NAMED A 2018 BEST BUSINESS BOOK PICK BY FAST COMPANY AND WIRED UK.
Confronting change is incredibly hard, both organizationally and personally. People become resistant. They are afraid. Yet the pace of change in our world will never be slower than it is right now, says Beth Comstock, the former Vice Chair and head of marketing and innovation at GE.
Imagine It Forward is an inspiring, fresh, candid, and deeply personal book about how to grapple with the challenges to change we face every day. It is a different kind of narrative, a big picture book that combines Comstock’s personal story in leading change with vital lessons on overcoming the inevitable roadblocks. One of the most successful women in business, Comstock shares her own transformation story from introverted publicist to GE’s first woman Vice Chair, and her hard-won lessons in shifting GE, a 125 year old American institution, toward a new digital future and a more innovative culture.
As the woman who initiated GE's Ecomagination clean-energy and its (and NBC’s) digital transformations, Comstock challenged a global organization to not wait for perfection, but to seek out emerging trends, embrace smart risks and test ideas boldly, and often. She shows how each one of us can become a “change maker” by leading with imagination.
“Ideas are rarely the problem,” writes Comstock. “What holds all of us back, really—is fear. It’s the attachment to the old, to ‘What We Know.’”
As Comstock makes clear, transforming the mindset and culture of a company is messy. There is no easy checklist. It is fraught with uncertainty, tension and too often failure. It calls for the courage to defy convention, go around corporate gatekeepers when necessary, and reinvent what is possible.
For all those looking to spearhead change in their companies and careers, and reinvent “the way things are done,” Imagine It Forward masterfully points the way.
|Publisher:||Crown Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.41(w) x 9.41(h) x 1.43(d)|
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Excerpted from "Imagine It Forward"
Copyright © 2018 Beth Comstock.
Excerpted by permission of The Crown Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
The future is not in our stars but in our imaginations, and our actions.
Introduction Closing the Imagination Gap We can no longer afford to fail to imagine xiii
Section I Self-Permission
Shift mind-set. Every change-maker learns to give herself permission to push outside expectations and limitations.
Chapter 1 Reinvention 3
Ignore the Gatekeepers
Develop Social Courage
No = Not Yet
Chapter 2 The Outsider Inside 32
Build Bridges, Not Walls
Take the Job No One Wants
Make the Work Great
Challenge: Grab Agency 55
Section II Discovery
Discovery is about infusing yourself with a spirit of inquiry and curiosity, turning the world into a classroom for learning and for unearthing ideas that can make change possible.
Chapter 3 Edison's Marines 61
Go Boldly into the Unknown
Optimize Today and Build Tomorrow
Spark New Perspectives
Chapter 4 A Breakthrough of Imagination: A New Way of Marketing 86
Live in the Market
Protect a Class of Ideas
Get Outside the Jar
Chapter 5 Ecomagination 104
Meet Change Early
The Change-maker's Dilemma
Challenge: Make Room for Discovery 122
Section III Agitated Inquiry
Innovation is the result of seeking out tension, not avoiding it. It's not about reassurance or consensus-it often encourages confrontation.
Chapter 6 Naysayers and the Digital Onslaught 129
Conflict as an Engine of Creativity
Analog Dollars for Digital Pennies?
Chapter 7 Failing Forward: It Takes a Village 147
Tension Is the Price of Admission
Chapter 8 Getting It Right 160
Challenge Status Quo
Constraints Are Necessary
Challenge: Getting Good at Conflict 182
Section IV Storycraft
You have to adapt your narrative to help the people in an organization understand their world. That, in turn, will change how they act in order to create a different, better future.
Chapter 9 Rewriting Your Story 189
Strategy Is Story
Make the Invisible Visible
Shout Louder Than We Spend
Chapter 10 Minds, Machines, and Market Share 224
Getting Over Functional Fixedness
Go See for Yourself
Challenge: Storytelling's Unexpected Power 267
Section V Creating a New OS
Share a new mind-set, spreading ideas bottom-up and out side-in, finding dedicated agents of change within the company to make the story their own.
Chapter 11 Opening Up 271
Who's in Charge?
Return on Failure
Chapter 12 Illuminating the Darkness: A Faint and Flickering Light 303
Test & Learn
New to Big
Challenge: Be an Emergent Leader 363
We can't give up on imagination and possibility. Tomorrow always comes.
If you see a better way, you have an obligation to pursue it. That's the change-maker's rallying cry.