February 14, 2012

News & Opinion: Big-Hearted Business Books

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

In Gary Hamel's new book, What Matters Now (which we are giving away this week on inBubbleWrap!), he encourages leaders to define a mission that "embodies the values of trust, generosity, and forebearance" no matter how "radical and weird" it seems. But he even goes further and suggests you bring love into the equation.
[H]ere's an experiment to try. The next time you're stuck in a staff meeting, wait until everyone's eyes have glazed over from PowerPoint fatigue and then announce that what your company really needs is a lot more luuuuuv. When addressing a large group of managers, I often challenge them to stand up for love (or beauty or justice or truth) in just that way. "When you get back to work, tell your boss you think the company has a love deficit." This suggestion invariably provokes a spasm of nervous laughter, which has always struck me as strange. Why is it that as managers we are perfectly willing to accept the idea of a company dedicated to timeless human values, but are, in general, unwilling to become practical advocates for those values within our organizations?
The problem, as Hamel defines it, is that organizations tend to value utilitarianism, but shy away from valuing values. "[T]his kind of dedication to big-hearted goals and high-minded ideals is all too rare in business. Nevertheless, I believe that long-lasting success, both personal and corporate, stems from an allegiance to the sublime and the majestic." Hamel is the author of The Future of Management and the co-author, with C.K. Prahalad, of Competing for the Future. What Matters Now is a multi-tiered look at how organizations must become more adaptable and innovative by tapping into the creative power of their people rather than relying on a more traditional, more inhuman, management ideology. *** Other books we love that put heart at the heart of the matter?


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.