The commercial application of Greatest Hits


How Greatest Hits training can transform your business.

  • I take 15 minutes to explain what is in a book
  • We discuss the content and its implications
  • Attendees have to work out how they can apply the thinking to their business, customers, clients, or staff
  • This generates a minimum of 10 ideas per book
  • Repeat 6-10 times and you have 60-100 ideas to stimulate the business
  • Over 250 books to choose from


    THE BEST 14 FROM 2014

    number of view: 0

    We Are All Weird – Seth Godin

    The one sentence summary

    Weird is the new normal, so only companies that work that out have any chance of survival.


    • Let’s face it – we’re all weird. So why are companies still trying to build products for the masses? Why are we still acting as though the masses even exist?

    ~ Mass is what allowed us to become efficient. It’s what we call the undifferentiated, the easily reached majority that seeks to conform.

    ~ Normal is what we call the people in the middle. It is localised – what’s normal here is not necessarily normal somewhere else.

    ~ Weird is what we call people who aren’t normal. This means by choice, rather than unusual by nature or physique.

    ~ Rich refers to anyone who can make choices, who has enough resources to do more than merely survive.

    • Everything about capitalism, industry and education trains people to conform and shun outliers. This rewards companies that create efficient mass market products.
    • There are four forces for weird:

    1. Creation is amplified. Anyone can produce pretty much anything, and reach someone else immediately via the internet.

    2. Being rich allows us to do what we want, and we want to be weird. Standing out takes time, money and confidence. More of us now have all three.

    3. Marketing is far more efficient at reaching the weird. The long tail isn’t just a clever phrase – it’s an accurate description of the market for just about everything.

    4. Tribes are better connected. Because you can now find others who share your interests, weird is perversely becoming more normal.


    • The book challenges the reader do make two decisions: to create for and market to the fast-increasing population that isn’t normal; and to encourage people to do what’s right, useful and joyful, as opposed to what the system suggests.
    • Antelopes don’t have hobbies. You need to be rich to be weird.
    • 2,200 years ago you needed to work 50 hours to buy an hour of light from a lantern. You can do that today in about half a second.
    • The bell curve is spreading. The bump of normal in the middle isn’t gone, but it’s much flatter, and flanked by many more weird outlying groups.
    • There are 10 billion items for sale in New York alone. 500 years ago there were 200.


    • Not much. This is a celebration of originality and individuality, and larger companies involved in old-fashioned mass production should take note.

    number of view: 134

    The Innovation Workout – Lucy Gower

    The one sentence summary

    You can improve your innovation skills by following a proven sequence.


    • This is a primer for any individual or company wishing to embark on an innovation process.
    • It guides the reader through 10 steps to enhance their innovation skills.

    1. Pinpoint your purpose: think big to start with, and articulate the problem or unmet need in an inspiring way.

    2. Know and understand your customers: innovations only work if people want them and can see how to use them.

    3. Your market today and predicting the trends of tomorrow: being able to spot trends in sufficient time is pretty crucial.

    4. Build your creative capacity: expand your experience, break routines and learn how to connect ideas together.

    5. Creative superstardom and lots of ideas: have fun practising different techniques to help you and your colleagues to generate lots of ideas.

    6. Don’t expect anyone else to like your idea: if it’s new or different (which it certainly should be), then you will have to spend time getting others to like it.

    7. Filter and choose the best ideas: chance of success is one factor, as is the ability to say no to weaker ideas.

    8. Prototype, fail fast and refine: creating working versions of the proposed innovation is vital to working out likelihood of success.

    9. Pilot, adapt and invest: design, deliver and evaluate pilots without breaking the bank, often by borrowing resources from other interested parties.

    10. Take your ideas to market: build a proper business case in conjunction with what you learn in the pilot phase.

    • It then runs through a series of scenarios in which you might be enacting innovation: in a big organisation, on your own, with a team, with clients and customers, and so on.


    • There are suggestions for how to innovate when no one else gets it, with no budget, by imitation, and when you feel like you are stuck.
    • It takes you through how to develop an innovation framework, how to build an innovation network, and how to create the time to innovate.
    • There is a self-assessment questionnaire at the beginning to weigh up your current innovation confidence and skills. This is repeated at the end to see how much progress you have made.
    • The templates in the book are all available online at – a helpful resource.


    • This book will be very helpful to anyone entering the field for the first time, but there is little new for any long-term students of the genre.

    number of view: 160

    The Silo Effect – Gillian Tett

    The one sentence summary

    The world does not function effectively if it is always streamlined, so businesses should strive to prevent silos.


    • Putting everything in its place isn’t such a bright idea.
    • Ever since civilised society began, we have felt the need to classify, categorise and specialise. This can make things more efficient, and help give the leaders in organisations a sense of confidence that all is well.
    • But it can also create a structural fog, with the full picture of where the organisation is heading hidden from view.
    • The word silo comes from the Greek siros meaning corn pit, and the meaning then moved across to military missile silos, and then to systems and departments that work in isolation. Synonyms include ghettos, buckets and tribes.
    • Silos are rife in many modern institutions. They have the power to collapse companies and destabilise financial markets.
    • They blind and confuse, often making companies act in risky and damaging ways, particularly in financial trading.
    • Anthropologist Pierre Bourdieu believed that human society creates certain patterns of thought and classification, usually to reproduce the status of the elite, albeit unintentionally. What matters in a society’s mental map is not what is overtly stated, but what is not discussed.
    • However, people do not have to be trapped in the mental maps they inherit. There are 5 things that can help prevent silos being detrimental:

    1. Keep team boundaries flexible and fluid

    2. Make pay and incentives holistic, not conducive to tribe behaviour.

    3. Information flows really matter so that knowledge is truly shared.

    4. Periodically try to reimagine taxonomies used to recognise the world.

    5. Technology can help because it does not suffer from human bias (assuming it is set up appropriately).


    • The author is an anthropologist as well as a journalist, and so is used to questioning the assumptions and practices of a culture.
    • She uses an anthropological lens to explore how companies work in silos of thought, process and product, drawing widely from Sony, UBS, JP Morgan, police forces, hospitals, and more.
    • “I classify, therefore I think I am a social being.”
    • “People don’t do what you expect, but what you inspect.” Lou Gerstner


    • This is not a pure business book, more an anthropologist’s take on business that has implications for the way businesses behave.
    number of view: 188

    Paid Attention – Faris Yakob

    The one sentence summary

    Brands should do things and tell people, working with their community to recombine ideas constantly.


    • This is a guide to modern advertising ideas: what they are, why they are evolving, and how to have them.
    • It explains how to package ideas to attract the most attention, and provides a robust model for influencing human behaviour.
    • Among the issues grappled with are:
    • Paid attention: how much is it worth?
    • Media = bandwidth: people can only cope with so much at once.
    • Communication is persuasion, but attention is like water.
    • Brands are socially constructed ideas. Brand experiences build brandgrams in our heads. This is based on Daniel Schacter’s belief that memories are encoded in the brain as engrams – neuron-firing patterns.
    • All market research is wrong because we don’t know why we do what we do, and the gulf between claimed attitudes and intentions and actual behaviour is vast.
    • Customer service is a form of marketing. And technology is a medium.
    • But the medium isn’t the message any more.
    • The difference between content, media and advertising is vanishing.
    • Do things and tell people: that’s how to behave in a world of infinite content.
    • Talent imitates and genius steals: it’s a recombinant culture.
    • People will pay more for something they have paid attention to.
    • There can be only one strategy.
    • Brands are behavioural templates.
    • Integration is the interoperation of parts, not one idea in many places.


    • It’s a wide-ranging piece of work spanning communication theory, neuroscience, creativity, innovation, media history, branding, and emerging technologies.
    • It contains a toolkit to guide the reader though advertising, branding, and planning.
    • Liminal spaces are the places in between, where different cultures mix and interact, and where hybrid forms are created.
    • Brands can become social by listening, responding, nurturing, creating social objects, being transparent, and joining the conversation.
    • Do it with the community, don’t just say it.
    • Unleash creativity through constraint.


    • There’s no single point of view as such. It’s more of a useful primer for anyone needing to get up to speed with the full span of issues in modern communications.

    number of view: 211