Creativity and mastering change is a one-two punch that can yield business profits.
Ideas are the real corporate currency, argues Glenner (Selfish Altruism, 2012). Without a fresh supply of ideas, organizations can stagnate, reducing their chances for long-term survival. While most leaders recognize the need for new ideas, actually implementing those ideas comes with a painful, often frightening prospect: change. Drawing on his experience as a consultant, entrepreneur and professional pilot, Glenner contends that progressive organizations have a robust tolerance for change. This allows them to profit from their creativity. In crisp, lively prose, the author expounds on a formula he believes is the key to corporate success: “Ideas + Change = Innovation.” The “ideas” component of the book relies on well-established techniques to improve ideation, such as brainstorming and Jack Matson’s “Intelligent Fast Failure.” The more original and insightful sections cover the “change” component. Glenner argues that change requires a process to guide people through the difficulty of trying something new. He calls this process “changistics,” which, despite its New-Age ring, is a form of change management that stresses planning, communication and execution. The author’s aviation background comes through as he boils down the principles of changistics into easy-to-recall acronyms and key takeaways. Though it requires a hefty dose of optimism, changistics doesn’t promise things will always go smoothly. A large portion of the book deals with confronting failure. Glenner points to his own air freight company that went belly up in just two years. He urges that failure be redefined as a learning opportunity. The ultimate goal of changistics is a realization of human potential. Glenner contends that within every person is a wellspring of creativity that can push us to new heights if we embrace the changes it demands—wishful thinking, perhaps, for a business world always worried about the next quarterly earnings report. But Glenner views success as a long game that begins not by merely asking “why?” but wondering “why the hell not?”
A bold, self-empowering model for innovation that addresses the main reason why organizations resist change: fear of the unknown.
Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher
Review Posted Online: June 3, 2014
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