Skip to main content

Book Review: Collapse of Distinction--Actual Review

Ok, so yesterday I mentioned that I was going be reading Scott McKain's Collapse of Distinction. Today, I'm writing the review.

So, what does that mean?

I devoured this book. First of all, Collapse of Distinction is not an exceedingly large book. 271 pages, counting index, acknowledgments, contents, forewords, and summaries. So, for someone with a mind to read and a few hours to block out, it's an easy hill to climb. However, don't judge a book by its size. There are some very good points to be found.
Second reason I consumed this book with haste: The book is ripe with examples of companies, large and small, detailing their successes and failures, and demonstrating the why issues of distinction.
Then comes the third reason: McKain offers practical steps to develop your own distinctives in your business and professional life. He does not give a blatant how-to, which would be counterproductive (if he had, 50% of readers would simply cut and paste the info, thus taking a book about distinction and, well, mushing it like a fine steak in a blender).
As a former manager in the business world and now a pastor, I see great value in the points McKain brings home. Each business, each person, will be successful primarily because of their individuality, the things that make them distinct. How do you get there? There's wisdom to be found here. Use it.

McKain's writing style is easy to follow. The book would make an excellent balance to those who think that price matching and copycatting are the only ways to business success. This is not, though, the be-all and end-all. Certainly businesses must consider price within their planning, although as he points out, sometimes that means high pricing as part of your distinctive approach. Also, there are defining similarities between competitors. After all, if you're being distinct by being a tire store without tires, that would be dumb, right? Likewise, don't read this book as a leap into freakish novelty. Find your high concept and hold your business behaviors to that standard.

Likewise, there is a good critique of the 'best practices' trend. Something that businesses need to remember is that people and regions bear their own distinctives. Something that is successful in big cities may not be a best practice in small towns. (For example, when I was in sales, I learned quickly that many fledgling small businesses will pay more to the banks and providers that they know and started with. Larger and older businesses will often consider new providers. You can't sell to both with the same method.) Also, when leading people, different groups respond different ways, so a 'best practice' in Chicago is not guaranteed to work at all in Little Rock. McKain points out that your business should adopt its own methods rather than copying an industry-wide, bland 'best practices' concept.

I also think this book should be marketed with a package of Post-it flags, or better yet, one of the combo-highligher/post-it flag dispensers. That would signal that there are many things here worth notating.

Now, since the book is not yet released, I couldn't put a review up on Amazon.com like I prefer. Instead, I had to review on chrbook.com. (In case you're wondering, I get free books as a book review blogger for Thomas Nelson, I have to review on the blog and a book store website) Since I did CBD, they have a limit of 2000 characters on reviews, so you got the short form above. However, here's a much longer take on Collapse of Distinction and my thoughts not just about the book, but also the implications of it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book: By the Waters of Babylon

Worship. It is what the church does as we strive to honor God with our lips and our lives. And then, many churches argue about worship. I have about a half-dozen books on my shelf about worship, but adding Scott Aniol’s By the Waters of Babylon to the shelf has been excellent.

First of all, Aniol’s work is not based on solving a musical debate. While that branch of worship is often the most troublesome in the local church, By the Waters of Babylon takes a broader view. The starting point is the place of the church. That place is a parallel of Psalm 137, where the people of God, Israel, found themselves in a strange land. The people of God, again, find themselves in a strange land.
Second, in summary, the book works logically to the text of Scripture, primarily Psalm 137 but well-filled with other passages. Then it works outward from how the text addresses the problems submitted in the first chapter into how worship, specifically corporate worship, should look in the 21st century Weste…

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Sermon Recap for October 14

Here is what you'll find: there is an audio player with the sermon audios built-in to it, just click to find the one you want. You'll also find the embedded Youtube videos of each sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!