Last Friday, in partnership with MidAmerica Nazarene University, the Olathe Chamber of Commerce and the Olathe Public Library, I was the proud host of the 2nd Annual Business Toolkit Workshop – another in a series of events targeted to business professionals in for-profit, not-for-profit, academic and governmental organizations interested in gaining more customers, building brand loyalty, and ultimately creating raving fans.
Our theme this year was, “Communication Through Design,” and, via a series of talks and panels, sought to amplify design as a strategic imperative for all organizations. Essentially, whether a person is in fashion, technology, construction, government or professional services, marketing, finance or… whatever… there is room to design his/her plan and to think creatively about how to strategize for the future while executing in the here and now.
Here’s what the lineup looked like, coupled with a key point made during each session…
- Session 1: Blueprint for Networking featuring Alana Muller (yep, yours truly!)
- Lesson: When thinking about designing your ideal relationship base or network, start by asking yourself WHY you want to do so (thank you Simon Sinek!). Once you know the HOW and the WHAT will quickly follow.
- Session 2: Design as Inspiration featuring Peregrine Honig, artist and entrepreneur
- Lesson: Writing thank you letters is the most wonderful and adult networking behavior you can have. (Note from Alana: I didn’t even pay her to say that!!!!)
- Session 3: The Intersection of Fashion, Fitness and Technology, a panel discussion featuring Kelly Hancox (Garmin), Tyler Palko (2nd Skull), Jemma Radick (Populous) and Beth Wade (VML)
- Lesson: Listen to your customers. Give the people what they want.
- Session 4: The Art of Emotional Branding featuring Kim Campbell (MidAmerica Nazarene University)
- Lesson: Connectedness magnifies emotion. The more people feel like they are part of something, the more emotionally committed and connected to it they will be.
- Session 5: Advancing Business Through 3D Printing, a panel discussion featuring Dave Dalton (Hammerspace Community Workshop), Hal Gottfried (Kansas City Open Hardware Group) and Tom Newell (Oni Technology)
- Lesson: 3D printing and similar technologies have made it affordable, efficient and fun to innovate in a way that allows anyone to learn from failure and, ultimately, achieve long-term success.
It was a fabulous day! And, to be sure, there were many, many other lessons imparted that made the event and the interactions very worthwhile. In fact, if you were in attendance last week and took note of comments or ideas from the presenters and/or participants that were meaningful to you – OR – if you are a person who already incorporates design into the work you do and you have some thoughts to share, please take time to leave a comment at CoffeeLunchCoffee.com.