The Change Maker’s Playbook: A book review by Bob Morris

The Change Maker’s Playbook: How to Seek, Seed and Scale Innovation in Any Company
Amy J. Radin
City Point Press (September 2018)

“Startups don’t have a monopoly on innovation and legacy companies don’t have a monopoly on bureaucracy.” Liz Landsman

Why did Amy Radin write this book?

To give change agents “in any organization dozens of hands-on ways to learn from real experiences. so they can take any insights about market needs from napkin backs to viable businesses that deliver impact.” Southwest Airlines, for example. “This book is for leaders who want to solve unmet market needs. These people don’t just have ideas. They feel commitment and have a sense of purpose to create new forms of value and growth of benefits to employees, customers, partners, and shareholders. They want to move with urgency, speeding progress by learning from others’ experiences.”

Radin introduces what she characterizes as a “Seek, Seed, and Scale” framework. The material is carefully organized within three Parts. First, she explains how and what it means “to discover insights into problems and define purpose to drive value and growth.” That is, “how to find and define what to build, identifying the change maker mindset that will make the difference through all the [nine] elements of the framework.” Next, she “tackles the skills, tools, leadership, and capabilities that get concepts to take hold by testing for marketing interest and feedback.” And then in Part III, she focuses on the last three steps of the framework [Launch, Testing and Experimenting, and, Anticipating and Adapting] and takes great ideas toward the ranks of sustainable businesses, assuring vitality through the forces of change.”

There are dozens of outstanding books on organizational transformation and the best of them explain what I view of as “The Three Basics” of business thought literature: WHAT, WHY, and HOW.  That is certain true of this book. I commend Radin on the abundance of valuable information, insights, and counsel she provides. She cites the observation by Liz Landsman (cited above) that makes a correct assertion: “Startups don’t have a monopoly on innovation and legacy companies don’t have a monopoly on bureaucracy.” Almost everything in this book is relevant to almost any organization, whatever its size and nature may be.

Let’s allow Amy Radin the final words: “So, get moving, and while you are making your dent in the universe, give back to other change makers by sharing what has worked for you and what you have learned. Within the reach and ease of social media, not sharing is inexcusable.”

The Change Maker’s Playbook [colon] How to Seek, Seed and Scale Innovation in Any Company, Amy J. Radin, City Point Press, Liz Landsman

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