Friday, April 22, 2011

Looking Through My Charlie Brown Lens

[My review of SHOCKPROOF by Debra Jacobs, Garrett Sheridan and Juan Pablo Gonzalez]
Linus: I told her (the little red-haired girl) about how you're madly in love with her
Charlie Brown: Aaugh!!
GOOD GRIEF. There’s too much marketing going on here. Even before page one, we’re introduced to the fact that “shockproofing” is now a verb (it isn’t, is it?) and, at the beginning o’ the prologue, to the Shockproof brand promise. That word then keeps appearing again and again, in all its related forms, throughout the book.

SIGH…I didn’t detect any signs of doubt. Is the Shockproof approach foolproof? Is it clearly superior to other approaches? Given the magnitude of their task, I found the authors’ certainty to be, at times: amazing, amusing, and a tad depressing.

AAUGH!! What strikes me as the group’s most original work has to do with dynamically *aligning* strategy, organization and people to achieve great results – but they don’t really get into the nuts and bolts of their alignment methods ‘til page 155. Once they do, IMO they do a better job of de-scribing than pre-scribing. [ Shockproof Lenses, for example, are key conceptual tools. They’re intended to heighten a leader’s awareness as to what parts of his or her business most need aligning. But, aside from providing a short list of questions to ponder (related to and organized by Lens-type: Systems, Value, Change, Interpersonal and Self-Awareness) the book gives no real instructions for methodically using the Lenses, day in and day out.]

OH ALRIGHT, LUCY, I’LL TRUST YOU** Despite my negativity, the last thing I want to do is discourage anyone from reading the book and judging it on its own merits. My expressions of dismay have more to do with the quality of the presentation, viewed through my Charlie Brown Lens, than with the quality of the Shockproof approach...which ('though I’m just a regular guy): makes sense, is comprehensive, seems easy enough to implement, and has a good track record. To add a bit more positivity -- the last chapter does a terrific job of spelling out exactly how any company can start using it.

**to hold on to the football.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you have comments about this particular posting -- or wish to reach its maker about anything else -- fire away here!