Seth Godin on Survival Is Not Enough, Part 12

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.

The Important Questions

In this chapter, Seth discusses some of the crucial questions we should be asking ourselves as we set out to implement the concepts of evolving and zooming. He offers the following observations and recommendations for us to think about:


Repeatedly asking this simple question and getting to the truth is the fastest way to understand an organization’s winning strategy. However, if that truth is no longer valid, it is time to reconsider our winning strategy.

“What’s your company’s winning strategy?”

Do we know what we are busy defending? Describing our strategy and then exposing its weaknesses will enable us to change the parts without worrying about anything irrelevant.

Are we building the five elements of an evolving organization?

  • They work to increase its “zoomwidth” daily.
    • They allow their employees to build quick and cheap prototypes.
    • They understand their winning strategy, and they consistently farm and hunt for it.
    • They quickly communicate learning across the organization to adopt the winning memes and discard the bad ones.
    • They practice aggressive sexual selection strategies by firing bullies with the same zeal they hire new employees.

Are we (personally) a serf, a farmer, a hunter, or a wizard? What about the people we work with every day?

Do we know what our personal mDNA is? Are we working on suitable activities to develop it, and do we know where we want to go? Are we working with the right sort of people so we can complement each other and help each other succeed?