'Re-capitalism,' 'good dumb' ideas, and other gems from 70 big thinkers

Seth Godin assembles 70 deep thoughts on being connected, capitalism, vision, autonomy, power, and all the other things that make us tick.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer on

Talk about putting things in perspective. Seth Godin recently put together an ebook titled What Matters Now, which features the observations of 70 of today's most provocative thought leaders. The book is free, and available for download -- and packed full of wisdom on improving business, life, and the world around us.

Here are just a few nuggets:

Connected: "There are tens of thousands of businesses making many millions a year in profits that still haven’t ever heard of Twitter, blogs or Facebook. Are they all wrong? Have they missed out or is the joke really on us? They do business through personal relationships, by delivering great customer service and it’s working for them.... More megaphones don’t equal a better dialogue." - Howard Mann

Re-Capitalism: "The shapes of companies will change as the world changes around them. What changes? Two big ones. The world's growth will no longer come from high-income economies.... Second, just as industrial technology shaped the society of the United States' in the 20th century, information technology will be the basis of the digital native economies of the 21st."  -Chris Meyer

Vision: "In a down economy... things get very tactical. We are just trying to survive.... Decisions become pragmatic. But after a while this wears on people.... This is where great leadership makes all the difference. Leadership is more than influence. It is about reminding people of what it is we are trying to build—and why it matters. It is about painting a picture of a better future."  - Michael Hyatt

Autonomy: "Management is great if you want people to comply – to do specific things a certain way. But it stinks if you want people to engage – to think big or give the world something it didn’t know it was missing.  For creative, complex, conceptual challenges... self-direction works better.... After a decade of truly spectacular underachievement, what we need now is less management and more freedom – fewer individual automatons and more autonomous individuals." -Daniel Pink

Power: "Power remains cloaked in mystery and emotion, the organization’s last dirty secret...  Power comes from an ability to build your reputation, create efficient and effective networks of social relations, act and speak in ways that build influence, and from an ability to create and employ resources—things that others want and need. Stop waiting around for bosses and companies to get better and complaining about how are you treated...." - Jeffrey Pfeffer

Dumb: "How do you tell a good dumb idea from a bad dumb one? Good dumb ideas create polarization. Some people will get it immediately and shower it with praise and affection. Others will say it’s ignorant and impossible and run for the hills. The fiercer the polarization, the smarter your dumb idea." - Dave Balter

"Slow" Capital: "We need to embrace 'slow capital....'  Slow capital doesn’t rush to conclusions and doesn’t expect entrepreneurs to do so either.... Slow capital starts small and grows with the company as it grows....   Slow capital takes the time to understand the company and the people who make it up." -Fred Wilson

Iterative Capital: "Financial capital, human capital, intellectual capital and social capital are tremendous resources for entrepreneurship and value creation. But the endowment exponentially supercharging tomorrow’s growth investments can best be described as ‘iterative capital.’ Iterative capital is the best currency in the world for rapidly researching, developing and evolving ideas into innovation." - Michael Schrage

Government 2.0: "How does government become an open platform that allows people inside and outside government to provide better services to each other? In this model, government is a convener and an enabler rather than the first mover of civic action." -Tim O'Reilly

Ease: "We are the strivingest people who have ever lived. We are ambitious, time-starved, competitive, distracted....  Dear ones, EASE UP. Pump the brakes. Take a step back. Seriously. Take two steps back. Turn
off all your electronics and surrender over all your aspirations and do absolutely nothing for a spell...." - Elizabeth Gilbert

What would Buddha tweet? "We have never had more communications tools at our disposal, and yet we have never been less effective at communicating." - Mark Rovner

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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