Visionary's Handbook: Nine Paradoxes That Will Shape the Future of Your Business

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9780066619880: Visionary's Handbook: Nine Paradoxes That Will Shape the Future of Your Business

In The 500 Year Delta, Watts Wacker and Jim Taylor astounded readers with their sweeping vision of time and change. Now they proclaim the Age of the Individual – a world where life has never been more difficult, because it has never been easier.

Today, individuals have far more power to claim their own futures than ever before, which means they have to follow four major rules to chart their courses: know who you are: know where you want to go; recognise your own seminal moments; and adopt an attitude of insurgency. As these rules are applied to organisations, they too can master the nine paradoxes that abound in everyday life and watch productivity go through the roof.

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Review:

At a time when business bestsellers such as Six Sigma are touting scientific management, The Visionary's Handbook desires to be different. Authors Watts Wacker, Jim Taylor, and Howard Means forgo the nuts-and-bolts approach for a philosophical look at management, examining nine broad trends, or "paradoxes," they say are shaping business today.

At the heart of these paradoxes lies change--change that is occurring at an increasing rate. The more certain we are of the future, say the authors, the more likely we are to be wrong. To support their argument, they cite both online and real-world examples, including Xerox, eBay, Kodak, and Cisco. Their observations, if not groundbreaking, are certainly accurate. For instance, the Paradox of Size--the bigger your company, the smaller it needs to appear--has been explored at length in Customers.com. Similarly, the need for continual innovation--even to the detriment of your core business--is a paradox that merits attention and one that readers of The Innovator's Dilemma will recognize.

The Visionary's Handbook is about more than just paradoxes, though. Interspersed throughout its pages are exercises challenging readers to pencil in the future they want to see, to visualize and outline their success. Some may find these exercises a valuable and practical addition to the text. Broadly conceived and thought-provoking, The Visionary's Handbook will be an eye opener for many readers. --Demian McLean

About the Author:

Watts Wacker FirstMatter LLC, a company bringing the future to corporations, and is the futurist at one of the nation's foremost think tanks.



Jim Taylor is a lecturer and consultant to cutting-edge companies.



Watts Wacker FirstMatter LLC, a company bringing the future to corporations, and is the futurist at one of the nation's foremost think tanks.

Jim Taylor is a lecturer and consultant to cutting-edge companies.

Howard Means is a novelist and senior editor of the Washingtonian.

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