The flood of information, unprecedented transparency, increasing interconnectedness-and our global interdependence-are dramatically reshaping today's world, the world of business, and our lives. We are in the Era of Behavior and the rules of the game have fundamentally changed. It is no longer what you do that matters most and sets you apart from others, but how you do what you do. Whats are commodities, easily duplicated or reverse-engineered. Sustainable advantage and enduring success for organizations and the people who work for them now lie in the realm of how, the new frontier of conduct. For almost two decades, Dov Seidman's pioneering organization, LRN, has helped some of the world's most respected companies build "do it right," winning cultures and inspire principled performance throughout their organizations. Seidman's distinct vision of the world, business, and human endeavor has helped enable more than 15 million people doing business in more than 120 countries to outbehave the competition. In HOW: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything , Dov Seidman shares his unique approach with you. Now updated and expanded, HOW includes a new Foreword from President Bill Clinton and a new Preface from Dov Seidman on why how we behave, lead, govern, operate, consume, engender trust in our relationships, and relate to others matters more than ever and in ways it never has before. Through entertaining anecdotes, surprising case studies, cutting-edge research in a wide range of fields, and revealing interviews with a diverse group of leaders, business executives, experts, and everyday people on the front lines, this book explores how we think, how we behave, how we lead, and how we govern our institutions and ourselves to uncover the values-inspired "hows" of twenty-first-century success and significance. Divided into four comprehensive parts, this insightful book: Exposes the forces and factors that have fundamentally restructured the world in which organizations operate and their people conduct themselves, placing a new focus on their hows Provides frameworks to help you understand those hows and implement them in powerful and productive ways Helps you channel your actions and decisions in order to thrive uniquely within today's new realities Sheds light on the systems of how-the dynamics between people that shape organizational culture-andintroduces a bold new vision for leading and winning through self-governance The qualities that many once thought of as "soft"-values, trust, and reputation-are now the hard currency of success and the ultimate drivers of efficiency, performance, innovation, and growth. With in-depth insights and practical advice, HOW will help you bring excellence and significance to your business endeavors- and your life-and refocus your efforts in powerful new ways. If you want to stand out, to thrive in our fast changing, hyperconnected, and hypertransparent world, read this book and discover HOW .
Guest Review: Daniel H. Pink on How
Daniel H. Pink is the author of the New York Times bestsellers "Drive" and "A Whole New Mind." His books have been translated into 32 languages.
|Guest Reviewer Daniel H. Pink |
Something's gone wrong.
Our economy has stalled in ways that defy historic precedent. Institutions we once revered we now distrust. Consumers have lost confidence in their prospects as deeply as citizens have lost faith in our politics.
In this remarkable book, Dov Seidman offers one of the most compelling answers I've encountered. Our challenges may seem like end-of-life crises, he says. But "they are really way-of-life crises caused by the nature of the relationships that connect us to our fellow human beings and our planet." In other words, the sense of disarray we feel emerges less from our circumstances than from character. For too long we've allowed "situational values" to trump "sustainable values" – and now we're contending with the aftermath.
The good news is that Seidman, who has applied his philosophy from the executive suite to the factory floor for almost 20 years, offers a path out of the morass. Recalibrating society’s rewards and punishments or tightening its laws and regulations isn't enough. We must return to principle as the foundation of our behavior. "In the twenty-first century," he writes, "principled behavior is the surest path to success and significance in business and life."
One of the many things I like about HOW is that Seidman writes with the sagacity of a philosopher, the acuity of a lawyer, and the practicality of a CEO. (No surprise there. He happens to be all three. He even calls himself "a moral philosopher in a suit.")
In particular, he makes a persuasive case for the comparative advantage of principled behavior.
In a world where competitors can swiftly match your price and mimic your processes, the one remaining source of differentiation is how executives and employees behave. Taking the low road might have been an option in the past. But today -- when technology leaves us morally interconnected and private behavior quickly enters the public record -- the high road is, by far, the better course.
The new, expanded version of Seidman's classic could not arrive at a more opportune moment. Haven't you grown weary of being told that "greed is good" and that some companies are "too big to fail"? Wouldn't it be wonderful to begin hearing that "principle is good" and that some companies "are too sustainable to fail"? That day can arrive – sooner than we suspect -- if all of us rethink our own behavior and heed the wisdom of HOW.
Q&A with the Author
Why is your HOW message today more timely than ever?
|Author Dov Seidman |
All progress now depends on How. We have entered the Era of Behavior. Of course our behavior has always mattered, but in today’s world, it matters more than ever and in ways it never has before. We live in a more connected and interdependent world. Yet we tend to speak about the world in amoral terms. The single most profound implication of an increasingly interconnected world is that it has rendered us ethically, if not morally, interdependent. How can HOW help us repair our faltering global economy?
Only by getting our "hows" right can we ensure that we are sustainable. This can only be achieved when we are rooted in, and inspired by, sustainable values. The global economic meltdown supplied a perfect, but painful, example of how sustainability cannot be guided by situational values. The economic crash occurred because too many financial companies became disconnected from fundamental values and long-term sustainable thinking. Instead of nurturing sustainable collaborations, banks, lenders, borrowers and shareholders pursued short-term relationships founded on situational values. More than ever we need to get out of this cycle of crises and build long-term success and deep human connections so that we achieve enduring significance in today's globally interconnected world. What events in the news right now make your message all the more urgent?
The news is frequently dominated by social, political, corporate and environmental crises. In a hyperconnected and interdependent world, local problems quickly metastasize into global ones. The rapid pace and global scale of our problems can make us feel that we're facing existential doom every other day. Whether its global economic turmoil, the BP oil spill, the breakdown of culture at once-respected companies or the recent riots in London, these crises are all caused by human behavior and they can only be solved by changing our behavior. Take the situation currently in Europe where Germany is lending money to Greece for a bailout. It's not just about economics. It's about values. Germany is bailing out Greece on the condition that they behave more responsibly in future and get their Hows right. So what exactly is HOW?
For many, business and life has always been about the pursuit of What: “What do we do? What’s on the agenda? What do we need to accomplish?” Whats are commodities; they are easily duplicated or reverse-engineered and delivered faster and at a lower cost by someone else.
How is a philosophy. It's a way of thinking about individual and organizational behavior. And How we do what we do – our behavior – has become today’s greatest source of our advantage. In this world, How is no longer a question, but the answer to what ails us as people, institutions, companies, nations. How we behave, how we consume, how we build trust in our relationships and how we relate to others provides us with the power to not just survive, but thrive and endure. Can you elaborate further on The HOW Report that your company LRN is publishing in the fall?
The results of The How Report, our study of over 5,000 employees working for larger organizations based in the U.S, will have significant implications for CEOs and other business leaders. HOW metrics will provide strong and compelling evidence that the right culture, governance and leadership system can drive sustainable performance and success. The HOW Report demonstrates the correlation between principles and profits in action. We have turned issues like self-governance, values and trust that were once considered "soft" into the hard currency of business. What's different about the new edition of this book?
John Wiley and Sons decided to republish an expanded edition of HOW based on their belief that the ideas in it are more resonant and relevant than ever and that it intersects with the zeitgeist even more than it did in 2007. I have written a new Preface for this new edition of the book where I attempt to capture all that has occurred on the HOW journey since its original publication and to apply HOW more broadly to the events and dynamics of today’s post-crisis world. In addition, I'm honored that President Bill Clinton contributed a Foreword in which he describes his own journey in being in the "HOW business for the rest of my life."