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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.

Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 213 pages  
ISBN: 0273711466
Salesrank: 576134
Weight:1.35 lbs
Published: 2007 Financial Times Prentice Hall
Marketplace:New from £45.42:Used from £0.01
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Product Description
You always know when you are in a Hot Spot. You feel energized and vibrantly alive. Your brain is buzzing with ideas, and the people around you share your joy and excitement. Things you’ve always known become clearer, adding value becomes more possible. Ideas and insights from others miraculously combine with your own to create new thinking and innovation. When Hot Spots arise in and between companies, they provide energy for exploiting and applying knowledge that is already known and genuinely exploring what was previously unknown. Hot Spots are marvelous creators of value for organizations and wonderful, life-enhancing phenomena for each of us.

Lynda Gratton has spent more than ten years investigating Hot Spots—discovering how they emerge and how organizations can create environments where they will proliferate and thrive. She has studied dozens of companies and talked to hundreds of employees, managers, and executives in the US, Europe, and Asia. She has asked the important questions: Why and when do Hot Spots emerge? What is it about certain groups of people that support the emergence of Hot Spots? What role do leaders play? She’s discovered a host of elements that together contribute to the emergence of Hot Spots—creating energy and excitement, and supporting and channeling that energy into productive outcomes.

In this groundbreaking book, Gratton describes four crucial qualities that an organizational culture must have to support the emergence of Hot Spots, looks at what leaders can do to encourage them, and offers activities and tools you can use in your own company to increase the probability of them arising. In these days when traditional organizational boundaries are becoming barriers to progress, Gratton offers advice and guidance that you can use right now to increase the probability of Hot Spots emerging in your organization.

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