People in business or in executive positions in business will face an ultimate judge: their best customer. Those best customers, however the company defines best customers, will be difficult at times; they will request the unreasonable at times, change their criteria over time, but they will always become a company’s most treasured resource of information for improvement and success.
That is just one of the standout concepts introduced in a new book, Challenge the Ordinary: Why Revolutionary Companies Abandon Conventional Mindsets, Question Long-held Assumptions, and Kill Their Sacred Cows by Linda D. Henman, Ph.D.
The book offers three parts: The Exceptional Organization, The Individual, and The Leader. Henman starts off by offering in her introduction why the book matters to most companies.
“Today’s global economy leaves little room for error. It does not allow for mediocrity; the rules and players have changed, and ordinary simply won’t work anymore,” she writes.
Best Products, Best Services, Best Leaders, Best Practices
Today’s business leaders have to realize they need to “abandon conventional mindsets, challenge their own assumptions, and kill their sacred cows” in order to respond favorably to “the volatile global financial systems that continue to morph just as we understand them.”
The author also recommends that companies and leaders need to find a balance between “legend and truth, originality and innovation, today and tomorrow.” She offers five reasons for the paradox including:
- The changes in today’s workforce
- The new rules of the road
- What she defines as the “global tilt”
- A new economic engine that uses fear as primary fuel
- Conscious and continual change
Noteworthy Features of Challenge the Ordinary
Henman offers her views on all of the top business concepts from mission statements, just-in-time organizations, thinking strategically versus tactically, showing good business judgment in decision making, the meaning of culture and organizational values to setting the tone from the top of the organizational chart and succession planning.
She uses the second part of the book to write about finding, keeping, and growing talent within a company. She writes that “If companies don’t have the best people delivering their products and services, their competition will.”
The book details traits of star talent including charisma, passion, and Je Ne Sais Quoi. And, the author writes about finding people with raw talent. The last section is about leadership and provides a leadership model for readers.
The book is well written and easy to read. The author does introduce many new concepts and ways to adapt to today’s volatile and ever changing business world. I would recommend this book to any professional that is looking for some new ways to challenge the ordinary, standout from the rest of the group, and those that are truly invested in succeeding.
About the Author
Henman works with executives and boards of Fortune 500 companies and small businesses. She is also the author of Landing in the Executive Chair.
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