Literature To Lead By

Leading The Revolution (Harvard Business School Press, $29.95)

Forget about continuous improvement and reengineering. Those initiatives to reshape businesses ran out of steam long ago, according to strategy consulting firm Strategos' founder and chairman Gary Hamel. In the new century, says Hamel, you need radical new business concepts, à la Amazon.com's online marketplace and Dell Computer Corp.'s direct-marketing approach.

Hamel's sensible premise is that you'll get further, faster by making new rules than by trying to get better at playing under the old ones. But it requires committing your organization to spinning a "wheel of innovation," he says. You'll have to put your most talented people on new projects that promise to create new business models, even if those projects won't pay off for years. You'll have to stop focusing on making just money, and put the emphasis on making ideas.

If all that sounds like more push than it ought to take for a few ideas, you're right. Hamel says tomorrow's winners will produce torrents of innovations, of which a few of the most radical will provide the foundations for the Amazon.coms and Dells of tomorrow's world. Out of the torrent of business books published these days, Hamel's is one of those good, if radical, ideas.

Leading The Revolution is available at Amazon.com.

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This article was originally published in the November 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Literature To Lead By.

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