Like so many things, people say it and have no idea what it really means.
I love reading what my network is reading, so when an innovator in the social-profit sector Lee Rose, co-founder of the MESH Network in Ottawa, formerly of CharityVillage and now of the Community Foundations of Canada tweeted he loved this book, I picked it up. And I’m glad I did.
See I have a business disability, I was born and raised in offices. Where meetings are sit-down affairs, thinking is over-ruled by doing and white boards are for fancy consultants. Thanks goodness for my network, an army of entrepreneurs, disruptors, thinkers, convenors – all who live and die by what they produce. When I look at the successful among them, at my own successes I see the theories of this book but neither of us had put the method to paper – little bets!
Great ideas are not born complete. Great service professionals walk with the client and react, I work with someone like this. To see them create solutions sometimes borders on art, to work on small steps to evolve our business is the joy of my professional life – but I’d like to do it better. Now I can.
Steve Jobs, Pixar, Frank Gehry, Chris Rock are just some of the examples Peter Sims uses in the book. Like Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers taught us about brilliance through experience, but how do the brilliant build their business from scratch! This book is truly worth the read and as we head into the summer, it’s a light fast read that gets into your head and into your work and makes you think then adds to your actions.
Often I find myself trying to help my network get more active in the social business sector, but they always think they have to have all the marketing and strategy done before they launch. As Seth Godin says, “ship it”. Getting caught up in perfection is the illusion that will keep you from finishing.
So, let’s get to work. Let’s make more little bets.
And if you’re the hard-core learner, here’s Peter at Google giving a longer lecture. Leave it on as you wash the dishes or fold the clothes…