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Keep the game, change the rules

In today’s post I would like to link a blogpost by Seth Godin called Economies of small and a famous TEDtalk by Barry Schwartz on The paradox of choice. I’ll start of with the post by Seth Godin.

Economies of small

You can read the full post here, I want to highlight and comment some parts of it in this post.

Is being bigger an intrinsic benefit in and of itself?

I think this is an important question to ask yourself. Why and how will we benefit from being bigger? Are we growing with a purpose or merely to constrain overhead costs?

A bigger company means more stakeholders, employees, responsibilities, management, meetings… . You should also keep in mind that at a certain point, getting bigger wont make you more efficient. If growing will have a positive impact on your efficiency, bring you closer to the goals you set, increases your impact and credibility…

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Keep the game, change the rules

And what if the road was fun as well? What if the journey is the destination? Instead of aiming for one single top, you could also keep pushing limits and enjoy the ride (this is also connected to my previous post on deliberate versus emergent strategies). If you define your company as a structure build for one purpose, how will you react once you’ve reached it?  Once you’re doing what you were planning for, will your only focus be upscaling? What if we defined companies and organizations differently?

I’m making this reflection after reading just another great comic by Stuart McMillen called “Metaphors – The lenses we use to interpret and understand our reality”. In this comic, McMillen tells about metaphors and how they affect the way we define companies and organisations. As said before in my post on the single bottom line, I believe the economy’s aim should…

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Keep the game, change the rules

A few weeks ago I read with interest this post on John R. Ehrenfeld’s blog. I’ve been following this blog ever since I’ve read John’s book Sustainability by design – A Subversive Strategy for Transforming Our Consumer Culture, which I’m planning on discussing in a post some other time.

In this particular post, John tries to make a coherent list that defines the different views from our current, unsustainable world and a sustainable world. Before I go into this any deeper, it’s important to give  you two quotes from the book that clearly define John’s (and mine as well) view on sustainability:

Sustainability is the possibility that humans
and other life will flourish on Earth forever.

Sustainability is not merely about staying alive (or as we tend to see it nowadays, not dying), it’s about thriving as humanity. It’s about surpassing the struggle for survival and focusing on self-actualization…

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Keep the game, change the rules

Even though visionary leadership is an important part of long-term economics, the impact should not be over-hyped (which we tend to do nowadays). The final post of this trilogy therefor is a post I copied from Brazilian Coffee. In this particular post, the author questions the need for all those leaders we’re creating.

If you like the post, don’t forget to check out the comments that followed on it (original post can be found here)!

Enough Leadership!

In the recent years, all over the world, we are living a boom in the number of “leaders”. Everywhere one can be trained as a leader and convinced that it is one’s destiny to lead. It smells like a scam (or, in a better case, ingenuity) the idea that we need all these leaders.

“A tribe cannot have…

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Keep the game, change the rules

Leadership is valued greatly these days. Company boards are taking leadership courses, everyone is trying to get followers or audience rather than customers… In this rush towards leadership, companies often skip a crucial part (which is probably the main reason why leadership is not solving your problems the way you figured it would): The boss is not necessarily the leader.

It’s easy to think of the boss as the leader since there are quite some similarities (dedication, responsibility, final decision…). There is however one extremely important difference: a leader is followed because he/she earned respect. A boss is the person we listen to because he/she is higher in rank. This does not mean that a boss can’t be a leader, but it’s really difficult to figure out whether people are agreeing with you because your the boss or because they actually believe you.

A boss…

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Keep the game, change the rules

The Radical L.E.A.P – Steve Farber

Today I’d like to recommend a book to you that inspired me greatly. The book called The Radical L.E.A.P. (a personal lesson in extreme leadership), written by Steve Farber, is a parable that triggered me into rethinking why we do what we do. For me personal, this book was the trigger to start researching new ways of leading organizations and eventually one of the cornerstones for my believe in purpose-driven entrepreneurship as a sustainable business model. In this post I’l briefly describe some elements from the book, if you’re interested in leadership or management, you should really read it.


The main framework the book revolves around is L.E.A.P., an acronym for Love, Energy, Audacity and Proof. These 4 words are (according to Farber) the most solid base for leadership, or…

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Keep the game, change the rules

This post is a reworked version of a post I found here. Via my twitter account (@Leyssensj) I regularly post interesting articles on entrepreneurship, innovation and management. Feel free to follow me!

In todays post I’d like to talk about planning, setting goals and predicting the future of your market. Bottom line: “You have no idea what’s going to happen to your industry”.

Long term goals vs. long term planning

Admitting you have no idea what’s going to happen may sound scary at first. Acknowledging you do not control your industry might lead to the idea you have no idea what you’re doing. This is mainly because long term goals are often mistaken for a long term planning.

People are horrible at planning stuff, if you can’t even plan 1 day properly without shifting meetings, how are you going to get a 5-year planning correct? The solution…

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Keep the game, change the rules

It was with great interest I read this post a few weeks ago. The blogger confronted me with the question: “Would people still behave like total pricks – or prickesses – if they knew that there would be a book written about them after they kick the bucket?”.

This question, however strange it is, is a very confronting one.  If you knew for sure that there’d be a book written about you, would you want it to tell how you wasted your life on stupid things and let others down and was basically a total prick – or prickess? And would you want it to say that you were a drunk, a slob or a slut, and lay on the couch all day watching trash on the box? So that the people, who would be reading the book about you, would think: what a jerk, a total waste of space. I…

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Keep the game, change the rules

I’ve been writing about the single bottom line in this post (and briefly in last weeks post). The single bottom line says a companies aim (in a sustainable environment) should be to support both our planet while giving our society a richer live (richer in terms of flourishing, not purely material). That’s all good fun and games, but how can companies help in giving people a better life and why should they really care?

The question on why companies should care about society is pretty easy to get (this doesn’t mean it’s easy to implement though). Without society no company. There’s no real need yet for company boards to actively support society, but if there’s something the big strikes in the late 1800’s that led to more rights and better working conditions learned us (or, if you don’t want to go back that far, the ongoing revolutions in Arab), it’s that once…

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Keep the game, change the rules

When I was a kid I loved skateboarding (even though I was terrible). One of my childhood heroes was this skater called Rodney Mullen. He is the godfather of skateboarding not because he had the best style, but because instead of ‘simply’ doing tricks, he invented them.

So when I recently stumbled accros a TEDx-talk by Rodney Mullen, I had to watch it (and I can heartily recommend it to you as well).

The first thing that startled me was how closely related the design process of a skateboard trick is to designing business models or products. This feeds my opinion even further that creativity is driven by several universal (no matter what domain you’re in) natural incentives (competition, amateurism, community, respect and the pure feeling of actually creating something). I especially like how Mullen defines his creative process. He says he takes something from the skate community (a trick or an object), puts it in a…

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