I just got a 90 minute tape of Stephen Covey speaking - really smart stuff. One of his principles is, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
Now, Covey means this in the context of interpersonal relationships. When having an argument or disagreement or trying to convince someone of something, you first try to understand their point of view before you try to make them understand yours. He puts it really well.
But taking it a step further - I think it'd be good advice for someone in entertainment or business. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. I remember I saw an interview with Will Smith, and he was talking about how he got so successful. He said that he looked at the top 10 grossing movies of the year, and nine of them were "creature movies" - for whatever reason, that kind of movie drew a lot of business. So Will Smith went out and pursued roles like Independence Day and Men in Black and got successful at that, and now he can make whatever kind of movies he wants. He still makes a lot of creature/action movies, but he also free reign to make whatever he wants.
I think it's true in business, too. Better to start with something customers already want before offering something they don't understand. There's exceptions, but not so many. Look at Amazon - they start with a really simple idea of having great information and reviews about books online, and shipping those to you quickly when you buy. Later they've added features that people wouldn't have wanted if they didn't already trust Amazon - stuff like Amazon Prime.
They can do whatever they want because they understood customers first. After that, you can ask customers to understand you when you do something a little different.
Very good question by a regular reader of the site who just joined a new company. Some excerpts -
Do you have any sources to recommend regarding the topic of Small-scale Team or Project Management? The background on my request is simply that I work for a large, very disorganized company that grew from a small "mom & pop" to a competitive industry leader in a 'short' time period (10 years or so). The management has not followed the change with the kind of organizational structure that large companies require for effeciency and they abhore 1) change 2) young people initiating change 3) publish initiatives for change with deadlines, and blame the 'young people' when they aren't completed, meanwhile they sabotage all efforts to work on them.
Now, I am no expert on creating the type of organizational structure we need here, but I witness its absence as a massive failure each and every day in my own department and all of the others as well. My team consists of 3 members, 2 analysists and 1 "manager". Our manager is inept. We have had projects for the last 4 years (prior to my hire) outstanding, which if successful could have significant positive impact on finacials, performance, effeciency, communication... I could go on. Our manager belives that such projects are superfuluois and openly harasses us when we work on them (despite the wild success of the first one...which he attributed not to hard work but to "magic"- literally, he said it must have been magic and denied any part we had in achieving the goal).
RATING: 76// Full of great advice and a lot of readers love this book, but personally I found it a bit boring.
THE FACTS // Author : Stephen R. Covey > Category : Self Improvement > Time to Read : 7 Hours
TWITTER SUMMARY // Our habits have a huge impact on our future success. Developing these 7 habits can lead to powerful private and public victory.
IMPORTANT NOTES // This is one of the great “classics” in the field of personal productivity.