Survival Is Not Enough: Why Smart Companies Abandon Worry and Embrace Change
by Seth Godin
This author is a former Yahoo executive, a renowned speaker, a contributing editor to Fast Company and author of Unleashing the Ideavirus which has been downloaded more than a million times, making it the most popular ebook ever. He’s been credited as being one of the world’s most original thinkers and doesn’t hesitate to demonstrate it chapter after chapter.
Godin is the creator of the concept he declares is the description for business survival. He calls it “Zooming” and defines it as “stretching your limits without threatening your foundation.”
In this book, he turns his attention to the predominant issue facing all business today: change. The result is a wide-ranging and eclectic menu of useful ideas that just about anyone looking to enhance their career, job satisfaction, and their company’s prospects would do well to consider.
This book advocates making it easier for employees to initiate small changes. He makes the case that companies need to evolve more quickly in the current environment, and he identifies policies and attitudes that are conducive to more rapid evolution. Although he is obviously an original thinker, I couldn’t help but notice that so many of his observations were little more than common sense.
For example, he argues that most companies:
- are too careless when they fill positions;
- are too lazy about firing managers who reduce employee effectiveness;
- often fail to take advantage of the talent in companies that they acquire.
Now that I look back over these examples, I guess I should say they are little more than “uncommon sense” due to the fact that most leaders know and agree with these observations but seldom do anything to avoid the negative consequences of each.
Godin provides a groundbreaking new way to organize companies to thrive during times of change. It contains a simple yet revolutionary idea: We can evolve our companies the same way nature evolves a species. Throughout the book, the metaphor of evolution is used in this way to enliven the discussion. He claims Darwin was absolutely right when he declared that evolution was a fundamental force of nature. Godin demonstrates how this force can be unleashed in any organization and become more profitable upon doing so.
He shares tactics for accelerating evolution, declares that the basic building block is people, challenges readers with a long list of very direct eye-opening questions, and revisits a number of traditional truths about the subject of change.
(This book review was originally published in 2002 as one of the Top 10 Books – Edition 10.)
About Harry K. Jones
Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.