April 6, 2011
News & Opinion: ChangeThis: Issue 81
by Charles Fishman
“Free turns out to be exactly the wrong price for water—whether that water is being used by huge global corporations, farmers, ordinary middle-class citizens, or the poorest people living in developing countries. Water that is so cheap provides no incentive for big users—corporations, farmers, even cities—to spend money necessary to better manage their water. [...] And poor people—who have to stand in line for water, or walk to get it from suspect ground-water wells—pay the highest cost for 'free' water of all, sacrificing time, good jobs, and even the educations of their children in order to secure their daily ration of water.”
“Our first sentence—“This sentence has five words—is an eigen value: a self-referencing, self-defining concept. The thing itself is its own definition. Our last rambling sentence is not an eigen value. It isn’t self-defining and frankly lacks meaning to anyone but its author. This is an important distinction, because the casual reader of this sentence frankly doesn’t care one way or another about the message or the messenger.
[...] Why is this concept important to your idea, your brand or your movement? Because creating eigen values is what marketers do when they’re doing their very best work. The concept of eigen values should change how you look at the marketing discipline completely.”
“How do we draw the best out of people when so many of the rules and practices in life have changed? How in today’s new world can people reach their best at their best, given the speed of life and the torrent of information and obligation? Is there a coherent, evidence-based plan that every person can use to bring the best out of themselves or the people they manage? With the help of Dr. Shine, I offer a theory here of how to do just that. It includes 5 steps. I call it the Cycle of Excellence.”
by Alina Tugend
“While I am not advocating that we all run around blundering and goofing up all the time—and certainly none of us like dealing with people who make the same mistake over and over—our fear of mistakes has a very high cost.
We exert enormous energy blaming each other when something goes wrong rather than finding a solution. Defensiveness and accusations take the place of apologies and forgiveness. Mistake-avoidance creates workplaces where making changes and being creative while risking failure is subsumed by an ethos of mistake-prevention at the cost of daring and innovation.”
“In the global race to achieve faster, better, cheaper business greatness, most leaders face a huge gap between the goals they set and the actual results achieved by the people in their organizations. This phenomenon is not a failure to plan, but rather, a failure to execute. […]
While there are many possible explanations for the root cause of the gap, the one common, recurring element is a stubborn, nagging blind spot: People issues.
“Nothing has really changed, even with the popularity of terms like social consumer, sharing consumer etc. people have always shared. Whether sitting around the campfire, standing at the water cooler, or chatting over the garden fence, human beings share their opinions with others. If those opinions prove to be useful, that person will be sought out for an opinion about other things and on a more frequent basis.”
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.