Healthy Habits Of Successful Leaders – An Expert Roundup

Joseph Lalonde

Michael Levitt, CEO of Becoming A Healthy Leader There are plenty of ways to become a healthy leader. I’ve shared various ways you can become a healthy leader over the last couple of weeks.

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In Marketing, the “C” Word Cannot Exist

In the CEO Afterlife

Many years ago I read Theodore Levitt’s The Marketing Imagination. Branding Leadership Marketing Strategy Advertising Consurmer Packaged Goods Social Media Theodore Levitt Vision

Think Like a Freak: A book review by Bob Morris

First Friday Book Synopsis

Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner William Morrow/An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (2014) How and why mastering the economic approach will produce better answers to questions and better solutions to problems In their latest book, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner cite […]. Levitt The Book The conventional wisdom is often wrong The Gambler Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Van Halen group William Morrow/An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Zappos

Karl Ronn: Part 1 of an interview by Bob Morris

First Friday Book Synopsis

Karl Ronn is the managing director of Innovation Portfolio Partners. Based in Palo Alto, he helps Fortune 500 companies create new businesses or helps entrepreneurs start category creating new companies. He is a co-founder of VC-backed Butterfly Health that sells Butterfly body liners nationally. He is also developing a software company building diagnostic competency for […].

Recommended Resources – Freakonomics

Strategy Driven

Levitt and. Levitt and Stephen J. Evaluation & Control Program Recommended Resources book review business book business management evaluation and control freakonomics Stephen Dubner Steven Levitt strategydriven

HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Strategic Marketing

First Friday Book Synopsis

Revised and Expanded Edition): How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World Theodore Levitt HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Strategic Marketing HBR Editors and various contributors Harvard Busxiness Review Press (2013) How the right strategy can help create or increase demand for whatever is offered This is one in a series of volumes that anthologizes what the editors of the Harvard Business Review consider to be the “must reads” […].

The Marketing Imagination: A book review by Bob Morris

First Friday Book Synopsis

The Marketing Imagination (Expanded Edition) Theodore Levitt Free Press (1986) Do not be misled by the date of this Expanded Edition: Of the more than 27 gazillion books on marketing now in print, none has had a greater impact than has this one. It is truly a masterpiece. By way of background, in 1960 (in [.].

Alan M. Webber: An interview by Bob Morris

First Friday Book Synopsis

Alan M. Webber is an award-winning, nationally-recognized editor, author, and columnist. In 1995, he launched Fast Company magazine, a fresh, dynamic entry in the business magazine category. Headquartered in Boston, MA, the magazine became the fastest growing, most successful business magazine in history. Fast Company won two national magazine awards—one for general excellence, one for [.]. Bob's blog entries "Business As War" "global detective” Alan M.

Shortlist Announced for Financial Times and Goldman Sachs “Business Book of the Year” Award

First Friday Book Synopsis

Thursday September 15th, 2011: The Financial Times and Goldman Sachs today announced the shortlist for the seventh annual Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award (, which aims to identify the book providing the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues. The shortlist is: [.].

Harvard Business Review on Reinventing Your Marketing: A book review by Bob Morris

First Friday Book Synopsis

Rust Scott Cook Suj Krishnaswamy Susan Fournier Taddy Hall The Marketing Imagination Theodore LevittHarvard Business Review on Reinventing Your Marketing Various Contributors Harvard Business Review Press (2011) How to use innovative thinking to improve how you create or increase demand for what you offer Those who aspire to maximize the impact of their marketing initiatives will find the material in this HBR book invaluable. It is one of [.].

Most Valuable Business Insights: 11-15

First Friday Book Synopsis

Martin Seth Godin Steve Jobs Steve Steinhilber strategic alliances The Complete Guide to Mergers and Acquisitions The Effective Executive Execution The Executive’s Compass The Marketing Imagination The Opposable Mind Theodore Levitt Thomas Edison Thomas Watson Sr.

Innovative Service Leaders Nurture Trust

Lead Change Blog

” These words of Harvard professor and marketing guru Ted Levitt were written about customers. He was the CEO of one of the most innovative service companies on the planet. I asked him to write an endorsement for my new book, and used the encounter to learn more about how he created such an amazing culture. He did not hesitate with his answer: “Trust!”.

Featured Leading Voice: Chip Bell

Lead Change Blog

” The books Chip has found most helpful for his professional life include Watership Down by Richard Adams, Marketing for Business Growth by Ted Levitt, and The Purple Cow by Seth Godin.

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Stop Trying to Do More and More

In the CEO Afterlife

In Theodore Levitt’s The Marketing Imagination , the renowned marketing professor said there was no such thing as a commodity, only people who think like commodities.

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Its a Jungle In There

CEO Blog

View my complete profile Previous Posts The First 30 Days as CEO The Laws of Charisma Jim's Longevity Diet Broth The Next Level Book Review The Intangibles of Leadership Conscientious Equity Book Report Nando Parrado and James Cameron Blue Ocean Strategy Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Al Gore Steven Levitt - Freakonomics Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on this site.

These are a few of our favorite … books!

Reality-Based Leadership

Levitt and Stephen J. The holidays are almost here and you may be scrambling to find a last minute gift for those on your list, or simply anticipating a bit of a break where you can rest, enjoy family, and rejuvenate yourself for the new year. Why not share the gift of a great book – or take the time to read one for yourself. Go ahead, you deserve it!

Just because you can make an omelet, doesn’t mean you’re a restaurateur!

Mills Scofield

Saul quotes Theodore Levitt (Harvard Business School Professor), “People don’t want a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.” Quick, tell me your organization’s business model. Can you? Can you tell me what a business model is?

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A Creative Way to “Fix” Incentives?


A team of economic researchers led by Harvard University’s Roland Fryer (and including Steven Levitt of Freakonomics fame) recently flipped the incentive model on its head and tested on one of the most incentive-resistant professions in America: schoolteachers. Incentives have been with us for a long time. As a tool drive performance, there is nearly 100 years of solid argument for their use in organizations. More recently, however, their use has been called into question.

A Refresher on Marketing Myopia

Harvard Business Review

The term was coined by the late Harvard Business School marketing professor, Theodore Levitt, in a 1960 article by the same name (republished in 2004). ” As Levitt used to tell his students, “People don’t want a quarter-inch drill. Paul Garbett for HBR.

World Business Forum – Top 10 Speakers | N2Growth Blog

N2Growth Blog

Steve Levitt - Author of Freakanomics and Super Freakanomics , Steve was superb.

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Pricing Strategy: Pricking the Veil of Value Exchange

Strategy Driven

The marketing orientation focuses the purpose of the firm towards serving customer needs profitably – an orientation supported by the late greats Peter Drucker and Theodore Levitt.

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Marketing Myopia, 50-Plus Years On

Harvard Business Review

It's hard to overestimate the influence Ted Levitt's "Marketing Myopia" has had on the world of marketing and beyond. Like Harold Bloom's Anxiety of Influence in literary criticism or Donald Norman's The Design of Everyday Things in product design, Levitt's half-century-old treatise on examining what business your company is really in hovers over and continues to influence entire schools of thought. This post is part of the HBR Insight Center Marketing That Works.

The iPhone 5 Launch Will Be Successful

Harvard Business Review

In January 1980, Harvard's Ted Levitt wrote an article titled " Marketing Success Through Differentiation of Anything." Levitt argued that products were more complicated to consumers than most manufacturers considered. Levitt asserted that companies could differentiate themselves — to a limited degree — by providing a variety of expected features to the consumer (i.e.,

What We Really Know About Consumer Behavior

Harvard Business Review

Some fifteen years ago, in a period that seemed full of change and uncertainty in marketing, I asked my colleague Ted Levitt where he saw our field heading. Levitt, who had a marvelous talent for speaking in epigrams, responded, "The future of marketing will be more like its past than anyone imagines." Today, as the internet, social media, new analytics, and mobile devices upend the work of marketing, it may seem strange to say he was right.

In 2014, Resolve to Make Your Business Human Again

Harvard Business Review

In 1960, marketing legend Ted Levitt provided perhaps his seminal contribution to the Harvard Business Review : “ Marketing Myopia.” To avoid that, Levitt exhorted leaders to ask themselves the seemingly obvious question – “What business are you really in?” Levitt agreed, noting that the trouble starts when over time companies come to define themselves not by what they do for customers but by the products they sell or the categories in which they compete.

Successful Companies Don’t Adapt, They Prepare

Harvard Business Review

In 1960, Harvard professor Theodore Levitt published a landmark paper in Harvard Business Review that urged executives to adapt by asking themselves, “What business are we really in?” Which brings us to something else Theodore Levitt said, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.” Jennifer Maravillas for HBR.

5 Questions That Will Help You Stay Ahead of Your Disruptors

Harvard Business Review

Grove’s 1980 question remains as ruthlessly relevant to C-suites as Ted Levitt’s 1960 classic, “What business are you in?” Aggravated and depressed by the decline of their core memory business in the 1980s, Intel’s top management struggled for strategic clarity.

Why Management Matters: Welcome to the HBR Insight Center

Harvard Business Review

There certainly is no shortage of candidates from our nine decades of publishing — from Ted Levitt's "Marketing Myopia" to Michael Porter's "How Competitive Forces Shape Strategy.". Harvard Business Review was launched precisely 90 years ago this month with an ambitious agenda — to produce a "business theory," based on rigorous research, to help managers run their companies more effectively.

Publishing's 169 Years of Disruption, Told in Six Freakouts

Harvard Business Review

Maybe it's a good time to dredge up a chestnut from Ted Levitt's classic HBR article, "Marketing Myopia." Levitt analyzed the fall of the railroads, and notes that the railroads "assumed themselves to be in the railroad business rather than in the transportation business. Charles Dickens was killing it in 1842.

How Your Sales Force Can Fight for Maximum Profit

Harvard Business Review

In their hit book Freakonomics, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner posit that real estate agents don't have the incentive to push for the highest sales price for homeowners. Levitt and Dubner bolster their claim by citing research that reveals when realtors sell their own homes, they remain on the market one week longer and sell for 3% more.

How Behavioral Economics Could Help Reduce Credit Card Delinquency

Harvard Business Review

More generally, the results affirm that applying behavioral insights has great potential for increasing economic and individual well-being at low cost, as the recent work of Daniel Kahneman, Steven Levitt, Cass Sunstein, Richard Thaler, and others has shown. Ryan McVay/Getty Images. With U.S. household credit card debt at an all-time high of more than $1 trillion , delinquent payments can be more costly than ever.

What Is the Business of Health Care?

Harvard Business Review

In 1960, the editor of the Harvard Business Review, Theodore Levitt, wrote that the failure of railroads could be explained in part by the myopic view that they were in the railroad business and not the transportation business, which left them vulnerable to competition from cars, trucks, and planes. Levitt argued that it's always better to define a business by what consumers want than by what a company can produce. What Business Are We In?

Obsess Over Your Customers, Not Your Rivals

Harvard Business Review

Theodore Levitt's classic theory -- in under two minutes. Dave Wheeler for HBR. The starting point of most competitive analysis is a question: Who is your competition? That’s because most companies view their competition as another brand, product, or service. But smart leaders and organizations go broader. The question is not who your competition is but what it is.

How Understanding Disruption Helps Strategists

Harvard Business Review

As Ted Levitt pointed out 55 years ago, companies develop significant myopia over time, only seeing things that are squarely in the mainstream of their market. Through the past 15 years my colleagues and I have wrestled with disruption in many contexts.

Searching for New Ideas in the Curious Things Your Customers Do

Harvard Business Review

Theodore Levitt's classic theory -- in under two minutes. Twenty five years ago Steve Hughes, now the CEO of Sunrise Strategic Partners, was walking through an orange juice plant when he had an epiphany that turned into a $500 million business. Hughes had just become executive vice-president of Tropicana, and he was touring facilities to try to learn about the business. He was in a plant and noticed some of the workers on a break.

To Survive, Health Care Data Providers Need to Stop Selling Data

Harvard Business Review

The late economist and marketing professor Theodore Levitt famously said “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.” Most data-driven healthcare IT (HCIT) providers aren’t going to survive. Their business models are at serious risk of failure in the next three to five years. To beat those odds, they need to evolve dramatically, and fast, to a point where they are not selling data at all.

Social Pressure Is a Better Motivator Than Money

Harvard Business Review

Consider another example made famous in Levitt and Dubner's Freakonomics. Upton Sinclair once wrote, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends upon him not understanding it."

The Strategic Value of APIs

Harvard Business Review

In the classic HBR article “Marketing Myopia, ” Theodore Levitt asked a provocative question: “What business are you really in?”

When Do Regulators Become More Important than Customers?

Harvard Business Review

With apologies to Ted Levitt , a new “Marketing Myopia 2.0” While working with a huge Russian hydrocarbon company in Texas last year, our innovation conversation quickly zeroed in on customers. Who was the energy giant’s most important customer?

Approximately Correct Is Better than Precisely Incorrect

Harvard Business Review

Levitt and Dubner, they of Freakonomics, offer a slightly more sophomoric example when they point out that the "average" adult in a global sample has one breast and one testicle. There's no such thing as an average customer. A Harvard Business School marketing professor named John Deighton once came up with a vivid analogy to illustrate this and show why a business should sub-segment its customer base.

Tesla’s New Strategy Is Over 100 Years Old

Harvard Business Review

Contrary to popular belief, Thomas Edison did not invent the lightbulb. Twenty or so inventors and labs had already come up with similar designs when he patented his in 1879. What Edison really invented was affordable and accessible electric light.

Why Big Companies Struggle to Market Online

Harvard Business Review

As HBS’s Ted Levitt pointed out decades ago, people don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill; they want something that will make a quarter-inch hole. Kenneth Andersson FOR HBR.

11 Books Every Young Leader Must Read

Harvard Business Review

It serves as a great introduction to other works by modern writers like Malcolm Gladwell and Steven Levitt, who translate theories from the social and physical sciences into everyday life. Recently, I wrote that leaders should be readers. Reading has a host of benefits for those who wish to occupy positions of leadership and develop into more relaxed, empathetic, and well-rounded people. One of the most common follow-up questions was, "Ok, so what should I read?". That's a tough question.