Own The Room: Best and Most Fun Communication Training Ever

Own The Room: Best and Most Fun Communication Training Ever

 

Having such a good time while you’re learning is almost a crime. But I absolutely had one of the best days ever attending OTR’s Core: Base 1-Day Program last week.

Here’s the deal:

  •  Your fellow attendees will be amazing (I am having drinks with 2 of my new pals as soon as I get back from Paris in early November)
  • The OTR coaches are fantastic (supportive and challenging) and you will leave with your presentation game dialed up multiple notches.
  • What makes it fun? It’s totally interactive, you’re never sitting still for more than 10 minutes, the coaches switch out frequently which makes for a fresher experience, they also use extremely powerful examples to make us aware of the bad habits we need to drop. There was not one moment when I was bored (and I have a pretty short attention span).
  • There is a lot of videotaping which is hard to watch but as your coaches will tell you, repeatedly, it teaches you to  “get over yourself.” The video above, btw, was from the start of the day. They get you to do some pretty wacky stuff but it’s good. I’m not including my last video of the day because I did not “stick the landing” as I hoped I would.
  • The 3 biggest takeaways for me have been: 1. edit out language that dilutes my message (e.g. ums, so, “like”), 2. grab the audience’s attention from the first moment with a compelling story or visual, and 3. always “stick the landing” (as a gymnast would do).
  • You will walk away learning something new and valuable no matter how frequently you do presentations – or speak at meetings. Even pros like Tony Robbins have taken OTR’s more advanced classes.

OTR offers classes globally. They also do training programs for individual companies.

Big shout out to our coaches, all three were fantastic:

Invaluable day. If you want to improve your speaking and storytelling skills and develop a greater executive presence, sign up NOW.

Read on below for more details on the day.

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Brand Breeding: Interesting New Terminology for Portfolio Building?

Brand Breeding: Interesting New Terminology for Portfolio Building?

 

Had not heard this term before but it’s a very visual way of describing building brand portfolios.

I first read about it on Hospitality Net specifically related to hotels:

  • The world’s 10 largest hotel companies combined have more than 115 brands, one-third of which didn’t exist a decade ago.
  • New brand creation in recent years has been mostly centered on lifestyle hotels (many millennial-focused) and “soft-brand” extensions of the major players (Tapestry by Hilton, Autograph by Marriott, Hilton’s Curio Collection, Hyatt’s Unbound Collection, Choice Hotels’ Ascend Collection, Wyndham’s Trademark Collection, among others).
  • There are no signs of brand breeding slowing down.

I’m also seeing brand breeding playing out with restaurateurs and chefs. One element of brand breeding that sets it apart from line extensions is that each brand has a distinct personality and vibe.

Read on below for examples of restaurant industry brand breeding.

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Start Ups Were So Last Decade: In an Age of A.I. it’s All About Big

Start Ups Were So Last Decade: In an Age of A.I. it’s All About Big

 

Interesting piece in TechCrunch about the end of startups and how today’s world favors the big. I’ve read (and written) about this before specifically related to the A.I. trend. To be a player in that field, you need massive amounts of data which is not something a few college kids working out of a garage will be able to easily access. The companies that have the most data at their fingertips are five of the biggest companies in the world, who all happen to be in tech: Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft.

Per TechCrunch: Big businesses and executives, rather than startups and entrepreneurs, will own the next decade; today’s graduates are much more likely to work for Mark Zuckerberg than follow in his footsteps.

  •  The web boom of 1997-2006 brought us Amazon, Facebook, Google, Salesforce, and Airbnb because the Internet was the new thing, and a handful of kids in dorm rooms could build a web site, raise a few million dollars, and scale to serve the whole world.
  • The smartphone boom of 2007-2016 brought us Uber, Snap, Instagram, Twitter, etc., because the same was true of smartphone apps.
  • Today’s new technologies are complicated, expensive, and favor organizations that have huge amounts of scale and capital already.

Read on below for more on tech hiring for millenials vs. Gen X vs. boomers – and why (based on my first hand experience) boomers (“olds”) are hired 60% less than millennials for tech industry jobs.

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Next Level Retail Is On Its Way: At Last!

Next Level Retail Is On Its Way: At Last!

 

Retail continues to be problematic but there are bright spots and some very creative people are figuring out how to innovate and transform the retail and mall experience to take it to the next level.

I’m particularly intrigued by the on-going popularity of Lifestyle Malls (e.g. Ponce City Market – above), as well as Walmart’s e-commerce operation under Marc Lore (totally kicking butt) and I’m very excited by what’s happening with retail technology e.g. phone camera utilized as keyboard.

Here are seven trends signaling the future of retail.

#1: Mall Reinvention: More Lifestyle than Retail

The retail apocalypse may still be upon us – especially when it comes to lower quality malls. For the A+ malls, however, things are looking more positive.

  •  Malls are converting space and focusing on social and entertainment concepts including movie theaters, escape rooms, craft breweries, and music venues. Ponce City Market (above) is a perfect example of a mall offering it all: retail, restaurants, beer halls, bike rental, condos, work spaces.
  • Food halls are moving into malls as are grocery stores e.g. Wegman’s is opening a 134,000 sq.ft. location in a former department store at Boston’s Natick Mall. It will be a 2-story supermarket with direct access to the mall. Plans call for in-store café dining with more than 100 seats, as well as two restaurant concepts that will occupy the second floor.
  • Some malls are evolving into lifestyle centers with health care facilities, fitness centers, office space, apartments and even hotels. Creating a space where living, working, dining and retail come together in a mall space could be transformative for the category.
  • And then there’s Macy’s. A hot pick for investors not for their retail sales, which continue to be dismal, but for their real estate strategy. Cushman & Wakefield is particularly interested in their Herald Square flagship monetization efforts, which they believe have significant value for development.

Read on below for highlights of 6 more trends.

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We are the F**king Iceberg: This is Why Casey Neistat is My Idol!

We are the F**king Iceberg: This is Why Casey Neistat is My Idol!

 

Got to see Casey Neistat (entrepreneur, vlogger, youtube star) interviewed at the NYPL last week on the subject of creativity and commerce. INSPIRING – especially for those of us who come from less than auspicious backgrounds and still manage to build businesses and make something of ourselves.

What I love about him is his passion, his realness and his daring. If you want to understand his appeal and why he has 8 million subscribers on YouTube, watch the “You Can’t” video (above). It is amazing and it’s gotten almost 7 million views.

And if you’re working in an industry that you believe is safe from disruption, wrap your brain around what he says starting at 3:19 on the video. Especially relevant the higher up you are on the corporate ladder. The Casey Neistats of the world are lurking, like icebergs, just below the surface – and they’re going to get you if you’re not paying attention!

I have one more video below that is worth watching. It’s about his unexpected upgrade to first on Emirates. He made the video and edited it while on the flight. It’s gotten over 46 million views. His videos, in total, have been watched over 2 billion times.

Why is he so popular? I would say it’s because he’s honest, funny, and questions authority figures in a way we all sometimes wish we could. He’s the everyman who cannot quite believe (yet) how far he has traveled.

I’ve also included info on his background that he discussed including how he’s gone from being a HS dropout to MIT fellow to multi-millionaire after selling his startup to CNN for $25 million.

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The Global Megacity Boom: Great Info from Axios

The Global Megacity Boom: Great Info from Axios

 

Absolutely fascinating piece in axios.com on how, over the last four decades, there’s been a tenfold increase in the number of people who live in megacities of 10 million or more people. It’s radically changing where we need to look for signals about trends, influences and business opportunities.

For example look at the major shifts over the last 40 years:

  •  In 1975, there were three metro areas with at least 10 million people — Tokyo, New York and Mexico City.
  • The 10 largest cities at that time included Paris (now 25th), Moscow (22nd) and Los Angeles (21st).
  • Now there are 31 megacities with at least 10 million people, and most of them are in the developing world.
  • The UN projects ten more will join the list by 2030, and all but one (Bogotá) will be in Africa or Asia.

Key Trends

  • Of the world’s 31 megacities, 6 are in China and 5 are in India. By 2030, both countries will have 7 megacities.
  • There will be 8 cities with ~25 million or more people by 2030 — we may soon need a new definition for what qualifies as a megacity.
  • Six of the world’s 10 largest cities are in Asia. Zero are in Europe.

Read on below for more on the world’s 10 largest metro areas starting with Tokyo. Extremely insightful and also includes interesting tidbits e.g. I didn’t realize that Tokyo’s restaurants have more Michelin stars than any other city.

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Retail is Getting Interesting Again: Thanks to Designer Streetwear!

Retail is Getting Interesting Again: Thanks to Designer Streetwear!

 

Two major new openings last week, both entailed long lines, one required an online reservation to even stand in line! All take experiential retail to the next level.

Supreme, 152 Grand Street, Brooklyn

  • No two ways around it, amazing store with skatebowl (same as in LA and likewise reserved for friends and family of the brand).
  • We dropped by the day after the opening party but no luck in getting in – needed to make an online reservation. Lots of security – four cops keeping the limited crowd under control.
  • Must say I was peeved that several bouncers attempted to intimidate me not to take photos of the store exterior from the sidewalk. Total BS.
  • But we did peek in and saw the skatebowl and some of street art by Mark Gonzales and others.
  • It’s also cool that the only signage is the tiny logo on the door.

See more pics below as well as info on 4 more stores worth checking out.

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Skilled Trades and Craftsmanship to Build a Meaningful Life

Skilled Trades and Craftsmanship to Build a Meaningful Life

Mike Rowe makes an appearance in Des Moines for the Iowa Skilled Trades Alliance dinner. (Photo: Special to the Register/Home Builders Association of Iowa)

 

Like a dog with a bone I will not give up on this topic: the importance of skilled trades in America. You can have all the architects, designers, scientists in the world, but to get something actually built, you need skilled tradespeople. Modern civilization is not possible without them.

And now – at last – I have found a kindred spirit in this line of thinking:

Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” was in Des Moines, Iowa (one of my favorite cities) for an appearance at the Iowa Skilled Trades Alliance dinner, where he spoke about America’s skills gap which now includes more than 6.2 million vacant positions — most of which do not require four-year degrees, but rather, the kind of training programs that Des Moines is making a reality.

  • Per the Des Moines Register, Rowe has made it his personal mission to close the skills gap and fight the pervasive idea that the only path to success is a four-year college degree.
  • Rowe’s foundation, mikeroweWORKS, is set up to fund young people’s education in skilled trades.
  • In his speech and on his blog, Rowe specifically highlighted Iowa’s Central Campus Skilled Trades Academy, which offers hands-on, real-world experience and college credits with classes in welding, painting, drywall, home-building and plumbing.

Here are some additional takeaways from Iowa:

  • There are more than 8,000 active apprenticeships in Iowa right now, double since 2011
  • Des Moines has 3,000 job openings that require the mastery of a skill that’s in demand

Read on below for more on trends in the service industries which employ 45% of workers and are in desperate need of a rethink based on how important they are to the functioning of this country.

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