Pam & Scott’s Book Pairing For Changing Your Game in the Evolving Digital Age
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Episode 83 Transcript:
Chris Curran: Growth Igniters Radio with Pam Harper and Scott Harper. Episode 83 − Pam & Scott’s Book Pairing For Changing Your Game in the Evolving Digital Age.
This episode is brought to you by Business Advancement Incorporated − enabling successful leaders and companies accelerate to their next level of success. On the web at BusinessAdvance.com. And now, here’s Pam and Scott.
Pam Harper: Thanks Chris. I’m Pam Harper, founding partner and CEO of Business Advancement Incorporated. Right across from me is my business partner and husband, Scott Harper. Hi Scott.
Scott Harper: Hi Pam. As always it’s wonderful to join you again for another episode of Growth Igniters Radio with Pam Harper and Scott Harper. If this is your first time listening, our purpose is to spark new insights, inspiration and immediately useful ideas for visionary leaders to accelerate themselves and their companies to their next level of growth and success. Pam, we talk a lot about how important it is to be sensitive and responsive to the evolving business environment around us.
Pam Harper: Absolutely.
Scott Harper: It’s important to see how this plays out in real life. Finding one example, it’s like we used to look or Teslas. You say, “There’s a … ” Now all of a sudden I’m seeing Teslas all over there place.
Pam Harper: Exactly Teslas everywhere.
Scott Harper: Finding one example makes this more sensitive to how widespread a particular thing is and an example of how, for instance, a major company is successfully changing their game to increase their relevance in the evolving digital age, is an article that was in the August 28 Sunday New York Times. It was written by Steve Lohr and it was title G.E The Software Start-up.
Pam Harper: Yes, and what was striking in this article was the pull-out quote which reflected the go big or go home nature of the decision that GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt faced and it said, “A 124-year-old industrial giant is investing big in an effort to adopt the nimble habits and digital wizardry of Silicon Valley and it’s CEO says, there is no plan B.”
What I got from this article are three points. First, all of us need to be staying current on what those technological changes are and the potential benefits that they offer and the capability that they offer. If you think about it, this was something that Jeff Immelt had to be thinking about and internalizing. You can read articles, you can see it on social media but in order for you to take full advantage of it, you need to internalize it.
Scott Harper: One great way to do that is to have conversations with people, especially in your own company, who have their own special perspectives.
Pam Harper: That’s right, and that’s my second point. These new conversations help bring out what it is that we see and hear all around us. There’s nothing like conversations. In this case, the scientists who helped him spark ideas about how he could apply what he was learning.
Scott Harper: The new perspective makes things fall into place in a new way and in this case, it’s like an opportunity was right there hiding in plain sight and having the conversation in the context of their business needs and other things he was learning about. Boom, that’s where and it said he knew exactly when it happened.
Pam Harper: That’s right. In 2009 wasn’t it?
Scott Harper: Yeah.
Pam Harper: The third point from this article is that when you change the game, every aspect of your company needs to be re-imagined and that’s what they ended up doing. They had to be thinking about new competitors. It wasn’t the standard competitors that they’d always been thinking of.
Scott Harper: Right, they added to their traditional engineering competitors a whole new suite of digital competitors like Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft. This brought a whole new suite of opportunities as well as challenges. In addition, they had to change so many other aspects of how they accomplished work in the company, how they collaborated, even how they engaged in business partnerships.
Pam Harper: This brings to mind episode 76, where we talked about two books. We paired them together. One was The Third Wave by Steve Case and the other was Rising Strong byBrené Brown.
Scott Harper: Right. Like with wine and cheese, the pairing brings out the nuances of each partner so that the whole is more impactual than either of alone. This came out especially in the third segment of that episode where we combined the themes from the two books into three immediately useful ideas for growing and evolving in the digital age
Pam Harper: This is especially relevant. Right now as many companies are going into their fall planning season.
Scott Harper: Right, so let’s listen.
Scott Harper: Good. Let’s start with our first book. It’s The Third Wave. It came out just recently. It’s by Steve Case, who was the founder of America Online − AOL − and chairman of AOL-Time Warner, which is another story. It’s part memoir, it’s part manifesto, but mainly it’s his opinions and predictions and recommendations for what he calls the third wave of internet technology.
Pam Harper: Just really quickly, in order to understand the third wave, you really have to just touch briefly on what the first and second waves are. The first wave was to get people up and running on the internet itself. It was infrastructure.
Scott Harper: That’s right. It was creating the infrastructure, and he points out that this took a tremendous amount of resources, it took a lot of partnering. It was very intensive. It also involved the government creating regulations that guided how the internet worked.
Pam Harper: Right. It was very much analogous to the highway system, in a way.
Scott Harper: That’s right, absolutely − the super highway system. Once that was built and things like AOL existed and internet browsers existed, and now there was what he called the second wave, which was the proliferation of use of that resource.
Pam Harper: Mm-hmm (affirmative), which has been fascinating when you think about how quickly it really has come up. It wasn’t, relatively speaking, that many years ago when people were saying, “Email, do we really need email?”
Scott Harper: “Email? What the heck is that? What’s a website?”
Pam Harper: “What are we doing with a website?”
Scott Harper: Now we Google everything, we Instagram everything.
Pam Harper: There is an app for that.
Scott Harper: There is an app for that, of course.
Pam Harper: There is an app for everything. In fact, we were just reading yesterday, on July 10 − there was a column in the New York Times with an author saying, “Do we really need a thousand stupid apps?”
Scott Harper: Yeah. The one that really caught my mind was the app for … it was a “smart zipper.” It would tell you if your fly was down.
Pam Harper: That’s right, but the point is that there’s tremendous opportunity.
Scott Harper: That’s right, because now the internet and devices to look at and use the internet are ubiquitous, everywhere, all over the world.
Pam Harper: It’s the wave. If you think about the S-curve, which you refer to a lot, of how we grow in terms of our innovation.
Scott Harper: Yeah. You start out slow, you go fast and then you taper off. Now he says this is the time to take the crest of the wave − we don’t want to crash − jump off and get a new wave, what he calls the third wave.
Pam Harper: The third wave − Case says it’s really the internet of everything, not just the internet of things.
Scott Harper: That’s right. People talk about smart refrigerators and the Nest thermostat, and so on.
Pam Harper: That’s the internet of things.
Scott Harper: Right. The internet of everything is not just physical things connecting with the internet ,but also the internet of behavior, where everything we do is becoming more and more visible.
Pam Harper: Consider this − so that you could go to the doctor; we are already on electronic records. Okay. How could that become the internet of everything?
Scott Harper: Now it’s more and more possible. Look at the Fitbit, for instance; it monitors your heart rate. It monitors how much you move. It monitors your sleep.
Pam Harper: Exactly. Now, here is this data that’s been generated. Who gets access to the data?
Scott Harper: And how is it used − and that is the challenge, one of the big challenges of the third wave. The case that Steve Case makes is that the first wave took a lot of collaboration among different partners in technology and the government. Now we have to get back. With the second wave, there were a lot of relatively small companies s players − software is infinitely scalable. Now we are coming with the third wave. Now we have to go back to how do we integrate devices and technology and government policy, which is going to an-
Pam Harper: Virtually everything can be connected across industries.
Scott Harper: That’s right, but he says that it has to be done in a way that we will make it work. He has 3Ps he talks about for the third wave that will drive it and drive it effectively. The first is partnering. As he said, it’s going to be impossible for anyone individual or anyone company, no matter how big the company is to really wrap their hands around everything.
It’s getting out there, finding out who is the best of the best for whatever it is your purpose is − which is another P, but he doesn’t really talk about that. Finding partners who can come together, and you build not just a few solo performances, but a symphony to create all these new things. He talks about areas that have enormous significance for the entire world, like medicine and telecommunications, communications, the food chain − all kinds of things. How do we get better and better and better at providing and protecting and elevating all the aspects of life?
Pam Harper: These are huge issues. If you break it apart, there are opportunities for every single company out there.
Scott Harper: Not matter how big, no matter how small.
Pam Harper: No matter what industry.
Scott Harper: That’s right. Every industry is a tech industry now.
Pam Harper: It’s much more about the fact of the interconnectivity of industries now. There used to be “I’m in the food industry, you’re in the healthcare industry, you’re in electronics, you’re in whatever.” Now, these all go back and forth between each other, and more.
Scott Harper: It’s woven together in an incredibly powerful tapestry. How do we control that? We’ve already alluded to it − how do we work all of this together? That’s where policy comes in, and not just government policy but policies in companies, about how information is going to disseminated, how it’s going to be protected, how it’s going to be standardized.
There is an important part for government here, and so many entrepreneurs in so many segment have for so long been of the habit of kind of poo-pooing the government. “The government sits on us and it’s burden and they slow us down.” Yet, come on, the internet would not exist without the government.
Pam Harper: He gives credit for that.
Scott Harper: That’s right. He says you’re going to have to learn as an entrepreneur to embrace policy, to understand government and what benefits it can bring. On the other hand, government is going to have to learn to understand entrepreneurs and make it easier for them, and larger companies, to do business.
Pam Harper: And larger companies have resources to be able to look at things differently as well.
Scott Harper: That’s right.
Pam Harper: Now there is a third P in this. We’ve talked about partnering; we’ve talked about policy. There’s a third P.
Scott Harper: Yeah. The third P − persistence − because let’s face it, this is not easy stuff. It is risky stuff. He says you take a risk. You take a big risk. You take a lot of shots because the more shots you take, the more likely you’ll finally hit something. But sometimes you’re going to miss. Sometimes you’re going to fail.
Pam Harper: He says it is inevitable.
Scott Harper: It is inevitable. The more benefit you go for, the greater the chances are that it’s not going to work out the way you expect it to sometimes, so you have to be persistence.
Pam Harper: There is a lot to that, which is why we have a second book that we’re pairing with this. We’ll talk about in the second segment. Now, we’re going to take a quick break, and when we come back, Scott and I will talk more about what it takes to persevere and grow in the rapidly changing digital age. Stay with us.
Scott Harper: You’re listening to Growth Igniters Radio with Pam Harper and Scott Harper, brought to you by Business Advancement Inc. We focus on enabling visionary leaders to dramatically increase momentum for game-changing results, and we’re on the web at BusinessAdvance.com.
Pam Harper: Did you know that while strategic partnering is becoming more important than ever before, over half of the senior executives we surveyed were dissatisfied with the outcomes? Find out why, and what you can do to increase your return on investment by downloading the free special report from our study, Building Powerful Strategic Alliances. We developed our findings and conclusions based on responses from senior executives in over 15 industry sectors.
Scott Harper: Learn more. Go to GrowthIgnitersRadio.com, episode 83. Scroll down to the resources section and click on the link ”download strategic alliances report”, and contact us if you have any questions.
Pam Harper: Welcome back to Growth Igniters Radio with Pam Harper − that’s me − and Scott Harper. Today, Scott and I are featuring a pairing of two complementary books that are must-reads for the rapidly changing digital age. You can listen to related book-pairing episodes by going to GrowthIgnitersRadio.com, episode 83. Now let’s get back to our conversation.
Scott Harper: Pam, in the first segment we highlighted The Third Wave by Steve Case. One of the things he said was that his third “P” was perseverance in the face of obstacles. He said that’s an essential element in creating success in the third wave. That goes to the question, then, of “Okay − how? How do you persevere? How you get up after you fail? How do you do it?”
Pam Harper: It’s a very tough thing, but that’s why in this segment we’re highlighting a book called Rising Strong by Brené Brown. Now, Brené Brown is a pioneering social scientist. She’s a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She is a best-selling author who has ignited conversations on courage, vulnerability, shame and worthiness.
Scott Harper: That’s right.
Pam Harper: We shared some of this work on episode 58 when we featured her book, Daring Greatly, and her follow-up book, Rising Strong, describes how to get back up after the inevitable struggles and falls that come with daring greatly.
Scott Harper: That’s not always easy. It’s very easy to personalize or to blame. Something didn’t go right − well, “you’re a screw-up,” or “we did something wrong.”
Pam Harper: That’s right. She says that there is a process. We like process.
Scott Harper: Okay! I love process. To me, it’s the fourth “P”.
Pam Harper: She says that regardless of the magnitude of circumstance, the rising strong process is the same. We reckon with our emotions, and get curious about what we’re feeling.
Scott Harper: Okay. What’s reckoning mean?
Pam Harper: Reckoning, in this case, is coming to terms with the fact that we feel some kind of an emotional response. This admittedly can be hard to do because when you’re in your own system, it’s hard to catch that you’ve had 15 Oreos already.
Scott Harper: Yeah, or you’re yelling at your dog, or what have you.
Pam Harper: That’s right, but if you’re reckoning with your emotions, you have to get curious about what you’re feeling. That’s the starting point, and everybody comes reckoning in a different way. For some people, it’s a binge on an Oreo, but for others it’s not wanting to listen when somebody is talking, or snapping. Sometimes it’s just a feeling sometimes that like you said, I’m a screw-up. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling.
Scott Harper: Or not thinking. It can be working obsessively. It’s getting so bogged down in the “this is what I’m doing, this is what I’m doing, this is what we have to accomplish” So, we’ve got to stop, get a feeling for “hey, something is going on. Okay. What’s going on? Why is it going on?” So yes, reckoning is a start.
Pam Harper: That’s right. The next step in the process is she says we “rumble” with our stories. This is important because everything is a story, she says. If you think about it, things happen to us and we make sense of it and we say, “This is the story. This is how life should be. This is how it shouldn’t be. These kinds of decisions are the way we should go or not.” In companies, we might say, “We don’t do this.” If somebody comes up with a great product or a service for the third wave and the response could be, “We don’t do that.”
Scott Harper: Yeah, “that’s not our business.”
Pam Harper: “That’s not our business.”
Scott Harper: “That’s not how it’s done.”
Pam Harper: Without ever really considering it − that makes it a story. If you’ve gone through it and you’ve said this is just not going to fit with us, that’s one thing, but it’s the automatic nature of it.
Scott Harper: The knee-jerk.
Pam Harper: The knee-jerk reaction becomes our story. They can be very complex, and they involve this shame and vulnerability feeling that people have to come to terms with. She calls it rumbling and there are a lot of areas in the book that she talks about that people rumble with, perfectionism, and all of that.
Scott Harper: Rigidity…
Pam Harper: Exactly. We rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth, she said.
Scott Harper: Whoa, whoa, truth…
Pam Harper: Truth.
Scott Harper: What is truth?
Pam Harper: The truth is that we make sense of what really does make sense.
Scott Harper: Okay.
Pam Harper: The truth is, for instance, I didn’t really have to snap. The truth is I’m uncomfortable with say, being perfect, in this case. It’s saying, “Does this story makes sense for real? Do we really need this story,” because you can also change the story. The facts can be assembled in different ways that are equally as true, and it can make sense as well.
Scott Harper: So, you recognize that something is going on, and you rumble with it until you shake out some greater insight. So what’s next?
Pam Harper: We live the process every day until it becomes the practice and creates nothing short of a revolution, which is the third step there, in our lives. She says that this is the path to wholeheartedness, and this teaches us the most about who we are. It’s a process to go through. Okay. We’re going to innovate, we’re going to come up with crazy ideas, supposedly crazy ideas, we’re going to let it happen and we fall. We have to figure out how we can get back up in a hurry. If we get into a practice where we say, “Oh I’m feeling shame. I’m feeling vulnerable.”
Scott Harper: Or “we’ve wasted of these resources…”
Pam Harper: You get in touch with what are you feeling. You start getting curious, “Why am I doing this or why do I feel this way?” You can start the process by then going into reckoning with your stories, “What am I telling myself? Is that really true? Do I really have to do it this way? Is that really all there is?” Now from there you can say, “What have I learned?” You can integrate that. Now she talks about it individually, but also talks about it as a group, as a team.
Scott Harper: Yeah. That’s what I was going to ask. From an individual standpoint, it makes a lot of sense. How can organizations, how can groups, teams, companies embrace this and make it part of how they work?
Pam Harper: By making it a practice, so we have to learn about it first but we have to make it a commitment and integrate it into our daily lives. When we integrate it into our daily lives, it becomes something we can do faster and fast is where it’s at, ultimately.
Scott Harper: Fast is definitely where it’s at.
Pam Harper: We’re going to talk about how to get this going in our third segment. But now we’re going to take another quick break. When Scott and I come back we’ll talk more about immediately useful ideas for applying the elements of The Third Wave and Rising Strong into our daily lives. Stay with us.
Scott Harper: You’re listening to Growth Igniters Radio with Pam Harper and Scott Harper, brought to you by Business Advancement Inc. On the web at BusinessAdvance.com.
Pam Harper: Does your company have what it takes to meet your current commitments and move fast enough to respond to new opportunities? Take the first step to confirm your perspective by requesting our free resource, Five Questions To Ask When You Need To Move Even Faster.
Scott Harper: Our questionnaire will help you find out where to begin to focus your energy and resources, so that what should be happening really is happening, faster and more effectively.
Pam Harper: We’ve developed these questions based on our work with clients in over 30 industries. We’ve helped them scale faster, make innovation happen faster, and more quickly respond to new opportunities. This has generated millions of dollars in top-and-bottom-line growth. Now you can have this resource on a complimentary basis just for sharing your valid contact information with us.
Scott Harper: Don’t miss out. Go today to GrowthIgnitersRadio.com and select episode 83. Scroll down to resources and click the link “download five questions to ask when you need to move faster.” To learn more about our success stories go to BusinessAdvance.com/client-results .
Pam Harper: Welcome back to Growth Igniters Radio with Pam Harper and Scott Harper. Over the last two segments, Scott and I’ve been talking about The Third Wave by Steve Case and Rising Strong by Brené Brown, a book pairing.
Scott Harper: You wouldn’t necessarily think that they would go together…
Pam Harper: They go together beautifully … because we have to be able to look ahead into the third wave which is coming at us, take advantage of new opportunities, inevitably fail, and rise up again.
Scott Harper: That’s right, so let’s get practical here and lay out three things that are eminently doable in the near future that can really help us map out the next stages of our journey − our future − and to get there faster and more effectively. What’s the first step?
Pam Harper: The first step would be to make sure that you stay in touch with technology that can be helpful to accomplishing your purpose − your company’s purpose, your own purpose − because technology is changing daily. There are so many things that we don’t even realize are possible unless we’re staying attuned to it.
Scott Harper: Just tell me about it. All you have to do is turn on the TV or go to the internet and there is a new app for that. But there is also technology that’s rising up sort of under the radar that’s not really popular yet. That’s not really widespread and well-know. That’s where the real opportunities. How do you do that? How do you get in touch with technology, especially if you’re not a technology geek?
Pam Harper: Let’s say that you’re on a plane right now or you are exercising. So the next step is to pull out a magazine, or you can call somebody and have a conversation − somebody who knows technology and says. “I have an idea.” You can listen when somebody says, “I have an idea about how my technology could work with what it is that you’re all about.” These are beginnings of ideas, the immediately useful idea.
Scott Harper: The real magic, the real key here is through these conversations − with the purpose in mind − you say, “Now, here’s a need that intersects with that purpose. How can we make that happen using new technology?” You read, you google, you talk to somebody.
Pam Harper: To do your research essentially.
Scott Harper: Do some research. Okay. I’ve got that now. Okay. I’ve got an idea and maybe there’s some technology there that can make that happen. What’s next? What’s another practical step that we can take?
Pam Harper: The second one would be to take a risk by finding a partner or partners, I should say, at least mapping it out in your mind. Who would be possible partners that would work well with bringing this idea to life? I’m not saying that this happens overnight, but I am saying that you have to start somewhere and it’s starting to make that list. Asking people who would they partner with, seeing who’s out there. Sometimes the best partners are not the most obvious partners, I will say that.
Scott Harper: That’s a good thought, and as Steve Case writes in his book, taking advantage of third wave opportunities is going to be so much beyond an individual person, an individual company. You’ve got to go together to go stronger, to go faster, ultimately.
Pam Harper: That’s right, and it’s going to take more than one partner. We have to look at partners that work well with us. That was the thing we found out in our study too; just because you have a partner, it doesn’t mean even if they are strategically well-suited that they are culturally well-suited.
Scott Harper: Or that you have the processes in place up and down the line that are going to make that partnership work. The practical step then is, identify an objective and go make a list of potential partners, talk to people to put that dream team together, and then try to make it happen. Okay, so we go out and we’re partnering; we’re putting things in place. But, like Case says, “It doesn’t always work out the way you imagine it.”
Pam Harper: That’s right, and that’s why the third immediately useful idea is to begin to practice the principles that are in Brené Brown’s book, which I think are very sound. We have to do it on a regular basis. A lot of people go for training. That’s a very common thing to do but what happens too often that I see is that people go to the training. Then they file it away and they’re, “Whoo − I just did that.”
Scott Harper: “I’m going back to my work now…”
Pam Harper: I say because it’s easy also to go back to our habits, and training is an outside kind of thing to happen. You have to become aware of one thing that you want to do. If it would be anything it would be, “how can I listen more empathetically.” Because when I really can understand how somebody’s thinking − you and I work at it all the time − but when we can really understand how we each think, then we have the foundation for being able to more quickly get to a place where we can deal with whatever the stories are. We can get around the issues that come up inevitably, and then integrate that learning and turn it into practice. You have to do it and be able to do it quickly. It builds resilience.
Scott Harper: It does build resilience, and as you say, you can’t just read the book and put it down and expect to change. It’s not going to happen. You have to make the mental space in your life − in your work life, in your personal life − to think about, “Okay, how am I going to do this,” and practice bit by bit. Eventually it does get stronger.
Pam, any final thoughts on blending these two books of The Third Wave and Rising Strong?
Pam Harper: There is no doubt that the third wave of the digital age is already upon us. Our challenge is to recognize when we’re clinging to the status quo and where we’re going to play in the new world, and remember that even when we fall, we can rise up stronger than ever before.
Scott Harper: Great thoughts, Pam; Thanks so much. And thanks toyou out there for listening to Growth Igniters Radio with Pam Harper and Scott Harper. To get show notes and resource links for this week’s episode, including our free special report on Building Powerful Strategic Alliances, go to GrowthIgnitersRadio.com and select episode 83.
Pam Harper: Until next time, this is Pam Harper …
Scott Harper: and Scott Harper…
Pam Harper: … wishing you continued success ,and leaving you with this question to discuss with your team:
Scott Harper: What can we do to expand our perspectives on what’s possible, take bigger risks, and bounce back from adversity faster and stronger?