Nine executives this morning gave business ideas and advice to a crowd of over 200 people for Springfield Business Journal’s and sbjLive’s second-annual 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes event.
Held at the AMC Springfield 11 IMAX Theater, each executive presented for seven minutes, followed by an audience question-and-answer session.
Below are the nine CEOs in alphabetical order and a sample of each presentation. SBJ will publish a full list of the executives’ 90 business ideas in the Dec. 11 edition.
Steve Baker, vice president, The Great Game of Business Inc.
Idea: Open the books to your employees.
“We are a nation of illiterates — financial illiterates. We don’t teach our kids anything about money,” he said. “It’s much easier to have the whole team on board.”
Jonathan Garard, co-owner, Grooms Office Environments
Idea: Do the right thing.
“When you do the wrong thing, the reality is there’s consequences. You have to stop and consider the choices you are about to make,” he said.
Jeff Houghton, host, “The Mystery Hour”
Idea: Go to therapy.
“You need to change your relationship with fear and risk. You need to figure yourself out before you lead people,” he said. “I killed my addiction to security.”
Alina Lehnert, owner, Lehnert Leadership Group LLC
Idea: Schedule self-care.
“I encourage you to insist that your team does that as well. Self-leadership is about regulating yourself,” she said. “I can get on my own nerves.”
Austin O’Reilly, CEO, Dynamic DNA Laboratories
Idea: Master your specialty and don’t multitask.
“Totally own that space and immerse yourself in it,” he said. “People are always going to be looking to you for that expert status.”
Carol Taylor, president, Evangel University
Idea: Hire for grit and those who will be all in.
“You can’t lead an organization in isolation,” she said. “It takes more than competence. It takes passion.”
Brad Thomas, president, Silver Dollar City Attractions
Idea: Be one who wants to learn versus one who knows.
“The knower will fall asleep at the wheel,” he said. “Understand and have respect for your customer.”
Karen Thomas, president, Oxford HealthCare
Idea: Do not be complacent.
“If we stand still, we are falling behind,” she said. “Success is a journey, not a destination.”
Mark Steiner, co-founder and CEO, GigSalad
Idea: Don’t do it alone.
“Have a good companion in your journey,” he said. “If you do not have a Toto, get a Toto.”
Below is a sampling of the audience Q&A.
Question: How do you lead a legacy organization?
Brad Thomas: It’s important that we recognize what are those sacred cows.
Taylor: Deep DNA is unchanged. That legacy endures. Never lose sight of the rich legacy.
Garard: It’s crazy when you own a business that’s as old as you are. History is everything. When all else fails, that’s all we have.
Question: What books would you recommend?
Baker: “Man's Search for Meaning.” The key is to find meaning in the suffering.
Garard: Max De Pree’s “Leadership Is an Art.”
Brad Thomas: Jim Collins’ “Good to Great.”
Karen Thomas: TED Talks.
Houghton: “The Book of You.”
O’Reilly: Tim Ferriss’ “Tools of Titans.”
Question: What do you see over the horizon that’s your biggest worry from a business standpoint?
Baker: Our biggest concerns are talent and government regulation.
Karen Thomas: Government regulation and reimbursement. How are we going to handle the change? Are we making the right investment? I feel like I’m balancing on the end of a pencil.
Question: How involved should a company be in their employees’ personal finances?
Baker: Use whatever you’ve got. It is so important. If they do better at work, they’ll do better at home. If they do better at home, they’ll do better in the community.
Question: I’m interested in getting into promotional videos. What’s the biggest thing that I can do?
Brad Thomas: We have to understand what do we own, what do we want to own.
Taylor: We want (marketers) to spend time getting to know us.
Karen Thomas: Make sure you understand what your clients’ goals are.
Following the event, attendee Doyle Childers said he wrote down an entire list's worth of advice.
"I find that every time I go to one of these, I always pick up something of use to myself or the people I work with that I can pass along,” said Childers, an energy and environmental consultant and former director of the the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Attendee Ben Sapp said he was encouraged by the discussion, particularly when it came to learning “other people are thinking what you’re thinking.”
"You have to always encourage people to be experts in their field and pass the knowledge down,” said Sapp Design Associates Architects’ communications director. “The trick is to be able to pass that down and not feel threatened they are moving out of their position."
Editor Eric Olson contributed.
Cape Girardeau-based carGo Technologies LLC launched its ride-hailing and delivery services in the Springfield market; the 90-bed, $8.7 million Lake Stockton Healthcare Facility began operating; and First Home Bank officially changed its name to Stockmens Bank.
“In the restaurant industry, the profit margins are very thin. Your two prime costs which is your food and labor are very high, and then you’ve got your rent and all your other expenses on top …
Carter, Marketing Officer for Central Trust Company, says he didn’t realize how important it is to listen until he started working with groups of people. “You can’t move the process forward …
“I let that negativity spread to me like a cancer, and that’s what it is in your organizations,” says Becky Borthwick, Associate Circuit Judge at 31st Circuit, State of Missouri. Borthwick says …
Ömer Önder showed a talent for writing at an early age, winning awards in his native Turkey. He later studied journalism and became a reporter, covering the Middle East, Turkey, and the …
“Branson’s brought in international folks for many decades to work in the show industry and other segments of our economy and they’re a vital part of our community whether they’re here …
“Sometimes you have mentors that are very informal — they don’t even know that they’re your mentor, just people that you admire and, I think, want to emulate,” says Crista Hogan, Executive …
Michael Doss, creator of Emerson Park, started making his own coffee soap as a hobby. Seeing a demand, he started selling products online and to retail stores across the country. Doss says they …
“When Millenials first entered the workplace, the expectation they brought with them was that the workplace needed to be designed for them. They were not coming to fit in, they were coming to …
Alisa Lawler, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development with Multipli Credit Union, says many employees ask their human resources director about borrowing money from their 401(k) plan. …
“I have days where I am on top of the world. I got more online orders today than I ever have and I’ve gotten an email from someone saying how good it is. And then I’ll have a week where I …