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, bitcoin, robotics, and more. All that, and why Donald Trump’s hair could use some A/B testing.

Source: a16z Podcast: Tech’s Biggest Ideas and How They Take Hold

Quotes on Saying No

Great stuff from Jonathan Becher in the link below. My favorite is similar to the Tim Ferriss quote he shared:

“How you spend your time tells me what you think is important.”

I don’t know how to attribute it, but I heard it from a McDonald’s executive I worked with back in the day.

Source: Quotes on Saying No


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