"…keeping you great"
The 2011 Business Book of the Year goes to…see below, but first:
Inside Apple — with a record $46 billion quarter; $13 billion profit; and $100 billion in cash, it's worth taking a detailed look inside the workings of Apple. That's exactly what Adam Lashinsky, Sr. Editor at Large of FORTUNE magazine, has accomplished with his book Inside Apple: How America's Most Admired – and Secretive – Company Really Works, just released yesterday. So far Chapter 3 entitled "Focus Obsessively" is my favorite (I'm on Chapter 4 as I write this). Lashinsky has managed to provide details about specific compensation, management, and communication systems that will be insightful for many of you and it's a quick read. One overall key – Jobs kept major teams under 100 employees and isolate people so they kept that start-up feeling as a giant company – he hated giant companies. Again, read the details.
Freaky Friday Management Technique — faced with two functions at war, Customer Support and Sales Engineering, Ben Horowitz borrowed an idea from the movie Freaky Friday. In the film, mother and daughter grow completely frustrated with each other's lack of understanding and wish that they could switch places and they do. Ben had the heads of each function do the same – and problem solved!! Read Ben's excellent blog post, including fun film clips, for more details.
"Goals for Glory" — FH Canada used a hockey-related theme to re-engage lapsed donors last quarter. A not-for-profit dedicated to "graduating a community from poverty in 10 years" (to date they've helped 34 communities become self-sufficient in areas like nutrition, education, and agriculture), the goal was to lure back 150 lapsed donors. By the end of the "match" they re-engaged 198 donors totaling $70k in initial donations, and more importantly, created a new stream of ongoing donors.
Simple Scoreboard — the board in the picture below shows the hockey pool they created with goals (directly engaged a donor); assists (helped someone else engage one); and penalties (mostly for fun). They're having a skating party as a celebration. Noted Gazelles coaching partner Trevor Throness, owner of Strategy for Business. "The whole thing was simple, cheap and very motivating. One of their core values is 'pinching pennies' so that the money can go to people who really need it!" Do you have your next theme in place? Keep it simple – nothing fancy.
The 2011 Business Book of the Year…Jim's Collins Great by Choice (Jim is keynoting our FORTUNE Leadership Summit May 15 – 16). Chosen by the highly respected 800-CEO-READ organization, they note "It is a book perfectly suited to our times, containing the extensive research and free-thinking Collins is known for, while also being able to impart confidence in the knowledge that, despite the chaos and uncertainty, it is still your choices and not chance that control your fate." The Leadership Summit is a rare opportunity to spend 4 hours with Jim Collins.
Jim Collins Australia — our National Business Growth Summit '12 will also host Jim Collins 14 – 15, March in Sydney. Other keynotes include Fred Reichheld, author of Ultimate Question 2.0; Jack Daly, consummate sales trainer; and several thought leaders from Australia. I'll also be there to present and lead a one-day workshop.