Big, bold ideas get attention. They’re declarative, predicting changes or preaching strategies that can be unpopular or downright scary to those who’d rather not hear them. But when big ideas prove true, those who recognized and acted on them first succeed.

Here are a few articles that I’ve enjoyed recently with big ideas for CMOs.

Act bigger than you are
by Rosabeth Moss Kanter for Harvard Business Review

Size of a business isn’t everything. What matters more is the size of the idea, the thing driving the business forward. Successful businesses and social entrepreneurs share a common secret: they act bigger than they are. This article holds great advice on claiming spaces with big impact goals, convening coalitions, and giving before you get. Act big in order to become big.

I Want It Today: How Amazon’s ambitious new push for same-day delivery will destroy local retail
by Farhad Manjoo for Slate

To remain the price-leader, Amazon’s past strategy was to build distribution centers in low-cost states, then ship to more populous states. But they’re now building warehouses in the largest (and most expensive) cities in America. Amazon is sacrificing the price-leader position for a new goal – delivering your stuff the same day, nearly immediately. And this strategy flip will radically change local retail.

McKinsey Says Social Media Could Add $1.3 Trillion to the Economy
by Quentin Hardy for The New York Times

Social benefits businesses both internally and externally. Effective social strategy can vastly improve customer awareness and loyalty, while internally, social tools can boost productivity among the highest-value workers. Through these two-fold benefits, McKinsey estimates social can add $1.3 trillion dollars – that’s trillion, with a T – to the economy. I think the potential is even higher than that.

Are You a Strategist?
by Carmen Nobel for Harvard Business School: Working Knowledge

Strategic corporate thinking has become the bread-and-butter for an industry of consultants and business analysts. Businesses rely so heavily on these outsiders that corporate strategy is no longer a top-of-mind responsibility for many senior executives. Terrific article on the disconnect between leadership and strategy, and how we fix it.

Are You An Olympic-Caliber Marketer?
by Steven Cook for

Great summary on some wonderful insights from the London CMO Exchange earlier this summer. Steven discusses why, in our new and uncertain economy ruled by the consumer, it’s more important than ever for CMOs – the chief customer advocates – to lead the business and transcend departments to weave the customer throughout the fabric of the business.

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