DESIGN POWER

A collection of stimulating (I hope) design quotes ...

We don’t have a good language to talk about this kind of thing. In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. … DESIGN IS THE FUNDAMENTAL SOUL OF A MAN-MADE CREATION.” Steve Jobs

Expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then try to bring those things into what you are doing.” Steve Jobs

Huge degree of care.” Ian Parker, New Yorker, on Apple design

In some way, by caring, we are actually serving humanity. People might think it’s a stupid belief, but it’s a goal—it’s a contribution that we hope we can make, in some small way, to culture.” Jony Ives, design chief, Apple

STEVE AND JONY WOULD DISCUSS CORNERS FOR HOURS AND HOURS.” Laurene Powell Jobs

But that day, in that experience, the thing that really gave me comfort was a tiny mirror [on the machine enabling patient eye contact with the tech and nurse] about as big as a Band-Aid.” Janet Dugan, healthcare architect undergoing an MRI exam, in Tim Leberecht's, The Business Romantic: Give Everything, Quantify Nothing,and Create Something Greater Than Yourself

Every business school in the world would flunk you if you came out with a business plan that said, ‘Oh, by the way, we’re going to design and fabricate our own screws at an exponentially higher cost than it would cost to buy them.’ BUT THESE AREN’T JUST SCREWS. LIKE THE THERMOMETER ITSELF, THEY’RE BETTER SCREWS, EPIC SCREWS, SCREWS WITH, DARE I SAY IT, DEEPER MEANING.” Tony Fadell, founder, Nest

He said for him the craft of building a boat was like a religion. It wasn’t enough to master the technical details of it. You had to give yourself up to it spiritually; you had to surrender yourself absolutely to it. When you were done and walked away, you had to feel that you had left a piece of yourself behind in it forever, a bit of your heart.” On the world’s premier racing shell builder, George Yeoman Pocock, in Daniel Brown's, The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

The peculiar grace of a Shaker chair is due to the fact that it was made by someone capable of believing that an angel might come and sit on it." Thomas Merton

It is fair to say that almost no new vehicle in recent memory has provoked more smiles.” Review of the MINI Cooper S, reported in Donald Norman's, Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things

“For every engineer and marketer on the “Experience Design & Development Team,” you need an artist, psychologist, musician, theaterdirector—and perhaps a shaman.” Tom Peters

“I believe that emotion eats reason for breakfast. I am not a daydreamer, idealist, or social activist. I am a business romantic.” Tim Lebrecht, The Business Romantic: Give Everything, Quantify Nothing, and Create Something Greater Than Yourself

Read:

Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things
, by Donald Norman
Enchantment: The Art of Changing Heart, Minds, and Actions, by Guy Kawasaki
Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands, by Kevin Roberts
The Business Romantic: Give Everything, Quantify Nothing, and Create Something Greater Than Yourself, by Tim Leberecht

Goals 2020+

"Over"-invest in people (e.g., top-quartile pay, 5-star health benefits, safety first).
"Over-the-top" worker training.
Substantial employee ownership.
Extreme development of first-line managers as most critical leaders.
More women in senior leadership roles (e.g., women minimum 50% in top management and Board membership).
PROUD OF OUR EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT & GROWTH.
Company fully integrated into community.
Contribute to community via radical Clean & Green operations.
PROUD OF OUR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT.
Civil workplace (e.g., extreme worker respect) devoted to employee growth.
Ethical behavior as a cornerstone of business strategy.
PROUD OF THE WAY WE DO BUSINESS.
Extreme and continuous product/service differentiation primarily through Humanized (Extreme Humanization) and Sustainable Design; every product/service is "remarkable."
Every employee a "licensed innovator."
Adhere to Metro Bank Vernon Hill's rule: "Cost-cutting is a death spiral"—focus on the top/value-added line.
Pursue the George Whalin dictate: "Be the best. It's the only market that's not crowded."
Peerless quality a trademark.
No such thing as too much time invested in relationship building; slow & steady & encompassing wins the relationship race.
Instant and overpowering response to problems.
Greater attention to (stupendous-in-size) women's market—e.g., majority of women in product/service R&D/development activities.
Greater attention to (enormous/pitifully under-served) "oldies" market.
PROUD OF OUR REMARKABLE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES AND CUSTOMER INTIMACY.
Overall employment growth principally through small-company Excellence. (Centerpiece is, for example, numerous 4-person over-the-moon companies becoming 8-person companies in the next 36 months.)
IA (Intelligence Augmented) >> AI (Artificial Intelligence).
EXCELLENCE. ALWAYS. (Guiding axiom: Excellence is the next 5 minutes. Or nothing at all.)

EXTREMISMS 2020+

EEE/Extreme Employee Engagement
Extreme Community Engagement
Extreme Product/Service Humanization

[PDF version]

Int’l Maintenance Conference

Tom's in Florida on Marco Island, speaking at the 34th International Maintenance Conference. The conference brings together "the brightest leaders in reliability and asset management from the world’s best run companies."

Slides:
International Maintenance Conference, 11 Dec 2019

Dan Pink’s Favorite Books

Our Cool Friend Dan Pink, author of Free Agent Nation, A Whole New Mind, and most recently When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, posted a list titled "20 Books That Have Mattered to Me." Tom is thrilled to be on this short list, where he's in the company of Frederick Douglass, Charles Darwin, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Michael Lewis, and more. Unable to choose only one of Tom's books, Dan put all of them, along with Peter Drucker's, as one entry on the list. So, visit Dan's post, pick a few books, and start reading. And, while you're at it, read a few of Dan's books, too. We suggest you try them all.

Brand You Interview

Art Kleiner, editor-in-chief of strategy+business magazine, helped Tom clarify the meaning of Brand You with an excellent interview, online here. Our thanks to Art!

World Business Forum Bogotá

Still in Bogotá, today Tom gave the keynote at the World Business Forum presented by WOBI - World of Business Ideas.

Slides:
World Business Forum Bogotá

Grupo Bancolombia

Today, Tom's in Bogotá, Colombia, speaking to Grupo Bancolombia.

Slides:
Grupo Bancolombia

Rethinking Brand You

Art Kleiner, editor-in-chief of strategy+business, got Tom to sit down and talk about Brand You. The result is an in-depth look at what Tom sees as the essence of the term. It's not about self-branding, but about how you work with others, with distinction. Read the excellent conversation between Art and Tom here: Rethinking Brand You.

The Excellence Dividend
April 2018-May 2019

The Excellence Dividend was published in early 2018. I have not been entirely idle in the subsequent 13 months. Herewith you will find a collection of 12 papers that have seen the light of day during those 13 months. They are offered up here for your use. (Or not.)

The Excellence Dividend: The Eighteen "Number Ones"
(Investment #1: TRAINING/Asset #1: PORTFOLIO OF FIRST-LINE MANAGERS/Core Value #1: LISTENING EXCELLENCE!!!/Obsession #1: EXECUTION/"THE LAST 95%"/Job #1: ESTABLISHING/MAINTAINING "60/60/24/7/365" A CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE-BY-PUTTING-PEOPLE-REALLY-FIRST [Plus 13 others])

25 Rules

Agenda 2019/20: Basic Tenets
(Re-Imagine Employee Engagement and Growth/Re-Imagine Business Per Se/Re-Imagine Business Education and the MBA)

EEE/Extreme Employee Engagement
("Business has to give people enriching, rewarding lives ... or it's simply not worth doing."—Richard Branson/"The role of the Director is to create a space where the actors and actresses can become more than they have ever been before, more than they've dreamed of being."—Robert Altman)

Excellence Dividend FUNDAMENTALS
(PowerPoint/820 slides/13 chapters/Heavily Annotated)

The Excellence Dividend/Nine Observations
(In Search of Excellence in Six Words and eight others)

HARD IS SOFT. SOFT IS HARD.
("Hard [plans, numbers, org charts] is soft. Soft [people, relationships, culture] is hard."/GOOGLE GETS A [B-I-G] [S-O-F-T] SURPRISE)

Manifesto/Enterprise Excellence 2019
(EEE/EXTREME EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT/VISIBLE MORAL LEADERSHIP/A FULLTIME RESPONSIBILITY, NOT AN OPTION/HARD [NUMBERS/PLANS] IS SOFT. SOFT [RELATIONSHIPS/ CULTURE] IS HARD./EXTREME HUMANIZATION/PRODUCT-SERVICE DIFFERENTIATOR #1/EXCELLENCE IS THE NEXT FIVE MINUTES)

Maximizing Shareholder Value 1970-????: The Morally Bankrupt, Incomparably Destructive Economic and Social Idea That Decapitated Modern Business

Social Media: 28 Shorties

The Excellence Twenty: Success Lessons from The Excellence Dividend

Speed Trap: When Taking Your Time (Really) Matters
(BUILDING/MAINTAINING RELATIONSHIPS ... take time./RECRUITING ALLIES TO YOUR CAUSE ... takes time./BUILDING/MAINTAINING A HIGH-PERFORMANCE CULTURE ... takes time./ READING/ STUDYING ... take time./FIERCE/AGGRESSIVE LISTENING ... takes [lots of!] time./MBWA/MANAGING BY WANDERING AROUND ... takes time./SLACK IN YOUR SCHEDULE ... takes time./HIRING-EVALUATING-PROMOTING ... take time./THOUGHTFULNESS/INSTINCTIVE SMALL GESTURES (SMALL>>BIG) ... take time./EXTREME HUMANIZATION-RADICAL HUMANIZATION ... takes time./GAMECHANGING DESIGN [spending "hours and hours discussing corners"] ... takes time./YOUR NEXT EMAIL ... takes time./"THE LAST 1%" OF ANY TASK OR PROJECT ... takes time./E-X-C-E-L-L-E-N-C-E ... takes time.)

TEP/The Everything Paper+

I was exhausted last Friday afternoon. I'd not looked up for hours as I edited and re-edited and re-re-re-re-edited what I call "The Everything Paper." I mean it! EVERYTHING ... on one page (attached).* It's a long story, but my mind has been racing and I have wanted to capture the main themes I intend to exclusively work on in the years to come—not in a new book, but on one page.

(*I have sort of cheated. The main document is a single page. But for illumination, I have added a page called "Case Study"; it focuses on Commerce Bank/Metro Bank, the poster child of The Excellence Dividend. It is representative of much of what I am discussing in TEP/The Everything Page. When I do a paper handout, TEP is printed on the front and the Commerce/Metro story is printed on the back—hence it technically remains one page!)

I call this one-pager "Agenda/Excellence 2019." For several iterations I labeled it a "Manifesto." But in the end that felt far too pretentious. And, hey, it is an "Agenda." As you might expect, "Excellence" is in there too—it's an even more important idea/state-of-mind/action item in 2019, with, in particular, technology most likely embarking on a job-destruction binge.

So you will be the judge. This one-pager has been through perhaps 100 drafts—no kidding.

It's the best I can do.

(FYI: The first of ten points in the Agenda is about my hobbyhorse.2019: EEE/Extreme Employee Engagement. Hence I have included a second 1-pager, titled Extreme Employee Engagement.

(FYI: A special thanks to Zach First and Rick Wartzman at the Drucker Institute for pushing my thinking several steps forward—especially on the topic of the damage done by the dreadful Maximizing Shareholder Value "movement.")

Attachments
Agenda/Excellence 2019 (one page)
Agenda/Excellence plus Metro Bank
Extreme Employee Engagement
EIGHTEEN Number Ones

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