Finding Courage to Do Something Great

For a little more than a year, I’ve been involved with ECHO, an organization that helps people start charitable clinics based on the model of Church Health in Memphis. ECHO has ambitions to make a huge positive affect on creating access to high-quality healthcare for the underserved.

It will be a big deal if we reach our goals. Getting there will be difficult. In trying, I’ve learned a lot about myself and about what it takes to make a big difference. But I think it ultimately comes down to one thing:


Read More

Ethnography in Nonprofit Program Evaluation

Ask a nonprofit professional how her work is going, and you will likely be met with a passionate conversation about the difference she is making in the lives of her clients. Ask her how she is evaluating her program and the response will probably be less enthusiastic. You may hear about how many clients were served by the agency in a given time period or a dispassionate recounting of statistical information. Worse still, she may not have an answer at all!

Read More

Scaling the qual/quant divide

1) Qualitative and quantitative research and data collection are mutually exclusive
Tools used in qualitative and quantitative research look very different from one another and, in turn, yield very different results.

Read More

Finding Great Interns for Your Business

Internships: a symbiotic relationship helping to launch young adults into successful careers, or an exploitation of free labor?

The answer, much to the distress of everyone wanting an answer, probably depends. And, to further enrage you, won’t really be covered at all in this article. (If you’re bent out of shape about that, some simple Googling should quickly find you dozens of people that support your view.)

Philosophical debates aside, we’ve had a longstanding internship program here at Southern Growth Studio, and to our knowledge it’s been a fantastic experience for both our company and the young folks we work with. (Yes, we do pay them.)

Read More

Leverage Your Core Strength for Sustainable Growth

Most successful new businesses begin by taking advantage of a new, untapped opportunity developing in the marketplace. These businesses can grow organically for many years by continuing to take advantage of their formula for success. Take Nike, for example: during the 1980s and 1990s, Nike repeatedly took advantage of the burgeoning athletic gear market. The company leveraged its presence in athletic footwear to expand into athletic apparel, and ultimately into athletic equipment. Beginning with running, Nike would eventually expand into basketball, tennis, soccer, golf, and other sports by repeating this growth formula over and over again, in both the U.S. and internationally.

Read More

But what if it’s not statistically significant?

I met with some company stakeholders at a client’s office the other day, explaining our process and how we’d be using interviews and qualitative analysis to do a deep dive into the minds of their customers. Heads nodded, notes were taken, and one man seemed fit to burst into applause.

All sailing was smooth until I said, “We’re going to interview twenty of your customers to get this data.”

“Wait a second,” said a guy at the other end of the table who’s an avid reader of Devil’s Advocate Quarterly, “How will twenty interviews be statistically significant?”

Read More

Consumer Insights

Growth Insights

Understanding the wants, needs, and journeys of target customers has become a tenant of growth across the business, nonprofit, and government sectors. As various entities scramble to be at the forefront of Innovation, ahead of their competitors, the process for generating customer insights can get muddled.

Read More

Trust me, I’m a Thinker/Analyst

The coolest job title I’ve ever had is Thinker/Analyst.

Paraphrased highlights of the associated job description include: a voracious appetite for reading, critical consideration, imagination, and a willingness to challenge people to succeed. Data enters my brain where it is digested and turned into compelling insights and crucial business implications.

Read More

Dos and don’ts of content marketing

Inevitably, when we discuss brand objectives and marketing tactics with our clients, their main goal is to be recognized as “leaders,” “experts,” and “innovators.” How do they hope to achieve this? Without fail, the first question is always: “Can you help us fix our website? We just need it to look sleek and modern.”

Read More

Growth Chart Illustrated

The Real Value of Strategic Consulting

Is your company or organization slowing down? When growth becomes sluggish, it is important not to panic – know that many companies like yours go through distinct stages of fast, and then slower growth and that you can overcome the challenge. Like any doctor assessing a patient, it is critical to first accurately diagnose the problem so you can develop a strategy and plan that make sense.

Read More

Everything I’ve Learned Doing Sales for a Drink Startup Company

Howdy folks. It’s me again, your friendly neighborhood guy that just wants to tell you about this amazing new probiotic drink called Benefizz and why carrying it in the little cafe you own is your next big move.
That’s not exactly the sales pitch I use, but it’s not so far from the truth.

Read More

The key to true business Innovation

When I tell people I’m an anthropologist, they are more likely to assume I dig up ancient peoples or dinosaurs than to assume I consult businesses to identify and develop transformational growth strategies. While we can all appreciate Harrison Ford donning his iconic hat to smuggle treasure out of hidden temples or that twinkle in John Hammond’s eye when he talks about fossilized dino DNA (Note: Paleontology is NOT a part of Anthropology), Anthropology and the tools it offers are capable of so much more than studying past (and dead) cultures.

Read More