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VOL. 129 | NO. 150 | Monday, August 4, 2014

Synk Brings ‘Rock & Sand’ Model to WKNO

By Andy Meek

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WKNO-TV is airing a business special later this month featuring business educator and coach Michael Synk, who will present a televised version of the “Rock & Sand” business model upon which he’s already built workshops and a book.


“Rock & Sand with Michael Synk: A Practical Guide to Business Growth” premiers Aug. 14 at 8 p.m. During that hour-long special, filmed with a studio audience, Synk will lay out the model he uses to help business owners, executives and entrepreneurs understand the connection between strategy and execution, something that’s been a core of his work for years.

Synk is the founder of In-Synk: Aligning Strategies Actions and Goals. He’s been offering his strategy and execution coaching services in Memphis for 13 years now, and it’s helpful to think of his “rock and sand” model as a metaphor.

It’s easy for business leaders to find themselves caught up in the act of “pushing sand,” which Synk describes as the nitty-gritty of running a business and all the day-to-day tasks that must get done – everything from making sales calls to taking orders. While that keeps the business generally moving in the right direction, though, it doesn’t do as much to improve the business’ future prospects.

That’s where, to continue the metaphor, identifying a rock comes in. Synk’s model is about helping business leaders identify those things – the rocks – that, when they’re addressed, help improve everything about the business and gets it closer to its goals.

Most people, Synk says, don’t do that. They think tactically instead of strategically, meaning they end up focused on making more sales calls or better sales calls without necessarily focusing on the bigger picture – and on actionable, measurable steps they can take to get there.

“Strategic growth occurs when my team gets behind a big rock and we push hard and collectively to fill in big, gaping holes in our business,” Start Co. founder and CEO Eric Mathews writes as an introduction to Synk’s book. “It is the sustainable foundation of both rocks and sand on which all businesses need to stand.”

The opportunity to present Synk’s material came by chance. For its part, WKNO had been looking to provide business programming like what Synk is offering, and WKNO president and CEO Michael LaBonia said the principles he lays out can be adapted for many types of individual endeavors and community organizations.

The show will have segments that convey pieces of what Synk has long taught to clients. His framework is built around a set of core principles that are actionable and bite-sized, the antithesis of the massive strategic analyses that give companies so much to do that nothing gets done.

“The opening explains the basic model, why people find strategy and execution difficult to do, then we explain the Rock & Sand concept,” Synk said. “The second segment is about how you figure out what rocks to pick. That’s the important thing about strategy – well, what do you do about it? The other thing is a sense of direction – where you want to end up. It’s straightforward, common-sense advice on strategy that applies to almost any organization.”

PROPERTY SALES 74 74 17,458
MORTGAGES 93 93 20,128
BUILDING PERMITS 126 126 36,072
BANKRUPTCIES 63 63 11,227