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Reinvention: Accelerating Results in the Age of Disruption Hardcover – July 26, 2016
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About the Author
Shane is a founding partner at SweetmanCragun, a global management consulting and training firm. He focuses on establishing Leader-Accelerators throughout the world at the individual, team, organizational, and societal levels. He has worked as an internal management consultant/change agent at a Fortune 500 High Tech Firm, a line executive at FranklinCovey, and a global external management consultant. He recently co-authored the Employee Engagement Mindset published by McGraw-Hill. Shane loves photography, anthropology, writing, and exploring different cultures. He speaks rusty Russian.
Kate is a founding partner at SweetmanCragun, a global management consulting and training firm. She is a ''lifer'' in the field of leadership development and its application to organizations and society. She has spent most of her time working internationally with clients. Kate is an entrepreneur, editor, researcher, writer, consultant, and coach. She recently returned from a three-year stint in Asia looking at leadership effectiveness in the 18 core Asian countries. Kate has done considerable work in the Middle East. She is a co-author of the fast-selling book The Leadership Code, published by Harvard Business Press. Kate is an expert chef, and invites all readers over to dinner when in Boston. She speaks rusty French.
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If any of these changes took you by surprise, they shouldn’t have – at least according to the authors of Reinvention - Accelerating Results in the Age of Disruption (Shane Cragun and Kate Sweetman).
If you pay attention to our political, cultural or business scene, you know one thing for certain – nothing is as it was.
The scale, scope and pace of disruption has never been so great.
Even if you knew this, and in a sense maybe we all did, that still doesn’t keep us from feeling overwhelmed, discouraged and helpless.
Cragun and Sweetman have another answer – we can ride these crazy and seemingly unpredictable waves – and maybe even prosper in the process.
But we can only do so if we pay attention, listen and respond – and we can. And it does not need to be difficult or expensive – in fact Cragun and Sweetman would emphasize that doing nothing – or pretending such a response is not necessary – is far more difficult and expensive – and perhaps even economically suicidal.
The authors give us strategies, simple, but not necessarily easy, that can help us, as individuals or as leaders of organizations, weave our way through storms and crises that besiege and sink those around us.
The first principle is so simple, too many of us just forget to do it; listen and pay attention. Have ‘look-outs’ keeping an eye on your mission, your product, your customers and your reputation.
Another principle is leadership. As the authors put it “without leadership, everything else is just interesting” (pg 61). And, as everyone who has had a terrible boss knows all too well, “interesting” will always generate good stories, but can be a rough and chaotic road to disaster.
On the other hand, a key question, the authors suggest, of good leadership is “To what degree do people willingly follow you?” (pg 61).
Mahatma Gandhi is used as an example of someone with no official “positional” authority yet with great moral authority.
In contrast, “Powerful leaders with no moral authority gain followers through lies, threats, bribes and promises. But their true influence is generally short-term. The dictator is always overthrown”. (pg 62).
People can be manipulated and deceived, but not for long.
True reinvention comes from what Cragun and Sweetman call the “Change quotient” - dissatisfaction, focus, alignment and execution.
No company will fail if its customers are satisfied, and no business will succeed if the employees are dissatisfied and disrespected. No goal is achieved without a clear and consistent focus and the alignment of resources and personnel is essential to progress.
Execution merely means doing what needs to be done.
And all this, in most cases, is only worth doing if the possibilities are greater than the cost of change.
There are two principles from this book that resonate across every business, social or personal issue; it is far better to be the disrupter (Uber or Amazon, for example) than the disrupted (Radio Shack, Macy’s, Sears and too many more) and every organization is uniquely designed to achieve the results that it gets.
For better or worse, we in our business and personal lives, create the conditions for the results we then must live with.
This book could easily change the direction of your life and business.
"The best part of Reinvention is its unique approach to the topic of innovation. Most business advice focuses predominantly on the technical aspects of innovation at the expense of the mindset behind that innovation. This approach expands the conversation from questions like “What new app are you creating?” to “How can we transform the resources we have to successfully amaze our customers?” What’s more, the book examines achievements ranging from Thomas Edison’s light bulb to one of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s most well-known speeches, demonstrating the applicability of the book’s perspective across different industries.
Reinvention does an incredible job of expanding the perspective of innovation beyond the way it is traditionally discussed, but it could be improved by showing a business using each of its tools from beginning to end. Reinvention provides many case studies, but these case studies highlight only parts of its overall philosophy"