Interview with Be Courageous CEO Kyle Hermans
Kyle has worked with some of the best in the industry, from an early start with Google’s Chris Sacca and LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, to CEO’s and Boards of Directors at Fortune 500 brands like GAP and Old Navy.
He spent the majority of his career in consumer goods and consumer products and services, working directly with the voice of consumers to lead product creation. His experience also stretches into tech, automation, platforms, and even government organizations.
We call him the Kyle of all trades.
This robust past led him to start his own company, Be Courageous, to help others learn how to be better leaders of their companies and make a lasting impact.
According to Kyle, Be Courageous is all about the BREAKTHROUGHS.
- Breakthroughs in company culture (how to better your leaders and your team)
- Breakthroughs in strategy (how to get to the future — or where you want to be — faster and with focus)
- Breakthroughs in innovation (liberating possibilities and releasing virtuous products to the world in a unique way)
All of this, of course, is intrinsically tied to marketing — the ability to answer and important, unmet need and to present your unique product or service to your target audience in a relatable way…in order to make the sale.
GET AHEAD OF THE CURVE
One way to get ahead of the curve is to consider the full impact — including the implications — of a trend, product, service or business. The implications (often unrelated to your own business) can still have a significant effect on your business. Considering both positive and negative impacts is important.
Regularly anticipating how industry trends might impact you and your business will provide the foresight to understand larger scale and long term implications of a trend. This can set your company apart from the competitors if you act on them ahead of the curve.
For example, self driving cars are here and will be an even bigger thing of the future. So, for the all of the good to come from self driving, electric cars — we need to stop to consider… what are the implications? What are the outside factors that will be affected?
If the demand for gas decreases and we no longer have to use energy drinks and snacks to stay awake and alert on the road, then we won’t need to stop as often at gas stations. This means the mini-marts attached to gas stations could lose revenue or may need to completely transform their offerings to fit this new paradigm.
Does this theory work solely for self driving cars? Not even close. Instead of niching in an industry, this model fits them all.
Disruption can come from anywhere.
Looking at the implications can help you self assess, it can provide deep insight into what your current and future customers may need, and it gives a broad understanding of what your competitors might be working on behind the scenes.
THREE CATEGORIES FOR COMPANY SUCCESS
Any company wanting to create something new will need to consider the following three categories we mentioned at the beginning of the article:
In today’s market a common goal is quick, exponential growth. AKA creating something worth megabucks for yourself — or making something that a larger company can acquire for megabucks.
Each business strives for immense growth without losing the essential essence and heart of its original idea.
With growth we may face potential trade offs, herein lies both issues and opportunities. When the iPhone was created people were psyched to have the new device. At the time it seemed nearly perfect. As time progressed and having an iPhone became the norm, people realized there were trade offs — Apple users wanted longer battery life, durability to withstand shattering when dropped, better camera features, etc.
To solve a problem before it becomes a problem, Be Courageous strives to figure out how to anticipate these trade offs and implications customers will want long before they have to ask for them. I.e. how do we get to the future faster and master that future TODAY through courageous breakthroughs.
Of all the companies, what is it that makes the good ones great? What is the “secret sauce?”
Kyle’s experience working with companies from VC backed startups to Fortune brands helped frame the answer to this elusive question. From hosting a few thousand sessions and specifically interviewing 70+ Fortune companies about their Frameworks of success they developed 7 core principles — These principles provide a snapshot of the most important areas for companies to focus on.
Step one is to know your company’s WHY. Why are you here? Why do you do what you do? And why that is important?
The WHY will help guide your answers through the 7 Core principles.
Since he is the expert, we won’t try to reiterate it when we can share his words verbatim.