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The Necessity of Strangers: The Intriguing Truth About Insight, Innovation, and Success
Alan Gregerman


9781118461303
Retail Price: $26.95
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Format: Hardcover, 240pp.
ISBN: 9781118461303
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Pub. Date: September 10, 2013

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

A counterintuitive approach to fostering greater innovation, collaboration, and engagement

ost of us assume our success relies on a network of friends and close contacts. But innovative thinking requires a steady stream of fresh ideas and new possibilities, which strangers are more likely to introduce. Our survival instincts naturally cause us to look upon strangers with suspicion and distrust, but in The Necessity of Strangers, Alan Gregerman offers the provocative idea that engaging with strangers is an opportunity, not a threat, and that engaging with the right strangers is essential to unlocking our real potential. The Necessity of Strangers reveals how strangers challenge us to think differently about ourselves and the problems we face.
  • Shows how strangers can help us innovate better, get the most out of each other, and achieve genuine collaboration
  • Presents principles for developing a "stranger-centric" mindset to develop new markets and stronger customer relationships, leverage the full potential of partnerships, and become more effective leaders
  • Includes practical guidance and a toolkit for being more open, creating new ideas that matter, finding the right strangers in all walks of life, and tapping the real brilliance in yourself
To stay competitive, you and your business need access to more new ideas, insights, and perspectives than ever before. The Necessity of Strangers offers an essential guide to discovering the most exciting opportunities you haven't met yet.



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Reviews

“Is it possible that we are blind to one of the most exciting sources of innovation in our midst? The strangers among us—the UPS driver, the co-worker from a different department, neighbors who are older, younger, or otherwise different from us—could be invaluable allies in our quest for true creativity, if only we knew how to reach out to them. The Necessity of Strangers is a guide to breaking out of the hive mind and forging the connections that can make us better thinkers and better people.”
—Dan Pink, author, To Sell is Human and Drive


“Alan Gregerman has done it once again—making a compelling case for the relatively simple, yet powerful, concept of opening ourselves up to the knowledge and insights of others. The Necessity of Strangers is a provocative, relevant, and practical guide to meeting the challenges facing business leaders today.””
—George Schindler, president, United States and Canada, CGI


“Are you ready to learn about the power of strangers? From the products we buy at the grocery store to the innovations we adopt at the office, strangers shape our behavior in some amazing ways. Get ready for Alan Gregerman to show you how.””
—Jonah Berger, professor of marketing, the Wharton School, and author, Contagious


“The Necessity of Strangers will change the way you think about innovation and collaboration. Alan Gregerman’s powerful stories, clear examples, and practical guidance show us that strangers are more essential to our growth and success than we ever realized, challenging us—and our businesses—to reimagine how we engage and inspire our employees, customers, and partners.””
—Chip Conley, founder, Joie de Vivre Hospitality; author, Peak and Emotional Equations


“The Necessity of Strangers captures the remarkable value and wisdom of learning from people we too often discount or simply pass by. Their different perspectives may serve as the real catalyst for helping us innovate, create better products and services, increase profits, re-energize people, improve our communities, and reach our full potential.””
—Beverly Robertson, president, National Civil Rights Museum


“The Necessity of Strangers bothered me in a good way, making me realize how much time I spend with people who are, quite frankly, a lot like me. Dr. Gregerman’s book is not only thought-provoking, but very logical. After reading it I made deliberate changes to meet and learn from strangers.””
—Joseph (Jody) Giles, Chief Information Officer, Under Armour


“The Necessity of Strangers provides compelling examples and tools to look, listen, and learn from the world around us in order to create amazing opportunities and results. Alan Gregerman challenges us to think in new ways about how individuals and organizations can learn and grow.””
—Kimo Kippen, chief learning officer, Hilton Worldwide


“The solution to the world’s most difficult issues will be found at the intersection of disciplines, not inside disciplines. In The Necessity of Strangers, Alan provides powerful insight and practical tools to accelerate this essential mashing of ideas.””
—Ellen Glover, executive vice president, ICF International


“In a reality that is constantly changing, and where tomorrow's ordinary is today´s unthinkable, The Necessity of Strangers challenges and encourages us to take advantage of encounters with strangers. It’s a humanistic approach and a vision that clearly appeals to me, tied to my belief in international business. Just playing it safe will never lead to success.””
—Jan Fager, managing director, Swedish Marketing Federation


“Alan Gregerman stops you in your tracks and forces you to re-examine your behavior and ways of thinking. A wonderful and inviting read, punctuated by practical, well-founded insights, The Necessity of Strangers shows how to lead organizations that explore, connect, innovate, and grow.””
—Amr ElSawy, president and CEO, Noblis


“Everyone looking to expand their creativity, create innovation, and improve service in the workplace will benefit from reading Alan Gregerman’s insightful book.””
—John Dillon, senior vice president, Morgan Stanley


“The world is changing! The Necessity of Strangers is a must-read to ensure that you are maximizing all of your relationships.””
—Ed Fuller, author, You Can’t Lead With Your Feet On The Desk, and former president and managing director, Marriott International Lodging


“The Necessity of Strangers will open your mind to the importance of meeting strangers and enchant you with the marvelous things that come out of these encounters. Alan Gregerman’s unique gift is his ability to teach all of us how to make this happen routinely as a key to business success.””
—Charbel Tagher, CEO, Specified Technologies Inc.


 
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About the Author

Alan Gregerman is an award-winning author, business advisor, and teacher. His writing and consulting work focuses on helping companies and organizations create winning strategies and more remarkable products, services, and customer experiences by unlocking the genius in all of their people. Alan is the author of two previous books, Surrounded by Geniuses and Lessons from the Sandbox. He lives in the Washington DC area with his family.



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Table of Contents

 
Prefacexi
 
PART ONE: Frameworks
1Necessity3
2Aversion18
3Mindset40
 
PART TWO: Practice
4Innovation61
5People85
6Collaboration107
7Customers131
8Leadership152
 
PART THREE: Possibilities
9The Power of Travel171
 
Epilogue: Taking the First Step180
 
Toolkit183
Additional Resources202
Notes207
Acknowledgments211
About the Author214
Index215



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