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The Moment of Clarity: Using the Human Sciences to Solve Your Toughest Business Problems
Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel B. Rasmussen
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Format: Hardcover, 224pp.
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Pub. Date: February 11, 2014
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Item No: 9781422191903
Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:
Businesses need a new type of problem solving. Why? Because they are getting people wrong.
Traditional problem-solving methods taught in business schools serve us well for some of the everyday challenges of business, but they tend to be ineffective with problems involving a high degree of uncertainty. Why? Because, more often than not, these tools are based on a flawed model of human behavior. And that flawed model is the invisible scaffolding that supports our surveys, our focus groups, our R&D, and much of our long-term strategic planning.
In The Moment of Clarity, Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel Rasmussen examine the business world’s assumptions about human behavior and show how these assumptions can lead businesses off track. But the authors chart a way forward. Using theories and tools from the human sciences—anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and psychology—The Moment of Clarity introduces a practical framework called sensemaking. Sensemaking’s nonlinear problem-solving approach gives executives a better way to understand business challenges involving shifts in human behavior.
This new methodology, a fundamentally different way to think about strategy, is already taking off in Fortune 100 companies around the world. Through compelling case studies and their direct experience with LEGO, Samsung, Adidas, Coloplast, and Intel, Madsbjerg and Rasmussen will show you how to solve problems as diverse as setting company direction, driving growth, improving sales models, understanding the real culture of your organization, and finding your way in new markets.
Over and over again, executives say the same thing after engaging in a process of sensemaking: “Now I see it . . .” This experience—the moment of clarity—has the potential to drive the entire strategic future of your company. Isn’t it time you and your firm started getting people right?
“The Moment of Clarity demonstrates the significant impact and value that businesses create when they actively build strategies around the complexity of human behavior. This book is essential reading for any leader struggling to find a solid path forward in a rocky and uncertain environment.”
—Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO and President, LEGO
“Madsbjerg and Rasmussen bring fresh perspective by applying a human lens to solve business challenges. Drawing on the social sciences, they uncover elusive insights needed for navigating our increasingly complex world. A great read—I highly recommend it.”
—Michael Canning, CEO, Duke Corporate Education
“Buried under spreadsheets, market analyses, and big data lies the essence of the human experience that your product or service is built on. The Moment of Clarity shows us how easily this gets lost amid the hubbub of today’s business “wisdom,” and how stopping to deeply understand the humanity at the heart of it all has brought some of the world’s biggest companies back from the brink. Ignore Madsbjerg and Rasmussen’s groundbreaking insight at your peril.”
—Sheila Heen, coauthor, Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most
“The Moment of Clarity offers a brilliant and much-needed critique of the disastrous consequences of trading embodied intuitive understanding for abstract technical manipulation, especially for companies whose success depends on their sensitivity and responsiveness to the experiences, the concerns, the lives—in short, the worlds—of their customers. Madsbjerg and Rasmussen shine a light on the persistent but stultifying habits of corporate thinking that stand in the way of genuine imagination and insight into what it means to be human.”
—Taylor Carman, Professor of Philosophy, Barnard College
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About the Authors
Christian Madsbjerg is one of the founding partners of ReD Associates, an innovation and strategy consultancy. Madsbjerg advises the executive suite of many Fortune 300 companies on top-level strategic issues, integrating sophisticated techniques traditionally used in the human sciences into each company’s problem-solving processes. His work has had a significant impact in the market for each of his clients, and he is known for debunking more traditional market research practices.
Mikkel B. Rasmussen, also a founding partner of ReD Associates, is an expert in innovation and business creativity. As the director of ReD Associates Europe, he works closely with the top management of some of Europe’s most forward-looking companies, including Adidas, LEGO, and Novo Nordisk.
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