The Butterfly Effect: How Great Leaders Drive and Sustain Revenue Growth
This is the working title of my next book. I’m excited to announce that it will be published by Fast Company Press in late 2020 (in time for the perfect Christmas or Hanukkah gift!).
Here is a short segment from the book that explains the title:
MIT professor and meteorologist, Edward Lorenz, coined the term ‘butterfly effect’ in his paper: “Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?” He was the first to recognize the concept of chaos theory when he realized that within the apparent randomness of complex systems, such as weather, there are small differences in the initial inputs of dynamic systems that trigger large unexpected differences later on. The flapping wings represent a small change in the initial condition of the system that compounds dramatically, causing a chain of events leading to large-scale phenomena.
In business, the butterfly effect originates with executives and senior leaders and exponentially multiplies through management. The actions of those leaders – the initial inputs of the dynamic system of a company – unsuspectingly become a gale-force wind at the front lines. Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of revenue performance, where there is a frequent disconnect between growth strategies that are formulated in the executive suite and the execution of those strategies by the sales force. This disconnect creates not only a loss of revenue, but a flawed execution of organizational strategy, limiting growth and achievement.
Everything from subtle misunderstandings about the contemporary sales process and revenue forecasting, faulty assumptions about what makes sellers effective and compensation, has a compounding effect. The actions of leaders cascade through the complex system of a company, creating unintended consequences that can either drive or hinder revenue growth. The Butterfly Effect reveals that revenue shortfalls are leadership issues, not sales issues. It’s vital for leaders who are responsible for the future value of the business to learn how they can use this principle to create a wave of positive change and growth.