Sometimes, Be Less Predictable

Sometimes, Be Less Predictable

“I’m going to leave the room. When I come back, you will each need to be able to introduce five of your classmates to me.

"You have five minutes, starting now.”

This is frequently how I start a class at its first meeting of the semester. Sometimes, but not always, I stick my head back in the classroom after a minute or so if I don’t hear robust conversation and yell, “Get talking! You have three more minutes!”

The outcome is predictable. It’s a breath of energy and fun that kicks off the semester in a wonderful way. 

But the action itself is certainly not predictable. And that’s part of why it works.

Most of the time, 

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Make Your Meetings Matter

Make Your Meetings Matter

Like most people, I've spent my fair share of time in meetings at work during which stabbing myself in the eye with my stainless steel Zebra ballpoint pen began to seem like a good idea. 

Anything to get me out of that room. 

Anything to change the scenery.

Anything to end my forced participation in something that added no value to my existence whatsoever. 

But the truth is

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What LeBron James Gets About Leading in Adversity

What LeBron James Gets About Leading in Adversity

Both the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers and their opponents in the 2016 NBA finals, the Golden State Warriors, are extraordinary professional basketball teams. 

But on Thursday, June 16, the Cavaliers became only the third team in history to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA finals to force a seventh game in the series. Clearly, Cavaliers star LeBron James is central to their performance. They’re one win away from taking the championship, but even if they don’t win, there are some interesting insights we can take away from how James has led his team in the midst of adversity.

Most of the time, we have little insight into what happens behind the scenes within professional sports teams. Or when we do, it might be well after the fact, from memoirs of players, coaches or confidants. 

The case of the 2016 Cavaliers is different. 

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The Agile Startup Week 14: A Pivot, a Widget and a $5,000 Check

The Agile Startup Week 14: A Pivot, a Widget and a $5,000 Check

Sometimes the calendar looms larger than during other times. For example, if you had to stand up in front of a bunch of powerful people and justify how what you’ve been doing for the past 16 weeks is worthy of their attention and money, you’d be keenly aware of the date of that presentation. You’d be thinking about it considerably; it’d always be in the back of your mind.

So it is for GILD Collective, the crafting-industry startup that’s pioneering a better way for women to get together and create something beautiful in a fun, confidence-boosting experience.

The date they’re thinking about a lot these days is two weeks from tomorrow, 

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The Agile Startup Week 12: Iterating Toward Scalability

The Agile Startup Week 12: Iterating Toward Scalability

Going big or going small—that’s a question many entrepreneurs deal with frequently.

For startups that are “going big,” that means they need to focus on scalability, or making their business work in such a way that it can grow quickly and make money along the way. For startups that are more about providing an alternative to employment elsewhere for the founders, this isn’t a major concern. Neither approach is inherently better than the other, but they’re quite different. 

Being part of the Cincinnati-based business accelerator The Brandery, GILD Collective is in the “going big” camp.

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The Agile Startup Week 7: Planning the Growth

The Agile Startup Week 7: Planning the Growth

Like all startups—at least the ones that have a dose of agility—GILD Collective continues to hone its direction and workflow internally while sensing and responding to customers and advice-givers externally. Regarding the latter, the advice-givers, my various brushes with startups in the past have always left me fascinated with the process of muddling through such advice.

Namely, when you’re in a startup, people provide all kinds of advice. This is great, but it can be confusing and frustrating for the simple reason that such advice sometimes conflicts, even when all of the advice is coming from smart, experienced people. 

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The Agile Startup Week 3: Branding, Selling, Learning

The Agile Startup Week 3: Branding, Selling, Learning

GILD Collective—which is Jessie Deye, Rachel Bauer McCreary and Kelsey Pytlik—just finished its third week as members of the Cincinnati-based startup accelerator The Brandery. It was another week of hard work, insights and learning. 

Here are a few key highlights from the team for this week:

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