CEO Coaching: A Success Story In Tempore Covid

In academic publishing, the timeline for new books, from concept to completion, can easily be a year or longer, and that assumes that you have a topic, outline and a relationship with an acquisitions editor at a publisher!

Sage Publishing has been around for a very long time and has a great reputation as an academic publisher, both of books and journals. Their CEO, Blaise Simqu, is a friend and client. He told me a cool story this morning that I wanted to share with his permission.

Elena Nikitina is a Vice President of Marketing at Corwin, part of the Sage family. She had an idea for a new book on distance learning and facilitated a collaboration between several of their premier authors to address this topic.

Remember that year or longer timeframe? Well, Corwin was able to publish “The Distance Learning Playbook” in five weeks! That includes the writing, which was done in a week! And it selling like hotcakes!

So, what can learn from this example? Here are four things that occurred to me in the form of questions to ponder.

  1. Is it possible to flip your sales process on its head? The idea for this book came from the publisher, not the authors (though the content leveraged their many years of experience and data).
  2. Can you combine several of your “assets” (people, intellectual property, hard assets) to make something unique that the market values?
  3. Are you sure that the key processes you use in your business (e.g. product development) really have to take so long? What if I told you that you could build an aircraft in 63 minutes?
  4. Is it likely that in a state of “comfort” (e.g. profitable and growing) we completely ignore market opportunities? If that is so, how can you induce discomfort in a healthy way in your organization?

Most of us are not having that much fun “in the time of Covid,” but I believe that looking for success stories can be informative and inspirational! If you have one, send it to me or give me a call. I’d love to hear it!

I have two new programs for CEOs, Emerge and Accelerate and Team Alignment designed to help talented leaders respond and recover from the current malaise. If you would like to discuss either one, click here to set up a time.

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