To situate this review in context, I'm an executive coach and consultant in the middle of a PhD program trying to figure out how cultural change happens in organizations. Everything's an Offer has become my favourite book. It offers the best exploration so far of what happens at the intersection of improvisation, organizational life, and relationships.
Provocative and stimulating (with a delightful sense of playfulness) Rob and Gary welcome us and challenge us to reflect on the way we show up in day-to-day encounters with each other. Referencing (very accurately and respectfully I might add) great writers like Wheatley, Hillman, Jaworski, Capra, and Abrashoff -amongst others - as in "holy smokes Rob Poynton is well read and super smart" - and weaving in vivid stories of real life experiences, this book teaches, inspires, tickles and delights. I keep going back to it - and will continue to do so.
What I especially love is the delicious blend of ideas/concepts/theory with pragmatic "here's how you can actually start practicing this now" suggestions. I must say, my vacation at Christmas with my feisty and fabulous teenage kids was definitely more fun because of reading this book while the holiday unfolded - I was practicing noticing more, using everything, and letting go. It worked!
A few of my favourite excerpts:
"The plan should be a springboard, not a leash."
"Remember, everything you do is an offer."
"In relationships, giving too much priority to control, regularity, and predictability is counterproductive. You can't sustain the interest (let alone the affection) of a colleague, customer, audience, or lover through control."
Citing James Hillman, "Ideas we have and do not know we have, have us."
The book is brilliant. Buy it. Buy it for your friends and colleagues & anyone who cares about living a joyful, creative, connected and human life.