Advice from the Masters: Chris Edmonds

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Chris Edmonds writes a great blog about business culture. He’s also the author or co-author of seven books, including his latest, The Culture Engine. Here’s what he told me when I asked him for one piece of advice for people who want to write a business book.

“My one piece of advice for a business book author is to get crystal clear on your ‘big idea.’

Like consultants I’ve known, I have a wide range of skills, tools, coaching models and methods, etc. that I developed working with clients over several years. The challenge was which one – or ones – to write about?

I wrote more than a dozen book proposals, but not one was focused. Then I met Mark Levy of Levy Innovation at a retreat where he talked about drafting an ‘elevator speech.’ I hired Mark to help me with my brand strategy. He helped me clarify my big idea – creating workplace inspiration with an organizational constitution – and helped me craft an effective book proposal based on it.

Once I had that big idea formalized, it was easy to focus my blog posts, my podcast messages, my guidance, and my calls to action on that big idea. My book – The Culture Engine – was a delight to write. I didn’t have to shuffle among ten good, actionable ideas – I focused on one. The right one. My unique big idea.”

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