Here's what I said to reviewers -- I hope you'll consider how this applies to your own organization:
As a publisher I’m almost ashamed to admit that I was a voracious business and strategy book reader but I abandoned the category a year ago. Why? I felt most of the products I came across were either restating the obvious or 10 pages of content puffed up to a 300-page book.
You can probably imagine the mixed emotions I had when I sat down to read the manuscript for Nilofer Merchant’s "The New How." I’m glad I did though. Reading this book gave me a renewed hope that authors who are passionate and thoroughly know their topic still have plenty of valuable wisdom to share.
I found myself immediately relating to the notion of an “air sandwich” and how strategy is often pushed from the top, with no consideration given to organization-wide buy-in. No wonder so many strategies fail.
I also love how Nilofer provides excellent, prescriptive advice on sitting at the collaboration table including the fact that ideas don’t have to be fully baked at the earliest stages. And as Nilofer puts it, “organizations collaborate best when rewards are based on organizational success and less on individual accomplishments.” Amen!
Here’s another one of my favorite quotes from the book: Regarding whether to speak up or not, or to ask a “dumb” question, “It’s better to look dumb and learn than to keep quiet and stay uninformed.”
The chapter on Murderboarding outlines how organizations can, and must, kill off some ideas so that others can thrive. This helps organizations focus on the big, important initiatives.
I know you’re extremely busy and your reading stack is already pretty high. Mine is too, but I’m glad I took the time to read this terrific book. I was hooked after the first chapter. I encourage you to start reading it now and see if you agree.
Thanks in advance,
General Manager & Publisher,
O’Reilly Media, Inc.