The New How - Creating Business Solutions through Collaborative Strategy Reviewed By Manoj Rengarajan Of Bookpleasures.com
Rengarajan holdsÂ a Master of Financial Engineering - University of
California, Berkeley and heÂ works in the investment management
industry and specializes in providing economic and investment outlook
and strategy for global equity and government bond markets. He has an
educational background in financial engineering, business, and
engineering, and professional interests includeÂ business,
finance, economics, technology and related areas.
Author: Nilofer Merchant
Businesses often see strategies
undertaken with lot of fanfare but many fail to live up to
expectations as time progresses. A key reason for failure is the
enormous gap between the vision and the strategies initiated at the
top of the organization and the alignment of the rest of the firm
involved in turning the vision into results.
This "air sandwich" between the top management and rest of the organization resulting in misunderstandings, confusion and misalignment which eventually results in a failure to implement organizational strategies.
The New How is a incisive book by Nilofer Merchant which looks at practical approaches for driving collaborative strategy implementation in organizations. Increasing the chances of success by improving collaboration and ensuring everyone understands assumptions and rationale behind strategic decisions is the crux of the book.
Nilofer starts with a general analysis of why strategies fail. She emphasizes the "how" in strategy making by analyzing failures in a typical organization and builds her case for practices that ensure partnership and ownership. This forms the basis of assessing organizational readiness and ensuring distributed decision making.
Addressing the individuals in the organization, the book describes how a change in mindset to being collaborators helps to step up the play of the overall organization. Nilofer shows how a change in individual "how" is essential for larger organizational success and highlights key practices for individuals.
Moving on to leaders and managers
enabling the organizational vision, the book highlights the key
responsibilities of a collaborative leader using a simple MINDSET
framework. This addresses strategy implementation and organizational
concerns in ensuring scalability, ownership, retention and
The final section of the book focuses on developing a QuEST process for collaborative strategy formulation and implementation. The process aims to provide a rigorous approach to unearthing real problems afflicting the organization, ensuring a broad range of options are generated from different groups, emphasizing on making tough decisions to whittle down options and finally creating accountability for the implementation.
Apart from summarizing the key steps in each phase of the process, roles and responsibilities of leaders and collaborators at each stage and examples of deliverable and output make the concepts in the book ready to use. Also, from an implementation point of view, the author highlights key behavioral patterns to avoid.
The New How provides a comprehensive step by step approach to the process of diagnosing, brainstorming and implementing organizational strategy. This highly readable and useful book should not only appeal to employers at all levels within an organization, but also to consultants and non-profit organizations.