Tom Peters - Atlanta Growth Summit: We are the company we keep – Diversity Trumps Ability - Markets
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7TH, 2008
If you’d like to know the truth about my feelings on Tom Peters, I like his ideas I just don’t like the fire hose approach. Too much information to gather in one setting. After awhile it gets too be too much to digest, and you know what happens when you’ve had too much to eat. I prefer to take in as much as I can and absorb it. If you haven’t liked the past couple of blogs on Tom Peters, I’m sorry. Truth is I didn’t like writing them because it felt like I had so much to offer yet I couldn’t complete enough thoughts to present this without missing some of his ideas. So next blog I promise to be more to the point and not have so many disassociated ideas. Nevertheless Tom Peters has a lot to offer and so here goes the fire hose for one last time.
Have you heard the expression, We Are the Company We Keep? Peters suggested that in this changing economic environment it is more important than ever that we be aware of the strength of our vendors. In fact he warned companies to only work with vendors who finish in the top 10% of research invested, since if they are not dedicated to discover and research more than likely they will quickly fall behind and with that leave your business vulnerable to being over taken by a competitor who is able to take advantage of emerging technology and ideas.
Here’s another nugget that I didn’t expect. If you had the choice of a room full of experts in your industry or a diverse group of people to help you solve a problem, which would you choose? I would have guessed the former, a group of experts, yet the scientific evidence is otherwise. “Diverse groups of problem solvers—groups of people with diverse tools—consistently outperformed groups of the best and the brightest. If I formed two groups, one random (and therefore diverse) and one consisting of the best individual performers, the first group almost always did better. … Diversity trumped ability.” —Scott Page, The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies Diversity
Conrad Hilton, at a gala celebrating his life, was asked, “What was the most important lesson you’ve learned in you long and distinguished career?” His immediate answer … “remember to tuck the shower curtain inside the bathtub” If you fail to understand the impact of his answers recognize this: “Execution is strategy.” —Fred Malek Perhaps Harry Firestone said it best, Success is the sum of details.
Finally Peters spoke of two markets that we need to be more aware of in our decision making and marketing approach.
“The most significant variable in every sales situation is the gender of the buyer, and more importantly, how the salesperson communicates to the buyer’s gender.” —Jeffery Tobias Halter, Selling to Men, Selling to Women. Here’s the most important thing to remember, “Women are the majority market” —Fara Warner/The Power of the Purse
Peters offered 10 UNASSAILABLE REASONS WOMEN RULE
1. Women make [all] the financial decisions.
2. Women control [all] the wealth.
3. Women [substantially] outlive men.
4. Women start most of the new businesses.
5. Women’s work force participation rates have soared worldwide.
6. Women are closing in on “same pay for same job.”
7. Women are penetrating senior ranks rapidly [even if the pace is slow for the corner
office per se].
8. Women’s leadership strengths are exceptionally well aligned with new organizational effectiveness imperatives.
9. Women are better salespersons than men.
10.Women buy [almost] everything—commercial as well as consumer goods.
Tom finally asked, so what exactly is the point of men?
The other market he feels we should be most concerned with is the aging baby boomer market:
44-65: “New Customer Majority” **
45% larger than 18-43; 60% larger by 2010
Source: Ageless Marketing, David Wolfe & Robert Snyder
If you’ve not looked at these two markets and how it will impact the world and perhaps your business perhaps it is time you did.
I’ll have more on the Growth Summit, however more in the form of how I normally deliver a blog next time. Guy Parsons, founder of Value Stream Solutions had some excellent insights on Lean Thinking that I’ll be sharing next.
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