Book Review: Quick and Nimble

BY Terrance Malkinson Posted: 1 Feb 2014

In Quick and Nimble, [Times Books. 2014. ISBN 978-0-8050-9702-3 ] Adam Bryant provides a compilation of his interviews with more than two hundred of the world's most innovative CEOs revealing their insights on how to build and foster a high performing corporate culture that encourages innovation and produces results using the passion and energy of employees. The interviewees listed in the book manage a wide range of companies from small start-ups to large multinationals as well as non-profits and interviews were conducted between March 2009 and May 2013.

With his analysis Bryant has identifies and exemplifies important drivers of this culture. He provides a road map of practical tips and insights that are useful to any organization to achieve this objective.  Successful companies will be those that can attract and retain the best and brightest employees by creating an environment of respect, engagement, and teamwork where they can grow, contribute, and be rewarded for results in a knowledge economy. A common theme is the importance of people to corporate success and a devaluation of buildings and the command-and-control leadership approach. Another theme is the recognition that organizational politics is a fact-of-life and that the leadership goal should not be to eliminate politics but instead encourage good politics and discourage bad politics.

Part I of the book consists of seven chapters that set the foundation.  Part II consists of nine chapters that discuss taking leadership to the next level.  In his conclusion the author states "companies that will thrive over the long haul will understand that culture is a key element of their strategy...those who create a quick and nimble culture will emerge as winners."

Through incisive questioning and reporting of CEO insights the author who writes the popular "Corner Office" feature in The New York Times business section and was previously a senior writer and business editor at Newsweek has contributed important knowledge and valuable reading to all leaders of organizations in this 250-page book.

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