April, 2008
Leading Visions to Action
Business & Organizational Development

In This Issue
Creative Solutions for Changing TImes
Upcoming Events
Notes from The Universe
Moving Beyond the Linear
Polish Your Marketing Lens
Cross Current Communications
 Creative Solutions for Changing Times

Meeting Facilitation

Talent Management
Performance Management
Non-Profit Management
Editorial Management
Instructional Design
Virtual Teams

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Marketing Communications
Visioning & Small Business Development
Career Management

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E-Zine Archive


The New Living Expo

April 25-27
 San Francisco

Pangea Day
May 10, 2008

with T. Harv Eker
May 30-June 1
San Francisco

Service, Activism, & Yoga
June 8-13 Big Sur, CA

Say your Truth, Say your Purpose, Say your Intention


"Happiness is what greases the wheels of life. It's also what opens the floodgates, marshals the forces, commands the elements, raises the sun, aligns the stars, beats your heart, heals what hurts, turns the page, makes new friends, finds true love, calls the shots, waves the wand, connects the dots, feeds your mind, frees your soul, rocks the world, and pays compound interest."



It's spring!  The spark of creativity is everywhere and in everything. What are you giving birth to?

I frequently use the changing of the seasons as my own personal integrity check point- are my actions in alignment with my thoughts and words?  How committed am I to creating the changes I desire and  the outcomes I declare? 

Even though I spend many hours a week writing with the aid of a  computer keyboard, I find there still is no substitute for the kinesthetic synthesis provided with the use of pen and paper. When I want to tune in more to my intuitive side (the right  brain) and turn off (or at least put at rest) the left brain -the part that plans, analyzes, judges-I pick up pen and journal.

I've been keeping a journal since I was nine years old, integrating experiences, impressions, desires, and dreams. Journal writing has consistently enabled me to tap into what's true for me on a deep level.

In this cycle of rejuvenation, take a few moments to reflect upon and write answers to the following:
"What am I giving birth to?" ("What is my higher-self wanting?")
"What beliefs, habits, patterns do  I need to release in order to birth?
"What am I deeply and truly committed to?"

May we birth abundance in these most amazing times.

In heartfelt collaboration,

aka Sheryl R. Sever

Mind-Mapping: Moving Beyond the Linear

Mind-mapping is a fantastically creative and effective way to disassociate from the left, linear brain, and move more into the associative right brain where we tap into memory, past experiences, and higher -self knowing. 

Tony Buzan introduced mind-mapping  in the late 60's as a way of helping students take notes.  Using only key words and images, mind maps, because of their visual quality, are a much easier way to remember and review notes.

I was first introduced to mind-mapping nearly 20 years ago while studying applied linguistics. At that time I was in a three-month  international facilitator training. Mind-mapping was a tool introduced to new language teachers, in order to help adult students "chunk" and organize new information (words, phrases, idioms) into an accessible map for associative recall and language production.

  1. Mind maps work the way the brain works-which is not in nice neat lines. Memory is naturally associative, not linear.  Mind maps allow associations and links to be recorded and reinforced. The organization of a mind map reflects the way your own brain organizes ideas.
  2. Whenever you want to encourage creativity, try mind mapping to liberate the mind from linear thinking and allow new ideas to flow more rapidly.
  3. The mind remembers key words and images, not sentences. Because mind maps are more visual and depict associations between key words, they are much easier to recall than linear notes. Visual quality (and colors) of mind maps allow you to have key points to stand out easily.
  4. Mind maps are easy to review. Regular review reinforces memory. The best technique is to try reviewing in your imagination first, then go back and check on those areas/visuals that were not yet easily accessible.
  1. Decision-Making/Problem solving: Whenever you are confronted by a problem -- professional or personal -- mind maps help you see all the issues and how they relate to each other. They also help others quickly get an overview of how you see different aspects of the situation, and their relative importance.
  2. Planning: Whatever you are planning: meetings, holidays, your book or podcast, a business plan, recruitment strategies, departmental restructuring, or a relocation, mind maps help you see the big picture, and easily organize all the relevant information.
  3. Note-taking: Whenever information is being taken in, mind maps help organize it into a form that is easily assimilated by the brain and easily remembered. Mind maps can be used for noting anything -- books, lectures, meetings, interviews, phone conversations.
  4. Recall:  Mind maps serve as quick and efficient means of review and thus keep recall at a high level.Whenever information is being retrieved from memory, mind maps allow ideas to be quickly noted as they occur, in an organized manner. There's no need to form sentences and write them out in full.
  5. Presentations: As a teacher, presenter, or speaker,  preparing a mind map of the topic and its flow is invaluable for organizing ideas coherently. The visual nature of the map allows the speaker to " see " the whole presentation while speaking,  without ever having to look at actual notes.
Today, I still use mind-mapping for personal planning and decision-making (be it holiday/travel planning,  priorities for the week, or life-direction decisions). Mind-mapping continues to be an invaluable tool in my helping clients with their vision statements, strategic planning, organizational and business development initiatives, seminar promotion, or course development.

The 21st century is ripe for right brain leadership.  Expand your life and business planning beyond traditional linear models.  Click here to schedule a complimentary phone consultation.

Spring Cleaning: Polish Your Marketing Lens
better time than spring to take a look at your marketing message and strategies. 

Is it time for a makeover?  In my work with new and growing business owners, the mantra I most frequently hear is , "I don't know how to market myself". 

The most important element in any marketing message is authenticity- both in your outward message (external lead generation) and internal lead generation-repeat clients and referrals.  Commitment to your
intention and authenticity in your message builds trust and retains clients. 

In order to polish your marketing lens, leave the linear mind and apply some mind mapping techniques to sketch out the responses to these questions:
  1. Who is your target market?  How would you describe your ideal client? (Demographics, psychographics, geographics)
  2. What are the benefits/advantages of your products or services?
  3. What challenges do your clients face?
  4. How does your business address these challenges? What solutions/results do you provide your clients? 
  5. What do you do differently or better than your competition?
  6. What's your promise and how do you deliver on it?( No need for superfluous adjectives, exaggerated claims, etc.) Remember Authenticity is at the core.
  7. Call to action: What you do want your audience to do? Enroll in a seminar, hire your company, buy your product or service? You want your audience to experience the  connection between their needs and what you offer.  Whatever it is, create an invitation- a call to action- that is compelling, authentic, and preciseUsing  strategies grounded in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), will also help you create ways to repeat the benefits and promises of your offer throughout your message with clear instructions for next steps.
In your marketing message, be sure to include testimonials, stories, and case studies.

An impactful case study tells a story and includes:
The Situation: What the challenges were, i.e.,  what the current situation was prior to your product or service delivery?
The Process: How did your product or service  (methodology, strategies, etc. ) transform the situation?
The Outcome: What was the result for your client? Profit, increase in clients, process improvement, higher employee and/or customer satisfaction?

Testimonials : One of the easiest ways to get testimonials is from feedback or evaluation forms that you provide your clients.  Another way, of course, is simply to ask.

About Us- The Bio:  Interestingly enough, I have  often times discovered that the most difficult task for new business owners is to write about oneself and one's company. Depending on the context, a compelling bio can be anywhere between (150 -450 words , i.e. two paragraphs -one full page.) 

The bio of a business leader/owner needs to answer the following questions:
Who you are?-A speaker, a venture capitalist, internet marketing strategist, media buyer, a branding specialist, a seminar facilitator.
What you do? Create businesses, teach courses, design branding and  marketing solutions, write software, design PDA's.
How do you do it?  This is where the senses come in. Create a picture for your audience so that they can see and feel you in action.  Think texture, color, motion, sounds, even scents. Audio (mp3) and video files are a great asset here. 
Accomplishments: Highlight two or three accomplishments that you are really proud of, and that made a significant difference to those you served.
Recent clients: Mention a few recent clients (or industries specialities).
Education: One or two lines is sufficient; mention prestigious awards.

Are you ready for a marketing makeover? Click here to schedule a complimentary phone consultation.

yellow flower May all beings be happy. May all beings be at peace. May all beings be safe and free.

Vow to celebrate the daily miracles of spring!

aka Sheryl R.Sever, CVO
Cross Currents Communications
Creative Solutions for Changing Times
Marketing & Business Development
Organizational Leadership
Facilitation & Instructional Design
(m) 415.713.7727