Put on your best dressed foolishness & come out to play!

No candy, no cards, no dinner or presents, hell there aren’t even any cards.   As I was shopping for thank you cards this weekend, navigating between Passover, Easter and Mother’s Day cards, I realized there aren’t any April Fool’s Day cards. Am I wrong here, or is April Fools Day (a holiday that stems back thousands of years to the celebration of the true new year) the only under exploited holiday of the year?! april fools day We spend more commercial attention on Sweetest Day and National Pencil Day (March 30) than we do on the spring time celebration of the true new year.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m not a fan of over commercialization.  I think the two month preview that every grocery, convenient and department store gives to the next best holiday before the last one even ends has really run its course.  I believe some of us have actually forgotten the turn of natures season and judge the time of year by whether its the 4rth of July, Halloween, Thanks Giving, Chrismas, New Year, Valentines Day, St. Patty’s Day, Easter, Mothers Day or 4rth of July chatchkas stocked on the store shelves. I just can’t believe some marketer hasn’t identified the looming vacuum and assumed the responsibility to make it there own.

So not one to miss a great opportunity, I’ve decided to make it my own.  Frankly, I believe April Fools Day has gotten a bad rap.  It’s considered an after thought, pranksters holiday left for most of us to completely forget about it until becoming the unwitting victim of a cruel joke.  I advocate we change that and harken back to the original roots of pagans celebrating the spring equinox, ending the death of the old year (winter) and welcoming the birth of a new year (spring).

Seriously, April 1st is a day to put on your best dressed foolishness on and come out to play.  Something made all the more sweet by its virtual neglect by popular attention.  Its the spring time combination of Halloween, Mardi Gras and New Year rolled into the one time of year you can throw caution to the wind and behave complete and utterly foolish.  April Fool’s is a carefree embrace of the infinite potential the new year holds.  Its a creators holiday, a chance to try something new with total permission to fail and at worst appear a fool on a day dedicated to it.  It is a national holiday for entrepreneurs and risk takers.  It’s the essence of being able to do whatever out of this world thing your mind and motivation can come up with and have total permission to have fun, make fun and be a fool.

Join me in embracing the natural start to the new year and celebrating the only unexploited Hallmark holiday of the year.  Enjoy the jokes and pranks, take a chance, create something, act foolish with no fear because today is the day of new beginnings and challenging the limits of popular expectations.

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Happy New Year!

Spring.  There’s just simply nothing like it.  Marked not only by the weather getting warmer, the sun staying up later and the new birth of all things great and small, spring is actually the start to the natural new year.  It wasn’t until some time ago that this changed to become what we now know as April Fools Day.  Check out more on the history from a previous post of Jerry Wilson’s great recount, Happy April Fools Day!

For me, April Fools Day is more than some under exploited Hallmark holiday meant for playing pranks on friends and family.  It’s the Halloween and Mardi Gras of the spring all wrapped up into one Foolish celebration.  It’s a day when we have permission to start a new year as fresh as spring, as happy as kids playing in the park and as touching as new life to be.  We work hard all year long to take care of our jobs, our families and our responsibilities in this new modern age, and somewhere in there, we lose sight of what it all means to just be.  To just be who we are, to just be fun and foolish, to just be a merry band of revelers celebrating the passion, joy and foolishness of life.

So I say what better way to celebrate the most extraordinary holiday of the year than to put your best dressed foolishness on and come out to play!  April Fools Day is no joke!  Its a time for you to be you in all its unserious glory.  No suits, no deadlines, no busy hectic errands.  Take a moment to let all that go just for a day, while you come out to laugh and play.

For me, a serial entrepreneur, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to get all my clients, collaborators, friends and family together to launch an inspiring new venture that transforms thought into reality.  Nvision Performance Solutions officially launches tonight premiering its Cinema Reel and latest artist’s, Jean P the MC, video at the Arena Grand Movie Theater in Columbus, OH.  The event is going to be like a masquerade ball for new media, colorful, invigorating, playful and inspiring.  Video media is so pervasive in today’s world, but the gap between the masses of amateur posts and the elite few with studio budgets is growing wider by the day leaving most of us to still wear by gone fashions, wondering how can we ever afford to compete with the celebrities’ newest digs.  Nvision solves that empowering clients to put on their best dressed formals or foolishness at an affordable investment so that when you are ready to come out to play, the world watches, clicks and pays… attention to what your inspiration is!

So if you’re with me, stand up and declare April Fools Day, the start to the real new year, as the day you give yourself permission to put your inhibitions aside, take a risk, try something you’d never thought you’d do, become a spark, start some trouble, make something extraordinary happen whatever the outcome could be.  Who knows who or what you might inspire to come to be?  What’s the worst that could happen?  You take a chance and look like a fool?  Well here’s to all those naysayers that would try to keep you down, pinned in a cubicle and playing it safe.  You can’t get to the other shore if you don’t leave the dock.  As many a great innovator will tell you, bucking the trend and going against the crowd is never easy, but you won’t be the first to cause others to laugh, hopefully you won’t be the last.  In fact, you’ll be in elite company for making the world a more exciting space to dream and less serious place to be.

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Getting ready for the CAS conference this week

Attending the Complex Adaptive Systems conference put on by Missouri University of Science & Technology together with Lockheed Martin this week in Dulles, VA http://complexsystems.mst.edu/

Friday’s grand finale will be a panel I moderate from the FBI, Boeing & Tata discussing big data and its impacts.  http://complexsystems.mst.edu/conferencepanelmembers/

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From the chief scientist at Intel on complexity

http://wethedata.org

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Cyber Center Innovation

I submitted an application for the “Pitch Your Idea” contest being hosted by CreateWV this weekend on Saturday, October 27, 2012.  I was selected to pitch in the semi finals which are open to the public beginning at 1:30.  There is a dinner following at 5:30 where they will announce the winner.  The winner’s pitch will get funding to create their idea.

Please come out for a great time to support a great cause.  The more people the better in person and online (tweet, blog or resend it to a friend!).  Go to  www.createwv.wildapricot.org to register for the dinner.

Here’s my Pitch!

Creating a West Virginia Cyber Center Club delivers an innovative space in thought, time and place that would enable young, curious minds to explore technology, its principles and applications, through hands on, professionally lead experiences.

  • WVCCC will combine students with skilled specialists and access to advanced equipment to learn the extent of technology’s possibilities in an experimental atmosphere.
    • Students will be able to investigate many types of technology including electronics, programming in a variety of languages, defending a network, web design and multimedia applications among others. They will have the opportunity to compete in activities based upon their interests, which can include anything from music and fashion to entertainment and gaming.
  • WVCCC activities will enable career awareness highlighting the importance of technology in a developing world.
    • Students will learn about technology through hands-on experience. They will gain real-world experience by directly interacting with professionals in the fields of technology, business and media.
  • WVCCC will help foster opportunities for networking and development through job shadowing and co-opting.

Students will learn how technology impacts their interests and future careers, part of a key initiative for developing West Virginia’s future workforce.

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Innovate, Create & Commercialize

Gregory J. Kaple

Startup Artist

GAK3

Greg Kaple is an entrepreneur and a strategy consultant known for innovating business models and solution delivery platforms for complex professional, technology and services organizations.  His expertise incorporates the discipline of process engineering and technology management with the empathy of social engineering and communications alignment.  Kaple is one of the State of Appalachia’s most dynamic forces leading a vision to transform the Appalachian region into the new global leader for workforce competitiveness and innovative economic development.

As a startup founder, Kaple has repeatedly succeeded at growing ventures like project management software platform TeamDynamix, mens’ barbershop franchise Kennedy’s All American, professional services provider Integrated Management Services (IMS) and new media for the new masses production company Nvision Performance Solutions.

As a strategy consultant, Kaple has consulted with hundreds of companies, including global leaders like Tiffany & Co, Time Warner, New York Presbyterian Hospital, AIG, LexisNexis, White & Case and WilmerHale and others.  This work has included improving shared service delivery models for infrastructure and risk management, redesigning business operations through insourcing and on-shoring and leading transformational change in organizational cultures and business development.

Kaple has developed a well-regarded methodology for innovation, alignment, creation and commercialization, which he has used repeatedly in different business environments and across a variety of market segments. He is the author of a professional blog reflecting his personal passions, initiatives and experiences, www.Kaple.wordpress.com.  His contributions include research on technology models for managing operational risk within information technology systems, managing multi-sided market platforms and generating value driven business models for service delivery.

Kaple is a founding participant in the Ohio University Ralph & Luci Schey Sales Centre and is a passionate supporter of investing in education and enabling the future of America’s competitiveness through programs that give back.  He’s been a governing member of several University programs for sales and entrepreneurship with West Virginia University, University of Dayton and Ohio University where he recently created a breakthrough class on Entrepreneurial Sales.

Kaple has a Masters Degree of Science in Telecommunications Management from Stevens Institute of Technology and a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Ohio University. He currently resides in Parkersburg, WV at the center of the Great Ohio Valley with his wife, Stephanie, two young daughters, Charlotte Rae & Grace Ann and their two North American Appalachian mountain dogs, Rally & Ryder.

 

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Ohio University Schey Sales Centre

Coach & Candidate Portfolio Competition

Championship

Winner:  Chelsea Kovak   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSLOzZLECf0

Amy Stafford                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWQC0-xpIYk

Final Four

Amy Stafford

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmnkyS3oq6I

Chelsea Kovak

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjTBV4qrth0&feature=youtu.be

Chanel Glenn

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JGzbNOiLBo&feature=related

Rebecca Koch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUdLlpIgqu8&feature=youtu.be

2012 Candidate Portfolio Competition, Round One!

http://aspnet.cob.ohio.edu/isms/cobcontent.aspx?5155

Coach & Candidate Program Overview

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5IFbLoBBvY

“More than Kaple-able” Award Winners

  • 2012 Chelsea Kovak
  • 2011 Chad Supers
  • 2010 Greg Silverman
  • 2009 Brian Yutzy
  • 2008 Meryl Smith*
  • 2007 Brad Hirsch
  • 2006 Chris Knapik
* First year of the portfolio competition

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