An inspiring yet practical guide for transforming limitations into opportunities
A Beautiful Constraint: How to Transform Your Limitations Into Advantages And Why It's Everyone's Business Now is a book about everyday, practical inventiveness, designed for the constrained times in which we live. It describes how to take the kinds of issues that all of us face today—lack of time, money, resources, attention, know-how—and see in them the opportunity for transformation of oneself and one's organization's fortunes. The ideas in the book are based on the authors' extensive work as business consultants, and are brought to life in 35 personal interviews from such varied sources as Nike, IKEA, Unilever, the U.S. Navy, Formula One racecar engineers, public school teachers in California, and barley farmers in South Africa. Underpinned by scientific research into the psychology of breakthrough, the book is a practical handbook full of tools and tips for how to make more from less. Beautifully designed and accessible, A Beautiful Constraint will appeal beyond its core business audience to anyone who needs to find the opportunity in constraint.
The book takes the reader on a journey through the mindset, method and motivation required to move from the initial "victim" stage into the transformation stage. It challenges us to:
Examine how we've become path dependent—stuck with routines that blind us from seeing opportunity along new paths
Ask Propelling Questions to help us break free of those paths and put the most pressing and valuable constraints at the heart of our process
Adopt a Can If mentality to answer these questions—focused on "how," not "if"
Access the abundance to be found all around us to help transform constraints
Activate the high-octane mix of emotions necessary to fuel the tenacity required for success
We live in a world of seemingly ever-increasing constraints, driven as much by an overabundance of choices and connections as by a scarcity of time and resources. How we respond to these constraints is one of the most important issues of our time and will be a large determinant of our progress as people, businesses and planet, in the future. A Beautiful Constraint calls for a more widespread capability for constraint-driven problem solving and provides the framework to achieve that.
Table of Contents
- Cover Page
- Title Page
CHAPTER 1: VICTIM, NEUTRALIZER, & TRANSFORMER
- Constraint and ambition
- Stages or personalities?
- Progressing through the stages
- A gift in Portland
- Transformers and their cultures
- Knowing when and how to peak
- A mindset that sees opportunity in constraint
- Deliberately imposing constraints upon ourselves
- The stages and strategies in response to constraints
CHAPTER 2: BREAK PATH DEPENDENCE
- Why we become “locked-in”
- Today's path is really yesterday's path
- The profits and pitfalls of our habits
- So why do path dependence and lock-in matter, if it has driven past success?
- Breaking path dependence in California charter schools
- What's in a name?
- How does one overcome path dependence?
- Repeatability and renewal
CHAPTER 3: ASK PROPELLING QUESTIONS
- The effect of being asked to do the impossible
- The nature of a propelling question
- Growing a better quality crop with less water
- What makes propelling questions powerful?
- Starting to use propelling questions: the different families of constraint and ambition
- Specificity, Authority, Legitimacy
- Who else might ask propelling questions of us, and what happens when they do?
- Uber's children and the death of the trade-off
- The rewards for the unreasonable challenger
- CHAPTER 4: CAN-IF
CHAPTER 5: CREATING ABUNDANCE
- What does it mean to be resourceful?
- Seeing potential sources of resource around us
- Reframing how we think about our own resources to create new value
- A framework for creating abundance
- Our potential sources of abundance
- Creating shared agendas: how best to share and trade resources in order to get access to those we lack
- Sharing an agenda, multiplying resources
- Using this framework
- How to feed a blue chicken
- Resourcefulness and the mutually beneficial hustle
- CHAPTER 6: ACTIVATING EMOTIONS
- CHAPTER 7: THE FERTILE ZERO
- CHAPTER 8: CONSTRAINT-DRIVEN CULTURES
- CHAPTER 9: SCARCITY AND ABUNDANCE
- CHAPTER 10: MAKING CONSTRAINTS BEAUTIFUL
- CHAPTER 11: LEADERSHIP & THE FUTURE OF CONSTRAINTS
- NOTES AND SOURCES
- BIBLIOGRAPHY AND FURTHER READING
- IMAGE CREDITS
- THANKS AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
- Title: A Beautiful Constraint: How To Transform Your Limitations Into Advantages, and Why It's Everyone's Business
- Release date: January 2015
- Publisher(s): Wiley
- ISBN: 9781118899014