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On Creativity, Innovation, and Renewal features the best thinking from top experts on strategic innovation, sparking creativity, and transforming organizations. Written in a concise style that is ideal for the busy executive with little spare time, the book presents a stellar roster of contributors. On Creativity, Innovation, and Renewal is one title in the Leader to Leader Guides, which draw from the most compelling articles that have appeared in Leader to Leader, the Drucker Foundation's award-winning journal.
To be sustainable, an organization must scan its environment to identify major trends; review its mission and refine it to reflect changes in the environment; abandon outdated views and practices; develop strategic goals that embody its desired future, based on its mission and values; and measure performance based on these. It must cultivate innovation; finance the few initiatives that will make a difference; deploy resources where they will have the most impact; refine communication; provide continuous learning opportunities; initiate job rotation and expansion; create a marketing mind-set; listen to the customer; and recognize technology as a tool, not a driver. It must create dispersed, fluid leadership; facilitate leadership development and transition; focus on strengths rather than weaknesses; increase diversity; form strategic partnerships; and contribute to the community.
I was struggling to write this article about what leaders and organizations must do, today, to be viable and relevant 10 years from now. I told Rob Johnston, our president, that I thought the title would be "When the Roll Is Called in 2010." He left and shortly returned to my office with a Web site printout of a great old hymn I remember from my Methodist Sunday School days: "When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder, I'll Be There." That wasn't exactly what I had in mind.
My concern is with how our actions today shape our legacy. Building a sustainable organization is one of a leader's primaryresponsibilities. When the challenges of today have been met, will your organization have the vigor to grow tomorrow? When the roll is called in 2010, will your organization be present?
Few social observers project that the years 2001-2010 will be easy ones for organizations in the public, private, and social sectors. Instead, tenuous, turbulent, and tough are the descriptors I hear when thought leaders evoke the future. But inclusive, wide open, and promising are part of the picture as well.
To meet the challenges and opportunities of the years to come requires hard work. My checklist—not for survival but for a successful journey to 2010—includes the following points:
Frances Hesselbein is editor in chief of Leader to Leader, chairman of the board of governors of the Drucker Foundation, and former chief executive of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.
About the Editors.
1. When the Role Is Called in 2010 (Frances Hesselbein).
2. Innovation: The New Route to New Wealth (Gary Hamel and Peter Skarzynski).
3. The Spice of Life (An Interview with Stephen Jay Gould).
4. Gene Politics and the Natural Selection of Leaders (Nigel Nicholson).
5. The Growth Imperative (Noel Tichy).
6. How Managers Can Spark Creativity (Dorothy Leonard and Walter Swap).
7. The Business Case for Passion (An Interview with Randy Komisar).
8. Sustaining the Ecology of Knowledge (John Seely Brown).
9. Making the Leap to Internet Time (Patricia B. Seybold).
10. The Residue of Leadership: Why Ambition Matters (James Champy).
11. The Challenge of Strategic Innovation (Costas Markides).
12. The New Merchants of Light (Harriet Rubin).