Seth Godin on Survival Is Not Enough, Part 14

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 (even 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:

What are we measuring?

Whatever gets measured is what will get done. A fast feedback loop cannot work unless we are measuring something we can change. Being specific about our measurement is a crucial first step in evolving.

Have we institutionalized the process of sharing what we learn?

Learning that does not get passed on does not do us any good. For example, if our organization invests in farming and hunting, the effort is wasted unless we keep track and teach each other what is being learned.

What do we need to do to become the first choice?

Can we create a winning strategy in which our organization wins even if our employees are not the best? Can we formulate a winning plan even if our personal mDNA is not the best personally?

Are we investing in techniques that encourage fast memetic evolution?

  • Invest in exploring to find the memes most likely to give us success.
    • Invest resources taking care of the people who carry the best set of memes.
    • Create lots of memes and drop the ones that do not work.
    • Recognize that monogamy is ineffective.
    • Use fast feedback loops.
    • Keep overhead small by investing as little as possible in creating new memes.
    • Do not spend a lot of resources supporting the memes that do not make our organization more fit.
    • Swap memes with others.
    • Depend on recombination more than mutation.
    • Invest in the memes that are worth spreading.