The difference between management and leadership
Managers work to get their employees to do what they did yesterday, but a little faster and a little cheaper.
Leaders, on the other hand, know where they’d like to go, but understand that they can’t get there without their tribe, without giving those they lead the tools to make something happen.
Managers want authority. Leaders take responsibility.
We need both. But we have to be careful not to confuse them. And it helps to remember that leaders are scarce and thus more valuable.
Posted by Seth Godin on October 22, 2011 | Permalink
When the form changes, so does the underlying business model, which of course changes the function as well.
Mail —> email
Books —> ebooks
DVD —> YouTube/Netflix
1040 —> Online taxes
Visa —> Paypal
Open outcry —> Electronic trading
Voice call centers —> forums and online chat
Direct mail —> permission marketing
In each case, the original players in the legacy industry decided that the new form could be bolted onto their existing business model. And in each case they were wrong. Speed and marginal cost and ubiquity and a dozen other elements of digitalness changed the interaction itself, and so the function changes too.
The question that gets asked about technology, the one that is almost always precisely the wrong question is, “How does this advance help our business?”
The correct question is, “how does this advance undermine our business model and require us/enable us to build a new one?”
There are projects that are possible with ebooks or Kickstarter or email that could never have worked in an analog universe. Most of the money made in the stock market today is via trading approaches that didn’t even exist thirty years ago.
When a change in form comes to your industry, the first thing to discover is how it will change the function.