21st Century Business and Leadership by @LeeBryant from @MeaningConf

In the same way that I was inspired by a vision for the future of business pitched at the Social Business Summit 2012, Lee Bryant delivered a thought provoking and insightful presentation at Meaning Conference last month.

The key ideas which resonated with me were:

  • To be a successful company you need to have a purpose and try to achieve something more than just make money
  • Traditional organisational structures are broken
  • Startups are chasing high valuations, big payouts and IPOs rather than trying to do something they care about. (Company like Snapchat and Pinterest have multi billion valuations with little revenue and no proven business model)
  • Startups work well with a task based organisational structures until they get about 30 people when they try and emulate the broken corporate organisation structure

Video playback of the presentation

Watch on YouTube

Slides from presentation

View on Slideshare

Headshift 2.0

Lee is one of two founders of Headshift which was acquired by Dachis Group.  I lucky enough to spend some time working with them in the London office.  I have a lot of respect for what they have both achieved to date and look forward to seeing their new venture called Post*Shift unfold in 2014. Lee Bryant and Livio Hughes hired me to work at Dachis Group. The thing that inspired me to want to join Dachis was the vision they created at the Social Business Summit 2012 in London and more specifically Dave Gray’s Connected Company presentation and Nilofer Merchant‘s Social Era presentation.

I wish them every success in their new venture.


Can conflict in social business be a good thing?

ted ipad app screen shot

When I work from home and take a break to eat lunch I normally get my iPad out, open the TED app and watch a video to see if I can find any additional inspiration for the afternoon.

Yesterday I searched for leadership and came across Margaret Heffernan’s talk called “Dare to disagree.”

The official description is below

Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but as Margaret Heffernan shows us, good disagreement is central to progress. She illustrates (sometimes counter-intuitively) how the best partners aren’t echo chambers — and how great research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree.

Trouble viewing? Click here > >  http://www.ted.com/talks/margaret_heffernan_dare_to_disagree.html

She talks about a doctor who was investigating why there was a high death rate from childhood cancer in the 1950’s. Continue reading

religious leadership vs business leadership

How does religious leadership compare to business leadership?

I have spent a fair amount of time over the last few months “preaching” about the benefits of social media. Some people get it and some people don’t. It got me thinking about the remarkable similarities between a religious leader and a great business leader.

One of the dictionary.com definitions of religion is: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion

“body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices”

If somebody described your business in this way would it be a bad thing? As a business leader you should be able to inspire your employees to want to be part of building something and to want to be a part of achieving the company’s main goals or objectives.

I will share an example I borrowed from Simon Sinek’s book. There are two stone masons working on a construction site for a new religious building.

The first guy says: I come to work to build a wall, I have been building this wall for the last few years, it will take me the rest of my life and I will probably will never see the end of this project.

The second guy says: I have been building this wall for as long as I can remember, I may never see the end of this project BUT I am building a cathedral.

The second guy understands that he plays a small part in the project but he knows that it is an important project and he loves the fact that he is part of something far greater than he could ever achieve on his own.

What the work the second guy does stands as proof of what he believes in. If he got offered more money to go and build a house then he probably wouldn’t take it. However the first guy would jump at the chance of earning more money. To him whether it is the wall of a cathedral or the wall of a house he doesn’t care.

A great CEO or business leader should be able to inspire the employees of the organisation to want to be part of something far greater than they could ever achieve alone. They should be able to share their beliefs and vision for the company’s future. The great employees around the business will share the same beliefs as the CEO and will want to be part of that mission. They will want to share the message with everyone they come across because what they do serves as a proof of who they are.

Your turn

So what do you think? Do you feel the comparison of business and religion is a good comparison? Do you go to work with passion because you share the same beliefs as your leaders? Are you a leader who thinks these ideas could make a difference in your ability to inspire. Have you found a better way to inspire people into action?

Other posts you might be interested in

Things that inspire me

How do I motivate people to buy?

The only thing EVERYONE on line has in common………

How can I motivate people to buy ? Part two

This article follows on from part one on how to motivate people to buy. In fact this applies to most situations where you have to convince somebody to do something.

There are two categories into which every tactic will fall; to manipulate or to inspire. The vast majority will fall into the manipulate category, with only the greatest being able to inspire. I will explain the two in more detail.

Continue reading

How do I motivate people to buy?

As a sales professional your role is to drive sales to meet your business goals. Different people have different ideas about how to motivate people but most of the greatest people share one similar method which I will share with you today.

For you to inspire other people to do what you want them to do you need to first figure out what inspires you? Think about why you come to work? Think about what drives you and motivates you? I bet you’re thinking, well I want to make loads of money, right? That is a result of what you do and not why you come to work.

To clarify what I mean I will use the example of the late, great, Steve Jobs at Apple.
He had a very clear sense of why. This resulted in him building one of the most successful companies of all time. Let me start by saying how he doesn’t do it and then move on to how he does do it. Continue reading