Values in tension (2): resource allocation

How we allocate our scarce resources – particularly money, time and attention – shines a bright light on how we prioritise between values. Most of us can have most of the things we value: wealth, physical beauty, time to ourselves, family, a sense of meaningful contribution, a fabulous car, deep friendships, fitness, artistic accomplishment, solidarity with those who have less,…

Crossing the street: Seth Godin on monopolies

Every successful business has a monopoly—a monopoly on what it makes that someone else can’t make the way they make it. That leaves out commodity businesses—people who bring coal out of the ground. I don’t think of those businesses as particularly successful. I think of them as useful. I’m glad if I need a bag of coal someone’s doing it,…

Tom Peters on the “services added” narrative

“It helps to be as helpful as you can be” Rolls-Royce now earns MORE from tasks such as managing clients’ overall procurement strategies and maintaining aerospace engines it sells than it does from making them. Thus the quintessential lumpy object producer, akin to yesteryear’s IBM, principally becomes a services-added company that also happens to make lumpy objects. … Twenty years…

Seth Godin on creating a (generous) monopoly

Every successful business has a monopoly—a monopoly on what it makes that someone else can’t make the way they make it. That leaves out commodity businesses—people who bring coal out of the ground. I don’t think of those businesses as particularly successful. I think of them as useful. I’m glad if I need a bag of coal someone’s doing it,…

Conference: small stages

Good conferences create a range of stages for members of the cohort to try things out on. Workshops, seminars and meetings happening alongside the keynote and plenary sessions create value for presenters (a chance to meet interested people and try out material) and for the cohort (a testbed for discovering new ideas, finding new contributors and new speakers and leaders).…

Resources: Clayton Christensen on disruptive innovation

Clayton Christensen’s The Innovators Dilemma is a business classic, providing a framework for understanding how technological or business model innovations (or more usually, both) allow new businesses to gain a foothold in markets or to create new ones. It’s been hugely influential – and has come in for its share of criticism. This post contains links to a range of…

Value: more of more?

Make something useful For lots of people Capture some of that value so that you can do it again The more useful what you do is, for more people*, the greater the potential is for your organisation to be sustainable and successful.** BUT you probably need to start by building something small first: the minimum viable product for the minimum…

Charles Koch on creating value for others and always getting better

The starting point is to understand what capabilities you have that others will value, that you can use to create value for others. And then to find the opportunities for those capabilities that will create the most opportunity for others and particularly those who will reward you for that value. So the ideal for business is to maximise the value…

Peter Drucker on social responsibility

A business that does not show a profit at least equal to its cost of capital is irresponsible; it wastes society’s resources. Economic profit performance is the base without which business cannot discharge any other responsibilities, cannot be a good employer, a good citizen, a good neighbor. But economic performance is not the only responsibility of a business any more…

The soft option

Your desire to be generous to others is a great motivator to excellence: if you’re serious about ensuring that the externalities of your project are consistently positive, you’re going to need to be doubly good at what you do. You need emotional energy and time to spare to listen well, to be gracious under pressure, to be the kind of…