The Blog

Posted: 06/05/2017
New Drupal Platform in Development, by Charles Creative

As part of our continuing dedication to community service, Charles Creative is developing a powerful Drupal site for our local elementary school. It has 10 content types, 6 stakeholder/editor groups, and is designed to be managed by 100's of stakeholders. We've worked closely with these groups from the start, incorporating ideas and ensuring usability. More when it's launched!

7/31 UPDATE: The site has launched and is currently undergoing some fine-tuning while team members add content. See here: https://topekadrive.com/

In related Drupal news, we have created a page specifically for the CMS platform. For large websites with multiple stakeholders and complex content and sales systems, it is our first choice. More here.

Posted: 05/03/2017
Business Strategy by Jeff Sites at Charles Creative

I teach to business students at a local university and start my strategy courses with some version of the following mantra:

We study the frameworks and methodologies of business strategy in order to be structured and systematic in our decision making; to increase our chances of reaching the best available course of action; and as a way to communicate our thought process as leaders so that our ideas might be fully understood, implemented with their aims and constraints in mind, and be openly scrutinized for errors and omissions.

Hardly a class goes by that I do not bring it up in some form. Partly to continue to convey the usefulness of the material. Partly because it may well be the only thing they remember after 5 years. Honestly though, that is probably enough. If you can remember that there are a number of foundational rules by which most successful decision-makers conduct themselves you will know to seek out a refresher when the need arises.

This week was the last of the semester. For the final, student groups presented business plans to the leaders of 4 local organizations. The presentations marked the end of 5 weeks of moderately strenuous group work, the end of a semester full of jargon and case studies, and for most - one of last graded activities of their undergraduate career. I sort of botched it last year by missing an opportunity to say something meaningful to a room full of students and the business and creative leaders to whom they were to present.

Last night I fleshed out the mantra a bit for the occasion:

Be Systematic

Being systematic helps you avoid blind spots. Structure and sound assumptions form the foundation of good decisions. They free the creative mind to innovate, and open a world of nearly limitless possibilities for the left-brained.

Better the Odds

None of us see the full future and not enough of us even see the present. When assessing where we are in life or business, if we forget to also look at the assumptions that got us here, we are at a disadvantage in creating the future we want. Goals require vision and action - this is the vision part.

Method Communicates

Being a leader does not mean having the right answers so much as it means knowing the right answers when you see them. The system of thinking that derives these answers is also the best way to communicate them to your subordinates and superiors. Strategies without context often have a short shelf life. This is just a process. It is all process. There is only one destination, after all.

Posted: 08/24/2016
Business Coaching by Charles Creative

We have revamped our Business Boost service, standardizing the engagements but leaving the deliverables wide open - so that we can continue to provide our diverse services to help you grow your business. I like to think of it as Business Coaching with outcomes. Our deliverables can include web and technology, media, design, strategy and financial projections, or even a full business plan. This is what we love to do. While we always add a dash of business strategy with every engagement, the Business Boost is a service focused first on helping you do what you do, better. New and growing businesses are a challenge and a thrill at the same time. Let us be a part of your team and we'll help you take your venture to new levels.

Posted: 03/03/2016
Tom and Jeff doing some computer science

Some computer science over lunch. Tom and I don't get to work in the same room very often, so we snapped a quick selfie as evidence that it's possible. Some fine app building going on.

Posted: 01/25/2016
Loyola Marymount College of Business Adminsitration

Friends, colleagues and clients in the Los Angeles area: I am teaching a course on Business Strategy to Seniors at Loyola Marymount University this semester. Toward the end of the semester (March & April) they will be doing a “living business” case study. Contact me if you think you or your organization would be interested in taking part. It will be strategy-oriented with actionable recommendations for your organization. They are interested in (among others): Music, Film, Entrepreneurial & Small Businesses, Real Estate, Non-profit & For-benefit, etc. It will be fun. -Jeff

Posted: 10/16/2015

We published a brief video explaining our Business Boost retainer packages. This is an all in one retainer package that includes a combination of web development, SEO analysis, business strategy, and mixed media projects. The Business Boost is the ideal package for new and growing businesses looking to stand out in the crowd.

See More Here

Shout out to Brandon and Beeline Media for the "helping hand" illustration!

Posted: 08/02/2015

Published a new interview with Ronald Bruner Sr on Soundcloud. Working on scheduling a few more in the coming months, in and out of the music industry. I have a passion for working with Entrepreneurs and go-getters. The interviews are an extension of my curiosity and enthusiasm for learning how different people, successful on different levels, approach and overcome challenges. I find it inspiring and informative and hope you do too.

-Jeff

Posted: 05/15/2015

Check out our Oaks of Sherman project if you haven't yet. We're currently doing a really powerful engagement with Hope of the Valley's Genesis House. Our members are stepping up and supporting the organization with their unique skills and expertise. Look for a wrap-up summary, and probably a celebration soon.

oaksofsherman.com
hopeofthevalley.org

Posted: 03/02/2015

Charles Creative has produced and engineered the first in a series of podcasts for La Via Coaching. Check it out on SoundCloud, soon available on other platforms as well.

Posted: 02/04/2015

Ever more on Sumar.io - we've been testing the app for a few weeks now, and are very happy with how it's coming along. Starting to work on more of the front end, polishing things up, including the message:

Sumario helps you collect information using forms. The power of Sumario is that with just html you can collect and compile form data from any source. No mail servers or fancy development is required. Just build a form using your sumario key, and deploy everywhere you, your team, your clients, and your contacts are. Sumario is light-weight and versatile; it can do anything a form can do - collect contact information, job applications, surveys, requests for proposal, and more. Build your form once and deploy it on a public website, on a private internal network site, in an email, or in an app - anywhere. In the age of connection, the services and platforms by which we communicate are increasing fragmented, but a solution is here. Sumario simplifies the way you gather information.
Sumar.io

We've started pitching ideas for Oaks of Sherman's first project. Our goal is to do 3 projects a year, picking worthy individuals and organizations that could benefit from the talents of our members. All support is non-monetary. Each engagement is expected to last 4 months, with a relatively light workload for participating members. The high concept is that by working together to help others, we can't help but do good work for each other.
OaksofSherman.com

Recording of podcasts for La Via Coaching is due to begin in the next couple weeks. I'll just be running the sound gear and editing bay, will leave the changing of lives to the Warrior Women.
LaViaCoaching.com

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