Recommended Reading

The Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation

by Frans Johansson

Johansson, founder and former CEO of an enterprise software company, argues that innovations occur when people see beyond their expertise and approach situations actively, with an eye toward putting available materials together in new combinations. Because of ions, “the movement of people, the convergence of science, and the leap of computation,” a wide range of materials available for new, recontextualized uses is becoming a norm rather than an exception, much as the Medici family of Renaissance Italy’s patronage helped develop European arts and culture. For cases in point, Johansson profiles, among others, Marcus Samuelsson, the acclaimed chef at New York’s Aquavit. An Ethiopian orphan, Samuelsson was adopted by a Swedish family, with whom he traveled widely, enabling him to develop the restaurant’s unique and innovative menu. (Less familiar innovators include a medical resident who, nearly assaulted by an emergency room patient she was treating, developed outreach programs designed to prevent teen violence.) Chapters admonish readers to “Randomly Combine Concepts” and “Ignite an Explosion of Ideas.” Less focused on innovations within a corporate setting than on individual achievements, and more concerned with self-starting and goal-setting than teamwork, Johansson’s book offers a clear enough set of concepts for plugging in the specifics of one’s own setting and expertise. But don’t expect the book to tell you where to get the money for prototypes or production.
From Publishers Weekly

 

The Medici Effect - How Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach us About Innovation

 
With all the ups and downs of the economy and the various dramas in the business world in recent years, good leadership is more crucial than ever before. But the old methods don’t seem to produce the desired results any longer.
 
Author Deb Siverson knows this from firsthand experience. She worked for twenty years under the old productivity-based coaching model before she was introduced to a more relational approach. But rather than exchange one for the other, she realized that both models had something to offer. So she blended their effective aspects and created her own coaching model: the Cycle of Transformation.
 
Now, leaders can learn how to become “leader coaches” who empower their employees to fully engage with the company, resulting in a mutually beneficial connection that improves job satisfaction—which leads to increased productivity and profits. Approaching their role relationally, leader coaches play an important role in transforming their employees’ lives at work. And this is no small accomplishment.
 
Often enlightening and always practical, The Cycle of Transformation informs readers how to develop trust, why it’s important to spark insight before pushing for action, and so much more.
Don’t you think it’s time you refresh your leadership approach?
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