Gary Hamel, world-renowned business thinker and coauthor of “Competing for the Future”, the book that set the management agenda for the 1990s, now delivers an agenda for the twenty-first century with the national bestseller, “Leading the Revolution”. Fully revised with a new introduction, this book provides an action plan for any company or individual intent on becoming and staying an industry revolutionary. Hamel argues that the fundamental challenge companies face is reinventing themselves and their industries, not just in times of crisis – but continually.
Thinking in Systems: A Primer – by Donella H. Meadows
In the years following her role as the lead author of the international bestseller, Limits to Growth–the first book to show the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet– Donella Meadows remained a pioneer of environmental and social analysis until her untimely death in 2001.Meadows’ newly released manuscript, Thinking in Systems, is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. Edited by the Sustainability Institute’s Diana Wright, this essential primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing readers how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21st-century life.Some of the biggest problems facing the world–war, hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation–are essentially system failures. They cannot be solved by fixing one piece in isolation from the others, because even seemingly minor details have enormous power to undermine the best efforts of too-narrow thinking.While readers will learn the conceptual tools and methods of systems thinking, the heart of the book is grander than methodology. Donella Meadows was known as much for nurturing positive outcomes as she was for delving into the science behind global dilemmas. She reminds readers to pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable, to stay humble, and to stay a learner.In a world growing ever more complicated, crowded, and interdependent, Thinking in Systems helps readers avoid confusion and helplessness, the first step toward finding proactive and effective solutions.
Thinking, Fast and Slow – by Daniel Kahneman
Daniel Kahneman, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his seminal work in psychology that challenged the rational model of judgment and decision making, is one of our most important thinkers. His ideas have had a profound and widely regarded impact on many fields – including economics, medicine, and politics – but until now, he has never brought together his many years of research and thinking in one book.
Adaptive Enterprise: Creating and Leading Sense-And-Respond Organizations – by Stephan Haeckel
Unpredictable, discontinuous change is an unavoidable consequence of doing business in the Information Age. Because this intense turbulence demands fast – even instantaneous – response, many large companies are fragmenting themselves into smaller, quick-response units. But in doing so, they relinquish important advantages of scale and scope. Is it possible to have it both ways? Can large, complex firms adapt successfully and systematically to unexpected change? Yes, says Stephan Haeckel, but only if leaders learn how to manage their organizations as adaptive systems. In “Adaptive Enterprise,” Haeckel updates the concept of the corporation for the Information Age with a radical and comprehensive rethinking of organizational strategy, structure, and leadership. He outlines the new sense-and-respond business model that is helping companies systematically cope with the unexpected. Haeckel argues that when unpredictability is a given, the only strategy that makes sense is a strategy to become adaptive – to sense early and respond quickly to abrupt changes in individual customer needs. As a result, a firm’s operations must be driven by current customer requests – implicit as well as articulated – rather than by plans to make and sell what customers are forecasted to want in the future. Here, for the first time, is a clear and comprehensive strategy for transforming firms into adaptive systems. “Adaptive Enterprise” is both a new way of thinking about business and a handbook for leadership of postindustrial organizations. It maps out, with examples and illustrations, a step-by-step plan that companies can use to transform themselves into a new type of organization – one in which change is not a problem to be solved, but rather an indispensable source of energy, growth, and value.
“Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain World” by Bob Johansen.
We are in a time of disruptive leadership change. In a VUCA world – one characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity – traditional leadership skills won’t be enough, noted futurist Bob Johansen argues. Drawing on the latest ten-year forecast from the Institute for the Future – the only futures think tank ever to outlive its forecasts – this powerful book explores the external forces that are shaking the foundations of leadership and unveils ten critical new skills that will be required in the future, skills that you can learn.
In this second edition Johansen is joined by the prestigious Center for Creative Leadership. CCL’s contributions help readers understand the new leadership skills by linking them to existing skills, and they provide analytics and exercises to help readers develop them. This edition has been updated throughout, with a new ten-year forecast and new examples, and incorporates the lessons Johansen has leaned about applying the new leadership skills in the three years since the first edition appeared. In addition, Johansen deals with two new forces that are shaping the future. The first is the “digital natives,” or people 15 years and younger who have grown up in a completely digital world. The second is cloud-based computing, which will enable new forms of connection, collaboration and commerce and will greatly facilitate reciprocity-based innovation – giving away to get more – which Johansen sees as the biggest innovation opportunity in history.
The reaction to the behaviors of problem employees is much too often “more training” that doesn’t do anything to improve the situation. Usually it’s because the behavior is a “won’t do” (a motivation issue) instead of a “can’t do” (a training issue) – and training doesn’t address motivation issues.
It’s important to be clear about the difference because successfully addressing them requires very different approaches. The challenge is compounded because if often feels easier and more comfortable to throw more training at the situation (even if it won’t work) instead of confronting a motivation issue.
This is must read for managers at all levels.