Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WHY TED IS GOOD FOR CLEVELAND. This week our guest columnist is Kasey Crabtree, social media specialist at Shamrock -- a true fan of TEDxCLE and what it stands for.

Last Thursday I attended TEDxCLE at the Cleveland Museum of Art. I attended TEDxCLE when it first came here in 2010. This one was their fourth and it was worth attending. I'd like to tell you why.
First, let me tell you what TED is. TED was founded in 1984 and had its first annual conference in 1990, in Monterey, California. TED brings together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment and Design, and there are two annual conferences, one on the West Coast, and the TEDGlobal in Edinburgh UK.
TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience, which is what I attended at TEDxCLE.
We had 8 outstanding speakers. Among them were Cleveland innovators who highlighted areas where Cleveland excels. The whole theme was about repurposing, reinventing, and collaborating to be stronger than before. In fact, Joy Roller, President of Global Cleveland summed it up nicely when she said (and I'm paraphrasing here): "...We're called a rust belt city, but let's remember that rust only forms on things that are strong and durable..."
All the speakers were great, but four really touched me, and lent great credibility to Shamrock's Gung Ho! Management Philosophy of collaborating, promoting a positive spirit, and making the world a better place.
I really enjoyed Global Cleveland. Their initiative is to increase the population of Northeast Ohio and promotes the region as a welcoming place for all. Since I'm a boomeranger, someone who lived here, left, and returned to Cleveland, I could appreciate Joy's remarks about Cleveland, which she calls the authentic American City.
Greg Harris, President and CEO, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, spoke about icons, and how we associate different artists with specific icons. He told us about speaking to Yoko Ono and asking if she would loan to TEDxCLE John Lennon's guitar from the famous Bed-In in 1969. He persuaded her to do so, since she's a fan of TED and Cleveland. It was amazing to see that icon on the stage.
Mansfield Frazier, Executive Director, Neighborhood Solutions and Founder of Chateau Hough, told us about his organization's competitive grant, won in 2010, which established the country’s first inner-city vineyard. It's a three-quarter acre called Vineyards of Ch√Ęteau Hough, located in the inner-city Hough community.
I was fascinated by Jen Margolis & Scott Simon, founders of Thrive Cleveland. It's considered a radical new “happiness incubator” that designs experiences, rooted in science, leading to greater individual and communal happiness.
Jen spoke of the 40% theory of happiness. She said that 50% of our individual level of happiness is determined by our DNA, 10% of our happiness is determined by external circumstances, such as food, water, shelter, etc. According to Jen, 40% of our potential individual level of happiness, which is determined by our intentional thoughts and actions.
Overall, TEDxCLE was an exhilarating experience and displayed the diverse talent and enthusiasm that's making Cleveland one of the most talked-about emerging cities in the country.
Here's to a thriving Cleveland,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

SPRING TRAINING, BASEBALL AND BUSINESS. This week Bob examines the similarities and differences between baseball and business.

Just as Spring training gives rookies an opportunity to show their stuff and ultimately shine their light, so too does being on their first big project give newer employees a chance at sharing the limelight. And that's just one of many comparisons between baseball and business.

Recently, Fast Company interviewed baseball columnist
Jeff Angus The interview primarily discussed baseball metaphors that run through business speak. It's a short interview, but quite interesting, and you can read it here.

I agree with Angus about mentoring raw talent. Like a good sports manager or owner, smart business decision-makers have a knack for hiring young talent and training them to focus on their capabilities. I also agree with his comment that, "...there are plenty of opportunities to get people up to speed before you have to count on them for game-day results." At Shamrock we may start our rookies out on smaller projects, and then provide them with the opportunity to pitch a big one when they've proven they can handle it.

However, I disagree with Angus when he makes the argument that business is much slower to react to the need for change than baseball. Angus says, "Baseball is a perfect example of making yourself over on a regular basis. Every off-season, they debrief, reassess, start a new cycle, bring up young players, try people in new positions." From my perspective, businesses that survive do the same thing, or they lose. Real contenders, whether on the field or in the office, want to win. In business, long-term planning used to be 3-5 years; now it's 1-3 because of change and technology. As with baseball, our lifeblood is young talent, but our backbone is the seasoned professionals who know how to nurture that talent.

One major difference between baseball and business is that baseball team owner can't be fired, since they own the team. This is a fatal sports team flaw that well-run businesses don't have to live with. A company "owner" (in this case, the CEO) can get fired -- by the company's board, its owners or a takeover by senior management -- if he's not doing his job. Often, a bad team owner can do long-term damage to a team. The owner may fire the manager, but the problem still exists if the owner is the core problem. (Thankfully, the Cleveland Indians finally have a world-series caliber manager and an owner who will provide money to bring in good people with world-series experience.)

Unlike years ago, baseball -- and its players -- are a business today. Like a business, if they're not managed well, they will fail. Our dilemma, as business people, is that we can't say, "Oh, well, there's always next year."

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Handicaps and Hurdles to Reach A Goal. This month Bob focuses on the various events that take place in March as a prelude to "training" for Spring.

In Spring we train for many different things. Sports, of course, comes to mind immediately. Maybe we exercise our bodies more to get in shape for swim season. We may even beef up our workload in anticipation of free time to enjoy summer vacations.

Not everyone is lucky enough to breeze through Spring "training". Some people have to overcome tremendous hurdles to enjoy each season. For example, people with Cystic Fibrosis have to fight every day to enjoy what we take for granted -- breathing in and out without difficulty.

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) has been a big hurdle to overcome in my family. I have lost two cousins to this disease and currently have a 47 year old cousin fighting for her life! This year I asked our Community Involvement Committee to take on a huge challenge and they said "yes," without hesitation. They have agreed to raise $15,000 to help cure Cystic Fibrosis.

I have been involved with raising money for The Northeast Chapter of The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for several years. In March of 2012 I was asked to join the National Board of CF and help them raise $175,000,000 for their Milestones II campaign in hopes of curing  this disease once and for all. Yes, CURE this disease!

Right now, there is no cure for CF, an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections  and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food. The predicted median age of survival for a person with CF is in the late 30s. I guess you might say my 47 year old cousin is among the lucky ones.

But through funding and research there are bright spots in the future for people with the disease. In March 2012, the FDA approved a drug named Kalydeco which is the first drug to show signs of curing one of the mutations of CF. This will cure 5 percent of the CF population. Some authorities believe that we are within 5 to 7 years away from curing all of the mutations of CF. This will be the first cure of a deadly disease since Polio! As one renowned doctor said to me, "We are on the 5 yard line heading to the goal line!"

At Shamrock, we've undertaken our goal of raising $15,000 through a series of fun fundraiser. Our first fundraiser, which ended March 1st was a gift basket raffle that includes 2 VIP tickets to the 15th Annual CFF’s Chef's Fantasy Event (a $600 value), which will be held at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Cleveland on March 9th. I'm happy to announce that we're on our way to the final goal, having raised $6,800 with this first Shamrock fundraising event!

ONE FINAL THOUGHT... This amazing event truly rocks! And there's still time to buy a ticket. Call Stacey Langal at 216-475-CURE if you'd like to attend the 15th Annual CFF's Chef's Fantasy on March 9th. See you there!