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The New How [Paperback] by Nilofer Merchant

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Part I. “Being” Collaborators

So far, we’ve talked about why strategies fail, the problem of an Air Sandwich, and the systemic reasons why that problem is perpetuated. Closing the gap for the Air Sandwich starts with fixing how we collectively work together. That means we need to explore and name the ways by which people can act to encourage collaboration.

There’s a saying: “It’s not personal; it’s business.” Any of you believe that? Of course not! Because what that quote actually implies is that when we are doing work, how we interact with one another is irrelevant. Surely by now you already know I believe the opposite is true: how we engage with one another matters a great deal, because our work is with people and the quality of our work product is entirely based on the ideas we create together. How we behave toward one another, therefore, shapes our creative work as we are co-creating.

In the past, we were complicit in letting strategy get created by an elite few, relinquishing our responsibility to rightly share in its creation. All that changes now. Along with our core beliefs and our rules of engagement, the way we behave as individuals and as leaders must transform. We are not only allowed to shape strategy and debate ideas, but we must do so.

Therefore, how we act and express ourselves individually is the first place to start.

Part I is organized into two chapters. Chapter 2 discusses the role each of us plays in the system, and Chapter 3 covers the role played by some as we ...

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