New Business Pitching – The Urban Legends

“Tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em. Tell ’em, then tell ’em what you told ’em,” is one of the pieces of trite advice that’s bandied about as if it’s some truth that will produce guaranteed results. It was developed for military use, where I understand perfectly that it makes sense to tell your comrade three times to aim to the left, as you will be on the right. But lethal weapons are seldom fired in presentations, and a clear story does not necessarily have to be repeated three times. Here are some more urban legends of pitching:

  1. They will choose the best people for the job. If you’re pitching to perform surgery on the client, then yes, maybe they will. For non-life threatening situations, they do not choose the best people for the job – they choose the person or team who shows them a future with the greatest added value from the relationship.
  2. We need to get a number of important points across. No. You need to get one point across. As any successful defense lawyer will tell you: “If you argue ten points, and even if each is a good point, when they get back to the jury room they won’t remember any.” The trick here is exclusion. What you don’t present can sometimes be your best part. You can’t have more than one North Star.
  3. We will follow the plan. On the battlefield no plan survives contact with the enemy. The bulb can go on the projector and you could even have forgotten to take your tourett’s medication – as long as you have communicated the ‘Commander’s Intent’ to the team, the plan will have served its purpose. The military recommends that a commander arrives at a Commander’s Intent by asking two simple questions – If we do nothing else during tomorrow’s mission, we must…. – The single, most important thing that we must do tomorrow is…
  4. People need to be fully informed. Nonsense. If people are connecting the dots for themselves, they’re involved. And that’s what every new relationship needs – involvement. Do we ever say: “Come over to my place, I’d like to show you my homework”?
  5. Rehearsal is the most important thing. No it’s not. Telling a clear story with a structure that everyone understands is. If I had two choices: rehearse or prepare notes for the presenters, I would go for the latter. However both are ideal.

Developing a Plan for the Urban Slums of the World

Each Urban Slum in the World is slightly different even though the humanitarian problems are similar. There is lawlessness, poverty, unhealthy conditions, drugs and a sense of despair and huge barriers to upward mobility. Recently our online think tank did a study and came up with a viable plan to fix the Kibera Slum in Nairobi, Kenya.

Now we are developing a “Part II” to the Nairobi Action Plan, actually it involves a modularized set of systems, “a la carte” so to speak, where all the various strategies are available for such things as making brick, cargo container businesses, self-policing, educational training, solar power, sewer treatment, etc.

The follow-up plan is still in progress and it is designed like a “Franchise” type system which would be hooked to funding, aid and grants. The entire system since it is modularized could also be used for future space colonies too. The modularized system can be used anywhere. In other nations the problems are much different, although in a way they are the same. One size does not fit all.

If we created an Organizational Prototype plan for regional variation to fix the urban slum conditions were nearly a billion people currently live in these situations around the globe, we surely would not sell it, we would give it away. Indeed, I have written an article on some of what you describe and pretty much agree, my article has to do with 1-week plan turn-around and a mixing of components or modules, along with funding.

There is no easy way to rid the planet of Urban Slums and thus it will take a good solid plan and a lot of hard work to make the dream a reality, but it can be done. The Online Think Tank believes the answer lie right around the corner and a new tomorrow is on its way.

Planning a Hen House – Get the Basics Right and Enjoy the Benefits For Years to Come

There is a boom amongst urban dwellers that is sweeping the country. Keeping chickens in the backyard has really taken off with people are being encouraged to become more self sufficient for economic, ecological and social reasons. If you are considering joining these urban warriors, then carefully planning a hen house for your flock of feathered ladies is extremely important, if you are to get the best from your project.

Happy chickens produce the best eggs and most people look to those delicious healthy fresh eggs as being the greatest benefit of keeping chickens. So, ensuring that they have the most comfortable and safe housing is vital to keep these ladies fully contented and in egg laying mode.

Planning a hen house is not complicated and as there are basically three factors that you need to consider, you should be able to start reaping the rewards of your efforts quite quickly.

(a) Location

Choosing the best location in your backyard is very important as chickens require sunlight in order to get into the egg laying mood. Avoiding positioning the hen house in a shaded area is best. Also try to choose a raised position if possible, one that it is not likely to get flooded during heavy rain.

(b) Design

There are several important design features that need to be considered so that your feathered friends will be safe and comfortable and eager to reward you with that delicious breakfast.

• Size
• Weatherproofing
• Roosting
• Nesting boxes
• Feeding
• Cleaning and maintenance
• Light and ventilation
• Protection against predators

Search online and you will find full information on all the important design aspects that need to be considered when planning a hen house.

However, you should also consider the overall appearance of your hen house, for two particular reasons

(i) it could impact on your relationship with your neighbours

(ii) you may want to consider selling it at a later date, for example if you want to house a larger flock.

(c) To buy or not to buy

Having decided on what your hen house should look like, the biggest decision you then have to make is whether to buy one, either complete or as a kit, or to take the plunge and build one yourself. Obviously your budget will dictate what you do but you should always aim to get the best chicken coop possible. Your ladies will certainly appreciate it.

If your budget is limited, you really should seriously consider building one yourself. Just as planning a hen house is not complicated neither is building one. If you have basic handyman skills, a few tools and the right guidance you can plan and build a hen house that you can be proud of. It will certainly add to the fun aspect of your project.

Get the basics right and you will enjoy the benefits for years to come. So what are you waiting for? Just think of breakfast and those delicious, healthy, fresh eggs.