The Leader's Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century

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The Leader's Guide to Radical Management shows how innovation can become an organization-wide capability, a part of an entire firm's DNA.

The need is urgent. The economy-wide rate of return on assets is one quarter of 1965 levels. Workers are disgruntled. Customers are frustrated. Brands are unraveling. Executive turnover is accelerating. Innovation is faltering. These issues call for a radically different kind of management.

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The Leader's Guide to Radical Management shows how innovation can become an organization-wide capability, a part of an entire firm's DNA.

The need is urgent. The economy-wide rate of return on assets is one quarter of 1965 levels. Workers are disgruntled. Customers are frustrated. Brands are unraveling. Executive turnover is accelerating. Innovation is faltering. These issues call for a radically different kind of management.

Here you will find the definitive guide to pulling apart the black box of traditional management and putting the pieces together in a new way. It leads to workplaces that generate high productivity, continuous innovation, deep job satisfaction, and client delight.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
“Denning has written an original and brilliant book which transforms ‘radical management’ into doable and, more important, indispensable management. Also an indispensable read!”
—Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business, University of Southern California & author of the just published: Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership

“Denning goes to the root of the management issues confronting companies today. Focusing on seven core principles, he lays out a pragmatic roadmap for shifting the corporation from a focus on scalable efficiency to a focus on delighting the customer and each other, while achieving even higher levels of productivity. In the process, he creates a space where we all can more fully achieve our potential.”
— John Hagel, Co-Chairman, Deloitte Center for the Edge

The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management delivers. It delivers insight into why today’s broken institutions don’t work. It delivers the principles and practices that can reinvent them. It delivers powerful examples of organizations that are doing it —and some that aren’t — and it delivers the tools to help you start digging a new foundation.”
—Jim Kouzes, award-winning coauthor of the bestselling The Leadership Challenge and The Truth About Leadership; Dean’s Executive Professor of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

“To reinvent America and the world, we desperately need radical, new leadership and management. Stephen shows the way.”
—Mark Victor Hansen, Co-creator of the series Chicken Soup for the Soul®

The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management is the paradigm shift we have been looking for to guide us as we evolve.  This is the first book that focuses on what is truly important to being successful.”
—Matt Hlavin, President, Thogus Products Company

The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management reframes the way we think about management in a practical, application-driven way. A must-read for anyone in a management position!”
—Ed Scanlan,CEO, Total Attorneys

“This book contributes with principles on radical management and continuous innovation to support an Agile mindset in your entire organization.”
—Michael Holm, CEO, Systematic Software

“I’ve spent the last 35 years of my professional life bushwhacking my way towards what I now know, thanks to Steve Denning, is the nirvana called Radical Management. It is a place where delighting customers is the religion and creativity, passion and learning are revered. Denning’s Radical Management is the antidote to the greatest disease in the workplace today, mental resignation due to lack of purpose.  Radical Management should be required reading for anyone entering the work force or looking to reignite their inner bushwhacker!”
—Sam Bayer, CEO, b2b2dot0

The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management accomplishes what no leadership book has been able to do in recent times. It delivers clear insights on the impediments keeping most institutions today from success. Beyond that though it provide tools and means of overcoming these barriers in novel and often counter-intuitive ways. A must read for leaders attempting to move to the next level of performance.”
—Rob Cross, Professor, University of Virginia

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470548684
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/12/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 705,043
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Denning is a leading writer who consults with organizations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia on leadership, management, innovation, and business narrative. In 2009, he was a visiting fellow at All Souls College, Oxford University, U.K. He is the author of The Secret Language of Leadership—a Financial Times selection in Best Books of 2007, and a 800-CEO-READ selection as the best book on leadership in 2007.

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Table of Contents

Preface v

Introduction 1

1 Management Today 9

2 A Brief History of Management 22

3 What Radical Management Means 40

Part 1 The Seven Principles of Continuous Innovation

4 Principle #1: Delighting Clients 57

5 Principle #2: Self-Organizing Teams 89

6 Principle #3: Client-Driven Iterations 115

7 Principle #4: Delivering Value to Clients in Each Iteration 140

8 Principle #5: Radical Transparency 164

9 Principle #6: Continuous Self-Improvement 182

10 Principle #7: Interactive Communication 206

Part 2 Implementation

11 A River of Cascading Conversations 225

12 Epilogue 263

Appendix: Summary of Radical Management Practices 269

Notes 274

Acknowledgments 309

About the Author 313

Index 315

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 17, 2010

    Management Innovation is Radical!

    Steve Denning begins his book, The Leader's Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century with a quote from the 2009 Shift Index: "Remarkably, the return on assets for U.S. firms has steadily fallen to almost one quarter of 1965 levels.very few [workers] (20 percent) are passionate about their jobs.executive turnover is increasing. Customers are becoming less loyal to brands.the rate at which big companies lose their leadership positions is increasing." Everyone is talking about innovation in products, services, processes, supply chain, etc. But few talk about innovating management itself, perhaps because it hits the closest to home and is the hardest and scariest form of innovation. We tend to think of start-ups or 'younger' companies when we think of innovative forms of management (e.g., Google, Zappos, etc.), but W. L. Gore is not a 'young' company, nor is Standard & Poor's. Innovating management evokes the root fears of innovation - fear of the unknown and of losing control, authority, power, respect, even one's job. How do you experiment and prototype this type of innovation without rocking the company to its core? That's what Steve's book is about - how to start moving your company forward through radically innovating how and what you manage, based on 7 Principles. In his forthright and clear style, Steve provides a framework for radical management that is simple to understand and follow - but bear in mind, simple doesn't mean easy, and this isn't easy. The 7 foundational Principles to Radical Management are: Principle 1: Focus on delighting the client Principle 2: Do work through self-organizing teams Principle 3: Do work in client-driven iterations Principle 4: Deliver value to clients in each iteration Principle 5: Be totally open about impediments to improvement: Principle 6: Create a context for continuous Principle 7: Communicate Interactively What makes The Leader's Guide to Radical Management so readable and "apply-able" is that it puts theory into practice, making it a 'user manual' if you will for radical management. Steve does this by using real life examples in multiple industries, examples we can relate to and apply to our own businesses. He also puts management into historical context so we understand how we got here and how best to un-learn old habits and lead others into more radical management. All this is good, but it needs to be broken down into 'manageable' steps to make it reality. Each principle has several Practices showing how to make the Principle real. These practices are tried and true, not theory. Finally, Steve gives examples of how radical management has been implemented today. We know execution is key and the book provides examples of companies, in various industries, sizes, ages, who exemplify radical management. (In full disclosure, I did suggest one of them, Thogus, because they have undergone an amazing, courageous transformation to become what I call the "google" of manufacturing) This is an important book to read, especially at this time and place in our economy and society. I encourage you to read this, put it at the top of you pile, read and discuss this book at your management team meetings, mark it up, put it to use and share it. It will change your organization for the better, if you've got the courage to try.

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