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Leap: Dave Gray Wants to Help You Connect with His New Book, The Connected Company

“The 21st Century is a terrible time to be a control freak.” ~ Alec Ross, US State Department

Dave Gray’s new book, The Connected Company, helps us understand that the old idea of control as the surest way to safety is dead. Companies that seek to control anything – their image, the market, customers, and employees – are fighting a losing battle. To really have control – to be competitive, relevant, and respected – companies must come alive. They have to learn how to learn. They have to be in close and constant contact with their customers and employees. In other words, they must become more human.

At first blush, this seems an impossible order for companies, particularly those with a long-standing history of doing their work their way. What is certain is that this MO that worked quite well in the past will not work going forward. Customers and employees have too many choices and too much information literally at their fingertips. More importantly, they have many channels to voice their experiences, concerns, opinions, and questions to a worldwide audience. So should big corporations throw in the towel? Is it even worth it to try to compete in this new world?

Dave Gray thinks so, but to do that they may need to throw out every preconceived notion they have about how to do business.

Incredibly organized, The Connected Company‘s counsel falls into 4 rough categories:

  • Find comfort (as well as challenge and fun) in complexity
  • Understand and appreciate the vital role of technology to everyone associated with a business
  • Blow up the silos and create self-governing teams
  • Experiment

In addition to giving solid advice to C-suite executives, Dave Gray’s road map is valuable for entrepreneurs (present and future) as well as employees in large corporations. Much of his advice comes back to the idea that service is everything. And in Gray’s world, service takes on a far greater context than calling the 1-800 number to reach a customer service representative. How we treat one another, be it in a business setting or otherwise, on the phone, online, and in-person, has everything to do with our future success because the impressions of others, and their ability to share their impressions, matter more than ever before. Everyone is watching, listening, and learning – every customer, employee, critic, and competitor.

Initially, this plain, honest truth is terrifying. Our first reaction may be to feel like we are on eggshells every minute. It’s tough to live that way. It’s stressful, uncomfortable, and unsustainable.

A better way forward is to admit and own the fact that we don’t know everything. We may have to face up to the idea that we actually don’t know much at all. But if we commit ourselves to closing our mouths and opening our ears, to listening for a far greater percentage of our time than we spend talking, then there is hope for us. To do that starting Monday morning, Dave Gray has some ideas for you in Chapter 22.

Get the book. Get connected. Get going.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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