Blues Clues for Success - AchieveMax® Top Ten Book Review
Blue's Clues for Success: The 8 Secrets Behind A Phenomenal Business by Diane Tracy
In a previous book review, I warned readers not to judge a book by its cover. I feel compelled to once again issue that warning.
When you first spot this bold blue cover, you see the name of a popular children's cable TV show accompanied by the blank stare of an animated puppy who appears to be in search of the nearest fire hydrant. That's two good reasons for me to question the position of this particular book in the business section of my favorite book store and to keep browsing for something of more substance. However, I strive to walk my talk, when possible, so I delved a little deeper. In addition, I must admit that I did recognize both the name and the animation as a result of long conversations with my eight grandchildren. I must also admit that I still struggled to make a connection between this Nickelodeon icon and useful business wisdom. My curiosity led to investigative browsing, purchase of the book, and an enjoyable and enlightening read.
To my pleasant surprise, this wasn't a revealing expose' of an animated puppy and her 20-something live male sidekick. Instead, I found a blueprint for achieving phenomenal success if you simply "clue into" your mission, customer, research, technology, work processes, brand, leadership, and culture!
I guess my next question dealt with my motive for seeking business wisdom from a team of young people who have turned a children's television program into an extraordinary business triumph. It didn't take me very long to answer that question.
Blue's Clues, which hit the airwaves in 1996, now has over 13 million viewers in 60 countries and had earned about $1 billion in licensing products in the year 2000 alone. More than 8 million kids and parents tune into Nickelodeon each week to watch Blue's Clues. Today this same business is generating over $3 billion in merchandising various products. This business has also spawned several best selling books, videos, CDs, and thousands of other consumer products. It's a business that reaches millions of people in more than 60 countries each week. It's a business that has changed the lives of its customers in a positive, educational way. This magical business is not a fantasy. Since 1996, Nickelodeon's Blue's Clues not only has become one of the most popular and successful shows for preschoolers in television history, it also has literally changed the way children watch television with its interactive approach.
Such success provides much rich case study material. Executive coach Tracy presents a hybrid case study/business guide based on the creative culture of Blue's Clues. The show employs a deceptively simple concept, yet its creators succeed by expertly doing what cutting-edge management books say to do: walk the talk, live the vision, and discipline yourself to be the best in every aspect of your business.
Readers will learn:
- What can happen when leaders of an organization put their egos and self-interests aside for the accomplishment of a worthy mission.
- The power of relationship, and how trust in one another, from the top down, can break through enormous barriers.
- How a clear, grounded vision can allow individuals to push through their own personal barriers and limitations to create something truly phenomenal.
Author Diane Tracy reveals the eight principles behind the success of this amazing show for the business community. She will take you into the Blue's Clues' offices and studios and introduce you to the creators, the animators, the live host, the writers, the producers, and the executives who have turned this show into a phenomenal success.
Blue's Clues for Success provides the eight clues to achieving phenomenal success. Learn why the following clues are fundamental to business success and how to apply them:Mobilize the energy in your organization by turning your MISSION into a "mantra."
Know your CUSTOMER, love your customer, and make them the focus of everything you do.
Stay connected to your customer through RESEARCH-and lots of it!
Be the master of, not a slave to, your TECHNOLOGY. Use it creatively.
Create WORK PROCESSES that serve your customers and enable your people to do their best.
BRAND your product or company. Know what you want to be and live up to it.
Provide LEADERSHIP that meets the needs of people, so they can meet the needs of customers.
Consciously manage your CULTURE the way you manage every other aspect of your business.
One intriguing thread to this book is the level of balance that the Blue's Clues team seems to have across all of these clues. If companies could harness the imagination and creativity of the "child within" their people, they would have no competition. Blue's Clues for Success will help organizations and individuals tap into this energizing resource to realize their potential and lead more profitable, satisfying businesses.
At some level this book represents an interesting case study of how living out these clues can contribute to a vibrant business. Equally interesting is that each business must search for the answers to these clues and they will be different for each business. To be effective these clues must be answered with the specifics of your mission, business, customers, technology and processes.
More than 100 business book reviews written by Harry K. Jones are available at www.AchieveMax.com/books/index.htm">http://www.AchieveMax.com/books/.
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www.AchieveMax.com/motivational-speaker-harry.htm">Harry K. Jones is a professional speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a firm specializing in custom-designed keynote presentations, seminars, and consulting services. Harry has made presentations ranging from leadership to employee retention and time management to stress management for a number of industries, including education, financial, government, healthcare, hospitality, and manufacturing. He can be reached at 800-886-2MAX or by visiting www.AchieveMax.com">http://www.AchieveMax.com.
Jean Fritz, an award-winning writer whose work helped transform historical biographies for children from leaden recitals of battles and dates into warm, human narratives full of quirks and crotchets and satisfyingly strange facts, died on Sunday at her home in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. She was 101.
The author of more than four dozen books, Mrs. Fritz was known in particular for her biographies of many of the signal figures of 18th- and 19th-century American history.
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Petrocelli said that the law's "expensive mandates--with voluminous reporting requirements and draconian penalties--create a nightmare for independent booksellers that thrive on author events and book signings. Consumers will also suffer. The tradition of author events at bookstores, with opportunities for direct interaction between writers and readers, will be shattered. The cost of record-keeping and major liability threaten to make book signings impossible, and stores such as mine do not want to engage in the massive intrusion on customer privacy that is mandated by the law's reporting rules."
Several publishers and authors organizations have officially joined the many book world people criticizing Amazon's new policy allowing third-party booksellers to "bid" for the primary spot in buy buttons.
A statement from the Authors Guild called the move "deeply disturbing" and said it "has the potential to decimate authors' and publishers' earnings from many books, especially backlist books." It noted, too, that the policy might be connected with Amazon's desire to force publishers to use its print-on-demand services, if POD availability will essentially guarantee a top spot on buy buttons. Such an arrangement, the Guild wrote, "looks an awful lot like a 'tying' arrangement under the antitrust law."
The statement concluded: "Amazon has already done enough damage in the book industry. It has devalued books by setting the price and consumer expectations for e-books and hard copy books artificially low, even taking a loss to do so. And it extracts an unreasonable fee from the sale of any book through its site, as compared to the services it provides, and charges extra for things it calls 'marketing services,' such as making a book discoverable on its site. Amazon gets away with this because it has monopoly and monopsony power over the retail book industry. Without a fair and open publishing marketplace, publishers will soon lose the ability to invest in the books that advance our knowledge and culture."
A new program from Amazon is drawing a range of reactions from those across the publishing industry, from fear to downright anger. The e-tailer has started allowing third-party book re-sellers to "win" buy buttons on book pages. The program, publishers, agents, and authors allege, is discouraging customers from buying new books, negatively affecting sales and revenue.
Once every 10 years Granta issues a special issue focused on new American fiction, "showcasing the young novelists deemed to be the best of their generation--writers of remarkable achievement and promise, still in their twenties and thirties."
It's Best of Young American Novelists of 2017 list includes "21 outstanding writers who capture the preoccupations of modern America." The authors are: Jesse Ball, Halle Butler, Emma Cline, Joshua Cohen, Mark Doten, Jen George, Rachel B Glaser, Lauren Groff, Yaa Gyasi, Garth Risk Hallberg, Greg Jackson, Sana Krasikov, Catherine Lacey, Ben Lerner, Karan Mahajan, Anthony Marra, Dinaw Mengestu, Ottessa Moshfegh, Chinelo Okparanta, Esmé Weijun Wang, and Claire Vaye Watkins.
Robert M. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, died yesterday at age 88.
First published in 1974 by William Morrow, the book was a spectacularly popular philosophy book that was loosely autobiographical, tracing a father-son motorcycle trip and flashbacks to a period in which the author was diagnosed as schizophrenic. Its thesis was that quality is the basis of reality, and that this understanding unifies most East Asian and Western thought. Pirsig called this system of thought the Metaphysics of Quality.
Bestselling author John Grisham will celebrate the publication of his 30th novel, Camino Island ( June 6), with his first bookstore tour in 25 years. On his website, Grisham shares the schedule and event guidelines for the tour, which will feature a book signing and discussion/q&a at each of twelve stops.