September 9, 2004
Excerpts: Everything You Need to Know About Strategy - Part IV
Okay, I acknowledge this is just another way of saying, Its the people, stupid! So ... whats wrong with repeating myself when it comes to this All-time Top #1 tune? I do want to add a twist. Were seeking adventurers, right? (See my riff above on creating Quests.) Adventurers tend to be a bit (or more) quirky. They travel paths of their own making. Their commitment shows on their sleeves ... sometimes to the annoyance of company men. I say: Its a weird time! Bring on the Misfits!
Picked up your kids history book lately? A Misfits Almanac ... right? Alexander the Great. Napoleon. Drake. Nelson. Joan dArc. De Gaulle. Churchill. Jefferson. Hamilton. Copernicus. Gates. (You get the drift.) Troublemakers one and all! What we take for granted between the covers of a 9th-grade history text we need to import to our little-big corner of the enterprise: Welcome history makers! I.e.: Welcome freaks! May you become the Susan B. Anthony of Logistics at good ole XYZ Corp!
For years, decades actually, the Oakland Raiders topped the league in mercilessly competitive professional football. Iconoclast (iconoclast = good word) owner Al Davis picked up misfits contracts for a songand gave them a new lease on life in Raider Silver and Black. I love the notion of The Oakland Raiders of ... Finance. The Oakland Raiders of ... Housekeeping. The Oakland raiders of ... Drug Discovery.
Incidentally (not so incidentally!), Id extend this Keystone Idea to customers, vendors, and our entire extended enterprise family. I embrace the idea of a Zoo of Peculiars, pushing one another to perform on or past the edge: Lead (pioneer-peculiar-audacious) customers dragging the company toward remarkable future moonscapes; inventive-zany-audacious vendors causing the company to question every fundamental assumption about doing business; and so on.
So: How do you do (MEASURE IT!) on the Weirdness-Misfits-Pioneers Scale?
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.