Putting Our Differences to Work: The Fastest Way to Innovation, Leadership and High Performanceby Debbe Kennedy, Joel A Barker
Pub. Date: 06/01/2008
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
Putting our differences to work means creating an environment where people, naturally unique and different, can work more effectively in ways that drive new levels of creativity, innovation, problem solving, leadership, and performance in the marketplaces, workplaces, and communities of the world. Debbe Kennedy shows how to make all the dimensions of difference
Putting our differences to work means creating an environment where people, naturally unique and different, can work more effectively in ways that drive new levels of creativity, innovation, problem solving, leadership, and performance in the marketplaces, workplaces, and communities of the world. Debbe Kennedy shows how to make all the dimensions of difference tremendous sources of strength.
Kennedy draws on the latest research and a wealth of real-world examples to offer compelling evidence showing exactly how putting our differences to work accelerates innovation and contribution. She identifies five distinctive qualities of leadership that leaders must add to their portfolio of skills to make differences an engine of success. And she provides a detailed six-stage process for making the most of differences in the workforce, combining first-person best-practice stories and strategic with tactical ideas to help you put each step into action.
Table of Contents
Foreword Joel A. Barker ix
Introduction: The Fastest Way 1
Taking Your Leadership to a New Level 11
The New Business Essentials 15
Five Distinctive Qualities of Leadership 33
The Basics for Putting Our Differences to Work 45
Knowledge and Know-how to Guide the Way 57
Step 1-Assessment: Defining Current Realities 63
Step 2-Acceptance: Developing Support for Change 77
Step 3-Action: Moving Forward 95
Step 4-Accountability: Establishing Shared Ownership 113
Step 5-Achievement: Measuring Progress; Celebrating Success 127
Step 6-More Action: Keeping Momentum Alive 139
Ever-Expanding Possibilities 151
Innovation at the Verge of Differences Joel A. Barker 155
Collaborating at the Verge of Differences 163
The Power of the Virtual Gathering Place 171
A Send-off: A Final Word 181
Resources and Studies 183
Notes and Sources 187
About the Author 207
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The cover of this book caught my eye as well as the title. I work for a company where we could really use the lessons of this book. Perhaps I can't change things by myself but I can start by changing myself and working with my own team to make a difference. I highly recommend this book to both those who are in a professional work environment as well as anyone who wants to make a difference in the world and create peace among by finding we are actually not that different as people and we have a lot to offer each other.
The author, Debbe Kennedy has written an excellent book in an area where modern industries and services need a tremendous amount of help. As a corporate director of human resources, I can attest to the strengths that an organization will acquire by following the edicts in this book. The book's goal is to create an environment and culture where naturally different people work together more effectively as they attain - and surpass - the organizational goals in leadership and performance. Debbe Kennedy shows how differences can mean much more than just the solidified categories such as race and sex. Her use of real-world examples of varying experiences and styles of management drive home the point that the area of diversity should never be shunned or viewed as a mere consequence but rather as the source of strength for future growth and excellence. In addition, I greatly appreciated the amount of research that went into this tome. This research lends an authorative tone to the work and makes it a compelling study in diversity. In today's age of hyper-blending of cultures, this book will be a great asset to those who approach the subject with an open mind and implement the ideas generated in this book. Diversity is the current situation and will grow by leaps and bounds as time progresses. For us to progress, we must learn to tap into this growing well of strength. Those who don't are sadly doomed to fail. I would also like to recommend Don't Bring It to Work: Breaking the Family Patterns That Limit Success and High Altitude Leadership: What the World's Most Forbidding Peaks Teach Us About Success (J-B US non-Franchise Leadership). Both are excellent managerial material. I hope you find this review helpful. Michael L. Gooch, SPHR