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The Reinventors: How Extraordinary Companies Pursue Radical Continuous Change Hardcover – May 10 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio (May 10 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591844231
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591844235
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.2 x 23.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #200,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Jennings is clearly becoming "the "successor to Peter Drucker. Once again, he's done a mas-terful job of researching the world for proven insights on how to reinvent a business and drive sustainable, profitable growth. His ideas are simultaneously practical, unexpected, and powerful. Use them every day to succeed."---DAN COUGHLIN, author of the forthcoming"

About the Author

Jason Jennings has spent more than twenty years teaching businesspeople how to build great organizations. He gives more than sixty keynote speeches every year and is the author of two previous business bestsellers: Less Is More and It's Not the Big That Eat the Small, It's the Fast that Eat the Slow. He lives near San Francisco.

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By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on May 10 2012
Format: Hardcover
In fact, companies do not "pursue radical continuous change," extraordinary executives do. As Jason Jennings brilliantly explains in his latest book, companies need "reinventors" at all levels and in all areas, active and productive people who constantly improve what is done and how it is done, thereby sustaining what should be an un-ending process of organizational improvement. They are best viewed as results-driven innovators who make certain they and their organization are continually providing "something of value to someone willing to pay them enough to make it worthwhile." Jennings stresses "radical" improvement but I am certain he agrees that sometimes a minor adjustment can have a major impact.

Here are several of the several dozen passages that caught my eye. These can be found in Chapters 1-3:

o Tired old excuses for little or no growth
o The defining characteristics of a culture of change & growth
o "Letting go" of what doesn't work and/or isn't appropriate
o The major "reinvention killers"
o Determining the WTGBRFDT ("What's the good business reason for doing this?")
o Selecting the appropriate destination (i.e. ultimate objective)
o Becoming an intense, focused, purposeful listener

I also appreciate Jennings' provision of an end-of-chapter "Action Plan" section that highlights key points and suggests specific action steps.
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By Dennis Concordia on Sept. 11 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Current thinking and clearly presented.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 35 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Now I'm a believer May 11 2012
By Dan Coughlin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When it comes to Jason Jennings new book, The Reinventors, I would like to quote Neil Diamond: Now, I'm a believer!

Ten years ago I was serving as an outside consultant for a senior-level executive team in a Fortune 200 company. The person in charge of the group talked about reinvention ad nauseam. He would say to his employees, "You need to reinvent yourself. You need to reinvent the way you do employee performance reviews, the way we serve our customers, the way we look as a business, and the way you dress to work." He would pound on his desk, and whenever employees heard the word reinvention their eyes would start to roll. He was so obsessed with reinvention that he practically reinvented his organization to death. He wanted his company to reinvent everything about itself even when it didn't make sense to do so. As a result, I developed an adverse feeling toward the word reinvention.

Then I read this magnificent book, The Reinventors, by Jason Jennings. At the foundation of this book are two tremendously important insights:

First, you should always be willing to reinvent every aspect of yourself, your team, and your organization. Nothing should be sacrosanct. You should be willing to consider for reinvention your values, your mission, your vision, your strategy, your tactics, your products and services, your approach to clients and the marketplace and every other aspect of who you are as an individual, a team, and an organization.

Second, you should never reinvent anything about yourself or your organization unless it makes sense to do so. You should never reinvent some aspect of yourself or your organization just for the sake of reinventing it.

The magic of The Reinventors is found in these two critically important concepts. The greatest companies in the world are willing to constantly reinvent themselves, but they only do so when the reinvention makes sense.

Rarely has a business book ever been more timely than this one. Due largely to the world's dramatic increase in internet activity and the management of data, more people are connected in more ways around the world than ever before to an exponential degree. Change has always been constant, but now there is a constant rate of highly accelerated change. This means every month provides new world opportunities for every enterprise from small to large.

Consequently the ideas in The Reinventors have tremendous practical value right now. Here are some of my favorite ideas from the book:

Build a culture of change and growth. To me, a culture is how people consistently behave. Consequently, if you build an environment where people consistently look to change and grow in meaningful ways, you proactively prepare yourself to deal with changes in the marketplace. Rather than being forced to change, this type of culture is always ready to change when the changes make sense.

One of my favorite stories in the book is in the introduction. Jennings talks about going back to his hometown where he grew up. He finds almost of the businesses he once admired have shut down. In asking long-time residents what had happened, he found the common denominator of failure was an unwillingness to change as the market changed. This is a story so many of us can relate to and makes a powerful point: we can never assume that what worked in the past will work in the future.

Another great example of this in the book is the story of Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home on pages 60-67. It's a great story of how a very traditional business reinvented itself in a declining market and dramatically increased its sustainable, profitable growth.

Kiss a lot of frogs. This is the title of Chapter Four and it makes so many good points about the importance of trying a lot of small ideas to see which ones work and which ones don't. In this chapter, Jennings uses the famous example of the reinvention of Starbucks to highlight the importance of testing lots and lots of small ideas in order to find the necessary insights to reignite a big brand name. Jennings wrote on page 90, "A culture of small bets is a learning culture in which people discover the right paths to new destinations." I think that idea applies to every type of organization.

Who stays, who leads, who goes. This is the title of Chapter Five and it explores the importance of having the right people in place in order to effectively reinvent an organization on a consistent basis.

Forever frugal. On page 153, Jennings wrote, "The lesson is clear: Having too much money or too many resources can actually get in the way of successful reinvention." His point is a powerful one. It's not that having money stashed away is a bad thing. The problem occurs when people think they can throw money at a problem in order to make it go away. That kind of undisciplined approach is what creates even bigger problems. Regardless of your resources, the key is to approach reinvention with a very tight handle on your spending. Invest in small ways, but learn from every action you take.

Ask WTGBRFSTM: What's the Good Business Reason for Spending This Money? This is my favorite question in the book. It is one of the reasons why Jennings has convinced me to be a believer in reinvention. It gets to the very heart of never reinventing just for the sake of reinventing. I encourage you to ask yourself this question every time you are considering to reinvent yourself or your organization.

I encourage you to study The Reinventors very closely. This is a book for the ages, but particularly for this age.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Immediately Implementable Change Management Best Practices Feb. 23 2013
By Nathan Ives - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Reinventors by Jason Jennings provides a step-by-step method for continuously evolving one’s organization such that it remains ever relevant in today’s rapidly changing business environment. Jason examines not only the change methodology to be employed but provides insights to the key leadership and organizational attributes necessary to effectively reinvent a business. He supports his assertions with detailed examples of how well-known organizations achieved the continuous change driving their ongoing marketplace success.

I particularly like The Reinventors for the soundness of its immediately actionable continuous change methodologies. Jason thoroughly examines all aspects of successful change management; leadership, organization/people, and action. Furthermore, his ‘Action Plans’ at the conclusion of each chapter help the reader focus on the important change principles and can be used to guide action plan development.

Underlying each of Jason’s continuous change principles is a focus on organizational alignment and accountability, the hallmark principles on which StrategyDriven is focused. Vivid, real-world examples serve to bring the principles conveyed to life; making them easy to relate to and helping the reader envision how he or she might take action to reinvent their organization.

The Reinventors‘s immediately implementable, real-world change methods that reinforce organizational alignment and accountability makes it a StrategyDriven recommended read.

All the Best,
Nathan Ives
StrategyDriven Principal
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Anecdotal Studies Are Risky - Nov. 5 2012
By Loyd E. Eskildson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Since the Fortune 500 list was first published in 1955, more than 90% of those then listed have been acquired, gone bankrupt, shrunk to becoming inconsequential, or simply closed. If a business isn't growing, people who want more money and responsibility will leave. Nearly twoo-thirds of merged companies stall within a quarter after the announcement almost 905 fail to accelerate growth significantly in the following three years, per McKinsey data. When growth stalls, companies lose up to 75% of their market value and less than half return to healthy (4% or greater) growth. Per Bain research, 90% of businesses routinely fail to earn their cost of capital. The average for all businesses was 1.4% annual growth in the 1990s, less in the 2000s.

Company after company has floundered/failed because it didn't change - eg. Kodak, Sony, Blockbuster. This change must come from the top. 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' is bad advice. Yet, 85-95% of new products fizzle - thus, change is hardly without significant risk. Suggests making lots of small bets (not what Apple did), and not relying on big mergers or risky new investments. Yet, Jennings also tells us that Coke and Yahoo were too timid - passing up opportunities to acquire Pepsi and Google, repectively. (Mergers and acquisitions are especially problematic because they increase complexity due to incompatible systems.)

Interesting and seemingly compelling. Until the reader reflects on the advice given in some other books - Jim Collin's 'Great by Choice' recommends small, incremental goals while others recommend big, audacious goals. The authors almost always violate basic principles of statistical analysis, and so does Jennings - his material is mostly anecdotal!

A major problem is that not all important determinants of organizational performance can be objectively measured - eg. employee morale, organizational leadership, strategy, competitors actions (or lack thereof), etc. Instead, the subjective impressions that are used are strongly influenced by the company's current financial success - creating spurious correlations and invalid conclusions.

Additional significant problems include determining cause vs. effect in correlation data (helped through longitudinal studies - unfortunately these are infrequent), forgetting that the real importance of measured factors may be overstated through correlation with non-measured factors, the "delusion of connecting the winning dots" (studying only successful firms will not identify how they differ from the unsuccessful), and forgetting that useful performance measures identify relative (not just absolute) performance.

Global competition, increasing financial market demands, and much more rapid technological change create enormous pressures to identify the "secrets" of business excellence. This demand has created bookshelves and magazines full of case studies, some seemingly quite thorough and sophisticated. Unfortunately, lack of statistical rigor frequently reduces their value to that of bedtime stories. There is no substitute for good strategy and execution, and in my opinion those lessons are best learned from studying the work of Jack Welch, Larry Bossidy, and Lou Gerstner.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Jennings' latest book is also his best...thus far May 10 2012
By Robert Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In fact, companies do not "pursue radical continuous change," extraordinary executives do. As Jason Jennings brilliantly explains in his latest book, companies need "reinventors" at all levels and in all areas, active and productive people who constantly improve what is done and how it is done, thereby sustaining what should be an un-ending process of organizational improvement. They are best viewed as results-driven innovators who make certain they and their organization are continually providing "something of value to someone willing to pay them enough to make it worthwhile." Jennings stresses "radical" improvement but I am certain he agrees that sometimes a minor adjustment can have a major impact.

Here are several of the several dozen passages that caught my eye. These can be found in Chapters 1-3:

o Tired old excuses for little or no growth
o The defining characteristics of a culture of change & growth
o "Letting go" of what doesn't work and/or isn't appropriate
o The major "reinvention killers"
o Determining the WTGBRFDT ("What's the good business reason for doing this?")
o Selecting the appropriate destination (i.e. ultimate objective)
o Becoming an intense, focused, purposeful listener

I also appreciate Jennings' provision of an end-of-chapter "Action Plan" section that highlights key points and suggests specific action steps. For example, an action plan to get and then keep everyone "on the same page" (Chapter 6); an action plan to become and remain "forever frugal," especially if resources are abundant (Chapter 7); an action plan to systematize everything in order to correctly evaluate all options such conflicting perspectives, rightsizing rather than expanding or downsizing, answer questions, solve problems, prioritize opportunities (Chapter 8). No action plan to avoid procrastination (as opposed to prudent caution) is provided at the conclusion of Chapter 9. My guess (only a guess) with regard to Jennings' reason for this is that he assumes that the reader, having reached this final chapter, should be able to formulate such a plan.

Having read all of Jennings' previously published books, I conclude with three brief observations. First, in all of those books as in this one, they examine organizational transformation achieved by leaders (including but not limited to those at the C-level) who embrace and execute constant change and reinvention. Also, I think this is his most important, indeed most valuable book...thus far. Why? Because I think the information, insights, and wisdom he provides will have wider and deeper impact than any provided earlier.

Finally, I think Jason Jennings serves as a role model for the qualities of the great leader that he envisions. His own thinking has obviously proceeded through a "crucible" of constant change and reinvention. As in the past, he generously shares what he has learned and we who read this book are his grateful beneficiaries.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
And the hits just keep on coming! May 15 2012
By AzYooper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Jason has another hit on his hands. Loved all his books to date and have seen him in person many times. This one really nails it, at a time when every business knows they need to make adjustments to their rudder. Many talk about reinventing themselves, but few really know what that means. It is obvious that Jason always does his homework and deeply researches his concepts.

This book is especially timely as all businesses, from the largest corporations to the smallest of local merchants really need to keep their eye on the bouncing ball. Business is changing at all levels with the internet, Facebook and all the other means of instant communication. Every business owner, or prospective entrepreneur needs this book and they need it today.

Thank you, Jason, for your best ever.


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