Leading in a Non-Linear World, by Jean Gomes, reviewed

Review by Kirstie Affleck of Leading in a Non-Linear World – by Jean Gomes, published by Wiley.

Jean Gomes, co-author of the New York Times bestseller The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, has published a new book aimed at exploring how mindsets can be created to help business leaders progress forward in these uncertain times. The book leads us through the logical sequence of finding out about mindsets and how we can build and evolve them.  Using information from up-to-date research, Gomes guides the reader through different types including more human, future now, experimental, and open mindsets. Part reference and part work book, there is a chapter dedicated to experiments the reader can try to strengthen their own mindset. 

Leading in a Non-Linear World, by Jean Gomes, reviewed

The book explores how assumptions and emotions fuel the way we act throughout the day, and that studies show physical feelings can be directly impactful upon our judgements. It explains how better tuned interoceptive and metacognitive abilities allow individuals to make superior decisions and have greater physical resilience. Gomes discusses assumption busting, a process of figuring out where assumptions originate and how to start breaking them down, to become open to new ideas and culture. 

We then move on to looking at how mindsets can be utilised for work now and in the future. There is information on how to put together a team with diverse characteristics and specialities, and to always include a constructive troublemaker to keep asking the difficult questions. Guidance is given on how to create an open creative culture in which all team members feel safe to speak up, and the importance of a check in to see how team members are at the start of the  meeting is defined.

The chapter on the Experimental Mindset describes the ‘play and learn’ method of designing products, and how it allows for parallel experimentation and more customer feedback. It includes very interesting quotations from Steve Tidball, an Ultramarathon runner and co-founder of Vollebak, a start-up company that designs futuristic clothing. 

The final part of the book covers how to bring this knowledge into an organisation, with an example from IMI plc , a global engineering company founded in 1862 and with 10,000 employees. The chapter details the steps taken to disrupt the entropy that had set in, and how the company developed an experimental mindset and started paying more attention to customer values.

I would recommend this book to team leaders looking to create an inclusive and open culture within their workplace.  I would also say that the more human mindset of openness and inclusivity would relate to any human contact experience, and that this book could be a valuable read to SME’s with a small member of staff. 

Jean Gomes is founder and CEO of the London based management consultancy, Outside, and has over 30 years experience working with many leaders in the corporate and sporting world.

Leading in a Non-Linear World: Building Wellbeing, Strategic and Innovation Mindsets for the Future, takes readers through a ground-breaking set of science-based strategies to help them face rising demand, uncertainty and change posed by disruptive technologies and seismic shifts in globalisation.

Kirstie Affleck is a Sheep farmer, based in West Cork, Ireland. She is passionate about wool crafts including spinning and knitting, and sells handcrafted products locally. BSc Biological and Medical Chemistry, Exeter, UK.  Instagram: @capeclearsheep Twitter: @CapeClearSheep. See her website here.

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