8:21 AM Tuesday February 8, 2011
Roy Spence, one of the toughest-minded business thinkers I know, is a cofounder of GSD&M, the legendary advertising agency based in Austin, Texas. In a provocative and saucy book, It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For, Spence and coauthor Haley Rushing explain the business strategies and competitive ideas behind many of the one-of-a-kind organizations he has studied or worked with over the years, from BMW to Whole Foods Market to the U.S. Air Force. Sure, these and other organizations are built around strong business models, stellar products and services, and (of course) clever advertising. But Spence is adamant that behind every great brand is an authentic sense of purpose — “a definitive statement about the difference you are trying to make in the world” — and a workplace with the “energy and vitality” to bring that purpose to life.