Another good question from our Kogan Page interview reflected the practical nature of the book. “Finding the sense before it becomes common sense” sounds good, but how can leaders actually do that?
Yes, our thought exactly! This is the question on our lips when we first came across Charles Handy’s quote. And in asking it, we found ourselves looking for examples of what leaders did to achieve it.
These weren’t immediately obvious but as we began to find some, key themes began to emerge. Three particular stories (which you’ll find in chapter one) offered some surprising insights:
- Save the Children workers Jerry and Monique Sternin were short of time, short of money and faced with an intractable problem, yet achieved a remarkable turnaround in helping malnourised children in Vietnam.
- Bill Bratton, whilst head of New York’s Transit Police, turned a poor performing organization around with some unconventional wisdom
- Well known Steve Jobs, on his successful return to an ailing Apple Corporation, was faced with just two months to save an iconic business from bankruptcy.
In the book, we explored the lessons to be learned from these stories, offering some tips on how they might be used by all leaders, to help them find the sense before it becomes common sense.