Sorry for the lame play on words, but I could't resist.
 
I just finished Roger Martin's "The Design of Business" and loved it.  I am a huge fan of Taleb and his Fooled By Randomness/Black Swan ideas, as well as an ardent student of innovation literature (everything from Moore to Christensen, Chesborough, Prahalad, Slywotzky, etc.). And I work with a consulting firm whose offerings are founded in org psychology and behavior. 
 
Martin's book is a beautiful and relatively no-nonsense amalgamation of some of the more poignant ideas from all of these disciplines. His theory of The Knowledge Funnel fits very neatly with the innovation literature and is based in James March's idea of exploration vs. exploitation in organizations. And his description of "abductive" vs. inductive/deductive reasoning and the logical fallacy that too frequently results from linking validity and reliabiliy would make Taleb proud.
 
But that's all esoteric jibberish. For those of you just looking for a neat summary of the book, here is a great quote from the book that pretty well sums it up.
 
"The path of the reliability-based [(i.e. dependent on analytical reasoning)] CEO is clear: when faced with a decision about investing in something new and promising, but not in the current budget, just say no. Argue that if something cannot be budgeted and planned in advance, it is not worth doing. Make sure that all jobs have to be formally installed into the structure of the company. And if the project does somehow get the go-ahead, pile it on top of ongoing activities of someone with a permanent assignment or give it to someone who is unimportant, an underperformer, or on the way out. This way, the organization can read the signals: projects are not important. The CEO can continue to grant highest status and compensation to those running the biggest businesses, even if they are highly stable algorithms that run like clockwork, and to devalue the tackling of wicked turnaround challenges by giving the managers assigned to them lower status and lower compensation. It is a time-honored formula for enshrining reliability atop the company's heirarchy of values."
 
All in all, it's a great book and a quick read. Martin puts forward the theories, tells a few interesting and related stories, and then wraps it up. Little fluff, plenty of substance.
 
Let me know if you like it.
 

Posted via email from Human Ventures

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