Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes (TED Books)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A powerful manifesto for CEOs and employees alike: Influential and award-winning business leader Margaret Heffernan reveals how organizations can build ideal workplace cultures and create seismic shifts by making deceptively small changes.
By implementing sweeping changes, businesses often think it’s possible to do better, to earn more, and have happier employees. So why does engagement prove so difficult and productivity so elusive?
In Beyond Measure, Margaret Heffernan looks back over her decades spent overseeing different organizations and comes to a counterintuitive conclusion: it’s the small shifts that have the greatest impact. Heffernan argues that building the strongest organization can be accelerated by implementing seemingly small changes, such as embracing conflict as a creative catalyst; using every mind on the team; celebrating mistakes; speaking up and listening more; and encouraging time off from work.
Packed with incredible anecdotes and startling statistics, Beyond Measure takes us on a fascinating tour across the globe, highlighting disparate businesses and revealing how they’ve managed to change themselves in big ways through incremental shifts. How did the CIA revolutionize their intelligence gathering with one simple question? How did one organization increase their revenue by $15 million by instituting a short coffee break? How can a day-long hackathon change the culture of a company? Told with wry wit and knowing humor, Heffernan proves that it’s often the small changes that make the greatest, most lasting impact.
oneself and on behalf of others. Because organizational cultures are nonlinear systems, they can’t depend on just a few lauded superstars but draw their energy from the vast collective intelligence of every employee, affiliate, partner, and customer. In that, they’re inherently democratic, demanding a generous and humble mindset. Information isn’t cherished and held close to the chest because it represents power; instead it is shared and diffused for the inspiration and insight it provokes. If
he’d spent just one day alone; the aftermath of the financial crisis had eliminated all his thinking time, just when he needed it most. But how can you know what you think if you don’t have time to think without interruption? How can you move beyond received wisdom and stale assumptions without solitude? If you are going to be able to explain your ideas and thoughts, you need time to explore them first. First thoughts are rarely best thoughts; you need time to wander beyond them. Time alone need
Roche or diabetes but a holistic thinker, a truly unconstrained thinker. The team was so excited by what she could offer that we brought her in full-time. She had this great skill—in asking the right questions with anybody. She maintained a vision. This was a very intense period when no one could leave the room or finish a day without a discussion that excited people and we made a real breakthrough in understanding.” For Essenpreis, this experience proved the most creative time of his career.
work. All of these initiatives have the same goal: to make the mind travel well beyond the desk, beyond the conference room, to build new neural networks that refresh thinking and make new connections. Making Offsites Work In building what became Boston Scientific, John Abele became mildly obsessed with collaboration. What made it work, why did it so often not work—and what were the conditions that might make it easier? For most companies, offsite meetings are the occasions when this becomes
talent that looked different. He described the battles he had waged inside IBM to implement policies that successfully attracted thousands of smart women who didn’t leave when they had children but were supported and promoted throughout any careers they wished to pursue. Childs spoke with more authority on the subject of gender equality than anyone I had ever heard. Years later I asked him why he had been able to achieve so much. Was it because he was not female? “Absolutely,” he insisted.