Next book



Outstanding business insights in a work brimming with energy and vitality.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

An entrepreneur argues for business reinvention in this guide.

Zhexembayeva habitually writes about edgy business issues. In Overfished Ocean Strategy (2014), she urged business leaders to use the scarcity of resources to strategic advantage. Here, she makes a solid case for pursuing reinvention as a business strategy. While “change” is almost a cliché in business books, the author believes it can be a valuable motivational force for reinventing processes. Indeed, this is the premise of her visionary work: “The challenge we face isn’t about trying to survive until things stabilize, but rather about learning to thrive in constant chaos. That happens only when we accept that change is no longer a project and build a well-thought-out reinvention system that works.” That system is driven by a senior executive she terms “Chief Reinvention Officer” to ensure that this strategy is viewed as a top corporate priority. Zhexembayeva says she tested reinvention via workshops, surveys, and implementation of the tools described in this volume with “over 3,000 practitioners from more than 40 countries,” an impressive validation of the concept. The book itself follows a seemingly traditional, logical course in revealing the aspects of reinvention in three parts. It begins with an exploration of why businesses get into trouble, transitions to what they need to do to survive, and concludes with how to thrive. But the manner in which the material is presented is unconventional, bold, and exhilarating. A unique table of contents organized as a flow chart and meticulously designed and illustrated pages with exceptional attention to readability and ample room to write answers to engaging questions put this guide visually in a class by itself.

The content is as compelling as the manual’s design. The author relies on the central theme of comparing a business to a ship—far from unique but a powerful thread that maintains continuity through all three brilliantly executed sections. Zhexembayeva starts Part 1 with a provocative claim, “What Really Sank the Titanic,” which is likely to surprise many readers. She then seamlessly transitions to “Titanics of the Twenty-first Century”—companies in the Fortune 500—pointing out that only 60 of them from 1955 have survived today, “a sinking rate of 88%.” She labels this “a corporate disease.” The author then shares the results of original research suggesting why reinvention is the way forward for most companies. Part 2 focuses on what companies can do to “stay afloat.” Here, Zhexembayeva shares five intriguing “flips”—“crucial shifts in the way we think about, design, and implement change.” Three relevant case studies follow, with the opportunity for readers to write down their own reactions. Part 3 offers several interactive, valuable tools to help leaders reinvent their businesses. A “Bonus” section includes “Business Model Reinvention Cards,” detailing 25 models to help “structure, discuss, and develop projects.” These cards are just the creative icing on the cake. The author adds a wealth of outside resources, including volumes and articles (cleverly illustrated on bookshelves), to supplement the text.

Outstanding business insights in a work brimming with energy and vitality.

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64687-032-5

Page Count: 275

Publisher: Ideapress Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

Next book


Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

Next book



Perhaps not magic but appealing nonetheless.

Want to get ahead in business? Consult a dictionary.

By Wharton School professor Berger’s account, much of the art of persuasion lies in the art of choosing the right word. Want to jump ahead of others waiting in line to use a photocopy machine, even if they’re grizzled New Yorkers? Throw a because into the equation (“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?”), and you’re likely to get your way. Want someone to do your copying for you? Then change your verbs to nouns: not “Can you help me?” but “Can you be a helper?” As Berger notes, there’s a subtle psychological shift at play when a person becomes not a mere instrument in helping but instead acquires an identity as a helper. It’s the little things, one supposes, and the author offers some interesting strategies that eager readers will want to try out. Instead of alienating a listener with the omniscient should, as in “You should do this,” try could instead: “Well, you could…” induces all concerned “to recognize that there might be other possibilities.” Berger’s counsel that one should use abstractions contradicts his admonition to use concrete language, and it doesn’t help matters to say that each is appropriate to a particular situation, while grammarians will wince at his suggestion that a nerve-calming exercise to “try talking to yourself in the third person (‘You can do it!’)” in fact invokes the second person. Still, there are plenty of useful insights, particularly for students of advertising and public speaking. It’s intriguing to note that appeals to God are less effective in securing a loan than a simple affirmative such as “I pay all bills…on time”), and it’s helpful to keep in mind that “the right words used at the right time can have immense power.”

Perhaps not magic but appealing nonetheless.

Pub Date: March 7, 2023

ISBN: 9780063204935

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harper Business

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2023

Close Quickview