The world faces critical times and must keep self renewing, says Anoop Maini

Beyond Crisis is about building organisations which can survive and succeed amid crisis. With the current problems in the NHS and global healthcare, with a larger crisis to come, this subject is particularly relevant to the times.

Although the book comes with a dose of academic concepts, the authors are actually practitioners. They have spent their careers working in senior strategy roles at oil and technology companies and latterly as consultants. This is reassuring and gives the ideas the legitimacy that they have been developed from a pragmatic and “real world” grounding.

The basic idea is that the crisis to hit the world over the next decade is so severe that organisations will have to respond in a different way. There will be the need for large organisations to take leaps rather than steps, or continually self-renew.

The authors propose that the structures and management ideologies developed over the last century are simply not adequate to support continuous leaps. Instead organisations must see themselves as two parts, one which governs and manages the status quo and the other which directs its renewal. In order to make this work as a single machine rather than two separate silos, the authors offer a structure and toolkit to achieve a common purpose.  The second half of the book is particularly useful, as it presents many tools to take thinking forward.

This book is about how to construct “large organisations which can dance” and evolve. The concepts are complex but senior managers will recognise the problems and the value of the solutions. Beyond Crisis will help leaders to create an organisation competent to innovate and prosper amongst uncertainty.

Anoop Maini is a director of Indigo Health. This review was originally commissioned for the Chartered Management Institute.

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