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Hot Spots: Why Some Teams, Workplaces, and Organizations Buzz with Energy - And Others Don't Hardcover – February 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 213 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers (February 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781576754184
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576754184
  • ASIN: 1576754189
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,153,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

What organization wouldn't want to encourage "places and times where cooperation flourishes, thus creating great energy, innovation, productivity and excitement"? This final volume in a trilogy of books on creating energy at work by London Business School professor Gratton (after Living Strategy and The Democratic Enterprise) attempts to analyze the ingredients of positive workplace energy. Gratton details ways to foster a cooperative mindset, remove boundaries between people, give them a sense of purpose and increase their productive capacity, drawing on examples from organizations like BP and Nokia. But despite her interesting and well-organized findings, some readers may find her intensive focus on scientific research too academic, particularly the complicated diagrams and formulae for workplace qualities that are difficult to quantify. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Publisher

"Gratton has written a succinct and utterly compelling book. She is really a kind of one-woman hot spot in herself."
-- Financial Times

"It is time for business leaders to take off their rose-tinted specatles and replace them with thermal-imaging gogges. This arresting idea is provided by professor Lynda Gratton of London Business School in an importnat new book."<br. --Los Angeles Times


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In this volume, Lynda Gratton explains how and why "boundaryless cooperation fuels innovation...why some teams, workplaces, and organizations buzz with energy - and others don't." The business model she recommends is an "open" one. In fact, it is precisely what Henry Chesbrough brilliantly explains in Open Innovation and in his more recent book, Open Business Models. What is a "boundaryless" organization? GE is probably the most prominent example. (Curiously, there are no references in Hot Spots to Chesbrough, GE or its former CEO, Jack Welch.) According to Gratton, a "boundaryless organization" is one within which people are engaged in "purposeful conversation"; there are no barriers to communication, cooperation, and collaboration; and the organization has an ever-widening "net of involvement."

Those whom Gratton calls "boundary spanners" are very important because they break down the "walls" between in-groups and out-groups. They have a network of relationships that form a natural bridge between the two groups. (Chesbrough calls them "innovation intermediaries.") In a boundaryless organization, people feel energized and vibrantly alive. Their brains buzz with ideas as they share with others the joy and excitement of "exploiting and applying knowledge that is already known and genuinely exploring what was previously unknown." Relationships between and among those involved create a Hot Spot.

"One of the most profound insights about Hot Spots is that their innovative capacity arises from the intelligence, insights, and wisdom of people working together. The energy contained in a Hot Spot is essentially a combination of their individual energy with the addition of the relational energy generated between them.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stratford Sherman on February 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hot Spots is essential reading for leaders struggling to produce results with lean, cross-functional organizations -- in other words, this is a book that every business leader should read.

The good news is that each chapter ends with a concise one-page summary. That makes it possible to skim the whole book in about 15 minutes, coming away with its essential points.

Hidden beneath the slick packaging is deep and meticulous research on a broad selection of teams, conducted by a first-rate academic. So don't settle for the quick skim. The whole book is only 200 pages; drilling down into the detail is worth the effort and not all that hard.

Key takeaways include the role of gender in teams (a critical mass of female members can enhance team success), and the way a few highly-functioning teams can influence an entire organization. There's plenty of intelligent guidance about implementation along the way.
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Format: Hardcover
Hot Spots allow latent energy to productively flower into innovation. They exist when the creative enthusiasm emerges within and between people. As a human phenomon that generates innovative results and competitive advantage, there seems to be a nearly magical aura about their reality, which the author fully succeeds in capturing in concrete terms, showing what makes these groups so amazing.

Hot Spots can not be created, but must emerge; leadership, however, can create the right circumstances to allow a Hot Spot to come to life, focusing on practices, processes, norms, or behaviors; the book provides maps and scenarios that reveal how such levers work.

A Hot Spot is a multiplicative blending of three elements:
1. a cooperative mindset (melding intellectual, social, and emotional capital),
2. boundary spanning (the depth and extent of relationships), and
3. an igniting purpose which stems from energizing questions, visions or tasks,

Hot Spots are sustained by a fourth element, productive capacity, consisting of five productive practices: appreciating talent, making commitments, resolving conflicts, synchronizing time, and establishing a rhythm.

Based on extensive research, the author explores the dynamic nature and elements of Hot Spots. The book's Appendix A provides diagnostic questions and instruments for leaders to apply in practice. The concept of Hot Spots is brought into sharp focus in this fascinating book. The author's insights make for compelling reading. If innovation is important to you, this book is MUST READING. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on March 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I've been involved in just a few of what Ms. Gratton calls Hot Sports. These were projects that somehow gathered together a group of people totally dedicated to success. They were good people, working at the limits of their capabilities and an amazing amount of work was accomplished in a very short time.

I had never realized that this would be the subject of academic study, or that it could be managed to occur as part of a regular business environment. Ms Gratton says that there are four criteria that must come together to make a Hot Spot work:

A cooperative mindset: when people are excited, willing, eager and able to work together

Boundary spanning: with people fromdifferent backgrounds, skill sets, and outlooks combine their expertise in new ways

Igniting purpose: there must be a question, task, vision that creates a shared goal

Productive capacity: people must be able to work together, resolve conflicts, and manage the rhythm and pace of their work.
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