Produced by Pikkal & Co - Award-Winning Podcast Agency.
The XL Podcast by Graham Brown showcases conversations with Authentic Leaders in business and society. By creating conversations not interviews, XL highlights Leaders in their own words, without PR spin or handlers. XL brings regular hard-hitting insights and transformative journeys outside the comfort zone of regular business.
Previous XL guests include Tony Fernandes (CEO AirAsia), Howard Yu (Author & Professor of IMD), Rod Drury (CEO Founder Xero), Hal Bosher (CEO Yoma Bank), Jiawen Ngeow (Successful entrepreneur with $25m exits), Mun Ching Yap (Head of The Air Asia Foundation), Sahar Hashemi (Founder of Costa Coffee and named in The Independent on Sunday as one of The "20 most powerful women in Britain”), Lewis Pugh ("The Human Polar Bear”, UN Patron of The Oceans and World Record holding Swimmer) and Rob Nail (CEO of Singularity University)
XL34: Sarah Stow - Launching Businesses of the Underserved Mumpreneur
Sarah joins us on the XL Podcast today from her beautiful farm in Australia. She sold her financial services a few years back when she realized she needed to make some serious lifestyle choices when starting a family. 2 kids and a farm later, she’s helping skilled Mums in making these choices. We’re talking skilled professionals from the worlds of accountancy, legal and medicine who have a lot to give but cannot see themselves returning to corporate life to realize that purpose.
Through her podcast and business community, Sarah has identified 2 key limitations that hold would-be Mumpreneurs back. First is the guilt associated with starting a business while being a Mum. “Most have only 2 hours a day not the 10-12 hours that mainstream ‘hustle’ culture requires”. So, business success for this community has to start with the lifestyle goal and design the business around this outcome. The second is knowledge or confidence. Many lack the framework or tools to work through the process of launching a business. In this episode, Sarah shares her how her 10 week launch programme works and how it provides a track for would be entrepreneurs to run on.
For more information on Sarah, check out these links:
Launch Your Biz Now podcast: https://link.chtbl.com/launchyourbiznow
Free New Biz Tool Kit: https://businessbrains.co/toolkit
Instagram (Business brains): https://instagram.com/businessbrains.au
Instagram (Oakley Farm): https://instagram.com/oakleyfarm_
XL33: Kevin Brent - The Systems Business Owners Need to Scale Up
We’re joined today by Author of “The Entrpreneurial ScaleUp System” and Podcast Host of “ScaleUp Radio” Kevin Brent to discuss business systems and rhythm. Did you know only 4% of businesses grow beyond 10 employees? While some happily stay small, many experience common symptoms faced by business owners who don’t have the right systems or rhythm in place to help them grow beyond a small business that may be living month to month. Those symptoms include the “plate spinning” of dealing with urgent client requests, growing revenues not manifesting as cash in the bank or even people issues. In this conversation we discuss what kind of checks and systems a business owner needs to put in place on a weekly, monthly and 90 day timeline, as well as the playbooks they need for each stage of growth.
For more information on Kevin’s book, podcast and work, check out these links:
The Entrepreneurial ScaleUp System
Scale Up Radio
XL32: Atul Temurnikar - Building the School of the Future
I’m joined on today’s XL Podcast by Atul Temurnikar, Chairman of the Global Schools Foundations. In a previous life, Atul was country leader for IBM in Singapore. After leaving corporate he set up a private school, originally for Indian expat families in the region. With demand and word of mouth growing, one school became two, eventually becoming 35 schools managed in the GSF family globally.
School and education is changing. Not only has the pandemic challenged educators to rethink how and why they deliver schooling, but the whole education system requires transformation. As a business leader, Atul is able to bring new skill sets and ways of thinkings to the challenges of education. Not only applying concepts like quality management and data analytics to schooling but also in understanding the drivers that compel a family or an entrepreneur themselves to set up and run a school.
In this conversation we look at how GSF schools didn’t just survive but thrive in the pandemic, how they are leading digital transformation and also how they work with family owned schools globally that may be facing transition or legacy challenges.
XL31: Ed Frame - Retention is The New Acquisition
When it comes to selling to new customers or existing ones, the data is firmly on the side of the customers you have already. Research by Bain & Company found that a 5% increase in retention rate can lead to a rise in profit between 25% to 95%. Similarly, Invesp found that investing in new customers is between 5 and 25 times more expensive than retaining existing ones.
Key to success is a world class post-sale customer experience. According to HubSpot Research, 55% of growing companies think it’s “very important” to invest in customer service programs. My next guest on the XL Podcast, Ed Frame from Exemplify, wants to help companies unlock the value of their existing customers. The challenge, Ed shares, is that companies may be stuck in the comfort zone of acquiring new customers, in paid advertising for example, and lack the processes and workflows to create a seamless experience once the sales gets the deal over the line.
And there’s good reason to invest in the post-sale experience. “Buyer’s Remorse” is real. We’ve all experienced doubt after a purchase, especially with higher ticket price services or products. Did I buy this on impulse? Did I make the wrong decision? When buyers experience this emotion, the experience can degrade rapidly, leading to higher servicing, recall and attrition costs. The good news is that small touches can have a big impact - a welcome onboarding call or video for example can allay initial buyer fears and set you up for a long term, profitable relationship with your customers. That means customers who buy again, and refer you to their friends.
All this requires good process, of course, and good process requires planning. In this podcast, Ed discusses what you need to map out a customer journey and the processes you need to create a world class post-sale customer experience.
XL30: Natalie Turner - Yes You Can Innovate and The 6 ‘I’s of Innovation
We record this episode of The XL Podcast 95 years ago to the day that US based Bell Labs revealed a system for transmitting television pictures. And while this took place almost a century ago, this image of innovation, one of “labs”, “reveals” and, let’s face it, men, driving the process is still persistent today.
Natalie Turner, co-founder of The Entheo Network, author of “Yes You Can Innovate”, joins us on the podcast today to help draw a map of modern innovation for enterprise. While disruptive technologies like a new form of television may be a form of innovation, it’s just one. There are not only many different forms of innovation (such as product, service or society) but also different types of innovators. In this conversation, Natalie discusses the different types of innovation mindsets and personalities. The “Igniters” (the first i of the 6) are the best known and most celebrated in media, but there are many other types of innovators who are both critical to making innovation a success and often overlooked leadership. Innovation is a lot more complex and diverse than those simpler days of Bell Labs.
Leaders today need to unlock innovation at all levels of the organization, and that starts with creating a framework for innovation. Igniters may be the spark to create change, but how leaders empower and support the “Identifiers”, “Investors” and the other innovation personalities is key to long term success. For the modern team, more inclusive conversations about innovation are fundamental to success. A recent Boston Consulting report noted that diverse teams are 2.2x more likely to be “innovation leaders” rather than laggards. These outcomes lie in smart process and smart cultures, rather than simply relying on smart people.
If innovation’s in your job title, you’re curious about what kind of innovator you are, or you’re leading transformation in your organization, this episode with Natalie Turner is a must listen.
XL29: LARRAINE CHANG - Successful Careers are by Design not Accident: How the Decisions You Make Today Will Shape Your Career Tomorrow
The world of work is changing. We all know how the pandemic has radically changed how we work and how we hire talent. But, more importantly, the bigger changes lies with those being hired, us.
In this episode of The XL Podcast I’m joined by Hong Kong based headhunter Larraine Chang to get a top level view of what is working (and what isn’t working) in the ever evolving world of careers. One of the big changes in the talent market is how and why people are choosing to move. While salary and company brand are still important, other factors now come into play. As Larraine shares, candidates are more likely to go check out the backstory of an organization, learn about their DEI, ESG and work culture in assessing the overall appeal of a next move.
Candidates are also increasingly aware of the developmental opportunities in an organization. In a recent survey on Linkedin, the number 1 skill listed by Headhunters and Hirers as the skill they most wanted to acquire or focus on was “personal development” (44% of responses). Headhunters are no longer in the business of placing candidates, they are increasingly advising and coaching people on how to make the right career choices. A good Headhunter not only needs to know the organization’s needs, but also the intrinsic motivations of their candidates too.
Larraine advises leaders on the importance of “career by design” as opposed to “by default”. No matter how strong your CV resume, you need to make a conscious decision of how to manage perceptions about your career move. “By design” means planning your career move to make change on your terms rather than by accident, tips which Larraine shares in this podcast episode.
Lots of great insights packed into a short and simple format!
XL 10 Minute Leaders host Graham Brown does a great job of delving deep into discussion topics - even in just in 10 minutes! I’m grateful to have been featured!