Insights_12_words_of_wisdomBarbara Gray, CFA – December 16, 2013 – I thought it would be worthwhile to continue on the holiday tradition and share with you some of the words of wisdom from the authors of the top dozen of the 50+ business strategy books I read the past year. The common theme that runs through all these quotes is that we are entering a new Social Era, one in which companies need to be transparent, authentic, and engaging in terms of their core values, culture, and community. I encourage you to spend some time thinking about these words of wisdom (click on the quote to see what book it came from) as they provide a lot of valuable insight into how the corporate landscape is changing.

Mass brands talk at people. Or more accurately, they SHOUT! Belief brands, on the other hand, listen and create a conversation.

…our belief is that our Brand, our Culture…are the only competitive advantages that we will have in the long run. Everything else can and will eventually be copied.

Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.

Many of the emotions and values that didn’t belong in the boardroom have now become central to a new business model for success.

In the long term, the virtuous pursuit of excellence achieves more real success than the unbridled pursuit of success.

Scarcity is the dominant driver of the industrial age. Scarce resources, scarce machines, scarce labor, and scarce shelf space. The connection economy thrives on abundance. Connection creates more connection. Trust creates more trust. Ideas create more ideas.

The Industrial Revolution was built with our hands and the Technology Revolution with our heads. The next movement, the Human Revolution, will be forged with our hearts.

Trust is an asset, not a commodity. It cannot be purchased. It must be earned.

…a company’s employees are, in a sense, the early ambassadors of any brand movement. And if they’re true believers in that message and those ideals, their passion can be powerful and contagious.

While the industrial era was about making a lot of stuff and convincing enough buyers to consume it, the Social Era is about the power of communities, of collaboration and co-creation.

Ideological opportunities provide one of the most fertile grounds for market innovation.

When successful companies fail to innovate, what looks like complacency is often really a prevention-focused strategic defensiveness—a desire to protect the company’s gains by avoiding risk.

And as this is just a small sampling of the over 100 business strategy books we currently feature in our Brady Capital Research Library, I encourage you to check out our full list here:  http://bradycap.com/library/.

Happy reading over the holidays!