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.
Clive King, who has died aged 94, was the author of several children's books and is best known for Stig of the Dump, the original and imaginative fantasy story of the friendship between Barney, a boy of the modern era, with Stig, a boy from long, long ago who lives in a nearby chalk pit in a home created from things he can creatively and skilfully repurpose from waste, including a chimney from tin cans and windows from glass bottles....
Films based on books might have the intolerable disadvantage of people smugly claiming "the book is so much better", but they also result in a huge boost at the box office.
According to new research from the Publishers Association, films based on books take 44% more at the box office in the UK and 53% more worldwide than original screenplays.
..."In short, published material is the basis of 52% of top UK films in the last 10 years, and accounts for an even higher share of revenue from these leading performers, at 61% of UK box office gross and 65% of worldwide gross," the report reads.
The New York Times has a rare interview with Anne Tyler to coincide with the publication of her latest novel, Clock Dance. Tyler rarely does interviews because she dislikes the way they make her feel the next morning. "I'll go upstairs to my writing room to do my regular stint of work and I'll probably hear myself blathering on about writing and I won't do a very good job that day. I always say that the way you write a novel is for the first 83 drafts you pretend that nobody is ever, ever going to read it."
The good news for fans is that Tyler has no plans to retire: "What happens is six months go by after I finish a book," she said "and I start to go out of my mind. I have no hobbies, I don't garden, I hate travel. The impetus is not inspiration, just a feeling that I better do this. There's something addictive about leading another life at the same time you're living your own." She paused and added: "If you think about it, it's a very strange way to make a living."
The New York Times reports on the changing face of the romance novel genre:
...The landscape is slowly starting to change, as more diverse writers break into the genre, and publishers take chances on love stories that reflect a broader range of experiences and don't always fit the stereotypical girl-meets-boy mold. Forever Yours, an imprint at Grand Central, publishes Karelia Stetz-Waters, who writes romances about lesbian couples. Uzma Jalaluddin's debut novel, Ayesha at Last, takes place in a close-knit immigrant Muslim community in Canada, and features an outspoken Muslim heroine who falls for a more conservative Muslim man, a Darcy to her Lizzie Bennett...
...."Readers want books that reflect the world they live in, and they won't settle for a book about a small town where every single person is white," said Leah Koch, co-owner of the romance bookstore the Ripped Bodice in Culver City, Calif. Last year, six of her store's top 10 best-selling novels were written by authors of color, Ms. Koch said.
Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient (Bloomsbury), the story of an injured, anonymous English WWII pilot and his Italian nurse, has been named the winner of the Golden Man Booker Prize, awarded to the best work of fiction previously awarded the Man Booker Prize over the last 50 years.
In a brief statement released late Tuesday afternoon, Barnes & Noble said CEO Demos Parneros (who had been named CEO in April 2017) had been terminated for "violations of the Company's policies." While not saying what policies Parneros violated, B&N said his termination "is not due to any disagreement with the Company regarding its financial reporting, policies, or practices or any potential fraud relating thereto." In addition to being fired immediately, Parneros will not receive any severance, B&N said. B&N said Parneros's removal was undertaken by its board of directors, who were advised by the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.
In his first interview since being accused of inappropriate behavior with women, celebrated novelist Junot Díaz adamantly denied the allegations, including a claim he once "forcibly kissed" writer Zinzi Clemmons.
Díaz, who was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, said he was "distressed," "confused," and "panicked" by the accusations, but insisted he had not bullied the women or been sexually inappropriate.
Harlan Ellison, a major figure in the New Wave of science fiction writers in the 1960s who became a legend in science fiction and fantasy circles for his award-winning stories and notoriously outspoken and combative persona, died this week 84. During his life, he wrote more than 1,700 stories, film and TV scripts. The Guardian recommends five of his best...
Donald Hall, a prolific and award-winning poet and man of letters who was widely admired for his sharp humor and painful candor about nature, mortality, baseball and the distant past, has died. He was 89.
Atlas Obscura explains the history behind the, arguably nonsensical, grammar rule about not ending a sentence with a preposition which, "all goes back to 17th-century England and a fusspot named John Dryden":
There are thousands of individual rules for proper grammatical use of any given language; mostly, these are created, and then taught, in order to maximize understanding and minimize confusion. But the English language prohibition against "preposition stranding"--ending a sentence with a preposition like with, at, or of--is not like this. It is a fantastically stupid rule that when followed often has the effect of mangling a sentence. And yet for hundreds of years, schoolchildren have been taught to create disastrously awkward sentences like "With whom did you go?"
...Born in 1631, John Dryden was the most important figure throughout the entire Restoration period of the late 17th century... Dryden twice stated an opposition to preposition stranding. In an afterword for one of his own plays, he criticized Ben Jonson for doing this, saying: "The preposition in the end of the sentence; a common fault with him, and which I have but lately observed in my own writing." Later, in a letter to a young writer who had asked for advice, he wrote: "In the correctness of the English I remember I hinted somewhat of concludding [sic] your sentences with prepositions or conjunctions sometimes, which is not elegant, as in your first sentence."
Dryden does not state why he finds this to be "not elegant." And yet somehow this completely unexplained, tiny criticism, buried in his mountain of works, lodged itself in the grammarian mind, and continued to be taught for hundreds of years later. This casual little comment would arguably be Dryden's most enduring creation.