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October 19, 2011

News & Opinion: A New inBubbleWrap Giveaway: Plan B

By: Sally Haldorson @ 6:06 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

If you were to open up David Kord Murray's Plan B to the Table of Contents and run your finger down the list of chapter inclusions, you'd scan such colorful teasers as these:

iTunes as a Can Opener
The Fat Man and Little Boy
Ten Thousand Empty Stores
Ernest Hemingway
Beginner's Sex

Intriguing, to say the least. And isn't it exciting to open up a new book, a book on strategy and management no less, and actually be curious not only about the information provided but also about how these teasers will be resolved, how the author's apparently quirky point of view will levitate the material? Murray did this same thing in his first book, Borrowing Brilliance too. It was a book that surprised and entertained while informing with great seriousness about its topic. And that pretty well describes Murray as well: watch this real-life rocket scientist talk about Borrowing Brilliance at one of our LeaveSmarter events here.

In Plan B, Murray also includes among that list of colorful inclusions the core principles of what he calls Adaptive Management, including:

The Principle of Problems
The Principle of Force
The Principle of Concurrent Thinking
The Principle of Cascading Objectives
The Principle of Multiple Futures
The Principle of Doubt

Yup. Still intrigued. Even the nitty-gritty has been melted into helpful, memorable nuggets of information.

For Murray, "...Plan B [is] the evolutionary descendant of your original plan, which is arrived at through a fusion if strategic and tactical execution."

This isn't too far off his thesis for his first book which is that all innovation is built off someone else's good idea. But here Murray calls for you to build off your first good idea in a way, because that first idea, the one you drew up a business plan for, plotted and pitched, may never going to be the one (emphasis on one) that succeeds, and if it does, it won't for long. That's not the world, especially this fast, fast, fast world, works. This world calls for flexibility, but flexibility with intention: aka adaptive management.

"The sixth principle, The Principle of Paper Plans, states that the plan itself is worthless. The act of planning is important, not the plan, because it educates you and your field managers and allows you to make intelligent adjustments during the implementation."

Successfully intertwining lessons of war and history with lessons from contemporary business innovation and evolution, Murray has put together a book that maximizes all that a business book can be. Plan B is practical: you can sit right now and follow the principles and hammer out your business plan and how it can remain flexible; Plan B is theoretical: you can read his theory on adaptive management and scrutinize your own ability to make your plans "more like water"; and Plan B is engaging: you can let the stories and anecdotes carry you along as you ingest both application and theory.

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About Sally Haldorson


Sally Haldorson's job as 800-CEO-READ’s General Manager is to make 800-CEO-READ a great place to work for our employees, and a consistently high-performing customer service organization for our clients, authors, and our partners in the publishing industry. In addition to her General Manager duties ensuring collaboration, integration, and quality, she reads, writes, reviews, curates, and edits for the company. Helping craft The 100 Best Business Books of All Time used parts of both skill sets. Outside of work, she is most likely to be found hitting a tennis ball around or hanging out with her boys (husband, child, dog) at home.