200 episodes

Welcome to the Social Capital Podcast, where we dive into social relationships and how the investment you put into them establishes trust, reciprocity, and value within your network and community.

Our host, Lori Highby, will connect with top professionals and dive into their best networking stories and techniques to share with you!

Social Capital Lori Highby

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 82 Ratings

Welcome to the Social Capital Podcast, where we dive into social relationships and how the investment you put into them establishes trust, reciprocity, and value within your network and community.

Our host, Lori Highby, will connect with top professionals and dive into their best networking stories and techniques to share with you!

    359: Branding Your Company Inward

    359: Branding Your Company Inward

    Meet KarleyBusiness Growth Accelerator and Brand Strategist Karley Cunningham takes businesses from overcrowded, competitive spaces into blue ocean territory where they can confidently stand out and thrive as brand leaders in their sector. Her international client base benefits from accelerated growth, profit and stability as her innovative Surefire Method provides them with a sure-fire strategy and toolkit that enables them to charge a premium, attract ideal clients, and outpace their competitors.
    What is the strategy before the strategy? And how has it helped motivate business motivated business owners to accelerate their growth and success?One of the questions we get a lot from business owners and leaders or a management team at the top is how do we align everyone and everything? And what they're essentially asking us is when they're delivering when anybody is coming into a touch point with their company, how are we ensuring that people are acting in alignment? And that they're making the right decisions? This is delivering the right customer experience? Or it could be a supplier experience? How are we strengthening those relationships and building our reputation with every touchpoint? And so the strategy before the strategy is a piece that we recognized about three years ago, that was saying, Well, how are we guiding everyone and to simplify? Sometimes when I say strategy, I know people's perception, their brain goes, “Oh, no, this gets complicated.” And this is what I tell people: to think about strategy as the overarching “how”. It's just how we go about doing everything. And so business owners and leaders are often feeling like they're walking around all the time telling people okay, don't forget that this is our purpose for existing. And don't forget that this is who we are. And this is how we need to show up. And if we look at the higher levels in management, each manager is in charge of the strategy for their departments. So when you've got marketing, doing one strategy and HR doing another strategy, and I know, for you in digital marketing, that's probably your worst nightmare, because all of a sudden, you've got two brand things going on. Yeah, yeah. Right. So we looked at, okay, how can we give them a simple strategy to align everyone and everything? And it's a simple set of questions. If you can empower your team with these questions, anybody at every level, then they'll start thinking about making purposeful and aligned decisions. And it's simply that if they're going to make a decision, consider or take an opportunity, make an innovation or take an action, they need to ask themselves: will we be acting in alignment and living our organizational purpose? If we do this thing, will we be acting in alignment and living our values or guiding principles? Will we be acting in alignment with our brand character and making people feel the way we want them to feel? And ultimately, if we're making this decision, is it going to move us closer to achieving our short mid term goal and inner vision?
    What is the thing that you found most businesses are missing, that prevents them from filling their pipeline and closing the deals or bringing in new customers?This was shocking to me when I went back and looked at our past client list because I like data, and I'm sure you'd like data. And I realized that 98% of the businesses that come to us to help them build their brands, help them get core clear communication, don't have a clear understanding of who their target audience profiles are, who their target audiences are. And I'm not just talking about clients, there's also some misses in there as well. But when I say, people will come to us with a persona, a slight description, but we need to go really deep, understanding the problems that we solve for our ideal clients, understanding their mindset, and what they believe and what their worldview is. And often the other misses are, yeah, we all have clients, but we all ha

    • 35 min
    358: We Evolved to Network - with Tim Ash

    358: We Evolved to Network - with Tim Ash

    Meet TimTim Ash is an acknowledged authority on evolutionary psychology and digital marketing. He is a sought-after international keynote speaker, and the bestselling author of Unleash Your Primal Brain and Landing Page Optimization. Tim has been mentioned by Forbes as a Top-10 Online Marketing Expert, and by Entrepreneur Magazine as an Online Marketing Influencer To Watch. He is a former digital agency head, international keynote speaker, and marketing consultant to top companies.
    How does evolutionary psychology help us to understand our social natures?Well, our brains evolved for a reason. And we share things with the earliest forms of life on Earth, like insects and more primitive or let's say, more ancient forms of life. And then, as we evolved, we layered on different things so that at the very end of our evolution, we gotten some really, really bizarre to species level stuff that makes us unique. In fact, I'd say that's why we took over the whole planet. And so understanding that evolutionary path, and some of the things that we inherited along the way, helps us to understand how to be in relationships with each other, whether that's in business, or in personal relationships.
    Why is storytelling important? And, more importantly, how does it work?I like to go back to first principles and evolution to define all this stuff. And so I like to ask the question, why is storytelling even something we do? Why do we have language? Why do we tell stories? And we're highly cultural creatures, we'll probably talk about that in more depth as well. But one of the things that we can do is learn from each other. So you know that you can learn from your own mistakes or other people's mistakes. And by being able to learn from other people's mistakes, we avoid danger, we increase our chances of survival. So if I said, hey, Lori, if you keep going down that forest path, and around the bend, you're gonna run into a really angry mama bear and it's gonna tear you to shreds. I got the scars to prove it right here. I'm still bleeding from the encounter with the bear. Right? That's probably useful information to you. Can we agree on that? Absolutely. So basically, what I did just saved us the danger, or the time investment, and the uncertainty of dealing with that situation by telling you about it. So what I did is I kind of transferred my experiences into your head. I don't know if you've ever watched the old Star Trek show. They had Mr. Spock, he was a very logical Vulcan and he could do this Vulcan mind meld where he'd put his hands on your skull and transfer his experiences directly into your head. And it seems so far-fetched, but that's essentially what stories do. They've shown on brain scans that if a teller is telling a story with a very slight delay, the recipient on the other end is activating the same parts of the brain. So you're really doing a kind of a mind meld and transferring your experiences into someone else by telling a story, a very powerful way to help you survive.
    Lori: I love that. Your focus sounded like it was heavy on the education side of things, but also storytelling, from my perspective. And just the way that people connect is and want to be part of a conversation or pull more information is not only education, but also entertainment. I think it's a combination of the two.
    Well, again, from an evolutionary standpoint, I don't think entertainment is a goal. But I'd say that entertainment helps the medicine go down. So if I'm telling you an experience, I might choose to be funny about it and then that makes you more engaged with it, which forms a stronger memory of my story. So absolutely, that's important. One other thing too, that's super important, is knowing that the morals that people get from the same story are going to be very different based on our experiences and our cultural beliefs. That depends on which tribe we're in. So the same objective reality will land very differently when I tell that...

    • 26 min
    357: The Pendulum of Work and Life - with Tiffany Cooley

    357: The Pendulum of Work and Life - with Tiffany Cooley

    Meet TiffanyTiffany is a mother of three, wife, content creator, forever sunkissed and CMO (Chief Marketing + Customer Officer) at Wantable. She has over 15 years of experience in marketing and retail. Prior to taking on her role at Wantable, Tiffany was the Vice President of Marketing for a large multi-billion dollar retailer before the age of 30. In addition, she’s had the opportunity to consult for Fortune 500 companies, helped lead several major retailers, and mentor teams across the country.
    What's your vision for Wantable as a brand? How does that align with your personal brand?Yeah, I was fortunate to get in, in managing and leading a number of teams at Wantable, about four years ago, we've definitely evolved in a brand and my perspective on branding is that it is a living, breathing thing that you consistently work on and evolve and elevate based on your customers because they're dynamic, and so forth. So where we are today is that we're here really to fuel self confidence in our customers. I've said this in many other spaces in many other conversations, but clothing and what you wear and what you put on is a material thing, but it's really the value that we create and how it makes you feel, finding the right fit, making sure that you feel confident and taking whatever it is in the world that you have to do that day, whether it's just running to the grocery store, doing chores, or, you know, going into the office and going into a big meeting. So how you look is how you feel on putting their confidence back in women's lives so that they feel ready to take on the day is something that we get behind and is our mission and brand purpose. How does that align with my personal brand? Well, I've always believed in confidence, you kind of have to look the part you have to like, walk the talk. I'm so bad with analogies but so I think that how it aligns with me is I am always looking to lift up others. It's why on the side, I started to get into some things on a personal level. That around life coaching and career coaching. So giving people confidence, that validation, just to make changes and feel good about what they're doing is something that I personally believe in as well.
    Can you tell me how you approach building a successful team and good culture?Yeah, I think this is probably a good spot to explain a little bit about Wantable. And why the unique business model that Wantable has has helped me build into some teams and get experiences that I've never had before. Wantable is I always say a cross between retail and relationship banking or insurance companies. It's really a relationship brand. We are a subscription try-before-you-buy retailer. So that is really different from my past retail experience where it's just kind of direct to consumer purchase online or purchase in a store. For that reason. We've got a service model and we have an E-commerce model. So as far as building teams, the cool part about what I've learned at Wantable, and what I've been able to take on as an executive there is building out teams from customer service to personal stylist to photo and creative and marketing. And also to some extent helping build out our engineering team and at times our merchandising team. So what I've learned, I guess, is that whatever the discipline is, there's always different types of people that you work with. Sometimes people are focused in a specialty or a specific area, and they really want to become a subject matter expert. And some people are really great at people management. What I found is that people earlier on in their career, or sometimes even mid career, feel like growth comes just from moving up. And it's like, oh, if I want to grow, I need to manage people, or I need to take on this leadership role. And then isn't what career growth always looks like, becoming a subject matter expert, and the best in a space can be just as rewarding and just as important and valuable to accompany as someone...

    • 28 min
    356: The Information Your People Need - with Bob Wise

    356: The Information Your People Need - with Bob Wise

    Meet BobBob is an experienced technology leader with 25 years in executive roles in cloud-based SaaS companies, including InterCall, West Corporation, http://freeconferencecall.com/ (FreeConferenceCall.com), and now Notiphy. Always taking a collaborative approach and being involved in all areas of the businesses, he endeavored to always improve decision-making with data. This led to starting Notiphy which tells you what your people did, where and when they did it, what data they collected, and how long they did it for.
    With an aging workforce and hiring being an issue today especially in industries like manufacturing and warehouse/distribution, how can technology help?Well, it's a great question. I've spent a lot of time really looking at, you know, all different areas of the labor force and work workflow, process management, and have had the opportunity to speak to so many people in manufacturing and other areas of the supply chain. And, and found, I mean, obviously, you know, there's been difficulty in hiring, especially now post-COVID. While we're sort of toward the tail end, but in this time period, it's been so hard for manufacturers to get frontline workers, and hiring young workers is, you know, to make it attractive, and manufacturing has been very difficult. And, you know, as you probably know, I mean, there's so many different factors that go into maintaining and hiring people, but you have to really show them that you've created an environment where people and technology are really balanced. And so they can see that they can safely and effectively perform their job and be, you know, and be a differentiator in the company. We know technology in general and the technology that we've developed can make workers more accountable, which by all studies is what they want. They can make them more efficient, productive and safer. And, you know, people have, you know, listened. We know that people have good days, people have bad days, you can't rely on them to remember everything, retain information on a stressful day, or execute the work without, you know, having information and the access to information at their fingertips. We don't need to replace paid people, but it really needs to enable them to be able to increase their performance and increase the company's performance. You know, additionally, technology, you know, helps maintain data that they didn't have before. So workers can, you know, input data into technology, transfer that data to other people. So as people leave, that data can be shared and not, it doesn't walk out the door as people are leaving the workforce.
    Where can technology help companies and their people be more productive and efficient?Well, you know, technology can really help tremendously. But people being more productive can really help the companies understand their data, so they can understand the labor efficiency, the actual labor, labor efficiency of their workforce, so they can continue to, you know, sort of move the ball forward and to what their expectations are. When you look at a lot of what happens on the floor of manufacturing or other areas of the supply chain, oftentimes, you know, you're gonna see a little chaos, right? I mean, you're gonna see people running around, you know, looking for paper, looking for manuals, waiting for somebody to answer a question to help. I mean, there have been some studies out there where people spend, you know, over five hours a week waiting for assistance, and, you know, two thirds of the time that can take, you know, a lot more time. I mean, as I sort of said before, I mean, technology can put that information, those videos that people might want to access, and those manuals at their fingertips, and really help them to, you know, to get that information while they're doing the job. It also can help with more on the job on the job training. And so gives them the ability to access that information while they're working. So it helps them be much...

    • 25 min
    355: Rethinking Sales in Small Businesses - with Bud Matthews

    355: Rethinking Sales in Small Businesses - with Bud Matthews

    Meet BudWith nearly 40 years of sales, marketing, and management experience at multiple Fortune 500 companies, Bud started Ascend Performance, LLC, powered by Sales Xceleration, utilizing his experience to help small to medium-sized companies obtain optimal results. He also works in talent selection, assisting companies in finding the right person for the right seat using state-of-the-art assessments. These assessments can also be used to understand skill sets as a basis for training and self-development.
    What is an outsourced VP of sales?I think in my bio, you talked about that I was a sales professional. I was in business for 40 years. So before I tell you what I do, I'd like to tell you why I do it. And those 40 years was really a curse and a blessing. And I worked for those two Fortune 500 companies, great organizations, I took away much. But I found myself over that time period traveling a lot. And what happened was that I traveled 80% of the time across the country and even across the world. And this caused me to miss a lot of family events, birthdays, school events, etc. And although I lived in Brookfield at the time, for over 20 years, I wasn't really part of the community. In fact, I really didn't even know my neighbors. And I'm ashamed to say that. So about a year and a half ago, I decided to make a change. And what I want to do is take that experience, knowledge and skills that I gained, while being a part of those organizations, to smaller companies in my community. And in doing so I can spend more time with my three grandchildren, enjoy our cabin up in the north woods and make a difference in the lives of small business owners, many of which now today I call my friends. So what is an outsourced VP of sales? Well, what I do is I come in to small-to-medium-sized organizations and I place a sales infrastructure within them. And what that means: it's a sales strategy, a sales process. I introduce KPIs to help drive the right sales behaviors toward company goals. I write job descriptions for sales professionals. I work out incentive plans. I focus on an outbound sales strategy, and that's the cold calls, and the prospecting, and the seven steps to selling that I implement within the organization. So once they get sales and revenue up, and that's what it's all designed to do: to help small to medium sized owners grow revenue, then I can either exit the business by hiring a replacement, or help them hire a replacement. Or I can train one of the sales professionals that they have within their organization to take over, and then periodically monitor and make sure that they're on task. It's a great job, I love every minute of it. It helps me spend a lot more time at home. And it helps me really gain fulfillment and joy in my job. And it's, it's not the old grind that sometimes we all face in a career, it's something that I really enjoy doing. And you know, sometimes I like to tell a story about how I got into it, and what the difference is, and how it kind of all works together. So I was called by a gentleman by the name of Michael Patrick Cola, and Michael ran a small food company in Elizabeth, New Jersey. And if you've ever been to Elizabeth, it's the place that you don't want to go to at night. But I remember going into Michael's manufacturing facility, and it was about a $7 million organization at the time. And I was walking up these big steps. And I looked into the office, and he had the corner office on the second floor of the manufacturing company. And I looked in there, and Michael was 52 years old at the time, and he was an Irish, Italian. And he had red hair and had these big red cheeks. And I looked at him and he says, "I need some help." He says, "I spend 12-14 hours a day in this place, I've got to run the operation, I've got to run the supply chain, I've got to buy raw materials. And then I had two sales guys over there in another room. And I don't know what the heck they're doing." So he says, "We've been

    • 24 min
    354: Navigating a Litigious World - with Dino Antonopoulous

    354: Navigating a Litigious World - with Dino Antonopoulous

    Meet DinoAntonopoulos Legal Group LLC represents closely held companies and financial institutions in corporate/business law, real estate law, civil litigation, commercial financing, estate planning, and probate matters. The number one goal of the firm is to help clients succeed and to protect them by continuing to be a difference-maker and game-changer in the legal world by applying our principles - honesty, hard work, loyalty, and a commitment to fight for our clients.
    How do you minimize litigation risk when hiring from a competitor?Yeah, so we see this, obviously, more and more. In today's world it's a little bit of a litigious world. But as we have our companies and companies out there that market and recruit various potential candidates and recruits, some of these recruits sometimes are under an employment agreement. Or it could be under various documents, such as handbooks or policies, commission agreements, and stock option agreements. And there are what we call restrictive covenants. So it could be a non-compete and non-disclosure of some sort. But these various restrictive covenants might limit the opportunity they have with that new company that they're going to be onboarding with. So as part of the interview process, you want to ask the potential recruit whether they have any restrictive covenants that they know of. But you got to dig a little bit deeper and say, "Okay, what have you signed? What have you received in your employment with your current employer?" And then ask those specific questions. Do they have an employment agreement? Do they have some sort of bonus plan, a commission agreement, a stock option agreement, or any sort of compensation agreement? The more that you dive into asking those specific questions the more it might trigger that recruiters say, "Oh, yeah, you know what, I did sign an employee handbook. Let me just take a look at that and see what that says." So you start there first. And then ultimately, if the recruit says no, and the interview goes, well, and you're ready to hire this recruit, then eventually you'd like to have that same sort of written confirmation from that recruit, which will be your employee, saying that no restrictive covenants exist. If one does exist, as that employer, that potential employer and you want to hire that individual, then you should get a copy of it to see what the restriction is to see whether it's enforceable or not. And that's where the legal starts to come in on that. So as we represent closely held companies, you know, we'll come across this issue all the time. And the ones that stay ahead of this are in the better position, where they'll contact us in this case, ask us to review this employment agreement or wherever these restrictive covenants are found and whether it's enforceable or not. And if we say yes, it is, then we kind of do a hard pass on that employee or we can always go back and negotiate some sort of buyout with or a resolution with that current employer as well. The ones that it becomes a little bit more pricey on and expensive and a little bit more of a headache or the ones that just kind of blindly hire the employee. And then a month or two down the line, you get a letter from a law firm saying that, hey, that employee was under some sort of restrictive covenant, and you're part of that right now and you're torturously interfering with that. And all of a sudden, we got a kind of a scramble and an issue with that. So there are the steps that we can take to minimize the risk, assess the risk, and then make a determination like anything in business. And as something that, you know, our key. Companies are really honing in on more and more today.
    Is that a conversation you have early on in the interviewing process?Yeah, I think if the interview is going well, for you, and you really feel like that's a strong candidate, a strong recruit, yeah, I would put that out there, whether it's in the first go-round that you're having a good...

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
82 Ratings

82 Ratings

David Shriner-Cahn ,

Why do you need to build relationships?

The Social Capital Podcast provides a plethora of strategies, actions and stories that can help you understand the importance of relationships for your business and your life.

Listening to just a few episodes will help you understand why you need to invest in developing relationships. In addition, you will come away from each episode with at least one idea that can help you improve your relationships.

McAtc ,

Check out episode #326

The conversation Lori and I had about connecting with purpose was rich with tactics on leveraging LinkedIn as an intentional networking, human-to-human tool in our relational tool belts. Give it a listen! I also included a discount code for listeners!

SGT Ed ,

Lori Gets to the Heart of Business

Lori knows the power of strong, growth-oriented relationships and the dividends they pay. Her interview style brings out the best in guests, and most of what you need to know to carry your business forward, you can find on her show.

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