Seth Godin on Survival Is Not Enough, Part 13

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 (more 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:

“If an omniscient wizard walked into your offices and described the future and told you what to do to prepare for it, would your company be able to change in response to his vision?”

Organizations do not fail to change because of a lack of proof about the future. They do not change because they are stuck or they are afraid.

Are we building all our systems around testing and ignorance? How can we dramatically lower the cost of launching a test?

It is easy to invent the perfect system and insist that the market responds to our wisdom. However, creating a strategy around the test, change, and evolution is more realistic and lets our system respond to the market.

“If you could acquire another company’s mDNA, whose would you choose? Why don’t you do that?”

If you can’t, hire away a few of their employees who really “get it” and give them the resources they need to spread their mDNA through our organization. Let them hunt without the overwhelming day-to-day operational responsibilities.

“Is this project going to benefit from the learning it creates?”

If not, perhaps we should rethink why we have this project, to begin with?

“How much time does senior management spend with unhappy customers?”

The farmer does not see a disgruntled customer the way a serf does. Instead, a farmer wants to spend as much time as possible with disappointed customers. They realize that unhappy customers are a vast source of data on improving the system.