Ep. 96 – Bob Pacanovsky | Develop a Black Tie Mindset & Discover the Power of Hospitality

Bob Pacanovsky is what you might call a “Wow!” expert – with 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, primarily in the hospitality space, he has learned how create engagement, retention, and loyalty with customers, employees, and clients. Bob took that expertise and founded The Black Tie Experience, which helps companies and leaders create that Black Tie Experience for their customers and employees.

The black tie is much more than a uniform – it’s a mindset. You don’t actually have to have a black tie on to deliver a Black Tie Mindset, you just have to create an impression that LASTS:

  • Look
  • Act
  • Speak
  • Tact (or how you behave)
  • Serve

We tend to rush to the service part because we want to create an unbelieve customer or employee experience, but “we have to know how to look the part and act the part before we can actually serve the part.”

One of the most important things to keep in mind – and this can be difficult – when working with other people, whether they’re your customers or employees, is that it’s not about you as a host or leader, it’s about them.

“If you have a mindset of making people feel differently about your product, your service, and themselves than they ever have before, then you’re really living the Black Tie Mindset.”

The 4 Principles to Create a Black Tie Experience:

  1. A Culture of Welcome – Create a welcoming culture (not only for your employees, but also for your customers or guests). What is the culture, or the atmosphere, like in your company?
  2. The Way of Doings Things – What is your company’s way of doings things? Disney, Apple, and Starbucks all have their own unique way of doings things, and it affects how you experience their brands. However, most companies aren’t spending enough time training their employees to wow people.
  3. Impact Points – These are the subconscious impressions that people make about your business before, during, or after they purchase something. For example, what impression does your website make, or what does your restroom look like?
  4. Put Yourself in your Customer’s Shoes – What does your customer see, hear, touch, or smell when they come into your business, or interact with you online?

You’ve probably heard me say in the past that we’re all in the people business, even if we’re accountants – Bob takes it a step farther, arguing that we’re all in the hospitality business… and it makes a lot of sense!

The definition of hospitality is, “The art of making that personal connection with someone,” and based on that definition, aren’t we all in the hospitality business, first and foremost?

So yes, we are in the people business, and we do need to focus on customer and employee experiences and retention, but we can’t excel at those things if we forget about the power of hospitality.

 

Download this Episode MP3.

 

Resources:

Improv Is No Joke is produced by Podcast Masters

Ep. 95 – Kristen Rampe | Another CPA Who’s All Things Improv Shares a New Training Tool for Speaking Success

Kristen Rampe,  Founder of Kristen Rampe Consulting, returns to the show to discuss how CPE educators can get the best out of their presenters and subject matter experts and a new training tool for those who want to build confidence when speaking in front of a crowd: PowerPoint Improv!

 

If you want to get better at speaking, this episode is for you.

 

Kristen conducted an excellent breakout session during the 2018 CPE Educators Conference, in which a group of us discussed how we can get more engagement from our audiences.

 

One of the things she talked about was giving the different personas in the room what they need – but what does it really mean to know your audience?

 

You need an understanding of…

 

  • Who’s in the room
  • What their background is
  • Why they’re there
  • What they want to learn

 

If you don’t know who they are and what they want, it’s going to be a lot harder to provide value or engage them. Remember: in any speaking engagement, it’s not about you, it’s about the audience.

 

PowerPoint Improv

Kristen recently discovered this new kind of improv, which she’s calling Slide Deck Improv, and I’m fascinated by the concept. It sounds like excellent training for any professional speakers, or just anyone who wants more confidence in front of crowds. Plus, it sounds like fun!

 

The premise is simple:

 

  1. After some basic improv education and warm ups, participants get on a stage with a slide deck that they’ve never seen before.
  2. In proper improv fashion, they get a topic from the audience.
  3. The participant gives a presentation on that topic!

 

Kristen says most people go into this a little bit nervous, naturally, but then they realize just how much they can do, how much they know, and how many stories they can tell.


Check out kristenrampe.com/slide-deck-improv to learn more, and to see a video of Slide Deck Improv in action.

 

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Improv Is No Joke is produced by
Podcast Masters

Ep 92 Show Notes: Mary Foley – Dawn a Red Cape, Be Bodacious, & Take Charge of Your Life

Mary Foley energizes female entrepreneurs with the clarity, confidence, and tools to attract, engage, and win more clients. She is an author, energizing keynote speaker, business mentor, host of the P.O.W.E.R. Plug Podcast, and a lover of red capes.

On today’s episode, we discuss her book Bodacious! Woman: Outrageously in Charge of Your Life and Loving It! Her sense of humor and positivity comes through on every page of – as it does every minute of this podcast!

This book isn’t just for women, either. Her stories encapsulate the principles of improvisation and the philosophy of Yes, And (which is especially evident when she shares the story of showing up to work without a pair of pants).

If you look at Mary Foley’s website, you’ll see that being “bodacious” is more than something she uses to brand her content it’s a personal rallying cry.

“I realize that if I want to create the career I want, let alone the life I want, I need to get more bold and more guts – and that’s why the word “Bodacious” became a personal rallying cry.”

When you read the book, or hear Mary describe her journey towards bodaciousness, you’ll see that she is willing to do something that is very scary for a lot of people: take risks.

And if you are, like many of us, wary of taking a risk because you don’t know what’s going to happen, because you might fail, Mary has two words for you – So what?

If you try and something doesn’t work out, so what? You might be working off of a bad definition for failure, anyway. Mary’s definition of failure is “simply not trying” and making that internal mindset shift can dramatically change your relationship with risk.

“Your ability to take risks more easily and often, bounce back, and have a “Yes, And” perspective isn’t just a nice thing – it’s more and more a critical strategy for not just surviving, but thriving.”

Ep. 90 – Laura Stoll: Using Improv to Develop Internal Talent & Manage Change

Laura Stoll is the Talent Development Consultant at Ernst & Young, and she has a fascinating perspective on how you can develop top talent within your organization that is influenced by her background in improv.

Laura studied at Second City, iO, and ComedySportz Chicago. She even has the distinction of being the only student ever thrown out of previous guest (and current husband) Jay Sukow’s classroom!

At EY, Laura strategizes, designs, and consults on large-scale programs designed to improve the value of the internal talent organization, which includes over 8,000 people. Their big focus right now is on the Career Journey.

In every organization, people tend to resist change, especially the kind of large-scale change that Laura aims to create. So change management becomes critical, and that’s where the fundamentals of improv can really come into play.

Improv isn’t about making things up––it’s about planning like mad, and then being prepared to throw your script away to meet the needs of the person you are talking to or working with. Learning improvisational skills inspires a more adaptable mindset, and you can’t approach change without that.

Possibly the most exciting thing about Laura’s work at EY is that other people see the value of these skills, and the top leaders in the organization are getting excited about improv. There’s simply no way to effectively inspire a change in culture without buy-in from the top, so this is a huge step for a huge organization.

And taking that step isn’t optional any more, for any organization. Global markets and whole industries are shifting rapidly – the organizations and individuals who resist change will be left behind.

“If you’re not actively moving to shift your skill set so that you can be more in the moment, react, and respond – and ultimately be a trusted business advisor – you’re going to be left behind because that’s just the way things are evolving.”

If you want to take your first step today, just practice awareness: When you feel yourself putting up a wall, saying no, or reacting negatively, pause and ask yourself, “How could it work?” It’s basic, but that little tweak will start you on the path to change.

Download this Episode MP3.

 

Resources:

Show Notes – Episode 88: The Roadmap to the New Firm with Jody Padar

Jody Padar, AKA The Radical CPA, is a leader driven by a passion to foster real change in the accounting profession. She represents the next generation of accounting professionals, leading the vanguard for both digital CPAs and future-ready firms.

Jody returns to the show to discuss her new book, From Success to Significance: The Radical CPA Guide, which is a practice-proven roadmap to a new business model for CPA firms. If you’re looking to change and you’re not sure how to begin, this lays out the steps of creating change through practical strategies, tools, tips, insights, guest experts, and case studies.

So what does the New Firm look like?

•Technology is part of the core of the firm and is used to facilitate closer client relationships.

•The business model transforms: instead of doing every kind of work for every kind of customer, they’ve niched down.

•They productize everything offered, so they don’t track or bill by time and, instead, offer everything they do at a fixed or value price.

There’s no question: technology is having a significant impact on CPA firms. So how are our firms going to evolve and transform their business model to react to them, and to innovate with them?

“We can’t change fast enough. We really have to transform our accounting firms so that we can be relevant. Change doesn’t work anymore. We really need transformation.”

And this transformation isn’t just at the firm or technology level – it’s a total mindset shift that everyone needs to buy into. Everyone in The New Firm needs to be adaptable, forward-thinking, and more than just an accountant.

The computers are going to do most of the accounting work, so we need to be better consultants and trusted business advisors.

We need to be Radical CPAs.