March 7, 2008
News & Opinion: The ChangeThis Connection
This month's manifestos revolve heavily around issues of community and connection--whether it be Richard Florida writing about why choosing where to live is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make, or the folks from Booz Allen Hamilton writing about how Government, Business and Non-Profits can unite to form megacommunities to address large and complex problems. Julien Smith and Chris Brogan discuss forming relationships and gaining influence in online communities, and Joel D Canfield talks about manners in forming and maintaining relationships with our customers. Michael Stallard runs the gamut, writing about "Connection Cultures." While focused heavily on creating these cultures in the workplace, he also discusses how forming connections with others benefits our lives as a whole.
In the one manifesto that does not specifically deal with community, Dan Roam shares the lost chapter of his new book The Back of the Napkin (out next week!), dealing with how visual thinking can be applied to solving problem and selling ideas.
You'll find more information and links below.
A Creative Manifesto: Why the Place You Choose to Live is the Most Important Decision of Your Life, by Richard Florida
"Increasingly, the place you choose to live will help determine your success in business, in finding a life partner, and in living a fulfilling life. In fact, it may be the most important decision of your life. I believe that we are in the beginnings of a shift as fundamental as the industrial revolution was over a century ago--one that will have as dramatic an impact on how people live and work. Furthermore, it will have a dramatic impact on where they live and work."
The Mega Community Manifesto, by Mark Gerencser, Fernando Napolitano, Reginald Van Lee, and Christopher Kelly
"Public, private, and civil leaders should confront together the problems that none can solve.
Leaders everywhere no longer express as much confidence about the future as they once did. When they speak candidly, it often sounds as if they feel trapped in quicksand, unable to move forward easily. The methods and tools that helped them succeed in the past no longer work. The challenges they face--such as global competitiveness, health and environmental risks, or inadequate infrastructure--can no longer be solved by their organizations alone. And when they try to reach beyond the boundaries of their own corporation, government agency, or nongovernmental organization, there often is no clear pathway to success."
The Ten (and a half) Commandments of Visual Thinking: The Lost Chapter from The Back of the Napkin, by Dan Roam
"Visual thinking is the future of business problem solving. Using our innate ability to see--both with our eyes and our mind's eye--gives us entirely new ways to discover hidden ideas, develop those ideas intuitively, and then share those ideas with other people in a way they are simply going to 'get.'"
Trust Economy: Investigations into the New ROI of the Web, by Julien Smith and Chris Brogan
"If You Build It, They Won't Come
What happened to the early days? You built a baseball stadium, a store, a web app, and people flocked to it... now what? We are suspicious of marketing. We don't trust strangers as willingly. Buzz is suspect. It can be bought. Instead, consumers and business people alike are looking towards trust. We want our friends to tell us it's good. We want someone we know to say we should look into it. Marketing spend might start at awareness, but in the Trust Economy, communities are king, and ROI stands for Return on Influence."
Manners Matter: The Commonsense Approach to Business Etiquette, by Joel D. Canfield
"Manners matter, not just socially; we all know manners matter socially. Manners matter in business. Good social skills, in fact, are critical to the success of any business.
Let's talk about the why and the how, but first, let's dispel a common myth: being polite doesn't make you a doormat.
We've all seen the stereotype: meek and mild librarian/accountant gets walked on by everyone, running others' errands, never getting any respect, until one day, they explode in a rage, baseball bats and fists and profanity flying, and finally, finally, they get the respect they deserve and find true happiness in life.
Let's stop pretending Hollywood represents real life."
The Connection Culture: A New Source of Competitive Advantage, by Michael Stallard
"I want to share something with you I've learned over the last decade of my life that I believe can be as helpful to you as it has been to me. In a nutshell, one of the most powerful and least understood aspects of business is how an emotional connection between management, employees and customers provides a competitive advantage. Unless the people who are part of a business feel a sense of connection--an emotional bond that promotes trust, cooperation and esprit de corps--they will never reach their potential as individuals, nor will the organization."
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.