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Welcome to The Third Growth Option, a podcast for and by business owners and leaders. We share ideas and insights that help you in your growth journey. In our podcast guests, we look for heart, curiosity, and the desire to share growth lessons. No platitudes and cliches, but stories about growth or tools that helped grow a business or improve the industry or become a better leader, and how they came to embrace an insight. During three decades as a merchant and entrepreneur your host Benno Du ...
 
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show series
 
This week, Gavia and Morgan revisit Kenneth Branagh's classic 1993 adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing," starring a glitzy ensemble of actors including Branagh himself, Emma Thompson, Denzel Washington, and many more. Topics include Branagh and Thompson's peculiar careers, Shakespeare on film, the influence of Shakespeare's …
 
If you care about culture in your business, Tim Metzner (serial entrepreneur, co-founder of Coterie and other successful start-ups) offers great insights on what it is, how you define it, and what it can bring to the table. 7:56 – “There is also culture debt. If you don’t get ahead of this, you will have a culture... you can either (be intentional …
 
Starting and running a business is hard. Do you have family members in your business or are you considering asking family members to join? For some of us that’s been a great experience (see Ep. #11, where my wife and I talk about working together), for others, not so great. Joseph Cilio, owner and CEO of Alfresco Home shares his lifelong experience…
 
This week, Gavia and Morgan share their picks for the top 10 films of 2020, highlighting a range of films that have sadly not gotten their due this year as a result of the pandemic shutting down theaters. They discuss their choices, which include indie features in a range of genres, documentaries, foreign language films, an animated movie for child…
 
Interested in organizing principles to “focus the blur” of branding, marketing and strategy? This conversation with Ben Greenberg and Sebastien Hue – thinkers and doers, food truck laborer and foodies, co-founders of the BS LLC agency – offers insight on growth. They love deeper questions, hate becoming commoditized, love being the liaison between …
 
This week, Morgan and Gavia revisit the beloved romantic comedy "The Philadelphia Story," starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart. They place the film in the context of other romantic comedies from the 1930s and 1940s, consider the stars' public personas in conjunction with their roles in this film, discuss the movie's treatment o…
 
How do you keep growing when both your product and your customers constantly shift? Since 2003, Gary Levine’s company has sold licensed art (with constant shifts in taste and trends) to manufacturers and to retailers (where store counts, store types, and the explosion of ecommerce have shifted the balance of power dramatically in recent years). His…
 
“Community colleges have low self-esteem” – as a graduate of both a community college and an ivy-league university I can relate to that sentiment. Because community colleges serve an important role in supporting the American Dream, to aid continued upward mobility in our country, I asked Sarah Leggesse to share her insights about students and staff…
 
This week, Gavia and Morgan conclude their deep-dive into Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy with an episode on "The Return of the King," the triumphant final film of the series. They discuss the film's lasting legacy in Hollywood; its successes (and weaknesses) as an adaptation; all those endings; fine performances from Billy Boyd, Se…
 
My guest Steve Melink shares a powerful and very important story: highly knowledgeable about clean energy, he built a case why clean energy is critically important for humankind, wrote a book about it (Fusion Capitalism – Clean Energy Vision for Conservatives), has taken risks by building a purpose-driven business around a politically charged issue…
 
As our life becomes more digital, we need to grow and learn new skills to keep up. Covid has accelerated that trend – not just Zoom calls and filesharing, but remote collaboration for all kinds of problem solving. My guest Jenna Gaidusek is an online interior designer who has decorated hundreds of rooms across the country all from her home office. …
 
When an entrepreneur envisions boldly… risks… invites industry stars to participate… creates a first of its kind in the history of the world event… and invites you behind the scenes of its creation….and to its unveiling…you’ll want to listen. Gary Pettitt, CEO and Editor of Seasonal Living Magazine, the creative and entrepreneurial force behind thi…
 
This week, Gavia and Morgan delve into the world of Ronald D. Moore's "Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries" (2003), a childhood favorite of Gav's that Morgan is watching for the first time. They discuss the changes in television storytelling over the last twenty years, the way the show enacts and flouts sci-fi conventions, the superb female charac…
 
Adam Smith founded SoundPress, his digital marketing agency 20 years ago in 2000. Today his team serves Fortune 50 companies in the automotive industry and small/midsized clients. His insights into technology, branding, and how manufacturers or distributors can better market and sell consumer products online are built on a foundation of real-world …
 
Mark Haas talks about story structure and how to ‘flip the script’ – focus on the customer’s problem, not the product, not your company. The pattern in storytelling is (2:42): “hero goes on a journey, looking for a treasure…a dragon is in the way… along comes a mentor, helps to put a sword in your hand to defeat the dragon and helps you get the tre…
 
Despite (relatively minor) audio challenges, this turned out to be a great episode. If you ever moved from big “settler” company to “pioneer” work in a start-up, you know the difference between the two; if you’re considering the move, listen to Leah Bailey who talks thru her experience starting a Cannabis grower and vertically integrated premium br…
 
This week, Gavia and Morgan dig into Ben Wheatley's woefully misguided remake of "Rebecca," the 1940 classic by Alfred Hitchcock. They compare the new movie, starring Armie Hammer and Lily James, to the original as well as Daphne du Maurier's beloved novel; bemoan its misunderstanding of the source material; critique its mystifyingly incompetent sc…
 
This week, Gavia and Morgan report back from the London and New York Film Festivals, where they (remotely) watched a host of exciting new films, including installments from Steve McQueen's "Small Axe" anthology, starring Letitia Wright and John Boyega among many others; Chloé Zhao's buzzy new film "Nomadland," starring Frances McDormand; German aut…
 
Remember FiveFingers Shoes? Neither did most consumers a dozen years ago, until it became a B2B manufacturer’s amazing B2C success story. Michael Martin, who spent 20 years in consumer goods, as sales and sales operations manager then executive, shares with us how he became the Chief Storyteller for a component manufacturer and helped to build a 9-…
 
This week, Gavia and Morgan discuss Emilio Estevez's 2019 drama "The Public," which stars Estevez as a sympathetic librarian, Michael K. Williams as a homeless man who instigates an overnight occupation of the library on one of the coldest nights of the year, Alec Baldwin as a police negotiator, and many more. Topics include the film's muddled poli…
 
Spoiler alert: integrate or grow is a false choice, you can and should do both, walk and chew gum, integrate and grow. But too often poor integration between acquirer and acquired hurts revenue growth, certainly in the (too lengthy) short term. Steve Nunn shares his definition of integration, how to tackle integration – in stages, some successes an…
 
Paul Heagen has a talent for making the complex simple, and in our discussion about his latest book These Three Things we talk about Pride, Safety, and Love as a leader’s focal points to unleash passion, move people to be loyal to the business, and committed to extraordinary performance. All three are things we remember feeling (or missing) from an…
 
After his first job as CPA at Arthur Anderson ended shortly after the Berlin Wall fell (fun story how that global event unleashed our guest’s entrepreneurial spirit at 1:01), Stu Seltzer became a licensing expert, first as executive at fashion house YSL, then in entertaining at Disney, and now as owner of licensing agency Seltzer Licensing Group an…
 
We started with the leadership analogy of orchestra musicians as cross-functional business team members, the conductor as its leader – but my guest Daniel Wachter connected dots from business culture to sounds and language (7:08), from change management to listening, from music to the Baroque painter Rubens’ delegation and painting ‘process’ (38:09…
 
This week, Morgan and Gavia dive into the first installment of Peter Jackson's epic "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, "The Fellowship of the Ring." They discuss Tolkien's how background and intellectual interests informed his novels, the translation of those novels onto the screen, exceptional performances from actors in this movie including Ian McKelle…
 
“Never waste a good crisis” is an important reminder as we work through the COVID pandemic and prepare for post-pandemic life. Craig Todd shares five values that helped his company to thrive, and actions his team took to grow during COVID. Our conversation leads us to share other tools forged by other crises and how they can help our listeners – gr…
 
This week, Morgan and Gavia discuss Charlie Kaufman's trippy new film "I'm Thinking of Ending Things," starring Jessie Buckley as a young woman considering breaking up with her boyfriend, played by Jesse Plemons. Topics include Kaufman's history of experimental, self-referential screenplays; excellent performances by Buckley and Plemons; and the fi…
 
How does empathy unlock potential for growth? Cindy Tripp talks about seeing the world in the other’s shoes, building rapport and candor, letting go of judgment to allow curiosity to open new doors, inside teams and out in the market. Whether Cindy shares global company stories – like P&G learning from a small competitor in Peru – or her personal m…
 
This week, Gavia and Morgan discuss the pyrotechnic 1988 live action-animation hybrid "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," directed by Robert Zemeckis. They praise the film's technical accomplishments and its use of cartoon and noir tropes, discuss its place in the Disney canon and its effect on the Disney Renaissance of the 1990s, and much more.…
 
A life-long merchant with manufacturers and national retailers, Karin Jeske talks about the left/right brain approach to product development, “from spreadsheets to bed sheets, from color palettes to shipping pallets, from boardrooms to sample rooms.” There are plenty of product people that are either “all about the numbers” (and wrong) or “all abou…
 
This week, Morgan and Gavia discuss the 1990 film "Quigley Down Under," starring Tom Selleck as a sharpshooter who travels to Australia in the 1860s for work. Topics include the film's troubling depiction of Aboriginal people, white savior narratives, Tom Selleck's career and on-screen charisma, Alan Rickman's performance as the film's villain, and…
 
Our 16- and 20-year-old daughters said to us “you guys should do a podcast about working together.” My wife Hilda Castillo Duenkelsbuehler is this episode’s star guest and we talked about our different working styles, the flexibility required to learn a new way to work, the willingness to re-frame, be open and curious, that “with different styles c…
 
This week, Morgan and Gavia discuss the most critically acclaimed show of 2020, Michaela Coel's "I May Destroy You." Coel co-directs, writes, and stars in this rumination on trauma and consent. Topics include the show's masterful command of tone, its digressive storytelling technique and radical approach to telling a story about rape, racism in the…
 
Born in Turkey, raised in beautiful Istanbul, and leading teams in Italy and the USA, Mehmet Yuksek knows a thing or two about growth journeys, cultural idiosyncrasies, and several golden rules that helped him succeed on three continents. He shares his favorite business authors, as well as simple and powerful frameworks like “Courage, Focus, Clarit…
 
Amplifying a business by a factor of 10x (in Jeffrey Lazarow’s case from 5 stores to a chain of 49 mall stores in 11 states) requires an open mind, a few powerful guiding principles (like “run your business as if you were to sell it in three years”), hard work and of course some luck and tail winds (like market trends, seen and embraced by an open …
 
This week, Gavia and Morgan discuss the critically acclaimed film "37 Seconds," directed by Hikari and starring Mei Kayama as Yuma, a young woman and manga artist with cerebral palsy. Topics include the film's treatment of disability and Hikari's troublesome statements on this topic, Kayama's strong performance, other depictions of physical disabil…
 
Front-end innovation for manufacturers starts with falling in love with a problem, requiring us to clarify assumptions and customers’ needs. If the product is to be a great solution, start with the customer as the hero of this journey, not the product. Paul is a thoughtful and bold designer and entrepreneur whose firm happens to work with manufactu…
 
A real estate executive asked “is there a better way” for home buyers and sellers to find each other. Nick Rabin talks thru the concept his group developed – replacing some of the over one million realtors in the USA charging sellers about $100 billion dollars in broker commissions each year, with a peer-to-peer home sales platform – the journey to…
 
This week, Morgan and Gavia discuss Elem Klimov's 1985 masterpiece of Soviet cinema "Come and See," which follows a young boy (Alexei Kravchenko) through the horrors of Nazi-occupied Belarus in the Second World War. Topics include this film's treatment of war crimes, Hollywood's often romantic depiction of Nazis, the film's masterful cinematography…
 
There are as many good reasons to bring large company thinking to privately-held smaller businesses, as there are ways to make that work, or not work. Carlos had a long and impressive career with IBM and as CFO for Purina in Mexico, has written on social responsibility and management systems, and was both the insider hiring outsiders, and the outsi…
 
There are many ways to think about diversity – from federally mandated to diversity of opinions. Here talking with my life-long friend and NYC employment arbitrator David Hyland, who shares his thoughts on top-down and bottom-up approaches to nurturing diversity in ways that can help to foster effectiveness and growth both organizationally and pers…
 
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