Thursday, November 19, 2009

Portrait Fun with Maura and Karen Dec 5

Companies have their logos. These days individuals are expected to have portraits of themselves on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

Getting a smart portrait made, that you actually like, is usually pricey. This is why Maura Hernandez and I have teamed up to help our friends, colleagues and acquaintances get some good portraits made at a relatively reasonable price.

We invite you to Portrait Fun.

Come get your picture made Saturday, December 5, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. at 9 W. Washington in Chicago for $95.

We'll both shoot a whole bunch of pictures of you and we'll deliver six or more image files to you for your professional or personal use.

Come looking smart waist up.

Here's a picture of journalist Beth Botts from last month's fun.

Some other portraits I've made for fun, money, sometimes both, are on Facebook:
- Emily Lonigro, owner, LimeRed Studio
- Cheryl Corley, reporter, National Public Radio
- Kimberly Walz, district director, Congressman Mike Quigley
- Laura Washington, columnist and national commentator, Chicago Sun-Times
- Monty Cole, actor, writer, director
- Michael M. Lorge, trustee, Village of Skokie
- Pam McKuen, independent journalist and journalism instructor
- Ramon DeLeon, operating partner, Domino's Pizza
- Justin G. Roy, co-founder, Networking for a Cause and TweetNetworking
- Ken Kring, corporate executive and author

You can sign-up here.
Questions? Contact me at

My brother Ken will also be talking about business strategy mapping while we're shooting pictures. His discussion will go from 1-2:30 p.m..

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ken Kring discusses Business Strategy Mapping Dec 5

Office Port CHI is again featuring Niles North alum Ken Kring as part of its new authors events.

Ken will lead a discussion on business strategy mapping and answer questions about his book "Business Strategy Mapping: The Power of Knowing How it all Fits Together."

When: Saturday, December 5, 2009
1 - 2:30 p.m.

Where: Office Port CHI
9 W. Washington in Chicago

Cost: Free

RSVP: or on LinkedIn.

According to Ken, business strategy mapping is essentially mapping out the conversation as to how you are going to drive any initiative from potential to profitability. It is useful for everyone from CEOs to entrepreneurs and other managers who need to figure out how all the elements of their business fit and work together.

"We'll be talking how business strategy mapping can be applied to any particular challenge that any business might have," Ken says.

I've heard my brother lead discussions on business strategy mapping numerous times and I've never failed to take away something new and valuable. He doesn't use too much jargon, which is refreshing.

About 15 of us were at the November 18 discussion and we had a good time.

I'll be there, but hosting Portrait Fun. Maura Hernandez and I are making good portraits, for personal or professional uses, at a good price. Consider coming early or staying after Ken's discussion to get a new head shot made. Also a good time to go browse Macy's windows and the Christkindlmarket.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

WTTW invites the public to "Health Secrets" taping

This just in from Skokie native Lindsay Miller, now with WTTW...

WTTW/Channel 11 and Northwestern Memorial Hospital have partnered to inform and inspire women to take control of their health.

Health Secrets: What Every Woman Should Know is a four-part television series being taped at WTTW. The public is invited to be part of the program.

Hosted by award-winning journalist Paula Zahn, each one-hour program is aimed at different points in a woman’s life. From teenage body image issues to menopause to life after being diagnosed with a serious illness, these programs will benefit women in all stages of life; each of the four programs examines the challenges that women face throughout their lives.

Coming of Age
Thursday, November 12, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Helping mothers talk to their teens about body image, obesity, eating disorders, and the HPV vaccine

Reproductive Years
Friday, November 13, 5:30pm-8:00pm
Starting a family, infertility, balancing family and work, and stress management

Menopause and Beyond
Thursday, December 3, 6:00pm-7:30pm
Menopause, alternative choices to staying healthy, integrative medicine, and
age-appropriate screenings

Healthy living and options after a difficult diagnosis
Friday, December 4, 5:30pm-8:00pm
Disease prevention and the options available when dealing with heart attack, stroke
or cancer diagnosis

This program is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. If you are interested in being an audience member for any of the four programs or would like additional information, please contact Lindsay Miller, Audience Coordinator at WTTW, at or 773-509-5473.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ken Kring: Corporate Executive and now Author

If you ask anyone who has known Ken Kring well what kind of guy he is, you'll hear a variety of opinions, but the most common descriptions will include tenacious and determined. When I heard he was going to write a book on how business can work smarter, there was no doubt it would happen. Business Strategy Mapping: The Power of Knowing How It All Fits Together came out in February 2009 and has been well received. I wrote about it here previously.

My brother, Ken, graduated from Niles North in 1982. He then attended Oakton Community College while holding down a full-time job at a marketing research company. He went on to earn his BS in Business Administration from DePaul*. He then worked at Sprint and Rand McNally and started his family before returned to school again. At Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management he focused on marketing, finance, management and strategy and earned his MBA while at The Mickus Group, an organizational development consulting firm. While there, he began to understand how the elements of business can work better together through strategy mapping.

Since then Ken has worked for Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Discover Financial Services, DraftFCB, WalMart, Hacker Group and now Sears Holding Corporation, which means he's working on Kmart projects too.

Because Ken enjoys the topic and has seen business strategy mapping help organizations better visualize their goals, and the paths to reaching them, he occasionally takes on pro bono clients and leads discussions and workshops.

I recently asked Ken for some more details about his book:

Q: What inspired you write this book?
A: I was working for the CEO of a substantial for-profit health services company. He asked me to help him figure out how to best invest in the company. After I figured it out, it occurred to me that the method I'd used would work for others too.
Q: How long did it take you to write it?
A: I got the idea for the book about 13 years ago and then started actually writing it about 10 years ago. I'd written many version of it. The first were too academic. Later versions were more story-driven. The final draft took me about 6 months to get it where I wanted it.
Q: Who'd you have in mind as you wrote? Who were you writing for?
A: People like me. CEOs, entrepreneurs and others trying to figure out how it all connects and works together...and sometimes doesn't.
Q: Where did you get the stories, the "business fables", you share in the book?
A: The business fables came from lessons learned through various experiences I've had working with some really good people with very real challenges...and some were tough struggles,
Q: What kind of feedback have you gotten about the book?
A: Some have called the book common sense and others have called it radical, which is kind of amusing. Some of my favorite comments have been "This has really helped me sort though all of the chaos" and "This has really helped the left-hand know what the right-hand is doing at our company." Another is "It's great when we all share the same picture".
Q: What amuses you about some folks calling the book common sense and others calling it radical?
A: There doesn't seem to be a pattern as to which people quickly see how useful strategy mapping is. I believe it is actually easier and simpler than some think. It is essentially mapping out the conversation as to how you are going to drive any initiative from potential to profitability.
Q: Is there any specific project, or kinds of projects, you'd like to take on using business strategy mapping?
A: I like the projects where people are really interested in understanding how it all fits together and then using what they know to make plans and set goals that will make their company stronger. Past projects have included strategic planning for the organization, product development, marketing planning and organizational development.
Q: Do you have any plans for writing another book?
A: There are a couple of additional books that will be written. Working titles include "Business Fables: Lessons Learned from the Real World" and "Business Strategy Mapping: A Practioner's Guide".
For more information about the book or future discussions and workshops, contact Ken at kkring (at)

*Our mom studied business at DePaul in the 50s: Secretarial Science. I've not asked her yet if she'd worked in any Mad-Men-like environments. She worked as a secretary before she was married and then again after having her kids.