Leading the Revolution: How to Thrive in Turbulent Times by Making Innovation a Way of Life

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9780452283244: Leading the Revolution: How to Thrive in Turbulent Times by Making Innovation a Way of Life

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

One of the world's preeminent business thinkers and co-author of the bestseller, Competing for the Future, Gary Hamel has helped set the management agenda for three decades. Now, he brings us into the twenty-first century with Leading the Revolution, which spent time on The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Business Week bestseller lists, among others.

Hamel lays out an innovative action plan for any company or individual intent on becoming—and staying—an industry revolutionary, for years to come. By drawing on the success of "gray haired revolutionaries" like Charles Schwab, Virgin, and GE Capital—companies that are always thinking ahead of the game and growing in new directions—and profiling individuals such as Ken Kutaragi, one of the pioneers of Sony Playstation, Hamel explains how companies can continue to grow, innovate, and achieve success, even in a chaotic world market. With insight culled from years of experience, Hamel:
   ·  Explores where revolutionary new business concepts come from
   ·  Identifies the key design criteria for building companies that are activist-friendly and revolution-ready
   ·  Shows how to avoid becoming "one-vision wonders"
   ·  Demonstrates how to harness the imagination of every employee
   ·  Explains how to develop new financial measures that focus on creating new wealth

Packed with practical advice, Leading the Revolution is an accessible read, perfect for both businesses and individuals that don't want to get caught in the slow lane in the race for success in the twenty-first century.

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Review:

So much for the old economy, new economy divide. According to Gary Hamel, the professor-turned-strategy-guru author of Leading the Revolution, complacent establishment giants and one-strategy start-ups are on the same side of the fence--the wrong side. Corporate complacency and single-strategy business plans leave no room for what Hamel describes as the key to thriving in today's world of business: a deeply embedded capability for continual, radical innovation.

Leading the Revolution is not a calm analysis of what will or won't work in a post-industrial world. Instead, it's an impassioned call for revolutionary activists to shake the foundations of their companies' beliefs and move from a linear age of getting better, smarter, and faster, to a nonlinear age of becoming different. While in the past incremental improvements in products and services were accepted as good enough, Hamel shows that true innovation is the demolition and re-creation of an entire business concept. He blows apart the popular myth that innovation lies solely in the hands of dot.com dynamos like AOL and Amazon by scrutinizing the examples of such "gray-haired revolutionaries" as Enron and Charles Schwab, companies that have managed to reinvent both themselves and their entire industries, time and again.

After an in-depth examination of what business-concept innovation involves (for starters, it's "based on avoidance, not attack"), Hamel goes on to motivate his readers to see their own revolutionary future, and train them in the art of being an activist. As he puts it in various headings, be a novelty addict, be a heretic, know what's not changing, surface the dogmas. And then get out there and transform your ideas into reality. Not simply a round-up call, Hamel's book provides would-be activists with an intelligent, comprehensive plan of action. He illustrates each imperative with examples of real-life corporate rebels, such as John Patrick and David Grossman at IBM, Ken Kutaragi at Sony, and Georges Dupont-Roc at Shell. His message is the same to "old" and "new" companies alike: "Industry revolutionaries are like a missile up the tail pipe. Boom! You're irrelevant!" So join the revolution and avoid the explosion.

Hamel writes in a clear and compelling voice, preaching with passion but supporting what he says with detailed, experiential evidence. Each chapter is packed with probing questions and inspirational examples that aim to dig through the apathetic corners of your mind and throw hand grenades into any creative synapses still slumbering. Even the alternative (read innovative) design of Leading the Revolution will jolt you into a new level of awareness and imagination. Indeed, the only problem you might have with this book is an increasing desire to put it down before the end, get out there into the wild world of the activist, and start living the revolution. --S. Ketchum

From the Back Cover:

"Gary Hamel captures the moment with a no-holds-barred assessment of the issues facing companies all around the world as they struggle to catch up with the new economy." --Sir Richard Branson, Chairman, Virgin Group

"Gary Hamel's 'revolutionary entrepreneurship' model represents a substantial advance in our understanding of what companies must do to become outstanding innovators. It should influence not only top management but also all employees who are, indeed, the CEOs of their business lives."
--Ken Lay, Chairman and CEO, Enron Corporation

"Revolutionaries in the new economy are those leaders and companies willing to change the strategies that once made them great. Gary Hamel's clear and powerful blueprint for radical innovation is eye-opening for any business."
--Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO, Dell

"Gary Hamel captures the new competitive business environment, one in which dreams and reality merge. Leading the Revolution will inspire innovation at all levels and provide insight into opportunities for rewarding revolutionary thinking in new and bigger ways."
--Arthur M. Blank, President & CEO, The Home Depot, Inc.

"As venture capitalists, we like to finance swarms of startups that kick the stuffing out of established companies. So please put this book down. Now slowly back away from the counter.... Because if you and your company put Hamel's revolutionary principles to work, it's going to be a lot harder for our start-ups to take your company by surprise."
--Steve T. Jurvetson, Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson

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