June 8, 2011

Exploiting Chaos: 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change by Jeremy Gutsche

Chaos scares people. Most of us like our routine and are not necessarily responsive to change. Gutsche addresses chaos and how it can actually be advantageous in Exploiting Chaos: 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change. His book has easy to understand points which are applicable for the CEO of a large company or a young adult dreaming about the future. Gutsches liberal use of pictures and color make this an especially engaging and very easy-to-read book.

Failure especially seems to make people nervous, but Gutsche points out that failure is part of the learning process. Not just your own failure, but also the failures of others and how to avoid letting others failures impact your decision to take action.

How many of us see failure as a time to give up instead of moving forward? We get tired and worn out when things do not work and when others just are not living up to our expectations. Instead of letting discouragement set in, we need to keep plugging away and learn from what did not work. Failure can challenge us to improve and may help us redefine our goals.

Gutsche also warns us to be wary of our own strengths and to move behind mediocrity. Success after success can lead to complacency. If things always go our way the first time and work exactly as planned, why bother changing? Why do something new? Over time, we stop trying. Its too easy to be stagnant. That is why there is a place for failure.

In a nutshell, this book has very easy to apply points and practical examples of opportunities presented by chaos. Accept the inevitability of change and perhaps even being willing to embrace it. After reading his ideas, you may find new areas of interest or underserved niches and the motivation to run with it. It doesnt make it easy to suddenly embrace chaos, but does give a new perspective for people who struggle with what to do in a chaotic time.

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