Companies and people that matter have successfully become the obvious choice in the hearts and minds of their customers, their employees and their communities. They elevate themselves by consistently finding ways to solve the most pressing needs their markets face. The result? They create more value year after year and build a sustainable, differentiated organization. In Matter, Peter Sheahan and Julie Williamson show you how to identify the place where you can create the most value — your edge of disruption — at the intersection of old and new, where your existing profits, reach and reputation enable you to create the markets of the future.
This is the place where the most important problems are solved and where the fewest people can solve them. Your edge of disruption is where your opportunity to matter is found. Matter uses extensive case studies of real companies that have successfully become the obvious choice in their markets. Through their journeys, you will find the inspiration and courage to lean in to complexity and solve the higher value problems that matter most. Don’t just read this book — use it to identify and act on opportunities to create the most value and accelerate your own journey to becoming a person and a company that matters.
IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• What it means to be a company that matters.
• The three-step process for becoming a company that matters.
• How to do the hard work of reinventing yourself, rather than working hard at what you’ve always done.
• How to make thought leadership a way of life
If the title of AOL founder Steve Case’s book, The Third Wave, sounds eerily familiar, it is no accident. Case remembers reading futurist Alvin Toffler’s book of the same name in college and wanted to be part of Toffler’s “electronic global village.” And he was. The term AOL seems very oldschool today — and Case explains what happened further in the book — but there was a time when the company he founded, based on the concept of provided services via the Internet, was a pillar of the information age — or more specifically what he calls the “First Wave” of the information age.
The First Wave of the Internet, writes Case, “was about building the infrastructure and foundation for an online world.” It was led by companies such as Cisco, Sprint, HP, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, Apple, IBM and AOL, who created the hardware, software and networks that connected people to the Internet and to each other. Once everyone was online, the Second Wave kicked in. We are still in this Second Wave, the era of the information age, when companies, Case explains, built “on top” of the Internet. Think Google, eBay, Amazon, Twitter and even the iPhone.
We are, however, on the cusp of a Third Wave of the Internet, writes Case, in which the Internet becomes a “ubiquitous force in the world” connected to everything we do. The Internet will be part and parcel of all the facets of our lives, including our healthcare and education systems, and even what we eat. As Case puts it eloquently, the Third Wave “is the era in which products will require the Internet, even if the Internet doesn’t define them. It is the era when the term “Internet-enabled” will start to sound as ludicrous as the term “electricity-enabled,” as if either were notable differentiators.”
First-Wave Issues Society often advances in linear fashion so that the present era moves forward from the past, and the future moves forward from the present. In some ways, however, the Third Wave represents a return to the world of the First Wave — not in outcomes but in means. In other words, success in the Third Wave will depend in large part on the success factors of the First Wave, including a heavy reliance on collaboration and partnership, careful attention to policy and the courage to scale high barriers to entry. Building the infrastructure in the First Wave was capital-intensive, and the same investment partnerships will be required to redraw a nation’s healthcare system or other components of our society.
The Second Wave was different; it was the era when billion dollar companies could be built by a few tech-savvy friends with a computer and a good idea (example: make it easier to search the Internet). The barriers to entry were low, as were the required upfront investment. There still may be some best-selling apps on the horizon, but good luck launching another Twitter or Facebook from your dorm room. One of the domains in which Third-Wave entrepreneurs must be fluent, Case writes, is in government policy.
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What Makes the Great Teams Great
Date: Thursday, September 29
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Speaker: Don Yaeger
Click here to register
There is nothing more magical than watching a team come together, to manage adversity as a group, selflessly give to others, to find common purpose. Inspiring that to happen year-in and year-out is what keeps us in leadership.
In this FREE Soundview Live webinar, What Makes the Great Teams Great, Don Yaeger identifies what allows some teams to play at a championship level year after year and how to apply these characteristics in your organization.
What You’ll Learn:
- What makes a team truly great
- How to grow a winning culture within your organization
- How to manage dysfunction, friction, and strong personalities
Audiences forget up to 90 percent of what you communicate. How can your employees and customers decide to act on your message if they only remember a tenth of it? How do you know which tenth they’ll remember? How will you stay on their minds long enough to spark the action you need? Many experts have offered techniques on how to improve your own memory but not how to influence other people’s memory –– and impact their decisions. Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience and cognitive psychology, Carmen Simon, Ph.D., reveals how to avoid the hazards of random recall and deliver just the right amount of content. In Impossible to Ignore, she shows you how to execute a proven three-step plan for persuasion: create cues that attract attention and connect with your audience’s needs; use memory-influencing variables to control what your audience remembers; and turn today’s intentions into tomorrow’s actions. Whether you’re giving a presentation, conducting a meeting, delivering training, making a sales pitch or creating a marketing campaign, these field-tested techniques will help you develop content that speaks to people’s hearts, stays in their heads and influences their decisions. It’s not just memorable –– it’s Impossible to Ignore.
IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN
• To view memory from the angle of the future, which is more practical when influencing behavior.
• To use three key steps to influence memory and decisions.
• To create distinct, repeatable messages that your customers won’t forget.
• How to differentiate between expectation and anticipation and why it matters for memorable content.
• How to retrieve memories through narrative techniques.
New companies are notoriously fragile. Yet, as any company grows, moving past its tumultuous beginnings, it runs into three crises, write veteran Bain consultants Chris Zook and James Allen in their book, The Founder’s Mentality. The first crisis is overload: the company fails to scale its business successfully, succumbing instead to internal dysfunction. The second crisis is stall-out: bureaucracy and organizational complexity sap the energy and agility of the company’s younger days. The third predictable crisis is free fall: saddled with an obsolete business model, the company watches its market share dissipate.
According to the authors’ research, the reason for companies inevitably facing (and often being defeated) by these crises can be traced to the loss of what they call “the founder’s mentality.”
The founder’s mentality consists of three defining traits.
The first is, according to the authors, “the insurgent mission” — the belief that the company is not simply selling products but is at “war” with an industry stuck in the past or underserving customers.
The second defining trait of the founder’s mentality is “the front-line obsession,” which is more than an intense focus on customers and the front-line employees who serve them. Founders tend to obsess about every detail in the customer-company interface.
Finally, the third defining trait is “the owner’s mindset.” When people work for a small company fighting for its survival, they see themselves as owners of the company. They are completely invested in its success.
These founder’s mentality traits give a company its edge and its energy. But over time, as the company grows and becomes more hierarchical and more entrenched, as executives are further and further removed from the front lines, and as a dedicated bunch of committed “owners” becomes a large mass of employees, this edge and energy dissipate.
In order to overcome the inevitable crises that companies will face in their history, they must keep or restore the founder’s mentality.
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