If you’re like many Americans, you’ll probably spend a portion of the Independence Day holiday weekend sitting in traffic. Somewhere between muttered curses toward rubbernecking motorists and the realization that you should have stopped at the previous rest area, you may lament the amount of gas your engine is burning while idling on the highway. At times like this, we tend to speculate about the arrival of the electric car as a permanent replacement for internal combustion engines.
Here’s an interesting piece about that very topic from the New York Times. The article profiles automaker BMW’s public commitment to changing the way we approach automotive engineering. The company is in the process of designing a battery-powered car. I have to give extra credit to reporter Jack Ewing for a sly backhanded remark about the potential audience for the vehicle. Did you spot it? Perhaps I’ll reveal it in a future post if you send me a few comments with your guesses.
Clever reporting aside, the story and BMW’s efforts fit with the theme of Jack Trout’s recent book Repositioning: Marketing in an Era of Competition, Change and Crisis, a book recently summarized by Soundview Executive Book Summaries. Trout makes the case in the book that the normal approaches to marketing are undergoing a shift. Companies that traditionally positioned themselves need to reevaluate their standing. The solution is to reposition oneself by using the competition and its differences to help set your company apart.
BMW is certainly making strides in this area. If the company can blend luxury with environmental consciousness, its competitors will see nothing but BMW’s taillights disappearing in the distance.
I’ve got great news about another new resource available at Summary.com. How much do you think it would cost to attend an event where you hear vital business lectures from speakers such as Bill George, Patrick Lencioni, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Paul Krugman and David M. Rubenstein, among others? The event is the World Business Forum, and a ticket can cost as much as $2,500.
Fortunately, Soundview has partnered with HSM Global, producers of the World Business Forum, to bring you exclusive audio summaries of the event’s major speakers. These audio summaries are available for you to listen to for FREE!
Each audio summary is a 10-minute MP3 that features a narrated overview of the speech. The summary includes actual clips from the live speech given by the presenter at World Business Forum. If these tough economic times meant that you weren’t able to spend $2,500 on a ticket to the World Business Forum, these FREE audio summaries allow you to hear what you missed.
I need to stress here that you do NOT have to be a Soundview subscriber to listen to the World Business Forum audio summaries. These exclusive content pieces are FREE for everyone to learn from and enjoy. In fact, I’d recommend starting with Patrick Lencioni, whose latest book Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding the Three Fears that Sabotage Client Loyalty is now available as a Soundview summary!
To listen to the audio summaries from the World Business Forum, CLICK THIS LINK!
Just wanted to send everyone a quick reminder that today is our Soundview Live event with Daniel Goleman, author of Ecological Intelligence. The event kicks off today at Noon (Eastern) and will feature a discussion about the way in which businesses can gain competitive advantage by embracing radical transparency.
Goleman and Soundview have a long relationship and we’ve covered many of the author’s works over the years. One gets the feeling that with Ecological Intelligence, Goleman is exploring a subject that is as much a matter of personal interest as it is academic fascination. This should be a great conversation today.
As Goleman noted in our summary of Ecological Intelligence, businesses that are proactive in changing the ways in which they manufacture and package their goods can gain a competitive advantage in the eco-driven marketplace of the future. It’s a reality that crawls closer toward us each day, one that we cannot afford to ignore.
Tune in today and please send me a few comments to let me know what you think! Remember, Daniel Goleman is appearing on Soundview Live today at Noon (Eastern). Click this link for more information.
The concerns related to the recent oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico aren’t limited to the immediate task of cleaning up the mess. The far-reaching ecological impact will play out over the next several years, particularly as it applies to the wildlife in the area. From a business standpoint, the commercial fishing industry in the region is bracing itself for major problems.
I was fascinated by this article in The New York Times that examines the detrimental effect of the leak on species at every spot on the food chain. While I’m sure everything will be done to return the Gulf region to “business as usual” as quickly as possible, one has to consider the repercussions for the animal that sits at the top of the food chain: the human.
One person whose insights I’d like to hear on the long-term impact of the leak is Daniel Goleman, author of Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything, a book summarized by Soundview in 2010. Goleman writes about a system for labeling products with information about the impact on the planet involved in the creation of the product. I’d like to take that concept a step farther when thinking about the situation for fisheries in the Gulf. At the point of the “all-clear,” whether it be from the EPA, FDA or other regulatory body, how quickly will consumers return to seafood products from the Gulf region? Goleman writes that consumers continue to increase their interest in a product’s background. This knowledge informs their purchasing decisions. Will the average seafood lover order a soft-shell crab if he or she is told it was recently caught along the Gulf coast?
Fortunately, I’ll have the opportunity to ask Goleman about this issue … and so will YOU! Daniel Goleman is the next guest on Soundview Live, our exclusive Webinar series. He will be presenting “Making Ecological Intelligence a Competitive Advantage” on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at Noon (Eastern). Make sure to sign up soon, and remember, subscribers attend the event FREE.
If you’re a visitor to the site that hosts my little blog, you’ve probably seen the “Freshly Pressed” page. This listing of six or eight attention-getting blog posts always offers something intriguing. I’ve made the list before, an accomplishment that I’m sure would hardly impress my children, but I digress.
This post from a nature blog caught my eye because of its message. Soundview headquarters is located in the Philadelphia area, and we’ve received an extra dash or two of snow this year. In fact, more fell last night, so the first three photographs in this post are quite similar to images I saw as I left home this morning. The blogger makes a brilliant point about leaving a city to build a home in the pastoral beauty of the country. The first step involved in building such a home is destroying the very environment we sought to enjoy when we left the city. The blogger’s plea for a more mutual coexistence between man and his surroundings echoes an important point from one of our current summaries.
Once we’ve finished knocking down trees to build a house, we stock the house with stuff. It’s the stuff with which we stock the house that has author Daniel Goleman concerned. In his book Ecological Intelligence, Goleman provides key insights for consumers and manufacturers alike about the need to reform our manufacturing and purchasing practices.
In a conversation with Soundview, Goleman said, “We’re using up fresh water. We’re using up forests. We’re using up non-renewable resources all because of, basically, our individual decisions when we go shopping because we are collectively the wheel that’s driving a gigantic industrial commercial machine that is harvesting the planet. People are seeing that we can’t do this in the same way. It’s not sustainable.”
The summary of his book is a great place to start with information about how to make the changes we need. In the meantime, maybe we could follow the blogger’s advice and let those hedges at the edge of the yard get a little ragged. After all, they look rather nice when covered in snow.