BUSINESS AT THE SPEED OF NOW is available in all formats at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, 800-CEO-Read and other outlets where fine books are sold.
This Thanksgiving we had something special to be thankful for: a life’s dream of writing a book came to reality a mere two days before the turkey hit the hot oil.
While my first book, BUSINESS AT THE SPEED OF NOW was scheduled to begin shipping December 6th, it actually started arriving at readers’ homes and offices on Tuesday, November 22nd. That same day Amazon released the Kindle version and I received a box of 50 copies at my home for family and friends. Over the coming weeks Wiley will be releasing the book in Europe, Australia and Asia. An audiobook is also in production.
Two years ago this Thanksgiving I was in the middle of writing a manuscript which I then sent to an accomplished literary agent in the spring of 2010. He hurdled back a note that said I had “managed to obscure some interesting ideas” in it, the beginning of a rather interesting collaboration with a man to this day I have never met in person, Michael Snell. The original misguided manuscript was never talked about again – it died a quiet death. Early on Michael suggested I do some work with a woman named Betty Rausch, a woman he called the “marketing babe” who lives in New York City. Michael told me she would help me better think through my messaging and positioning. Boy, did he call that right. Betty was a gift and the “Now” concept emerged from our many dialogues.
For six months Michael ran me through what seemed like a blind obstacle course. At times I though he would never be satisfied. He was demanding and rarely offered encouragement– he just pushed me harder and harder. At times I didn’t think he could ever be satisfied. I can remember one day I was convinced it was done after four-and-a-half months of hard work. Michael knocked me off my pedestal and told me we were about “a quarter of the way.” I remember telling my wife that I didn’t think I could every meet his high standards. I was ready to quit, exhausted, stressed and tapped out. But of course I didn’t.
Three weeks later, out of the blue, Michael told me we were done. I about fell out of my chair out of sheer relief.
Remember, this was just the book proposal! The book had not yet been written.
Well Michael — I can now see — was challenging me to create a great book. He saw something in me I didn’t and maybe couldn’t see. He was testing to see if I had the true conviction to do the work it took to do something extraordinary.
He knew what he was doing. We sent the proposal out at 7:30 one Friday morning 14 months ago. I will never forget the literal rush of adrenalin I had when my cell phone rang two hours later. We had our first offer. Within two weeks we had two more publishers interested in the book. We were blessed to be in the position to choose, and we chose John Wiley & Sons, the largest independent U.S. publisher of books. My agent, who has taken some 800 books to market in his career, had never enjoyed such a fast and abundant response.
More than six months later, after the completed manuscript had been submitted to Wiley with lots more help from my now collaborator Michael, I finally heard what he thought of the proposal. Out of the blue I received a call from a Portland, Oregon (where I live) business colleague, who told me he had come across Michael in his pursuit to find a literary agent. As this person was anxious to learn more about book proposals, Michael offered him a link to “the best book proposal” Michael had ever been involved with. It was mine.
It’s been an interesting journey with many wonderful twists and turns, but I am sure it has only just begun.
Innovation NOW is execution NOW!
Business at the Speed of Now will be in bookstores in 23 days! Preorder yours NOW at www.800CEOread.com for the best price available.
Many of today’s pundits have no idea what they are talking about. They philosophize about social media, cloud computing and the Millennial generation through fogged glasses – fog they generate from their own naïve excitement.
Just as many people misinterpret who Steve Jobs was — because they look at the outside and guess about the inside – pundits again and again prove they don’t know what they are talking about.
An excerpt from page 99 of my book:
In late 1999, Steve Berglas, writing in Inc. magazine, offered a scathing observation of Apple’s founder: ‘‘[Steve] Jobs, like virtually all charismatic leaders, also has a well-documented dark side that causes him to mutate from mesmerizing allure to sadistic perfection- ism, often without discernible provocation. Apple’s current board of directors, although they did well to exploit Jobs’s charms . . . must now pull the plug before his arrogant and demeaning interpersonal style undoes all the good he has done.’’
Time, of course, has proven Berglas wrong. Jobs went on to engineer one of the most spectacular corporate turnarounds in modern business history.
Understanding what it takes to run a real business takes experience. While Steve Jobs was, as some called him, the ultimate consumer, he was much more. He was a hardcore business executive well beyond his legendary intolerance for mediocrity. He surrounded himself with great executors. When the iPad was first released it sold a million copies in the first month. You don’t deliver such innovation without thousands of details executed flawlessly in a global supply chain tuned to deliver on time, at cost and with incredible quality.
Steve Jobs infused a NOW culture and never hesitated to give people the freedom to take action within a highly discipline culture where doing it right is just part of the game.
Talk is cheap. Hope is not a strategy; ideas are not innovation. Business is about execution. It’s about building a system of discipline to take ideas and turn them into physical and experiential reality. It’s all about the fundamentals, the routine work of the business. The NOW Management System is about the discipline to execute on great ideas. I have led its installation dozens of times as both an executive and as a consultant and it delivers — as Jobs did — every time.
Experienced business leaders understand execution, but those who observe it miss the point. We live in the NOW and the only viable value proposition in “yes” and the only acceptable timeframe is “now.”
Jobs perfected execution. He was Mr. Now.
New Cutting Edge Management Book “Business at the Speed of NOW”
Share your “NOW Moment,” win a free iPad2 and discover how ”Business at the Speed of Now” delivers a new, real time management system for leaders seeking better results and the ability to capitalize on every new opportunity.
Portland, Oregon, November 10th, 2011 – Groundbreaking management consultant, John M. Bernard, has just announced the launch of his book, “Business at the Speed of Now”, which will be released on December 6th, 2011 by Wiley & Sons.
The new book heralded as a major game changer, promises to enable managers and leaders to ‘Fire Up Your People, Thrill Your Customers and Crush Your Competitors’.
One of the leading executive coaches in the country describes the book as:
“Practical. Useful. Inspiring. Managers and leaders who want to engage the hearts and minds of every employee will find all the tools they need in the pages of Business at the Speed of Now.”
–Marshall Goldsmith, million-selling author of the New York Times bestsellers,
MOJO and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
John’s firm, Mass Ingenuity, is dedicated to closing the gap between what leaders envision and what employees deliver to customers. The benefits of their unique NOW Management System include accelerating growth, improving the customer experience and reducing costs.
This practical guide is designed to give organizations of all sizes in all industries a distinct competitive advantage through a system that utilizes advanced management methodology, tools and concepts to ensure no opportunity passes them by again. Given the strong acclaim that the author’s management framework, the NOW Management System, has received from top level executives, CEOs, and government leaders, this is book should not be ignored by those who want to improve their competitive edge and develop an elite level of execution excellence.
Fortunately, managers, executives, entrepreneurs and management consultants can get their hands on the first chapter of the book Businessat the Speed of Now free right now, even before it hits book stores.
In a time when things are changing faster than ever, the NOW Management System gives businesses exactly what they need to stay on top, empowering every employee to take advantage of every opportunity, every time.
Win a Free iPad2
When it comes to new technology, it is clear that Steve Job’s iPad has put more NOW power in the hands of business pros all over the globe. So what better way to read this new book than on your own iPad? Join the buzz, share your own NOW moment and get the chance to win one of 2 fabulous brand new Apple 16GB iPad 2s with the NOW Moment Contest.
About the Author
Chairman and Founder of Mass Ingenuity, author John M. Bernard is well known in high profile business circles as a groundbreaking expert on management theory and its practical applications in the modern workforce. He’s a top-rated speaker for the Conference Board, discussion leader on the Harvard Business Review blog, and his monthly newspaper column is syndicated to 41 Business Journals across the U.S. For 30 years John has been building and reengineering organizations to enable them to aggressively grow the top and bottom line.
Social Media: TV Predicted its Popularity
77 days from now Business at the Speed of Now will be in all fine bookstores and available as an ebook. You can preorder it today on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and 800ceoread.com.
While the logic of Mass Production enabled the affordability of many products, the television gave birth to an exciting new window into the world for the masses. Only if you lived in Berlin or Leipzig in 1936 and knew someone who owned one of the earliest televisions were you able to watch the first televised and infamous Berlin Olympic Games. Not until the 1950s were Americans no longer reliant on the newspaper’s still photos and the radio’s ability to transmit voice to see their president — television was commonplace. The human desire to peak into the private lives of others — a harbinger of our love of social media – made televisions shows from Father Knows Best and Leave it to Beaver on to today’s Dancing With the Stars and Survivor.
The affordability of television was made possible by mass production management techniques, perfecting the products and driving down cost and up quality. Television more than anything, created a platform for common human experience as we all thrilled on Sunday night over The Beatles appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show and trembled together watching the World Trade Center Towers collapse on live television in 2001. Whether as Trekkies, ESPN couch potatoes or reality TV addicts (American’s spend 1/3 of their free time watching television and 67 percent of that is on reality shows), we hunger for something missing in our boring lives and hope to somehow experience it vicariously watching others.
Reality television is life at the speed of now, watching people face the daunting challenges of everything from losing a 200 pounds to trying to get along in a house or on an island with a bunch of strange and often odd people.
The phenomenal adoption rate of social media should surprise no one, when you think a bit about our love for the intimate details of some else’s life!
Today nearly half of Americans are members of some on-line social network and 30 percent of these users access some social tool several times a day.
We are social creatures, and the revolution that is coming, is when these tools become commonplace INSIDE our organizations. Today many executives see social media as rather strange and a dangerous waste of time and energy, but once they begin to see how to harness their power inside the organization, social media will become the power tool of great leaders in the decade ahead.
(to comment on this post, please click on the headline — your comments are welcome!)
Business at the Speed of Now: The Countdown
The countdown begins.
In 87 days, December 6th to be precise, Business at the Speed of Now will hit bookstores across North America and be speeding across the Internet as an ebook. By mid-January, it’ll be flying off the shelves around the world in such places as
London, Singapore, and Sydney. Over the 14 weeks leading to its release, I am going to share a series of 22 posts intended to bring into clear focus the biggest management challenge the world has seen in a century.
But this isn’t going to be all work. I have some fun in store along the way.
Framing up four major topics, each with five blogs of exploration, I will share with you what is nothing short of the reinvention of modern management. Each section will be brought to life with cultural icons.
The opening series, using iconic products of the last century, we’ll look at the history of management beginning with the Model T and Henry Ford, paving the way for the economic transformation of a nation based on the principles and methods of mass production. We’ll also trace its success and then introduce you to the world of NOW, where Mass Customization dominates, yes in the ultimate value proposition and NOW is the only acceptable timeframe in meeting customer needs.
In part two we’ll look at some of our cultural heroes, and the lessons they offer for leaders who are making the transition from mass production to mass customization. We’ll enjoy some fun with such classic characters as Superman, James T. Kirk, Spiderman, the hip spy Austin Powers, and of course, the great Wizard of Oz.
Then in part three, we’ll use the inspiration of great companies and great brands to explore the lessons of transformational leadership. We’ll touch on Starbucks, Nike, Apple, Amazon, and Google for some energizing perspectives.
And finally, we’ll lean on the wisdom and style of some of the best leaders in history, individuals who changed the rules and drew many others to follow their departure from the past. We’ll go back in history with Abraham Lincoln, we’ll remember Henry Ford and his great contributions, and I’ll share some of the transformative thinking put forth by an unlikely character, a statistician named W. Edwards Deming. And we’ll close up this section with one of the best leaders of our age, Ford Motor Company’s Alan Mulally.
And the final post will tie all the pieces together just in time for the launch of Business at the Speed of Now. We’ll talk about THEN, and we’ll thrive in the NOW.
Join us on this journey. Invite your friends. Register and join in the conversation.
It’s going to be fun.
(We would love to hear your comments. To comment, click on the headline of this post and then you’ll be able to comment.)
MANAGING IN THE NOW – follower’s blog
Welcome to the MANAGING IN THE NOW follower’s blog. I hope you enjoyed the video.
Thanks to my great literary agent Michael Snell we had three publishers interested in publishing the book, and we are thrilled to be working with John Wiley & Sons, publishers of such great books as The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner, True North by Bill George and David Gergen; and numerous books by the likes of Peter Drucker.
I’ll be writing at the pace of a chapter every two weeks and along the way I intend to share some excerpts to help you understand where the book is going. Here’s a snippet from Chapter One, where I introduce the idea of YESability—how capable are your company’s front-line people at saying “yes” to your customer and prospect’s unique needs? From chapter one:
“YES derives its power from the fact that it saves us time, and time, like low tide, waits for no one. We can never buy more of it, it continually slips away, and when it’s gone, it’s gone forever. When we hear a prompt YES, we can happily move on to something else we need to do. When we hear NO, especially after waiting for over an hour to hear it, we feel as if we’ve been robbed of something we can never replace.
“We also value YES because it respects our needs. When an organization, be it an insurance provider or the Department of Motor Vehicles, respects our needs, we feel good. And no one can devise a better definition for customer service than ‘making the customer feel good.’ That feeling lies at the heart of every customer relationship, and yet companies forget that fact all the time when they take loyalty for granted.”
We are in the midst of the largest transformation in a century as we transition from a Mass Production base to one dependent upon Mass Customization, making YESability essential for economic survival. A bit more from chapter one:
“Mass customization, a term Stan Davis popularized in his 1987 book Future Perfect, aptly describes the internet’s impact on the marketplace. We’ll examine mass customization’s impact on management closely in Chapter Two, but for now just keep in mind this basic definition: ‘the use of computer-aided systems to produce custom output.’ Why does that matter? These systems change the whole game because they combine the low unit cost of mass production with the flexibility of individual customization. While mass production supplied many identical products produced at a low cost, mass customization offers individually differentiated products manufactured at or near mass production costs. Mass production once drove the global economy and still plays a major role in emerging economies, but mass customization increasingly defines a new economy, where companies can say YES to customers and give them what they want when they want it. Of course, businesses have always striven to do that, but now they can do it. Three key drivers have conspired to make it all possible.”
I look forward to sharing more of chapter one next week.
Free Webinar – December 7, 2010, 10AM (PST)
Managing in the Now: How to Create Competitive Advantage in the Coming Business Revolution
December 7, 2010, 10 AM (PST)
Social media, cloud computing, and the millennial mindset have converged to create a revolution that redefines how businesses will compete during the next decade. These forces have established a new standard for action—instantaneous. Everything occurs in a time called NOW. Every opportunity, every problem NOT resolved in the NOW disappears…forever.
Smart leaders recognize these new drivers. But fear of and confusion about how to harness them prevent many organizations from taking action.
Management today doesn’t live in the NOW; management today doesn’t manage in the NOW. From frontline supervisors to executive teams, management remains shackled to the past (what happened?) or focused only on the future (what are we going to do?). In the vast majority of organizations no one accepts responsibility for managing right NOW; in effect, they ignore NOW. And they let opportunity after opportunity slip through their fingers.
Join John Bernard on December 7 for a fast-moving, information-packed, one-hour Webinar.
Learn how your organization can build a system of management to enable your company to prosper and achieve extraordinary competitive advantage with every employee able to act on every opportunity every time.