Summer Reading - A summary so you can stay outside and keep playing... in a few minutes.

The 3 great business books of this summer are by leaders of the new digital business arena:
- Carat's David Verklin
- Optimedia's Antony Young
- Mediaedge:cia's Jim Taylor

So, read these for insight into your online agenda.

However, here is a summary of Jim Collins' now modern-classic Good to Great for insight into your entire business and yourself...

By focusing our efforts and confronting the “brutal facts” of who we are and the true value we deliver to our clients, we will earn more trust and budgets. As we position ourselves as Trusted Advisors, we must deliver Great experiences (solutions, ROI, analysis, metrics, conversation, etc.) for our clients and their customers - online and offline.

Here are some details:

- Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness. It’s not about managing change or motivating people. “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice."

- The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence… Good is the enemy of Great!

- A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. The right people need to be in the right seats (Do what you are best at)

- Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology.
Function before fun.

- The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Patient persistence is key. Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.

The essential strategic difference between the good-to-great and comparison companies lay in two fundamental distinctions. First, the good-to-great companies founded their strategies on deep understanding along three key dimensions—what we came to call the three circles. Second, the good-to-great companies translated that understanding into a simple, crystalline concept that guided all their efforts—hence the term Hedgehog Concept.

More precisely, a Hedgehog Concept is a simple, crystalline concept that flows from deep understanding about the intersection of the following three circles:

1. What you can be the best in the world at (and, equally important, what you cannot be the best in the world at). This discerning standard goes far beyond core competence. Just because you possess a core competence doesn’t necessarily mean you can be the best in the world at it. Conversely, what you can be the best at might not even be something in which you are currently engaged.

2. What drives your economic engine. All the good-to-great companies attained piercing insight into how to most effectively generate sustained and robust cash flow and profitability. In particular, they discovered the single denominator—profit per x—that had the greatest impact on their economics. (It would be cash flow per x in the social sector.)

3. What you are deeply passionate about. The good-to-great companies focused on those activities that ignited their passion. The idea here is not to stimulate passion but to discover what makes you passionate.

Now, go out and play ... and think about the intersection of your 3 circles.