What Tom’s Reading

Survival Is Not Enough: Zooming, Evolution, and the Future of Your Company, Seth Godin

Tom?s quote: “If Microsoft is good at anything, it’s avoiding the trap of worrying about criticism. Microsoft fails constantly. They’re eviscerated in public for lousy products. Yet they persist, through version after version, until they get something good enough. Then they leverage the power they’ve gained in other markets to enforce their standard.”


Read Seth’s blog.



Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web, David Weinberger


Quote: “Suppose—just suppose—that the Web is a new world we’re just beginning to inhabit. We’re like the earlier European settlers in the United States, living on the edge of the forest. We don’t know what’s there and we don’t know exactly what we need to do to find out: Do we pack mountain climbing gear, desert wear, canoes, or all three? Of course while the settlers may not have known what the geography of the New World was going to be, they at least knew that there was a geography. The Web, on the other hand, has no geography, no landscape. It has no distance. It has nothing natural in it. It has few rules of behavior and fewer lines of authority. Common sense doesn’t hold here, and uncommon sense hasn’t yet emerged.”

Read David’s blog.


Disruption: Overturning Conventions and Shaking Up the Marketplace,
Jean-Marie Dru


“Sony is the epitome of discontinuity. It sees all its competitors’ accomplishments merely as conventions to be overturned.”


“Apple opposes, IBM solves, Nike exhorts, Virgin enlightens, Sony dreams, Benetton protests. … Brands are not nouns but verbs.”

Beyond Disruption is his follow-up. Read a review.


Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, by Larry Bossidy, Ram Charan, Charles Burck (contributor)


Quote: “When assessing candidates, the first thing I looked for was energy and enthusiasm for execution. Does she talk about the thrill of getting things done, the obstacles overcome, the role her people played—or does she keep wandering back to strategy or philosophy?”


Zero Space: Moving Beyond Organizational Limits, Frank Lekanne Deprez & Rene Tissen


“The organizations we created have become tyrants. They have taken control, holding us fettered, creating barriers that hinder rather than help our businesses. The lines that we drew on our neat organizational diagrams have turned into walls that no one can scale or penetrate or even peer over.”


Why Men Don’t Listen & Women Can’t Read Maps: How We’re Different & What to Do About It, Barbara & Allan Pease


Quote (there are many more like this!): ?As a hunter, a man needed vision that would allow him to zero in on targets in the distance ? whereas a woman needed eyes to allow a wide arc of vision so that she could monitor any predators sneaking up on the nest. This is why modern men can find their way effortlessly to a distant pub, but can never find things in fridges, cupboards or drawers.”

See a press release (re storm in Japan over the book!).


The Leader’s Voice, Boyd Clarke & Ron Crossland. The CEO and vice chair of tompeterscompany! put their two cents in.


Quote: “Vision is a love affair with an idea.”

Buy the book.


Marketing to the Mindset of Boomers and Their Elders, Carol Morgan & Doran Levy


Quote: “Households headed by someone 40 or older enjoy 91% ($9.7T) of our population’s net worth. … The mature market is the dominant market in the U.S. economy, making the majority of expenditures in virtually every category.”



Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science, Atul Gawande


The Weather Channel: The Improbable Rise of a Media Phenomenon, Frank Batten (Big Boss) with Jeffrey L. Cruikshank (Collaborator)


Wide Angle Vision: Beat your competition by focusing on fringe competitors, lost customers, and rogue employees, Wayne Burkan


Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will: How Jack Welch Is Making GE the World’s Most Competitive Corporation, Noel M. Tichy, Stratford Sherman (Contributor)


An old read, but worth mention:

Results-Based Leadership, Dave Ulrich, Jack Zenger, Norm Smallwood


Quote from a Harley-Davidson exec:”What we sell is the ability for a 43-year-old accountant to dress in black leather, ride through small towns and have people be afraid of him.”





Hard Times, Charles Dickens