Foreword Reviews

Transformative

Build a Game-Changing Strategy, Retool Your Organization, Innovate to Win

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

Transformative details methods for innovating one’s organizational marketplace.

William Kilmer’s business book Transformative shares innovative strategies for organizational success.

Kilmer reports that evolving digital technologies may allow entrepreneurs “to solve old problems in new ways,” even creating and growing new markets. His book illustrates how companies can accomplish breakout success by finding new opportunities, focusing on outcomes for customers in addition to their products, and removing barriers to purchasing. Its sections are broad, covering a range of topics, including the importance of transformation, methods of developing innovation strategies, scaling to one’s market, and reorganizing companies to reshape markets. Still, its progression is logical and easy to follow.

Noting that the bulk of the companies that it references were founded by leaders who entered their industries afresh, the text builds on its points with examples from companies like Peloton, Starbucks, and Apple, showing how each created new markets with their innovative products. In one example, Dollar Shave Club is seen upending a market giant with just $1 million in seed capital and a clever YouTube video, solving customer problems and making razors more affordable and accessible. But despite their particulars, each case study furnishes insights that can be applied across the business world—and even beyond it. For example, in addressing United States Air Force colonel John Boyd’s “Aerial Attack Study,” the book posits that “our understanding of any situation is fundamentally incomplete, or at least constantly changing” and makes a case for observing and analyzing changing conditions with as much rapidity as possible.

Bullet points, graphics, and lists of questions for managers reinforce the book’s takeaways, and its key information is repeated via a useful mnemonic technique. And though it covers topics as ranging as errors of self-limitation and differentiating oneself from the competition by flipping the script, the book maintains its credibility by citing articles from Fast Company, The Atlantic, and the Harvard Business Review, as well as business world leaders like Jeff Bezos, Herminia Ibarra, and Andy Grove. The result is a detailed and convincing blueprint for developing a challenge-setting organization, though one whose final chapter is repetitive, serving most to reiterate the importance of approaching a market with a beginner’s mind.

This is a text that provides organizational leaders with a concept-to-action framework, questions to consider, and actionable ideas. Noting that the pace of social change is accelerating, Transformative is an insightful business guide that suggests ways of reorganizing companies to become responsive market leaders.

Reviewed by Joseph S. Pete

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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