I recommend this book strongly to anyone in a team that runs a business and is passionate about their business making a difference. Mark Earls writes in a simple, easy-to-read style, but at the same time puts across refreshing, insightful ways of looking at business.
The book for me was a combination of the practical philosophy of “5 lessons of life” or ZMM, and the business insights of “Good to Great”.
The enduring theme I took from the book is the concept of centring my business on a single purpose-idea - answering the question “What are we for?” rather than the more mundane “What do we do?” that is touted by so many marketing gurus. For me this is one of those distinctions that is so insightful yet so obvious in retrospect that it resonates immediately. Everything flows from the purpose-idea: if all the activities of and communications from the business are consistent with it then things just feel right.
There is more to the book than this one concept and Mark Earls tackles such difficult and important issues as stimulating genuine creativity. However, it was the theme of the purpose-idea that kept me thinking long after I read the last page.
I have one minor criticism of the book. Mark Earls naturally draws examples and experience from the world of advertising that is already creativity and publicity focused. For an advisory business such as mine, some of these examples were a little distant from our reality.
In summary, this is one of my favourite books of the year and one, which I’m sure, will add important insight and perspective to anyone thinking hard about their business’ direction.