Great by Choice


10 years after the success of ‘Good to Great‘, author Jim Collins returns with some interesting findings.  Top contenders are findings such as the ability to scale innovation and to blend creativity and discipline.  I have long argued that creativity is not ‘flakey’ but the most disciplined that you will ever be  (Collins = hedgehog).  That creative discipline delivers on performance goals and is consistent with values-in-action. The ability to marry relentless discipline with focused creativity is more important now that ever before. What also hasn’t changed is the leadership mandate of serving a cause bigger than personal ego.  The rest is new findings, not a rehash of old results.  Emphasis is on long-term strategy – a 20 mile march.  Hopefully we have learned by now that a focus on short-term results leads to trouble if not extinction.  I love the concept of ‘zoom-out then zoom-in’ – holding both a mega and micro view builds on what we know of complexity theory that is driving business results, SMaC (specific, methodical and consistent) and the genius of the ‘and’.  A worthwhile read.

Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck–Why Some Thrive Despite Them All

Beyond


This is one of the best books I have read in a long time.  Authors, Mario Raich and Simon Dolan have produced an intriguing roadmap into our future – business and society in transformation. Dolan, a professor at ESADE is one of the reasons why Barcelona has one of the best business programs in the world.  This book will give you a taste of where business needs to focus in order to survive in this new economy.  It also shows why North America is falling behind in innovation.


Beyond: Business and Society in Transformation

The Element


Ken Robinson is one of my favorites on ted.com.  His original ted talk in 2006 on how our school system kills creativity is worth watching.  His second performance at Ted in 2010, Robinson’s focus is on our crisis in human resources – the lack of creativity.  He states that human resources are like natural resources – they are buried deep and you have to go digging for them. He calls for a revolution in education and I cannot agree more. Our schools are failing to develop the levels of creativity and innovation necessary to move us out of this economic crisis.  Robinson compares our current education system to fast food where everything is standardized to the lowest common denominator.  We need to do better if we are to survive.

In his new book, The Element, Robinson interviews some of the  most successful people on the planet to discover how found a way to live their passion and survive.  His point rests on our need for communities that have a diversity of talent, not a singular conception of ability.  If we focus on our passion – that which excites our spirit and our energy – what a difference it makes to the health and wealth of our organizations and our communities.

Food for thought for the summer.

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything