Book Review: Culture Shock

Book Review: Culture Shock

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Culture Shock by Will McInnes is a manifesto for modern business. It isn’t an easy read because it challenges almost everything that we’ve learnt and know about business but ultimately you’ll find little with which to argue. I started reading the book last August. I kept reading a bit, reflecting on the content, and coming back to it afresh. The corners of my copy are well-thumbed and turned-over and the margins are littered with scribbled notes.

McInnes has learnt on the job. His views are formed from founding and operating NixonMcInnes, a pioneering social business consultancy. His clients have included BBC, Barclays, Channel 4, Cisco, O2, The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and WWF.

Technology is a consistent theme that underpins Culture Shock.

Ubiquitous Internet connectivity is forcing a change of pace in business. But there are other issues at play. The failure of the banking system, global warming, the Arab Spring and the rise of the so-called BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies are driving what McInnes calls an ever increasing change velocity in business.

“To hate is not enough because to sit back and criticise business and bonuses and bankers and the way things just are will not make the slightest bit of difference,” says McInnes.

The solution that McInnes offers is a journey that re-defines the purpose of an organisation and calls for a radical reappraisal of finance, people, leadership and openness.

The book shares the stories of companies that have found new ways of doing things. Organisations such as Apple, BrewDog Google, HCL Technologies, and Patagonia, that are driven with a purpose greater than profit, and are engaging with their customers and motivating staff in new ways.

McInnes calls us to join him in the Culture Shock movement. I suggest that you buy a copy of his book and sign-up.

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