Business Calcium Blog

Arm Yourself with an Advisory Board

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Marissa Levin more than doubled her revenues at Information Experts in the past three years, and she’s the first to tell you she couldn’t have done it alone. Her secret sauce: A great advisory board. About three years ago, the founder and CEO of the 18-year-old strategic communications consultancy turned to a mentor for help in growing Information Experts. “My company was stuck at $5 million,” she says. “I couldn’t…

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Where Good Ideas Come From: A Must Read Book

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There are a handful of authors whom I suggest business leaders read everything they write: Jim Collins, Pat Lencioni, Malcolm Gladwell, and Steven Berlin Johnson – the latter likely the lesser known of the group. In fact, it is one of my best-read mentors, Reade Fahs, who first turned me on to Johnson’s work, hammering me for not having read Steven Johnson’s earlier book Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants,…

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Competitive Advantage: Juggling Six Balls

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Four times the revenue growth, twelve times the stock performance, and over 700 times the profit growth over an eleven year period. What competitive advantage led to this huge margin in performance of one group of companies over another in similar industries? In a landmark study of over 200 firms by Harvard professors John Kotter and James Heskett, it was found that companies which equally focus on three key stakeholders…

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The Resilient Executive: A Better Way to Work

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Work no more than 90 minutes and then take a break! Do this two more times in a day and you’ll accomplish more in 4.5 hours than those cranking hard for 8 to 12 hours straight. Throw in an occasional Vitamin C IV with glutathione and some deep breathing exercises and you’re good to go for the next decade. I’m oversimplifying the message from executive performance icon Tony Schwartz, but…

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Sharpen Your Customer Focus: 3 Mistakes to Avoid

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Like many CEOs, Larry Weinberg thought he knew his customer base – and was marketing to it correctly. His award-winning company, BOWA, which for 22 years has built and remodeled luxury homes in the Washington, D.C. area, considered its main customer the architects who were doing design work on a home and needed a builder’s help on the job. “Yet early last year,” says Weinberg “we realized we were marketing…

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4 Trends Shaping the New Decade

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Dr. Hermann Simon, my favorite growth company researcher, is at it again – racing around the globe (in Japan as I write this), sharing what he sees are the trends shaping the new decade. He was kind enough to let me preview his latest research and share the results. Here’s my interpretation of four of his trends most likely to impact growth firms: Accelerating Globalization We’ve only seen the tip…

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The 7 Strata of Strategy

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It’s no secret that the recession has decimated the building industry the last few years. But Jeff Booth’s company, BuildDirect.com, isn’t hurting. It sells building materials at a steep discount through its website, thanks to arrangements to ship directly from manufacturers. “It’s almost like an online Costco of building materials,” says Booth, president and CEO. Expecting his sales to increase by more than 20% this year, Booth has increased his…

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