[Opinion] Marketing for the Peace Builder V

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Marketing for Peace Builders, New Posts

Focus group feedback is useful to the peace builder.

Here’s how you run one:

The peace builder, working with another party (typically the focus group moderator), puts together some questions in regards to a future product, a current problem, and the solution to both that is offered by the peace builder.

Then, the peace builder gets a room somewhere and invites some people—maybe five to ten—who are in the demographic that the peace builder wants to offer their services to.

Then, the peace builder orders some pizza, the moderator sits down with the focus group participants and asks them the series of questions that have been cobbled together. In addition, the moderator may coax information from focus group attendees through the use of open-ended questions.

The peace builder sits in the room, saying nothing, but taking notes and watching the attendees’ non-verbal reactions, listening to the moderator, and recording responses to the questions.

At the end of an hour, the attendees are thanked for their time, offered the opportunity to take advantage of the product, service, or process that they have been questioned about, and are sent home.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

The purpose of a focus group is three-fold:

  • To determine the reactions and responses of members of your target audience in a low-risk environment where they are rewarded for their participation.
  • To get feedback about the product, service, or process that the peace builder is developing through a process similar to an interview.
  • To collect the opinions from the focus group about the motivations of people who might actually use the peace builder’s product and to better understand how they perceive the utility of the product offering.

The savvy peace builder should be using focus groups before they launch workshops, seminars, training opportunities, books, curriculum, or any other product or process designed to appeal to a niche group of people. The savvy peace builder should avoid focus groups entirely when they are developing workshops, seminars, training opportunities, books, curriculum, or any other products or processes that have never been developed before, or which have been developed so long ago, that they have been forgotten almost entirely.

A warning though: Sometimes attendees fall into groupthink, peace builders and moderators, may fall prey to experimenter bias, issues of confidentiality around sensitive information in a group setting, and the fact that peace builders may cherry pick feedback to support a foregone conclusion.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Opinion] The Future Martin Luther King, Jr.

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Leadership Theology, New Posts

“We have nothing to fear but, fear itself.”

“I have a dream.”

“We do these things because they are hard.”

One of the more terrible losses in our contemporary age is the loss of soaring rhetoric, with allusions to classical Western literature (e.g. Shakespeare, Greek and Roman texts, the Bible, etc.), appeals to the common good, and an unwavering belief that Americans, together, can just “do” things.

[Opinion] The Future Martin Luther King, Jr.

This Image Does Not Belong to Us

This contemporary loss due to three things:

  • Americans no longer share a common language around problems because of the fracturing of the media environment, with a million tiny voices crowding out one large voice. There is no longer a single voice of authority, such as a Cronkite, a Vidal, or a Buckley. Instead there are multiple voices whose sources believe they are competing for authority, but in reality they are competing for attention.
  • Americans are no longer commonly educated in the writings of the past, partially because the Western literature canon has fallen to the wiles of multiculturalism, social engineering, and the desire to see education as a technical good, rather than as a way to link current generations to past meaning. In our efforts to replace the technical efficiency that used to be valued when we were a manufacturing country, we have moved to making education serve technology rather than wisdom.
  • Americans have blown up the tendency that we always had, toward being independent individualists (“get in your Conestoga Wagon and go West”), and have fetishized it to a degree never before attained by a population in human history.  Since the Myth of the West has collapsed, we see this tendency most visibly in the retreat to individualized, mobile experiences, the popularity of streaming shows on Netflix, complaints about Academy Award film selections, and the overwhelming silence from populations in the center of the country who are never questioned except once every four years during elections.

The reason I’m bringing all of this up today, on Martin Luther King day, is that from Franklin Roosevelt (and earlier) all the way through Ronald Reagan, presidents, statesmen, politicians, and social leaders at least shared a common education, language, and a tendency toward a collective sense of commonality with the American people they were looking to persuade. They used that sense to make appeals to a higher good, all the while acknowledging that not everybody, including them, would make it to the end, but the journey would be glorious anyway.

This is not to say that there wasn’t separation, there wasn’t strife, and that there weren’t two views of America. If you think that the current age of fracturing is new, then take a look at newspaper headlines, political advertisements and rhetoric from the 18th, 19th and early 20th century. There was far blunter commentary, outright conflict, and rhetorical viciousness than would be allowed today in our tamped down rhetorical climate.

What is new is the lack of common language and the results of that lack have served to create deeper political, social, and cultural fault lines, all the while, playing on the natural American tendency toward liberation, freedom, and autonomy.

Appeals of “We’re gonna’ go get ‘em,” or “Hope and change,” or whatever the catch phrase was of the eight years of the Clinton Administration (“I did not have sex with that woman…Ms. Lewinsky”) don’t ring out quite as commonly. They don’t appeal to the better nature of our common American experiences. They are not as fluid, nor will they be remembered by history when certain proscriptive policies and efforts fail (or succeed), except as punchlines in YouTube videos, with a trail of bitter comments in the threads below the video.

On this day, I wonder what Martin Luther King, Jr., a preacher who read Greek, studied the Bible closely, and who knew all about the moving power of common rhetoric designed to unite people (both white and black), would think about the current restless mire America is in?

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Three, Episode #1- Travis Maus & Ryan Berkeley

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Leadership Theology, New Posts

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Three, Episode #1 – Travis Maus and Ryan Berkeley, Entrepreneurs, Cutting Edge Financial Planners, Trailblazers for Your Money

Earbud_U Podcast, Season 3, Ep#1 - SEED Planning Group

People often remark that money makes people act funny. And not in the “haha,” Heath Ledger Joker way either. We talked about charging people for art last season in our ninth episode conversation with Nicholas Jackson, and we talked about charging people because art is valuable.

But what about managing money?

Nobody gets excited when you are talking about managing money.

As a matter of fact, eyes roll into the back of heads and people gradually slump down in chairs until their heads are the merest slivers above a table.

Then there’s the common situation where two adults hang out at the kitchen table talking about family budgeting every month…or they don’t

And then there’s the fact that there isn’t much education in school around the topic of money, money management of financial matters. And no, studying macroeconomics doesn’t count…

Case in point: My son was asking me about credit card use during the summer. He was on the cusp of turning 18 and wanted to know about credit scores, building a financial background and what the penalties and pitfalls would be with taking on more than he could handle.

After a 30-minute period where I laid out everything that I know about the wide world of credit creation, money management and fiscal sanity, he flopped onto the ottoman, held the cat in his hands, and asked:

Why don’t they teach us this stuff in school?

Why indeed…

In the kick-off to our  third season of The Earbud_U Podcast, we talked with Ryan Berkeley and Travis Maus, partners and co-founders of SEED Planning Group, based in Binghamton, NY.

They are no-nonsense when it comes to managing your money, but they were plenty animated when it came to discussing why you should seed your financial strategies and goals with them, for both the long-term viability of your financial health, and for the long-term viability of the financial services industry.

So take a listen to Travis and Ryan, and take a little knowledge from our talk.

Check out all the ways below that you can connect with Travis and Ryan and S.E.E.D!

S.E.E.D Planning Group website: http://www.seedpg.com/

S.E.E.D Planning Group on Twitter: https://twitter.com/seedgroup

S.E.E.D Planning Group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SEED-Financial-Strategies-288049794685377/

S.E.E.D Planning Group on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/seed-planning-group-62410167

Travis Maus on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/travis-maus-15aa2429

Ryan Berkeley on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanberkeley

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Three, Episode #1- Travis Maus & Ryan Berkeley

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Leadership Theology, New Posts

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Three, Episode #1 – Travis Maus and Ryan Berkeley, Entrepreneurs, Cutting Edge Financial Planners, Trailblazers for Your Money

Earbud_U Podcast, Season 3, Ep#1 - SEED Planning Group

People often remark that money makes people act funny. And not in the “haha,” Heath Ledger Joker way either. We talked about charging people for art last season in our ninth episode conversation with Nicholas Jackson, and we talked about charging people because art is valuable.

But what about managing money?

Nobody gets excited when you are talking about managing money.

As a matter of fact, eyes roll into the back of heads and people gradually slump down in chairs until their heads are the merest slivers above a table.

Then there’s the common situation where two adults hang out at the kitchen table talking about family budgeting every month…or they don’t

And then there’s the fact that there isn’t much education in school around the topic of money, money management of financial matters. And no, studying macroeconomics doesn’t count…

Case in point: My son was asking me about credit card use during the summer. He was on the cusp of turning 18 and wanted to know about credit scores, building a financial background and what the penalties and pitfalls would be with taking on more than he could handle.

After a 30-minute period where I laid out everything that I know about the wide world of credit creation, money management and fiscal sanity, he flopped onto the ottoman, held the cat in his hands, and asked:

Why don’t they teach us this stuff in school?

Why indeed…

In the kick-off to our  third season of The Earbud_U Podcast, we talked with Ryan Berkeley and Travis Maus, partners and co-founders of SEED Planning Group, based in Binghamton, NY.

They are no-nonsense when it comes to managing your money, but they were plenty animated when it came to discussing why you should seed your financial strategies and goals with them, for both the long-term viability of your financial health, and for the long-term viability of the financial services industry.

So take a listen to Travis and Ryan, and take a little knowledge from our talk.

Check out all the ways below that you can connect with Travis and Ryan and S.E.E.D!

S.E.E.D Planning Group website: http://www.seedpg.com/

S.E.E.D Planning Group on Twitter: https://twitter.com/seedgroup

S.E.E.D Planning Group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SEED-Financial-Strategies-288049794685377/

S.E.E.D Planning Group on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/seed-planning-group-62410167

Travis Maus on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/travis-maus-15aa2429

Ryan Berkeley on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanberkeley