The Key: How Corporations Succeed by Solving the World’s Toughest Problems, by Lynda Gratton (pictured above), McGraw-Hill, 2014, RRP: $44.95
The Key has been praised for the way it emphasises the importance of corporate leaders taking a more extensive and central role in the affairs of the world.
Targeted at all executives, it explains why they need to understand the crucial role of innovation and technology, and how they can work hand-in-hand in helping to solve the world’s biggest problems.
The book gets off to a strong start with a focus on resilience and Lynda Gratton’s detailing of seven trends she believes will shape corporations and work in the future. She provides well-known corporate examples to back up her claims.
Questions asked from the beginning give readers the chance to reflect and consider their own points of view and experiences. It gets them thinking and draws them into the book right from the first chapter.
Early on, each easy-to-read chapter addresses key points and actions deemed to be crucial in accelerating positive outcomes.
The book has five main parts:
- Building resilience in a fragile world.
- Building inner resilience.
- Anchoring in the community.
- Addressing global challenges.
- Reimagining leadership.
An abundance of examples is offered throughout the book to further explain the varying impacts and alignments of innovation, and employees’ impact on organisational resilience. They also serve to confirm Gratton’s view that when intelligence and wisdom are amplified, emotional vitality can be enhanced and social connections harnessed.
For me, the book really took off and became engaging when the author begins to discuss innovation and, further on, leadership. Her insight on high-performing innovative teams, and how innovation is amplifying intelligence and wisdom, is an enthralling read and evidence of the importance of human capital in contemporary business.
The hot topic of leadership development is a focus in the middle of the book. Gratton emphasises the importance of strong leadership and says the resilience of an organisation is fundamentally about the courage of its leaders.
The Key aligns well with HR and how certain practices are important in driving an organisation to success through its people. It also offers a solid foundation for encouraging HR departments and managing directors to work together, and confirms that closely aligning people strategies with overall business strategies is the way of the future.
This is a book full of interesting insights. The engagingly written introduction leads the reader into an array of material about businesses’ current practices and their resilience, innovation and leadership.
Other strengths include the variety of topics and easy-to-read style.
Valuable information for a diverse range of readers.