Thinking Beyond: Conversations with Strategic Thinkers

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Value propositions are important; essential actually. But they are not sufficient for success in the dynamic marketplace. To add to the content available in my book, "Think Beyond Value: Building Strategy to Win," and provide insight into what it looks like to put the V-REEL™ Framework to work, I've partnered with strategic thinkers from across the country to start and, in many cases, continue, strategic conversations. With V-REEL™ as our framework, we talk start-up strategy, business expansion strategy, not-for-profit strategy, personal strategy, and so on. The hope is you will gain insights relevant to your own situation by listening in on conversations I'm having with folks who are working in the trenches today to grow and extend their potential for creating value and winning in the marketplace. 

We will post all the podcast episodes here as they are released and you can subscribe through iTunes, GooglePlay, or SoundCloud.

Episode 21 - Kirk Thompson Part II - Common Language Shapes Stronger More Vibrant Communities & Economies

In part two of my conversation with Kirk Thompson we shift away from his personal development story to focus on development opportunities in his community. He imagines how a common framework and language like V-REEL™ might contribute to the formation of unified vision and re-development plans in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Episode 20: Kirk Thompson, Part 1 - V-REEL® Yourself to See and Build Personal Value

This episode is about one person's effort to build a career and a life with intention. I talked to Kirk about how he made career choices, how he responded to inevitable changes, and what grounds him as he figures out the path forward after Hurricanes Irma and Maria virtually destroyed his home and his business in 2017. I, of course, put it all in the context of the V-REEL™ Framework in hopes that it might help you organize your own thinking toward a long, rich, resilient value-creating career and life.

Ep. 19: Bailey Mullens: This is What it Takes to Change the World

Bailey Mullens is one inspired millennial; not the least bit mindless, as the title of his very popular podcast, Mindless Millennials, might suggest. Barely into his 20s, Bailey is a classic entrepreneur with exceptional amounts of energy, an abundance of ideas, and an ability to execute. In this episode you'll listen in on my first conversation with Bailey It's his first real encounter with the V-REEL™ framework but as you'll see, he's already got a lot of the concepts down. Bailey shares insights and advice that we would all do well to heed. Want to learn more about Bailey, listen to his podcast, Mindless Millennials. Want to know more about the V-REEL™ Framework, visit

Ep. 18: Mark and Bethany Douglass Part II: V-REEL for the Whole Family

In Part II of my conversation with Mark and Bethany Douglass, we talk about how the L in V-REEL™, Longevity, helps them carry out their family mission statement— training their children in an atmosphere that seeks creativity, education, and fosters the entrepreneurial spirit in their kids. Bethany is quick to point out that as a family, they apply V-REEL™ to more than business/financial decisions. It also works with abstract and emotional goals and helps the kids better understand who they are. Both creative thinkers, Mark as an executive with Fidelis Creative Agency, and Bethany as a popular lifestyle blogger, this couple has a lot to teach all of us about strategy for business and for life.

Ep. 17 - Mark and Bethany Douglas Part I: Building a Family's Future Using V-REEL

While the V of V-REEL™ stands for Value, after visiting with Mark and Bethany Douglas, I’m thinking of another v word: versatility. The way Mark and Bethany are applying V-REEL™ is very versatile and, honestly, they surprised me. Mark and Bethany are both entrepreneurs and have used the V-REEL™ framework in their businesses for a while now. Mark’s business, Fidelis Creative Agency, helps businesses look, sound, and perform better. They handle digital services, websites, media, and are expanding into digital marketing. Bethany’s business, Cloistered Away, is a lifestyle blog that is focused on simple, purposeful family living where she writes about keeping a simple lifestyle, recipes, resources for homeschoolers, and offers encouragement for parents.

But here’s the surprising part: Mark and Bethany shared V-REEL™ with their kids last year while driving around in their suburban on vacation. Now they’re using it together as a family to implement their strategic thinking at home. Listen in to Part I of my conversation with Mark and Bethany for some really strategic thinking and inventive application of the V-REEL™ framework.

Ep. 16 - Joey McGee: Successful Artists Think Like Entrepreneurs

Artists often don’t think along business lines when they start out because they’re swept away with the creative process. For some creatives, “strategy” might even sound like a bad word. But long-term success in any art form must be built on more than just talent and drive. Joey McGee is a great singer songwriter who is using V-REEL™ to think through his business, prioritize, and put key enablers in place so that he can focus on the aspects of his business most likely to create success. Learn more about Joey McGee at

Ep. 15: Christine Wzorek - Is it time to disrupt HR?

HR can become a key enabling factor for an organization by contributing to its ability to be valuable and rare in the marketplace. By thinking about her HR operation through the V-REEL™ lens, Christine is defining a new strategy not just for Four Foods HR but for the HR discipline as a whole.

Ep. 14: Rahsaan King - The evolution of a start-up (and an entrepreneur)

This conversation with Rahsaan King, Harvard student and founder of Students of Strength, sheds light on eroding factors the start-up is facing as it seeks to serve schools as well as individual students. During the conversation we also uncovered a potential enabling factor that might just be the key to overcoming some critical eroding factors. It's a great conversation for any entrepreneur looking for ways to think differently about their business in order to gain new insights. And, Rahsaan is quite inspiring too. Enjoy the conversation!

To learn more about StudentsofStrength, visit their website at

Ep. 13: Cyndie Meersman - Maximizing Your Ability to Create Value (and Land a Job)

Thinking about yourself as someone who can create value in the world and preparing yourself to adapt to the world is useful personally and can help you better market yourself to prospect employers. We all need to be realistic; don't brag but do know how you can create value for an organization. Cyndie Meersman is the founder of a unique student organization at Texas A&M University called The Business of the Arts (BA), an organization that she hopes one day will become known for developing artists' entrepreneurial skills. Cyndie confesses she didn't actually start the organization to help artists. She started BA to expand her own career options by putting a leadership position on her own resume. Selfish? I don't think so. Cyndie is thinking strategically; she's thinking about how she can make herself more valuable to prospect employers. 

Ep. 12: Matthew Hightower - Turning an Eroding Factor into a Distinctive Competency

It's probably not uncommon for a company to identify an eroding factor and turn that around with enablers such that it creates distinction in the marketplace. There is often opportunity to be found in weaknesses. Class2Class Co-Founder Matthew Hightower joins me on the podcast to talk about how he recognized the company's eroding factor early and what they did to create distinction in their marketplace. This and much more about how the V-REEL™ Framework is helping Class2Class refine its strategy. 

To learn more about Class2Class, visit To find FREE V-REEL™ resources, visit

Ep. 11: Coby Dixon - When Value and Rareness are Not Enough

Elysium Black Diamond not only creates a great deal of value with their black diamond jewelry, but they have built up an exclusivity around their manufacturing and protected their intellectual property such that they now truly are rare. Elysium Black Diamond co-founder Coby Dixon joined me on the podcast to talk about how they became both valuable and rare in the market and what they are working on to address eroding factors and ensure the company's longevity. 

Ep. 10: Fidelis Studio - Finding Focus and Clarity with V-REEL™

When it comes to putting the V-REEL™ Framework to work for strategic thinking, few seem to be taking the framework further than the Douglas brothers. Tim and Mark Douglas of Fidelis, a full service creative agency specializing in messaging and strategy, use V-REEL™ as a sort of lens through which they evaluate virtually every aspect of their operations. From strategic investments to hiring decisions, and even prospecting for new clients, V-REEL™ seems to have invaded their thinking across their professional and personal lives. The result is clarity in communications and focused strategy. To learn about Fidelis, visit To learn more about the V-REEL™ Framework for strategy development, visit or purchase the book Think Beyond Value: Building Strategy to Win. 

Ep. 9: Jeff Haden: The truth about "The Motivation Myth"

LinkedIn Influencer and Inc. contributor Jeff Haden joins David on the podcast to talk about his book, "The Motivation Myth." Jeff had a goal to become a writer and worked his way from literally zero writing experience to being the only non-CEO, non-academic sitting on the list of LinkedIn Influencers alongside Bill Gates and Richard Branson. He achieved his goal by setting out a strategy to get there and then diligently working his plan. Jeff's story is compelling and his advice is practical, helping people figure out how they can enable their ability to create value in this world. 

To learn more about Jeff, visit his website at

Ep. 8: Brandi Plunkett: Building Entrepreneurial Strategy in a Corporate Setting

Brandi Plunkett joins me on the podcast to talk about the entrepreneurial strategy she's developing for her organization which operates inside one of the largest university's in the nation. An entrepreneurial mindset and approach is often appropriate, even in large corporate environments but thinking and functioning as an entrepreneur when surrounded by long-standing organizational culture can be both advantageous and limiting. As director of the Center for Executive Development at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, Brandi shares insights and lessons learned, all through the lens of the V-REEL™ Framework.

Ep. 7: AJ Renold: Thinking Strategically in a Not-for-Profit Setting

David Flint talks with Voices for Children Executive Director AJ Renold about the complexities of building strategy in a not-for-profit environment. Considering and serving a wide range of stakeholders, finding common language to foster communication and protecting critical resources are just a few of issues AJ is addressing using the V-REEL™ Framework as a guide. And the stakes are high. Voices for Children is a nationally recognized CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) organization serving children in the foster care system through an army of highly trained and exceptionally dedicated volunteers. To learn more about Voices for Children visit

Episode 6: Nick Mastronardi - V-REEL™ Your Start-up for Success

David Flint is joined by Nick Mastronardi, founder of POLCO, an innovative company working at the intersection of technology and community. POLCO provides a platform for civic engagement that empowers municipalities to engage citizens by giving them a venue to express opinions and respond to pols on local issues. POLCO provides verified user profiles and rich data without compromising the privacy of citizen participants. Already expanding throughout the US, Nick and his team are using V-REEL™ to remain aware of and defend against eroding factors like new entrants in the online polling space.

To learn more about POLCO, visit To learn more about the V-REEL™ Framework and get started on your own strategy, explore additional V-REEL™ resources, and purchase David's book Think Beyond Value: Building Strategy to Win.

Episode 5: Jared Moore Part II - Key Enablers for Successful Entrepreneurship

In this second part in a two-part conversation with Avadi Dental founder Jared Moore, the conversation turns to key enablers that Jared has in place that have supported his entrepreneurial journey. Turning the conversation away from Avadi to Jared as an individual, David Flint focuses in on key enablers of an individual or organization, and how their presence or absence might change the way you approach business opportunities.

Learn more about Avadi Dental Laboratories at For additional V-REEL™ resources, check out or purchase David's book Think Beyond Value: Building Strategy to Win here.

Episode 4: Jared Moore Part I: Finding Opportunity in Market Changes

In Part One of a two-part series, David chats with Avadi Dental Labs co-founder Jared Moore who is using V-REEL™ to position his company to succeed in a manufacturing industry that, like many, is facing dramatic changes as new technology is reshaping the industry. Jared used the V-REEL™ Framework to identify what will make Avadi valuable and rare in the long run. Learn how Jared is using V-REEL™ to help his team understand what makes Avadi Dental Labs distinctive in the marketplace so they can put the right enablers in place to take advantage of industry changes and build a winning company.

Learn more about Avadi Dental Labs at For more on V-REEL™, get your copy of Think Beyond Value here:

Episode 3 - Christine Hollinden: Growing a Business Beyond the Founder

Host David Flint talks business strategy with marketing strategist Christine Hollinden, founder of the Hollinden marketing and branding firm located in Houston, TX. A long-time champion of David's V-REEL™ Framework, Christine talks with David about how she used the V-REEL™ to think through building her firm from a founder-centered operation to an organization serving a broad and growing client base. Learn more about Christine and her team at

Episode 2 - Marci Corry: Creating a Company from a Cause

David Flint is joined by Marci Corry, founder of Safe2Safe, an app-based start-up that is rapidly expanding by providing significant value to local merchants in the form of exceptional PR and marketing insights, all the while encouraging drivers to choose savings over texting while driving. By focusing on enabling real value creation, Safe2Save is expanding to the Houston, TX market and to online markets. Special offer for podcast listeners: download the Safe2Save app and use code: V-REEL™ to get 800 free rewards points! Learn more about Safe2Save at

Episode 1 - Jose Quintana: Entrepreneurship and Value Creation

Host David Flint talks business incubation strategy with serial entrepreneur and founder of the Innovation Underground Jose Quintana. The Innovation Underground (IU) is a business and technology incubator located in Bryan, TX. The IU is currently serving more than 50 start-ups in Texas, Europe, and South America. Learn more at