A brilliant examination of “the whole point of gourmet thinking and education”
I agree with Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein: “By half-understanding the nature of thinking, teachers only half-understand how to teach and students only half-understand how to learn.” If true and I am convinced that it is, the knowledge exchanges to which the Root-Bernsteins refer include both formal and informal education. Whatever the nature and extent of the given teaching-learning situation, “it is imperative that we learn to use the feelings, emotions, and intuitions that are the bases of creative imagination. That is the whole point of gourmet thinking and education.”
Since this book was published more than a decade ago, there has been significant research conducted on metacognition – especially creative thinking — that adds to the support of several of the Root-Bernsteins’ key points. For example, as they explain, “Creative thinking in all fields occurs preverbally, before logic and linguistics comes into play, manifesting itself through emotions, intuitions, images, and bodily feelings.” Only by formulating a new conception of knowledge can we formulate a new form of both formal and informal education. The Root-Bernsteins wrote this book to explain how to do that. More specifically, they studied some of the world’s most creative thinkers in the arts and sciences, then share in this book what they learned from them.
Consider these two quotations, first from Paul Horgan: “Illusion is first of all needed to find the powers of which the self is capable”; then from Albert Einstein: “In creative work, imagination is more important than knowledge.” However, as the Root-Bernsteins affirm, they are both important, in fact they are interdependent. “Fantasy and imagination suggest how the world might be; knowledge and experience limit the possibilities; melding the two begets understanding. Without the illusions of the mind, a clear grasp of reality is impossible, and vice versa.”
I am greatly indebted to Howard Gardner and his research in the field of multiple intelligences. The Root-Bernsteins may have had that concept in mind as they conducted their own research for this book. They may also agree with a paraphrasing of Walt Whitman’s affirmation in “Song of Myself,” that human beings are “large,” they contain “multitudes.”
When I first read the book and then re-read it recently, these are three of the subjects of greatest interest and value to me:
o There is a common set of thinking tools at the heart of creative understanding that need to be mastered: observing, imaging, abstracting, recognizing patterns, forming patterns, analogizing, body thinking, empathizing, dimensional thinking, modeling, playing, transforming, and synthesizing (what Roger Martin describes as integrative thinking). The Root-Bernsteins thoroughly discuss each, citing various creative thinkers and including their own thoughts about how they use one or more of them.
o The Root-Bernsteins stress “six important points about these thirteen tools” (Pages 27-29), noting that most people can at least try to “unite Illusions and Reality into Understanding through the medium of Tools for Thinking.”
o In Chapter 16, after having “teased apart the threads of creative thinking and rewoven them into a synthetic understanding of innovation,” they shift their attention to explaining “a new kind of transdiciplinary, synthetic education.” First they note, “we need not change what we teach. At synthetic education requires only that we change [ how we teach, bearing eight goals in mind.” (Pages 316-319)
Those who read this book with appropriate care will be generously rewarded by the substance and quality of the content, brilliantly presented by the Root-Bernsteins in their lively and eloquent narrative. After reading and then re-reading Sparks of Genius, I have concluded that “the whole point of gourmet thinking and education” involves a never-ending process of exploration and discovery rather than any one head-snapping insight, a process best viewed as a journey. Think of Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein as your travel agents, then as you expert guides. Bon voyage!
How and why to think differently about learning to be creative
This is a “New Edition, Fully Updated” of a book first published in 2001. Why a second edition? As Ken Robinson explains in his Preface, “…the first reason is that so much has happened since , both in the world and in my world…The second reason for this new edition is that I now have more to say about many of the core ideas in the book and what we should do to put them into practice…The third reason is, not only has the world moved on in the last ten years, I have too. Literally.”
Robinson responds to three separate but related questions:
o Why is it essential to promote creativity?
o What is the problem?
o What is involved?
Throughout his lively and eloquent narrative, Robinson develops and explores three separate but interdependent themes: “We are living in times of revolution; If we are to survive and flourish we have to think differently about our own abilities and make the best use of them; and, In order to do so we have to run our organizations and especially our education systems in radically different ways.”
These are among the dozens of passages that caught my eye:
“The evolution of the Internet has been driven not only by innovations in technology but also by unleashing the imaginations and appetites of millions of users, which in turn are driving further innovations in technology.” (Page 41)
“Current systems of education were not designed to meet the challenges we now face. They were developed to meet the needs of a former age. Reform is not enough; they need to be transformed.” (49)
“All truth passes through three stages;
First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
– Arthur Schopenhauer (81)
“When people find their medium, they discover their real creative strengths and come into their own. Helping people to connect with their personal creative capacities is the surest way to release the best they have to offer.” (139)
“Being sensitive to oneself and to others is a vital element in the development of the personal qualities that are now urgently needed, in business, in the community and in personal life. It is through feelings as well as through reason that we find our real creative power. It is through both that we connect with each other and create the complex, shifting worlds of human culture.” (196)
“Creating a culture of innovation will only work if the initiative is ked from the top of the organization. The endorsement and involvement if leaders means everything, if the environment is to change.” (219)
“Creativity is not about a lack of constraints; often it is about working within them and overcoming them. The dynamics of culture are such change travels in all directions. With the power of the Internet and of social networking, ideas and innovations can move quickly and inspire others to action. Sensitive policy makers will feel the change and may even say it was their idea.” (266)
There have been hundreds (thousands?) of books and articles published in recent years that explore one or more aspects of creativity. What differentiates Robinson’s book from all them are the scope and depth of focus on how and why to think differently about learning to be creative in all domains of human experience. While reading and then re-reading this book, I was reminded of Walt Whitman’s assertion in Song of Myself:
“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)”
As he also does in an earlier book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, Ken Robinson urges those who read his latest book to think creatively about who they are (“large”) and how they will explore and develop all dimensions of their humanity (“multitudes”). Moreover, especially to those with direct and frequent contact with children, he affirms the importance of helping others to do so. May reason guide and passion drive these noble initiatives.
Why and how to “allow leadership to arise in you as you really are in any moment when leadership is called out”
The core thesis of this book is that within each person, there are potentialities that are dormant, if not asleep. This may be what Whitman had in mind in Song of Myself when he asserted, “I am large, I contain multitudes.” As Alan Shelton explains, “Who you really are bubbles up continuously to form the intuition that initiates the seeking. And the seeking that you undertake [during a journey of self-discovery] can indeed eradicate your identification with who you think you are. Moving toward recognizing the truth is a transformational journey in which the ‘you’ that you believe yourself to be will be lost and something [someone] entirely new will take its place.”
I share Shelton’s affection (passion?) for metaphors but wary of them when in danger of excessive use, a form of abuse. However, I am comfortable with “journey” because it has several relevancies insofar what this book is about is concerned. First, with regard to man’s lifelong quest for knowledge and understanding on a personal level; next, as a progression through various stages of employment (including self-employment) that require rigorous scrutiny in terms of perils and opportunities; and finally, the process by which (hopefully) we improve our ability to answer questions and solve problems.
For Shelton, if I understand his key points correctly (and I may not), progress is best measured in terms of the nature and extent of increased awareness. His objective is to provide the information, insights, and counsel his reader needs to experience the multi-dimensional reality of “the highest form of awareness.”
Here are a few of the several dozen passages that caught my eye:
o The significance to Shelton of the song, “Puff, the Magic Dragon” (Pages 29-30)
o His inability to believe in a God others believe to be “unseen and unfelt” (Pages 36-37)
o His difficulties with graduate school education (Page 76-77)
o The significance of his firm’s success during his absence (Pages 83-84)
o What he learned during an extended residence in an ashram (Chapters 9 and 10)
o The significance to Shelton of the Systems Dynamics Theory (Pages 187-188)
While reading Chapter 18, “Doorways to Awakening,” I was reminded of this passage in Alan Watts’s book, The Book, in which he discusses an especially serious threat to self-discovery and self-fulfillment: “We need a new experience — a new feeling of what it is to be ‘I.’ The lowdown (which is, of course, the secret and profound view) on life is that our normal sensation of self is a hoax, or, at best, a temporary role that we are playing, or have been conned into playing — with our own tacit consent, just as every hypnotized person is basically willing to be hypnotized. The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego.”
No one can duplicate Alan Shelton’s journey of self-discovery and self-fulfillment, nor can he duplicate anyone else’s. But he and (yes) we can embark or remain on that perilous journey, encouraged by others en route while encouraging them to stay the course with patience but persistence. Wherever we are, wherever we go, we are always alone…and together.
How and why our location on “the introvert-extrovert spectrum” influences most (if not all) of our decisions and opinions
Throughout most of her book, Susan Cain takes a balanced approach to the immensely difficult task of examining the advantages and disadvantages of being primarily an introvert as well as those of being primarily an extrovert. I use the term “primarily” in the context of culture as well as one’s temperament, personality, preferences, tendencies, and (yes) volition. “If given a choice…” is a helpful phrase. Some people dread being the center of attention whereas the behavior of others indicates a pathological need for it. Not all introverts are shy and reluctant, however, and not all extroverts are bombastic and impulsive. Moreover, expediency can also come into play. As Walt Whitman affirms in “Song of Myself,” each person is “large”…and contains “multitudes.”
When writing her book, Cain was guided and informed by research in social science (e.g. Carl Jung, Jerome Kagan, Elaine Aron, C.A. Valentine, David Winter) supplemented by what she had learned from her own observations. She examines the inadequacies of several concepts such as charismatic leadership, the New Groupthink, the “Extrovert Ideal” (i.e. “the omnipresent belief that the ideal self is gregarious, alpha, and comfortable in the spotlight”), being or at least seeming “cool,” collaborative innovation, and being a more “assertive” student in the classroom. Historians’ accounts and media coverage must share at least some of the blame for widespread but remarkably durable misconceptions about eminent persons such as Warren Buffett, Dale Carnegie, Albert Einstein, Mohandas Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Steven Spielberg, and Steve Wozniak. However great their impact on others may be, all are (or were) essentially introverted. What else do they share in common? They are renowned for being thoughtful, indeed reflective, tending to take more time than others do to make sound decisions and to reach correct conclusions.
Ironically, Carnegie is among the pioneers of self-help programs that emphasize “winning friends and influencing people,” the title of a book first published in 1936 that continues to be a bestseller. According to Cain, Carnagey (who later changed his name “likely to evoke Andrew Carnegie, the great industrialist”) was a good-natured but insecure high school student. He was skinny, unathletic, and fretful. His subsequent career from farmboy to salesman to public- speaking icon demonstrates a shift in America “from what influential cultural historian Warren Susman called a Culture of Character to a Culture of Personality – and opened up a Pandora’s Box of personal anxieties from which we would never quite recover.”
By the end of the book, Cain seems to include in the introvert category almost anyone who is “reflective, cerebral, bookish, unassuming, sensitive, thoughtful, serious, contemplative, subtle, introspective, inner-directed, gentle, calm, modest, solitude-seeking, shy, risk-averse, thin-skinned.” Surely many (most?) of those who are extroverts also demonstrate one (if not several) of these attributes, at least occasionally. How would she categorize, for example, Richard Feynman?
The much more important point, in my opinion, is that assigning a label such as introvert or extrovert to someone denies the human complexity to which Whitman referred. Obviously, some people are more or less introverted or extroverted than others. It’s also obvious, that some situations (usually in a social context) require outgoing behavior whereas other situations (usually in an intellectual or spiritual context) require solitude, tranquility, perhaps even isolation
For me, some of Cain’s most valuable material is provided in Chapter 11, “On Cobblers and Generals” (especially pages 250-258) when she discusses the implications and consequences of many (most?) schools that are designed for extroverts. “The purpose of school should be to prepare kids for the rest of their lives, but too often what kids need to be prepared for is surviving the school day itself.” She goes on to observe, “The school environment can be highly unnatural, especially from the perspective of an introverted child who loves to work intensely on projects he cares about, and hang out with one or two friends at a time.” Cain offers several key points for teachers to consider (e.g. “Teach all kids to work independently”), followed by several key points for parents to consider if they able to select a school (e.g. one that hires and supports teachers “who seem to understand the shy/serious/introverted/sensitive temperament”). I agree with Cain that appearance is not reality…but the fact remains, that the misconceptions she repudiates in her book are no less “real” because they are wrong, nor are “the personal anxieties from which we would never quite recover.”
How to establish and then sustain long-term (if not lifetime) customer relationships
What we have in this book is a personal account by the founder and CEO of Zane’s Cycles. It began when Chris Zane was 12 and repairing bikes and really began to grow after he bought a local bike shop (he was 16) and eventually built it into a multi-million dollar company today, with an annual growth rate of about 25%. There are no head-snapping revelations nor does Zane make any such claim. When he wrote this book, presumably he was well-aware of other CEOs and other companies that learned how to establish and then sustain long-term (if not lifetime) relationships with their customers. More specifically, they created what Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba aptly characterize as “customer evangelists.”
After briefly identifying the “what,” he devotes most of his attention to the “how” and “why” of what seem to be nine core concepts:
1. Know what your core business is. Long ago, Home Depot’s then CEO explained that his company doesn’t sell half-inch drill bits, it sells half-inch holes.
2. Focus on building a lifetime relationship with each customer. Think of each purchase as a partial payment toward what the total (potentially lifetime) value of the relationship could be.
3. Always offer more than is expected. For example, over-serve and indicate how grateful you are to have the opportunity to do so.
4. Over time, the shared experience – rather than a product or service — becomes the brand. Take full advantage of every opportunity to strengthen it with personal attention.
5. Keep looking for a new niche. Zane urges his reader to “stretch your comfort zone.” Try new ideas. What about potential allies who could be referral sources? Which of them might be willing to co-sponsor an event such as a bicycle safety rally? Constantly energize the enterprise with creative thinking and prudent experiments.
6. Keep the competition off-balance with game-changing tactics. Pleasant surprises for the customer will be bad news for competitors. If you are proactive, they must be reactive. This concept suggests a classic strategy that Sun Tzu recommends in The Art of War.
7. Focus on continuous improvement. To borrow a line from Marshall Goldsmith: for Zane’s Cycles and just about any other organization, “what got you here won’t get you there.” In fact, the title of this book suggests to me another title: Reinventing Zane’s Cycles…Every Day.
8. Hire for character and temperament (especially emotional intelligence) and use training to provide orientation, complete knowledge transfers, and strengthen skills.
Note: I well recall Warren Buffett’s observation, “Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.”
9. Respect and embrace differences between and among people. As I read this final chapter in the book, I was reminded of a passage in Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself:
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
To me, that is the definitive description of human diversity.
Yes, Zane’s Cycles sells bicycles and accessories but what it creates – as Chris Zane explains with eloquence as well as pride and appreciation — is much more interesting and much more valuable…precious, shared memories of joyous experiences.
To paraphrase Whitman, “We are large, we contain multitudes”
Note: This is one of the volumes in the 5o Classics series, each available in a softbound edition and priced at less than $15.00.
Of course, throughout human history, the subject of this book – spirituality — has been nurtured as well as defined and measured in many different ways. Hence the importance of the fact that Butler-Bowdon offers a wide range of perspectives from the works of an especially diversified group that includes St. Augustine (Confessions, 400), Carlos Castaneda (Journey to Ixtlan, 1972), Mohandas Gandhi (An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth, 1927), William James (The Varieties of Religious Experience, 1902), C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters, 1942), Teresa of Avila (Inferior Castle, 1570), Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, 1998), Rick Warren (The Purpose-Driven Life, 2002), and Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi, 1946)
As in the other volumes in his series, Butler-Bowdon follows a format for each of the 50 chapters: brief representative quotations, an “In a nutshell” section, a rigorous and remarkably thorough summary of the given source’s key points, a Final comments” section, and then (in most instances) a brief bio of its author. I also appreciate the fact that the book can be read straight through from the first chapter to the last (i.e.Mahammad Asad to Gary Zukav), or in chronological order, or according to six thematic categories (Great spiritual lives, Practical spirituality, The great variety of experience, Opening the doors of perception, Divine relationship and life purpose, and Humanity’s spiritual evolution), or by cherry-picking whichever contributors and/or subjects are of greatest interest. As a convenience to his reader, Butler-Bowdon suggests in his Introduction which authors belong in which category. Here are a few of his comments about some of those whom he discusses, followed by a brief statement by Eckhart Tolle:
“If your misery is great enough, there is a chance that you will arrive at an equally great sense of peace and purpose that less intense people will never experience. The Confessions is one of the best pieces of writing on how a divided, tormented person can be healed through religion…From his inauspicious Roman backwater childhood and fast-living student days, it is remarkable that Augustine became (along with Aquinas) the major intellectual figure in the Christian West for the next 1,000 years. His huge work, The City of God (426), which took 13 years to write, became a theological foundation stone for the emergent Christian religion. All this from a black man born into the fringes of the white empire.” (Page 25)
“Gandhi did not like the title Mahatma, as he did not think of himself as a great man. Far from being a trumpet blowing exercise, his autobiography was designed to detail, objectively his discoveries and failures in relation to right principles and spiritual truth, and he never claimed to have been perfect…Our choice today is to look on him as a singular individual whose like we may never see again, or to take the trail he blazed as our own. Either way, what Gandhi achieved in his experiments is now the spiritual heritage of us all.” (Page 89)
William James “recognized a pattern in conversion experiences. They tended to happen when people were so low that they just `gave up,’ the vacuum of hope providing space for revelation. The religious literature is full of stories along these lines, in which the constrictions and negative aspects of the ego are finally discarded; we begin to live only for others or for some higher goal. The compensation for becoming dependent on God is a letting go of fear, and it is this that makes conversion such a liberating experience.” (Page 133)
“Is painting the world in terms of good and evil too simplistic? Perhaps, but [C.S.] Lewis’s quirky presentation of the polarities as real is quite convincing and makes us think about all of the rationalizations we use to justify our thoughts and actions. What we can take from this book [i.e. The Screwtape Letters] is a reassurance that there is something in us that is naturally resistant to corruption – and that by being true to ourselves we can succeed in increasing that resistance.” (Page 158)
Eckhart Tolle: “Don’t look for any other state than the one you are in now; otherwise, you will set up inner conflict and unconscious resistance. Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.” (Chapter 43, 50 Spiritual Classics, Page 264)
With all due respect to Butler-Bowdon’s other books, (especially those that focus on self-help and success), I think this one is his most valuable because his discussion of the 50 works in which their authors discuss spiritual issues helps his reader to understand that “the quest for material security alone does not ultimately satisfy, and that not even emotional security or great knowledge is enough to sustain us – we were built to see answers to larger questions.” He notes that the word “spiritual” comes from the Latin word for breathing. “If nothing else, this book aims to dispel the idea that there is anything outlandish about spiritual experience; on the contrary, it is what makes us human.”
This book is only indirectly about religion and theology. Its primary focus is on what others have learned during their journeys of exploration and discovery within a realm that has what William James characterizes as an “unseen order,” and our “supreme good” lies in a harmonious adjustment to it. In this context, Tom Butler-Bowdon cites a Persian proverb that serves both as an appropriate conclusion to his Introduction and to this commentary: “Seek the truth in meditation, not in moldy books. Look in the sky to find the moon, not in the pond.”
“Ue ni wa ue ga aru” is a Japanese aphorism that epitomizes the nature of excellence: “Above up, there is something even higher above up.” The same can express John Maeda’s opinion of leadership as a never-ending “work-in-progress.” Those who read his earlier book, The Laws of Simplicity, already know that he is an expert on design thinking who, following the publication of that brilliant work, accepted appointment to serve as president of Rhode Island School of Design. The title of his latest book, written with Becky Bermont, is rich with meaning: Assumptions and premises about almost anything must constantly be challenged and evaluated, with some then redesigned, if not discarded. That is especially true of leadership, Maeda suggests, because those entrusted with leadership responsibilities must constantly challenge their own assumptions and premises about who they are, what they do, and how they do it.
Since his appointment, Maeda has been careful “to approach my journey at RISD ["Rizdee"] as a balance between the artist within me who looks to experiment, and the more systematic thinker who was trained at engineering and business school.” Throughout much of the book, Maeda discusses his journey to achieve and then exceed “something even [and ever] higher above up,” applying principles of design thinking whenever and wherever appropriate bit also maintaining the artist’s acute awareness of both details and what his predecessor, Louis Fazzano, characterized as “the whole system.” Maeda generously shares details of his journey thus far while attempting to accommodate and coordinate and yet differentiate several dimensions of his leadership: as a creative, a technologist, professor, and human being. He demonstrates what Walt Whitman once proclaimed in Song of Myself: “I am large, I contain multitudes.” That is also true of John Maeda…and of each of us.
Here in Dallas there is a farmers’ market near downtown at which several merchants offer slices of fresh fruit to be sampled. In that same spirit, I offer a few brief excerpts from Redesigning Leadership:
When he asked his father what “craftsmanship” was, he replied, “It’s working like you care.” I am reminded of the fact that, in her commencement address at Stanford, Teresa Amabile urged graduates to “do what you love and love what you do.”
“For an artist, `doing the right thing’ isn’t about logically selecting from a set of evaluated opinions, but it is about feeling what is right in the moment.”
As president of RISD, “I’ve given up on Facebook as the best means to pull people together and have turned to a more traditional technology: free food.” Maeda adds that the two-word combination “free pizza” has much greater power to attract attention than do others such as “global warning” and “nuclear disarmament.”
Although some efforts to motivate people using carrots (rewarding with incentives) or sticks (punishing behavior), Maeda thinks “the smell of the carrot needs to be in range or the stick within reach. Said differently, becoming a team starts with an individual making a choice to volunteer themselves for a collective cause.” In other words, pull (attract) volunteers rather than push (pressure) recruits.
“Knowing our limitations is what makes us human; ignoring them is what helps us believe we can lead.”
The founder of the TED conferences, Richard Saul Wurman, has a simple rule of thumb for speakers on the stage: Be vulnerable…[That] allows the audience to be privy to something very special: the speakers’ humanity.”
Maeda notes that one of his trustees “periodically reminds me of a quote by the famous hall-of-famer Casey Stengel: `The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate you away from those who are still undecided.’”
I highly recommend both of John Maeda’s books and they need not necessarily be read in the order of publication, with The Laws of Simplicity first, although I suggest that. As is also true of Whitman, he is “large”…he “contains multitudes.” His journey to reach ever higher levels of excellence continues, as do ours.
He invites you to visit redesigningleadership.com and will gratefully welcome whatever you wish to share.
Two recent inflection points reflect major changes in the contemporary business world: one involves the replacement of the command-and-control management style with one that affirms authenticity, transparency, empathy, and other qualities once considered “soft”; the other involves the replacement of what Cathleen Benko and Molly Anderson characterize as the “hierarchical corporate ladder” with “a multidimensional corporate lattice,™” one whose structure is flatter, within which authority is more widely distributed, one that provides multidirectional career paths and, although driven by team and community commitments, nourishes mutual trust and respect between and among those involved.
As I worked my way through Benko and Anderson’s lively narrative, I was reminded of a passage from Walt Whitman’s poem, Song of Myself: “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes.” Whitman’s affirmation of complexity and diversity could well serve as a mantra for the Lattice mindset. These are its core values:
• Success can be defined many different ways
• Success can be measured many different ways
• Individual growth can be developed many different ways
• When, where, and how work is done is determined in collaboration with those who will do it
• Jobs are competency-based to reflect its dynamic nature
• Information is widely accessible and customizable
• Multi-level co-creation drives engagement and achievement
• Integration of organizational and personal priorities and values
• Multiple career paths to accommodate different goals and competencies
I especially appreciate Benko and Anderson’s skillful use of various reader-friendly devices, such as Figures, Tables, and checklists. They consolidate key points. For example, “The forces driving the changing world of work” (Figure 2-1, Page 29), “Career engagement changes over time” (Figure 3-3, Page 74), and “The stages of lattice ways to participate” (Figure 5-1, Page 117); “A comparison of ladder and lattice thinking about careers” (Table 3-1, Page 53), “A comparison of ladder and lattice thinking about work” (Table 4-1, Page 81), and “A comparison of ladder and lattice thinking about participation” (Table 5-1, Page 102). There are also several dozen checklists in various formats that, in combination with Figures and Tables, will expedite frequent review of key points.
In this thoughtful and thought-provoking volume, Benko and Anderson provide a comprehensive, cohesive, and cost-effective “game plan” and operations manual that are needed to plan, implement, and then strengthen “a multidimensional corporate lattice(tm)” culture. Among the many significant benefits this enterprise architecture will achieve is what Cathleen Benko and Molly Anderson characterize as a “career-life fit” for each of those involved. Better yet, because each person’s life resembles a lattice rather than a ladder, the fit can be customized.
With regard to the “bottom line,” those involved in a lattice culture will be far more productive at work as well as much happier there and elsewhere. It is no coincidence that on the annual lists of companies most highly admired and the best to work for are also on the annual lists of those that are most profitable and most valuable. What does that suggest?