Clever: Leading Your Smartest, Most Creative People

Clever: Leading Your Smartest, Most Creative People

by Rob Goffee, Gareth Jones
     
 

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If your company is like most, it has a handful of people who generate disproportionate quantities of value: A researcher creates products that bankroll the entire organization for decades. A manager spots consumer-spending patterns no one else sees and defines new market categories your enterprise can serve. A strategist anticipates global changes and correctly…  See more details below

Overview

If your company is like most, it has a handful of people who generate disproportionate quantities of value: A researcher creates products that bankroll the entire organization for decades. A manager spots consumer-spending patterns no one else sees and defines new market categories your enterprise can serve. A strategist anticipates global changes and correctly interprets their business implications.

Companies' competitiveness, even survival, increasingly hinge on such "clever people." But the truth is, clever people are as fiercely independent as they are clever-they don't want to be led. So how do you corral these players in your organization and inspire them to achieve their highest potential?

In Clever, Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones offer potent insights drawn from their extensive research. The authors explain how to:

-Identify your clever people and their motivations

-Shelter your "clevers" from political distractions that can inhibit their productivity

-Help clevers generate even more value by creating clever teams

-Manage the unique tensions that can arise when clevers work together

Leading clever people can be enormously challenging, yet doing so effectively is the key to your organization's sustained success. Lively and engaging, this book provides the ideas, practices, and examples you need to create an environment where your most brilliant people can flourish.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
They tend to obsess over work projects, don't like to be told what to do and need lots of space. They are video-game designer Will Wright, iMac creator Jonathan Ive and Louis Vuitton brand rejuvenator Marc Jacobs. They are the “clevers,” the “highly talented individuals with the potential to create disproportionate amounts of value from the resources that the organization makes available to them.” Goffee and Jones, professors at the London School of Business, present a smart and surprisingly entertaining manual on identifying and handling these employees for optimum benefit, complete with a dos and don'ts chart. They advocate building a corporate culture catering to these individuals—following the lead of Cisco Systems, Nestlé and Google—and argue that the stagnant economy demands creative approaches to inspire productivity: the particular skills of exceptionally gifted workers can be harnessed by entire businesses, creating clever teams and corporations. The book is balanced in its treatment and also explores the flip side of cleverness, making the important caveat: “the clever economy is not a utopian capitalist idyll,” in its illustration of how unchecked and glamorized cleverness contributed to Wall Street's implosion. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Goffee and Jones (London Business Sch.; Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?) outline ways to get the most from your "clever" employees—those who "make a disproportionate contribution" to the organization. Although the book is well organized, describing, e.g., how "clevers" ask difficult questions and are unimpressed by corporate hierarchies, and although it offers suggestions for leading these "clevers," readers may wonder how many "clevers" there truly are, thus just how applicable this title is. An optional choice.
From the Publisher

Some big fibs have endured longer than any others. "The cheque's in the post," for example. Or: "No, darling, you look lovely in that." And finally: "Our people are our biggest asset."
Here is a terrific new book that explodes the last item in that unholy trinity. The truth is that not every employee is such a huge asset, or "talent", to use the fashionable term. Only some of your people are your biggest asset. The point is to spot them, nurture them - and know when to leave them well alone… …These are the people who, in your business, are going to make the difference between just getting by and excelling. They have vast potential. Handle with care. - The Financial Times, September 3, 2009

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781422152683
Publisher:
Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date:
09/01/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
File size:
263 KB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Some big fibs have endured longer than any others. "The cheque's in the post," for example. Or: "No, darling, you look lovely in that." And finally: "Our people are our biggest asset."
Here is a terrific new book that explodes the last item in that unholy trinity. The truth is that not every employee is such a huge asset, or "talent", to use the fashionable term. Only some of your people are your biggest asset. The point is to spot them, nurture them - and know when to leave them well alone… …These are the people who, in your business, are going to make the difference between just getting by and excelling. They have vast potential. Handle with care. - The Financial Times, September 3, 2009

Meet the Author

Rob Goffee is Professor of Organizational Behavior at London Business School, where he teaches in the world-renowned Senior Executive Programme. Gareth Jones is a Fellow of the Centre for Management Development at London Business School and a visiting professor at INSEAD, the international business school in Fontainebleau, France.

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