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 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781422122969
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date: 08/25/2009
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About 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.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xv

Part 1 Leader and Led

1 Understanding Clever People 3

2 What Can Leaders Do? 35

Part 2 Clever Teams 67

3 The Anatomy of Clever Teams 67

4 Breaking the Code of Clever Teams 101

Part 3 Clever Organizations

5 Contours of the Clever Organization 121

6 The Future of Clever Organizations 149

Notes 169

Index 173

About the Authors 181

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

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