Archive for September, 2016

Three Brilliant Podcast Series to Make You Think!

Podcasts rock!¬† I’ve stopped listening to NPR and even music when I drive. Instead, I‚Äôm enjoying and learning from podcasts.

If you haven’t explored the world of podcasts, you are missing out. You can find just about anything!

The bad news for beginners: you can find just about anything. :-(( ¬†There are so VERY¬†many podcasts, with lots of clutter and noise, so let’s start you off right!.

Three podcasts in particular continue to change how I think about and perceive my world:

timferrissshowart-500x500The Tim Ferriss Show

On his podcast, author and entrepreneur, Tim Ferriss, “deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use.¬† This includes favorite books, morning routines, exercise habits, time-management tricks, and much more..” ¬†His guests are amazing and DIVERSE. Actors, Athletes, Artists, Doctors, HIGHLY successful entrepreneurs, soldiers, writers and researchers. I’ve gone back to listen to MOST of over 100 shows.

Josh Waitzkin – A Chess Prodigy on Mastering Martial Arts, Chess and Life

Josh was the basis for the book and movie,¬†Searching for Bobby Fischer. In the process of life as a chess prodigy, world champion in Tai Chi Push Hands, he has perfected learning strategies that can be applied to anything. Author of the incredible book,¬†The Art of Learning, Josh now spends his time coaching the world’s top performers, whether Mark Messier, Cal Ripken Jr., or elite hedge fund managers. Josh also appeared on Episode #2, but this is the place to start…

tony-robbinsTony Robbins – Several Episodes!

I’ve not been a huge fan of Tony Robbins in the past, yet I really enjoyed all of these episodes:

cal-fussmanCal Fussman – Master Interviewer, Writer and Storyteller.

Oh, the stories! Cal is a New York Times bestselling author and a writer-at-large for Esquire magazine, where he is best known for being a primary writer of the ‚ÄúWhat I Learned‚ÄĚ feature.¬†The Austin Chronicle has described Cal‚Äôs interviewing skills as ‚Äúpeerless.‚Ä̬†He has transformed oral history into an art form, conducting probing interviews with the icons who‚Äôve shaped the last 50 years of world history: Mikhail Gorbachev, Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Jack Welch, Robert DeNiro, Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Bruce Springsteen, Dr. Dre, Quincy Jones, Woody Allen, Barbara Walters, Pel√©, Yao Ming, Serena Williams, John Wooden, Muhammad Ali, and countless others.

revisionist-history-gladwellRevisionist History with Malcom Gladwell

Malcom Gladwell, a brilliant storyteller “reinterprets something from the past: an event, a person, an idea. Something overlooked. Something misunderstood.¬†Again, my favorite three, each a¬†must-hear:

  • The Lady Vanishes
  • Generous Orthodoxy
  • The Blame Game – I hope it helps us¬†reflect on how much the news media distorts information, and sadly, how quickly we believe them. We simply take what they say as truth, when it can be far, far from it.

abundancebookcoverExponential Wisdom with Peter Diamandis and Dan Sullivan

I found this podcast after our work with (and subsequent certification in) the¬†Exponential Organizations¬†Masterclass.¬†The podcast holds “Insights from Dan Sullivan and Peter Diamandis¬†on the Human-Technology Relationship”.¬† This is a fascinating conceptual playground, as the speed of change is outpacing our ability to govern, learn and understand the impact on our future world. Diamandis’ fundamental premise is that we are entering a time of abundance, globally, thanks to technological advances, with evidence that counters the media’s negative, sensationalist biases.

Diamandis and Sullivan offer a¬†deeper understanding of topics such as Brexit, Artificial Intelligence, longevity, healthcare, education… each one fascinating! Go back to the earlier podcasts – even episode one – for the best flow.

I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the podcasts in these series. ¬† Hope you enjoy!

РAnn Ralston,
  © 2016 Ralston Consulting Inc.

Join us for our next Scaling Up Business Growth Workshop in Columbus, OH.

To learn more and register your team, go to or contact Ann Ralston, or 614-561-5273.

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Friday, September 23rd, 2016 Article Archive, Book and Media Reviews, Executive Productivity, Main Page, Personal Mastery Comments Off on Three Brilliant Podcast Series to Make You Think!

Learn Even Faster From Podcasts – app is a podcast app for iPhone and iPad that saves me more time than any other player I have used, without sacrificing comprehension, and perhaps improving it!

By now, most everyone knows you can save time by speeding up playback of audiobooks and podcasts, and even web videos (see below). But after a point, increasing playback speed reduces comprehension. I can easily listen to 1.25x playback speed, and even up to 1.5x, but I start to fatigue beyond that as the words and phrases get too compressed.

The ‘Smart Speed’¬†effect analyzes the podcast and intelligently removes silence between spoken words and phrases.With the playback set to 1.5x, effective playback¬†speed increased to 1.8x, 2.1x or faster depending on the material, and I experience much less fatigue. The result is more intelligible speech in less playback time. A win-WIN!

The Overcast app is also a great podcast manager. Subscribing to podcasts has been seamless. Automatic downloading just works. If you sign up for an optional online account, synchronizes your record of what you have listened to across your iOS devices and even offers a simple web-based podcast player.

BONUS TIP: If you have a spoken-word mp3 file you want to listen to faster, you can upload up to 2 GB of files it at . Get it. Learn faster. Have more time to put it all into practice.

videospeedcontrollerscreenTip: Accelerate HTML5 Video Playback

Video Speed Controller is our new preference for watching HTML5 video on Chrome on our desktop computer. It is particularly useful in speeding up videos from our executive education partner, the Gazelles Growth Institute.

– Gary Ralston
© 2016 Ralston Consulting Inc.

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Thursday, September 22nd, 2016 Article Archive, Executive Productivity, Main Page, Personal Mastery, Technology Comments Off on Learn Even Faster From Podcasts – app

Why is Scaling Up Your Organization so HARD?

Much like¬†our own body weight, organizations have a ‘set point’ they gravitate to, be that $5 million, 10 people, $50 million, 100¬†people, $250 million, and so on. And much like our own body weight, organizations can be quite stubborn about deviating from that set point. This is obvious at a gut level (*ahem*) to¬†anyone who has tried to change either their weight or their organization’s size, relying only on sheer grit and willpower.

If we¬†don’t change the underlying systems and structures, first, and in the right sequence, any change¬†we¬†achieve through willpower will be short-lived.

Fortunately, UNLIKE our bodies, we can dramatically change the fundamental, underlying systems and structures so that the organization can rise to a new, desired set point. Of course, one can do a lot of damage to an organization by changing the wrong systems, or changing things in the wrong sequence.

Learning to Scale Up an organization is not necessarily hard, but to be effective requires specific knowledge, skills, processes and discipline in four key domains: People, Strategy, Execution and Cash.

Check out this short (2 min 14 sec) video, then chat with Ann or Gary to learn more about how you can more easily and effectively Scale Up your organization.

Join us for our next Scaling Up Business Growth Workshop in Columbus, OH.

To learn more and register your team, go to or contact Ann Ralston, or 614-561-5273.

– Gary Ralston
© 2016 Ralston Consulting Inc.

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Thursday, September 1st, 2016 Article Archive, Business Insights, Main Page, Scaling Up Comments Off on Why is Scaling Up Your Organization so HARD?

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