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February 29, 2008

News & Opinion: Ask 8cr! - Doing What Matters

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 11:10 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Ask 8cr! is a section of our blog used as a forum to address the kinds of issues and challenges people are having in the workplace. We take these issues and apply a business book we feel offers a viable solution. Others then chime in via the comments section. The person with the selected challenge gets a free copy of the book, but everyone who reads these posts, wins. What's your challenge at work? Send it to me at jon(a)800ceoread(dot)com.
Today's challenge deals with doing everything that matters in order to improve your business:
"Strategic thinking -- how to get a better grasp on thinking strategically to tie PR, communications and marketing efforts to driving and achieving business results" - Sandy
Business is sort of like the game Tetris. You have to do one thing to make it conducive for the next unknown event to fit without problems. How do you plan this? In the game, it's sort of luck. In business, it's a little of that, but your chances of success can be greatly improved by reading books like James M. Kilts' Doing What Matters.

Kilts was the CEO of Gillette, and during his time there, saw every key metric of the company improve. This book details his methods for making that happen. In Sandy's challenge, she's looking to connect a number of things together in order to create that smooth Tetris scenario, where each shape magically fits nicely with the next, and allows the game (your business) to move forward without a hitch. Kilts sees these connections, and adds a ton more, in his overview of things to do that matter. Part strategy, part organizational behavior, part intuitive skill, Kilts lays out an approach to strategy beyond PR and marketing, encompassing an entire overview of how he took Gillette to levels that impressed even the likes of Warren Buffett.
Here's a very abbreviated list of his things that matter:
- Growth
- Relationships
- Loyalty
- Small moments
- Timely decisions
- Doing what you enjoy
- Life's early lessons
- Right team members
- Confronting reality
Throughout the book, he goes into great detail on each of these things, and offers examples, facts, and his own experiences to make them transferable to Sandy or anyone's situation to think strategically.