December 3, 2008
One of the more interesting and ambitious books to cross my desk lately is How by Dov Seidman. The appeal of Seidman’s work is that he’s taken such a sweeping view of the business world in his explanation of how we think, behave and govern — as individuals and organizations — influences our achievements in the marketplace.!@!
According to him, the continued success of any organization is not necessarily the result of its ability to develop a product or service faster or cheaper. Competing companies constantly vie to do this better, and sometimes succeed. And globalization has made this even more of a challenge, expanding the field of competitors and bringing down prices of materials and labor.
Seidman maintains that the key to success lies in how people do what they do. This sounds kind of facile on its face, but as he puts it in the book, “where a broad spectrum of variation exists, opportunity exists. The tapestry of human behavior is so diverse, so rich, and so global that it presents a rare opportunity, the opportunity to outbehave the competition.” (Italics his.)
Seidman’s overall premise is not bulletproof. For example, Wal-Mart has done very well for a long time by emphasizing and delivering low prices to customers. But his idea is fundamentally sound: How we do what we do matters. We should strive for excellence and integrity in our chosen line of business. It could be the critical differentiator between you and everyone else.