Team + enthusiasm + business card = Successful message
Best 60 seconds presentation (BNI week 05/2007)

Book review: Survival is not enough (Shift Happens) – Seth Godin

PS: 4
Normally Seth writes and blogs about marketing concepts (and is pretty good at it), in this book he goes one further by tackling business organisations (structures) and concepts in this fast changing world and fails miserably.

Seth compares the needed changing process with evolution (memes versus genes), nothing wrong with that, but he spends (wastes) over half the book (chapters 1 through 6) going on and on and on about the fact that we’re all afraid of change, that for surviving in this fast changing world of ours we do need to change and evolve in adaptable – profitable - winning companies.

His answer: learn how to zoom and the fear of change is gone (because you replace the word change with zoom and everything will be alright from that moment on) and we all live happily every after in profitable businesses while our non-zooming competitors are left behind, quivering with fear to change.

Of course we need to change, embrace change in order to survive and evolve, and we need to face change head-on, scared or not. It doesn’t take till page 130 to make that clear.

But changing the words doesn’t cut it for me. It takes guts to change, it takes guts to accept you’re afraid to go into unknown territory and it takes guts to evolve. Not the soft medicine Seth prescribes by softening, cushioning it in nice and not scary zooming steps.

The other chapters are a bit more interesting, but nothing mind-boggling or ground-breaking (as the text on the back cover will have you believe).

Best sentence in the whole book: Slack isn’t really slack; it’s an essential investment in tomorrow’s version of your company.
Slack as in unallocated time in your working day, maximising efficiency when everyone is busy all the time.

That’s the only idea from the book I’ll keep with me. If you want to read and learn how to ‘survive’ as business in this fast changing and competitive world you’re much better off with ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins and Co or even “Kick start your own Business’ by Robert Craven.
Other books by Seth Godin were remarkable; with this he has deviated from his own ‘hedgehog-concept’ I’m afraid.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’ve always been a zoomer (still can’t get used to that word, keep thinking about cameras – zooming in or out): 'eternal student'; always brainstorming, experimenting with new ideas and learning from mistakes; thinking, talking, reading and writing about it.
Maybe it’s just ‘obvious’ to me, who knows?
That’s why I decided to include the link to in this post, you can decide/find for yourself if zooming changes change.


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