“I have an idea!” These four words tend to send members of my team, associates and especially my wife and business partner, Denise, running for cover. Not because all my ideas are bad, mind you, but because, they often represent a heck of a lot of work for those crazy enough to get involved.
A little background…In May 2016 my company, The Chariot Group, received some excellent national press featuring it as one of the “10 Hottest Collaboration Solution Providers – 2016” by Education Technology Insights. We even made the cover! I, of course, wanted to maximize its exposure as it was great PR and valuable marketing material, but I had a challenge; re-printing just the article didn’t seem sufficient, it needed more context to appeal to a larger audience.
I have an idea! I would reach out to a couple of business associates and ask them to help. Each would write a short article focused on business, innovation and positive outcomes. It would be a win-win situation; they would get visibility for their companies and I would wrap my company’s positive press into a broader platform. The publication would be a one-time simple thing, or so I thought. Within a week, it had grown to six contributors and 16 pages with a mission of being an opposing force to the dark economic cloud that was descending upon Alaska.
This simple idea turned real in July of 2016; STRIVE magazine was published in just three weeks, from concept to print. But something bigger and more important happened along the way. We fell in love with the idea of sharing positive and innovative ideas that illuminate a path forward during challenging and disrupted times. In short, we all caught the positivity we were trying to share.
Since that time, the enthusiasm has continued to build. We realized that regardless of the economic climate, nationally and/or globally, people and organizations of all types are struggling to cope with the maddening pace of change that is impacting their careers, businesses and industries. Regardless of whether it is technical innovations, such as robotics and artificial intelligence, or changing markets and global competition, everything is changing.
The question becomes how does one provide decisive leadership in a future that has no resemblance to what we know? If everything is changing, then what we used to rely on, including our old models for problem solving and measuring success, must change as well.
I have an idea! Let’s start a new company and provide resources and services to help illuminate the path forward. At that moment, The STRIVE Group was born. Our intent is to aggregate innovative and positive people and ideas with the goal of accelerating what we call “the Ah-Ha moment.” Ah-Ha – when the light goes on and we have a clearer vision of the path forward.
As for this publication, it is our intent that the articles be primarily first person accounts of innovative success and/or a positive vision of things to come. We hope Strive provides a platform for emerging thought leaders of all types and from all disciplines.
I know, it all sound a little audacious. It is just an idea.
This article first appeared in the January 2017 issue of STRIVE magazine
Rick Thomas graduated in 1985 from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) with a degree in Finance. He spent 10 years in the banking and insurance industries, but his true passion is Sociology – fascinated by why people do what they do and how populations respond.
An entrepreneur at heart, Thomas opened The Chariot Group, Inc., in 1999, an enterprise that is globally recognized for its expertise in videoconferencing system design, installation and integration. In December 2016, he launched the STRIVE Group to address a growing market need for a variety of consulting services focusing on leadership, workforce investments and business sustainability.
Thomas is a respected industry leader and torchbearer of digital transformation, using a platform of innovation to connect people with ideas and solutions.