Can you relate to it?
Frances Frei is a famous professor at Harvard Business School who advises senior executives who are embarking on large-scale change initiatives in the hopes of achieving organizational transformation. Professor Frei tells these executives, “You cannot change a person’s behavior until you first change their beliefs.”
Frances called me a few years ago when she was about to publish her book, “Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business.”
Beliefs drive behavior.
I was first exposed to this idea 18 years ago when Paul Schumann attended Wizard Academy. Paul spent 30 years at IBM as a futurist. Like Professor Frei, his specialty was “forecasting potential future scenarios, and creating innovative strategies for competitive advantage.”
When I asked Paul to share a few insights from his rich experience, he warned us of the dangers of “corporate cultural inertia.” Unfamiliar with that term, I asked Paul to give us an example. His answer startled me. He said, “You can win the full support of everyone at the C-level – CEO, COO, CFO, CMO, all of them – and then be brought to your knees by middle managers who simply choose not to implement what they have been told to do. In a big company, culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
“Can you introduce me to Dewey Jenkins? I’d love to meet him.”
This is a question I’m asked at least once a week, usually by the owner of another big company.
“I’m sorry, but no. I have, however, convinced Jonathan Bancroft to write a book that will contain the answers to every question you’d like to ask Dewey. I’ll give you a heads-up when that book is about to be published.”
The first printing of that book, “Mr. Jenkins Told Me…” was 30,000 copies. Almost 28,000 of those have already been sold and the book has only just been released.
The average business book sells just 5,000 copies in the life of the book. “Mr. Jenkins Told Me…” is not the average business book.
Jonathan Bancroft went to work for Mr. Jenkins 21 years ago as a technician’s helper/trainee. A few years ago, he became president of the company.
I can’t arrange for you to speak with Dewey Jenkins, but you’re only a few clicks away from the answers to every question you’d like to ask him.
You’re wearing the ruby red slippers, Dorothy, and you’ve been told how to finally achieve the one thing you’ve been trying to do since the movie began.
Are you going to begin clicking? Or do you want to go back to fighting those flying monkeys?
Roy H. Williams
In next week’s Monday Morning Memo, the wizard will explain why some business categories get quicker response to their advertising than others. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to get a little bit extra on that subject from him, and if I do, I’ll put it in the rabbit hole for you. – Indy Beagle
For more than three decades, Aaron LaPedis has discovered hidden treasure in garage sales, estate sales, and online auctions. Today he owns a swanky fine art gallery in Colorado and is known nationally as The Garage Sale Millionaire. If you’re thinking of selling interesting items that you no longer want or need, listen and learn as The Garage Sale Millionaire guides roving reporter Rotbart on the ins and outs of buying and selling junk profitably. MondayMorningRadio.com