The Wimberley
Valley Blog 2018

The Power of Place:
Wimberley Strong

by Stephanie Nestlerode

 Like many others, I felt called to move here.  Others born here, feel called to stay.  Hearing the call and understanding what the call means are two quite different things.  At 7th Generation Labs, we’ve finally landed on what our calling means to us.  We believe that the Wimberley Valley has a unique contribution to make to the world.

After the Memorial Day flood in 2015, FEMA noted that Wimberley is the most resilient community they’ve ever encountered.  Why?  What creates our ability to bounce back from tragedy?  What makes Wimberley so special to our visitors and to each and every one of us?  

 We’re taking a page out of the Louise and Parks Johnson playbook. Prior to becoming movers and shakers in Wimberley, Parks Johnson worked for a Houston radio station.  In 1932 he took a microphone to the street to question the passers-by. His program, "Vox Pop," the first radio quiz show, was born. 

His wife, Louise Johnson, selected and gave gifts to participants, becoming known as Mrs. Santa Claus. In spite of interviewing politicians and celebrities, the Johnson's kept the spotlight on the average person - the voice of the people.

M.F. Johnson, their daughter-in-law, follows in their tradition. She says that she got inoculated with the joy of community through Louise. 

In her words, it isn’t who you were when you came to Wimberley that counts; it’s who you become now that you do live in Wimberley.”

We’re bringing VoxPop to the Wimberley Valley.  Let’s DISCOVER together what makes Wimberley so special.  Let’s AMPLIFY what makes us strong. And let’s SHARE what we learn with other communities.   Let’s preserve Wimberley's heritage even as we adapt to changing circumstances.  Let’s weave all our voices into a tapestry worthy of those who’ve gone before and will come after us.

 Our deepest gratitude to Martha Knies - our tour guide for learning about Wimberley's pioneering spirit. 

Original Photo by Jenny Hill on Unsplash.

What do you think makes Wimberley so Special?

Is Your Strategy Stuck in the 20th Century

 

Ah, the good old days.

The world was a more stable, predictable place. Companies knew their competitors: Coke had to crush Pepsi. Adidas sought to outdo Puma. Avis vied against Hertz. McDonald’s obsessed about its feud with Burger King.
Image: scalar.usc.edu

 

Amidst this environment, strategy tools proliferated. Your company probably still uses the SWOT Analysis, which was developed in the 1960s. Perhaps you also use Boston Consulting Group’s popular Growth Share Matrix from the 1970s. And many rely on Porter’s Five Forces, which debuted in the Harvard Business Review in 1979. All three of these tools—and many more—were conceived before the internet, before the rise of globalization, and before the rise of mega businesses like Amazon and Tencent. They reflect a world more familiar to automobile manufacturer Henry Ford than to Amazon titan Jeff Bezos.

Image 1: changedmind.com                                                                                      Image 2: Smartdraw.com                                                                                Image 3: hbr.org

Strategy In An Uncertain World 

Henry Ford would never have expected competition from Thomas Alva Edison’s light bulb business. Yet, in today’s world, competitive threats can come from sources equally unexpected. Garmin and TomTom, once the leaders in navigation devices, were blown away by the rise of smartphones, which included free GPS navigation. They never anticipated that the iPhone would become a threat; they were focused on each other and other auto navigation upstart companies. 
Image: picclickimg com.

 

Competition can also come from partners. At the Inc 500 conference several years ago, I shared the story of a client whose partners, to their surprise, began manufacturing versions of their product. They had formed positive partnerships. However, they weren’t positive enough to prevent their former partners from copying their product. The company was completely blindsided when their collaborators moved into their field.

For the Garmins, TomToms, and blindsided companies of the world, traditional strategy tools fail to deliver. They promise sound reasoning and logical analysis, which the deliver. But they aren’t well suited to flexibility and strategic resiliency.

Is Your Strategy Stuck in the 20th Century?

Gauge whether your organization uses tools designed for today’s volatile, uncertain world with the new infographic, “Is Your Strategy Stuck in 20th Century” co-created with Martha Freymann Miser of Aduro Consulting. Check to see:

  • Is your company working from the assumptions and philosophies embedded in 20th century thinking? Or does its strategy acknowledge that today’s environment is a much different place?
  • Once your company sets strategy, is it cast in stone? Or does your strategy allow for learning, adaptation, and flexibility in order to meet changing demands?
  • Does your company depend on its executives and/or strategic planning office to develop strategy? If so, it could be basing its work on a severely limited view of the environment.
  • How openly do people in your company talk about the real issues facing the organization? Are people more likely to avoid and sugarcoat than talk about reality?

If your organization still operates according to 20th Century rules, you’re not alone. But think about how you can bring some 21st Century thinking into your work. Your strategy will be stronger and your organization more resilient as a result.

Download “Is Your Strategy Stuck in 20th Century

NOTE: Are you in a regulated monopoly? If so, forget this article and enjoy operating in a stable, predictable environment. You’re one of the few out there!

Note: This post first appeared on the Partnering Resources website and is posted here with permission. 

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