Change. It's fast, furious, relentless--and we're all in the midst of it. Indeed, it's the topic of choice for most business books on the market today. The problem, however, is that so many of these books merely warn managers how to plan for and anticipate change, rather than giving useful guidance on how to react to it successfully.
That's where the authors of The Minding Organization have made a difference. Rubinstein and Firstenberg believe that the real issue for businesses dealing with change lies in developing a truly adaptable organization. Being able to adapt, they argue, is the key not only to coping with a continuously changing environment but to addressing the problems that arise within that environment with innovative, successful solutions. An adaptable organization is a living, breathing organism, a "minding organization" that coordinates its goals and efforts as a single being. Each part of the organization knows what the other parts are doing, and is committed to creating a cohesive unit that maintains a unified focus for the future, shares information, articulates and learns from the individual errors of its members, continually seeks to strengthen its powers of perception, and is able to express itself creatively in a variety of ways. By developing this unity, an organization can bring the future closer to the present; it will be able to respond to events in real time, thereby transforming change from a threat to continued existence to a catalyst for improved performance. This type of organization won't shy away from the chaos of change but will embrace its opportunities, ready and well equipped to respond quickly and effectively.
The Minding Organization is a meaty book, packed with inspiring examples, solid analyses, and practical suggestions. Rubinstein, a professor at the UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Firstenberg, an adjunct professor in UCLA's Psychology Department, make a good team (they also wrote Patterns of Problem Solving). They apply theoretical knowledge and practical experience to the realities of the business world in a timely and useful manner. Forget being the CEO; this book will teach you how to be an OEC, an operator on the edge of chaos, capable of inspiring and leading a flexible, evolving, and thriving organization. --S. Ketchum
A few years ago, Cementos Mexicanos (Cemex), the world's third-largest cement company, was struggling. More than two-thirds of their deliveries were late, customer complaints were numerous, and new orders were dwindling sharply. Then Cemex executives realized they needed to get a glimpse of the future. They saw themselves responding to customer needs as each need emerged. They visualized successful deliveries with orders placed only an hour in advance. Their entire organization became involved in the process of adapting to unplanned occurrences. By embracing the uncertainty and chaos of their business and a company-wide commitment to excellence, Cemex was completely transformed in a matter of months. This is a remarkable example of minding: identifying a purpose, developing a team, and acting to accomplish that purpose. Achieving this kind of high-level connection is what The Minding Organization is all about. This book will show you how to transform your organization into one that behaves like a living organism-alive with ideas and instantly able to adapt for survival in an increasingly complex, unpredictable global business world.
A minding organization coordinates its efforts as a single being; the right hand literally knows what the left hand is doing. The minding process will help you save precious work time, avoid costly mistakes, build incentives for speed, and find creative solutions when unpredictable problems arise. Creating a minding organization will teach you how to: Operate on the edge of chaos, embracing uncertainty as a strategy Bring insights up front that would normally be learned much later Distribute decision-making in such a way that everyone has the responsibility to be right and the authority to be wrong Create an environment in which the human spirit can soar The Minding Organization will show you how less planning and more adapting makes for a competitive advantage, as you learn to cope with new, ever-changing conditions and innovate faster than your competitors. Praise for The Minding Organization Professor Rubinstein is one of the foremost experts on creativity within organizations. The Minding Organization is a well-written guide ...[that] is must reading for anyone responsible for minding the organization.-Norman R.
Augustine, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Lockheed Martin The authors make intuitive good sense and give strategic thinkers the tools they need to turn perceived liabilities-chaos, disorder, unpredictable change-into assets. I've made it must reading for everyone in my organization. The only people I haven't recommended it to are my competitors.-Timothy W. Hannemann, Executive Vice President and General Manager, TRW This book gives an accessible view of the organization as a living, connected organism. Drs. Rubinstein and Firstenberg have shared an insightful and elegant concept of what successful twenty-first-century organizations MUST be like if they want to survive and grow. We are putting the ideas in this book to use now!-Michael E. Allgeier, Division Vice President, Sensors and Electronics Segment, Raytheon Rubinstein is as ebullient in print as he is in person. The Minding Organization transcends time and theory, enabling the practice of innovation as an everyday occurrence.-Stephan Argent, Creative Director, iCandy Inc.
In this book you'll find out how to open up a world of opportunity by 'bringing the future to the present'-visualizing the ideal end state and working backwards. You'll see how many obstacles can be eliminated, making the unachievable achievable.-Tom Williams, Vice President, Long Range Strike Business Area, Northrop Grumman Corporation