How | Dov Seidman

Summary of: How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything
By: Dov Seidman


Dive into the summary of ‘How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything’ by Dov Seidman and discover how the foundations of trust, transparency, and collaboration can drive success in today’s digital world. Learn how the Information Age has shifted power to those who know how to share information freely, and why companies like Google and Yahoo! have thrived in this environment. This introduction also discusses the rise of whistleblogging and the importance of how businesses operate, especially in an age ripe with uncertainty.

The Power of Collaboration

The first stadium wave was born out of a unique idea by a professional cheerleader, Krazy George Henderson, who encouraged an unbridled show of enthusiasm for the Oakland Athletics home team during a baseball game in 1981. The wave quickly became popular and succeeded because of perseverance, teamwork, and collaboration among the fans. This same principle of collaboration can be applied to the business world, where transparency, trust, and sharing of information are the new engines of commerce. In the Information Age, businesses that operate transparently and collaborate thrive over those that hold back information and follow traditional cutthroat capitalism. Companies are increasingly replacing command-and-control models with structures that promote sharing and collaboration, resulting in a new business model where power moves to those who know how to connect with each other to accomplish shared goals. The key to building trust and reputation is principled decision-making based on consistency of purpose. When companies act on these principles, they can accomplish anything, intuitively and with more clarity.

The Power of the Internet

The emergence of online shopping has given consumers more options and access to information. David Edmondson’s downfall as the CEO of RadioShack, due to falsifying his credentials, is an example of how dishonesty can be quickly exposed through the internet, leading to widespread public knowledge. The term “whistleblogging” describes the event when information about a company’s immoral or unethical actions spreads quickly from blogs to popular sites. Everything is now out in the open, making it more crucial for companies to operate with transparency and honesty.

Nike and the Certainty Gap

Nike, known for its “Just Do It” slogan during the dot-com decade, learned that how a company operates is just as important as short-term profits. Transparency became crucial as people demanded accountability. Nike faced public backlash for using sweatshops overseas. The dot-com bubble burst and corporate scandals erupted, creating a “certainty gap.” Even the 9/11 attacks increased feelings of uncertainty. As companies embraced new rules and regulations to restore trust, Nike realized the importance of ethical practices and transparency in creating long-term value.

Innovating Corporate Ethics

Rules of Conduct vs. Business Ethics in an Age of Transparency

People cling to rules to create boundaries and stability within their surroundings, but rules alone cannot account for every possibility. There will always be people who find ways around them. Rules of conduct do not replace morality, and just because someone can do something, it does not mean they should. Rules provide both floors that support and ceilings that restrict. Companies are moving toward a “how” emphasis on behavior to meet goals while operating transparently and truthfully. Transparent companies ask “what should we do?” instead of “what can we do?” to adhere to ethical standards in our age of transparency. Emphasizing “how” is not only moral and ethical, but also good business. Reliance on lists of do’s and don’ts is no longer enough for companies to innovate, and they need to step beyond rote adherence and invest in building ethical and transparent corporate cultures.

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