Collaboration can take many forms. It could be with a business partner, coach, mentor, mastermind group, employees, family members, contractors, strategic partners...and the list goes on. Collaboration can be working with your team on a new project, bringing in a specialist to help you with a project or something deeper. At the basic level collaboration is the action of working with someone to produce or create something. For Ken Bator collaboration was having the right teacher to pull the best out of him and point him in a new direction. This changed Ken's direction and led him to entrepreneurship. In this episode we go deep with Ken on the importance of collaboration on the entrepreneurial journey. Other topics we discuss include:
Creating 'customer experiences'
Serving Law Enforcement
How to navigate partnerships
Brand, culture, and strategy
Making your business successful
Driving the right business to your business
Segment One: 1:15 minutes
Segment Two: 28:04 minutes
Rapid Fire Questions: 47:58 minutes
About Kenneth Bator
Started by Kenneth C. Bator an independent business consultant in 2001, Bator Training & Consulting, Inc. (BTC) offered sales training and hospitality consulting from its Naperville, Illinois location. Ken’s background in banking and retail attracted a number of service-based businesses such as credit unions, restaurants, hair salons, therapists, real-estate firms, communications specialists, healthcare providers, and more.
In 2002 given the needs and requests of clients, BTC began to offer Strategic Planning services. This included the facilitation of planning retreats and working with the business to compile the written strategic plan. Not having offered this service in the past, Ken quickly discovered that a combination of the Brand Strategy he learned at The University of Chicago coupled with some key pieces from the curriculum he was exposed to during his MBA in Entrepreneurship at DePaul University formed the perfect foundation for planning facilitation. His former experience as an executive in the financial services industry allowed Ken to quickly understand and provide the needed ebb and flow required for a productive planning process. In short order, Strategic Planning became the desired starting point for most BTC clients.
After years of client engagements including business strategy, brand development, integrated marketing, and sales management it became clear that there was one common obstacle to proper implementation: the Corporate Culture. The best written Strategies do nothing but collect dust in a binder unless the employee base willingly supports it and allows for the execution of the plan. Even the most attractive and compelling Brand falls flat on its face unless staff consistently provides an experience that inspires customer loyalty. It was clear that BTC needed to incorporate Culture Building programs that allowed the team to grow from within.
Thus, the B+C+S Formula was born – a unique approach to management consulting to with a laser focus on Brand, Culture, and Strategy alignment. Ken often jokes that he wishes he could say that he created the B+C+S Formula simply because he was just that incredibly brilliant. The truth is the genesis of this concept began when he was working his way up the corporate ladder in the 90’s. In a desire to learn he would grab a book on re-engineering, then run to a seminar on empowerment, and then read an article on Six Sigma and so on.
While certainly learning a lot, it also led to some confusion and the question of how all this could fit together. For instance, if you wanted to re-engineer a business but also empower your employees couldn’t you do both rather than jumping from one corporate buzzword to the next. Ken’s need to understand eventually led him to believe that everything falls into at least one of three buckets: Brand, Culture, and Strategy. He later understood that the B+C+S Formula is an integrated system.