My calling is to be a catalyst for the global entrepreneurship ecosystem
by being a Business Advisor to entrepreneurs
or a Keynote Speaker at entrepreneur events.
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How's your vision acuity? Are you ready to Venture with Vision?
A “unicorn” is a venture with a $1 billion valuation.
Ok, so your venture doesn’t have a $1 billion valuation … yet. But, that is the goal, isn’t it?
To become a unicorn, your venture needs a competitive advantage.
And, those ventures that learn the fastest and the most are the ones that gain competitive advantage.
Allow me to introduce you to a fast-learning venture--Jawbone, a Corporate Events Management Company headquartered in South Africa. Today, Jawbone is known worldwide for its unparalleled staging of Customized promotional exhibits and events.
When I met Sven Reinertsen, Jawbone’s Founder & CEO, he was adrift in the fog of venturing. Listen, Sven has Norwegian roots, and he is a true Viking with plenty of grit. But, the startup landscape is more than complex—it’s complicated!
Sven was searching for a strategic startup specialist who would be the guide by his side--an expert who would cut through the fog of venturing by transforming his business acumen, asking the tough questions, and holding him accountable for superior business results.
While Jawbone had a business model that was producing results, the venture needed a business strategy that would unleash its unicorn and obliterate the competition. So, Sven and I created the winning strategy that generated competitive advantage.
After performing a comprehensive strategic analysis of Jawbone and its competitive marketplace, I explained to Sven that the best business strategy for Jawbone would be innovation/quality—1) innovation because the exhibitions and events market requires novel designs that stand out from the mass of ordinary promotions and 2) quality because Jawbone’s method of creating brand experiences through execution and attention to detail is its soul.
Sven agreed with that strategic assessment. Then, the work of implementing that business strategy began. You see having the right business strategy is essential; but, it’s not sufficient for actually achieving competitive advantage.
The right strategy must be implemented into the fabric of the venture’s organization. With guidance, Sven set in place the necessary structures and systems for supporting the strategy of innovation/quality.
Sven, though, was still rightly concerned that Jawbone might be out-performed by competitors. Even though Jawbone had a competitive strategy as well as the requisite structures and systems, was the venture adaptive?
Adaptation is the elusive characteristic that distinguishes ventures that succeed from those that fail. But, what makes a venture adaptive?
Here’s the answer to that test question: It’s “Organizational Learning!”
That’s right. Organizations learn. In fact, every business is a learning organization. Yet, some businesses are smarter than others. They have the intelligence advantage—the ability to learn more and faster than their competitors.
Sven soon understood, to dominate its market, Jawbone needed this intelligence advantage. For Jawbone to be adaptive, its strategy, structure, and systems needed to be deeply embedded into the organizational culture.
Through lots of guided action and reflection accompanied by coaching and training, Jawbone learned how to learn. Jawbone became more perceptive to market forces and adroit at responding to changes in those forces.
Today, as an adaptive, learning organization with the intelligence advantage, Jawbone dominates its market. Understanding that the only constant in its industry is change, Jawbone has learned to embrace and navigate change externally and internally.
Jawbone now focuses on its top 15 clients resulting in partnering with global brands such as Exxon Mobil, Nespresso, and Lego. While disrupting the status quo of its industry with a pioneering strategy, Jawbone also implemented change within its internal organizational structures, systems, and culture transforming Jawbone into a learning organization.
Because of these adaptive and transformative changes, Jawbone doubled its turnover and increased profits by 700 %.
Moreover, Sven continues to grow as a strategic leader through advanced coaching that further scales-up Jawbone’s Strategic IQ.
Is your venture like Jawbone—striving for success, but needing a boost in Strategic IQ to unleash your $1 billion unicorn?
To reach that unicorn status, you need a Startup Unicorn Trainer!
Hi, I’m Dr. Steven "S.J." Maranville - The Startup Unicorn Trainer and Chairman of Maranville Enterprises — The Venture Creation Corporation.
As an advisor to Founders and CEOs, I coach, consult, and serve on their boards of directors. In a manner of speaking, I boost the “vision acuity” of entrepreneurs who are caught in the fog of venturing by removing their blindspots and fitting them with new lenses so they Venture With Vision.
Yes, I’m totally blind. And while lacking eyesight, I abound with entrepreneurial insight!
Along the way while training these unicorn-bound ventures, I earned a Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship with specializations in Strategic Adaptation and Organizational Transformation.
Briefly, my philosophy is rooted in the practice of Organizational Learning:
Businesses must adapt within an often hostile competitive environment. But, to adapt, a business must be able to learn. Those businesses that learn the fastest and the most are those that gain and sustain competitive advantage.
My expertise is grounded in the ability to implement the vital elements of Organizational Learning into a business. My distinctive quality as an advisor of entrepreneurs is that I am a “teacher.”
I possess a unique skillset that enables me to deliver the knowledge that entrepreneurs need in a way that they understand and, equally important, is actionable.
As a Business Advisor, I show entrepreneurs how to create a Learning Organization that gains and sustains competitive advantage. I implement the structures, systems, and culture essential to creating an organization that learns, formulates an adaptive Business Strategy and executes that strategy for maximum performance.
As a Keynote Speaker, I inspire entrepreneurs to Venture With Vision by way of dynamic and epic stories from the histories of iconic startups. From the classroom to the boardroom to the main stage of the big room, I speak to novice and experienced entrepreneurs who are adrift in the fog (VUCA) of venturing and need clearer strategic vision to gain and sustain competitive advantage.
Maranville Maxim: “The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to every evening think what can be done better tomorrow.” ~ Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA
Thought-provoking statements updated regularly.
Check back soon for more thought leadership.