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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.

Nov 16, 2019

Welcome to Episode 20 of Agile Digital Business. 

Recorded on the move with my Insignia Lavalier mic, my iPhone and the BossJock app. You may hear a bit of air handling noise and construction work in the background. I'll be back in our music studio in a future weekend for the recording and editing of the next episode.

I am Vickie Maris, author, speaker and digital marketer focused on helping businesses prepare for the voice platform. 

Today, I'm at the CMED Conference - Conference on Management and Executive Development - and wanted to spend a few minutes reflecting on topics in the sessions I've been attending. I just finished speaking on a panel in a concurrent session where I shared background about one of the executive education programs that represent for the university. We had some very fun conversation about relationship marketing. During the Q and A, I recommended Mark Schaefer's new book, Marketing Rebellion: May the Most Human Company Win. I was also excited to learn that a few of the universities represented in the room have podcasts - I know I'm biased, but I'm such a believer in a podcast being a fantastic way to provide content for clients and prospects of your programs.

It's a way for me to share the content with you as well as to get it to stick in my own mind better. As a lifelong learner who loves to teach others, it's important to me that I not let the nuggets of wisdom and insight drift away in to the pages of a notebook or iPad, never to be viewed again.

I often will create a short video for my YouTube channel, LinkedIn profile, Twitter handle or Facebook page to reflect on key takaways, but I also want to share a few takeaways here with you in the podcast.

I have a longer interview scheduled with Ali El-Ammori whom you heard in Episode 19 after he had participated in an executive education program where led a session about leadership in a digital era and the topic of preparing for the voice platform in particular. Another program participant, Bobby Kovey, also spoke with me on the mic. His episode is on the agenda for the next few weeks of the show. Kane Simms, podcast host of VUX World, will be talking with me next week, and I'm getting a conversation scheduled with my colleagues Scot and Susan Westwater who run the agency, Pragmatic Digital. Oh my goodness, I'm so excited about this topic and about all of the interesting guests who have agreed to chat with me on the show!

It's exciting to me to be at this milestone of Episode 20 for the podcast. I started out the show a couple years ago talking about online courses and learning experience design, which was my focus at the university at the time. But after a slight career shift, I put the podcast on hold for about a year as I got my feet on the ground and a new topic of interest began to unfold.

It was when I was putting the marketing plan together to let people know about the audiobook of my latest book, that I started asking questions of our Amazon Alexa about my book, and found out that I needed to learn how to put that information at Alexa's virtual fingertips.

Season 2 of the podcast is my journey of learning about the voice platform and sharing that information with you, so that you can be preparing to meet your customers at their point of inquiry. learn more about how our customers are using their voices first in search.

OK, let me take a few minutes to share with you several of the interesting takeaways from the CMED sessions.

The opening keynote with David Cooperrider was fantastic. David is co-author, along with Diana Whitney, of the book, Appreciative Inquiry. He's an author of other books as well. I mention the Appreciative Inquiry book here as it is one I've used for the foundation of session I've taught on the subject. The concepts have helped me keep a positive focus in the way I interact with colleagues at work, in the podcasting space and students I work with on our farm with the llamas. I was inspired yesterday to re-read the book. 

He spoke of the work of Barbara Frederickson, University of North Carolina. In my notes, I captured the following quote, "as people cultivate more hope and joy, we become more intelligent and we get more creative."

Another quote I wrote down is "the more we touch hope, it changes the actual structure of the neuron patterns and can even change bio patterns that [otherwise] lead to heart disease."

He shared statistics about the world population growth and how trends are showing that more are moving in to the middle class group. It's expected that there will by 9.7 billion on the planet by 2050.

In data from Brookings, David told us that 1 person escapes extreme poverty every second; 5 people per second are entering the moddle class; the rich are growing too but at a slower rate of 1 person every 2 seconds.

A quote from David Cooperrider, "Middle class drive demand in a global economy; and middle class are far more demanding of their governments." He said that 2/3rds of consumption come from the middle class. Compared to today, the middle class will add 1.7 billion more people to their numbers by 2030.

I'm going to add a sidenote here. I predict that this is an indicator of how important it is for your company's products and services to be able to be found on voice search. It this very large group of consumers is going to be driving demand - combine that with using their voice first in search - then we need to be showing up in their searches.

David also shared with great feeling that the number of people living in extreme poverty around the world is decreasing by 217,000 each day, and that 92% of the world's children have access to education (this is compared to about 40% 20 years ago).

In an concurrent session about the technique of reflection in the executive education classroom, Jon Branch, University of Michigan, shared his model of learning design. The participants in the room had a very interesting discussion about reflection and instructional as well as technology tools available for conducting moments of reflection.

In honor of that session, I would love to have you pause this episode, as long as you're not driving or doing a workout in the moment, and write a key takeaway from this episode that you can share in your social media. Please include the hashgtag, #agiledigitalbiz, in your tweet or post, so that we can read each other's takeaways and share them out further. I would also love it if you left me a voicemail using the Speakpipe widget on my website at

The keynote session on Saturday morning was by Dr. David Flint. His company is the Value Creation Company. As an opener, he played a video of the song, The Company Way, from the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. It's a pretty hilarious duet by the mailroom manager and the lead in the show, Pierpont Finch.

The music warmed my heart personally, as that was a musical I was in during my senior year of high school. If you've not seen the movie or the musical, I highly recommend it. David used the funny song to spur discussion about what company even means and how to create value and rareness as part of your value proposition, and to be on the alert for eroding factors that could take away from value or the rareness of your company, or the project you are working on. 

We worked through questions related to his VReel model while in small groups. It was a very interesting session.

In the concurrent before lunch, I participated as a speaker in the panel discussion about programs for development of executives in management and leadership. I got so energized in the sharing of ideas during the question/answer session.

As I'm sure you know, networking with other participants is always a huge value-add at a conference. A lot of that took place during the breaks and the lunch. I'm brimming with ideas! I know, shocker, right!

The keynote after lunch was a great session by Lauren C. Miller who is a leadership coach and instructor with Carnegie Mellon University. She had several very intriguing stories that stemmed from her coaching of an MBA student about resilience and energy management. She facilitated a discussion about how we individually determine if it's time to give up on something or if it's something that requires an extra dose of resilience.

As I think of some of our group discussion yesterday, and if I think of this podcast as an example, what it needed was a partial pivot from its original topic. I have been so extremely energized to share information with you, that I'm excited about each upcoming episode and it pains me to have to wait until a weekend to have the time to carve out to create the content for you. As a digital marketer and relationship marketer, this topic of voice is a big one. There is a lot of content out there about voice app development and the tech side of things, but not a lot about how to make the shift in our organizations to prepare for it. That's what is driving me to glean content and process it for you, then deliver it in this show!

Thanks for listening to Episode 20 of Agile Digital Business. If you'd like to give a shoutout to my husband, Scott Greeson, who creates the amazing music beds for my podcast, please check out his latest album, Riverside, on your favorite digital music player. You can find his tunes - and I'll list a few of them here - If I Had a Train, Suburban Boy, Moped Man, and two that we wrote together, Cutback Blues and Minnesota. They are all out at YouTube, iTunes, Amazon, Pandora, Spotify and other digital locations.

Now, let's go out and Teach. Inspire. And, Connect!