Archive for the ‘linchpin’ tag
Want to change the way you think about business forever?
On May 21st, 2013 my second business book, CTRL ALT Delete, will be published. The question this book asks is simple: do you want to employable in the next five years? Well, what are you going to do about it? The book is divided into two parts. The first section is called, Reboot: Business, and it uncovers five key movements that have changed business forever that most brands are doing nothing (or very little) about. The second section is called, Reboot: You, and it walks you through the seven triggers you need to apply to your business/life to work in this forever-changed environment. My good friends at Audible provoked me to come up with a list of audiobooks that would create the "best of the best" when it comes to rebooting your business. And now, they want you to win The Ultimate Business Reboot Sweepstakes audiobook library.
First, here are the amazing audiobooks that are yours to win (in alphabetical order)…
- A Whole New Mind – Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel H. Pink.
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown.
- Delivering Happiness – A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh.
- Groundswell – Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff.
- The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail by Clayton M. Christensen.
- Linchpin – Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin.
- The Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness by Jeffrey Gitomer.
- Macrowikinomics – Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams.
- Made To Stick – Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath.
- Makers – The New Industrial Revolution by Chris Anderson.
- The New Rules of Marketing & PR 2.0 by David Meerman Scott.
- Practically Radical – Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself by William C. Taylor.
- Predictably Irrational – The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely.
- Quiet - The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.
- Re-imagine! – Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age by Tom Peters.
- BONUS: Ctrl Alt Delete - Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It by me
What you win:
- A one year Audible Listener Gold Membership plus all 16 game-changing audiobooks that have been personally selected by me to help you reboot your business.
How To Enter:
- Go to http://www.twistimage.com/audible.
- "Like" Audible on Facebook (the sweepstakes is exclusively available to Fans of Audible).
- Enter for a chance to win by providing your email address.
- PLUS: For each person you refer that enters the sweepstakes, you can earn 2 additional entries to increase you chance of winning the grand prize.
But wait… there’s more!
If you also pre-order my latest audiobook, CTRL ALT Delete on Audible, you get $10 off of the audiobook and for each pre-order, Audible will donate $5 to the charity Jumpstart to support education for pre-school children in low-income neighborhoods. Alternatively, you can also get the CTRL ALT Delete audiobook for free when you try Audible risk-free for 30 days.
The fine print:
- The sweepstakes is open to US residents only.
- You must be 18 years and over to participate.
- The pre-order promotion applies to all pre-orders, including Canada.
I have been a fan of Audible and listening to business books for as long as the company has been in business. They have a massive selection of digital audiobooks and as I was choosing my books for The Ultimate Business Reboot Audiobook Sweepstakes, I was pleasantly surprised to see that all of the titles I had on my initial list (which was close to fifty titles long) were easily found on Audible. Plus, the offer they are making for anyone who pre-orders the new book is not only very kind, but the money to Jumpstart will make a difference in people’s lives. I hope you will enter the sweepstakes and/or pre-order the audiobook for CTRL ALT Delete right here:
Words need a place to live. They seem to like it online, where they can be spread and touched and ingested at will.
But online isn’t enough, because context is hard to guarantee and commitment on the part of the reader isn’t really there.
So I’m not giving up on whatever medium is necessary to get the point across.
Hugh has launched a series of cube grenades about some of my books, here highlighting four from Linchpin. When you see them on the wall (I’ve got them sitting right behind me as I type this), the words seep in. And when colleagues see them, it’s a powerful way to start a conversation. Which is the whole point, no?
One thing I haven’t explored in 25 years of making books is creating the big fat significant book, the one that sits on the counter or the end table and gets read now and then–for years. I still remember the art books my mom used to keep throughout our house growing up. Some of them took me literally a decade to get through, but I’m glad I did. My Kickstarter has only two weeks left to go, and while most of it is sold out, there are still some of the big books left. I’m going to place the order for printing these in a week or so (they take months to produce), so if you’re at all interested, I hope you’ll take a look at the $62 edition today.
A house filled with books is a good place to live.
Pinterest is easy to use and even easier on the eyes, which are two reasons that traffic to the online pinboard keeps pouring in. In December 2011, Pinterest received 11 million visits in a week – that’s a 400% growth in just six months. If you’ve got pretty things to sell, this infographic from LinchPin SEO can show you how to use the site to turn heads.
The word “pretty” can apply to a lot of things. Obviously, bakers should take advantage of the forum. Readers love to see rows of beautiful cupcakes, especially if there’s a recipe attached. And photographers and designers can obviously use the site to show off their style.
But it also works for things for sales and promotions, like printable coupons. Thrifty shoppers will take one look at those dashed lines around a discount and immediately hit the print button. And as we’ve learned from Living Social and Groupon, they’ll also pass it along to their friends.
You can also post fun infographics, like “how much should you spend on an engagement ring?” This would work for a jewelry store or, really, a bridal blog or magazine. Readers love infographics (admit it, you do) and so do the writers who get to post them because they’re so easy to digest and share.
Pinterest is not limited to pictures, either. The site is also good for posting videos if you’ve got a product demo or just a fun, viral video to share.
There are a bunch more great tips on this pinboard, especially the one for pet adoption agencies. Who could resist a picture of a cute dog that needs a good home?
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
Terminology like competitive advantage, differentiation and value creation tend to get overused in businesses. This HBR piece on the work of Michael Porter from Joan Margretta who worked with him for almost 20 years succinctly captures how often such terms are misappropriated (“Competitive advantage, for example, is often used to mean ‘anything we think we’re good at’. Any plan or program is called a strategy. Managers confuse differentiation with being different…most companies think they have a strategy when they don’t”). It pulls together a list of Porter insights that are so pithy I’m going to re-produce them in full:
- Competitive advantage is not about beating rivals; it’s about creating unique value for customers. If you have a competitive advantage, it will show up on your P&L.
- No strategy is meaningful unless it makes clear what the organization will not do. Making trade-offs is the linchpin that makes competitive advantage possible and sustainable.
- There is no honor in size or growth if those are profit-less. Competition is about profits, not market share.
- Don’t overestimate or underestimate the importance of good execution. It’s unlikely to be a source of a sustainable advantage, but without it even the most brilliant strategy will fail to produce superior performance.
- Good strategies depend on many choices, not one, and on the connections among them. A core competence alone will rarely produce a sustainable competitive advantage.
- Flexibility in the face of uncertainty may sound like a good idea, but it means that your organization will never stand for anything or become good at anything. Too much change can be just as disastrous for strategy as too little.
- Committing to a strategy does not require heroic predictions about the future. Making that commitment actually improves your ability to innovate and to adapt to turbulence.
- Vying to be the best is an intuitive but self-destructive approach to competition.
- A distinctive value proposition is essential for strategy. But strategy is more than marketing. If your value proposition doesn’t require a specifically tailored value chain to deliver it, it will have no strategic relevance.
- Don’t feel you have to “delight” every possible customer out there. The sign of a good strategy is that it deliberately makes some customers unhappy.
I’ll admit there were a couple here that made me do a mental double-take (in a good way). I’m curious to know what everyone here thinks of them.
Q: What is a linchpin, and why is it important to become one?
A linchpin is the part you can’t live without, the thing that makes a difference. In every organization there are one (or several) people like this. It might be the brilliant inventor who creates the impossible, but it’s far more likely to be the great sales rep or customer service person who makes a connection, or the marketer who knows how to tell a story that resonates.
In a post-factory world, manning the assembly line isn’t so critical. Stuffing the candies into the boxes, running the punch press, following the manual… these are easily replaced roles, ones where neither the worker nor the organization gains much on the margin. If you want real job satisfaction and security, then, you need to figure out how to do the unexpected, to do work that matters and to create human interactions.
Q: You talk about linchpins being artists. What’s the difference between a conventional marketer and one who thinks like an artist? Can you give an example of a marketer who is an artist?
Art, by my definition, has nothing to do with painting and everything to do with connecting with people in a generous way and causing a change to take place. A movie director is making art when she makes you cry. A product designer creates art when the UI is better than it needs to be and it creates efficiency or even joy. Marketers can find plenty of Dummies books and manuals and insider PDFs that demonstrate, step by step, how to follow the rules. That’s easy and not particularly valuable. A marketer becomes an artist when she goes out on a limb, does the unexpected or the risky and makes a difference.
I’d argue that you two do art when you stand up and give a talk about the 1%. Or Biz Stone was an artist when he figured out how to launch and scale Twitter’s marketing. Or Scott Monty at Ford when he does a car show rollout that bypasses the cocktail parties at AutoWeek in favor of individual interviews with social media mavens. The second time someone does something, it’s a copy. The first time, it’s art.
Q: We understand the concept of “physical labor” when it comes to work, but you stress the importance of “emotional labor.” What do you mean by that, and can you give us an example?
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t gotten paid to do physical labor in a really long time. Maybe typing.
Emotional labor is the act of smiling when you’re scared, or getting on a plane when you’re tired. It’s dreaming when you don’t feel like dreaming, caring when the other person is (frankly) acting like a jerk. Emotional labor is work with your heart and your soul and your feelings. We seem to feel it should be easy, but it’s not. It is, though, important.
Q: We love this quote in the book: “The easier it is to quantify, the less it’s worth.” Can you tell us, and our MBA friends, why this is true?
If you can quantify it, then probably someone before you figured out a why to grind it out. And if you can grind it out, someone can grind it out cheaper than you can.
On the other hand, the really valuable stuff, the stuff we pay a lot for, is unquantified. Things like creating joy or security or happiness. No easy measurements for those, thus they are art, and art is always worth more than the predicted.
We measure the quantified because we can. But we should create the unquantified because it’s so rare.
Q: Our lizard brain tells us to “Shut up. Don’t stand out. Don’t speak out. Blend in.” If we want to be a linchpin, how do we silence this negative part of our brain?
Steve Pressfield calls this the resistance. The voice in your head that destroys your art. There are a myriad of ways to defeat it. You can distract it. You can trick it. You can steamroll it. You can seduce it with small steps. I’m not sure there’s one best technique, but I know for certain that it must be done. My book has only one goal: to sell you on committing to this very task.