Going deep in a narrow space for great success. An interview with William Vanderbloemen…
Understanding engagement and how ideas connect with an audience.
An interview with Scott Gould about defining engagement and refining ideas for the greatest impact.
How does a thought leader get an audience to take notice, remember, and actively use the content you are putting out?
To get a firm grasp of exactly what engagement means and how to get your audience there, I’ve invited Scott Gould to join me. Scott is a consultant, speaker, and author of The Shape of Engagement: The Art of Building Enduring Connections with Your Customers, Employees, and Communities.
Our conversation begins with Scott not only defining what engagement is but how he has broken out into three types. Head, Hands, and Heart engagement – while each is very different, we learn how they act as building blocks on each other to create deeper connections between you, your idea, and your audience.
A big part of having an audience become engaged is presenting an idea that is easy to understand and remember. Scott shares his process for distilling an idea down to the essentials, which sometimes means blowing the idea up to something huge first!
In this episode, Scott offers great insight for taking ideas from brainstorming to living in the heart of an audience!
- Properly defining the topic you want your thought leadership to center around is one of the biggest jobs that you have.
- The name of an idea is incredibly important. People engage with ideas when it is easy to remember the essence of that idea.
- Sharpening ideas to the finest point often involves discarding ideas that you like but don’t connect with your audience.
If you need a strategy to bring your thought leadership to market, Thought Leadership Leverage can assist you! Contact us for more information. In addition, we can help you implement marketing, research, and sales. Let us help you so you can devote yourself to what you do best.
Bill Sherman Is your audience engaged with your idea or are they ho hum about it? Are you engaged with your own ideas and can you feel comfortable repeating them again and again at the 1 to 1 level to new audiences? Engagement is some of the most challenging work of thought leadership. Without it, it’s not going to create impact either. You’ll be missing something within your own spark or you won’t light a spark within others. So today I’ve invited Scott Gould, the author of The Shape of Engagement, to talk with me about the intersection of ideas, thought, leadership and engagement. We talked about frameworks and the hard work of sharpening your framework. Scott and I also talked about why ideas need engagement to spread. And we talked about evangelizing your ideas. I’m Bill Sherman, and you’re listening to leveraging Thought leadership. Ready? Let’s begin. Welcome to the show, Scott.
Scott Gould Thanks for having me, Bill. It’s great to be here.
Bill Sherman So I want to begin with a conversation about engagement, and that’s going to be the running theme through today. And I know this is a topic that you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about. And in fact, the title of your book is The Shape of Engagement. So let’s do a level set. What is engagement and how do you define it?
Scott Gould That’s the million dollar question. Anyone who’s a thought leader who’s listening to this knows that defining the subject that you’re talking about is often one of the biggest jobs that you have, creating some sense of common and shared nomenclature as a great pastime of us thought leadership people. I define engagement as togetherness. If you’ve got you and me and we remain separate as you and me, we’re unengaged. When you and me creates, we are engaged. And so engagement is togetherness. Now, that’s very generic, but it actually suits most scenarios. If somebody is engaged to be married, it means that they are together to be more together in marriage. If two military forces are engaged in a conflict, it means that they are together in battle. If you have if you’re at the gym and you’re bit of equipment that you’re using, the pin is engaged. If it’s in the hallways and if it’s together with the whole. And if your employees are engaged, it means they are together with you, as opposed to being separate and working or thinking or being at odds with what your organization wants to do. Same with customers. Same with audiences. Right. So engagement is togetherness. We can break it down a little bit more in the engagement is togetherness. In one of three areas, we can talk about head engagement, which is do people cognitively understand you? Are they together with you in the mind? We can then talk about hands engagement, forgive me, hands Engagement, which is a people’s behaviors and actions together with you. And this is, you know, kind of what we would think of in terms of audience engagement in a moment or experience design is are people really experiencing are they emotionally right here with us? Right. The height of that could be, you know, when we enter a state of flow and then we finally have the third type of engagement, which is not in the mind and it’s not in the body, it’s in the heart. And this is what we can think of as hard engagement or affective engagement or social engagement. And it’s really to do with the bonds that we have with something, for example, that I use is I’m not talking with my wife and wife and I’m not thinking about my wife right now. I’m not with my wife right now. I’m not surfing with my wife right now, but I am deeply bonded to my wife. And so therefore, we have those three different types that you and I right now or anyone listening. You are cognitively engaged with this. And Bill and I are behaviorally engaged because we are both here. And I can look into his eyes right now and he can look into mine. So we are physically in the same space. And then finally, affective engagement really would be the sense of bonding, which may be as a listener of this podcast, you have an affective form of engagement with Bill and the work that they do here.
Bill Sherman So let me ask a question. Are the three types of being with an engagement, are they arranged in a hierarchy in your mind or the is it possible to be affectively engaged but not cognitively? For example, can your head not be in it but your heart is?
Scott Gould It’s a really good question. We know that these three different types of forms of engagement can be measured by different mechanisms, particularly an FMRI scanner will look at the different areas of the brain that light up, and not just the brain, but the body, the presence of certain neurochemicals. So yes, you can be one without the other in the moment, certainly. However, the way that you get to Hand’s engagement is through head engagement. People can’t do unless they know. And the way you get to hard engagement is through hands, engagement. People can’t be unless they’ve done something because we are what we do. So you have this sense of in the moment, you can be one, you can be one or the other. Like right now I am affectively engaged with my wife. I’m not behaviorally engaged. I’m not with her, nor am I thinking about her. However, the only reason why I can be engaged with my wife is because I have We’ve done a lot together over the years. And also I know her really well and she knows me. So you can see how they kind of act as building blocks. Something engages your head and engages your hands and engages your heart. And then because something has engaged your heart, it engages your head in a new way. And then that reengage is your body in a new way and that reengage your heart in a new way. And so we have this one looking to set a call process that goes on.
Bill Sherman So I want to ask a question and relate engagement to the engagement of an idea. Right. Yeah. Which is what we do with all leadership is how do you disseminate an idea and get people to go, Yeah, I like that. I’m going to put that to practice, right? Yeah, and that’s a meta conversation, but that’s exactly what we need to have here, because if you’re practicing thought leadership, you can be standing on the street corner, you know, here on Las Vegas Boulevard, and you can be shouting your idea. But if no one is paying attention, if no one is engaged and they’re all walking from Caesars to the Bellagio to go watch the fountains because they’re going to, you know, do their spray in the next 5 minutes, you haven’t achieved engagement. You could also be giving a keynote in front of an audience. And you know, they’re going, man is in 45 minutes, you know, And they’re like, yeah, just watch it.
Scott Gould Just hold on. We’re almost there.
Bill Sherman Yeah, Yeah. So you could have the greatest idea and have an audience that is not paying attention. How do you make that work? Because I think that’s deeply relevant for anyone who’s practicing thought leadership.
Scott Gould You’ve put forward a really great case and let’s just. Let’s go a little bit more meta for a moment, which is. Engagement is just a fancy word for relationship. Mm hmm. Right. Quality of relationship. Relationship building. Engaging is building a relationship. And we can engage with objects or ideas or people or things or brands. And all of these are relationships. It’s interesting. You know, there’s a lot of people who talk about employee engagement, and then there are others who talk about community engagement, and then there are others who talk about audience engagement or user engagement as if they’re all separate, but they’re all the same. They all describe, how do people build a relationship with your thing, whatever your thing is, and if your thing is an idea or you yeah, you you’re saying your organization, what have you. When we’re talking about engaging with an idea, I think we’re talking about engagement is most beautiful form for me because ideas have this wonderful power, don’t they? Right. They have this incredible power. I used to be a church minister, so I’ve got a lot of experience in how people engage with an idea, that idea being the religion, which is. We know you I can’t physically say to you his Jesus or Buddha or Muhammad or whatnot. But then what we have is we have all of these physical manifestations and things as well. I find that really fascinating. So religion can teach us a lot about it. So let’s go on the journey of how you engage with an idea. The first thing about engagement, the idea head engagement is I have to know the idea exists.
Bill Sherman There’s an awareness component, right?
Scott Gould Yeah, an acknowledgment. Acknowledgment that there is this concept out there called this. And it means this. And actually, probably most ideas die because enough people don’t hear about them. So that’s your first thing is getting someone just know about you is a fair amount of work. The second thing that is if they do have a chance of knowing about me, will, without knowing, cut through the other messages out there and land in them. So this is the head engagement part. The things that engage the head best have what is called affective context, which means they have an existing interest in that idea. The idea has commonality with them in some way. To put it. In my parlance, you best engage someone’s head when their heart already cares about the idea.
Bill Sherman And I think this is a matter of understanding your audience and knowing how to meet them on ground they are familiar with. Right, Because it is so easy. And I think it’s the curse of knowledge to talk about your idea from the perspective of the lovely nuance, the depth, the richness. You know, you and I, if we’ve been thinking about an idea for 20 years, we’re going to be talking at that level. Can we scale that down and go? Let’s remember, for people who are encountering this idea for the first time.
Scott Gould Yeah. Well, so here’s setting an example. One of the best ideas I think, out there is Dan Pink’s work on motivation and drive. Mm hmm. Right. As a great guy. Yeah. And he actually took this preexisting concept of self-determination theory and made it really popular by making it easy to understand. Which, again, is the problem with a lot of academia and why lots of books are popular these days that basically take an academic idea, but make it knowable. Mm hmm. So they. So what Dan did is he called it motivation 2.0. And immediately by calling it just that, we’ve got a great sense of commonality. If you call it motivation 2.0 and he released that book in the nineties, it wouldn’t have landed because 2.0 is a web 2.0. It’s the Web 2.0. So it had to come post 2526. Also, Web two described revolution. So calling it to point out merely describes a sense of revolution. Then he called it motivation to point out at a time when people were really curious about motivation. So in that it lands. I’ve got someone else who calls their idea the sense choice change matrix, and I struggle. It just doesn’t land. It’s too many words. I struggle to remember the order of the words. And I’m sure, I’m sure it’s very good, but it just doesn’t land. It’s not a kernel of a drop there. So that’s an immediate issue, is just naming it something that actually just helps it land in your head.
Bill Sherman Well, and to build on that, I think of Daniel Kahneman’s work kind of in diversity at two levels. Right. So there’s the academic research on behavioral economics and saying, hey, we are not rational. Right. And then there’s the second layer with the book, which is called Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow. It’s a 700 page book, but you’re like, Oh, okay, that sounds interesting. I’ll dig in. Similarly, I think about someone that both you and I know and his framework. Joe Pine. Right. So the phrase the experience economy, when he put that book out, people were like, what is this? I don’t understand the framework. I don’t get it. Now people know exactly what they’re talking about. It takes time, even for a good term or a good idea to land with the audience. And the larger your audience, I think the more time it takes and the more repetition it takes for people to go, Yeah, I get this.
Scott Gould Yeah, I mean, there’s a few things to say there, and I don’t want to get drawn off track, but thinking The book by Daniel Kahneman is actually called Thinking Fast and Slow. Yes, Not thinking fast and thinking slow or thinking fast and thinking slow. And no one has ever read that book completely. Everyone stalls halfway along the point. Mm hmm. And he actually has actually retracted much of it. But the idea, the central idea of system one, System two is has kind of stuck around and a system one system two that sticks. Take Joe’s work with the experience economy. What helped him was the article was published in HPR, and then the book was published by HPR that really helped them. And then it took him ten years, he would say, for the idea to really get traction. But the market was changing and we were seeing it explode. And now the word the experience economy, the phrase is ubiquitous and everywhere.
Bill Sherman It’s part of the business lexicon, right?
Scott Gould It is part of the business lexicon. But I would wager that part, the fact that it’s alliteration makes it stick. Mm hmm. I think if he’d called it something different, it might not have stuck. We have the gig economy in the creator economy, so maybe they stick around, but other phrases don’t stick around. I don’t think the engagement economy is ever going to land. It’s just too many words. So I know I’m being really persnickety here. But I think a key thing of what makes somebody engage with an idea is that it is easy to remember the essence of the idea. And the essence of the idea is held in the ideas name. So when people call something, it’s a little bit abstract. It just doesn’t really land and it has to be a bit novel, but it has to be really memorable. The OODA loop is a phrase that we use to describe military dogfights in the air, and it means observe, orientate, decide and act. But just ooda It kind of makes you remember it. OODA You know how many things that they have got a snazzy acronym. So now we can think about the Heath Brothers, right? And they grind their acronyms or we can think of steps we have with them. Joan, a burger and so forth. This just a well-worn path, right? Good ideas are just really memorable. And I do think you could you hear a good sermon. You’re getting a good example in how to construct an idea that’s memorable enough that when people leave, they remembered it because they designed it to be memorable. They designed it to hook on the common things. So hence the great ideas. Yeah, they use common concepts and they add in something novel and that’s the way it stacks well.
Bill Sherman And let’s layer in on the novel piece. Often it’s provocative in some way where someone will say, Oh, I haven’t thought about that this way before, right? You have to get people wanting to chew on it and you can do it through data, you can do it through story, you can use it through metaphor or parable. There’s a number of different toys, but you’re trying to get someone to that cognitive point where they’re wrestling with the idea and say, What does this mean to me?
Scott Gould Yeah, You’re going to touch upon their comfort and their discomfort at the same time. So it’s and you go do it in a shorter sentence. Possible. So when you find somebody who’s got a really good idea, just the hearing of it lands. You know, I haven’t got to that place yet with my concept. So I talk about engagement, but I’ve not yet got to a point where I can describe it in a sentence and it jumps in. I’m working towards it, but I’ve not got that yet. So if we think about engaging with an idea, you’ve got knowing head engagement, an idea, then need you to perform the hands engagement. You need to be able to do it. I better do it quickly. Mm hmm. Which is why I think the best frameworks enable you to quickly change the way that you’re thinking about an idea. Really, really quickly. They contain within them the seeds of action. So again, if you’ve got a more abstract framework that takes a while for you to get your head around, or you look at it on a page and you’re like, what? You can’t act. Whereas the great frameworks are great ideas. You can actually if we take again down pink with drive and motivation 2.0. One of the main things there is autonomy, just so I can immediately go, okay, let me give somebody a choice rather than choosing for them. You can do that immediately. Then the last thing of heart engagement is then can it become part of someone? And again, I think the best ideas they become part of you. Because you can say, right, I will now give people choices. Whereas again, a more abstract framework, it’s hard to know how do I carry this with me? How do I put it in my pocket? So I think that’s an additional thing, right? Again, so you find the best ideas are actually really simple, really mobile. I mean, I think a great one is Red Sky at Night. Shepherd’s delight. Okay, I got it. All right. It’s easy to know you can do something about it, because if you see red sky at night, you know it’s going to be nice. And if it’s red sky morning, you know, to be a little bit worried that when I was a kid, I used to hear that recited. I used to think it was an apocalyptic warning. Right, Sky Morning Shepherd’s warning. It sounds like the end of the world. And then finally, it becomes part of who you are. You just know to then behave accordingly. So I think that’s a great example.
Bill Sherman If you’re enjoying this episode of Leveraging Thought Leadership, please make sure to subscribe. If you’d like to help spread the word about our podcast, please leave a five-star review at ratethispodcast.com/ltl and share it with your friends. We’re available on Apple Podcasts and on all major listing apps as well as ThoughtLeadershipLeverage.com/podcasts.
So let’s now turn back to the distillation of the idea for yourself. How has that journey been? Because you said I haven’t cracked the code on it. I’m assuming there are many in our audience that are going, Wow, I wish I could. And how do I do that? What do I try? So I want to ask you, how have you tried to distill it down to that one self enacting idea or phrase? Your red sky moment, if we will?
Scott Gould Yeah, Red sky and I. Anyone listening to this who is a thought leader in any way in an organization or writing that book, coming up with the speech knows it can be agony. Is it’s like writing a book, It’s writing an opus, and you’ve got to constantly trim off the stuff that you like, but your audience doesn’t necessarily vibe with. You look at my notebook, you will find that I have journaled over and over again the same things over and over again. My process was a bit funny. I was doing a blog in 2009, 2010. I noticed that social media was not just around the media, it was around the method underneath it, something around the mindset. So I began just playing around with what makes somebody more social or less social. I then began playing around with two by two matrixes to try and describe this, and I began to play around with light levels. And then I went off and I went to be a church minister and I. But noticed that the models that I’d found worked in work, also worked at church, and that what I found worked to church, had worked at work. So I found that there was this thing around. There’s something deeper, I guess, that I was trying.
Bill Sherman Well, and strangely, the people at work are often the same people who are in church. And it’s just a change of context, right?
Scott Gould Oh, precisely. Yeah. Bang on. Precisely. And then I began to like I began to let go of my framework. And I what I’ve always done with my frameworks is I’ve always gone Right. Where’s the fat here? Where’s the step? That doesn’t need to be in there. Where’s the bit that I could fold into something else? And I had these seven steps that I to get down to six. And then I tried to get them down to five, and it just didn’t. It didn’t fit. Every thought experiment I did just did not fit in the five. So I was like, okay, I’ll land on six. But even now, sometimes I still debate the order.
Bill Sherman There’s two levels.
Scott Gould Four and five within the six kind of stages of engagement, I still, still debate with myself. And then, you know, I then went to academic research and began to find other people to come to similar conclusions. And I say, okay, that doesn’t mean I’m a genius. I think what it means is. This is an intuitive concept that if you think about it, people seem to come to the same conclusion, right? That was the way I looked at it. You know that thing of when people discover the same thing at the same time around the world and they never even knew each other. And it’s kind of like that, although at the same time, maybe it’s years apart, but you read books and you go, Oh, wow, they are saying the exact same thing that I’m saying. They’re even using the same words. And you go, Right, That’s because it’s intuitive. So I think you begin to find affirmation. I think that’s a key thing. But then you challenge yourself, Right? Let’s go deeper. And something that I had an issue with was I wanted to visually explain my idea far more powerfully than I was. And during the pandemic, I had a lot of time on my hands. Well, I see a lot of time on my hands, actually. I was having to homeschool three children, so I probably had less time than some people, but I had a bit of time and I began to play around with the three shapes of circle, triangle and square, which are for those who are interested, you know, they they’re in the PlayStation and controllers with the X, but they go back further and they were the symbols that were used in the powerhouse design movement quite heavily. And I have a book on my shelf, the power house, so everyone can see the shapes there. And I began to play around with these shapes and I just thought, could I attack a shape to a form of engagement? There were three forms of engagement. There are three forms of shape. Which way round would I do it? Ironically, I’d already written my book called The Shape of Engagement Using Other Shapes. I was like, Can I just take this even further? And I and I began to, with the constraint of using these shapes, I began to really reframe the way I was thinking about engagement. And it was it was like it was meant to be. I guess it really worked.
Bill Sherman Well, and I think. What I’ve seen in the past is it takes a while to get into that. What I would describe as a flow state of idea generation. And when you have it and you’re like, Wait a minute, I can push this idea further. I can make it cleaner. I can simplify it. And then all of a sudden, you’re working at a different level. It doesn’t feel like a struggle as much anymore. The things that have been sort of simmering in the back of your head. All of a sudden you’re like, Oh, this is what I’ve been trying to say.
Scott Gould Yeah, I think those do come. I’ve had a few of those. Okay. So my experience has been a bit different. My experience has been, well, that high. I go really deep. I make it too complex, but I go really deep. Then I come out, I take some time away. I come out and I go, Right. Now let me simplify this and then I chop away at it. This is what you do. If you were to bodybuilding and bodybuilding, you have a face called bulking, which is where you eat loads and you’d lift loads of weights and you put on as much muscle as you can. Then you have a phase called cutting where you then chisel in to your self and you eat less and you go on diet and you lose some muscle, but you trim your skin around the muscle and you look amazing. Apparently I’ve never done I don’t have the stomach for that. And I and if you’ve ever done that, though, I did do the bulking phase and it’s hard to eat the amount of calories that you need to eat. And I found that I just needed to basically just go over the top with the ideas. I needed to just go idea crazy and then take some time away. And then I saw a new synthesis that I didn’t see previously.
Bill Sherman So I want to ask you a question. How do you stay engaged with the concept of engagement? How do you keep your fire lit?
Scott Gould Yeah. I mean, look, we all know this. The classic example is, you know, the worldwide band like U2 that plays its classics every night. It’s residency in Vegas, right? They’re not playing. And the tricky is can you play Still haven’t found what I looking what I’m looking for like you love it after playing it 500 times a thousand.
Bill Sherman The illusion Well it’s theater too right? And it’s live performance of the How do you make that first time for your audience as magical as your first time? Play it.
Scott Gould But and I’m sure people listening to this know that the myth of creativity is that it’s kind of this spark that happens out of nowhere. And actually it’s discipline and it’s rigor and it’s practice. And the best actors have gone over their lines again and again and again, and they’ve got it so deep down into them that’s a part of them, right? And then it just flows. My answer is there are some songs I can sing every day and I never tire of them. Mm hmm. I need my idea to be that. I need to. So how? And smooth my idea that it becomes blissful for me. There’s a story that the novelist Kafka, Franz Kafka, used to love reading portions of his books to people, and he’d, with the light, read them back because he thought they were so good. And basically, you’ve got to love your idea, haven’t you? And sometimes you know that you’re loving your idea. It’s also the villain because it can be agonizing to you. But ultimate, you’ve got to love it. And the other thing that I do is I constantly look at the eyes of other people as I can see my idea taking a hold. And then whenever anybody reaches out to me afterwards and says, thank you, I always say, what was useful, what helped you, what was what’s made things better. And whenever people which is a hard engagement question, like what’s made your life better, that’s a hot engagement thing. And whenever people tell me, they always list a bunch of things and I go, This is worth it. This this idea actually helps people as opposed to it’s an idea that I like that doesn’t actually make any difference. I need that. If I didn’t have that, I would lose it. But because I have that, I’m like, okay, all right, this enables me to go a bit longer. And then there are times where I just think I want check it out left and then I take a weekend break and I do stuff with my family and I come back on Monday morning and I’m like, you know, actually, I’m ready to go again. But I’ve got to Ankara. And does it actually does it work? Does it succeed? Because the moment it does and I have to just say sunk cost bias and endowment effect and the Akira effect and all these biases mean I will value it too much. Right. Right. So I have to constantly remind myself, does this actually work for others? And if it does, I’ll keep doing it for the moment that it doesn’t the moment that I’m getting high of my own supply and that say I’m going to pause and say, right, let’s reframe this.
Bill Sherman Well, and I think the longer you’re on the journey, the more stories you can accumulate of success where you are making an impact. Right? In theory. Yeah. Where I want to flip that to is early on because as you’re teasing something out, as you’re trying to figure it out for yourself and asking yourself, is there value for others? How do you stay engaged in that part? And let me frame this another way. What advice would you give your younger self? Yes. Starting on this journey. Yeah.
Scott Gould When I. I guess this would be a bit be in my bonnet. But I hear a lot of other speakers and I read a lot of other thought leaders. And I think that a lot of poorly developed thought leadership out there. You know, with people who buy even this one. That was sense choice, change. Why not make it three CS? We know that be more memorable. Right. But see. And I think there’s a lot of stuff out there where people haven’t really gone to the owning level. I’m talking like the mastery. You’ve worn this so much, you smoothed it so much that everything. Now I will visualize my frameworks and run through them in my mind. Right. Like I find it that much. So what would I say to my younger self? I would say, You’ve got to get in. You need to just keep on practicing and keep on making mistakes. And that’s what I did. And I still do what I do to this days. Every time I’m presenting my work to someone, I always go back to it and refine it a little bit. I always make it a little bit better. I’ve been doing that now for eight years or something. So actually I started doing what I think was good. I kept on making it better every time I did it. The thing that I would say to myself, because I had a few people say, Don’t get it, don’t like it. Someone once called it, said, I’ve got a bunch of my asthma looking at this, which and I’d never heard that word before, means like, you know, like a kind of like a blurriness, lack of clarity. But what I learned to say to people was, I know the idea might be rough and have loads of fat and everything, but do you think there’s a kernel of something here that’s worth pursuing? That’s what I would ask. And I knew that knowing my stubborn self, I’d probably keep on going until I found that. Luckily people would generally say, yes, we think that’s something. And that gave me the courage to keep going. And then I just practiced it as much. I got as many free speaking gigs as I could. I just did it over and over and over and over and over. And over and over.
Bill Sherman I think that’s great advice is in many ways. It’s thought leadership is that search for the kernel. Right. And. If you don’t take the idea for granted and early on, lock it in and just never touch it again. But like you continue to work at it, polish it to sharpen it, that’s where you get the lovely nuance for yourself. But you’re also crafting it and saying, How do I make this shine for others? How do I reveal the facets that I love so much?
Scott Gould Yeah. And the more you practice it, the more you get to see which concepts land, which ones are a bit trickier. You then go away and go, Right, I want to make that a bit better and new. So I always try something new. All right. That’s what I said. I’m always putting out a new way of saying it, and I guess I’ll always be trying it out, always testing it just to refine, refine, refine. And then suddenly you find out actually you test something that you haven’t tried for a few years and you find actually that really landed. And you go, Oh, okay, maybe I need to revisit that one a little bit now, you know. So it is it’s this really interesting journey of idea design.
Bill Sherman It is design. So as we wrap up, I want to ask you one last question. Whose work in your field is something that more people should be aware of and why? This is a chance for you to say, here’s some great ideas.
Scott Gould Wow. That’s a tricky one because I’m really old school. That’s why I take all the old ideas. So Meredith Melbourne’s work on the what the nine roles that people will take in a team. And then he broke them down. Meredith was a man actually, and broke them down into three components. People are either more action orientated, people orientated or idea orientated, which then I could apply, you know, which is the name given for rights. The way that I actually judge people is I quickly go, are they an app or an AI? And then that’s their API for me to interact with them that really helps me. So Meredith, Melbourne’s team roles I think are really great. John Cottee’s eight steps or Flywheel I think are really good obviously. Jo and Jim Gilmore, with the experience economy and the progression of economic value is amazing. Chip and Dan Heath’s books, which is all male, which is a real issue, but Chip and Down his book on Switch I think is superb, absolutely superb. And then I also like people who can come up with ideas that are not visuals or frameworks. They are sentences. And for that I would recommend Naval Ravikant the investor. He is fantastic. It’s a book called The Almanac of Naval Ravikant and he is fantastic at the way that he frames things with his words. So you don’t come away with a mental model that you could use in terms of a structure, but you do have a mental model in terms of a sentence that to me is majestic. The best ideas are those.
Bill Sherman So, Scott, I want to thank you for joining me on a conversation of ideas, engagement and impact. This has been a delight.
Scott Gould Thank you, Bill. God bless you.
Bill Sherman If you’re interested in Organizational Thought Leadership, then I invite you to subscribe to the OrgTL newsletter. Each month we talk about the people who create, curate and deploy thought leadership on behalf of their organizations. Go to the website, OrgTL.com and choose ‘join our newsletter’. I’ll leave a link to the website as well as my LinkedIn profile in the show notes. Thanks for listening and I look forward to hearing what you thought of the show.