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You cannot take any magic pill to advance in business. It takes pushing your boundaries to hit your benchmark goals and see all the telltale signs that you’re truly improving. And even if you already did everything to level up, you still have to keep on learning.
Learning continuously is the only way to respond to the demands of an ever-changing society. There are several ways you can do it. You can sign up to online learning sites, mentor, and connect with colleagues. But the easiest way to learn continuously is to read a few good books. If you want to get ahead in business, you won’t want to miss these titles.
Costovation: Innovation That Gives Your Customers Exactly What They Want–And Nothing More
Stephen Wunker and Jennifer Luo Law provided straightforward ways on how to stay competitive and how to satisfy customers without spending much or giving your all.
Wunker and Luo Law both have years of experience helping companies innovate and they shared those expertise through a business management consulting company where they take the role of a Managing Director and Principal respectively. They make teams more innovative by investigating growth opportunities, establishing growth strategies, and bolstering innovativeness as well as uncovering market and customer insights.
In this book, the authors provided some examples of companies that wowed their customers with “less.” They shared how Planet Fitness, one of the largest fitness club franchises, took things to the next level just by concentrating on casual exercisers. They provided what customers really wanted and those were low-cost access to good equipment.
From acquiring a financially struggling gym in 1992, Michael and Marc Grondahl managed to sustain their low-cost model and even opened many locations across the United States. As of 2018, the fitness club had 1,500 locations worldwide and an estimated 10 million members.
Growth IQ: Get Smarter About the Choices That Will Make or Break Your Business
Tiffani Bova has more than two decades leading large revenue-producing divisions at businesses ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. This Wall Street Journal bestseller just proved Bova’s years of experience as a global customer growth and innovation evangelist. This book contains more than 30 in-depth examples of how businesses worked together to get over their pitfalls.
One example provided here is about Marvel Entertainment’s transformation as a struggling comic book publisher into a global entertainment behemoth. The entertainment company, now owned by The Walt Disney Company, used to focus on comic books exclusively. They shifted their attention to creating comic book characters in movies through Customer and Product Diversification strategy and found success in it.
Did you know that Starbucks suffered a brand crisis when they applied the Product Expansion strategy? Bova also narrated this experience in this book. Under a new management, the company embarked on a quest for expansion by going into hot food, compact discs and film sponsorship, and extending their product offerings.
But what really caused Starbucks to lose their own voice is the fact that they attempted to ditch the coffee machine and went fully automatic.
When they had former Howard Schultz back in his position, he course-corrected their strategy by focusing on the customer experience path. They cut down their product offering and made sure the warm breakfast sandwiches do not overwhelm their coffee aroma.
Outsmart Your Instincts: How the Behavioral Innovation Approach Drives Your Company Forward
Adam Hansen, Edward Harrington, and Beth Storz highlighted how the Behavioral Innovation model can help companies grow. In this model, the authors examined eight unique biases in depth. This includes Negativity Bias, Conformity Bias, and the Curse of Knowledge.
This book also comes with a Podcast version, where Hansen interviewed the best innovators in the world to explore how Cognitive Biases affect our work. In simpler terms, this book wants us to think that we should not just trust our gut when it comes to thinking innovatively about business because in the end, that kind of thinking might just be our worst enemy.
The authors want their readers to outsmart their own instincts so they will be able to take on challenges as true innovators. Indeed, we have to rely on our brains’ powers and not just our guts to steal a march on competition.
The Power of Little Ideas: A Low-Risk, High-Reward Approach to Innovation
How would you innovate around a certain product or service without putting all your expenditures on the line? The Power of Little Ideas by David Robertson is all about looking at innovation using a whole new approach.
Calling his innovation as the “third way,” Robertson focuses on the fact that you can launch a product that complements your core product and that you don’t need to` do substantial changes to it to level up.
Robertson’s belief on innovation is all about keeping your commitment to your customers. Indeed, taking things to the next level does not have to be so risky or disruptive.
A Winning Brand: How to Build a Powerful, Personal Brand in Today’s Modern, Digital World
A #1 International Bestseller, A Winning Brand focuses on how to become visible through personal branding in the social age. You might have come across Kraig Kleeman before because he is a multi-hyphenated talent is also a blogger, speaker, and global advisor.
Kleeman himself was able to establish his personal brand, by being referenced as the “World’s Greatest Cold Caller.” At first, he is aware he did not always have a comprehensive and meaningful brand strategy.
But Kleeman eventually came up with strategies that helped him build a loyal following, gain increased visibility and establish a reputation of being the best in the business. All of these are shared in this book.
In addition to helping people achieve their business goals, this book is all about helping people attain their personal goals, because the brand principles mentioned here also serve as a guide on our personal journey.
As you can see, these authors have different sets of strategies. It’s hard to think which among these approaches will apply in your business but you know where your company stands and you surely have an idea which among these strategies will work for you. At the end of the day, it is not bad to try something new when you are truly decided to level up.
If you found this post helpful, you will probably enjoy checking out these links as well:
- 10 Entrepreneurship Books to Help You Start and Grow an Epic Business
- 10 Best Motivational Books for Growing in Business and Life
- The 10 Best Marketing Books to Explode Your Traffic and Profits