“Every company is running for office. To win, give the voters what they want.”

Alan M. Webber

The title of this post is one of the 52 “truths for winning at business” that Alan M. Webber discusses in Rules of Thumb, published by HarperCollins (2009). Here is a composite of brief excerpts from the book.

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So what do American voters want?

I’d start with the most fundamental of all qualities: Americans are uniquely practical. We want things that work…We Americans pride ourselves on our ability to get things done. We do what it takes to make things happen, and we want products and services that do the same.

The second fundamental American attribute is adaptability. Among all nations in the world we are unique in our steadfast belief that everything, including ourselves, can be made better…

Third, we Americans have always been obsessed with innovation. What’s new, what’s next, what’s never been done before – these are intrinsically American concerns…

What do voters want from our companies?

We want things that work. We want to be able to make them work better. And we want to find things that both work better and are innovative. Three qualities that aren’t mutually exclusive. They’re mutually reinforcing.

Have you got what the voters want?

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Alan M. Webber is an award-winning, nationally-recognized editor, author, and columnist. In 1995, he co-founded Fast Company magazine with William Taylor. In 2000 the magazine was sold to Gruner + Jahr. Last year Webber stepped down from his full-time editorial responsibilities, but has retained his title and contributing role as founding editor.

Previously, Webber was managing editor and editorial director of the Harvard Business Review. Stone. In addition to Rules of Thumb, he also co-authored Changing Alliances and Going Global. His articles and columns have appeared in The New York Times Sunday magazine, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications.

He cordially invites you to visit his website.


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