Are you your own worst enemy when it comes to simplifying the process? Many people layer on new tactics and ideas to fix their problems when what they really need to do is simplify.

In this episode, Mike Bills and Misty Elliott discuss PureReinvention's third fundamental - Simplify.

Episode 15 -Foundation 3


“There are so many options, so much you can add on to make things bigger, better, stronger, faster, that you forget to cut back and simplify... Most people think improving means adding another layer of paint.” (0:50)

“When we’re trying to do everything for everybody, that’s an impossible task.” (5:33)

Right in the beginning, around 1:38 Mike and Misty examine how thoughtful reduction helps you guide your unique value proposition.

If you want to reinvent your organization, you have to walk the walk. At 9:25 listen to why building reinvention into your organization’s culture starts with behavior.

1 - Simplifying allows you to discover real solutions by examining the core.

2 - Applying thoughtful reduction to problem solving can help tear away the clutter to reveal your unique value proposition.

3 - A complex problem can be broken down into smaller, simpler elements to make the reinvention process more manageable.

4 - Effective leaders should have the endgame in mind, but still be able to simply communicate the task(s) at hand to get there.


Next Week:  Mike O'Callahan, Chief Operating Officer, Metro Detroit Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Direct download: PureReinvention_Foundation_3_-_Simplify_-_21715_5.17_PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am EDT

 Get a behind the scenes look at why one association decided it was time to reinvent and how they made it work. Guest: Dirk Milliman, Owner of Milliman Communications and member of the Michigan Press Association Board of Directors Co-hosts: Mike Bills, owner and CEO of MB Strategies, and PureReinvention founding member Misty Elliott DIG IN Near the beginning of the interview, around the 2:30 mark, Dirk describes how the composition of many boards today have shifted from a group of owners to a group of employees and why that changes the direction of the board. At 6:50 Dirk explains what disrupted Michigan Press Association and made the board recognize it was time to change course.


“{Board meetings] turn into a lot of brainstorming. Lots of good ideas. “Let’s do this, let’s do this.” They key is - who is the ‘let’s’?” (3:00)

“We certainly can’t do it the way we’ve been doing it. So let’s figure out a better way to do it.” (8:40)

“You can’t cut yourself to health. You have to grow.” (18:50)

“I think sometimes in our quest to solve problems we put too complicated a solution in place.” (25:49)

Main Take-Aways: 

1 – “Purposeful” disruption – Disruption with ownership is vital in the reinvention process.

2 – Ownership changes the way a person makes decisions that affect the organization.

3 – Successful teams push each other and ask meaningful questions and view the problem from an owner’s perspective.

4 – We have to work hard to simplify every aspect of the process.

5 – The role of a third party navigator is very important to bring stakeholders together and to help the owners approach the problem from a different angle.

Next episode:  February 23, 2015 Mike Bills and Misty Elliott discuss the third pillar of PureReinvention - Simplify.

Produced by:  Will Carlson, WillPower Consulting (

Direct download: Dirk_Milliman_-_21315_12.37_PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am EDT

How do you take ownership of new projects? In our latest podcast, Mike Bills, owner and CEO of MB Strategies, and Misty Elliott, one of the founding members of the PureReinvention project, discuss the second foundation of PureReinvention – Ownership.


At the 1:50 mark Mike explains how ownership builds accountability.

It’s normal to feel apprehensive when you’re taking ownership of a reinvention plan because of the unknowns. At 5:57Misty and Mike talk about working through reservations when you need to take ownership of something new or different.


“Owning disruption allows you to fully understand the problem.” (2:25) 

“As we take ownership of the direction rather than ownership of a specific function we’re able to then accept what we know and we’re also willing to accept what we don’t know.” (7:39)

Main Take-Aways: 

1 – Disruption without ownership is counterproductive. 

2 – Taking ownership allows you to fully understand the problem or situation that needs changed.

3 – When you own the process, you become invested in finding a solution.

4 – There is a degree of risk in ownership that might be uncomfortable, but the discomfort is what pushes you toward reinvention.

Next episode:  February 16, 2015, Mike Bills and Misty Elliott interview Dirk Milliman, Owner, Milliman Communications.

Produced by: Will Carlson, WillPower Consulting (

In this episode, Mike Bills, Owner and CEO of MB Strategies, and PureReinvention Founding Member, Misty Elliott interview Josh Lord, MBA, of Josh, Inc. and Director of Membership and Strategic Initiatives, Michigan Dental Association about disruption and the need for modern associations to respond to market demands.




“I think we really need to look at ourselves as a staff and as an organization and realize that we are likely too close to our own business to be able to solve this on our own and what we really need is a reinvention strategist.” (7:24)




The bottom line is the great recession and the technological innovations of the early 2000s have dramatically re-landscaped the environment that were in, and yet the ones that are leading our businesses right now, are adhering to paradigms that frankly no longer exist. (5 :35) 



 I think typically when we talk reinvention, road blocks get put up because we think cost, expense, disruption, change - its all negative.  What we fail to recognize is opportunity, collaboration, mutual benefit, and relationship development.  Theres a lot to be said for collaborating not only with a consultant or and external resource, but with your competitors. (17:34 )


Main Take-Aways:


1 Big brands are defining the purchasing experience And expectations of your target audiences.  Improved customer service and access 24-7 is expected.


2 Current association culture is not lining up with this experience and is in danger of being replaced by organizations that will meet these expectations.


3- Associations need to focus on the next 3-5 years.  They need to align with new customer expectations quickly if they are to stay relevant.


4- Associations need to value and listen to the disrupters in their ranks so that they can make the necessary changes to meet these expectations. 


5 An external outside resource may be necessary to help the reinvention process along as staff and leadership can be too close to the issue.



Next episode:  February 9, 2015, Mike Bills and Misty Elliott will discuss the 2nd Foundation of PureReinvention - Ownership



Produced by:  Will Carlson, WillPower Consulting (

Direct download: MIke_and_Josh_Interview_WIth_Misty_Summary.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am EDT






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