Happy Halloween from the Black Lake Studio team! Today we are not a studio team, but a team of a super girl, a candy lover, a Star Trek red shirt, and a big bad boss. Stop by today to save us from eating all the candy!
Fred is widely recognized as an expert Cicerone, i.e. a specialist in pairing beer with food. That might sound a bit hoity-toity, but The Beervangelist’s down-to-earth style ensures that beer stays accessible and enjoyable. Men’s Journal discovered this when they caught up with Fred at the Farm to Table Pavilion at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival. Their article highlights nine lessons on food and beer pairing they learned from the Beervangelist, and it also includes Fred’s recipe for Brisket Sliders, featuring the new Carhartt Woodsman brew from New Holland.
Black Lake worked with Fred to develop his personal brand. We also collaborated closely to write, design, and publish his beer and food seasonal cookbook, Beervangelist’s Guide to the Galaxy. We’re immensely pleased and proud to see Fred capturing national attention, and we’re eager to see where his Beervangelism efforts will lead him next!
Here at Black Lake Studio, we love helping nonprofit organizations achieve their full potential. That’s why working with NewDay Nonprofit Solutions has been such a good fit—they’re all about partnering with nonprofits so they can grow forward into vibrancy.
Brent Hafele of NewDay noticed that too many nonprofits struggle to raise the money they need, manage their teams effectively, and meet their communities’ needs. They’re trapped in the Campaign Cycle, going about their day-to-day business and only launching into a campaign when they find themselves swamped with need.
But Brent knew there was a better way. Black Lake partnered with NewDay to provide coaching, messaging, communication, and design support, and together we found a way to articulate this alternate path: the Growth Cycle graphic. Agencies that are in the Growth Cycle recognize that they will grow at some point in the future, so they are always thinking a few steps ahead. They intentionally plan and prepare before they launch a campaign, and they are also thinking about how they will achieve sustainability afterward.
We’ve continued to work with Brent and his team, helping them help nonprofits at any stage of the Growth Cycle develop a resource base that is practical, attainable, and sustainable. NewDay is a great client, so we were thrilled when it became clear that we could help them create a brand-new website. We’re even more excited to announce that it’s live and ready to visit!
Our goal was to bring a new level of contemporary design to the site while engaging prospective clients in a dynamic second-person dialogue. We were able to showcase Brent’s knowledge and expertise in the nonprofit sector, and to clearly communicate how each of NewDay’s services fit in to the four parts of the Growth Cycle.
Check out NewDay’s new website at www.newdaynonprofit.com, and stay tuned for more updates on our work with Brent and his team!
Jim Sullivan had a vision: to show people at the beginning of their careers how to clarify their purpose, find their power, and fulfill their potential. As a longtime marketer and leader with a few of America’s great companies, he was uniquely qualified to do just that.
Jim’s efforts began with crafting a novel, or more precisely, an engaging and realistic fable. He worked extensively with Greg Smith at Black Lake, learning how to write a good story that would illustrate the principles he was trying to convey while engaging readers and being of some practical use to them.
The result is EPICENTER: Unleash the Power of Your EPIC LIFE: A Success Fable. It tells the story of a young couple in crisis, putting them at the center of a drama threatening their future as they struggle with job losses, career choices, and life-or-death challenges to their marriage, friendships, and future. EPICENTER conveys the risks we all face if we ignore the EPIC story at the CENTER of our truest selves—the source of our Effective, Principled, Inspired Contribution to others.
The next step was to adapt and expand the content into a four-week career and life leadership course comprised of fourteen personal assessments and exercises (“Life Apps”). The EPICENTER Life Leadership Course is designed to help you uncover the EPIC story at the CENTER of you. It’s about revealing the moral of your story, your life’s purpose. You’ll find it by looking within, at exactly how you are designed. Your purpose lies at the overlapping center of your:
- Effective Competence: What are you good at? How skills do you have to create value?
- Principled Character: Who are you? How will you build value?
- Inspired Causes: What do you care about? What are your values?
- Contribution Value: How can you practically apply all of this? How do you deliver value? Translate your newfound self-understanding into a career that benefits yourself and your customers.
EPICENTER makes use of online assessments, reflections, and journalling exercises to guide users through an exploration of each of these EPIC elements of their design. The Life Apps make use of some of the most powerful techniques available today to help you learn what you love most, and do best, for the highest benefit of others, including employers hiring now. It’s all about unlocking the power of your core purpose to achieve your full potential in life and in the workplace.
Black Lake collaborated closely with Jim to create two versions of the course: a printed workbook and an interactive website. Our designers Ashley Kasul and Courtney Van De Burg crafted an interactive online experience and an engaging, eye-catching workbook. I edited and adapted Jim’s content for the print and web platforms, while Jessica Newton created illustrations for both iterations of the course. The entire project was overseen by our Chief Creative Officer, Greg Smith.
The EPICENTER Life Leadership Course is about to make its debut at Hope College, just down the street from our studio. The EPICENTER fable and workbook, published by Black Lake Press, will soon be available through Amazon, and the website is already live! Visit www.epicenterbook.com to learn more and to discover your Effective Competence, Principled Character, Inspired Causes, and Contribution Value.
For years, Scott Patchin has been giving leaders practical steps to turn leadership principles into measurably improved performance by their teams. This led to a series of trUTips, which Black Lake Press helped Scott publish as an ebook.
But these trUTips only led to bigger questions: Why is it so hard for some leaders to follow through on easy-to-understand principles? While these principles are building collaboration, what might be simultaneously eroding it? And what sort of cultivatable habits create a climate for collaboration and performance?
To answer these questions, Scott decided to write People-Centered Performance: Bringing Out Our Best Through Honest Conversation. It’s a resource for helping leaders to improve team performance through honest conversations and thoughtful actions. Black Lake Press worked with Scott throughout the writing, editorial, design, and publishing process, and we are now excited to announce that the book has arrived!
Scott Patchin is an experienced learning executive, trainer, coach, and author. His experience includes leadership roles in the manufacturing, financial, and healthcare industries. He has directed people and change strategies for startups, as well as multinational organizations. Scott is passionate about building the culture and processes within organizations that result in people being engaged and excited about what they are doing each day, and the business results that follow.
You can buy People-Centered Performance online at Scott’s website, www.thetrugroup.com, on Amazon in either print or Kindle editions, or through Apple iBooks. You can also keep up with Scott through the trU Group Blog or by signing up online to receive regular trUTips. Even better, if you subscribe to the trU Group mailing list, you’ll receive a free trUTips ebook, Strategic People Reminders for the Busy Executive.
We at Black Lake look forward to seeing Scott and the trU Group succeed, and to collaborating with them in the future.