Pitching and Networking videos
I recently wrote a blog post on pitching and networking on the PresenTense blog. I wanted to share the same ideas I wrote there in video form :)
Every pitch, no matter the length, must be made up of 3 elements:
1. What is the problem you are trying to solve?
2. What is your unique solution for that problem?
3. What do you want the people around you to do?
A good networker knows how to connect to the right people, a great networker knows how to make other people want to connect to them, and a top notch networker focuses entirely on connecting others!
1. Know why you network.
2. It’s all about body language.
3. Follow up - not always fun but now there are online tools that help
Working in the non profit world for a few years now I'n notices that the financial paradigm of: Organization - Donor - Target Market seems to have a very interesting form. It's interesting to be because it's so different from the for profit for of: Organization - Donor=target market=customer. Meaning, while in the for profit world the costumer sponsors the company, and thus is in the companies center of attention, in non-profit the donors sponsor the organization making them the center of attention and replacing the target market.
This results in many problems when the main 2 are:
1. The aim of the organization is being missed because the target market, the people who actually need the services of the organization, become secondary to donors.
2. No donor = no money = no organization. At times of global financial crises it's abundantly clear that this is not a sustainable model.
The question is what can be done? and while it seems that the answer is clear, build a business model, many organizations are simple afraid to do so. This seems to be the result of the aversion that the non profit world has from for profit mindsets, frameworks of thought and work structures.
In order to overcome this challenge I want to suggest one framework of though and one tool:
* Social Business Model: this logic model is made up of 4 parts: inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes. Each part makes up the basis to be used at this tool -
* The Non-profit Business Model Canvas: This tool is based on the Business Model Canvas which helps companies and organizations plan their budgets and is aimed at refocusing the donor - beneficiary relationship. Personally, I believe that it's good to use both tools (non-profit canvas and regular canvas) in order to understand how to make an organization more self reliant and thus sustainable for the long-run.
Here's a short 'How to"
Check out your environment
There always seems to be 2 main problems that arise while entrepreneurs scan the environment around them - they either feel like there's no one in the world who's trying to solve the problem they are trying to solve or that everyone in the world are trying to solve the problem they are trying to solve. Thus they can't put a clear cut framework around potential collaborators or define clearly their competitors.
A framework that tries to solve this issue in the PresenTense 4C's that separates all element (companies, organizations) in one's environment (market context) into 4 - Competitors, Comparatives, Compliments and Collaborators.
I've written about this framework on the PresenTense blog before and after teaching this great tool for the 3rd time this summer during the PT Global Lab (I was lucky enough to be the trainer in this program) I have a few more insights:
* Competitors: most people see competition as a negative while I see it as the best opportunity to refine ones value proposition as well as target market - this might seem to be limiting but it's actually very cost effective. How come? for entrepreneurs, especially those who are just starting out, focusing on a well defined target market and having the best offer for that market can save a lot of time and money on sales dev. and PR.
* Comparatives - the best way, I find, to seek out comparatives is to look at the top players in foreign markets.
Tip - Wikipedia your over all aim and meant for example: Edutainment. If you choose your search work correctly you will find that Wiki can tell you about award winning, well known, projects in that field and the companies/organizations behind them.
* Compliments - if you choose your compliments wisely you can actually save a lot of money. How so? Choosing young professionals on the rise, for example, can be mutually beneficial for both side - you get good workers who might lake experience but are eager to learn (and will for for cheaper) and they get their first job. Thus - lots of organizations can have universities as compliments.
Note- DON'T take advantage of young professionals you want people to feel like you helped them in their career path not like you were the boss who enslaved them this way even after they leave to become more successful professionals they will reference their successes somewhat to you and your venture.
* Collaborators - when you think of people or organizations you want to collaborate with it's important to make sure you reach out to them at the very beginning. The best collaborators are those organizations and companies who feel they are partnering with you and not buying from you. Thus, if possible, try to bring in representatives of potential collaborators into your work process as early as possible - even at the prototyping phase. This way they will feel like they are really contributing to you and will have more of an interest in your success.
Last note - interesting TedEducational talk about competition
JDOV is best described as Jewish TED talks and its name comes from J for Jewish and Dov as the Hebrew word for “TED”dy-bear. JDov invites interesting and creative thinkers to give “the Jewish talk of their life” as this amazing project seeks to create a community inspired by what the Jewish people have to offer the world.
Shoshana Boyd Gelfand, Director of JHub, founded this project and was in charge of inviting the awe-inspiring speakers for JDov at Limmud UK, back in December 2012. All 12 speakers were outstanding – each has a fascinating life story and taught the memorized crowd a life lesson. If I had to choose my top five speakers they would have to be: Jude Williams, Amy-Jill Levine, Gila Sacks, Robbie Gringras and Nigel Savage.
For my month blog post at the PresenTense blog I chose to focus on the people who's talks I found most inspiring while visiting Limmud UK: Jude Williams who works at Tzedek as Chief Executive, Amy-Jill Levine, University Professor of New Testament and Jewish studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School and College of Arts and Science in Nashville, Tennessee. As well as Gila Sacks, an ultra orthodox Jewish woman who works at the Department of Education and Business, overseeing the British Government’s flagship apprenticeship program, Robbie Gringras - a writer, performer and educator, and his one man show and Nigel Savage who founded the New York-based Hazon, which teaches Jewish communities about food (the Jewish and more calm and appealing version of Gary Yourofsky).
The animal kingdom
Agreed - this is not the most intelligent post I've had so far but it's funny :)
and on a more serious note...
Dimitry Shvartsman and I hosting a show on IDC radio - enjoy :)
“So pharonic oppression, deliverance, Sinai, and Canaan are still with us, powerful memories shaping our perceptions of the political world....
We still believe, or many of us do, what the Exodus first taught, or what it has commonly been taken to teach, about the meaning and possibility of politics and about its proper form:
--first, that wherever you live, it is probably Egypt;
--second, that there is a better, place, a world more attractive, a promised land;
--and third, that “the way to the land is through the wilderness.” there is no way to get from here to there except by joining together and marching.”
from Exodus and Revolution by Michael Walzer
This midrash by Prof. Michael Walzer teaches us a unique framework of thinking about our professional and personal life. Using the biblical narrative of the Exodus story, Prof. Walzer explains that in every revolution there’s an “Egypt” – a problem with your current market or situation, and a “Promised Land” – an ideal future that you’re trying to reach. To get there, the people must walk together with the help of a leader – it involves hard work and a journey.
I've learned this framework as part of the PresenTense curriculum as it is used in our visioning class - to learn more visit the PresenTense blog for my blog post on visioning.
So, what’s your Egypt?
What I look like
I had the pleasure and the honer of hearing The Hebrew MamitaVanessa Hidary talk and meeting her in person. As I was listing to her preform this peace live I thought of all the people who have told me "I don't look Russian" of all the people who told one of my closest friends, a proud Palestinian woman she "Doesn't look Arab", I thought of my good friend from high school who heard an endless amount of times "he doesn't look gay", I thought of my good friend from from Jamaica who people say "Doesn't look Jewish"... and I say, in the words of a great poetess: "they don't look, period"
The art of online design - rainbow
Here are 4 great websites for online design I use and I wanted to share with you - The key word I searched for is rainbow
This colorful photo is from Deviantart - The world's largest online art community. This great website holds 240 million pieces of art both that can be shared, serve as inspiration and be bought. Especially for Christmas /New Year's they are now offering great artistic gifts.
Another great inspirational website is The Design Inspiration were one can find not only photos but also logos, illustrations, websites, fonts, business cards, patterns as well as informational articles. The website is created by a group of designers who are seeking various design inspiration every day.
For those who are looking to realize their inspiration but don't have the tools for it - Fiverr is a cheap and great solution. It's an online marketplace for small services starting at 5$. On the site you can find music and audio, gifts, translation, video and animation and many other useful services.
For those of you looking for the next big thing in on-line design I only have 1 work: infographics! If you are looking to create stories with data - Visual.ly is the site for you.
Musical and nationality
As a young child my mom used to force me to go to classical music concerts. I am the only person in my family that doesn't play an instrument and while my sister has absolute hearing I am musically deaf more or less. None the less my mom insisted we both me and my sister listen to classical music and know the bios of the great composers. She had two methods of making sure this goal is reached - first she got me and her a subscription for 10 classical concerts a year (together with a friend of hers who had a girl a bit older than me) and forcing me and my sister to watch 3 hour documentaries about all the great composers (we had a set of video tapes of this at home).
After a while our joined subscription became two single one's - me and my mom's friend's daughter use to go alone (given we would talk a lot among ourselves but we would also listen) and I grew up to be a documentary freak.
This long intro is meant to explain why the two moment in my life when I felt most proud of my Israeli nationality and my Jewish heritage are connected directly to music.
The fist moment was when I was working in TOP communications where my first client was the Klezmer festival in Zefad. This yearly festival brings together Klezmer musicians, young and old, from all over the word - many of whom come in order to meet the one and only Klezmer master: the great Giora Feidman. In spite of the fact I didn't get to study music from the master - I did get to meet him and work with him. Meeting him was a pleasant experience in it self and hearing him play was magical. I heard him play several times during the festival in Zefad but the one time I remember most took place in Jerusalem.
As a parliamentary event to the festival maestro Feidman played at Yad VaShem (world center for
Holocaust Research, Documentation, Education and Commemoration) - Valley of Communities. The Valley is a massive 2.5 acre monument literally dug out of the natural bedrock. The names of over 5,000 Jewish communities that were destroyed or barely survived in the Holocaust are engraved on its 107 walls. The reason why this event was so moving to me is because I managed to get 3 tickets for it - one for me, one for my grandmother and one for my grandfather. Both my grandparents are Holocaust survivors from the Ukraine and they ave lost many of their family members during the war.
Being able to stand with them at Yad VaShem, where our family members are commemorated in the archives (including my grandfather's father who was, according to eye witnesses killed by the Nazis while serving in the Red army), listening to Jewish soul music was amazing. I have never felt so close to my Jewish history as I did at that moment.
The second moment was when I was working at TLV consulting group as part of a wonderful team that was in charge of fundraising for the Israeli Opera back in 2011. Not only was I lucky enough to sit in the first raw of the VIP section as part of my job (pic bellow) but I was also lucky enough to hear the great conductor Danial Oren conduct Ha Tikva (the Israeli anthem). I heard my national anthem many times before and in different constellations but when the crowds stood up on the tribunes in Messda (where in 60 AC more then 1000 Jews committed suicide in order to avoid falling into Roman hands according to Josephus Flavius) it was a moment to remember.