Great Lakes Geek Book Review

How: Why How We Do Anything Means Business (and in Life)
By Dov Seidman

How: Why How We Do Anything Means Business (and in Life)

In the Preface, author Dov Seidman states, "This is a HOW book, not a how-to book. What's the difference between how-to and HOW? Everything."

The premise is that what you do can quickly and easily be copied, reverse-engineered and commoditized by others. The author suggests that it's how you do what you do that makes the difference.

He says there is now a "rare opportunity… to outbehave the competition."

He begins by explaining how The Wave was started at a baseball game in 1981 by cheerleader Krazy George Henderson. The challenge was to communicate with and convince 60,000 people who had no idea what Krazy George wanted them to do - and most were out of earshot.

The author claims that for the Wave to succeed "you need to reach out to those around you, to share your vision with them, to enlist them in a common purpose."

"To get them to join you, you must be earnest and transparent, hold nothing back and earn their trust."

The Wave metaphor shows "what a diverse group of people can accomplish when united by a common vision."

Seidman tells how in the Middle Ages, land was of the highest value. Land is a zero-sum game. The more I have, the less is available to you and others. With Adam Smith and capitalism, land retained value but capital was all important. And capital too is pretty much finite.

Now we have information as power and information is not finite or defensible with moats and fences. Its value is elastic - varying by your need for it. Information about a disease you suffer from is very valuable to you, not so much to a non-sufferer.

So "fortress capitalism" is becoming obsolete. Some of this has been written about by Thomas L. Friedman in The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century.

Seidman says the connections and relationships we make are what matters. "When we die our headstones seldom read SYLVIA JONES, 1960-2042, VP of strategic planning and implementation, Made the numbers 16 quarters in a row. Instead we write Stan SMITH, Beloved husband, brother, father, uncle. He made the world warmer with his smile."

The famous Nike logo urging us to 'Just do it' is now being augmented with how you do it.

The book is full of stories and analogies. It's not one of those typical business books that have one catchy idea that is used to fill 200 pages. There's a lot of stuff in this book.

A lot of the "stuff" are things that we used to think of as "soft" or even "wimpy" in the cutthroat business world. But as the author says, "trust, integrity, values and reputation are now the hard currency of business success and the ultimate drivers of efficiency, productivity and profitability."

Great Lakes Geek Rating:3.5 out of 5 pocket protectors.

Reviewed by Entreprenerd Dan Hanson, the Great Lakes Geek

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