In our schools and workplaces, groupthink is rewarded. Those who question decisions and advocate for different ways are often ignored, ostracized, or fired. Yet without rebels, our systems, companies, schools, churches, government agencies, and healthcare organizations become rigid and sometimes even dangerous, according to Lois Kelly and Carmen Medina in their book Rebels at Work: A Handbook for Leading Change from Within.
In order to overcome the natural resistance to change within an organization, a systematic approach must be taken; this approach must deal with the whole system, which includes people, processes, and systems; it must begin with defining the organization, developing the vision, and detailing the steps along the way, according to Greg Howes in his book Business Optimization: Six Steps to a Sustained Performance Culture.
How does one become a better and faster learner, and how does one build an organization that is more adaptable and learns better and faster than the competition? Those are the questions which Edward Hess aims to answer in his book Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization. The book aspires to synthesise recent developments in the understanding of how people learn, the role of emotions, and environmental factors which can assist or inhibit learning.
A critical area of competitive advantage nowadays is the ability of organizations to lead rather than follow changes in the market and this means having the ability to roll out the right changes quickly and reliably in a way that delivers a return on investment for the organization, according to Helen Campbell in her book Managing Organizational Change: A Practical Toolkit for Leaders. What most organizations haven’t yet managed to do is build the capability to respond reliably to needs for change, let alone stay ahead of them.
When you are facing a future that cannot be predicted with any accuracy, traditional approaches for problem solving (e.g., forecasting, planning, in-depth research) don’t help you much. You need to acknowledge that and find alternatives, according to Charles Kiefer, Leonard Schlesinger and Paul Brown in their book Own Your Future: How to Think Like an Entrepreneur and Thrive in an Unpredictable Economy.
In the era of Big Bang Disruption, new disrupters attack existing markets not just from the top, bottom and sides, but from all three at once; their offerings can be simultaneously better, cheaper and more customised, according to Larry Downes and Paul Nunes in their book Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation. If you want to avoid becoming a victim, you need to learn how to create, launch and compete using your own Big Bang disruptions.
The ability to take a perspective on a problem is at the heart of all great business leadership, according to Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel Rasmussen in their book The Moment of Clarity: Using the Human Sciences to Solve Your Toughest Business Problems. Leading by way of sensemaking requires that you, as a leader, know how to ask the right questions, how to see the patterns in the data, how to make the right interpretation, and how to shape those interpretations into actions.
Change is in the air, but it is difficult to get a grip on exactly what is changing, how and why, and what the future will look like as a result, according to Georg Vielmetter and Yvonne Sell in their book Leadership 2030: The Six Megatrends You Need to Understand to Lead Your Company into the Future. The book contains the authors’ best attempts to imagine the future based on key megatrends which they have identified in current global society.
In a typical organisation, only a small percentage of employees are fully engaged in their work. These typically tend to be the self-motivated stars, who are significantly more productive than their less-engaged peers. If you wanted to discover what makes someone a star performer and then replicate that with the other employees, how would you go about doing it? That is the question addressed by William Seidman and Richard Grbavac in their book The Star Factor: Discover What Your Top Performers Do Differently – and Inspire a New Level of Greatness in All.
Tomorrow’s legal world bears little resemblance to that of the past, according to Richard Susskind in his book Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future. The next two decades will bring more changes to legal institutions and lawyers than have the last two centuries. While traditional job opportunities for young lawyers are diminishing, a whole range of exciting new legal occupations will soon be created.