Back from Copenhagen and getting over jet lag. So catching up on my reading and went looking for a little treasure that is a great start to the Fall madness. Seth Godin put this book out in 2010 and if you haven’t done so, its worth the read. Our economy is sluggish and the only people who can pick it up – is us. Linchpin is a reminder – sometimes not so gentle – but maybe a little push is needed. One of the quotes from the book that sticks in my mind is “Raising the bar is easier than it looks, and it pays for itself. If your boss won’t raise your bar, you should.”
Maybe its the influence of hanging out for the summer at a world-class business school in Copenhagen. Maybe its heat stroke. But it gets me to thinking. What if we all decided to raise the bar? Regardless of what our employers expect? What if we all started to change the ending of our own journey? Godin speaks to the fact that many of us have been asked to hide our empathy and our creativity in service to a job description which is more than likely, outdated. What if we went outside our own ‘box’ and started using our innate creativity – for our own purpose? Even if you aren’t sure what your purpose is, you probably won’t find it in your job description. Your family doesn’t know either or else you wouldn’t be looking for it now.
So a little expansion while we still have great weather? Methinks its worth the effort. Part of my expansion is working on a Tedx talk for September 14th in MIlton, Ontario. A little part scary and a big part exciting. The theme? Linchpins. Hope to see you there.
For anyone interested in branding, David Aaker is a must read. Most strategists know that brand awareness, quality, customer loyalty and brand associations are necessary to compete in today’s market. Aaker provides many examples and methods to drive brand equity. Emphasis is on relationship not transactions – as it should be. Having this book in your arsenal as you face the challenges of social media, explosion of amount and complexity of data, a growing proliferation of channels and devices and shifting customer demographics and psychographics will allow you to sleep at night.
Roger Martin has a special place on my bookshelf. Martin is the Dean of Business at Roman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and a vocal advocate for design thinking. He is an expert at linking theory and practice, and this new offering is no exception. If you have wondered how capitalism has brought us to our current economic situation, Martin explains the differences between the expectations market and the real market. Using the NFL as his primary example, Martin provides a thoughtful and entertaining expose of corporate greed and how we can change the game. The focus for the NFL is on the fans, the customer, not the owners of the teams. If you please the fans, the owners get their reward. If you annoy the fans, the owners go bankrupt. Novel lesson that needs to be heeded by every organization. Focusing on the maximization of shareholder profit clearly doesn’t work.
Peter Guber has had a very interesting career – studio chief at Columbia Pictures; co-chairman of Casablanca Records and Filmworks; CEO of Polygram Entertainment; chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures – to name a few. His current occupation includes storyteller and that perhaps is his best gig yet. In Tell to Win, Guber draws upon his extensive experience as a thought leader in multiple industries to deliver an easy-to-read and easy-to-follow book on how success is driven by creating a compelling story that moves people to action.
Moving beyond ‘death by powerpoint’, he brings to life the power of story in what he calls the ’emotional transportation business’ and states “if you can’t tell it, you can’t sell it”. Short, sweet and right to the point. If you are looking for a good reference book for the use of storytelling in business to achieve your goals, this is one of the better ones I have found.
Among his techniques:
1. capturing audience attention
2. motivating listeners by demonstrating authenticity
3. building your tell around ‘what’s in it for them’
4. changing passive listeners into active participants; and
5. using state-of-the-art technologies online to make sure audience commitment remains strong.