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How To Lead A Quest

Book Description

Unlock progress through doubt and uncertainty

The biggest threat facing modern business is the sheer complexity of an uncertain future. That, and the fact that everyone is busy. Too busy for progress.

Workplace cultures have become cursed with efficiency. And so when it comes to developing strategy, we default to our defaults.We favour quick fixes, easy templates and familiar approaches, developing ‘robust plans' that do little to mitigate strategic risk or generate new value. The result? The future comes, and businesses die.

But no longer! *cue trumpets* How to Lead a Quest is a book for pioneering leaders - folks who know that enterprise strategy is far too important to condemn to ‘smart goals', 'a clear vision for the future' and other such rubbish. Within this book, you'll discover how to:

  • liberate enterprise leadership and workplace cultures from the curse of efficiency, default thinking and the delusion of progress
  • explore complex and uncertain futures to find profound insights that mitigate strategic risks and ensure your business model remains viable
  • create new value and enduring relevance by pioneering into unchartered and unprecedented territory 
  • embed new structures and rituals into your enterprise to build for the future, while still delivering operational excellence today.

Not for the faint of heart or short-of-wit, this uniquely refreshing book bravely tackles the paradox that is pioneering leadership. You'll discover how to lead meaningful progress - even if you don't know what the goal or destination looks like.

Table of Contents

  1. About the Author
  2. Gratitudes
  3. Introduction
    1. LEAD A QUEST
    2. USING THIS BOOK
    3. Notes
  4. Part I: Default Thinking and the Kraken of Doom
    1. 1: The Anatomy of Default Thinking
      1. PATTERNS
      2. SYSTEMS
      3. TEMPLATES
      4. NORMS
      5. PRECEDENTS
      6. Notes
    2. 2: The Curse of Efficiency
      1. THE PROGRESS DELUSION
      2. TOO BUSY FOR STRATEGY
      3. Notes
    3. 3: A Rainbow of Growth and Despair
      1. THE DEFAULT GROWTH ARC
      2. A QUICK NOTE ON STARTUPS
      3. Notes
    4. Summary
  5. Part II: A Quest Beckons
    1. Notes
    2. 4: An Alternative Option
      1. A CALL TO ADVENTURE
      2. CIRCUMVENTING THE KRAKEN
      3. THE IMPORTANCE OF PIONEERING
      4. PIONEERING THROUGH PARADOX
      5. TO BUILD CONVICTION, WE MUST EMBRACE DOUBT.
      6. TO MAKE PROGRESS, WE MUST AVOID SUCCESS.
      7. NEW SUPERPOWERS AND THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT
      8. AHOY THE INTRAPRENEUR!
      9. Notes
    3. 5: Quest-Augmented Strategy
      1. A FRAMEWORK FOR MEANINGFUL PROGRESS
      2. ‘CHANGE IS THE NEW NORMAL'
      3. Notes
    4. 6: Here be Dragons
      1. BYO LANTERN
      2. DECOUPLE YOUR WORK FROM YOUR SELF
      3. THE SIREN CALL OF SELF-SABOTAGE
      4. IT'S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE
      5. WHAT IS THE RIGHT SIZE FOR A TEAM?
      6. IF IN DOUBT …
      7. Notes
    5. Summary
  6. Part III: Cultivating Options
    1. Note
    2. 7: An Intuitive Reckoning
      1. WAIT, WHO ARE WE?
      2. AND WHAT IS IT THAT WE DO, EXACTLY?
      3. A CONTEXTUAL HUNCH
      4. Notes
    3. 8: Intriguing Incoherence
      1. COHERENCY IN CONTEXT
      2. FINDING FUTURES
      3. FACT OR FUTURE?
      4. FRAMING FUTURES
      5. NOTHING IS TRUE
      6. SEEKING INCOHERENCE
      7. Notes
    4. 9: Pathways of Possibility
      1. A QUIVER OF OPTIONS
      2. A GROWING ACUITY
      3. IN ANTICIPATION OF CHOOKS
      4. Notes
    5. Summary
  7. Part IV: Crafting Experiments
    1. Note
    2. 10: It's Not About Ideas
      1. COMING UP WITH THE ‘BEST IDEA' IS THE WORST IDEA
      2. A SCIENCE-BASED APPROACH
      3. FORMING A HYPOTHESIS
      4. IT'S ALSO NOT ABOUT SUCCESS
      5. Notes
    3. 11: Planning to Fail
      1. FAILURE, AND THE NINE LAYERS OF HELL
      2. YOU WILL BE TESTED
      3. Notes
    4. 12: Viable Alternative Options
      1. PACKAGING INTELLIGENCE
      2. COMMUNICATING IN FULL SPECTRUM
      3. Notes
    5. Summary
  8. Part V: Augmenting Strategy
    1. 13: Back to the Future
      1. TOWARD COHERENCE
      2. UNENRICHED STRATEGY
      3. GET STRATEGIC ABOUT STRATEGY
      4. Notes
    2. 14: Choosing to Choose
      1. MAP YOUR OPTIONS
      2. A BIAS TOWARDS BIAS
      3. BEMUSING BIASES
      4. STOP, START, SAVVY-UP
      5. PICK A PATH
      6. Notes
    3. 15: Strategy for Breakfast
      1. BUT CHANGE IS GOOD, RIGHT?
      2. NETWORKED ENTERPRISE GOODNESS
      3. HYDRA DOMINATUS
      4. THE BIGGER QUEST
      5. IT NEEDS TO START SOMEWHERE
      6. Notes
    4. Summary
  9. Part VI: Making Progress
    1. 16: Bimodal Beginnings
      1. WORKING ACROSS TWO MODES
      2. NEW TEAMS
      3. FINITE GAMES
      4. PROTECT AGAINST INFECTION
      5. DIAL UP DIVERSITY
      6. MAKE PROGRESS VISIBLE
      7. SPREAD THE INFLUENCE
      8. Notes
    2. 17: Meaningful Progress
      1. FINDING A SENSE OF PROGRESS
      2. AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY
      3. PROJECTS
      4. Notes
    3. 18: Mission Impossible
      1. MISSIONS SERVE A MUST
      2. MISSIONS ARE FOCUSED
      3. MISSIONS ARE FINITE
      4. A FEW CAVEATS
      5. Notes
    4. Summary
  10. Part VII: Pioneering Culture
    1. Note
    2. 19: Lost in Translation
      1. FROM CONCEPTUAL TO CONCRETE
      2. STORYBOARDING STRATEGY TO CULTURE
      3. KEYSTONE BEHAVIOURS
      4. Notes
    3. 20: Structures, Artefacts and Rituals
      1. STRUCTURES
      2. ARTEFACTS
      3. RITUALS
      4. Notes
    4. 21: Contextual Momentum
      1. RITUALS CHANGE THIS.
      2. MOMENTUM IN CONTEXT
      3. YEARLY RITUALS
      4. CHOOSE ‘ONE WORD'
      5. QUARTERLY RITUALS
      6. DAILY RITUALS
      7. WEEKLY RITUALS
      8. MONTHLY RITUALS
      9. DECENNIAL RITUALS
      10. Notes
    5. Summary
  11. Conclusion
  12. Index
  13. Advert
  14. EULA