What you could learn from ‘Quick and Nimble’ by Adam Bryant (2014, 251 pages)


“Innovation distinguishes between leaders and follower.” Steve Jobs

Innovation is one of the strongest sources of competitive advantage.  Staying ahead of the competition allows you to explore new products, services, and business models while also making sure you are exploiting your existing offering.

Adam Bryant offers 16 well thought and well-crafted pieces of advice on how leaders can foster an innovative culture.   Each of these pieces of advice is well researched and supported by advice from over two hundred CEOs.  When you distill Adam’s advice, I feel they fall into six broad areas.

  1. Focus on what makes your company  different
  2. Communicate this focus repeatedly and in novel ways
  3. Reduce silos by forcing people to get to know and collaborate with people outside their silo
  4. Encourage dissent; you don’t know how robust an idea is until it is tested
  5. Respect your followers, be honest with them when they do well and poorly
  6. Let people own their work

What I love about this book is that it does not offer a framework to paint a picture of the ‘perfect’ organisation.  Instead, by discussing differing approaches, it engages the reader in dialogue, which forces them to think about how they should use these pieces of advice within their organisation.
Amazon link – Quick and Nimble: Lessons from Leading CEOs on How to Create a Culture of Innovation by Bryant, Adam (2014) Hardcover