Bake a Bigger Pie

In the Q & A following her wonderful talk at Gooogle Firestarters last Wednesday, Sue Unerman drew from this quote, taken from Guy Kawasaki's book Enchantment:

“There are two kinds of people and organizations in the world: eaters and bakers. Eaters want a bigger slice of an existing pie; bakers want to make a bigger pie. Eaters think that if they win, you lose, and if you win, they lose. Bakers think that everyone can win with a bigger pie.”

What a fantastic analogy.


Google Firestarters 16 - The Magnificent Seven

The-magnificent-seven

For our next London Google Firestarters event we have an absolutely stellar line up. We are bringing together seven of the smartest brains in strategy and planning to answer a simple but compelling question: What is the most useful thing that you have learned to date in your career? That’s it. No gimmicks, no long drawn out speeches, just short, punchy talks full of brilliant insight and inspiration from some of the wisest minds in media and advertising. We are going to hear from:

  • Richard Huntington – Group Chief Strategy Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Amelia Torode – Chief Strategy Officer, TBWA London
  • Phil Adams – Planning Director, Blonde Digital
  • Leo Rayman – Chief Strategy Officer, Grey London
  • Sue Unerman - Chief Strategy Officer, Mediacom 
  • Candace Kuss - Director of Planning, Social and Innovation at Hill and Knowlton
  • Andy Nairn – Founding Partner, Lucky Generals

We were going to call it ‘The Famous Five’ but happily we had another couple of people I really wanted to hear from confirm and so now we have ‘The Magnificent Seven’ which is even better. The event will be held at Google HQ in London at 6pm on 10th June. As always I have some guest passes to give away to readers of this blog so if you’d like one do contact me direct or leave a comment below. Can’t wait for this one - it’s going to be excellent.


Creativity in Business

This, from The Book of Life:

"...business creativity is a little different from artistic creativity. A company is a group of individuals gathered together to solve a problem for other people. This helps to define what the true focus of business creativity should be: intense and lateral thinking about what could be missing from the lives of customers. Business creativity means skill at identifying and profitably meeting the needs (many of them unspoken and vague) of customers. Everything else – the factories, the technology, the logistics, the spreadsheets – is in a sense secondary to this aim; whatever efforts are subsequently lavished on execution, a business cannot succeed if it hasn’t zeroed in on a real, that is, sufficiently urgent, human requirement."


Visual Cues, Habits and Motivation

Progress

My first job after University (which was actually a Polytechnic if you can remember back when there were such things) was selling space in recruitment directories. There was a recession on at the time (hence very few jobs for graduates with non-vocational degrees) and I kind of fell into it. But in many ways I think it was the best start I could have had. It was a telesales job, cold-calling businesses, selling them advertising space. I had to make at least 80 calls a day in order to reach a daily target minimum of 20 effective phone calls (ones that reached a decision-maker). I learned about how to persuade. I learned about persistence, I learned about the importance of listening. About matching benefits to needs. I learned how to sell. It's a skill that I think is fantastically useful.

One of the things that stuck with me from that time was how we always had visual representations of bookings and targets up on the wall. You could see, as every booking was made, the target coming ever closer and closer. It was hugely motivating. And I was reminded of this when I read this short piece on the power of visual cues in building and maintaining good habits. It's so true. And it makes me wonder why, when we have access to so much data now, companies don't use this more (beyond obvious vertical functions) in the service of creating simple visualisations to enable staff to see progress toward a specific objectives. Such a simple thing, and yet so powerful.


On To-Do Lists

To-do-list

I rather liked this approach to doing a To-Do list from Peter Bregman, taken from this write up (found via Fraggl) of his 18 Minute plan to managing your day and finding focus. What I particularly like about it is the more comprehensive way in which it is inclusive of elements that sit outside of work tasks. It's easy (particularly when running your own business I find) for the time for these non-work related tasks to get squeezed, and this is a good way of allocating them at least equal prominence and so being more disciplined about making them happen. It's a point made well by Paul Graham in this short post about changing the defaults in life to make sure you don't forget about the really important stuff.