Survival Is Not Enough B I Z

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  • 1. Survival Is Not Enough Zooming, Evolution, and the Future of Your Company AUTHOR: Seth Godin PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster, Inc. DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2002 NUMBER OF PAGES: 265 pages
  • 2. THE BIG IDEA Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Change is the new normal. • Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution can be applied as a metaphor for businesses. • Only companies that zoom, or learn to adapt and evolve constantly will survive. • Companies that don’t evolve and make change a normal thing are signing up for their own extinction. • Genes take longer to change over time. Memes, or new ideas, spread at a much faster rate than genes. • Zooming is about constant change, for no particular reason, and with no particular goal. • Zooming is less painful. You gradually breed a new kind of species, instead of forcing one to make a big traumatic change.
  • 3. THE BIG IDEA Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Zooming is about stretching your limits by adapting to new ideas, opportunities, and challenges without triggering our inherent human change-avoidance reflex. • Zooming is about adapting small changes over time. • You can practice zooming in everyday life:  change your office layout,  eat in a different restaurant every weekend,  listening to a new CD everyday,  read a magazine you’ve never read before,  or just do something for the first time, as often as possible. • Normal can be an environment where new memes appear on a regular basis. • Companies that zoom do the same thing but try something just a little bit differently each time.
  • 4. Based on the Theory of Evolution by Charles Darwin Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Species change slowly in a graduated manner over time. It follows that any being will have a better chance of survival if it modifies its form in a manner profitable to itself. • Applying Darwinian theory to the Evolution of Companies:  No winning strategy can last forever.  Most companies will disappear, just like some species.  Competition is cutthroat  The oldest surviving species of wheat still yields new varieties.  Modified descendants or zooming companies succeed as they become more diversified and can occupy places previously taken by other beings.  No one can predict which beings become extinct.
  • 5. THE SUMMARY Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin 1. Change is the new normal.  Work is no longer a series of stable times interrupted by moments of change.  We now must see that work is constantly in flux, with only occasional periods of stability. 2. If you and your company are not taking advantage of change, change will defeat you. 4. Stability is bad news for this new kind of company.  It requires change to succeed. 5. Change presents new opportunities for companies to capture large markets.  Change is the enemy of the current leader or status quo.  Change also represents opportunities for individuals to advance their careers.
  • 6. THE SUMMARY Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin 2. Companies that introduce products and services that represent significant changes can find that they lead to rapid, runaway successes. 4. Companies that cause change attract employees who want to cause change.  Companies that are afraid of change attract employees who are afraid of change. 5. Many employees fear change.  Fear of change is rational – after all, it can lead to a bad outcome.  But now, not changing is more likely to lead to a bad outcome than changing! 6. Management can’t force employees to overcome their fear of change through short-term motivation.
  • 7. THE SUMMARY Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin 2. By redefining what change is, companies can change the dynamic of “change equals death” to “change equals opportunity”. 4. The way species deal with change is by evolving. 6. Companies can evolve in ways similar to those used by species. 8. Companies will evolve if management allows them to. 10. There are three ways that species evolve:  natural selection  sexual selection  mutation
  • 8. THE SUMMARY Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin 2. Companies do the same thing by using farmers, hunters, and wizards to initiate changes in their organizations. 4. Companies that embrace change for change’s sake, companies that view a state of constant flux as a stable equilibrium, zoom. And zooming companies evolve faster and easier because they don’t obstruct the forces of change. 6. Once you train the organization to evolve regularly and effortlessly, change is no longer a threat. Instead, it’s an asset, because it causes your competitors to become extinct. 8. Many CEOs reject evolution and do whatever they can to stop it.
  • 9. THE SUMMARY Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin 2. If your company is too reliant on your winning strategy, you won’t evolve as quickly. 4. A runaway success occurs when a positive feedback loop reinforces early success. 6. Fast feedback loops teach you what’s working and more importantly, get you to change what’s not. 8. Everyone in your company can work to reinvent what you do in parallel, dramatically increasing the speed of innovation within the company. 10. Low-cost, low-risk, real-world tests are the most likely to have high return on investment.
  • 10. THE SUMMARY Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin 2. Your company’s posture regarding the process of change is far more important than the actual changes you implement. 4. If you have employees who don’t embrace this posture, they will slow you down and cause you to make bad decisions. 6. A company that zooms will attract zoomers, allowing it to enter runaway, dramatically increasing its advantage over its competitors in a changing environment.
  • 11. CHANGE Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Four significant changes in business over the last 20 years:  The speed at which decisions are made influence the limits of our businesses  The Net has made information free and has fueled the greater need for speed. Information doesn’t degrade with handling or distance.  A provincial worldview has become a global worldview.  Metcalfe’s Law, (which states networks become more powerful as they connect more people), has been proven by emails, faxes, mobile phones, and the Internet. • Factories don’t increase profit.  The factory-centric model no longer works in today’s environment.  We still need factories to make things, but zooming companies don’t need to own them.
  • 12. CHANGE Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Factories have become obstacles to fast change and growth.  A bigger plant now means a slower decision-making speed.  Big companies and big factories are not change-friendly.  It takes more time to get an agreement before anything happens. • The ultimate provider is no longer local.  Fast-moving, zooming companies don’t need to own factories.  The computer you are probably reading this summary on has programs created in America, with parts made in different • Asian countries assembled and shipped to you via another company.  Nothing that moves fast needs a big old stodgy factory.  If you want to move and decide quickly, travel light: think less hierarchy, quicker speed of decisions, less committees, more action.
  • 13. CHANGE Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Kinko’s started out as a student photocopying outfit, selling pens and paper.  It zoomed into an all-night, all-day operation, with complete business facilities to serve its customers.  As companies zoom and grow, they later slow down and forget how it easily adapted before.
  • 14. WHAT’S A MEME? Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Richard Dawkins calls the ideas we communicate and pass along to other human beings “memes”. • A meme is a unit of innovation (an idea) the same way a gene is a unit of heredity. • A new meme spreads through a population faster.  Take street fashion, the latest dance craze, the box-office hit, or that song that keeps playing in your head the past few days…  some examples of memes: Pokemon, The IdeaVirus, Harry Potter, the Macarena dance craze… • Six big ideas from evolutionary biology:    1. Every time an organism mates, the genes from both parents are reshuffled. This creates new organisms and allows evolution to take place. You can’t change your genes.       2. Genes cause offspring to resemble their parents       3. Successful genes are more likely to spread through a population.      
  • 15. WHAT’S A MEME? Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Six big ideas from evolutionary biology:    1. Every time an organism mates, the genes from both parents are reshuffled. This creates new organisms and allows evolution to take place. You can’t change your genes.       2. Genes cause offspring to resemble their parents       3. Successful genes are more likely to spread through a population.       4. The choice of which genes are passed on to future generations depends on sexual selection, natural selection, and mutation.       5. Evolution is a bottom-up phenomenon, where each gene and organism drives the process. 6. Organisms that reproduce more often are more responsive to changes in the environment.
  • 16. MEMES ARE NOT THE SAME AS GENES Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Every company from Starbucks to Kinko’s to Viacom became a success by evolving. • Then, like all companies, they slow down their own evolution. • The world is always changing, nothing is stable, and so your company had better keep evolving, memetically. • Ideas are the foundation for running great businesses. • When you grow a culture of fast-changing memes in your workplace, your company is taking healthy risks, and taking a risk is better than not trying anything new and exciting.
  • 17. CHANGE BARRIERS Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Fear, dinosaur bosses, fatigue, apathy, and pressure from deadlines all cause people to freeze in the face of change. • The other common barriers to change are  Committees  Critics  fear of failure  the “change equals death” attitude  trying to manage change. • Wake up and smell the Starbucks coffee, change manages you. • The way to build an organization that embraces change is to redefine change.
  • 18. CHANGE BARRIERS Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Picasso evolved memetically throughout his long career.  Ask inventors and artists about their work, and they don’t feel they are taking any risks.  Trying out new ideas is their way of life. Innovators and entrepreneurs redefine what risk is.  The goal of zooming is to redefine the change process for companies so we don’t panic.  Normal should be a state when new ideas are tried on a regular basis.
  • 19. YOUR COMPANY HAS mDNA. Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Without words to communicate a new way of thinking, we’ll surely revert to an old way of thinking. Here’s a vocabulary sample of terms in nature which apply to business, in our new change-friendly zooming workplace:  Gene - building block of an organism; a functional unit of heredity          Meme - the basic building block of an organization’s winning strategy; the functional unit of idea transference    DNA - the molecule that carries the genetic code     mDNA - the sum of all the memes, people, and assets in an organization          Genomics - the study of genes and their function          Zoometry - the study and influence of mDNA        
  • 20. YOUR COMPANY HAS mDNA. Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin  Extinct - species that didn’t evolve and lost their niche to a more fit organism          Stuck winning strategy - an organization’s tendency to reject improved memes, leading to losing market niche and bankruptcy          Sexual selection - choosing mates in a way that affect the trait of future offspring          Sexual selection (business) - hiring and firing employees and customers in a way that affects the future of the organization  Runaway - rapid evolution that occurs when a company is able to find new customers and employees that reinforce its winning strategy of zooming and evolving
  • 21. WAL-MART EVOLUTION Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Wal-Mart started out as a tiny hardware store in a small town back in 1962.  Sam Walton organized his store to evolve over time.  He constantly tested, measured and implemented ideas that worked. Wal-Mart had $17 billion in sales last year.  Sam Walton tested and evolved pricing strategies, and the Wal-Mart database has more than a billion items of information in it.  One example of useful information that can be turned into added profit – that people who buy bananas frequently buy milk as well.  So naturally, Wal-Mart staff placed a display of high-profit bananas near the milk. • Evolution is about making small incremental changes on a regular basis.  It’s not about moving from your tiny home office to a to 10,000 square foot building.
  • 22. WAL-MART EVOLUTION Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • A stuck winning strategy is equivalent to near extinction.  Companies that don’t want to change their winning strategy are signing up for losses.  A winning strategy only works for a short period of time.  After you’ve exhausted all you can from one winning strategy, it’s time to think smart and make a change. • Competent people dislike change in strategy the most.  They would like to maintain their competent image, and changing strategy means they will be rendered incompetent. • The solution is to hire the zoomers (people who are not afraid of change) and using natural selection, fire those who can’t adapt fast enough, and especially those who refuse to get with the program.  Your company can save a thousand lay-offs in the future by firing the two or three key people who refuse to zoom. • Hiring and firing is essential to mixing the meme pool in your company.  Always be on the lookout for young fresh blood.
  • 23. FIRE YOUR BIGGEST CLIENT IF YOU DON’T LIKEYOUR mDNA Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Every time you interact with clients, you swap memes with them. • If the alternative is to become a firm you don’t want to become, fire your biggest client. • Stick to your guns and define what kind of meme pool you want in your firm. • Every time you take money from a client, you are swapping mDNA, and if that client’s mDNA is slowing you down, you are trading off your future success for today’s short-term revenue.
  • 24. SIGNALS AND SEXUAL SELECTION Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • The female lion probably prefers to mate with a male lion that has a darker mane.  The cassowary male bird has a helmet made of the same stuff as our fingernails (keratin).  The females go gaga over a bigger, harder, helmet. The helmet is a signal of reproductive health. • Companies send out signals to show they look better, and if they look better, then maybe they are better.  Peacock mating rituals and companies fighting for the best billboard space are pretty similar.
  • 25. SIGNALS AND SEXUAL SELECTION Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Six ways companies use signaling strategies:     1. Have a fancy reception area so potential employees will be more likely to accept your job offers.       2. Hire an extremely well paid executive, if her presence is a good signal to clients and backers.       3. Run direct mail campaigns that reach small but influential targets. Send out signed leather hardcover books by Federal Express to the 50 people you want to seduce.       4. Fire a profitable client in a very public way.       5. Hire a beautiful receptionist       6. Pay your receptionist hefty bonuses for no reason.
  • 26. SERFS, FARMERS, HUNTERS AND WIZARDS Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Serfs are employees who do what they’re told.       • Farmers work within the bounds of a winning strategy.         • Hunters work a company’s existing winning strategy but expand it in ways that management never thought of. • Wizards introduce significant mutations into a company’s mDNA “In companies that are struggling with change, a large serf class is frequently one of the forces dragging the company, forcing it to act more slowly.”
  • 27. SERFS, FARMERS, HUNTERS AND WIZARDS Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Two caveats for organizational development:   1. Keep a low overhead. Experiment and keep the costs of unproven projects near zero. 2. Don’t confuse zoom with a lack of responsibility. Companies must hold their wizards, hunters, farmers and serfs accountable for their work. • Responsibility comes with flexibility. • If your group can’t think of a worthwhile idea every week, something is wrong.
  • 28. SERFS, FARMERS, HUNTERS AND WIZARDS Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Farmers have understood for thousands of years that focusing on yield is their most important activity.  This makes farmers very good at tweaking and improving techniques and trying new things to increase yield. • The best examples of hunters in the business world are salespeople.  They are always on the lookout for new methods and territories. • Wizards invent.  Mutations are the big changes that appear at the last minute and rescue the species from extinction.
  • 29. THE BASIC BUILDING BLOCK IS PEOPLE Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Every time you hire someone you are bringing in their mDNA. • Whenever you take a job, you bring your mDNA to work and it interacts with the mDNA of the organization and the people there. • When you leave, you normally take what you learned with you. • Find a company that doesn’t treat you like a serf. • If you want the soup, order the soup!  A man walks into a restaurant and orders a cheap bowl of miso soup. That’s all, just a bowl of soup.  A woman walks into the same restaurant and orders 12 dollars worth of food, the whole nine yards, then asks if it comes with miso soup, unfortunately it doesn’t.  Maybe she really wanted the soup, maybe not. She just blew twelve bucks on a lunch with no soup.
  • 30. THE BASIC BUILDING BLOCK IS PEOPLE Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Spend more time initiating action that means something to you than merely reacting or responding to other people’s projects. • If you have decided to zoom, go to www.zoometry.com • Hotmail, The Palm, these are examples of low-cost, rapid product development.  You don’t need to spend millions to find out if something will work.  As Thomas Edison said, “The real measure of success is the number of experiments that can be crowded into twenty-four hours.”
  • 31. THE POWER OF THE MOCK-UP/PROTOTYPE Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • It makes sense for you to prototype and test the market based on look and feel, then add and refine the mechanics later. • At Kyocera, Gary Koerper had to beg, borrow, and steal the thirty thousand dollars needed to finish the prototype of his team’s new cell phone. If he hadn’t broken corporate rules, the new phone would  never have been shipped. It became the fastest-selling phone of the year, all because  one manager decided to break the rules to finish something he believed in. • There’s nothing easier to test and evolve than your company’s web page. Some companies haven’t touched theirs in years! It only  takes a few hours each week to update or redesign a web page. The returns could amount to double with users always  logging on to check out what’s new.
  • 32. IMPORTANT QUESTIONS Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Why? When a manager tells you that it can’t be done, ask it.  When she gives you her answer, ask again. • How does your organization react to small, irrelevant changes? Organizations that have trouble zooming often have trouble  with the tiny changes. • How many people have to say “yes” to a significant change? It takes only one person to say no, usually at the top, but  how many need to give their approval before something can begin? Why don’t we have a committee to review why someone  wants to say no to a project? And let it pass the same process as for an approval.  • How often does you company say “We have no idea what’s going to happen, so let’s plan for both possible outcomes”?
  • 33. IMPORTANT QUESTIONS Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin • Are you building the five elements of an evolving organization?  Evolving organizations increase their zoomwidth daily.          They allow their employees to build quick and cheap prototypes.          They are aware of their winning strategy and they farm and hunt it regularly.       They instantly communicate learning across the organization so that winning memes are incorporated and bad ones are discarded.          They practice aggressive sexual selection strategies, firing bullies with the same zeal they hire new employees.
  • 34. MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin  Are you investing in techniques that encourage fast evolution?          What does someone need to do to get fired? If taking risks with projects can get them fired, your organization is not zooming.         Who are the 3 most powerful people blocking action?          What if you fired those people?           What’s your company’s winning strategy?          Are you a serf, farmer, hunter or wizard?  What about the people you work with everyday?          How can your company lower the cost of launching a test?          Have you ever tried sushi?          How much time has management spent with unhappy customers?          What do you do with complaint letters?         What are you measuring?          Are you the first choice among job-seekers?         What do you need to do to become first choice?         Do you zoom?
  • 35. ABOUT BUSINESSSUMMARIES Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin BusinessSummaries.com is a business book Summaries service. Every week, it sends out to subscribers a 9- to 12-page summary of a best-selling business book chosen from among the hundreds of books printed out in the United States every week. For more information, please go to http://www.bizsum.com.