Rethink: A Business Manifesto for Cutting Costs and Boosting Innovation
- By Ric Merrifield
- Published Mar 29, 2009 by FT Press.
- Copyright 2009
- Dimensions: 5-1/2 X 8-3/4
- Pages: 240
- Edition: 1st
- ISBN-10: 0-13-703165-3
- ISBN-13: 978-0-13-703165-8
- eBook (Watermarked)
- ISBN-10: 0-13-702941-1
- ISBN-13: 978-0-13-702941-9
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Product Author Bios
Ric Merrifield spent nearly 15 years in various consulting roles helping organizations define and achieve their goals. Since joining Microsoft, Merrifield has spent more than 10,000 hours as a business architect and has filed twelve patent applications all with the goal of helping companies rethink their operating models and get out of the “how” trap described in the pages of this book.
Merrifield recently coauthored “The Next Revolution in Productivity,” a June 2008 Harvard Business Review article focused on case studies that highlight needs of the organization and the opportunity to rethink business operating models before making major technology changes. Merrifield is an alumnus of Lakeside School in Seattle and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
It's a totally human condition, a trap that ensnares virtually everyone. Just as when we tie a route to a destination so much so that when someone else takes a different route "why are we going this way?" it usually doesn't matter "how" you get there. This "how" trap also takes place at work, people intertwine "how" they do their job with the outcome of "what" they are doing that sometimes obvious decisions are masked, and missed. We know how to focus on process: the how of business. That's why this book shows that we're leaving so much value on the table and that's what this book exposes with vivid examples, while at the same time offering guidance on ways you can take advantage of this new business lens. Business architect Ric Merrifield shows how to rise above the clutter of your "hows" to expose what does and doesn't need attention. You'll learn to identify the activities most critical to success and those that that are borderline, redundant, or even counterproductive. Along the way, Merrifield presents powerful case studies from companies as diverse as ING DIRECT and Eclipse, Amazon.com and Procter + Gamble: firms that have learned how to cut costs, strengthen innovation, and profit from change all at the same time.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
It's About Context, Business Ecosystems, and IT Impact,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rethink: A Business Manifesto for Cutting Costs and Boosting Innovation (Hardcover)I bought this book on the recommendation of a colleague whom I have known for twenty years, both of us members of the Silicon Valley Hackers Conference started by Stewart Brand and now managed by Glen Tenney. When I came to buy the book and saw all of the very short, very empty, largely negative reviews, I was surprised. Trying to understand this, and having looked up the author's history, I speculate that a bunch of folks bought this book because of who the author is (Microsoft's business rethink strategist and innovator), and then did not have the contextual background to appreciate the story line.
Of course the books suffers some from being a book-length expansion of a core idea originally published in the Harvard Business Review, "The Next Revolution in Productivity" (free online at Phi Beta Iota), but from where I sit, 47 of the 53 reviews miss the whole point, and I am not that thrilled with the remaining six, but they did help me.
POINT NUMBER ONE:... Read more
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Good Quality Information,
This review is from: Rethink: A Business Manifesto for Cutting Costs and Boosting Innovation (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)Rethink by Ric Merrifield is subtitled "a business manifesto for cutting costs and boosting innovation." This might make you think that the book is all about how to tweak and tune your current options to make them run more efficiently. Quite the opposite. Ric wants you to reevaluate your entire organization and come up with ways to do things DIFFERENTLY - which will save you money and help your final product reach its aims more effectively.
This mantra is repeatedly constantly in the book. Yes, start by looking at HOW you do things. You send FAXes. You answer phone calls with orders. Then step back and think about WHAT you are accomplishing. You are distributing status updates. You are bringing in orders. You could do those things far more efficiently if you just focused on those "whats" and thought up different ways of how they could be done.
The techniques he uses to help you out of your current box are similar to many other self-help books. You build a grid... Read more
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A useful tool for driving engaging conversations with customers,
This review is from: Rethink: A Business Manifesto for Cutting Costs and Boosting Innovation (Hardcover)Great book! Re-think provides the clarity into business conversations to focus on the What vs. How. The premise of the book is that people and organizations fall into the "How Trap" all too often focusing on "How" to accomplish something, vs. really focusing and more importantly agreeing on the "What" that is needed. I have been practicing What vs. How conversations with great results. I have found it to be an effective tool for getting out of the weeds, especially in conversations with technical folks, and driving more engaging conversations with customers. People are often enamored with the shiny object problem, and elegant technology driven solutions, and all too often lose sight of what they are attempting to accomplish. I highly recommend reading re-think, and putting the principles into practice - results will follow. View it as a tool for framing engaging conversations and reining in sideways dialogs.
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Online Sample Chapter
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 How the “How” Trap Is Trapping You 7
Chapter 2 The Thinking Behind Rethinking 27
Chapter 3 First–Identify the "Whats" That Are Truly Valuable 39
Chapter 4 Second–Know What You Are (and Aren’t) Good At 61
Chapter 5 Third–Make (and Break) Connections 77
Chapter 6 Fourth–Understand What Can (and Can’t) Be Predicted 91
Chapter 7 Fifth–Unravel (and Follow) the Rules 109
Chapter 8 Revolutionary Rethinking at ING DIRECT 117
Chapter 9 Rethinking at Eclipse 133
Chapter 10 Rethinking at Cranium 151
Chapter 11 Morph Again and Again 169
Key Concepts 193
Downloadable Sample Chapter
Introduction (243 KB .pdf)
Chapter 1: How the "How" Trap is Trapping You (216 KB .pdf)
Key Concepts (241 KB .pdf)
Index (207 KB .pdf)
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