How to Capture the Biggest Business Opportunity in a Century


In 1798, English cleric and economist Thomas Malthus declared that the world was careening toward a population disaster that would lead to widespread famine on a scale never seen before. There were simply not enough resources to accommodate so many people. In contrast, Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations in 1776 argued that through the three inputs of capitalism — labor, capital and land — humans would be able to adapt to the requirements of any age and provide the resources needed for survival.

Adam Smith, note Stefan Heck and Matt Rogers in their new book Resource Revolution, would prove to be right. The two industrial revolutions — the first in the late 1700s to the mid-1800s and the second from 1850 to 1920 — seemed to portend at their beginnings massive problems of sparse resources, supply unable to meet exploding demand and pollution damage on a scale never before seen. But somehow the countries at the heart of these industrial revolutions not only survived but thrived, becoming the economic leaders in the world.

In terms of Adam Smith’s three elements of capitalism, the authors write, the success of the first industrial revolution was driven in large part by a reconfiguration of labor, launched as it was by the perfection of the steam engine. The success of the second industrial revolution was driven in large part (but not solely) by a reconfiguration of capital, with the development of the corporation and corporate banks to manage the massive scale of infrastructure investment — from roads and cars, to the electric grid, to cities filled with skyscrapers — required in this period.

There Is Hope

As with the first two, the authors predict in the third industrial revolution a period of incredible challenges but at the same time incredible opportunities. In this industrial revolution, nearly 40 percent of the world’s population will industrialize for the first time, mostly in China and India, as well as other parts of Asia and South America, representing an astounding 2.5 billion people who will be adding their impact on resources.

Nevertheless, the authors are confident that history will repeat itself, with an emphasis this time on the third of Adam Smith’s inputs: land, or more broadly, the resources that come with land. “We are confident a step change in resource productivity will not only allow the economy to work its way through the resource challenges but deliver new opportunities for creating wealth and cementing the position of leading companies for the coming decades,” the authors write.

One example of a step change in resource productivity offered by the authors is the new process of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas (also known as fracking).The authors acknowledge that there are some environmental challenges with fracking — in which massive amounts of water are used to break up the shale formations in which oil and gas deposits are trapped — but are convinced that energy companies will develop innovative solutions to address these issues.

Innovation will also occur on the demand side of the equation, meaning that technological innovators will find ways to reduce demand for scarce resources, either by finding substitutes for those resources or finding ways to reduce consumption, the authors write.

Resource Revolution offers a detailed but compelling argument for Adam Smith-inspired optimism. The resource revolution is not only about resources but also involves new technologies and new management models. But as with automobile manufacturing at its beginnings, which featured hundreds of car manufacturers that were eventually whittled down to a relative handful, the innovators will come out on top, and, the authors argue convincingly, much of the world will as a result lead better lives.

Do You Have Rookie Smarts?

For many years now, I have considered my greatest strength as an employee to be my experience. As young people join our company, I can tell them about our history of 36 years in the summary business and all that we’ve learned over the years. But these days, things are just moving way too fast for experience to be enough!

Liz Wiseman, in her book Rookie Smarts, has it right when she makes the point that “In a time of constant change, success depends on seeing the world through rookie eyes”. Wiseman explains why we are often at our best when we are doing something for the first time—and how to reclaim and cultivate this curious, flexible, youthful mindset called “Rookie Smarts”.

Fortunately for those of us who’ve been around for a while, Wiseman also identifies a brand of leader she calls a “perpetual rookie”. Despite years of experience, they retain their rookie smarts, thinking and operating with the mindsets and practices of these high-performing rookies.

Whether you are a true rookie looking to stand out at work, or a seasoned veteran who needs to keep up your game, Wiseman’s words are for you. So we’ve invited Liz to join us for our Soundview Live webinar How to Retain Your Rookie Smarts on November 5th.

I’ll certainly be listening in, and I would invite you to join me. If you’re a Soundview subscriber, you can attend the webinar Free as always. If you’re not yet a subscriber, you may want to consider subscribing now. For the cost of just two webinars, you’ll have a year of book summaries and can attend our weekly webinars free as well.

Book Review: The Responsible Entrepreneur


by Carol Sanford

Entrepreneurship goes beyond starting your own small business. Many larger businesses exhibit innovative and entrepreneurial ways of thinking. Anyone starting or bringing in new business fulfills the role of an entrepreneur. Carol Sanford brings her vast experience in helping executives and corporations to entrepreneurs looking to launch and scale a venture by mapping out four archetypes in The Responsible Entrepreneur. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

“Archetypal roles provide a roadmap for taking on bigger challenges, making bigger promises, and focusing the energy and resources needed to get bigger results,” writes Sanford. The four archetypes are The Realization Entrepreneur, The Reconnection Entrepreneur, The Reciprocity Entrepreneur, and The Regenerative Entrepreneur. The archetype required to change an industry is a Realization Entrepreneur. The Reconnection Entrepreneur is the archetype required to change social systems. The Reciprocity Entrepreneur is the archetype required to change cultural paradigms. The archetype required to change connection to foundational agreements is the Regenerative Entrepreneur. By understanding what archetype aligns with your goals, you will learn how to grow your business into a powerful platform that can leverage change. Sanford provides readers with examples of how extraordinary people changed business for the better, including Kipp Baratoff, Annalie Killian, and Shainoor Khoja.

All four archetypes can be found in established organizations. Beyond learning how to leverage business with your archetype, you will learn how modern archetypes can alter the future. With The Responsible Entrepreneur, entrepreneurs can build businesses that will make the world a better place.

The Wisdom of Oz

Why does the story of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion touch us? Like all great entertainment, their journey resonates. We see ourselves in the characters and likewise wish we possessed the power, the brains, the heart, and the courage to make our own dreams come true.

So what are your dreams? What do you want? Is it a promotion? Improving a relationship? Rescuing a child? Finding a new job? Saving a marriage? Getting a degree? Finding the love of your life? Making a difference in your community?

According to Roger Connors and Tom Smith, the answer is personal accountability. In The Wisdom of Oz, they claim that when you unleash the power of personal accountability it will energize you in life-altering ways, giving you a concrete boost that enhances your ability to think, to withstand adversity, to generate confidence, and to increase your own natural emotional, mental, and intellectual strength.

Among the principles they delve into:
• When you can’t control your circumstances, don’t let your circumstances control you.
• Every “breakthrough” requires a “break with.”
• Greater accountability is the most powerful choice you will ever make.

We have invited Roger Connors to join us for our next Soundview Live webinar, to explain how you can unleash the power of personal accountability. Register for Using Personal Accountability to Succeed in Everything You Do today and bring your questions for Roger to answer during the session.

New Summaries to Transform Your Business

Today in the United States, entrepreneurship and innovation are driving economic growth. Creativity, entrepreneurs and innovation are all important. Entrepreneurs have a passion for business and focus on their products. To develop these products, they need to apply creativity and innovation to their processes. Learn how ideas, talents, and skills are developed and transformed into commercial and social ventures with these three new Soundview Executive Book Summaries.


by Carol Sanford

The Responsible Entrepreneur by Carol Sanford

Responsible entrepreneurs seek to transform industries, requiring them to think and do beyond what is require of business leaders. Carol Sanford provides the frameworks to build a business and to evaluate and direct investments to create the greatest benefit for all stakeholders. She presents the four archetypes for entrepreneurs to use to learn how to grow their businesses. The Responsible Entrepreneur is not just for entrepreneurs or investors, but anyone who wants to make a difference in their organization.


by Sally Hogshead

How the World Sees You by Sally Hogshead

To set yourself apart from the crowd, you must develop your own personal brand. Sally Hogshead gives you the tools to describe your personality’s highest value to others in How the World Sees You. You will be able to create better relationships, grow your business, and become more valuable once you understand how to leverage how the world sees you at your best. How the World Sees You will guide you to make a great first impression always.



by Nadya Zhexembayeva

Overfished Ocean Strategy by Nadya Zhexembayeva

When resources are depleting rapidly, businesses need to make resource scarcity, also referred to as the overfished ocean, their top strategic consideration. In Overfished Ocean Strategy, Nadya Zhexembayeva shows how businesses can find new opportunities in what were once considered useless by-products and develop ways to rapidly refine these new business models. She offers five essential principles that define the Overfished Ocean Strategy, along with several examples of how companies across the globe are implementing this strategy effectively.