One Battle VC’s and Start-ups Have to Win to Survive!

Values Versus Value

It can be an exciting and exhilarating time. Imagine how it must feel to be a confident entrepreneur armed with your ambition and a venture backed war chest. Rules be damned, it’s time to change the world.

…and this is a good thing, until of course, it’s not.

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The One Question That Could Ignite Your Company’s Future

One question can make the difference in the direction of your company. The answer to that question can be a powerful pivot point for your value story.

The one question? What is the one word that you feel best defines your value?

The answer could describe an individual’s value, a product’s value or the entire company’s value. Sometimes the answer comes easily, and other times people really struggle with it. It is a riveting process to see.

Why do we start out with this question? It’s like the science of distillation—a refining process that collects the pure essence of a substance. The challenge to come up with one word prompts people to focus their thoughts about what makes them, their product—or their organization—special.

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Challenge Your Assumptions and Gain a Deeper Understanding of Your Value

When we challenge our assumptions about our value, we can see ourselves in a whole new light. This perspective shift can be powerful.

During a recent customer engagement, I had a conversation with an employee in the company’s housekeeping department. “What one word describes your value?” I began. His answer? “Trash.” Uh Oh. I didn’t know if he thought he was trash, his company was trash or his life was trash. After our Value Mapping session, which takes people through a quick but very deep self-reflective process, his outlook changed.

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Know this before signing a big software development contract

know before signing

This week, we officially entered the world of software product development. By that I mean we signed a “Statement of Work” to formally commence design and development of the Value Mapping™ customer portal and interface. Two years ago, I’d have told you I never saw this coming. Sure, I’ve worked with web companies designing websites over the years. I also helped build a cloud-based platform for integrating physician recruitment and marketing. Heck I’ve even thrown back a few cold ones with some amazing coders and developers, but actually building my own product from scratch? Whaaaaat?  And yet here I am as the founder of Value Mapping™ staring down the most challenging, yet exciting project i’ve ever taken on talking Agile, DevOps, User Experience, Acceptance Testing and SQL Database. Whaaaat-Whaaaaat???

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The Fatal Flaws in Your Business Strategy

sunken ship

Successful strategic planning and execution requires a commitment to engaging all stakeholders. You must consider not just their tasks and roles, but the value each individual brings to the overall plan.
– Al Emerick, Founder, Value Mapping

What are you missing in your business strategy?Wayne W. Eckerson, author of Performance Dashboards, Measuring, Monitoring and Managing Your Business, tells us “Executives spend days or weeks devising well-crafted strategies and then throw them ‘over the wall’ to the rest of the company, hoping and praying that their vision will bear fruit.”

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3 Ways to Bring the Holidays Into Your Business

office holiday

Have you ever noticed around the holidays that we seem to appreciate one another a little more? There’s more good will in the air. We share our plans for the holidays and reconnect with the people who mean the most to us. We reflect over the gains and losses of the past year. We gather and we’re treated to a closer glimpse of what others value the most.

The momentum builds and crescendos around New Year’s Eve. Then, just like the ornaments we pack up until next year, that holiday mood gets stashed away and it’s back to reality around the office.

But what if we could hold onto some of the best seasonal sentiments and keep a bit of the holiday magic around the office all year?

What might change? What might we appreciate more? What might help us in our everyday work lives?

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Adding Some Value to the Thanksgiving Table


This Thanksgiving holiday we will be reconnecting with family and friends and meeting new people. Along the way the question will be asked, “What are you doing these days?” as well as “What do you do?” Such is the normal cadence of conversation and chit chat. But it is also an amazing opportunity to flip things on their head.

So here’s my thought for how you can turn this Thanksgiving into perhaps one of the most meaningful ever, as well as gather intel that can help you better understand your value personally and/or professionally. The beautiful part is it’s so simple yet so powerful. Okay, hold on…here it comes: instead of; or in addition to asking everyone “what do you do or what line of work are you in,” ask the following question; “So what is your value?” I know you’re reading this asking “Is he crazy?” I also know you’re thinking okay Einstein, I ask that question and they’re going to ask me “what do you mean, personally or professionally? Is this a trick question?” Fret not I have an answer.

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What’s Your Value?…Ask Your Customers!


Our value is much like DNA; it is the very core of our existence. In business, we seek to communicate our value to customers so they’ll buy from us. Personally, we share our value with friends and family to build connections and develop stronger relationships. In both of these instances, we also seek value in return. However, if there is no exchange of value, then the relationship never develops and/or dies. Bottom line, we’re a quid pro quo society and time and money is just too short to be wasted on relationships and activities if there is no perceived value.

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The Elevator Pitch of Death – Avoiding The Executioner Part 1

elevator pitch

You’ve heard and/or seen it before, “What do you do? Tell me about your company.” What happens next can be a pandora’s box of awesomeness, ridiculous hilarity, confusion or painful regret. Crafting a great elevator pitch is an ongoing struggle for companies and organizations. There’s numerous reasons why, but for the purposes of this little ditty i’ll focus on “THE VOLUME ISSUE!”

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