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The Leader's Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century

The Leader's Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century [Kindle Edition]

Stephen Denning
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' Denning puts forward a fundamentally different approach to management' (, November 2010).


“Denning has written an original and brilliant book which transforms ‘radical management’ into doable and, more important, indispensable management. Also an indispensable read!”
—Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business, University of Southern California & author of the just published: Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership

“Denning goes to the root of the management issues confronting companies today. Focusing on seven core principles, he lays out a pragmatic roadmap for shifting the corporation from a focus on scalable efficiency to a focus on delighting the customer and each other, while achieving even higher levels of productivity. In the process, he creates a space where we all can more fully achieve our potential.”
— John Hagel, Co-Chairman, Deloitte Center for the Edge

The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management delivers. It delivers insight into why today’s broken institutions don’t work. It delivers the principles and practices that can reinvent them. It delivers powerful examples of organizations that are doing it —and some that aren’t — and it delivers the tools to help you start digging a new foundation.”
—Jim Kouzes, award-winning coauthor of the bestselling The Leadership Challenge and The Truth About Leadership; Dean’s Executive Professor of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

“To reinvent America and the world, we desperately need radical, new leadership and management. Stephen shows the way.”
—Mark Victor Hansen, Co-creator of the series Chicken Soup for the Soul®

The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management is the paradigm shift we have been looking for to guide us as we evolve.  This is the first book that focuses on what is truly important to being successful.”
—Matt Hlavin, President, Thogus Products Company

The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management reframes the way we think about management in a practical, application-driven way. A must-read for anyone in a management position!”
—Ed Scanlan,CEO, Total Attorneys

“This book contributes with principles on radical management and continuous innovation to support an Agile mindset in your entire organization.”
—Michael Holm, CEO, Systematic Software

“I’ve spent the last 35 years of my professional life bushwhacking my way towards what I now know, thanks to Steve Denning, is the nirvana called Radical Management. It is a place where delighting customers is the religion and creativity, passion and learning are revered. Denning’s Radical Management is the antidote to the greatest disease in the workplace today, mental resignation due to lack of purpose.  Radical Management should be required reading for anyone entering the work force or looking to reignite their inner bushwhacker!”
—Sam Bayer, CEO, b2b2dot0

The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management accomplishes what no leadership book has been able to do in recent times. It delivers clear insights on the impediments keeping most institutions today from success. Beyond that though it provide tools and means of overcoming these barriers in novel and often counter-intuitive ways. A must read for leaders attempting to move to the next level of performance.”
—Rob Cross, Professor, University of Virginia


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5.0 von 5 Sternen Bahnbrechend 30. September 2011
Von Oliver Völckers TOP 500 REZENSENT
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Stephen Denning ist ein Forbes-Autor, ehemaliger Manager des IWF und Wirtschaftsjournalist. In diesem Buch versucht er, die Erfahrungen der "Scrum"-Arbeitsmethode aus der Softwaretechnik für andere Managementbereiche zu verallgemeinern. Das führt tatsächlich zu einer verblüffend neuen Arbeitsorganisation.

Für das "Radical Management" stellt Denning sieben Prinzipien auf:
1. Fokus darauf, die Kunden zu begeistern (nicht nur zufrieden zu stellen)
2. Arbeit in selbstorganisierten Teams
3. Kundengesteuerte Iterationen (regelmäßige Annäherungen an das Arbeitsziel)
4. Jede Iteration soll konkreten Nutzen bringen, auch wenn er nur gering sein mag
5. Völlige Offenheit über Hindernisse, die Verbesserungen im Wege stehen
6. Permanente Selbst-Verbesserung des Teams
7. Interaktive Kommunikation

Statt einer konventionellen Hierarchie und Projektplänen mit Managern als Antreibern sollen die Mitarbeiter selbst die Kundenanforderungen verstehen und sich selber realistische Ziele setzen, die ihrem Tempo entsprechen. Weil das mehr Spaß macht und Erfolgserlebnisse bringt, gibt es kaum noch Reibungsverluste. Demokratisierte Strukturen erhöhen die Produktivität.

Die Sache hat einen Haken, auf den der Autor nicht eingeht: Selbstbewusste Mitarbeiter werden keine schlechte Führung mehr akzeptieren, und so geraten unfähige Topmanager unter Druck. Aber das ist Denning egal. Hauptsache, die Arbeit funktioniert besser. Denning will die Hindernisse für die Weiterentwicklung der Produktivkräfte wegräumen, etwa Innere Kündigung, Passivität und inkompetente Führung. Das ist ein mutiges Ziel, eben "Radical Management".
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Startling clarity, common sense, and immediate relevance 22. September 2010
Von Robert David STEELE Vivas - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
I received a copy of this book as a galley from the publisher, and I strongly recommend it in any form. I first met Steve Denning when he was recently retired from being the program director of knowledge management at the World Bank, and had created no-cost global networks for multinational information sharing decades before the term M4IS2 came into vogue (Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making). His first book, The Springboard: How Storytelling Ignites Action in Knowledge-Era Organizations (KMCI Press) remains an essential reference for any leader at any level.

This book grabbed me right away, and while it reminds me of Peter Drucker, Peter Senge, and Gifford Pinchot, with a strong leavening from all the books I have been reading in the Collective Intelligence, Evolutionary Activism, Human Scale, and Epoch B Leadership arenas, this is clearly his own unique work and I would venture to say that this is the first book that captures the essence of 21st Century leadership.

My only negative thought is that the book is not "green" in any way, shape, or form, but I have absolute faith that the best of the leaders who read this book will understand thats when the author talks about "Radical Transparency," this should be applied to the entire life cycle of any product or service, and all "true costs" represented.

Oddly enough, this book is a perfect complement to the book I just finished reviewing a couple of days ago, Rethink: A Business Manifesto for Cutting Costs and Boosting Innovation and I recommend the two together--or at least read my summary of the latter book before you buy and read this one.

"Look Inside the Book" is visible at the hard copy page but not here, so here are the seven principles, each a chapter with anecdotes, each worth reading many times over. This is a book/e-book to be shared or bought in bulk for entry level, mid-career, and senior executives.

Principle #1: Delighting Clients. The author has studied others and noted the three layers of corporate performance, the lowest being you'll take what we give you; the second being we know what you need here it is; and the third being what do you need today, we'll do it faster, better, cheaper. Impossible to go wrong with this principle, especially if your clients are the five billion poor and they can only afford a $2 refrigerator. See The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Revised and Updated 5th Anniversary Edition: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits.

Principle #2: Self-Organizing Teams. This was a riveting chapter for me, and where I recollected the 1996 two hour presentation by Gifford Pinchot to an audience that received End of Bureaucracy and the Rise of the Intelligent Organization. This is so very current with what Digital Natives demand and Analog Leaders do not get--leadership is about nurturing teams, not about top-down micro-management. See my 90+ reviews at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog on complexity & catastrophe (top down micro management) and on complexity & resilience (self-adapting teams, always).

Principle #3: Client-Driven Iterations. This is a very important chapter, and most existing "leaders" (actually more like administrators without any innovative spirit left) will simply not get it. Better is the enemy of good enough, something now that is 70% complete without waste is better than 120% three weeks late with functions we cannot understand.

Principle #4: Delivering Value to Clients in Each Iteration. Carries on from above with more depth. This really is a "hand-book" for natural capitalism that also creates happiness--see my reviews of Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution and of The Hidden Wealth of Nations as well as Derek Bok's new book, The Politics of Happiness: What Government Can Learn from the New Research on Well-Being.

Principle #5: Radical Transparency. Here is important to note that the author uses the words "radical" and "agile" interchangeably. This is less about revealing the naked emperor and more about getting the truth on the table and really digging deep into both the true costs and needed value propositions. I like what the Chairman of Satchi and Satchi says: "until you get the truth on the table, no matter how ugly, you cannot deal with it." As Ben Gilad notes in Business Blindspots: Replacing Your Company's Entrenched and Outdated Myths, Beliefs and Assumptions With the Realities of Today's Markets a book that I strongly recommend used or in any other form, most CEO's are out of touch with reality--the information reaching them is filtered, late, biased, and generally incomplete. Customers today want businesses that do not waste, do not sweat children, do not avoid taxes, and ideally that also support a cause or a Millenium Goal or whatever. Everyone on the team needs to see everything inside and out.

Principle #6: Continuous Self-Improvement. This may strike some as old hat, but the reality is that in the US we do not do this well. Instead, we have a culture of cheating (see The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead). This is a good point to observe that if there were one word to describe this book's focus, it would be: INTEGRITY. Integrity in dealing with the client's needs; integrity in dealing with employees, the facts, and sources; integrity in follow-through.

Principle #7: Interactive Communication. This chapter alone could be made mandatory reading in every MBA program where they still do not teach commercial intelligence (decision-support) and the fundamentals of cross-boundary information sharing and sense-making. In my 25 years as a professional intelligence officer, I learned that the written word is largely worthless--you have to walk around and see the body language and hear between the lines; and I was taught by the head of the South African intelligence community, speaking to a very large gathering in the 1990's when I was there to teach, that organizational communication must be "like a DNA spiral," interacting at every level, across every function, etcetera. This need is given lip service by so many. The author is deeply authentic and very very relevant to today's challenges in his discourse on this point.

He concludes the book with several offerings including a mind-boggling list of specific practices related to each principle that could easily be another book if spelled out, but the apt reader will be like a graduate round-table, expanding and emphasizing.

Along with this book I recommend Tom Atlee's Reflections on Evolutionary Activism: Essays, poems and prayers from an emerging field of sacred social change and Peggy Holman's latest book, Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity.

All of my books are free online as well as on sale, of them all I will just mention the latest one for this simple reason: in the information age, no organization can stand alone. It MUST be constantly sharing information with all others, and it MUST be constantly engaged in real time sense-making. Most governments and corporations are absolutely clueless on this point, so if you want to read up on this, I recommend INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainaabilty.

The author is a humanist, not a technocrat, as engaging in person as he is in the written word. I regard him as an ethical and practical leader for our times.

Amazon limits me to 10 links--ALL links are active at Phi Beta Iota, where I also point to the book lists across the 98 categories in which I read. I do believe I am going to elevate this book to 6 Stars and Beyond. It is a must read for anyone serious about getting their organization into the next decade.
14 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Management Innovation is Radical! 18. Oktober 2010
Von Deb Mills-Scofield - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Steve Denning begins his book, The Leader's Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century with a quote from John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison's 2009 Shift Index to lay the foundation of the problem we face:

"Remarkably, the return on assets for U.S. firms has steadily fallen to almost one quarter of 1965 levels...very few [workers] (20 percent) are passionate about their jobs...executive turnover is increasing. Customers are becoming less loyal to brands...the rate at which big companies lose their leadership positions is increasing."

Everyone is talking about innovation in products, services, processes, supply chain, etc. But few talk about innovating management itself, perhaps because it hits the closest to home and is the hardest and scariest form of innovation. We tend to think of start-ups or `younger' companies when we think of innovative forms of management (e.g., Google, Zappos, etc.), but W. L. Gore is not a `young' company, nor is Standard & Poor's. Innovating management evokes the root fears of innovation - fear of the unknown and of losing control, authority, power, respect, even one's job. How do you experiment and prototype this type of innovation without rocking the company to its core?

That's what Steve's book is about - how to start moving your company forward through radically innovating how and what you manage, based on 7 Principles. In his forthright and clear style, Steve provides a framework for radical management that is simple to understand and follow - but bear in mind, simple doesn't mean easy, and this isn't easy.

The 7 foundational Principles to Radical Management are:

Principle 1: Focus on delighting the client: Traditional management focused on managing things (products/services), not people (like customers, employees); how can we meet customers' needs this way?

Principle 2: Do work through self-organizing teams: Did you know there were self-organizing teams in the 1100's (legal), we keep `rediscovering' them so why don't we remember them?

Principle 3: Do work in client-driven iterations: Business today is not once-and-done; meeting real needs is iterative, applying learning at each iteration with clarity of needs, wants, goals, and expectations

Principle 4: Deliver value to clients in each iteration: Each iteration must deliver real value; test the critical needs first, then finesse, letting the team decide what they can/cannot do and by when

Principle 5: Be totally open about impediments to improvement: Balance truth & power/authority, be transparent; it takes courage to be responsible and accountable, but it's a two-way street

Principle 6: Create a context for continuous: Improvement is foundational, there is always something to learn, do better; communication WITH employees, customers, stakeholders matters more than we think

Principle 7: Communicate Interactively: stories, questions, conversations - We live in 3 worlds at work - the social, the market-based and the power structure - authenticity is vital - conveyed through interactive communication

What makes The Leader's Guide to Radical Management so readable and "apply-able" is that it puts theory into practice, making it a `user manual' if you will for radical management. Steve does this by using real life examples in multiple industries, examples we can relate to and apply to our own businesses. He also puts management into historical context so we understand how we got here and how best to un-learn old habits and lead others into more radical management. All this is good, but it needs to be broken down into `manageable' steps to make it reality. Each principle has several Practices showing how to make the Principle real. These practices are tried and true, not theory. Finally, Steve gives examples of how radical management has been implemented today. We know execution is key and the book provides examples of companies, in various industries, sizes, ages, who exemplify radical management. (In full disclosure, I did suggest one of them, Thogus, because they have undergone an amazing, courageous transformation to become what I call the "google" of manufacturing)

This is an important book to read, especially at this time and place in our economy and society. I encourage you to read this, put it at the top of you pile, read and discuss this book at your management team meetings, mark it up, put it to use and share it. It will change your organization for the better, if you've got the courage to try.
33 von 42 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Runs Out of Gas 28. Oktober 2011
Von Thomas Dinsmore - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
"Radical Management" starts off well, and the first few chapters are an excellent read. Mr Denning documents the declining economic returns to American business, and outlines some of the root causes for this decline. In so doing, he draws heavily from Deloitte's "Shift" report, though he cherry-picks findings from the Deloitte study that support his narrative.

Unfortunately, Mr. Denning's prescription is sophomoric, and seems designed to appeal to those who have no actual responsibility to run a business. Delighting customers, the starting point in Mr. Denning's model, is certainly an important goal. But Mr. Denning seems to forget the reality that organizations have many stakeholders, and all but the most trivial decisions require balancing many interests. While customer delight is a necessary ingredient for success, it is not sufficient.

Mr. Denning's model seems particularly unworkable in light of the recent mortgage bubble. Countrywide Financial, for example, delighted its customers until it blew up.

The rest of the book rapidly declines into a rehash of team theory and exhortations to empower employees. This is old wine in new bottles, "Theory Y" dressed up as something new and different. The later chapters blend into a tedious hash, so that the one memorable idea from the book is "delight your customers".
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5.0 von 5 Sternen How and why radical management can clarify and magnify human capacity 18. Oktober 2010
Von Robert Morris - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Stephen Denning asserts, "the problems of today's workplace are not the personal fault of the individual managers. They are largely the fault of the system they are implementing, which relentlessly constrains the capacity of people to contribute, limits the firm`s productivity, and practically guarantees that clients will be dissatisfied. The mental model of management that these companies are pursuing, with interlocking attitudes and practices, methodically prevents any individual management fix from permanently taking hold." Ironically and sadly, this is precisely the situation to which then chairman and CEO of 3M, William L. McKnight responded...86 years ago: "If you put fences around people, you get sheep. Give people the room they need."

As Denning already knows and understands full well, the institutional constraints that must be eliminated comprise a system (i.e. the status quo) that current senior managers worked hard to establish and are certain to defend. Most change initiatives fail or fall far short of their goals because of resistance that is essentially cultural in nature, the result of what James O'Toole so aptly characterizes (in Leading Change) as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom." How to overcome such resistance?

Denning advocates what he characterizes as "radical management," based on seven principles. My own opinion is that none of these principles is "radical." On the contrary, as studies conducted by several dozen highly reputable firms and research teams have revealed beyond any doubt, all organizations that achieve and then sustain superior performance have strategies ("hammers") and tactics ("nails") based on these principles.

In ancient Greece, the literal meaning of the word "barbarian" was "non-Greek." Perhaps at least some senior managers now responsible for the system to which Denning refers (i.e. one that "relentlessly constrains the capacity of people to contribute, limits the firm`s productivity, and practically guarantees that clients will be dissatisfied") view the seven principles as "radical." Hopefully, they will read this book and, more to the point, recognize what they must do to institutionalize the system Denning has devised.

Readers are provided with a wealth of information, insights, caveats, and recommendations. For example:

The differences between traditional and radical management
A review of the seven principles (introduced on Page 4)
A set of integrated measures
A mini-briefing on three stages of capitalism
An explanation of why self-organizing teams succeed
Using iterative work patterns
Where iterative approaches don't apply
Understanding phantom work jams
Identifying and removing those jams
The management mindset problem

All this (and much more) is provided in the first seven of twelve chapters. The succeeding five chapters are equally valuable in terms of what Denning explains and affirms. Readers will especially appreciate the fact that he devotes a separate chapter to each of the seven principles, concluding each with a set of Practices. For #1, 9 of them; then for the others, #2 (7), #3 (15), #4 (14), #5 (13), #6 (10), and for #7 (10). In Chapter 4, he also includes four Tactics for introducing radical management into "even the most intractable high-end knowledge culture." Readers will also appreciate Denning's skillful use of real-world examples (e.g. World Bank, Easel Corporation, Curb Records, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Ernst & Young, NUMMI, and Toyota) that illustrate one or more key points.

I have read and reviewed all of Stephen Denning's previously published books and consider this to be his greatest achievement...thus far. Bravo!
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Agile Management by another name 11. Juli 2013
Von Murray Robinson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
For an agile practitioner "Radical Management" is a controversial book.

On the plus side "Radical Management" popularizes agile, lean and system thinking principles and practices for senior executives who sorely need it. This "new" lean and agile way of doing things is demonstrably superior to typical management thinking in literally the same way that the blitzkrieg theory of mobility warfare radically beat the old theory of attrition warfare in WW2. In fact John Boyd the great US military strategist saw Lean and Agile as literally part of the same class of OODA loop strategy as the mobility strategy used by the US marines and the German Blitzkrieg.

On the minus side renaming "Agile management" to "Radical management" allows the author to take credit for the vast amount of work done by other lean and agile thinkers without adding anything new or original himself. This isolates the new reader from the lean and agile community and forces them to rely on Stephen Denning for everything. This is clearly intentional as it drives Mr Denning's fame and consulting business.

I urge anyone who liked this book to search for books on systems thinking, lean management and agile management on Amazon and Google to broaden their horizons.
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