Seth Godin on Survival Is Not Enough, Part 2

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 2, What Every CEO Needs to Know About Evolution

In this chapter, Seth discusses that evolutionary biology can provide an essential analogy to how business can not only survive but flourish in times of change. He offers the following observations and recommendations for us to think about:

  • “Every time an organism mates, the genes from both parents are shuffled and combined. This reshuffling is the action that creates new organisms and allows evolution to proceed. This is the only time the genes get changed, but it happens every time. Try as the organism might, it can’t change its genes.”
  • “Genes cause offspring to resemble their parents.”
  • “Genes that are successful are more likely to spread through a population.”
  • “The choice of which genes are passed on to future generations is influenced by three factors: sexual selection, natural selection and mutation.”
  • “Evolution is a bottom-up phenomenon, with each gene and each organism driving the process. Elephants don’t need permission from the chief to mate.”
  • “Organisms that reproduce more often are more responsive to changes in the environment. Fruit flies survive change better than tigers.”
  • Present successful companies got to where they are by evolving and adapting better than their competitions. They changed and grew until they became successful.
  • Whether a company continues to succeed depends on whether it willfully stopped evolving. Those companies created roadblocks designed to slow their evolution process. They turn their attention to policies, committees, and investors. They also invest in attaining stable and repeatable operations while ignoring that change is constantly on the move.

In summary, Seth believes that change is unceasing and unyielding. Therefore, the best strategy is to embrace it and evolve.