Seth Godin on Survival Is Not Enough, Part 8

In his book, Survival Is Not Enough: Why Smart Companies Abandon Worry and Embrace Change, Seth Godin discusses how innovative organizations and individuals can apply prudent strategies in adapting and positioning themselves for the constant changes.

These are some of my favorite concepts and takeaways from reading the book.

Chapter 8, The Basic Building Block is People

In this chapter, Seth discusses how individuals can zoom within an organization or find one that would allow them to zoom. He offers the following observations and recommendations for us to think about:

  • As an employee, every one of our jobs is just a stopover on a lifelong journey of personal evolution. When we move from one organization to another, we take the learning from one job to the next. Unfortunately, depending on the organization, most of the learning we bring with us will be useless at best, dangerous at worst.
  • To build a zooming organization, we need to deprogram ourselves from time to time. This is because a zooming organization has a fundamentally different set of memes about how it conducts business. While it is hard to give up the winning strategy we are comfortable with, adopting the continual change that comes with zooming can help us evolve more quickly and with a greater chance of succeeding.
  • For an individual who decides to zoom, it is up to the employee to find a great boss and figure out how to use the company the best possible way. The critical element is to adopt increasingly more powerful winning strategies to advance our careers.
  • When the great people leave to join companies that let them zoom, runaway sets in. Those organizations can zoom ever faster, making them more fun, more stable, and more profitable over time. But this process cannot happen until individual employees choose and develop their zooming ability along with the organization.
  • We may have decided to zoom, but how would we transform an organization filled with non-zoomers? How can we get everyone in the organization aligned, focused on the same tactics, and willing to take risks to find success? The answer to both questions may be surprising. Don’t.
  • Do not try to force the reactionaries to change. Do not spend hours cajoling the “serfs” to give up their bondage and become farmers, hunters, and wizards. Instead, we should teach them how to think about the issue and understand the implications. Forcing people to change rarely works. Rather, be a zooming example and give them a chance to join us.
  • Hiring intelligent people with self-initiative is the fastest, more efficient to evolve our organization. It is also the only way to get a runaway state. Skilled people also do not want to work for a company that drains their initiative. If we find ourselves stuck in an organization with people who only want to be the serfs, it might be necessary to look for a way out. Another word, “You’re not stuck if you don’t want to be.”

In summary:

“The most convenient carrying case for mDNA is the individual. Each individual has his own winning strategy and carries a large number of memes with him to every job and every situation.”

輪班什麼時候結束?

(從我一個尊敬的作家,賽斯·高汀

如果你以用你賣的時間來衡量你所做的工作,那麼當輪班結束時,工作就結束了。 打卡進來,打卡出門。

如果你把你的產出作為工作的衡量標準,當收件箱是空的時,你的工作就結束了。 一旦您作好了所有訂購的比薩餅,您就算是完成了。

但越來越多,我們的工作可能是無止境的。 再打一個銷售電話可能會帶來更多的銷售。 再一個創新周期可能會導致我們一直在尋找的突破。 再寫一篇文章可能會讓您獲得流量。

在競爭激烈的市場中,自我調節輪班時間的長久是一個很大的問題。 鑑於要做的事情清單是無止境的,我們每個人必須可以決定“足夠”是什麼樣子。 因為花更多的時間並不總是最好的答案。

Seth Godin on Survival Is Not Enough, Part 7

In his book, Survival Is Not Enough: Why Smart Companies Abandon Worry and Embrace Change, Seth Godin discusses how innovative organizations and individuals can apply prudent strategies in adapting and positioning themselves for the constant changes.

These are some of my favorite concepts and takeaways from reading the book.

Chapter 7, Serfs, Farmers, Hunters, and Wizards

In this chapter, Seth discusses how different employees can create different sorts of change within an organization. He offers the following observations and recommendations for us to think about:

  • There are four types of people in most organizations:
    • Serfs: They do what they are told.
    • Farmers: They work within the bounds of a winning strategy but constantly use feedback loops to improve the efficiency of their efforts.
    • Hunters: They look for means to expand the company’s winning strategy in ways that the organization probably had not considered before.
    • Wizards: They introduce significant mutations into the company’s mDNA, thus creating opportunities for entirely new winning strategies.
  • Farming, hunting, and wizardry all represent different ways in which zooming organizations can evolve.
  • Many people want to be serfs in a company, and many companies are eager to hire serfs. Our genes drive us to work in a steady job that insulates us from many external changes. Companies hire serfs because the machine-centric view of the enterprise demands people to be compliant cogs. For companies trying to evolve, a large number of serfs is perhaps the most significant single impediment to change.
  • Farmers have understood for thousands of years that focusing on yield is their most important activity. Establishing the communication and follow-up mechanism that permits farmers in our organization to interact and teach others is necessary for their success.
  • Hunters need the freedom to move around and a large territory to roam and identify opportunities. While the hunters have the luxury of not depending on a piece of fixed assets of land, they have a responsibility to report to the people who rely on them for planning food supply. Hunters also need to interact with their peers so that everyone can learn better hunting techniques.
  • Wizards invent opportunities by describing how the organization can use its assets to accomplish something very different. Of course, most of the things the wizard will bring to the organization will not work. However, most organizations fall victim to technology changes by not acting on the ideas of wizards. Unless our organization knows how to zoom, even the wizard’s most excellent idea will go nowhere.

In summary:

“Change is not monolithic. Different sorts of employees create different sorts of change. One of the main reasons organizations fail to change is that they try to introduce the wrong kind of change at the wrong moment.”

你有一個調音師嗎?

(從我一個尊敬的作家,賽斯·高汀

鋼琴調音師是一項至關重要的工作,已經很少有鋼琴家自己能做這項工作。

你有誰來維護您用的工具?

也許它是一台裝有所有軟件的電腦。 您是否擁有世界一流的專業人士,他們與時俱進、技術嫻熟、富有創新精神和同理心,來確保這電腦操作良好? 還是你自己糊里糊塗來做?

如果我們只有的是平庸的工具,我們為什麼要期待能有偉大的成績?

或者也許需要調整的不是軟件或硬件。是我們的態度、我們的工作方式、或是我們考慮可能性的方式…

一個自我代理的律師可能對從客戶的角度來說是個傻瓜,但我們可能正在遭受一個無法能好好利用工具的負擔。

Seth Godin on Survival Is Not Enough, Part 6

In his book, Survival Is Not Enough: Why Smart Companies Abandon Worry and Embrace Change, Seth Godin discusses how innovative organizations and individuals can apply prudent strategies in adapting and positioning themselves for the constant changes.

These are some of my favorite concepts and takeaways from reading the book.

Chapter 6, Winning Strategies, Getting Unstuck and Sex

In this chapter, Seth discusses how a company can get stuck with its winning strategy and get unstuck if the strategy is no longer working. He offers the following observations and recommendations for us to think about:

  • Every company, big or small, has a winning strategy. The winning strategy needs not to be perfect or market-dominating, but it does generate results that the people at the company want to execute repeatedly.
  • The organization thrives as long as the winning strategy and the corresponding environment that supports it stay the same. But, at some point, all winning strategies cease to last forever because the surrounding climate eventually changes. Today, because the environment and rules change often, winning systems do not stay for long.
  • When the winning strategy is no longer working, many companies have difficulty making the necessary changes shifting away from the old system. There are usually three reasons for the unwillingness to change.
  • The first reason is that following someone else’s path is often an excellent substitute for the perceived risk of original thinking. The second reason is that sticking with tried-and-true approaches helps justify past decisions. The third reason is that, until recently, feedback loops have been slow and unreliable. As a result, it took a while before the vivid and urgent proof showed that a company’s strategy is not working anymore.
  • Unfortunately for us, the ever-changing world will always allow someone to find a new winning strategy. For someone who has an open mind about the new winning design, the quick-changing, technology-rich environment will offer many angles that make their newly adopted system more robust and potent than our existing strategy.
  • In evolution, sexual selection and natural selection determine how a species evolve and thrive (or becomes extinct). Such a mechanism works similarly for organizations, too. Sending fitness signals efficiently can enable an organization to find better partners and lead to more product and service offerings.
  • To enable an organization’s ability to change and to zoom, the organization needs to send the signal that it is not just safe for people to change but unsafe for those who conduct discourage change.
  • Bullies in an organization make it hard to zoom. A bully-free company is faster, wiser, more profitable, and fun. Firing people is dramatically underrated as a management strategy. By firing people who slow our organization down, we substantially support everyone who remains. Sticking by one or two influential people who refuse to zoom can easily lead to the layoff of hundreds or thousands of people.
  • Our customers also do a lot to determine our company’s mDNA. They affect the work we do, the prices we charge, and the kind of people we hire. As a result, we choose our future when we choose our customers.

In summary:

“Organizations can respond to competition and environmental shifts by organizing to evolve their mDNA, making incremental evolution less painful for the people who work there.”

準確性和精確度

(從我一個尊敬的作家,賽斯·高汀

這兩個概念是不一樣的。

精確度為測量帶來了粒度。 您可以以每小時五十英里的速度行駛,也可以精確地以每小時五十點七英里的速度在行駛。

但準確性是我們描述做我們打算做的事情的方式。 精確地朝錯誤的方向行駛並沒有多大幫助,那不如準確地描述目標才是一個更好的計劃。

大多數組織將時間花在關於精確度的會議上,而不是花幾個週期來選擇準確性。

Seth Godin on Survival Is Not Enough, Part 5

In his book, Survival Is Not Enough: Why Smart Companies Abandon Worry and Embrace Change, Seth Godin discusses how innovative organizations and individuals can apply prudent strategies in adapting and positioning themselves for the constant changes.

These are some of my favorite concepts and takeaways from reading the book.

Chapter 5, Your Company Has mDNA

In this chapter, Seth discusses a company’s meme DNA (mDNA) and how organizations can leverage the mDNA metaphor to embrace and adopt changes. He offers the following observations and recommendations for us to think about:

  • A company’s mDNA comprises the rules, processes, policies, market position, and people in the company. Without this mDNA, an organization would forget, from day to day, what it did and how it operated yesterday. What an organization did before today often plays a significant role in planning to do business tomorrow.
  • Unlike human DNA, the company mDNA can mutate as often as the business wants it to. The mDNA must change before the organization can change. Trying to change a business and its people without mutating the mDNA is not possible.
  • The business ecosystem is made up of many businesses. Each business in that environment is a smaller system, but all of them are in the same environment, entwined with each other. At each step along the way, a business, like organisms in nature, evolves along with its people and sub-organizations.
  • The job of the CEO is not to be right about the future as it is impossible to get everything bit right. The position of the CEO is to organize the company to execute a strategy that is winning for now, at the same time, to organize the company to evolve often enough to find the next strategy before today’s plan becomes useless.
  • Companies that can zoom are more likely to evolve, more likely to be launching innovative new products and services, and more likely to be successful. In addition, a company that knows how to zoom more than likely will attract employees who want to zoom. “When your company starts hiring zoomers, it’s going to zoom faster!”
  • Most of the fantastic big business ideas did not initially come from start-ups. Instead, they came from the research group inside big companies that were too rigid to do anything with them. “The challenge companies face is not in inventing new ideas. It’s in moving the old ideas out of the way so that they can implement the new ones.”

In summary:

“Organizations can put the proven tactics of evolution to use by embracing change, not fighting it. By incorporating adopting successful new memes into a company’s mDNA, organizations can defeat their slower competitors.”

你感覺得富裕嗎?

(從我一個尊敬的作家,賽斯·高汀

這和有家財萬貫是不一樣的。

富裕總是相對的。與你的曾祖父母相比,我們是他們簡直不可想像超自然的富有。我們可以獲得一個世紀前無法想像的信息和技術。同時,與十英里外或十年後的人相比,我們已經落後了。

擁有完全相同資源和選擇的兩個人,可能會以完全不同的方式來回答這“富裕”的問題。因為錢終究只是一個故事。

您選擇的社區或行業或同齡人群體,與您是否相對來講富裕有很大關係。

股市調整後,億萬富翁對慈善事業的捐贈減少了。他們的錢仍然多得數不過來,但他們不像以前那麼富有,而且不是那麼富有很容易就被解釋成為不富有。

這意味著對於很多人來說,感覺富裕是一種選擇。

如果這種選擇鼓勵我們去變得專橫、自私和欺負人,那麼最好避免它。

另一方面,如果去選擇將我們的選擇、機會和特權視為通往慷慨、長期思考和聯繫的道路,那麼我們現在就可以做到。