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What Matters Now: How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  472 ratings  ·  46 reviews
This is not a book about one thing. It's not a 250-page dissertation on leadership, teams or motivation. Instead, it's an agenda for building organizations that can flourish in a world of diminished hopes, relentless change and ferocious competition. This is not a book about doing better. It's not a manual for people who want to tinker at the margins. Instead, it's an impa ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Jossey-Bass, an imprint of Wiley (first published 2011)
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Marcio Silva
Jul 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: business
Why are business books such as this one so boring? And why are the writers so bad? Gary Hamel has written interesting stuff, but this book is just awful.

Here's the last sentence from page 243, chapter 5.5, "Aiming Higher": "Like a zoo-born lion that knows only its cage, we can't imagine the sweet grasses and blue vistas of an organizational savannah where human beings are actually free to flourish".

I mean - seriously?
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People interested in improving business
Shelves: business
In less than a dozen pages he lays out his criticism of the current system, and the values needed to improve it. I am impressed - I didn't need to wade through a bunch of fluff to get to his thesis.

Hamel observes that there is little agreement on which companies are the greatest innovators. He divides innovators up into 5 categories - Rockets (which probably won't be on the list next year), Laureates, Artistes, Cyborgs (Google, Amazon, Apple), and Born-Again Innovators (P&G, IBM, Ford). Appl
Henri Hämäläinen
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I finished the book about a week ago and I'm still bit puzzled, what it was all about. There was so many good things presented there and so many good examples around the world, that it takes time to digest it. Maybe the main message there is, that management practices in use are old and these don't help to get the full potential out of the people in companies.

Gary Hamel has found really interesting examples from very different kind of organizations all around the world to demonstrate how managem
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-loan
This makes me want to reinvent the way every bureaucracy in the world is structured. A return to putting humans first in your enterprise, and encouraging individual contributions rather than systematized control. If all managers and leaders around the world gave these theories some thought, we'd have a flourishing economy AND some really happy individuals at jobs. I am stoked to be digging in on how to introduce some of this thinking at my work.
Marc  Binkley
Though I found the first chapter preachie and Gary an excessive sesquipedalian (someone who uses big words), the content and cases Hamel uses are inspiringly convincing.

This book is an excellent addition to your library if you want new ideas that inspire employees, balance innovation and efficiency and sustainable growth.

Other noteworthy books iinclude - The Connected Company, Maverick, The Fifth Element, Tribal Leadership
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"A lot to chew on in this book. Loved the Hamel reference to what would be our "Moon Shot" equivalents for reshaping management to align with new realities. Check out and Mix Tv website for continuing conversations around key questions in the book. Good stuff. (Not for the faint of heart...but you can start with small steps.)"
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Algo que deja muy en claro el libro “What Matters Now” de Gary Hamel es que la única constante es el cambio. El mundo se transforma a pasos agigantados y muchas de las empresas, líderes, modelos e incluso regímenes sociales cayeron o se alzaron en un transcurso menor a 10 años. La tierra vive una revolución social y un ambiente de descontento que no tiene precedentes históricos comparables. Es por esta razón que el autor desempolva los valores fundamentales necesarios para sobrevivir y prosperar ...more
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw Gary Hamel speak a few weeks back and thoroughly enjoyed his talk.

If you're interested in the overall theme of organizational change and development - and the case for progressive (self) management models - Hamel's book is a worthwhile read. I value that he takes a pragmatic view of some innovative ideas while giving clear examples across industries.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
His other book The Future of Management is outstanding. This one doesn't add much to that previous book.
Martin Hrabal
No that I would disagree with the author but main thoughts can be written more concisely. There are many unnecessary passages which prolonged the book.
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
What Matters Now: How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition and Unstoppable Innovation by Gary Hamel was chosen by Soundview Executive Book Summaries as one of the Top 30 Business Books of 2012.


When was the last time you analyzed the basic tenets of your company’s approach to management and organizational culture? If your company is like the majority of organizations, you’ve been far too busy fighting tooth and nail for market share to consider revisi
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is NOT for anyone who had trouble accepting radical forms of “management.” It is NOT for anyone who wants a prescriptive proven path. Yet, if you want to learn of exceptional directions that can revolutionize your company (whether it's established or just starting) this will provide fantastic and usable insights. (Do consider Gary's prior book also: The Future of Management.)

The first section (Values) with the entertaining diatribe about current irresponsible behavior, is a bit long..
Horst Walther
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
“What matters now” is the 2nd book after “The future of Management” I read form Gary Hamel. First of all: it is a true Hamel again. It’s fun to read it although I have to admit that I have to look-up a few words in a dictionary in order to grasp the full meaning of what he is trying to convey to me. To use his words, reading it is at times “so gorgeous and lust-worthy that I want to hug or lick” the book. Well, no need for you to comment on that. As I use to read books in trains or in the subway ...more
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The major concepts that Hamel brings attention to throughout his book are things that can also apply to life not just management. Self-interest is something that is not only within companies. Most people only think about themselves most of the time in different aspects of life. Usually the more individually competitive someone is the more they are only interested in their success rather then the group’s success. He explains how success comes with being interested in the success of the people wor ...more
Ko Matsuo
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gary Hamel does a good job painting a picture of what management of the future looks like. His book is broken into 5 sections: 1) Values, 2) Innovation, 3) Adaptability, 4) Passion, and 5) Ideology. Though most of his book was really a rehash of a lot of other material out there, I found his section on Passion to be extremely insightful and visionary.

His basic point is that obedience, skill and competency are becoming commodities. The only way to differentiate is to foster creativity and passion
Steve Newman
A good and somewhat quick read, easy to take the short chapters on a plane trip. Some very interesting ideas that will be more and more relevant as the 'Gen F' (Facebbok generation) continues it's impact as consumes and ultimately workers/contributors. I don't necessarily agree with all of his conclusions or recommendations, but he is correct that the current hierarchy based, top-down approach to management is ill equipped to survive the quickly approaching and dynamically changing future of bus ...more
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pomůcka jak přehodnotit naše zažité domněnky o managementu, smyslu práce a životě v organizacích. Zařazuji do své knihovny. Inspirtivní čtení jak transformovat dnešní organizace a přinutit je inovovat. Doporučuji všem "manažerům" - zboží, které už brzo bude odstraněno z pultů obchodů .) a na závěr malá ochutnávka ...
"Musíme zlikvidovat pojetí funkce ředitele. Představa "vizionáře" a "kapitána lodi" zbankrotovala. My říkáme zaměstnancům: "Jste důležitější než vasi manažeři." Hodnota je vytvářena
Dan Connors
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great management book to read if you are a manager, want to be a manager, or wish you had a better manager. A lot of the management theory is not exactly new, but it makes sense. The old top down paradigm doesn't work and employees need to be empowered yada yada. Hamel gives some good examples of real companies but unfortunately my experience has been with the old style management that seems entrenched in our out of balance world. People like their power, political connections, and mon ...more
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hamel looks at the expectations of younger workers, the need to use "love, beauty, honor" and other non-business words in business, and the history of management to posit "what matters now." I highly recommend it to anyone involved in any type of team or organization. There is something for everyone to consider and apply to make their relationships better and get the best results for team members, clients and customers. There are some especially useful examples on how to change from traditional ...more
Scott Vann
Good book, but some weird examples... How can you compare how churches manage change with how businesses manage change?? In my business, there are market forces at work, in a church you have social forces leading to church extinction... if the church goes belly up, there are no shareholders who lose money, very few people lose their jobs, etc. He also takes a crack at atheists for no apparent reason, which I didn't like. But amidst all that nonsense, there is a lot of really good and interesting ...more
Leonardo Papa
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un libro que vale la pena leer para conocer las últimas tendencias en gestión de empresas. Se podrán compartir o no las recomendaciones del autor, pero aunque algunas de ellas parezcan de difícil aplicación en las empresas de hoy en día, sin duda no se deben soslayar, teniendo en cuenta que las cosas que llevaron al éxito de muchas de empresas en el pasado no tienen por qué ser las mismas que las harán ser exitosas, o incluso subsistir, en el futuro, a la luz de las experiencias de casos de éxit ...more
Jun 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gary Hamel is a bit too fond of the words 'hubris' and 'myopia'. Other than that, he puts together a rather concise assessment of existing flaws in the management practices of many companies today, and presents a plan on how to stay ahead. There are a few very interesting examples of unconventional management practices that already exist. It's also nice that this is a very recent book and provides a nice contrast to some other works that might by now be several decades old.
Maya Mathias
Dec 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gary Hamel outlines key mindsets, traits and behaviors for modern-day corporations to stay relevant. A page-turner of a business book, it offers us a mantra to live by, something that gets us to our core reason for creating and operating an enterprise.

If you've wondered what all the fuss is about in terms of collaboration, exploiting and triumphing turbulent change, becoming a more adaptable and responsive organization...look no further.

Sure to become a management classic.
Kevin Altman
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you wan't to learn how to be the most creative and effective manager/leader you can be, read this book. Gary Hamel instructs you on how to use tips on how to become a leader in today's ultra competitive markets, which are full of relentless change, ferocious competition, and unstoppable innovation.
Christophe Druet
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Time has come to transform our organisations, increase mutual respect and trust, and achieve bigger things altogether. This book is great in proposing an approach to transform a firm that is becoming fossilised into a flexible and passionate workplace. Read it. Try it. It's going to be difficult - energising as well!
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for business leaders. The author talks about how the management styles that we use in most organizations came during the transition from an agrarian economy to industrial economy. Most of the principles do not apply anymore to the modern creative economy where organizations have to constantly adapt and innovate. Some very interesting case studies are included.
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite an awkward start to the book, this has some great methods for applying innovation in organisations., giving great insight into the growing management gap between companies that "get it" and those that are failing to adapt to new social dynamics.

Section 1 is a rant that doesn't really fit the rest of the book. Suggest it is avoided!
Alex Devero
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Amid a rapidly changing society fraught with increasing responsibility, companies often struggle to stay ahead. But by recognizing that passion, innovation, creativity and flexibility are what matter most, you can be certain of success even in an uncertain world.
Anood S
What matters now shows for us what people need in their life that what will let u think in a correct way to built a successful organisation I recommend this book for u if u want to start new business it will help u to success in it

Michael Dubakov
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Quite good book that sets the right direction in management, but doesn't provide details about how to do that. Still 3 cases are interesting and overall vision is solid. I share Gary Hamel's approach.
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Dr. Gary P. Hamel is an American management expert. He is a founder of Strategos, an international management consulting firm based in Chicago.

Gary Hamel is Professor of Strategic Management at London Business School. He has researched strategy development in a multinational context.
“There's a simple, but oft-neglected lesson here: to sustain success, you have to be willing to abandon things that are no longer successful.” 10 likes
“Our species exists thanks to four billion years of genetic innovation.” 2 likes
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