Collapse of Distinction by Scott McKain is kind of a "playbook" for businesses. This book reminds you that being good at what you do isn't enough to be successful. Scott McKain maintains that the best way to be successful is to stand out. I know this is not new ground. But the structure and stories in the book are worth reading.
Creating a company of distinction must be an integral part of every action your company takes or chooses not to take. McKain reminds us that it must be embedded in the company from the vision to the execution. It is not a separate function.
McKain starts out by explaining the phenomenon of a sea of sameness that so many companies today are guilty of. He explains three things that destroy differentiation, and goes on to talk about what does not work if you're trying to differentiate yourself. I'll be curious to see what you think of his thoughts in this arena.
There are three levels of differentiation according to the book:
- Level one, sameness, is when you are indistinguishable from your competition.
- When a company reaches level two, differentiation, they have traits that separate them from their competition.
- But, it is when a business reaches level three, distinction, that you become #1 in your field.
This idea reminds me of Joe Calloway's Becoming a Category of One (which I loved). I also noticed that Calloway was one of the people who endorsed this book.
Every chapter ends with an executive summary of what you've just read, which not only makes it easy to retain the information, but convenient to go back and look something up afterward. He also ends each summary with a list of action steps, questions, and ideas, which help to apply his principles to your own business.
Is this book filled with earth-shattering new information? Nope. But can you learn something? You bet. Unless of course, your business is already in a category of its own. Check out the book here.