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Do You Walk It And Talk It?

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September 4, 2018

Do You Walk It And Talk It?

Compared to the collective knowledge of over 7 billion people on earth, there’s a whole lot we just don’t know.

As industry leaders, we often think what we don’t know can’t hurt us — at least as far as the relative health of our organizations.  Yet, the reality is, what is worse than not knowing is that which we cannot explain.

An organizational psychologist, Art Markman, explains,” in psychology, we call this cognitive barrier the illusion of explanatory depth. It means you think you fully understand something that you actually don’t.

Even the best internal processes for understanding your business, drawing insights for future innovation and culture management are an exercise in futility unless you can effectively communicate with your stakeholders.

So this week, amidst an environment of content overload,  we’re going back to basics: what, why, how and who.  While these four words might seem overly simple, they provide a strong framework to not only communicate your best ideas, but also the value proposition of what your product, service or organization offers to the world.

What: What good is vision if no one knows about it?  Taking the time to articulate the purpose and objectives of your venture in plain language is a tool of emotional connection that aids in building your core following. You know them: those ride-or-die early adopters that will vouch for the legitimacy of your product before you build any brand equity.  They will be the best salespeople you never hire.  So cast your vision and watch it take hold.

Why:  Perfection is defined as “the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.”  Your “what” would not exist if things were perfect.  If you don’t explain the tension, problem, or issues that you are trying to solve, how else would your audience know?  While we tend to shy away from highlighting deficiencies or shortcomings, an effective way to demonstrate value is to lean into conflict.

How: Now, there’s no need to divulge the top-secret recipe (or any protected IP), but providing a baseline explanation of how your venture operates will create opportunities for others to make connections, offer feedback, or help fill a gap in your current model.

Who:  While good ideas may generate interest, it is often the people or values that incite action. It’s no surprise that investors cite the strength of the founding team as a key consideration in making investment decisions.  What makes your organization special?  Why are you unique position to provide this product or service? Don’t miss the opportunity to show up with authenticity.

Sure, knowledge is power. But, clarity of messaging not only drives external engagement but empowers others to shift from passive to active ambassadors.  Here at VCM,  we’re not afraid to walk it like we talk it:

Are you ready to get on board? 


Venture Cafe Miami

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