Title: A Bigger Prize
Publisher: PublicAffairs, New York
Publication Date: 2014
Book Condition: Near Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine
Signed: Signed by author
Edition: First edition...
Book Type: book
Talking to scientists, musicians, athletes, entrepreneurs and executives, in the follow-up to her bestselling Wilful Blindness, Margaret Heffernan has discovered that, around the world, individuals and organizations are finding creative, cooperative ways to work that don't pit people against each other but support them in their desire to work together. 6½" - 9½", first printing with some edgewear to the dust jacket. Signed by the author on the Human Resource Leadership Forum bookplate. Size: 6½" - 9½" First printing First printing. Bookseller Inventory # 273567
Synopsis: Competition has run amok. Social Darwinism, survival of the fittest, is crudely understood as justifying a winner-takes-all culture. If you want get into the best school, land the right job, buy the cool dress, find the perfect partner, be made for life, you have tread underfoot any and all your rivals. Competition has become a simplistic zero-sum game, played without any enjoyment at all.
In this book, Margaret Heffernan dispels this myth. Leading readers on a wide-ranging tour of competition across leading global organizations and industries, she exposes how desperately business, finance and education needs a curriculum that nurtures, develops and enlarges our collaborative talents.
There?s no denying that human beings are competitive, but we are not only competitive. Heffernan reveals how more often than not individual pursuit of self-interest proves to be collectively defeating and incurs high costs: When schools celebrate the top of the class, they demotivate the rest. When the rich win tax cuts, inequality grows. As sports become fiercer and richer, careers shorten and injuries abound. When executives are encouraged to compete for bonuses and promotions, it costs them friendships and creativity. When food producers aim to dominate their markets with low prices, it costs us all in environmental and social degradation. And when the pressure to win exacerbates cheating and corruption, it costs us the legitimacy of our institutions and our moral credibility. So how do we rein in competition, retaining its power to spur us on but denying it the destructive dimension that it acquires when it is made a uniquely canonical virtue?
In business, education, sports, and innovation, drawing from the long-time success stories of companies such as Ocean Spray, Gore, and Boston Scientific among others, Heffernan uncovers how social structures that reinforce interdependency produce excellent results and consistent leaders in their fields. These institutions create a truly collaborative ethos, which reinforces the sense of mission and purpose, and leads to self-motivated, driven individuals who none the less feel no need to claim their successes at the expense of their colleagues. Leaders of these companies have learned that collaboratively-arrived-at-solutions are far more durable and often simply better than those imposed by external authorities or managing agents. Most importantly, these organizations become robust, and able to survive the vicissitudes of political, social, and economic change.
Co-winner of the 2015 Salon London Transmission Prize
Get into the best schools. Land your next big promotion. Dress for success. Run faster. Play tougher. Work harder. Keep score. And whatever you do—make sure you win.
Competition runs through every aspect of our lives today. From the cubicle to the race track, in business and love, religion and science, what matters now is to be the biggest, fastest, meanest, toughest, richest.
The upshot of all these contests? As Margaret Heffernan shows in this eye-opening book, competition regularly backfires, producing an explosion of cheating, corruption, inequality, and risk. The demolition derby of modern life has damaged our ability to work together.
But it doesn?t have to be this way. CEOs, scientists, engineers, investors, and inventors around the world are pioneering better ways to create great products, build enduring businesses, and grow relationships. Their secret? Generosity. Trust. Time. Theater. From the cranberry bogs of Massachusetts to the classrooms of Singapore and Finland, from tiny start-ups to global engineering firms and beloved American organizations—like Ocean Spray, Eileen Fisher, Gore, and Boston Scientific—Heffernan discovers ways of living and working that foster creativity, spark innovation, reinforce our social fabric, and feel so much better than winning.
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