Life(style) Reviewer

[BOOK REVIEW] Patrick Dixon, Building a Better Business (2005)

dixonPatrick Dixon was one of the keynote speakers at the Churches Media Council conference in 2007, at which I had a training place. Dixon is a futurologist – predicting forthcoming trends and advising businesses on their strategy/working practices based on this. Quite a move from his original medical background where he specialised in AIDS/cancer … but it won’t surprise you to know that he has an ethical stance on working practice.

I’m fascinated by seeing Christians at work in the ‘real world’ – and this guy, said to be one of the 50 most influential businessmen in the UK is an inspiration – keen to get his ideas out he gives many away for free (this is how it will be in the future, he said, why fight it?), took time out to speak to all us Academy trainees at the conference, and expounds ethical, work-life balance, business ideas which work in the real business world. A great book which belies the feeling of some that being a Christian and making money in business can’t go together. I disappeared in a different direction before I had time to read it, but there’s definitely more in it for me!!

This book is a guide to management, marketing and motivation, covering issues ranging from team leadership and change management to corporate governance, branding and marketing. Some of the points it covers:

  • People will only follow you if they see that you’re ahead, are convinced you know the route, trust you, and want to get there too.
  • Life’s too short to sell things you don’t believe in.
  • The future of marketing belongs to honest information, accurate data and clear claims based on truth.
  • Every product and service is sold on the promise of a better future. The purpose of business is to deliver on the promise, and profit is the reward for doing so.
  • Business strategy is the battleplan for the future.
  • You can have the greatest strategy in the world, but what is the point if no one cares?
  • Connect with all the passions people have – for themselves, their families, their communities and wider world – and they will follow you to the ends of the earth, buy your products and services with pride, and may even be willing to work with you for next to nothing.
  • When you have been close to death it makes you think about life.
  • Give people a convincing reason and they will lay down their very lives.
  • All the most powerful speeches ever made point to a better future.
  • You cannot have strong leadership without passion.
  • Mission is at the heart of what you do as a team. Goals are merely steps to its achievement.

Prepared for use as an Oak Hall Leader.