Here we are, at the window of a new year, full of potential and opportunity. Oh, it’s true that both of these benefits might be disguised in a sea of unpredictability and rapid change, but they’re there. The challenge will be to structure your thinking and actions to become impactful. The battlefield will be about choices and connections. I hope my newsletter, blog and writings will continue to help you make a true and real difference.

So, what does the first month of the New Year look like for Creative Ventures? Here you go:

The Lines are Drawn
A Borderless Office

One project that hits my planning table during the very first week of 2010 is the need to drill down to application strategies; key elements of my Repeatable Successful Acts platform (RSA). This program is based on my two year study into the behavioral habits of million dollar producers from five different industries. I thought I would take you through one of these application sessions so you can see how thought connects to application.

In the brief form the newsletter allows, let’s start with the RSA, “I plan and perform a level above expectations.” Great producers look for ways to continue their success by moving their performance UP a level. They have the basics down and move to create practices to separate and differentiate themselves in a crowded market by searching for opportunities to step their performance up a notch.

In order to do this they and their organizations spend time defining client expectations. In order to step up, they know they need a starting point, a current reality of all the ways their clients “experience” their service and product. I created a process called THE EXPERIENCE MAP to do just that. This facilitated, team process creates a focused three part map that simplifies the core client experience. Once you have this information you can take the creative plunge into ideas that raise the experience to a new level.

The key to performing above the current level of expectations is to have a simple but impactful plan that creates both value and differentiation. Here is a quick client example:

At a restaurant you would think that defining the diners experience would be easy, BUT the actual way it can be impacted would surprise you.

For this example I want to focus on the client experience at the restaurant. Though the arrival and exit are key parts, the center three pieces make up the core experience - The Greet, The Table Experience and The Product (food):

Most diners expect friendly service, but The Experience Map provided an opportunity to move from friendly to personal, to create a new level of impact.

To move one level above expectations we attacked the arrival and greet piece by focusing on capturing the name of every guest at the point of contact. Either a phone reservation (the great majority) or the host/hostess greeting point. The guest name was then passed on to the server allowing them to greet EVERY guest by name. The guest name was also passed on to the valet (the only way to park at each of the clients restaurants). This impacted the EXIT for every diner.

This simple change allowed every dining guest to be greeted by NAME, creating an intimate and familiar contact point that engaged the guest on a personal level. This simple, but powerful idea has created a huge impact on the dining experience and was just ONE result of The Experience Map.

Gather your troops and spend some focused time dissecting the way your customers experience YOU and look for creative, impactful ways to kick it up a level to create the RSA of – I plan and perform one level above expectations!

Need some help, give me a shout!


2010 TED Conference is set: Most of my readers have become good friends of the TED web site and the TED Conferences. In a nutshell, every year the smartest people from a variety of fields gather to share their ideas. Each is given about 20 minutes to present and each presentation is filmed and made available to the world free of charge. Here is the line up for 2010.


Big Business of College Football: As the college football season is winding down (Go Horns!) I am always reminded of what big business this sport really is:

But who cares, right, it’s just about grabbing that weekend win against that hated rival!

Banner Year for the Movies: Despite the recession you might have read about, it seems we still like to fork out a few bucks for a little escapism at the movies. For the first time in history 2009 movie revenues will exceed $10 billion. Transformers 2 – Revenge of the Fallen was the box office leader grossing more than $400,000,000 with a production cost of an estimated $110,000,000. Though its numbers are impressive it pales in comparative ticket sales of 56,000 with the all time leader, 1998’s Titanic which sold almost 100,000 tickets. The top grossing films are all escapism, comedy or feel good films. My annual Top 10 & Bottom 5 movie list will be available the first week of January. If you want a copy you have send me a note!


Interested in these ideas?


You can contact Steve at or give him a call at 972-490-7717.
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