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Business Book Review

Lynda Gratton

Hot Spots

We all know that sometimes we approach a task with enthusiasm, finding ways to overcome problems, while at other times we lack energy and the problems we face seem too much trouble to deal with. The question, if you run a business, is how to encourange the first mindset in your employees, rather than the second. In Hot Spots: Why Some Companies Buzz with Energy and Innovation - and Others Don't, Lynda Gratton explains how such a mindset can be brought about.

Gratton's idea is that it is our competitive mindset which stifles such Hot Spots, and proposes four prinicples which are needed to encourage them. Firstly a cooperative mindset. Secondly, boundary spanning, that is the free flow of ideas between different parts of a business (and indeed different businesses). Third is an igniting purpose, and fourth is the correct productive capacity - this includes ways of dealing with conflicts, ensuring commitment to a project, and managing the timing issues of a project (which is especially important in situations where those involved may be in different time zones)

I felt that the leaders the book is aimed at were those at the top of large organisations - sometimes it felt a bit removed from the everyday running of businesses. Also, I would think that many Hots Spots would originate with one person's enthusiasm, and Gratton's emphasis on cooperation means that there isn't much on how to direct resources to such a person so that the Hot Spot can grow. But I can't say that I have any experience of running a large business, so maybe the cooperative aspect is more important than I think. Cettainly with its numerous examples of how the ideas put forward have worked in practice, Hot Spots will provide those running a business with plenty of invaluable advice.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews