You are previewing A Beautiful Constraint: How To Transform Your Limitations Into Advantages, and Why It's Everyone's Business.
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A Beautiful Constraint: How To Transform Your Limitations Into Advantages, and Why It's Everyone's Business

Book Description

An inspiring yet practical guide for transforming limitations into opportunities

A Beautiful Constraint: How to Transform Your Limitations Into Advantages And Why It's Everyone's Business Now is a book about everyday, practical inventiveness, designed for the constrained times in which we live. It describes how to take the kinds of issues that all of us face today—lack of time, money, resources, attention, know-how—and see in them the opportunity for transformation of oneself and one's organization's fortunes. The ideas in the book are based on the authors' extensive work as business consultants, and are brought to life in 35 personal interviews from such varied sources as Nike, IKEA, Unilever, the U.S. Navy, Formula One racecar engineers, public school teachers in California, and barley farmers in South Africa. Underpinned by scientific research into the psychology of breakthrough, the book is a practical handbook full of tools and tips for how to make more from less. Beautifully designed and accessible, A Beautiful Constraint will appeal beyond its core business audience to anyone who needs to find the opportunity in constraint.

The book takes the reader on a journey through the mindset, method and motivation required to move from the initial "victim" stage into the transformation stage. It challenges us to:

  • Examine how we've become path dependent—stuck with routines that blind us from seeing opportunity along new paths

  • Ask Propelling Questions to help us break free of those paths and put the most pressing and valuable constraints at the heart of our process

  • Adopt a Can If mentality to answer these questions—focused on "how," not "if"

  • Access the abundance to be found all around us to help transform constraints

  • Activate the high-octane mix of emotions necessary to fuel the tenacity required for success

  • We live in a world of seemingly ever-increasing constraints, driven as much by an overabundance of choices and connections as by a scarcity of time and resources. How we respond to these constraints is one of the most important issues of our time and will be a large determinant of our progress as people, businesses and planet, in the future. A Beautiful Constraint calls for a more widespread capability for constraint-driven problem solving and provides the framework to achieve that.

    Table of Contents

    1. Cover Page
    2. Title Page
    3. Copyright
    4. Dedication
    5. CONTENTS
    6. INTRODUCTION
    7. CHAPTER 1: VICTIM, NEUTRALIZER, & TRANSFORMER
      1. Constraint and ambition
      2. Stages or personalities?
      3. Progressing through the stages
      4. A gift in Portland
      5. Transformers and their cultures
      6. Knowing when and how to peak
      7. A mindset that sees opportunity in constraint
      8. Deliberately imposing constraints upon ourselves
      9. The stages and strategies in response to constraints
    8. CHAPTER 2: BREAK PATH DEPENDENCE
      1. Why we become “locked-in”
      2. Today's path is really yesterday's path
      3. The profits and pitfalls of our habits
      4. So why do path dependence and lock-in matter, if it has driven past success?
      5. Breaking path dependence in California charter schools
      6. What's in a name?
      7. How does one overcome path dependence?
      8. Repeatability and renewal
    9. CHAPTER 3: ASK PROPELLING QUESTIONS
      1. The effect of being asked to do the impossible
      2. The nature of a propelling question
      3. Growing a better quality crop with less water
      4. What makes propelling questions powerful?
      5. Starting to use propelling questions: the different families of constraint and ambition
      6. Specificity, Authority, Legitimacy
      7. Who else might ask propelling questions of us, and what happens when they do?
      8. Uber's children and the death of the trade-off
      9. The rewards for the unreasonable challenger
    10. CHAPTER 4: CAN-IF
      1. Optimism decays
      2. Can-If
      3. Can-If sequences
      4. Failing forward
      5. Ambitious crowd-control at London 2012
      6. The different types of can-if
      7. The Can-If Map: Using the clusters to approach our own constraints
      8. Learning how to use the Can-If Map
      9. Methods and stimulus
    11. CHAPTER 5: CREATING ABUNDANCE
      1. What does it mean to be resourceful?
      2. Seeing potential sources of resource around us
      3. Reframing how we think about our own resources to create new value
      4. A framework for creating abundance
      5. Our potential sources of abundance
      6. Creating shared agendas: how best to share and trade resources in order to get access to those we lack
      7. Sharing an agenda, multiplying resources
      8. Using this framework
      9. How to feed a blue chicken
      10. Resourcefulness and the mutually beneficial hustle
    12. CHAPTER 6: ACTIVATING EMOTIONS
      1. The value of emotional engagement
      2. Transforming the health of Native Alaskans
      3. When a strong emotion meets a propelling question
      4. The power of positive and negative together: The science of mental contrasting
      5. Creating the emotional narrative
      6. Harnessing emotion at the d.school
    13. CHAPTER 7: THE FERTILE ZERO
      1. The zero constraint
      2. Drama and surprise
      3. Interesting on the inside
      4. Making a secondary medium your primary idea platform
      5. Alliance to scale
      6. Other people's resources
      7. Commercial innovation
      8. The benefits of zero
      9. Mapping ourselves against the learning from this chapter
      10. When Ambition Is Greater Than Resource
    14. CHAPTER 8: CONSTRAINT-DRIVEN CULTURES
      1. Transformers by upbringing: IKEA
      2. The stories IKEA tells about itself
      3. From victim to transformer: Nike's journey
      4. Unilever: Transforming industries and a culture
      5. Success factors across the three cases
      6. Collective will
      7. Constraints and healthy cultures
    15. CHAPTER 9: SCARCITY AND ABUNDANCE
      1. Scarcity vs. Abundance: Examining the arguments
      2. The interdependence of Scarcity and Abundance
      3. Flowing the other way: what turns scarcity into abundance?
      4. We all need to start
    16. CHAPTER 10: MAKING CONSTRAINTS BEAUTIFUL
      1. How constraints can transform the way we think and behave
      2. Why inventiveness is as important as innovation
      3. Can all constraints be made beautiful?
      4. A series of strategies: Working with the ABC approach
      5. Can there really be a recipe for lemonade?
    17. CHAPTER 11: LEADERSHIP & THE FUTURE OF CONSTRAINTS
      1. Leadership and constraints
      2. Why is this everybody's business?
      3. “The beginning of a glorious age”
    18. NOTES AND SOURCES
    19. BIBLIOGRAPHY AND FURTHER READING
    20. IMAGE CREDITS
    21. APPENDIX
    22. THANKS AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    23. INDEX