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Agile Digital Business

Glean applicable ideas from Agile Digital Business as your host, Vickie Maris, explores the topics of leadership, personal development, team development and team communications.
Vickie is a singer-songwriter, speaker, facilitator and author. In addition to her music and speaking at conferences, she facilitates sessions in staff retreats and workshops. She is a certified trainer of Everything DiSC and The Five Behaviors, as well as a certified facilitator. 
You will enjoy and benefit from the interviews with guests on the show who bring a variety of perspectives and applicable insights. Focus areas include change management, leadership, team dynamics, communications, entrepreneurship, and more.

Feb 26, 2020

In Episode 27, hear an analogy of how the removal of a broken bridle from a reining horse during a championship-level ride can relate to our choices to either support or interfere with our marketing and technology teams as they offer strategies to future ready our businesses.

Welcome in to Episode 27 of Agile Digital Business podcast where Season 2 is focused on the voice platform.

I am Vickie Maris, a digital futurist, voice platform evangelist, and host of Agile Digital Business podcast. I like to challenge you to see the future of your business through the lenses of your future customers, clients, association members and program participants.

Through the listener community in Patreon, you can engage in discussion around the topics covered in the podcast that will spark ideas for how you can flex your strategy and align the way you communicate about your products and services in ways that your customer is asking for today. 

This episode is "freestyle." I'd like to bring you up to speed on where I’ve been. If you’ve been listening to the show on a regular basis, you’ve heard me talk about our music. My husband, Scott Greeson and I, are songwriters and entertainers. When we book for festivals and concert venues, we are often performing with our friends in the band, Trouble With Monday.

We also perform as a duo, trio and other combinations of the musicians in the band. Our world was rocked on Jan 31st when we learned that our sound man, Bryan Metzger, had passed away of a heart attack while on vacation.

There are still moments when it is hard to believe that he’s gone. We have been practicing many of the tools that I have written about in my books for processing grief in healthy ways that lead us in to the future rather than dwelling on the past. But believe me, there are moments when that is a lot easier to say than to do. 

Scott and I are leading a day retreat, Changing Life Journal Writing Retreat, to help you with advancing your writing projects and journaling on March 7th at an Airbnb in South Bend, Indiana near Notre Dame. We’re looking forward to spending time in the quiet to reflect, to write, to plan and to support each other in a few moments of quiet conversation during the day. If you would like to join us for the event, there are a few spots remaining. It’s listed out on EventBrite. 


One of the reasons I started delving in to understanding the voice platform and how musicians, authors and businesses should be preparing, was because we haven’t had great results when asking Amazon Alexa if she has information about Scott’s music or about my books. I have been working on changes to my website and other marketing in order to make my content more discoverable.

Here’s the curiosity - since my books are self-published in Amazon, you would think that it would be really easy for Alexa (created by Amazon) to dip in to a data pool that would provide her with details about the titles, author, or content.

But she isn’t yet very informed so, I am, one very slow step at a time, updating my web pages, claiming my author panel in Google, updating my About page, improving load time on my site, and several other things.


One of my favorite episodes in the voice space during recent weeks has been the 100th episode of Inside Voice. The episode is titled, Marketing Tips by Leaders in the Space. I highly recommend that you listen to it. The show is hosted by Keri Roberts. There is a focus on voice technology with educational and innovative content. I often listen to episodes of this show during my commute. Because of that, I use my voice to take notes by asking Siri to “make a note.” I have developed a process for putting a keyword in the first sentence of each note so they are easier to search for later when I’m developing a podcast episode or writing my next book. For instance, I might say, Siri, make a note, and then my first sentence will be, Podcast next episode, period. Include my notes from episode 100 of Inside Voice podcast, period. Helpful tips for my listeners. Period.


One of the concepts shared by Stuart Crane of Survey Line and Voice is that his companies are collecting leads by voice and creating tools to help other companies use voice for lead generation. The tool,  surveysbyvoice is a product of Survey Line. Stuart also talks about a new platform his company has available called

For details about tickets for Voice Summit, Oct. 5-8, 2020, in Washington, DC:


I have recently proposed a conference talk on the topic of future readying your professional development center to survive and thrive in an age of self-education, AI and other digital disruptions. I’m looking at how trends in self-education, uses of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the advance of digital voice assistants are shaping lifelong learning. It’s such a fascinating space.

I’ve heard Dr. Joe Dispenza say on videos in YouTube that in the age of the Internet with all the information that is available for free, ignorance is a choice.


Scott and I will be playing music for a private event on Saturday night with a couple of our other fellow musicians. After that event, I head out to Social Media Marketing World Conference. I’ve attended that event since 2014 and find it to be one of the best run conferences around. I do admit that I liked it better when it wasn’t so huge in terms of numbers who attend, but it still is an amazing place to get energized about techniques and tools for marketing and engaging in social media with your customers.

In fact, it was at one of the previous editions of this conference when I learned about Flash Briefings in a breakout session for podcasters. Last year, I gleaned several great pieces of content for developing a YouTube channel and for taking advantage of LinkedIn and the fact that there is so little original content posted by LinkedIn users. That hasn’t been a category that I fall in as I have loved to post short videos on LinkedIn about leadership lessons and tips for working with teams that I pick up from the time I spend training our llamas and Connemara pony. In fact, I just posted a new video last night on my LinkedIn feed, that I recorded while sitting in the barn aisle with the llamas. I talk about developing trust among your team members.

A few days prior to that, I shared a link to a video on YouTube of an amazing ride by Dan Huss on his championship reining horse, a Quarter Horse, Ms Dreamy. The bridle broke during the early part of the ride. Dan chose to continue the pattern. He reached down to get the swinging bridle out from between the front legs of his mare, and then rode her as if there was no tomorrow.

By putting a 2nd hand on the reins, he was disqualified but it didn’t deter him. Every turn, every change of speed, every sliding stop, was delivered expertly and calmly by his horse through communication she was receiving from Dan by slight changes in his seat and legs; and a demeanor that reflected their long-time connection.

It made me think of the things we’re all doing to get our businesses future ready for voice. Are you pulling your marketing team up to a halt to assess the situation, to approve of every equipment change and to get legal involved? Or are you reaching in while they are still at full speed and getting broken equipment out of the way so that they can take the company (your team) to future success by opening up channels to better listen to your customers in the ways they want to be communicating with you? I hope it’s the latter.

As I’ve been listening to and watching videos of Dr. Joe Dispenza talking about speaking intentions about the future and speaking gratitude about the future as if it already exists, I’ll leave you with this thought to consider for the next part of your day, “What is the greatest ideal of myself that I can be today?” 


Friend, I love you and appreciate you being here listening and learning. Now, please join me in the quest to teach; inspire; and connect!