BRANT’S RANTS

Disruption Proof: What does it mean to be RAD?

November 18th

Resilient: Strong, but flexible. Like a palm tree rooted to the shoreline, but bends in stormy winds so it doesn’t break. Companies must build “strong, but flexible” into the very structure of the organization in order to survive and even thrive through endless disruptions.

Aware: Active listening. Companies need to monitor the environment outside its walls and within, develop empathy for customers, and actively pursue new information that may affect the business. This includes economic changes, demographic trends, and technology scouting. But Aware also means understanding how your employees are doing, especially important with remote work.

Dynamic: Change quickly. Taking in new information is of limited value if you can’t act on the information. Companies must work agility into its way of working, to be able to respond to what they have learned.

Pandemic, supply chain disruptions, mass resignations… seems like a day doesn’t go by without news of disruption. Now more than ever, organizations must be proactive in preparing themselves for this new normal.

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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

The Digital Age we live in means increased complexity and endless disruptions. Yet the institutions we depend on in business, government, and education are structured and managed as if we’re still in the assembly-line world of the Industrial Age.

We need to build organizations that are RAD: Resilient, Aware, and Dynamic.

If you want to know more about how to create the entrepreneurial spirit within your own organization, order Disruption Proof today from your favorite retailer.

Independents - https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781538720196
Barnes & Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/disruption-proof-brant-cooper/1138917903?
Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Disruption-Proof-Empower-People-Create/dp/1538720191?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1615251848&sr=1-1&linkCode=sl1&tag=marbynum-20&linkId=0fe54c34a51140af49bf7862f07365c0&language=en_US&ref_=as_li_ss_tl
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How do you kickstart big change?

November 16th

Perhaps you’ve read the books, listened to podcasts, gone to innovation or digital transformation conferences. You’re ready and eager for change and willing to help lead the effort. But what’s next? How do you actually kickstart it? How do you rally supporters and make believers?

Your effort is rife with uncertainty. Therefore, you must eat your dog food. You must not fall into execution mode for a moment and explore how to get traction. My recommendations:
👉 find like-minded people -- hold a regularly scheduled internal meetup where you all talk about what’s needed, tools and frameworks, and so on.
👉 develop empathy for leaders -- rather than assume leaders are not “bought-in”, understand who they are, their background and experiences that shaped their mindset; understand what keeps them up at night.
👉 schedule “bold” days into your work -- once a week, month, or even a quarter, take time to explore: speak live to customers, run an experiment, devise a challenge that will solve an internal issue. (It can be something as simple as updating a sales script or helping two teams communicate better with one another.)

Kickstarting change requires demonstrating to leaders that you have the ability to drive impact using a different way of working. You can actually increase efficiency of execution by taking the time to explore.



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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

The Digital Age we live in means increased complexity and endless disruptions. Yet the institutions we depend on in business, government, and education are structured and managed as if we’re still in the assembly-line world of the Industrial Age.

We need to build organizations that are RAD: Resilient, Aware, and Dynamic.

If you want to know more about how to create the entrepreneurial spirit within your own organization, order Disruption Proof today from your favorite retailer.

Independents - https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781538720196
Barnes & Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/disruption-proof-brant-cooper/1138917903?
Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Disruption-Proof-Empower-People-Create/dp/1538720191?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1615251848&sr=1-1&linkCode=sl1&tag=marbynum-20&linkId=0fe54c34a51140af49bf7862f07365c0&language=en_US&ref_=as_li_ss_tl
...

How to be a change agent

November 11th

This video is private. ...

How I got into the innovation headspace

November 9th

As most of you likely know by now,I am not a fan of the word “innovation.” There’s a few reasons, but primarily it’s used to mean so many different things to different people that it’s lost its usefulness. It’s a word that doesn’t communicate anything specific.

However, the mindset attached to most “innovation” efforts still matters. Though I was never an “entrepreneur” in the true sense, I perhaps had an “innovation” or “entrepreneurial” mindset without knowing it. In my first few jobs after college, I had a knack for not doing what my managers asked. Or at least not doing them the way they wanted them done. It drove them crazy.

It wasn’t until I joined my first startup Tumbleweed in the broader Silicon Valley area that I discovered that mindset could be put to good use. Fast forward 20+ years, and you find me teaching large companies how to instill entrepreneurial spirit within their culture.

The primary challenge has been that companies’ innovation groups aren’t those who need the lesson. It’s the core business that needs it. Disruption Proof is my new book describing how leaders can structure and manage their organizations to balance execution and exploration behavior throughout. It’s the balance that makes up the entrepreneurial spirit, leading to exceptional organizations that are able to

👉 Recruit and retain top talent, because work is rewarding
👉 Increase operational efficiency by empowering people to solve problems
👉 Find new growth leveraging existing expertise
👉 Withstand disruptions--like pandemics--that crash through the economy
👉 Discover new opportunities that lead to true innovation -- creating value at scale



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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

The Digital Age we live in means increased complexity and endless disruptions. Yet the institutions we depend on in business, government, and education are structured and managed as if we’re still in the assembly-line world of the Industrial Age.

We need to build organizations that are RAD: Resilient, Aware, and Dynamic.

If you want to know more about how to create the entrepreneurial spirit within your own organization order Disruption Proof today from your favorite retailer.
Independents - https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781538720196
Barnes & Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/disruption-proof-brant-cooper/1138917903?
Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Disruption-Proof-Empower-People-Create/dp/1538720191?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1615251848&sr=1-1&linkCode=sl1&tag=marbynum-20&linkId=0fe54c34a51140af49bf7862f07365c0&language=en_US&ref_=as_li_ss_tl
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My Go-To Networking Advice

October 28th

Networking: An introvert's worst nightmare. Maybe for extroverts, too. Fortunately the world of networking is shifting toward a more positive flow.

Before, the old style of networking involved walking around passing around business cards with the mindset of “what can I get out of this person?.” ❌

I find today, in this digital new world where everyone is bombarded with messages and notifications, it’s a lot harder to compete by merely selling. It works best to add value.✅


Reach out with an open hand and don’t expect anything in return. Eventually that mentality will pay you back many times over.


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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

The Digital Age we live in means increased complexity and endless disruptions. Yet the institutions we depend on in business, government, and education are structured and managed as if we’re still in the assembly-line world of the Industrial Age.

We need to build organizations that are RAD: Resilient, Aware, and Dynamic.
Learn more and join the conversation at https://www.brantcooper.com
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Should your business raise money?

October 21st

Fundraising is a common question most entrepreneurs face at one point or another. I’m not sure whether it's because founders need money or because it’s something all startups are “supposed” to do.

The thing is how you raise money has serious implications for the future of your company. Therefore, you must thoroughly understand your vision and the values you wish to imbue into the business before raising.

Things to think about:
👉 Are you raising too early? Most companies raise to build products without truly knowing what to build. This is maybe the greatest source of waste, i.e., building stuff no one wants. For most businesses, raising is best AFTER validating the business model and a growth strategy.
👉 Are you raising the right kind of money? Choices used to be only asset-based bank loans on one side and equity-based venture capital on the other. But you maybe shouldn’t be putting assets or ownership in others’ hands. They might not share your values. New investment models have emerged recently, including interest bearing, dividend bearing and revenue based investments that provide more flexibility without giving up ownership.
👉 Are you raising from the right kind of people? Neither bankers nor most venture capitalists care about your business. They care about ownership of assets and equity growth. “Smart” money helps you grow in ways that are aligned with your values and ambitions. Entrepreneurs turned investors often have the founders’ interests at heart more than money middle-men.

There’s nothing inherently wrong in any of the above. What’s too bad is when you choose a source of investment inconsistent with your ambitions.



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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

The Digital Age we live in means increased complexity and endless disruptions. Yet the institutions we depend on in business, government, and education are structured and managed as if we’re still in the assembly-line world of the Industrial Age.

We need to build organizations that are RAD: Resilient, Aware, and Dynamic.
Learn more and join the conversation at https://www.brantcooper.com
...

How can the government be Disruption Proof?

October 19th

Can the government benefit be Disruption Proof?

While government has many challenges that differentiate it from business--no, government cannot and should not be run like a business--it can apply Disruption Proof behavior to the benefit of constituents.

Developing empathy for constituents, for example, local governments can become more effective in serving the local needs. They can see first hand how their policies affect different people. They can run experiments to determine whether ideas will work.

Politicians often respond to who has their ear--either squeaky wheels or greasy palms. Those that actually do the work, however, can apply DisruptionProof principles to increase efficiency and effectiveness.



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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

The Digital Age we live in means increased complexity and endless disruptions. Yet the institutions we depend on in business, government, and education are structured and managed as if we’re still in the assembly-line world of the Industrial Age.

We need to build organizations that are RAD: Resilient, Aware, and Dynamic.
Learn more and join the conversation at https://www.brantcooper.com
...

When should you bring in an agency?

October 14th

When do you bring in a consultant, agency or other outside party to help you achieve your transformation?

First, you must understand and own the vision of your endeavor. Second, you should identify specific areas where you lack expertise or the resources to get the job done. In other words, you need help executing on YOUR vision.

Outside companies can provide advice to strategy, but if you have leadership unable to do strategy or own a vision, why are they there? Initiatives organized and run by outside companies that end up “owning” a program, or instituting cookie-cutter, top-down changes fail.
The more specific you are with the help and skills you need the more likely the third party will help the program succeed.

What are your thoughts on agencies? Comment below.



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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

The Digital Age we live in means increased complexity and endless disruptions. Yet the institutions we depend on in business, government, and education are structured and managed as if we’re still in the assembly-line world of the Industrial Age.

We need to build organizations that are RAD: Resilient, Aware, and Dynamic.
Learn more and join the conversation at https://www.brantcooper.com
...

How to Reduce Employee Turnover

October 12th

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that during the months of April, May, and June 2021 a total of 11.5 million workers quit their jobs. And it’s not over.

According to Gallup research, 48 percent of employees are actively looking to make a change. As an employer these numbers should be alarming.

What can you do to prevent a mass exodus?
Maybe it’s time for #Empathy to be applied internally.

The last 1.5 years have not been easy for anyone. Front and center have been the many factors in our lives we juggle that make us fully human, that contribute to our contentment. As society struggles to reboot, many people are reconsidering the role of their job in life's equilibrium.

It’s vital that you understand what your people are going through, their needs and aspirations, and to connect with the human rather than merely the employee.

Your policies need not address all your employees desires, but you should have a good understanding of their effects. Insights you glean may in fact lead to ideas that result in happier, and more engaged employees, unlikely to jump ship.



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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

The Digital Age we live in means increased complexity and endless disruptions. Yet the institutions we depend on in business, government, and education are structured and managed as if we’re still in the assembly-line world of the Industrial Age.

We need to build organizations that are RAD: Resilient, Aware, and Dynamic.
Learn more and join the conversation at https://www.brantcooper.com
...

How to Identify Weakness in a Company

September 30th

How do you identify weakness in a company?

There’s tactical weakness in the sense of where’s the bottleneck to growth? This is all about metrics--what data you are tracking. But then there’s a more foundational weakness that foretells a company that’s going to struggle.

From my experience, that sort of weakness is indicated by the level of autonomy managers provide their employees. When there is little to no autonomy, managers oversee everything. They complain about the number of meetings, always fighting fires, and that they don’t get to be strategic. Their area is difficult to scale because the managers don’t understand what Liz Wiseman wrote about in Multipliers. The old school approach requires a consistent ratio of managers to employees that doesn’t relate to business impact.

A strong company is made up of managers who hire smart people and empower them to make decisions and solve problems. This allows the managers to be more strategic, providing needed information and advice upward to leadership, while allocating resources based on missions across teams.

Do you agree that companies that don’t provide autonomy are weaker than those that do?



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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

The Digital Age we live in means increased complexity and endless disruptions. Yet the institutions we depend on in business, government, and education are structured and managed as if we’re still in the assembly-line world of the Industrial Age.

We need to build organizations that are RAD: Resilient, Aware, and Dynamic.
Learn more and join the conversation at https://www.brantcooper.com
...

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work

September 28th

To-do lists are an effective way of remembering all the things that you might need to do, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into productivity. A to-do list often is nothing more than a laundry list that includes your least favorite socks right alongside with what you want to wear tomorrow.

Top 3 problems with to-do lists:

1. No prioritization based on impact
2. No scheduled downtime to reflect on quality and new information
3. Contributes to task completion metrics rather than progress toward desired outcomes


One way to combat this is to use a 2x2 matrix where the axes are “impact to business” (top-high to bottom-low) and “level of effort” (left-high to right-low). The upper right quadrant is where big, near term impact lives. Lower left is not to be ignored, but chipped away at over time.


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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

The Digital Age we live in means increased complexity and endless disruptions. Yet the institutions we depend on in business, government, and education are structured and managed as if we’re still in the assembly-line world of the Industrial Age.

We need to build organizations that are RAD: Resilient, Aware, and Dynamic.
Learn more and join the conversation at https://www.brantcooper.com
...

When do you know it’s time to start hiring?

September 23rd

Here’s a big problem with the way most hire:

Typically managers get into hiring mode when all their people’s tasks can’t be completed in a timely manner. (Assuming they have budget!) Although finishing work is clearly important, it includes a massive assumption:

All these tasks are contributing to desired outcomes.

The problem with pure execution mode is that we tend to stack tasks upon tasks, without evaluating whether we’re doing what we would drive the most impact. When one person’s plate is full, it’s time to hire someone else.
Here’s the big idea:
Building exploration mode into execution work increases execution efficiency.

Leaders often fear “exploration” work because it’s often called “innovation.” But before you put up a job posting, look at whether the actual work being done is getting you closer to your goals? 🤔



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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

The Digital Age we live in means increased complexity and endless disruptions. Yet the institutions we depend on in business, government, and education are structured and managed as if we’re still in the assembly-line world of the Industrial Age.

We need to build organizations that are RAD: Resilient, Aware, and Dynamic.
Learn more and join the conversation at https://www.brantcooper.com
...

Here's how I do interviews

September 21st

Interviewing is one of those things that I haven't truly figured out and am continuing to learn as I go. What I’ve realized is that I typically find my best hires when I’m not looking. Usually this occurs because I’m talking with someone about challenges and they bring up “someone they know who might help.” That I’m not specifically looking, means I’m evaluating the person and our potential working relationship versus specific qualifications.

When I sit down with a candidate it tends to be pretty informal. I want to be sure of a couple of things: First, do our values align? We don’t have to agree politically, but I feel we ought to be rowing in the same direction.

Second, does the candidate have an entrepreneurial spirit? I don’t care whether they’ve ever started a business, but I want to know if they take ownership of their role, figuring things out, overcoming obstacles, and leveraging resources to help them accomplish their mission.

Skills are important--especially as you get into specific technical needs. But that’s the easiest part to figure out, in my opinion, yet what people spend the most time on.



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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

The Digital Age we live in means increased complexity and endless disruptions. Yet the institutions we depend on in business, government, and education are structured and managed as if we’re still in the assembly-line world of the Industrial Age.

We need to build organizations that are RAD: Resilient, Aware, and Dynamic.
Learn more and join the conversation at https://www.brantcooper.com
...

Tips on writing a book

September 16th

People often ask me how best to write a book. Over the years here’s what I found helpful to me:



1) Discipline: Set a time every day to write for 1 hour. DON'T worry about quality. Don’t self-edit. Just turn it into a brain dump on a piece of paper and worry about the content later.

2) Give yourself a talk: Often I’ll turn on Garage Band, set up a mic, and speak about a topic as if I’m doing a keynote on stage.

3) Use a ghostwriter: I’ve personally never used one but know plenty of people who have. As long as the writer interviews and records you, so the ideas are yours and the writer replicates your voice, it’s a legitimate solution.
4) Run it like a startup: Engage your audience, workshop content, experiment by sending chapters to various market segments.


Don’t assume your writing will resonate with people, just how you shouldn’t assume people will buy your product. Also, marketing and sales will be your responsibility, too, so you have to learn your way through it.


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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Industry Disruptor, Brant Cooper.



If, as a society, we choose capitalism, then we need it to solve problems, not create them. Disruption is happening all around us. Together, let’s grab the bull by the horns to make it work for all of us.



Join the movement at https://www.brantcooper.com
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We deserve a C in understanding meritocracy

September 14th

Meritocracy seems like a good idea. Who could be opposed to rewarding the deserved? But there’s two fundamental problems: First, someone must define “deserves” and everyone has biases. Qualifications are most often thresholds not continuums.

👉 If I’m a leader and define what the corporate ladder looks like, i.e. how people advance their careers, it’s natural for me to believe they should be like me. Right? Because here I am at the top! Clearly it works! But that’s a lot of bias. Because I’m a leader doesn’t mean I represent the only composite for a leader.
👉 If I say you need to have achieved x to be qualified for a role, x+1 doesn’t mean you’re more qualified. X is a threshold beyond which one is in the running. How much beyond x is usually irrelevant. People sometimes complain they were passed over for less qualified candidates based on this misunderstanding.

To overcome the hurdles of “meritocracy” thinking, try:

Have a diverse group of people establishing the qualifications desired.
Create characteristics to look for beyond merely quantitative thresholds. Use a diverse definition of diversity. Include education, economic background, culture, and a range of personalities.


There are good business reasons for increasing diversity. Greater diversity means dealing with uncertainty and complexity better. It also expands understanding of diverse audiences that lead to better products and growth opportunities.


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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Industry Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

If, as a society, we choose capitalism, then we need it to solve problems, not create them. Disruption is happening all around us. Together, let’s grab the bull by the horns to make it work for all of us.

Join the movement at https://www.brantcooper.com
...

How do you move past plateaus in your business?

September 9th

In a small or new business, the founder's job is to focus on the “unknown.” But often they’re so busy executing the “known”, they have no time for not knowing.

In other words, if you knew how to grow the business you would just do it. Therein lies the challenge: the growth part is unknown so you must search for what will work.

The only way to do that is by passing down the day to day execution to employees, while you work to discover how to grow.



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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Industry Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

If, as a society, we choose capitalism, then we need it to solve problems, not create them. Disruption is happening all around us. Together, let’s grab the bull by the horns to make it work for all of us.

Join the movement at https://www.brantcooper.com
...

What is the best business advice I've ever received?

September 7th

The best business advice I’ve ever received was to think of everything as a product. Almost all initiatives we undertake have these characteristics:

- The initiative has one or many owners.
- We must do something

- For one or many stakeholders
- Who likely need to alter some behavior

When you look at things through that lens, you can start seeing what it takes for the initiative to be successful. A successful initiative changes stakeholder behavior. AirBnB is successful when people become hosts by putting a room out for rent through their platform; AND travelers choose to stay in the room; AND both host and traveler are satisfied with the experience.



Projects are typically managed by placing the things WE must do on a calendar. Successfully doing by a date is success, REGARDLESS of stakeholder outcome. This is actually a failure.

Tasks completed within the “project” are only valuable when it adds value to whomever the stakeholder is.

Tag someone you’re working on a project with so you can turn it into a product together.
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What does a winning team look like?

September 2nd

In times of complexity and uncertainty, where change is constant and we don’t know what is around the corner, should teams “buckle down” to execute harder? Does the composition of the team matter?

Our inclination in such times is to circle the wagons with those we are the most comfortable with and our comfort is due to the fact they are like us! But here’s the reality:

👉 Diversity, for the win


Studies show that when dealing with complex problems, the more diverse a team the better. It makes sense intuitively, since different backgrounds, experiences and knowledge naturally bring different perspectives to understanding needs and coming up with solutions. You are also going to reach a broader audience if your products and go-to-market strategy incorporate thoe diverse perspectives.

Diversity is more than just the way we look. But the way we look is not a bad proxy to start with.
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How to handle disputes among colleagues

August 31st

This video is private. ...

What does agility at scale look like?

August 26th

You likely know I talk about agility often. Startups often work this way out of necessity--too few people, too many unknowns to work any other way. But what about large corporations? How can they become more agile?

The high-level course is this:
1) For a particular initiative, define the desired outcome and understand the experience journey from the stakeholders’ perspective.
2) Form teams based upon completing steps of the journey, where the steps become team mission statements.
3) Teams are composed of people with the functional skills necessary to complete the mission, as opposed to forming teams by function. Missions with low uncertainty look relatively uniform; those with high uncertainty tend toward highly cross-functional.
4) Form a “team of teams” layer, that aggregates the output, aligns to outcome, manages change, fills gaps etc.
5) Communication flow is purposefully implemented to share output between teams, stakeholders, and leadership.

If all teams achieve their missions, the desired outcome is achieved.

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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from NY Times Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

If, as a society, we choose capitalism, then we need it to solve problems, not create them. Disruption is happening all around us. Together, let’s grab the bull by the horns to make it work for all of us.

For more info, visit https://www.brantcooper.com
...

Will the DELTA variant be the final impetus to permanent CHANGE?

August 24th

This video is private. ...

Improving work relationships in a remote world

August 19th

How can companies help workers forge relationships in a remote work environment?

It’s no secret we perform better when we know and are friendly--on some level--with those we work with. So how do we create bonds between people when water cooler moments don’t exist anymore?

In the office, managers tend to not be concerned about small, “social” gatherings--as long as they can be seen. These same managers get nervous if they don’t see the little online icon in Slack for their remote workers. It’s pretty wild to think “I see you” = productivity and “I can’t see you” = not engaged.

How to fix? Seems like a good place to practice some of the 5Es (Empathy - Exploration - Evidence - Equilibrium - Ethics). Run some experiments to figure now to create a social environment that improves employee happiness, even while remote.

You might:
- Encourage virtual happy hours on video to allow folk to chat casually. Do this around a particular subject and invite guest speakers.
- Create a “jam fund” -- a small budget that enables coworkers to meet and work on a project together in-person.
- Have ‘video-on” hours, where you rally a group to work with cameras on (not a meeting!).
- Organize meetings such that the first few minutes (or last few) allow for social interaction.

Managers should exercise their creativity to facilitate some amount of relationship building among coworkers. It will create happier employees, which are also more productive.

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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from NY Times Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

If, as a society, we choose capitalism, then we need it to solve problems, not create them. Disruption is happening all around us. Together, let’s grab the bull by the horns to make it work for all of us.

For more info, visit https://www.brantcooper.com
...

My thoughts on the 4 Day Work Week

August 12th

The idea of a four day workweek has gained a lot of steam in recent months. I’m not opposed to the idea. I’m all for making things better for workers and it would likely reduce unemployment. But what are we really trying to accomplish?

We like to tinker with outcomes, rather than address systemic issues. Do workers really want a 4 day workweek as opposed to something else?

The conversation we should be having is “how do we increase power to workers so they have a more equal ability to negotiate what they truly want?”

Ways to increase power include:
- Federal job guarantee
- Granting specific rights to all workers (not just employees)
- Raising minimum wage
- Strengthening rights to organize
- Federal health insurance

What are your thoughts? Comment below.

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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from NY Times Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

If, as a society, we choose capitalism, then we need it to solve problems, not create them. Disruption is happening all around us. Together, let’s grab the bull by the horns to make it work for all of us.

For more info, visit https://www.brantcooper.com
...

It’s not simply “young people want remote work”

August 5th

This video is private. ...

What is Team of Teams?

August 3rd

Have you heard of “team of teams”? I first heard the term from General McChrystal’s book that described a new way to organize the military’s response to Al Queda in Iraq. The traditional military force defeated Iraq’s traditionally organized force, but a new system was required to defeat the informally networked, distributed “insurgency.”

The change from traditional, hierarchical, command and control to distributed and interconnected is the change from Industrial to Digital dominated society. In other words, what McChrystal encountered in war, is also happening in business (and in education, government, and everywhere else).

In the business world, “team of teams” describes the layers sitting above (“agile”) teams. While the teams focus on executing their missions, the team of teams make sure everything is integrated bottom up and top down.

“Owned” by middle management, the team of teams ensures the integration of the parts is in sync and aligned toward accomplishing that level’s mission. They’re responsible for the flow of information up so that proper decisions and priorities are made, as well as top down so that the work is strategically aligned.

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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from NY Times Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

If, as a society, we choose capitalism, then we need it to solve problems, not create them. Disruption is happening all around us. Together, let’s grab the bull by the horns to make it work for all of us.

For more info, visit https://www.brantcooper.com
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The Purpose of Middle Management

July 29th

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Ethics at Work

July 27th

A vast majority of people in every company I’ve worked with want to live meaningful, purposeful lives. They want to contribute to the business, while also contributing to the world. They believe in the company’s values and consider themselves ethical people.

Why then does there seem to be a problem with business ethics? It’s a big question with a lot of complexity. But one problem I’ve seen is a disconnect between stated values and actual behavior allowed, encouraged, or even incentivized.

How do we better instill ethics in the workplace? Part of it comes with forming “agile” teams.
1. Break down the work of your division or group into missions,
2. Assign the missions to teams and empower them to decide how to do the work
3. Set guardrails on behavior that are aligned with corporate values

A healthy culture cannot be mandated top down. The social structure of teams whose members are empowered to practice personal responsibility helps establish a healthy culture.
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Balancing Execution and Exploration

July 22nd

How often do you hear, “We just need to execute.” People--especially leaders-- are hyper-focused on execution. But there’s another e-word that’s just as important; exploration.

Incorporating exploration into your daily work simply means you’re open to new information or looking for new answers. You’re seeking to improve execution. Of course if you're executing at a very high level you have less of a need for exploration. But it’s worth consciously considering: could we improve? Could we find a big win?

Talking to customers about your products, observing work, being aware of changing market conditions are all part of exploration mode.

You should seek to establish a balance between execution and always some amount of exploration.
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You Don’t Know Everything

July 15th

In today’s business world marked by pervasive uncertainty, leaders need to delegate some decisions to their teams. Team members are often closer to the problems at hand and better understand solutions. Delegation requires trust.

As a leader you have to admit when you don’t know. Admitting uncertainty builds trust. It demonstrates your willingness to learn. You can become a mentor for exploration by:

👉 Providing time and space for learning.
👉 Providing expert resources if problems are complicated.
👉 Helping design experiments when problems are complex.
👉 Switching to execution on what is learned.
👉 Sharing data + insights with the rest of the organization.
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How is your relationship with your customer?

July 13th

This video is private. ...

Here’s why you need to be applying empathy to your business

July 8th

Empathy has become a buzzword in big company culture--even hear it in Lexus automobile commercials! What gets lost is empathy for whom? Empathy for customers can lead to better product design, but in order to create a customer-empathy culture, you need colleague-empathy.

Managers should empathize with their employees and employees need to empathize with their managers!

How does colleague-empathy work??

When you understand what makes other people tick you can better provide value to them. Developing colleague-empathy doesn’t mean “doing what they want.” But everyone has fears, desires, and aspirations, so when we understand those we can see or even predict the impact our decisions and behavior will have on them.

How to develop empathy in the workplace?

One underutilized tactic is promoting empathy within your teams. The social construct of a team will reinforce empathetic behavior, while also building trust and accountability.
- Provide teams opportunities to socialize and get to know one another. (Buy lunch!)
- For remote workers, encourage video time even when there isn’t a scheduled meeting.
- Assign roles to team members: scribe, facilitator, sensei--but make sure the roles rotate among members.
- Recommend “icebreaker” games before meetings once in a while.
- Celebrate team wins.
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How to navigate a remote workforce

June 24th

This video is private. ...

Think Needs, Not Products

May 27th

This video is private. ...

Pushing and Pulling Change

May 20th

This video is private. ...

Scaling New Business within Your Core Business

May 13th

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Accelerating Mindset Change

May 6th

You’ve Kickstarted your new mindset, what’s next?

The journey to a new mindset is a long one. But we can implement a new mindset in four phases -- Kickstart, Accelerate, Scale, Endure (KASE). Once you’ve iterated on the 5 E’s during the Kickstart phase, it’s time to Accelerate.

The goal of this phase is to double down on the model of behavior that was defined and iterated upon during the Kickstart phase. You create a plan to roll it out across the company. Planning might include creating a “center of excellence” that establishes the recommended behaviors and teaches them to others in the business.

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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Industry Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

If, as a society, we choose capitalism, then we need it to solve problems, not create them. Disruption is happening all around us. Together, let’s grab the bull by the horns to make it work for all of us.

Join the movement at https://www.brantcooper.com
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Startup Jam- You Don't Need 1000 Customers- You Need 1 - with Guest Founder Hiten Keshave

October 8th

One of the biggest struggles startups and founders face early on is understanding market segmentation. They fail to understand that they don't need 1000 customers- they need ONE.

In my Startup Jam segments, I help entrepreneurs and corporate developers overcome obstacles on the fly. Today I am joined by Hiten Keshave, CEO and founder of Shop Online Today.

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Brant's Rant is a weekly deep dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Industry Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

If, as a society, we choose capitalism, then we need it to solve problems, not create them. Disruption is happening all around us. Together, let’s grab the bull by the horns to make it work for all of us. Join the movement at
https://bcoop.co/d4a

Want Brant to help you with a business problem you have in your business? Apply to be on the show- https://bcoop.co/video

Learn more about Brant- http://www.brantcooper.com
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Brant's Rant- Startup Jam with Guest Founder William Marrs

October 1st

“Go big or Go home!” So goes the tech startup cliche, but is it true? Well, no, of course not.
But entrepreneurs usually do have a grand vision, if not a grand illusion. Which is great! People get excited about a big vision. But to succeed, you need a laser-focused, go-to-market strategy.

In my Startup Jam segments, I help entrepreneurs and corporate developers overcome obstacles on the fly.

Today I am joined by William Marrs. We are going to try to tackle understanding and then testing Will’s ideal market segments. Check it out!

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Brant's Rant is a weekly deep dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Industry Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

If, as a society, we choose capitalism, then we need it to solve problems, not create them. Disruption is happening all around us. Together, let’s grab the bull by the horns to make it work for all of us. Join the movement at
https://bcoop.co/d4a

Want Brant to help you with a business problem you have in your business? Apply to be on the show- https://bcoop.co/video

Learn more about Brant- http://www.brantcooper.com
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Why you need to stop re-organizing your business

April 29th

Is your company stuck in a cycle of endless reorgs?

It’s no secret that we have moved out of the industrial revolution and into the age of digital transformation.

We need to focus more on updating our collective mindset rather than technology, in other words, digitizing products. This leads to failure. Failure leads to--you guessed it--more reorgs.

Lasting mindset change is brought on by practicing new behaviors and by demonstrating impact based on those behaviors.

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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Industry Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

If, as a society, we choose capitalism, then we need it to solve problems, not create them. Disruption is happening all around us. Together, let’s grab the bull by the horns to make it work for all of us.

Join the movement at https://www.brantcooper.com
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The type of culture your company needs

April 22nd

This video is private. ...

The mindset change that will improve your business

April 15th

You may have heard me talk about the 5 E’s -- Empathy, Exploration, Equilibrium, Evidence, & Ethics. These elements are the basis for instilling lasting mindset changes within an organization.

Empathy is about trying to understand people deeply. The more we understand people and their decision making processes, the more we can create new ways to address their needs.

Exploration helps to overcome near constant disruption and uncertainty. We are born learners, and there are new ways for us to think and collaborate when we face the unknown.

Equilibrium brings balance to execution and exploration work. Our execution work is made better when it is in balance with our learning work.

Evidence measures the progress towards the impact on your initiatives. We should leverage this data + qualitative insights to cut through our biases and drive decision making.

Ethics allows us to define expected behaviors for the work that is being done.

Getting a mindset change to stick REQUIRES ALL 5 E’s.

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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Industry Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

If, as a society, we choose capitalism, then we need it to solve problems, not create them. Disruption is happening all around us. Together, let’s grab the bull by the horns to make it work for all of us.

Join the movement at https://www.brantcooper.com
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Is Your Business Disruption Proof?

April 8th

This video is private. ...

What's the Return Policy on 2021?

January 7th

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Brant's Rant is a weekly deep dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Industry Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

If, as a society, we choose capitalism, then we need it to solve problems, not create them. Disruption is happening all around us. Together, let’s grab the bull by the horns to make it work for all of us. Join the movement at
https://bcoop.co/d4a

Want Brant to help you with a business problem you have in your business? Apply to be on the show- https://bcoop.co/video

Learn more about Brant- http://www.brantcooper.com
...

Horizon by Outcome

April 1st

Is evidence driving your innovative solutions?

As I’ve mentioned over the past couple rants, the Horizon Planning model was originally based on finding new revenue streams over time, spanning from today (H1) through the distant future (H3). The Innovation industry changed this model to strategize based on the level of innovation, i.e. continuous improvement, incremental innovation, or breakthrough innovation.

However, neither model works perfectly. Instead, we should be measuring horizon levels based on the amount of evidence we have that a particular initiative will work and how long we think it will take to come to fruition.

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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Industry Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

If, as a society, we choose capitalism, then we need it to solve problems, not create them. Disruption is happening all around us. Together, let’s grab the bull by the horns to make it work for all of us.

Join the movement at https://www.brantcooper.com
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Horizon Planning is for Another Time

March 18th

This video is private. ...

Empower People. Create Value. Drive Change.

March 11th

Humans are naturally creative beings. If you don’t believe it, look at the imagination of children. A cardboard box, to a child, can be anything from a spaceship to a castle. This natural creativity should be fostered and grown throughout our lives, including who we are at work as adults. True innovation comes from giving people the space and time to creatively solve problems.

Lasting change happens by inspiration at the grassroots level. Are you empowered to be creative?

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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Industry Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

If, as a society, we choose capitalism, then we need it to solve problems, not create them. Disruption is happening all around us. Together, let’s grab the bull by the horns to make it work for all of us.

Join the movement at https://www.brantcooper.com
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Is Business Efficiency Efficiently Measured?

March 5th

The idea of measuring efficiency in business is academic exercise. Because it’s relatively easy to measure, economists and financial folk look at the amount of output generated per input or the amount of profit we get for each dollar spent measuring financial efficiency.

I’m guessing this arose from manufacturing and has stuck past its usefulness. Producing a bunch of stuff at the lowest cost isn’t necessarily efficient, if you hurt the value being created for stakeholders.
This becomes a more important question as the world becomes more complex. The question we should be asking is not can we be more efficient but should we? Or better yet, how can we change how efficiency is measured?

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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Industry Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

If, as a society, we choose capitalism, then we need it to solve problems, not create them. Disruption is happening all around us. Together, let’s grab the bull by the horns to make it work for all of us.

Join the movement at https://www.brantcooper.com
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Everything I know about entrepreneurship I learned from a 5,000 word essay

February 25th

Does Academia understand entrepreneurs and innovators?

The way Academia studies humans and how they do their work is important. Their models are largely based upon looking back at what companies and startups did to succeed. Their actions are broken down, analyzed, and reassembled with fancy names and constructed into models. The models are supposed to be used, one would think, by entrepreneurs and business people to help their companies thrive.

But are they used? Are models even useful? Do academics produce models for the world or for themselves?
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Execution Work is the Nail Gun of Agile

February 18th

Uncertainty caused by increased complexity and continuous disruption demonstrate the need to balance execution with exploration work. Typically, the fear is that exploration costs execution time. Middle management can help.

In agile organizations, middle managers should have more time to be proactive since they’re not dictating work. Aware of upper management priorities and agile team missions, they allocate resources based on need, balance the flow of communications, and balance execution and explore work across the group.

Exploration work properly done increases the efficiency of the execution work.

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Brant's Rant is a weekly dive into the world of innovation, startups, tech, product development, and business from #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Industry Disruptor, Brant Cooper.

If, as a society, we choose capitalism, then we need it to solve problems, not create them. Disruption is happening all around us. Together, let’s grab the bull by the horns to make it work for all of us.

Join the movement at https://www.brantcooper.com
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