Book: The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management

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

by Stephen Denning

Summary: Traditional management practices are failing to create value in the new economy and a new way of managing and leading in the workplace is needed to foster innovation

Intended Audience: Influencers in both old and new organizations

Why You Should Read It: The book contains very reasoned arguments and excellent examples of how traditional management is failing to deliver innovation in the new economy.  Radical Management extracts some core Agile and Lean concepts and applies them to the enterprise to foster an environment where this innovation can occur.  Seven principles of continuous innovation are laid out:

  • do work that delights the client: happy customers become advocates and amplify sales; unhappy customers can bring growth to a standstill
  • teams must be self-organizing: immense knowledge to solve customer problems lies in the workforce and they must be able to self-organize to effectively meet these needs
  • clients must drive iterative work: if you are not building the most important things for your clients, you are missing the opportunity to delight your client
  • each iteration must deliver value to the customer: delivering value each iteration gives the customer more opportunity to provide feedback and increases your ability to deliver the correct product
  • be open about impediments: the key to identifying and resolving issues is to ensure that it is safe to have open conversations about them
  • create an environment that allows for continuous self-improvement: to become innovative and deliver value to customers, you must always be willing to examine and improve your existing ways of working
  • communicate constantly using stories and conversations: people relate very well to stories and conversations over abstract concepts and the right story can focus and motivate your organization very quickly

My Takeaways

  • Scrum and Agile principles are being very successfully applied to general management
  • Customer delight must be a key metric that drives businesses because there has been a significant shift of information in favour of the consumer
  • The Net Promoter
    score is a powerful and very simple way to measure customer delight

Recommended?: One of my top books from 2010