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Everything Connects: How to Transform and Lead in the Age of Creativity, Innovation, and Sustainability Hardcover – February 19, 2014
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"Provides true framework." Entrepreneur 20141110 "The focus on mindfulness in Everything Connects sets it apart to traditional type-A thinking." Fast Company 20141110 "Success in business comes when Everything Connects." Forbes 20141110
From the Back Cover
Praise for Everything Connects
“Everything Connects shows why sustainable innovation begins with you―yes, you.”
―Dr. Vijay Govindarajan, professor, Tuck at Dartmouth, bestselling author of Reverse Innovation
“Everything Connects is as much about business as it is about life.”
―Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times bestselling author and the #1 Leadership Thinker in the World (Thinker’s 50/Harvard Business Review)
“By marrying the power of creativity and innovation, there is very little we can’t accomplish. Everything Connects shows where and how this is happening and inspires us to join in this new era.”
―Professor Mohammed Yunus, Nobel laureate and founder of Grameen Bank
“If the industrial era was about building, the social era is about connecting. Everything Connects is a guide to―and a celebration of―that connecting process.”
―Nilofer Merchant, bestselling author of 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era
“Brilliant! This book helps connect the dots in ways you’ve never imagined. It’s full of powerful and useful ideas on how to unleasd innovation in your organization.”
―Frank Sonnenberg, bestselling author of Managing with a Conscience and former head of marketing, Ernst & Young’s Management Consulting Group
“Everything Connects provides you with a beginner’s mind, helping you to see your company free of misleading preconceptions.”
―Jason L. Baptiste, founder of Onswipe and author of The Ultralight Startup
“One conversation with Faisal Hoque and you understand why his book Everything Connects is powerful."
―Center for Creative Leadership
Top customer reviews
The writing style is easy-to-read and approachable. Both authors, Hoque and Baer, present the material with humor, thoughtfulness, and humility. I am a slow reader and started reading the book on my commute to work. I was surprised when I got off at my destination that I had read 60 pages in a single sitting. My compliments about the writing style are only eclipsed by my response to the content.
While it is established early on that target audience is entrepreneurs, the book redefines and recontextualized the term to mean "anyone who takes ownership of their economic well-being." And in that sense, the ideas and values expressed by the authors are applicable to any discipline, any industry, and any profession. One particularly memorable example is the discussion of Molly Crabapple, a painter-illustrator-entrepreneur-activist, who leveraged her network, current technology, and business acumen to be an artist making six-figures.
Another notable feature of the book is the sensitivity and humility of the authors towards race and culture. It reaffirms the core message that positive connections and humanism reinforce long-term gain and shape a better company. Both authors draw from a deep well of knowledge, from meditation practices to interviews with contemporary CEOs, to ancient proverbs. As the title suggests, "Everything Connects" investigates the contexts that currently exist to form meaningful bridges. On a personal note, it was refreshing to read about shifting capitalism away from efficiency to humanism.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed "Flow" and anyone who yearns to integrate of technology and humanism in both their personal and professional lives.
This is a metaphor used by John Mackay founder of Whole Foods Market, in his book on “Conscious Capitalism,” (reviewed in this column,) business at its most moral, and most profitable. This is a fitting introduction to this book, “Everything Connects,” which complements Mackay’s work by focusing on how you achieve this “consciousness.” How you do well in business, by doing good.
Much of how we talk about business is unfortunate. Business is a “rat-race,” where there is only one winner, but he is still a rat. Business is “dog eat dog,” where people will do anything to be successful, even if they do harm to others.
If this were necessarily true, successful business people should be ashamed for being successful. It is not true. Superb books such as Mackay’s and this book, “Everything Connects,” tell a decidedly different story.
The idea that everything connects is referring to the four principle spheres of business. These are the leader, the people in the organization, the ecosystem that encompasses the business, and the customers that it serves. The performance of any of these spheres has a profound effect on all the others.
For example, leaders who focus singularly on output might well find that scaring staff can be useful for short -term productivity. However, if you require staff to make better products or offer a better service you have to manage them with the awareness that your “human resource” is a sentient resource. People are complex and acutely sensitive. All staff bring their personalities, histories, aspirations and fears to work. Everything is connected.
The Stanford Project on Emerging Companies, a longitudinal study, showed the correlation between of the employment practices of nearly 200 young Silicon Valley firms and their subsequent performance. Qualitative factors such as culture and the way people within an organization relate to one another predicted the quantitative. The qualitative factors correlated to the company’s chance of being listed on a stock exchange, and once listed, being able to grow. Everything is connected.
The profit a company makes is tangible, and can be represented on a spreadsheet. What causes profit creation is not tangible. Profit is invariably the results of the subtle, private, personal experiences, and choices of the people participating in that process.
Think of times you have chosen to work from home, (or would have if you could have,) rather than in the office. You made this choice because the environment at home was more conducive to deep thought than the office.
“Your environment is a tool; just as you need the right tool for the job, you’d do well to find the right environment for the job,” say the authors. This is just one example of the myriad of factors that affects productivity and creativity and that requires managerial attention. Everything is connected.
“Work for the long term,” is a recurring theme in the book and an indispensable component of an effective worldview.
The demands of shareholders to meet growth expectations, too often leads to a short-termism that profoundly damages the company for the long-term. Last week a friend told me that her company was offering early retirement to many senior people. I presume that they will be replaced by less expensive, but far less experienced younger people. This will certainly benefit the results in the short-term, but severely prejudice it in the long term. Short-term fixes such as curtailing training, cancelling marketing, and postponing research will produce the same long-term damage.
“Any transaction has short-term and long-term consequences… Short-term consequences will often be quantitative, and long-term ones will be qualitative. A sustaining, holistic organization is conscious of both.” Everything is connected.
The skill that goes into producing a product or service is experienced directly by the user. To achieve a superb output, the performance must masterful. It is for this reason that leaders need to “curate” talent. Curating involves gathering the right people, at the right time in their lives, in the right combination of talents required to produce. The client’s experience is a function of the leader’s ability to “curate” talent.
The author argues cogently that most sustainable way to create value is to invest in your own and your people’s capabilities, as individuals, and as parts of organizations. The investment they talk of is more than taking a course and learning theories and practices. It extends to our own mental experiences, our social interactions, and our philosophy of life. Doing exceptional work requires a holistic, long-term view, and engaging with “mindfulness and authenticity.”
At the heart of the insight of this book, is you, the individual, in your role as leader. Your beliefs, thoughts, behaviour, and values will undoubtable affect the decisions you take, and the willingness and ability of your staff to give of their best.
One of the primary forms of the self-investment proposed by the authors is “mindfulness meditation.” A Wake Forest University study indicated that this religion-neutral activity improved cognition after only four days of training. A University of California - Santa Barbara study found that meditation increased working memory and reduced mental wandering.
To achieve a higher level of consciousness is to see the role of business as a force for good in the world. For the betterment of all - leaders, the people in the organization, the ecosystem that encompasses the business, and the customers that it serves, changes are required. What this practical book describes is how to effect those changes.
Phil Libin, the CEO of Evernote, makes the point that humanizing our working lives is a “sufficiently epic quest” to make it worthy of our total dedication.
Readability Light -+--- Serious
Insights High -+--- Low
Practical High -+--- Low
I also love the opening section about innovation and efficiency not being opposites but potentially having opposing structures to optimize for each.
To get to the review's, title, however, the most compelling piece was the use of such a variety of case studies and stories, from Hindu myths to Schumpeter's concept of creative destruction to Da Vinci to new startups. I felt the authors struck a great balance of the timeless/timely in their choices.
Most recent customer reviews
How to Transform and Lead in the Age of Creativity, Innovation, and Sustainability
Faisal Hoque, Drake Baer
McGraw-Hill Professional...Read more