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Simple Habits for Complex Times: Powerful Practices for Leaders
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Simple Habits for Complex Times: Powerful Practices for Leaders

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  253 ratings  ·  24 reviews
When faced with complex challenges or uncertain outcomes, many leaders believe that if they are smart enough, work hard enough, or turn to the best management tools, they will be able to find the right answer, predict and plan for the future, and break down tasks to produce controllable results. But what are leaders to do when this isn't the case?

Rather than offering one-s
...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 25th 2015 by Stanford Business Books
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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Jane
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Told through a fictionalized account of a business and an nonprofit learning the principles in the book, and through real life examples and evidence from research. The authors make a case that in these complex times, we need to ask different questions, get multiple perspectives, and think systems rather than linear solutions. All of that fits nicely with the work I do, so obviously I thought they were spot on :)
Chaitali Narla
Overall quite good but reading it felt like an exercise in complexity. For some reason it was hard to switch back and forth between the story and the lessons for me
Vanessa Princessa
This book tries to be helpful, but is very unspecific and also, dull.

I read this book thanks to Blinkist.

The key message in these blinks:

The world is not as simple as it once was. Our increasingly interconnected, fast-paced, and technologically-advanced society is becoming more and more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. These conditions require a new form of leadership that is flexible, fluid, and agile. Successful leaders should embrace change, welcome feedback, and empower their org
...more
Antony Mayfield
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are fantastic ideas and provocations in this book about what leaders need to do to embrace complexity. It has sparked a lot of useful thoughts and I’ve started following threads to articles and books as a result of reading it.

The mixing of fictional illustrations with conventional business book format didn’t work for me. I was impatient to get through these and I didn’t enjoy the story or like the characters. It’s a tough trick to pull off – probably best avoided.

+ + Update + +

On finishi
...more
Katharina
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Don
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought this job did a more effective job than her previous book (Changing on the Job: Developing Leaders for a Complex World) in providing concrete advice. I especially appreciated the delineation between complicated and complex situations. Also valuable was her suggestions to tie future actions to past efforts, both successful and unsuccessful. I reiterate the outline in the summary because it provides the core of what is helpful. In complex times, leaders need to:

take multiple perspectives,
...more
QUINNS
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
The new world is not simple. In fact, the increasingly interconnected, fast-paced, and technologically-advanced nature of today is making our society more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. These conditions need a new form of leadership that is flexible, fluid, and agile. Successful leadership, according to the author, should embrace change, welcome feedback, and empower their organisation to explore and experiment as they pursue the probable and the possible.
Eric
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Practical complexity theory

Complexity theory is great, but it’s hard to put into practice meaningfully. This is a very practical way to being to start thinking through that process as a leader. While it’s still a bit abstract the examples attempt to ground it in “real life”. It falls a bit short of a guide, but is skewed away from the theory into narrative. If that’s your thing, you will enjoy this book like I did.
huzeyfe
Jul 11, 2020 rated it liked it
I started reading this book during the lockdown. I thought it is the best time to read because I have never had this kind of different and complex circumstance. There are quite a few pieces of advice in the book however, I would like to see more solid advice. I felt most of them were a bit shallow and not unique to the situation or hard times.

If I sum up:

The world is not as simple as it once was. Our increasingly popular interconnected, fast-paced, and tech-savvy society became much more unstab
...more
Jules
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: od
A practical guide for acting as a leader in increasingly complex environments. Effective storytelling, and tactics that connect very well to what I see day-to-day in my organizational development work.
Caitlin
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
The case study sections had to be skipped - the authors are clearly not fiction writers.

The regular content was good but probably could have been condensed into a much shorter form.
Michael Koltsov
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Honestly, I have no idea what this book is about. After completing it I barely remember anything.
Naomi
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
A really good choice if you're eager to get bored.
KB
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for thinking about organizational complexity. I found the narrative story that runs through it cheesy, but effective.
Rebecca Scott
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This insightful and very readable book is a must-read for modern leaders.
Allen
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
The tips and strategies are very applicable immediately. The stories weren't my thing.
Graeme
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
One of the few leadership books I treat as a manual
Nikolay Theosom
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it
it's useful, if you don't mind a bit patronising tone of the book
Synthia Salomon
Jul 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: blinkist
We require new leaders that embrace change.

Actionable advice: mix it up!

Unusual combinations of people can surprise you! Diversity is key.
Sean Goh
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
Feels like recommended reading for REAL, what with the constant references to VUCA.
Got to stop picking up business and leadership books for the immediate future, they are really boring ._.

_____
Leadership, is by definition, about taking people and ideas to new places.

Identify your current mindset and its suitability by asking two questions:
-Am I opening to explore or narrowing to decide?
-Am I dealing with a threat or an opportunity?

In a complex system, paying attention to the inclinations of the
...more
Brad
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clear Framework For Leading In Complexity

I am an Executive Coach focused on adult development with deep interest in organizational adaptability and neuroscience. The book does a great job framing the difference between complicated and complex environments and the crucial differences required of leaders. It also nicely maps how higher stages of adult development would help make this much easier and perhaps even enjoyable, and I intend to share these tips with my clients. I believe the shift to t
...more
Joao
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great book about managing complex times, great references to VUCA and foresight!
James Dalziel
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Making complexity practical part 2.
Mike
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Will probably need to read this another half dozen times over the next 10 years. Mind changing.
Juan Diego Ferri
rated it really liked it
Jul 26, 2020
Lukasz
rated it it was amazing
Sep 30, 2018
Tyler
rated it it was amazing
Oct 16, 2018
Philip Lee
rated it liked it
Jun 23, 2019
Nick
rated it did not like it
Nov 15, 2018
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“In a simpler world, perhaps unilateral power held by a single, smart, capable leader could rule the day. In a complex world, as we’ll explore together, it takes a collective sharing of power, creativity, and perspectives to become agile and nuanced enough to lead into the uncertain future.” 1 likes
“The point isn’t to be the hero and solve things; the point of the leader in a complex world is to enable and unleash as many heroes and as many solutions as possible.” 1 likes
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