Archive for August, 2006

Web 2.0: Strategies And Lessons For Business Leaders is a must-read for Accelerating Business Growth

When did I realize that Web 2.0 was a part of accelerating business growth? When it reached out and touched our own business last year…

Let me disclaim Рwhile I am a contributor to this worthy executive summary, the credit truly belongs to my colleague and friend, our lead author, Troy Angrignon, for creating a timely, readable introduction for the rest of us. I recommend it to all boards and CEOs.

Web20graphicWeb 2.0: Strategies and Lessons for Business Leaders begins this way:

As you read this, industries are being disrupted.

Yours May Be Next.

You need to understand what is happening so that you can lead your
organization successfully in these times of turbulence. The classified advertising industry is collapsing; the public relations industry is undergoing a radical make-over; the newspaper and media landscape is being turned upside down by the social media movement; the hundred year old telephone business is facing its largest threat ever…and losing; the global auctions industry has already been up-ended.

This is Just For Starters.

The purpose of this manifesto is to introduce you to Web 2.0 principles and concepts so that you may help your organization formulate a Web 2.0 strategy to address this next ‚Äúsea change‚ÄĚ.

‚Äú We believe the first ten years of commercial Internet were a warm up act for what is about to happen.‚ÄĚ
– Morgan Stanley/Mary Meeker October 2005

‚Äú …we must act quickly and decisively… The next sea change is upon us.‚ÄĚ
– Bill Gates

Web 2.0, Strategies and Lessons is published at, a site born from an idea conceived by marketing guru, Seth Godin., and our contribution to Troy’s briefing are themselves, expressions of Web 2.0. While discussing the difficulties and expense of conventional marketing with Troy, he asked us why, instead of laboriously building articles into our website and publishing e-zines, we didn’t blog, instead?

It has been through venturing into this emerging medium that we have created both a resource center and a relationship tool – a way for prospective clients who have heard of us from their colleagues and advisors to learn more – no pressure. I purposely call it a relationship tool, rather than a marketing tool, because prospective clients rarely find us through our web presence. Google “Business Strategy”, and you won’t find us in the first 20 pages, let alone lines, of the search results.

Now if you have heard of Ann and Gary Ralston, or Ralston Consulting Inc.,you will find us in the top few slots of page one, leading a surprising number of other consultants by the name of “Ralston”. (I wonder if there is a gene for consulting? And if there is, why hasn’t it died out???)

This high ranking is due directly to our activity over the past six months in the blogosphere – a cornerstone of the Web 2.0 phenomenon – and it costs us only our time to write and post, plus $5 per month. That is a heckuva marketing ROI!

Want to accelerate your business growth? Read Web 2.0: Strategies and Lessons for Business Leaders, then give us a call (614-761-1841) – we’ll discuss how Web 2.0 applies to your business strategy.

Surf’s up!

Update: 2006-9-25 – There has been good feedback regarding the publication, gathered here.

Monday, August 7th, 2006 Article Archive, Business Insights, Main Page, Marketing, Process Improvement, Technology Comments Off on Web 2.0: Strategies And Lessons For Business Leaders is a must-read for Accelerating Business Growth

Flat World, Hot World, World at War. What can one person do?

Global trends are reaching into our business lives and into our communities, wherever we are based, and changing the course of everything. In a world where there term: “Local Competition” is increasingly meaningless, all business leaders, everywhere, need to be accurately informed about these forces in play.

AITpostersmallHere we sit on a Monday morning… At the juncture¬†between a flat world and a hot world,¬† with a new war heating¬†up in the middle east.

I refer, of course, to the brilliant book, The World is Flat, by New York times correspondent Thomas Friedman,  Al Gore’s compelling book and documentary movie, An Inconvenient Truth and last evening’s Discovery Channel documentary, Global Warming: What You Need To Know, with Tom Brokaw.

I could use this as a political statement ‚Ästclaiming that George W. Bush has failed the US with his educational¬†policy that creates at best mediocre students, his blatant neglect of¬†the ecology of our world, and his unilateral foreign aggression, which¬†got us into an un-winnable war. While I could harp on about Mr. Bush¬†and point a finger at the government, blaming their short-sighted
actions, I’m not going to go there.

That would be the easy way out. It would be¬†the way that we have taught our children ‚Äď to blame, to not take¬†accountability, to be entitled, and to be a victim of the circumstance¬†of our lives. I believe that we, as a county and as a people, are¬†accountable for where we are, today.

I‚Äôm guessing about half of you are saying¬†‘Well, I didn‚Äôt vote for the ‘idget.’ See…¬†blaming,¬†and not taking responsibility. I didn’t vote for Mr. Bush. I also¬†didn’t vote for Kerry. I cast my vote for Kerry because I didn‚Äôt want¬†Bush in the White House again…. That is altogether different. It‚Äôs¬†voting for lesser of evils… It is not voting¬†for someone because I believe in him or her.

worldisflatcovmedSo what are we to do about¬†our world – our flat world where India and China are going to ‚Äėeat our¬†children‚Äôs jobs?‚Äô [quote from “The World is Flat”] What are we going to¬†do about a world whose temperature is rising and causing subtle and not¬†so subtle changes in weather, our coastlines, the viability of species,¬†and our very own survivability? My suggestion is to get involved. Read.¬†Watch. Learn! Find the FACTS beyond the political positioning… And DO¬†SOMETHING POSITIVE.


Are we entitled to education? We sure think¬†we are… Yet the quality of education in many areas STINKS!!! I believe that
a sound education it is the FOUNDATION of a successful world. Want to¬†build a great city, with lots of jobs, and a stable economy? ‚Äď GREAT¬†SCHOOLS ARE KEY! Who‚Äôs going to do it, if not you? Get PERSONALLY¬†INVOLVED in your schools. HELP them improve. Hands on, in your face¬†involvement.


At the risk of being politically incorrect –¬†GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND MOVE! Personally, I don‚Äôt want to pay for your¬†health care if you are not invested in keeping yourself healthy. I know¬†people dying of cancer who fight for life every day ‚Äď and they FIGHT.¬†They don‚Äôt sit on their tush and kvetch about life ‚Äď they¬†move.


Again at the risk of being politically¬†incorrect ‚Äď GET OFF YOUR BUTT and DO SOMETHING. When we EACH do¬†something, it adds up. I bet history will show that it was not US¬†politicians, but US citizens who turned their
country into an example of planetary stewardship.

First look at the data. Read or listen to “The World Is Flat”. Go see “An¬†Inconvenient Truth”. If you don‚Äôt believe what you see or read or hear,¬†go find your own data ‚Äď talk to scientists. Get the facts.

Learn to Recycle РI live on a cul de sac with 15 homes. Only TWO of us recycle more than the required yard waste.

Take a Carbon Quiz. Look for ways to be more¬†energy-efficient ‚Äď use more energy-efficient lights, look for energy¬†efficiency in your appliances, cars, etc. and write to your city, state¬†and federal officials asking them to be more aggressive on¬†environmental issues.

The forces of global warming and the flattening of our world are redefining how and where work (including our jobs) gets done in the future, and where we can feasibly live on this planet. These issues are HUGE. They will not
be solved overnight. I don‚Äôt believe they can be solved by one person¬†or one country. I believe the we all ‚Äď countries, religions, political¬†parties, communities – will need to work together to dig out of the¬†hole that we have collectively created.

The theme here is ACTION! Get¬†involved with your community and your world. We are not ‘owed’¬†anything in this world. The more we can work together to create a¬†healthy and peaceful world, the more likely we, as a race, will
survive, flourish and prosper.

© 2006 Ann Ralston. All Rights Reserved.

About the
: Ann and Gary Ralston founded Ralston Consulting Inc. in 1997 to help business owners and leaders accelerate profitable growth in their organizations. They serve emerging and middle market companies across North America, from divisions of Fortune 500 firms, to start-ups and family-owned businesses. Ann can be reached at, 614-761-1841, or

Monday, August 7th, 2006 Article Archive, Book and Media Reviews, Business Insights, Main Page, Sustainability Comments Off on Flat World, Hot World, World at War. What can one person do?

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