Attenzi: a social story about business

Attenzi: a social story about business


Attenzi, published today, is a book unlike any other about business. It's a fictional story written for the Internet age, about a business leader, an organisation, and a market. Eli Appel, the newly appointed Attenzi CEO, leads the kitchen equipment manufacturer through the changes brought about by the Internet on organisational design, business performance management, marketing, public relations and branding.

Here's the surprise. It's written by consultant, author and speaker Philip Sheldrake.

It’s a departure from anything that Sheldrake has done before. His previous published work includes the Business of Influence and chapters for various books including Share This.

Attenzi describes the challenge that organisations face as employees and customers are empowered by technological change. As you read the book you'll recognise the implications for your own role and those around you.

I've blogged for seven years and written and contributed to a couple of non-fiction books but I've never written a story. I've huge admiration for what Sheldrake has achieved with Attenzi.

I was keen to understand his motivation.

"Storytelling is the oldest way to convey ideas and, if it's a good story of course, have the ideas retold and passed round," said Sheldrake.

Attenzi's message is clear. To be successful in the future organisations need to shed traditional structures and figure out how to put their employees and customers at their core.

It's a message affirmed by the foreword written by Yammer co-founder and CTO Adam Pisoni.

Sheldrake's goal is to galvanise executives and the organisations that they lead to embrace this change. It's also an excellent pitch for Euler Partners, Sheldrake's own consulting company.

You'll read the 100-page book in a single sitting. That's intentional according to Sheldrake.

"I really hope that people find it an easy and stimulating read, and even think it's something I wrote in a few weeks. The truth however is that it took a year. I haven't written any fiction since I was at school, so I had to remind myself how it's done. And keeping the length down was hard too... more than a few thousand words were canned," he said.

Sheldrake shared an early draft with me last year. Great narrative but not enough sex was my feedback. Sheldrake ignored my comment. That's probably a good thing.

Attenzi is free and available in all popular digital formats via the Attenzi website where you can also leave thoughts and comments.

Sheldrake has also created twitter handles for CEO Eli Appel (@EliAppel), COO Marcus Wallinger (@MarcusWallinger) and @Attenzi.

It's social. And it's the business.

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