Passion Profile Featuring Ron Dimon

I am very excited to be featuring Ron Dimon for my February 2011 Passion Profile.  This monthly tradition was inspired by Twitter’s Follow Friday ritual where I share a little with you about the people I admire and follow.  Ron is a Managing Partner and Vice President of Consulting at the Business Foundation.   Unlike my previous Passion Profiles, I have the privilege of knowing Ron beyond our twitter-sphere.  I would describe him as both brilliant and highly creative, but what strikes me most about Ron is his authenticity.  He is insightful and a communication whisperer of sorts, he has truly mastered the art of listening and engaging .

Dawna: What are you most passionate about? And why?

Ron: At a high-level, my biggest passion and every-day concern is being a contribution.  This includes to my friends & family, my community, my clients and my industry.

More specifically it’s about Enterprise Performance Management and Shared Value.  This means helping organizations to integrate their day-to-day business functions, like Sales & Marketing, Customer Support, Operations, Finance, HR & IT, with the concerns of their extended stakeholders – like their customer well-being, the viability of their suppliers, and their community and environmental impact.  It helps answer the questions “what do we want to do & how do we do it,” “how did we actually do & why,” and “how can we improve, share value, and make a difference?”

Dawna: What are 5 traits those that know you best would use to describe you?

Ron: Generous (helpful), responsible (reliable), creative (funny), and unable to count very well.  How about “a restless learning sponge?”

And just to bring a sense of balance to my life, my sister describes me as “an idiot.”  Of course, she describes all 4 of her brothers that way, and we still love her.

Dawna: What qualities do you most admire in others?

Ron: Passion (and enrollment), a bias for action, openness to new ideas & new perspectives. And a sense of humor or fun that can forward the action.

I also admire people who actually do what they said they were going to do.

Dawna: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Ron: That I had some part in my kids – son Harry (23) and daughter Ruth (16) – being extraordinary people who have their own contributions to give the world.

Dawna: What is your top goal for 2011?

Ron: To transform Enterprise Performance Management and Shared Value from new idea to common business practice.  We are getting to that tipping point and my job is to just push a little harder!

Ron, you are a breath of fresh air and I am honoured to know you both as a professional and personal friend.

Curious about my previous Passion Profiles?  Cheers to Dan Rockwell, Eric Jacques, Ted Coine, Tim Sanchez, Dean van Leeuwen, S. Max Brown, David McQueen, “Write” and Linda Ireland.

Passion Profile Featuring Linda Ireland

I am very excited to be featuring Linda Ireland for my January 2011 Passion Profile.  This monthly tradition was inspired by Twitter’s Follow Friday ritual where I share a little with you about the people I admire and follow.  Linda is co-owner and partner of Aveus, a global strategy and operational change firm that “helps leaders find money in the business performance chain while improving customer experiences.”  She is an author, and I have added her most recent book Domino to my read list! Linda is also an active angel investor and philanthropist.  Outside of it all she describes herself as a “wanderer” having been to 30 countries and six continents.

Dawna: What are you most passionate about? And why?

Linda: The moment when I, a leader I’m working with, or we together have made a meaningful and positive difference. It’s magic.

Dawna: What are 5 traits those that know you best would use to describe you?

Linda: I’m transparent. There’s usually no mystery at all about what I’m thinking.

Smart and direct. I’m an army brat. I learned when I was young that if someone pushed me hard, I could get respect if a) I gave it back AND b) I knew what I was talking about. My first executive role was to lead manufacturing and operations for a sole source supplier to 3M, serving the automotive industry. I was 28, had guys with 2-digit employee numbers reporting to me, a staff of 450, and peers at 3M and in the auto industry were men in their 50’s trying to figure out how I got my job. Later a Fortune 500 company president I worked for called me his “build this-fix that girl.” I guess smart and direct have served me well.

I love to feel inspired, so I’m always searching. How to be better, do better, learn more, think differently.

I often hear I’m able to connect seemingly disparate questions or facts and come up with an possibility that can move us forward –I’m humbled and very proud of that.

Dawna: What qualities do you most admire in others?

Linda: Good natured humor. I love being around anyone with a witty insight. I love to laugh.

Generosity in acts and spirit.

People who want to change the world.

This is such a fun question – I think we all admire what we work on most in ourselves.

Dawna: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Linda: I’m torn between two, and your question reminds me how fortunate I am to have two big things pop instantly to mind!

First, I’m proud of what we’ve built together at Aveus. Our clients tell us we need to find another way to describe ourselves than ”consultants” because we are more collaborative than the folks they’ve worked with in the past. Recently someone said, “You never act without our best interests first” and, well, that’s nearly like a drug in how proud that makes me. Because most of us are former line execs, we get what it’s like to live with the decisions they’re making. We know “good outcomes buy beer.”

Second, I’m proud of Domino, our body of customer experience thinking, and the feedback we’ve gotten from leaders who have found it both actionable and meaningful. You see I was doing customer experience work back before we all had a phrase for it. (Dating myself. We just called it “customer-centric”).

I’ve had a blissfully crooked career path. I’ve been in industries from automotive to financial products to consumer goods to technology and health care services. I’ve led from just about every functional chair, general manager, boards. In EVERY case I found smart sell-intended people. And I learned that when we made OUR group’s decisions so that we could solve a customer’s need better than anyone else, we reaped some pretty good performance. But when we worked across the entire organization, all applyng our actions to solve the same needs for the same customers, the performance payoff was amazing. That lesson comes to light in our work with clients and our research, so I’m thrilled when others create their own reward with it.

Dawna: What is your top goal for 2011?

Linda: To help more leaders dispel the myth that strengthening customer experience is a trade-off to profitability. I actually had one leader say to me “Linda, I’m not sure how much customer experience we can afford.” Yet profit is not a strategy. Profit is an outcome.

I’ve seen truly amazing transformations of product lines, departments or whole companies when leaders agree on the right target experience to deliver, then make hiring, capital, marketing, and operations decisions to move closer and closer to their target experience over time. In 2011, I’m on a campaign to dispel the trade-off so more leaders get the performance payoff their organizations and their customers so richly deserve! (OK, I’m calming down now.)

Big thanks to Linda for sharing this with us! What strikes me most about Linda is her authenticity, she has mastered the balance of confident humility and she is refreshingly direct and insightful.  If you are interested in learning more about Linda I highly recommend spending a few minutes watching this fabulous short video interview.

Curious about my previous Passion Profiles?  Cheers to Dan Rockwell, Eric Jacques, Ted Coine, Tim Sanchez, Dean van Leeuwen, S. Max Brown, David McQueen and “Write”.

Passion Profile Featuring Write The Company

I am delighted to get down to some “funny business” today with Write The Company for my December Passion Profile.  This monthly tradition was inspired by Twitter’s Follow Friday ritual where I share a little with you about the people I admire and follow. “Write” is a customer humourist “keeping companies honest, right down to the letter”.  When “Write” sends letters, the companies have no idea the letter is from “Write The Company” or that their responses will be posted online.  “Write’s” letters are brilliant, provocative and down right funny, they deliver meaningful humour at its best.  Check out “Write’s” latest letter “Going to Hell”.

I was curious to know more about “Write”, so I asked the following questions:

Dawna: What are you most passionate about?

Write: I’ve noticed there is a lot of funny business going on in companies. Unfortunately, most of it isn’t making anyone laugh. That’s why one of my passions is pointing out things to companies about their products and services in letters with a humorous twist … and seeing if they’re going to humor me or respond in “corporate speak” delivered by people who’ve undergone charisma bypass operations.

I’m also passionate about good hummus.

Dawna: What inspired you to start writing letters?

Write: A college buddy and fruit flies. A friend bought a box of raisins and fruit flies were feasting on them. He wrote a letter and the manufacturer sent replacement raisins. That was pretty cool, so I started mailing letters to see if I could get companies to send me stuff. The best score was a free foosball table.

In no time, I was receiving explanations, apologies, coupons, checks and packages from major brands. When I returned from class, people were usually in the dorm mailbox area waiting to see what I got. To this day, it’s still great fun checking the mail to see what’s in it. The only difference is that instead of a crowd of drunken college kids assessing the responses, readers are now doing that online, although I am unable to determine how many of them are actually drunk.

Dawna: What drives you?

Write: Usually my wife drives me. She hates the way I drive and always insists we take her car. I’m also driven by the hunt for exploring funny angles. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the right angle. It’s equilaterally very challenging trying to find humor in situations that present complementary, corresponding, supplementary, obtuse and acute angles.

Dawna: What are 5 traits those that know you best would use to describe you?


One: Obsessive about being compulsive.

Two: Expert Excrementologist. I’ve got a nose for sniffing out BS and bringing attention to it so no one steps in it.

Three: Seriously silly. This may sound schizophrenic, but it’s really more phrenic than schizo.

Six: Bad with numbers.

Five: Politely impatient. Please get on with your next question.

Dawna: What qualities do you most admire in others?

Write: Above all: The ability to deliver quantity of quality. The more quantities of ways someone can provide quality, the faster they earn my admiration. For example, with customer service, I admire representatives that can please me with the most quantities of quality advice, solutions, facts, freebies, money-saving coupons, etc. I also tend to appreciate quantities that can be quantified in quality.

One quality I don’t admire is a lot of meaningless double talk. Even double talk needs to have meaning for me to admire it.

Dawna: What makes you tick?

Write: I try not to tick. When people hear ticking these days it makes them nervous. However, one thing that motivates me is achieving closure — whether it involves an issue, a problem or an open wound. I suppose that’s why I find writing letters to companies very therapeutic. You can’t blame everything on your parents. Corporate America needs to accept their share of the responsibility, too.

“Write”, you are a breath of fresh air!  Thank you for sharing with us and for the meaningful way you bring humour into our world.

Curious about my previous Passion Profiles?  Cheers to Dan Rockwell, Eric Jacques, Ted Coine, Tim Sanchez , Dean van Leeuwen, S. Max Brown and David McQueen.

Passion Profile Featuring David McQueen

I am extremely honoured to feature David McQueen for today’s Passion Profile.  This monthly tradition was inspired by Twitter’s Follow Friday ritual where I share a little with you about the people I admire and follow.  David is first and foremost a proud husband and father of two.   He is a businessman and the founder of All Things Magnificent, a group of companies passionate about making a positive contribution to the community through work and life.

As a speaker he focuses on professional development with emphasis on Leadership, Careers, Networking and Presentation Skills.  As a host he facilitates panels and conferences for businesses and other professional organizations, bringing a sense of humour and relevance to his audiences.

David is also am a massive youth advocate.  At a very young age, David started to devote a lot of his time through speaking, coaching and facilitation to empower young people as citizens and future workers.  He mainly speaks on Career Development, Presentation Skills and Identity, and has spoken/presented to over a million young people.

David is also a TV presenter, he co-hosted a show on Channel 4 in the UK called Vocation, Vocation, Vocation, helping teenagers to find their future career paths.  And he is the host for Virgin Media Pioneers TV where he interviews startup and growing businesses about their journeys.

I was curious to know more about David and asked him the following questions:

Dawna: “What are you most passionate about?”

David: “I am passionate about seeing people step into their full potential. whether personally or professionally I am totally passionate about witnessing it happen, which is why I designed my businesses around this.”

Dawna:  “What are 5 traits those that know you best would use to describe you?”

David: “Driven. Humorous. Straight talking. Caring. Inquisitive”…  “I really want to say Crazy, Sexy, Cool, Milky chocolate and Maverick.”

Dawna: ” What qualities do you most admire in others?”

David: “I love straight talking people, open mindedness, committed people, people willing to take a risk (mavericks) that doesn’t involve harming others.”

David, you are magnificent!  Thank you for sharing and for the meaningful way you touch the world.

Curious about my previous Passion Profiles?  Cheers to Dan Rockwell, Eric Jacques, Ted Coine, Tim Sanchez, Dean van Leeuwen and S. Max Brown.

FF: Passionate Profile Featuring Dean van Leeuwen

I am delighted to feature Dean van Deeuwen for today’s Passion Profile.  This weekly tradition was inspired by Twitter’s FF ritual where I share a little with you about the people I admire and follow.   Dean is a facilitator, speaker and consultant and co-founder of Tomorrow Today International.  He is “an intellectual adventurer, customer experience alchemist and scholar of the new world of work.”  You can follow Dean on twitter and on the TomorrowToday blog, he has mastered the art of stimulating highly provocative discussions that will stretch your creative thinking.

I was curious to know more about Dean and asked him the following questions:

Dawna: “What motivates you?”

Dean: ” Trying new things, the challenge and the unknown, being adventurous, taking time off to walk through a park and stop to smell the flowers, getting up early in the morning to see sunrise and frost on the ground.  My love for my parents and family.  The thrill of the wind in my hair as I cycle down a mountain and the sense of accomplishment having cycled to the top of a climb.   The buzz of speaking to a group of people and seeing the light in their eyes as they discover a new perspective of the world.”

Dawna :  “What makes you tick?”

Dean:  “Love, life, adventure and downtime.”

Dawna:   “Why are you so passionate about customer experience?”

Dean:  “I want to make a meaningful difference, even if it is just a small one. We are all customers and we’d all like to enjoy the experience so it seems like a good place to start plus I’m passionate about people. When I was younger I remember hearing the words of a Depeche Mode song:

You can’t change the world
But you can change the facts
And when you change the facts
You change points of view
If you change points of view
You may change a vote
And when you change a vote
You may change the world” (New Dress – Black Celebration)

So many people say you can’t make a difference but this song was saying yes it’s difficult to change the world but by focusing on one person at a time you can make things shift. I believe we live in a time when we have the tools to radically change how we live, work and play for the better. But we’ve been indoctrinated by the old ways of work. I want to change people’s perspectives on work, even one at a time, and help show leaders a better ways to work and sell their products. Companies touch millions of customers each day, it may sound a little egalitarian but I believe if you can get companies to treat people with respect and kindness, you can change a person’s life and when you change one persons life you have started to change the world. I think delivering happiness through customer experiences is a good place to start. Maybe I’m a romantic but I believe we can make this a better world.”

Dawna:  “What are 5 traits those that know you would use to describe you?”

Dean:  “I’ll give you six: genuine, adventurous, entrepreneur, loyal, intuitive, caring.”

Dawna: “What traits do you most admire in other?”

Dean:  “People brave enough to take a “gulp” and try something new, go it alone or swim against the tide.  People who are passionate about something, anything. If you don’t have a passion then you’re just here for the ride not the journey.  People (and companies) who are care enough to make a difference, demonstrate kindness and who do not jump to conclusions.”

And there you have it, even more reason to admire and follow Dean van Leeuwen.  Huge thanks to Dean for sharing his passion with us.

Happy Friday everyone!

Curious about previous Passion Profiles?  Check out Dan Rockwell AKA LeadershipFreak, Eric Jacques, Ted Coine, and Tim Sanchez AKA DeliverBliss.