Project Management

Courageous Change

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Categories: change, innovation


Flip a coin. Every other Fortune 500 companies from the year 2000 is now extinct. That's right — 52 percent of the Fortune 500 at the turn of the century is out of business today!

"It used to be enough to get customers to just buy things that you were selling. Now, you need customers who buy in to your company as a whole,” says Ryan Berman, author of Return On Courage. “Values-based, socially responsible, and purpose-driven companies are the ones that are winning today’s business game.”

In his book, Berman presents a business model for what he calls "courageous change." He wants organizations, teams and individuals to take thoughtful, calculated risks, whether it’s about developing a new product, implementing an innovative strategy, or simply voicing an opinion that upsets the status quo.

Berman’s five-step process, called P.R.I.C.E., is based on his experiences advising prominent brands such as Major League Baseball, PUMA and Subway, as well as interviews with leaders from Apple, Google, Dominos, Zappos and other successful companies. Berman discusses the reasoning behind each step and provides detailed worksheets to help readers implement the process. The process includes:

> Prioritize Through Values – Leaders must modernize, prioritize and then utilize their core values as critical decision-making filters for their organizations. Then they must strive to embody those select values into everything they do as a leader, team and company.

> Rally Believers – Leaders who cheerlead to their staff are not effective. Instead try Believership. The purpose of a Believership is to create Believers out of a company’s employees, prospects and customers. They may deliver bad news from time to time, but they always put the business first and prioritize what the company needs, even when it’s difficult.

> Identify Fears – This audit of fear is a more up-to-date, effective way to perform a SWOT analysis.  Successful businesses proactively smoke out and address their biggest fears instead of suppressing them. By identifying fears — industry fears, product fears, service fears, and perception fears — companies begin the process of conquering their most complicated problems. They are able to drum up courageous solutions that shrink down these difficult, progress-halting hurdles.

> Commit To A Purpose – A powerful purpose is more than just words. Having an authentic cause drives conviction and keeps people motivated to come to work, even on tough days. True purpose becomes ingrained in the company culture; without it, turnover problems arise. Injecting a “rally-cry-in-your-why” also permeates outside the walls of the organization to transform one-time buyers into raving fans.

> Execute Your Action – Without taking action, companies are merely stuck in paralysis. When it’s time to innovate, courageous companies know how to “cover and move.” They “cover” their current products while they work to “move” toward their next revenue stream or innovation. And they get their most meaningful messages into the hands of advocates by utilizing the 4 P’s – Passion, Precision, Promoters, and a Point of View.

Berman makes a compelling case that courage does not need to be impulsive or excessively risky. He demonstrates, instead, that courage is a necessity in today’s constantly changing, highly competitive business environment. Leaders, project managers and teams must welcome change and make courage part of their daily activities.

Posted on: January 14, 2019 03:50 PM | Permalink

Comments (23)

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Nice book review Aaron. You just added another book to my to read list. Reading your summary it reminded me of Andrew Grove's book 'Only the Paranoid Survive'. If you don't continually commit to drive the corporation to look to the possible future and how to mold it you will be left behind. Realistic SWOT that doesn't just say what he executive team wants to hear and commitment to execute on the action plan is critical.

I have also read the book, easy read yet full of insight. It helped me better articulate why I'm making certain decisions at work.

Thanks for sharing good points.

Thanks for sharing Aaron, great 5 points.

Thanks for sharing Aaron, great 5 points.

Aaron, Thanks for sharing

Must read in my list, thanks for sharing!

Informative and valuable points to drive change. Thanks for sharing, Aaron.

Thanks, Aaron. Great, points.

52 percent of the Fortune 500 noted since the turn of the century are out of business today - wow, that got my attention. Thank you for opening my eyes to this.

Great Points and your very right lot of Fortune 500 are out of business today

Interesting details on five-step process. I absolutely agree that project mangers should welcome changes. Good points about courage too. Thank you. Well done.

Four thumb rules to be successful. Thanks for sharing this.

Good Information




Great information Aaron. Innovation... that's just one of the keys to success here!

Good article

All good points. Separating courage from risk is important to keep from becoming paralized by fear. Thank you.

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