march boutiques-francophones Unlimited cloud storage SmartSaver Furniture Introducing Kindle Oasis Explore the Vinyl LP Records Store sports Tools Registry
Profile for Robert Morris > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Robert Morris
Top Reviewer Ranking: 9
Helpful Votes: 2494

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Amazon Communities.

Reviews Written by
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas)

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
The Daily Edge: Simple Strategies to Increase Efficiency and Make an Impact Every Day
The Daily Edge: Simple Strategies to Increase Efficiency and Make an Impact Every Day
by David Horsager
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 21.28
29 used & new from CDN$ 19.95

5.0 out of 5 stars “Make everything as simple as possible but no simpler." Albert Einstein, Dec 23 2015
The narrative consists of 35 “Tips” on how to accelerate and enrich personal growth and professional development. As David Horsager explains, a daily edge is an advantage almost anyone can gain when one’s priorities are crystal clear and there is a sharp, constant focus on serving those priorities. Horsager agrees with Stephen Covey that people tend to spend too much time and energy on what is urgent and not enough on what is important.

I share Horsager's appreciation of the importance of setting priorities that can help to guide and inform our thoughts as well as our plans and behavior. However, circumstances can change significantly. When they do -- more often than not -- priorities need to be re-ordered. He offers a sound framework within which appropriate modifications can be made, if and when necessary.

He recommends a process that begins wherever you are now; he explains how to identify the objectives you wish to achieve; and then helps you determine what must be done -- and how it must be done -- to complete a journey from where you are to where you wish to be.

Each of the 35 "Tips" is accompanied by a brief but insightful explanation of HOW to use it to accomplish much more, in much less time, that will have much greater impact. These are among the Tips of greatest interest and value to me:

#1: How to formulate a 90-day Quick Plan and then make it work
#3: How to take full advantage of the "Power Hour" each workday morning
#4: How top complete 3-5 tasks better and faster by do them at the same time
#7: How to select and complete the right tasks to complete when you are most creative and productive
#10: How to use the last 15 minutes of a workday to prioritize and plan the tasks to complete the next day
#22: How to determine which tasks would be most efficiently completed together

This is a self-help book in the most admirable sense of the term. Although Horsager provides an abundance of insights and counsel, it remains for each reader to take ownership of beginning and then continuing the aforementioned "journey."

Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to check out two by Ken Robinson, written with Lou Aronica: The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything (2009) and Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life (2014).

StandOut 2.0: Assess Your Strengths, Find Your Edge, Win at Work
StandOut 2.0: Assess Your Strengths, Find Your Edge, Win at Work
by Marcus Buckingham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 23.16
44 used & new from CDN$ 18.01

5.0 out of 5 stars How to identify and then leverage the strengths needed to accelerate personal growth and professional development, Dec 23 2015
Those who have read one or more of Marcus Buckingham’s books — First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently (1999), Now, Discover Your Strengths (2001), and Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance (2007) — already know that his mission in life is to help as many people as he can to accelerate their personal growth and professional development. In my opinion, StandOut 2.0 is his most valuable and will be the most influential book he has written…thus far. He provides an abundance of valuable information, insights, and counsel that can help team members, their leaders, and individuals to identify, nourish, and the leverage the strengths they need to achieve success, however it may be defined.

What’s in it for you?

More specifically, he explains

o How to find your edge (i.e. competitive advantage) and make it work best for you.
o How to take full advantage of the potential benefits of the StandOut Assessment
o How to use three lessons — “Your Genius Is Precise,” “Remember Who You Are [and Aren’t],” and “Always Sharpen Your Edge” — to build your strengths
o How strengths-building can accelerate innovation
o What specifically each of the strengths roles requires and how to fill each role to achieve high-impact

These are the nine roles:

ADVISOR: You are a reliable, highly-valued source of wisdom and knowledge.
CONNECTOR: Your are a catalyst and bridge-builder.
CREATOR: You make something new.
[INNOVATOR: You make something better],
EQUALIZER: You maintain appropriate balance and proportion.
INFLUENCER: You are persuasive because others trust you and respect you.
PIONEER: You embrace opportunities to explore/understand what is unfamiliar.
PROVIDER: You nourish others’ needs.
STIMULATOR: You inspire self-motivation in others.
TEACHER: You enjoy learning as much as you enjoy sharing what you have learned.

People tend to be oblivious to their unique (albeit under-developed) strengths, as are others with whom they most frequently interact. That said, it would be a fool’s errand to attempt to become an outstanding performer in each of the nine roles. Let the results of the new StandOut Assessment suggest on which two or three to focus. With all due respect to the strategy “Let your light so shine before man,” it is equally important to know where and how to shine that light, first within the as-yet undiscovered self and then in all areas of one’s life.

Personal note: I give Marcus Buckingham high marks in each of the nine categories. He is as caring as he is bright. As I suggested earlier, he is on a mission. How else to explain why he continues to write books such as this one?

He devotes all of Chapter 5 (Pages 39-84) to discussing each of these nine, using a template that consists of eight components:

o The Definition [of the given role]
o You at Your Most Powerful
o How to Describe Yourself [resumés, in interviews, performance reviews]
o How to Make an Immediate Impact
o How to Take Your Performance to the Next Level
o What to Watch Out For
o How to Win as a Leader, as a Manager, in Sales, and in Client Service
o How to Manage Me

Buckingham urges his readers to complete the new StandOut Assessment because it will reveal (a) what their greatest strengths are now and (B) which strengths (albeit under-developed strengths) are most likely to help them find their edge, sharpen it, and thereby become a peak performer in months and years to come. He suggests they think of the results of the new StandOut Assessment as a “Rosetta Stone” to make sense of the human complexity to which Walt Whitman refers in Song of Myself: “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.”

HBR's 10 Must Reads 2016: The Definitive Management Ideas of the Year from Harvard Business Review (with bonus McKinsey Award–Winning article "Profits Without Prosperity”) (HBR’s 10 Must Reads)
HBR's 10 Must Reads 2016: The Definitive Management Ideas of the Year from Harvard Business Review (with bonus McKinsey Award–Winning article "Profits Without Prosperity”) (HBR’s 10 Must Reads)
by Harvard Business Review
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 27.57
51 used & new from CDN$ 18.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Ten Plus the McKinsey Award Winner, William Lazonick's 'Profits Without Prosperity, Dec 22 2015
This is the second volume in what I hope will become an annual series of anthologies of the best articles that appeared in Harvard Business Review during the previous calendar year. Frankly, I am pleased and relieved that I was not among those who were charged with making the selections, each of which is eminently worthy. I commend the Editors on the excellent Introduction. It brilliantly sets the "table" for the intellectual "feast" that follows.

The articles average about 15 pages in length. (Keep in mind that Amazon's "Look inside" option creates immediate access to the table of contents in all of the anthologies: HBR 10 Must Reads, HBR Guides to, HBR on, etc.) Executives with little (if any) time for reading business books and journals will welcome the material in HBR's 10 Must Reads 2016: The Definitive Management Ideas of the Year from Harvard Business Review. They will receive a briefing on cutting edge thinking about timely topics such as these:

o Why and how performance management needs to be reinvented
o The transparency trap and how to avoid it
o What strategy unravels...and what to do about that
o The authenticity paradox
o The discipline of business experimentation
o What do when senior managers won't cooperate
o How to establish workplaces that move people
o Ho0w connections, sensors, and data are revolutionizing business

Here in Dallas near the downtown area, we have a Farmer's Market at which several merchants offer slices of fresh-cut fruit as samples of their wares. In that spirit, I now present three excerpts that are presentative of the high quality of all eleven selections.

"[Employee] ratings are a distillation of the truth -- and up until now, one might argue, a necessary one. Yet we want our organizations to know us, and we want to know ourselves at work, and that can't be compressed into a single number. We now have the technology to go from a small data version of our people to a big data version of them." Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall

"The corporate resource allocation process is America's source of economic security or insecurity,as the case may be. If Americans want an economy in which corporate profits result in shared prosperity, the buyback and executive compensation binges will have to end. As with any addiction, there will be withdrawal pains. But the best executives may actually get satisfaction out of being paid a reasonable salary for allocating resources in ways that sustain the enterprise, provide higher standards of living to the workers who make it succeed, and generate tax revenues for the governments that provide it with critical inputs." William Lazonick

"When their companies fail to translate strategy into results, many executives point to a weak performance culture as the root cause. The data tells a different story. It is true that in most companies, the official culture -- the core values posted on the companv website, say -- does not support execution. However, a company's true values reveal themselves when managers make hard choices -- and here we have found that a focus on performance does shape behavior on a day-to-day basis." Donald Sull, Rebecca Homkes, and Charles Sull

Given the quality of the articles in this anthology, its price (if purchased from Amazon US, $17.24) is not a bargain, it's a steal.

Think Out Of The Box
Think Out Of The Box
by Mike Vance
Edition: Hardcover
36 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A classic source for thinking more clearly and making better decisions, Dec 19 2015
This review is from: Think Out Of The Box (Hardcover)
I have just re-read two books co-authored by Mike Vance and Diane Deacon. This one and Creating Mega Results: A proven creative process for achieving record-breaking success</em>. Some of the material in it is dated in terms of relevance to today's global marketplace but, that said, the basic principles that Deacon and Vance affirm are timeless, relevant to almost any organization, whatever its size and nature may be.

For example, Vance and Deacon stress the importance of having a vision, 'a crucial component in the formula for success. They also suggest ' and I agree: 'What we do is determined by what we are. What we are is determined by what we think. What we think is determined by what we experience. What we experience is determined by what awe are exposed to and what we do with that exposure.'

They provide a number of mini-profiles of creative geniuses:

o Norman Brinker (Pages 31-34)
o Thomas Edison (60-62)
o Louis L'Amour (79-81)
o Frank Lloyd Wright (92-94)
o Dr. Vernon Luck (121-124)
o R. Buckminster Fuller (137-140)
o A.C. (Mike) Markkula (152-153)
o Jack Welch (171-173)
o Walt Disney (185-193)

According to Wikipedia, the concept of 'thinking outside the box' is generally credited to a nine-dot puzzle "which John Adair claims to have introduced in 1969. Thinking outside the box (also thinking out of the box or thinking beyond the box) is a metaphor that means to think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective. This phrase often refers to novel or creative thinking. The term is thought to derive from management consultants in the 1970s and 1980s challenging their clients to solve the 'nine dots' puzzle, whose solution requires some lateral thinking."

My own take is that lateral or alternative perspectives on problems or questions often expedite resolving them. Back in the days when I spent most of my time in an office interacting with colleagues and clients frequently, there were very serious issues to be addressed and I found that my thinking about them was easier and better during a weekend, away from the office. In essence, the "box" to which Vance and Deacon is a mindset, not a location. It is imperative, however, that efforts made to solve the right problem or answer the right question. As Peter Drucker wisely observed decades ago, "There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all." Mike Vance and Diane Deacon can help those who read this book to avoid making that mistake.

Magnetic: The Art of Attracting Business
Magnetic: The Art of Attracting Business
by Joe Calloway
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 26.41
26 used & new from CDN$ 18.39

5.0 out of 5 stars How to create customer experiences that drive new business while sustaining repeat business, Dec 17 2015
Marketing can be traced back at least to the bazaars in ancient Athens and Rome and yet its primary purpose remains the same today: To create or increase demand for whatever the offering may be. That said, attracting attention must precede all other initiatives. Then credibility must be earned by treating respondents with respect. A world-class marketing plan is essentially worthless – and usually counter-productive -- if the given product or service is of inferior quality. Joe Calloway wrote this book to explain the art and science of attracting and retaining business.

o Use of percentages to suggest relative importance and correlative relationships
o Boxed clusters of question to facilitate interaction with key issues
o Reality checks
o Organizational- and self-assessments
o What to do and when to do it
o Prioritization of tasks

As I worked my way through Calloway's narrative, I was again reminded of Bernd Schmitt's pioneering work, Experiential Marketing: How to Get Customers to Sense, Feel, Think, Act, Relate (2000). He develops in much greater depth insight introduced in an earlier work, Marketing Aesthetics (1998). For example, the assertion that "most of marketing is limited because of its focus on features and benefits." He presents what he characterizes as "a framework" for managing those experiences. In Experiential Marketing, Schmitt provides a much more detailed exposition of the limitations of the traditional features-and-benefits marketing. Moreover, he moves beyond the sensory "framework" into several new dimensions, introducing what he calls "a new model" that will enable marketers to manage "all types of experiences, integrating them into holistic experiences" while "addressing key structural, strategic, and organizational challenges." The key word is "holistic"; the key process involves overcoming challenges to a wholly enjoyable customer experience.

More than fifteen year later, this is precisely what Calloway has in mind: "This book focuses on the one thing above all others: creating the experiences that park the positive word of mouth that will drive new business to you. It is about the attitude, strategies, and tactic that make that happen...This book is about what customers say about you...This book is about what matters most -- the stories that your customers tell about you, not the stories that you tell about yourself."

I cannot recall a prior time when buyers were better informed and with more control over the purchase decision process than they are today. Moreover, the emergence of social media a well as open access to reviews such as this one offer a "bully pulpit" beyond anything that Theodore Roosevelt could possibly have imagined. According to Calloway, mastering the art and science of attracting business is essential to creating what Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell characterize as "customer evangelists."

Joe Calloway is to be commended for the abundance of information, insights, and counsel that he provides. It would be a fool's errand, however, to try to apply everything that he recommends. Each reader must decide which of the material is most relevant to the needs, interests, values, concerns, resources, and strategic objectives of their organization.

63 Innovation Nuggets: For Aspiring Innovators
63 Innovation Nuggets: For Aspiring Innovators
by George E L Barbee
Edition: Hardcover
10 used & new from CDN$ 21.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're probably right.' Henry Ford, Dec 16 2015
Actually, there are many more than 63 "innovation nuggets" and they are to be found in the anecdotes within all of the chapters. George Barbee provides a wealth of information, insights, and counsel that he has accumulated over several decades while working with leaders of all manner of organizations. Inventors create something new. Innovators make something better. The most important innovations throughout history (e.g. steam power) have been the result of collaboration that is usually cross-functional and often cross-generational. Barbee is convinced -- and I wholly agree -- that almost anyone can develop the skills needed to think much more innovatively in one or more of four different categories: strategies, observation, effectiveness, and personal life. He organizes his material within that structure.

Perhaps the greatest challenge for aspiring innovators is to think innovatively about how to think innovatively. That is to say, if you cannot think better, you cannot make something better. Barbee suggests specific strategies for each of the four categories. These are among the dozens of "nuggets" of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Barbee's coverage.

HOW to

o Challenge a dominant competitor
o Reconstruct an enterprise
o Focus on heavy users
o Capitalize on satisfaction gaps

o Make an impressive presentation of an idea
o Respect what may seem to be an "absurd" idea
o Innovate through iterations
o Diversify one or more teams

o Create access to all levels and in all areas
o Build and strengthen mutual trust and respect
o Learn from failure
o Set/adjust priorities

o Invest in yourself
o Avoid/overcome inertia, complacency, despair
o Become an innovative rainmaker
o Determine how you wish to be regarded

George Barbee suggests that he wrote this book for "aspiring innovators." That means that he wrote this book for anyone who wants to make something better. It could be a product or service but it could also be a policy or process, a strategy or tactic, a supply chain or a global alliance, a career or a personal life.

We cannot control everything that happens to us but we can control how we respond to what happens. The value of this book to those who read it will depend ultimately on how willing and able they are to assume full responsibility for how effectively they apply what they have learned. In this context, the comment by Henry Ford is especially relevant. What you do ' and don't do ' is entirely up to you.

Primary Greatness: The 12 Levers of Success
Primary Greatness: The 12 Levers of Success
by Stephen R. Covey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 28.91
32 used & new from CDN$ 18.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Here are decades of experience-driven wisdom from Stephen Covey's mostly unpublished reflections, Dec 15 2015
Stephen Covey is without doubt one of the most prolific business thinkers and writers in recent decades. As Sean Covey explains in the Foreword to this volume, the material in Primary Greatness was selected by his father's colleagues from mostly unpublished essays. He died in 2012 after having produced thirteen books and hundreds of articles. He is probably best known for The 7 Habits of Highly effective People. I think the title of Primary Greatness could also have been 'The Essential Covey' and the material can serve as an excellent introduction to his seminal thinking about major business subjects, especially leadership and organizational development.

As Sean Covey explains, 'This book is an excellent collection of several of my father' best essays that have never appeared in book form and aren't well known. But they are vintage Stephen Covey and contain some of his best thinking.' I agree.

With regard to this book's title, Covey continued to emphasize to his son that there are two ways to live: 'Primary greatness is who you really are ' your character, integrity, your deepest motives and desires. Secondary greatness is popularity, title, position, fame, fortune, and honors. He taught me not to worry about secondary greatness and focus on primary greatness.'

These are among the several dozen passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of coverage in Primary Greatness:

o Examining motives and the inner life ((Pages 5-7)
o Achieving success with maturity as a sign of greatness (13-22)
o Relationships (15-17 and 82-83)
o Discipline and habits (20-22)
o Magnetic forces and culture (35-37)
o Accountability mindset (41-43 and 91-93)
o Gandhi and proper behavior (43-44)
o Business ethics (53-54 and 60-62)
o Gossiping (56-57 and 120-123)
o Identifying gifts and talents (76-78)
o Priorities and Primary Greatness (74-87)
o Creating an essence of leadership (81-87)
o Sacrifice and and Primary Greatness (88-96)
o Responsibility and Primary Greatness (106-114)
o Steadfast loyalty (116-123)
o Security and diversity (136-139)
o Knowledge and continuous learning (145-146 and 150154)
o Mental health/Social skills/Wellness (150-154)
o Teaching to learn and culture (158-160)
o Wisdom (161-169)
o Change (171-172 and 175-177)

This is an anthology of eighteen essays, each about nine pages in length. To varying degree, they reveal the nature and extent of the potential impact of twelve 'levers of success' ' Integrity, Contribution, Priority, Sacrifice, Service, Responsibility, Loyalty, Reciprocity, Diversity, Learning, Renewal, and Teaching -- when attempting to achieve personal growth and professional development. A separate chapter is devoted to each of the eight.

As I read and then re-read the material in this book, I felt as if Stephen Covey had written it for me. His insights and counsel helped me to reflect on my life thus far, to examine (in fact, re-examine) my current circumstances, and then begin to formulate a path to follow during whatever time remains for me. My guess (only a guess) is that many others who read this book will feel the same way.

One final point: Primary greatness is not an ultimate destination; rather, it is a never-ending process, a journey during which there will be an abundance of perils as well as opportunities. How to respond? Presumably Stephen Covey agrees with Helen Keller: 'Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.'

Collaboration Begins with You: Be a Silo Buster
Collaboration Begins with You: Be a Silo Buster
by Ken Blanchard
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 29.31
33 used & new from CDN$ 19.31

5.0 out of 5 stars We have met the enemy and he is us.' Pogo the Possum, Nov. 16 2015
In Collaboration: How Leaders Avoid the Traps, Build Common Ground, and Reap Big Results, Morten Hansen asserts, "Bad collaboration is worse than no collaboration." Why? Here are two of several reasons. First, bad collaboration never reaps "big" or even favorable results; worse yet, bad collaboration makes good collaboration even more difficult to plan and then achieve. With regard to "traps," Hansen identifies six in the first chapter and then suggests that there are three steps to disciplined collaboration. That is, the "the leadership practice of properly assessing when to collaborate (and when not to) and instilling in people both the willingness and the ability to collaborate when required." These are the three steps: (1) evaluate opportunities, and when making a decision, asking "Will we gain a great upside by collaborating?"; (2) identify barriers to collaboration, next asking "What are the barriers blocking people from collaborating well?"; and (3) tailor solutions to tear down the barriers, keeping in mind that different barriers require different solutions.

Ken Blanchard, Jane Ripley, and Eunice Parisi-Carew use the business narrative (story format) to dramatize a number of key points. The details of the story are best revealed in the book, in context. These points include:

o Personal growth and professional development are most likely to thrive in a culture of collaboration.
o Mutual trust and respect are essential to effective collaboration.
o There must be a shared commitment to the given objective(s) by everyone involved
o There must also be personal accountability.
o Communication and cooperation must be open and transparent if collaboration is to succeed.

Silos are containers that were created long ago to store grain. The word was appropriated (probably by a management consultant) to be used as an extended metaphor for hoarding information. Blanchard, Ripley, and Parisi-Carew have no quarrel with the agricultural use of silos but insist -- and I agree -- that silos in any human community cause all kinds of problems for those who reside in them as well as for those who are excluded. They explain how to "bust" a silo by changing an attitude, a mindset, and -- as is so often the case -- it begins with one's own. They include an especially valuable "Self Assessment: How Collaborative Do You Think You Are?" (Pages 137-148) so that those who read the book can look at themselves as a collaborative leader or individual contributor.

Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to check out Hansen's aforementioned book as well as two others: Michael Lee Stallard's Connection Culture: The Competitive Advantage of Shared Identity, Empathy, and Understanding at Work and Team Genius: The New Science of High-Performing Organizations co-authored by Rich Karlgaard and Michael S. Malone.

Zone to Win: Organizing to Compete in an Age of Disruption
Zone to Win: Organizing to Compete in an Age of Disruption
by Geoffrey A. Moore
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 33.35
12 used & new from CDN$ 20.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to thrive amidst perils and pitfalls in the global marketplace that are only visible through the 'lens of zone management", Nov. 13 2015
I have read and reviewed all of Geoffrey Moore's previous six books. In my opinion, Zone to Win is his most valuable (thus far) because I think it will have wider and deeper impact than have any of its predecessors. Its insights are relevant to almost any organization, whatever its size, nature, and history may be.

This is what Marc Benioff has in mind, in the Foreword, when explaining that zone management" is about dividing and conquering, establishing in dependent zones, each with what at Salesforce we call a V2MOM -- Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, and Measures...Zone to Win is the playbook for building enterprises that reach escape velocity -- orienting to the future and avoiding the inertial pull of the past. It's the playbook for just surviving but succeeding in today's disruptive, connected, fast-paced world."

Moore makes clever use of an extended metaphor from the gridiron, offensive and defensive coordination. As he explains, "making the number on the back of the established lines of defense" is a painfully wasteful response to waves of new opportunity. "This brings us to the heart of the crisis of polarization: At the core you must deliver on two conflicting objectives. On the one hand, you must maintain your established franchises for the life of their respective business models, adjusting to declining revenue growth by optimizing for increasing earnings growth...At the same time, every decade or so you must get your company into one net new line of business that has exceptionally high revenue growth."

These are among the several dozen passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Moore's coverage:

o Zone Offense and Zone Defense defined (Page 11)
o Crisis of prioritization (14-18, 22-23, and 30-32)
o Emerging categories (18-23, 41-42, and 91-92)
o Business model disruption (26-27)
o Zone management (30-31, 48-50, and 126-127
o Sustaining innovation versus disruptive innovation (36-38)
o Productivity zone initiatives (40-41)
o Performance zone and matrix (62-66)
o Best practices (67-68 and 87-89)
o Productivity zone (85-87)
o Incubation zone (100-103)
o Role of the CEO (106-108 and 122-123)
o Transportation zone (119-121)
o Incubation zone (100-103)
Note: Moore discusses each of the zones in much greater depth. These are page references to a brief overview.
o Zoning to Win at Salesforce and Microsoft: Two mini-case studies: (133-158)

Organizations that survive and thrive are well-prepared to attack whenever and whatever new opportunities develop but also to defend themselves against attacks whenever and wherever they occur in the given competitive marketplace. I invoke football nomenclature when stressing the importance of controlling the ball (i.e. "moving the chains") while scoring as many points as possible, then regaining possession of the ball as quickly as possible, thereby preventing an opponent from scoring. There really are valid correlations between the business world and the gridiron.

For C-level executives to organize to compete in the Age of Disruption, where to begin? "The strategic plan is as good a place to start as any, with a specific focus on how best to allocate resources across three investment horizons. Each horizon is defined in terms of when the return on that investment will be realized" during (1) the coming year, (2) in 2-3 years, and (3) in 3-5 years. "In this model, the only tangible returns come from Horizon 1."

With regard to the most common mistakes when organizing to compete in the Age of Disruption, Moore focuses on a series of steps to take: Fund the initiative out of only one zone, lock in the performance matrix, activate the productivity zone, fence off the incubation zone, determine the status of the transformation zone and proceed accordingly.

As Marc Bennioff's previously cited comments suggest, "Zone to Win is the playbook for building enterprises that reach escape velocity -- orienting to the future and avoiding the inertial pull of the past. It's the playbook for just surviving but succeeding in today's disruptive, connected, fast-paced world."

The Serpent observes in George Bernard Shaw's play, Back to Methuselah (1921): 'I hear you say 'Why?' Always 'Why?' You see things; and you say 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?'' In Zone to Win as in his previous work and will in other books yet to be written, Geoffrey Moore thoroughly explains HOW.

Rocket: Eight Lessons to Secure Infinite Growth
Rocket: Eight Lessons to Secure Infinite Growth
by Michael J. Silverstein
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 27.69
29 used & new from CDN$ 26.44

5.0 out of 5 stars Here are 16 mini-case studies that demonstrate the physics of accelerated commercial growth, Nov. 11 2015
I think this book's subtitle is a tad overcooked (promising 'infinite growth') but the eight lessons are eminently sound, based on the Boston Consulting Group's decades of real-world experience with hundreds of organizations. The abundance of information, insights, and counsel provided is 'dedicated to the proposition that mere mortals can create immortality. You can build a brand that lasts forever. You can grow faster than your rivals. To do this, however, you need to understand the theory that a very few people -- the very few focused consumers -- create most of the value in any business.' They are the 'fuel' on which the 'propulsion' of any organization depends.

Years ago, Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell co-authored a book in which they explain how to create what they characterize as 'customer evangelists. This is what Michael Silverstein, Dylan Bolden, Rune Jacobsen, and Rohan Sajdeh have in mind when observing that if you have loyal customers, 'and you turn them into your apostles, they will spread the word about you, and they will, propel you to growth.' That, in essence, is the physics of commercial growth. The equation is '2/20/80: 2 percent of your customers directly contribute 20 percent of your sales and drive 80 percent of the total volume by their recommendations.'

These are among the several dozen passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of the book's coverage:

o The Interview: How Howard Schultz Applies the Eight Branding Rules at Starbucks (Pages xiv-xvii)
o Eight Branding Rules (xxi-xxv)
o Schismogenesis: Why Brands Fail (xxix-xxxii)
Note: From Gregory Bateson: "progressive differentiation through culture contact."
o Headline: Let Your Curiosity Rule -- And Then Reinvent (5-8)
o Lessons from Victoria's Secret (17-19)
o Headline: Fanatical Fans Create the Bedrock for a Successful Brand (23-24)
o Headline: The Lessons of Whole Foods Market (35-38)
o Search for What Really Drives Consumer Choice (50-51)
o Headline: The Loyalty Factor: Reward Converts with Experiences Worth Sharing (74-76)
Note: People are far more inclined to share memorable experiences (especially bad ones) than anything else.
o Headliner: Branding Doesn't Mean a Logo on Every Item (Unless It's a Swoosh], but Rather a Distinctive Look (86-88)
o The Disney Company (93-95)
o Zappos (105-107, 110-114, and 117-119)
o Headline: Happy Employees Create Happy Customers, and Fun at Work Makes the Difference in Attitude and Morale (108-110)
o Headline: Use a Common Phrase as the Point of Engagement and the Decision Point on What the Right Answer Is -- The Golden Rule
o Note: At the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, it is "We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen"
o Headline: Screen, Train, and Enable Your Team (123-126)
o Headline: The Digital World Is Real, Not Virtual (135-136)
o Headline: The Lessons of Amazon (140-142)
o Headline: Help Your Customers Dream, and Then Fulfill Their Dreams (148-149)

I share Silverstein, Bolden, Jacobsen, and Sajdeh's high regard for The Container Store and its foundation principles:

1. One great person equals three good people.
2. Communication is leadership.
3. Fill the other guy's basket to the brim ' making money becomes an easy proposition.
4.The best selection, service, and price.
5. Intuition does not come to the unprepared mind ' you need to train before it happens.
6. 'Man in the Desert' selling.

Note: According to The Container Store's co-founder and CEO, Kip Tindell, his people must be 'solution-based' rather than 'items-based.' Solve each customer's entire problem rather than an immediate need: A man in the desert needs more than a glass of water. He also needs 'a hat, an umbrella, some lotion, some slippers, a chair, an ice machine ' and maybe even a margarita!' '

Please see 'Headline: Build a Culture Your Customers and Employees Can Identify With, and Write Down and Write Down and Memorize a Set of Foundation Principles,' Pages 38-40. Also, check out Tindell's book, Uncontainable: How Passion, Commitment, and Conscious Capitalism Built a Business Where Everyone Thrives.

7. Generate an air of excitement with a 'memorable shopping experience' as well as 'a solution that is beautiful and functional.'

With only minor (if any) modification, these seven 'foundation principles' can serve as a 'launching pad' for marketing and sales initiatives that can be invaluable for almost any organization, whatever its size and nature may be.

I also commend the co-authors on their brilliant use of several reader-0friendcly devices that include 'The Chapter in a Box' and 'Chapter Overview' as well as boxed mini-commentaries, mini-interviews of CEOs, and mini-case studies; corporate profiles; and 'Some Key Action Points' at the conclusion of each chapter. These and other devices will help to facilitate, indeed expedite frequent review of key material later.

Michael Silverstein, Dylan Bolden, Rune Jacobsen, and Rohan Sajdeh provide an abundance of information, insights, and counsel that can be of incalculable value to leaders in any organization, whatever its size and nature may be. However, that said, having a sufficient number of "apostles" among the workforce is at least as important as having apostles among one's customers. All organizations that achieve and then sustain profitable growth have both. Years ago, Southwest Airlines' then chairman and CEO, Herb Kelleher, was asked to explain the "secret sauce" of his company's success. He replied, "We take great care of our people. They take great care of our customers. And our customers then take great care of our shareholders."

With all due respect to the importance of the great leaders discussed in this book such as Jeff Bezos, Brunello Cucinelli, Tony Hsieh, John Mackey, Howard Schultz, Chip Tindell, and Les Wexner, it is also important to keep in mind this brief passage in Lao-tse's Tao Te Ching:

"Learn from the people
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have
Build on what they know
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves."

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20