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Unstuck: A Tool for Yourself, Your Team, and Your World Hardcover – April 22, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 179 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (April 22, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591840376
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591840374
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #793,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This graphically modern and interactive volume demands that readers get themselves—and their businesses—out of whatever rut they’re in. By first encouraging the acknowledgment of being stuck, Yamashita and Spataro, a consultant and business school professor, respectively, pave the way for escape. They describe the seven emotional manifestations of being stuck (feeling alone, overwhelmed, directionless, battle-torn, worthless, hopeless, exhausted) and provide guidance for moving past them, through case studies (from the U.S. Postal Service to Apollo 13), exercises, charts and mantras such as "find the quiet rock star" and "write the headline from the future." It’s alternately funny and thought provoking; and with rarely more than 200 words per page, it doesn’t resemble a typical dense business tome. Yet somehow, in its succinctness (and despite its overuse of catchphrases), this book renders specific and practical points as well as enough inspiration to help all kinds of individuals and teams break through mental walls.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Unstuck is roadside assistance for leaders—a tool for turning information into action. -- Gary VanSpronsen, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Herman Miller

Unstuck really walks its talk. -- Ivy Ross, founder of Project Platypus at Mattel Inc.

A new manifesto from two of our most original, most amazing thinkers (and more important, practitioners). Right now. -- Seth Godin, author of Purple Cow and Free Prize Inside

He may be one of the most influential consultants you've never heard of. He's certainly one of the most creative. -- Fast Company

Insightful and creative….In just a few minutes I got more than enough good ideas to last a long time. -- David Allen, author of Getting Things Done and Ready for Anything

One of the pioneers working on technology's cutting edge. -- The Wall Street Journal

Part action manual, part tool, part dojo, Unstuck is unfailingly inventive….a fresh, fun, and serious-minded guide to moving forward. -- Polly LaBarre, contributing writer, Fast Company

Strategy, brand, culture: Keith Yamashita puts them together. -- Fourtune

Wonderfully engaging….Packed with practical guidance on how to restore momentum to your teams and organization. Hard to put down! -- Jay Conger, author of Winning 'Em Over

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Customer Reviews

The page design is top-notch - and very much adds to the concepts presented throughout the book.
"jagraz2"
This book works the same way only it starts from identifying you particular stuck state and then walking you through the path to being unstuck.
Rod E. Sherwin
Although one of the main tenants of the book is "systems thinking," you never get the feeling that Unstuck looks at the entire system.
Jeff Scurry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By MrTwistoff on June 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book covers three principles: Admitting you're stuck, Diagnosing why you're stuck, Getting unstuck.

It does provide an excellent insight into systemic repair using aspects of a system: Purpose (central), Strategy, Structure + Process, Metrics + Rewards, People + Interaction, Culture

There are many organizations that don't get this, and center their efforts on only one aspect. The book, I found, more applicable to senior or departmental management rather than individuals.

The conscious employee that reads this would become more knowledgeable (actually more valuable) than their supervisor. Using the knowledge in this book, they would then become threatening to insecure management (of which I would say most management is - merely because most people go into management not because they wish to help others succeed, but rather because they are simply tired of working themselves).

If you are going to purchase the book, purchase it for your department supervisor, CIO, CFO, COO, CEO as well. Otherwise you're going be seen as a problem raising such enlightened ideas in an unenlightened environment.

This, is not the fault of the book, but rather the structures of organizations.

The book advocates identifying informal leaders, making use of silent influentials. However, it also advocates cultural change activities that require the kind of power that only formal leaders have in an organization. The problem is that most dysfunctional managers will not be interested in change, they will not seek out this kind of awareness and if you (as a less powerful employer) try to bring things like progressive awareness into the arena you will be punished.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I've actually read the book twice since receiving it as a gift (from my boss!). The first read took me cover to cover. On the second read, I "navigated" the book based on our organization's current challenges. I got the sense that this is how the book was written by the authors. For example, almost every page in the second half of the book contains 2-3 suggestions of where to go next based on how and why you are stuck. One of the final pages, cites "Recommended Paths" the authors have chosen for various types of being stuck. It's a brilliant book - whether you read it from start to finish or jump around. I recommend both!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have not stopped returning to Unstuck since I read it 2 weeks ago. In very clear terms, the book helps you craft a road map to get your team (or your entire organization) on track. The first quarter of the book walks you through a series of diagnostic tools in which you assess your predicament. You leave with a clear diagnosis of how you're stuck - or, at the least, important insight into some of the "root causes." The authors call these the Serious Seven. The remainder, and majority of the book, provides dozens of tools, ideas, and examples for the reader to weave together based on their goals. Each page is a refreshing look at leadership, problem-solving, and system dynamics. Unstuck provides no overall panacea (read: if you need someone to tell you what to do, Unstuck is probably not for you). Rather, it presents the reader with a fresh, inventive toolkit to approach the all-to-familiar snags in work and life.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By ADonovan on June 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Unstuck is a great book for helping to get your team or your business back on track. Maybe you're not living up to your potential, or you sense there is a problem, but you're not sure what it is or how to fix it. With Unstuck, you first spend a little time diagnosing why you're stuck. The categories are explained really well, so it is easy to see where you fall. Once you know where your problem is coming from, there are over 100 pages of tools, techniques, and examples, including short case studies, that will help you get unstuck. What makes this book fun to read, in addition to the great design, is the fact that once you know what your problem is, it gives you page numebr for the ideas that will best help you. It is sort of like a choose-your-own-adventure book for grown-ups. Or you can read it all the way through for all of the ideas. The only thing that I wished were different was that I was searching for help getting out of a rut in my own life, and Unstuck focused on helping groups with problems.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I found out about UNSTUCK when a friend mailed me a photocopy of page 58 - a first for me. Unfortunately, the authors did not put folios on each page - so I had to track down the book (oops!). It was worth all the effort. Since reading UNSTUCK, I find myself returning to the book every few days for ideas. The book is a very unique take on solving business problems (from idea generation to team dynamics) and I now recommend the book to colleagues in my industry and beyond. The tone and the design of the book are provocative and written to get people thinking. About strategy. About purpose. About teamwork. I love the fact that no one page in the book is the same. Some are filled with illustrations, others contain graphs and diagrams. When is the last time you saw photography in a business book? It's definitely worth the $15.
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