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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Culture Shock is an interesting book and one that resonates strongly in the world of commerce, private and public, that exists today. There is much that one can agree with and a few things, that I personally, found less convincing, but not necessarily irrelevant. For example, finding Purpose and Meaning, the chapter with which the book opens, and Democracy and Empowerment are essential elements in working with people and adapting to the constant and often rapid change that everyone is facing in the workplace: this book is about how to be effective in this environment and be fair to people you work with or for at the same time. How to be effective in times of rapidly changing times; i.e. in the computer age, with realtime feedback that can have a beneficial or adverse effect on business, something that organisations need to be able to manage well requires flexibility, that larger mature organisations find difficult to do, requires exceptional people to work for and have genuine empathy for customer needs, for example. How can multi-billion $/£ organisations mashall large numbers of people to buy into the right ethics and behaviour for this? Will McInnes suggests through understanding the purpose and meaning of the organisation, something that some of the new tech savvy businesses seem to be able to do from the start, but older organisations might struggle to develop. Ultimately, the message seems to be that failure to understand purpose and meaning, without democracy and empowerment and the development of progressive people and leaders, openness and flexibility, older organisations may stagger on, but new ones will fail to float, let alone become the new leaders of a 24/7 connected world. The message of the book is insistant, sensible in many ways and probably timely. I came away convinced, by the end of the book, but not necessarily hopeful, being a bit of a dinosaur: I do think that this is a book for younger and technologically able generation, if they want to take advantage of what the 21st century has to offer in business.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you have read my other reviews you will know I have read 100's of self help books over the years. I am a business consultant, peak performance expert, entrepreneur and University lecturer amongst other things. As such I read books in order to improve my knowledge and the advice I can give others. I ordered this book via the Vine programme in the hope I may end up learning something new about how the mind can create happiness without all the positive thinking garbage that some book push.

Culture shock is a book that is both a wonderful inspiring read and is packed full of ideas that can be applied in many different business types and situations. It examines the concepts behind building a democratised social business. I have read a plethora of books on the way the Japanese companies do it and studied at great length companies like Kao soap, which was regarded in the 1990's as the most democratised company in the World. This book encapsulates many of the great ideas that have been used and found to be successful in the real world of business. The author guides the reader through a process of change, that if implemented in part or in full, will make a great difference to most businesses.

This is a well written practical guide for anyone wanting to make major changes in their company and organisation. It is full of practical advice and I cannot recommend this book enough.

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VINE VOICEon 16 July 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I quite approve of some of the concepts, putting ideas other than pure profit in the goals of a business, and integrating consideration of employees and the speed of information in the 21st century into your business processes. However, there are too many points where the book is a complete turn-off.
Too many examples are talking up either the author's company or WorldBlu, the author is selective on details about companies it lauds (praising Google for its 20% time but ignoring its financial record when complaining about companies not paying tax, for example), and sometimes the author just comes across as not liking certain things (such as repeatedly referring to IT departments as an obstacle). None of the assertions are adequately backed up by anything verifiable, so in the end this comes across as a diatribe for a socially inclusive, democratic business structure without any real substance. It claims being a social business will improve the solidity of its finances, but without suggesting how it may result in this. Totally unconvincing.
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VINE VOICEon 6 April 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Author, Will McInnes could be described as a 'business geek'. In his best selling book Culture Shock, the author delves into Business best practice, relevant both here in Europe and in the US, and offers an enlightened and holistic approach to business development. An approach which is relevant to both small organisations and large corporations. McInnes favours an enlightened 'Ernest Shackleton' approach to management. Best described as a hands on egalitarian style which incorporates direction from above with an inclusiveness and respect for those involved in the business lower down the pecking order. It's a business strategy at odds with the boorish Alan Sugar philosophy which is now incredibly outdated in the 21st century. While dinosaurs like Sugar still roam the earth, the future is with the McInnes's of the business world...surely?
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on 2 October 2012
Culture Shock: A Handbook For 21st Century Business
I've been interested in new types of business culture ever since the recession, when it was so obvious that the old ways were not working anymore. More recently I came across the Transition Network's Reconomy project, The Worldblu website and Will Mcinnes' Culture Shock book. All are looking to rewire the way we think about enterprise & commerce. In Culture Shock, Will points out that that concepts like democratic business and open book accounting are not new. However with all sorts of financial crises happening around the world, it seems to be more than pertinent to think about pursuing other goals apart from pure profit.

What I liked about the book is the easy style he uses to talk about (what could be) a dry subject. He also gives many examples of businesses that are already trying out these new ways. It always seems more compelling if you know someone is sticking their neck on the line to try something new. As I understand it, he is even doing the same with his own consultancy Nixon McInnes. In fact he readily admits that he does not have all the answers, but all the practical, hands on, advice in this book will definitely help you if you are ready to ask questions like "what's the meaning of my work?", or "is there more to business than just profit?"

I think this is a great starting point to a new, and happier, work life - all employees and bosses should read this and get ready to try something new -I don't think it will be easy but after reading this I'm up for a change. Great Stuff.
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on 4 December 2012
There are some very thorough reviews here from people of a sympathetic leaning, in business, but I'd like to add something a bit different. While the very format of the book undoubtedly makes it a useful practical guide for people who want to do business differently - I think its relevance goes beyond business people.
At the risk of sounding a bit daft "I read the book and it changed my life". As a part time, self employed working from home mum/payment tech consultant, I felt a bit stuck. I work remotely for a great bunch of people and I love the flexibility that my work affords as my children are at primary school. But I was a bit bored and it seemed that all the interesting meet ups happen in the city (Sydney) just when I need and want to be at home with the family.
There is something so insistent about Culture Shock though - the collection of ideas and examples - the momentum - this sense that the velocity of change is accelerating, that it pushed me out of my boredom and made me look for something I could do to be part of this change.
I can pin point that moment to reading a sentence where Will addresses his audience as "leaders". I'm a big Jane Austen fan and it felt like a modern equivalent of her "Dear reader" engaging and confessional. Reading Culture Shock made me feel responsible.
And of course there are always things you can do on your door step to help;I'm introducing ethics classes to the largest primary school on Sydney's Northern Beaches and it will help grow a generation of children who won't just accept the status quo. They'll question and reason and develop new and better ways of doing things.
Culture Shock is an empowering read and its relevance is certainly not restricted to people in business.
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VINE VOICEon 29 April 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The review on Amazon of this book says 'There's a revolution afoot . . . don't be left behind. A new dawn has broken. Business has changed profoundly--fueled by aggressively advancing technology and a volatile global economy. So why has most business culture remained unchanged? Most organizations are closed, secretive, siloed, slow to change, and deeply hierarchical. It's time to shock these cultures. Let's burn up the old and start something new.' That isn't just in business, it is the whole culture of the UK in a nutshell. The more advanced business and communications and ways of doings thing become, the more entrenched the powers-that-be become too, perhaps for obvious reasons. With great change often comes great fear, and there is a curious tendency as things go through great change for people to yearn for some golden age, and for those with some kind of power to want to hold back the tide, again perhaps understandably. The Americans totally embraced the Internet whilst we Brits, as usual, dragged our feet and now we are still playing catch up. That alone should be a lesson to us. I do not wish to offend here, but at the moment our political, economic and business ideology is based on the spurious notion that well bred people have all the answers and must rule and dominate in every area of life. That is not the future, it is a mediaeval past based on the nonsense that people who are high born are somehow innately more talented, intelligent, creative than everyone else. If this was the case our society would be perfect... Take a look around at what has happened to our economy and the fact even people in work need food banks and most of the wealth and political power in the British Isles is centred on London, and you may come to the conclusion that society ruled by the rich and powerful in London only benefits mostly the rich and powerful in London! Wonderful for them of course, but we are not all rich and powerful, and we don't all live in the affluent parts of London either. Things need to change, Stop looking to presidents, queens, popes and high born people and see the solutions in yourself and the people all around you. Oh, and seek God first!
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on 6 September 2012
(published this separately elsewhere but makes sense here as much as anywhere.)

As someone who just left an agency to craft my own role, it's a question I've been considering myself a lot recently. Is the purpose of a company to create more and more profit? Is it to change the world? Is it to create something to fill your days with meaning and enough cash to enjoy life outside work hours?

The answer is going to be different for everyone but it's one of my many questions that comes out of Culture Shock, a recent release by digital maestro Will McInnes, founder of Nixon McInnes. And I'm firmly of the belief that questions are a good good thing.

The book is based around an examination of the ways we work, including the current militaristic structures of organisations and the question of what kinds of democracy drive modern business and why. But it's much more than an abstract exercise - as someone who hasn't done much real research into the area, it gave me a good feeling that Will has done the reading and is summarising the most interesting examples and exercises to help you hit the ground running.

While it's not for me, I've always been fascinated by the pattern of people clamouring to work with the biggest brands in the world - and as I understand it, the motivation is twofold. Firstly, you can make more money, which is good for business and secondly, it's good for the feeling that you're doing something potent and worthwhile.

But those same brands are often notorious for wringing employees dry with excessive work hours, unruly demands and a punishing culture of ruthless hierarchy and authority.

So, when Will McInnes says in Culture Shock that we should be creating businesses that measure success by the output of happiness as much as anything, what you need to know is whether that suits you. Or are you just in it for the blind pursuit of profit?

What do you want to work for? Do you believe there's another way?

What's interesting about the book to me is that even if you don't want to run your business that way, it feels like the right primer to read to at least open your eyes fully to the path you aren't taking. And that's important.

I also feel that a lot of the ways of doing things that it describes should make it a hell of alot harder to create a poor and flagging business. If you run an operation with that much transparency and lacking in the right talent, these techniques should gut your company and leave you high and dry.

The modern `industrialised' way of working often prepares an environment where the responsibility of the most junior citizens is entirely limited, at the risk of creating cookie cutter roles that meter influence with serving time until promotion. Any industry where a structure like this exists should really be re-examining its configuration to prepare for the ways business is changing in the coming years.

Another interesting question is whether I would actually want the leaders of a business I worked for to think like this. The answer is yes and no. To some extent, I'm inclined toward believing in a benevolent dictator at the top of the pile - too much honesty can be dispiriting if you're used to believing in a higher force and maybe there's some argument that this should be maintained for the good of all.

But whatever you take from it, Culture Shock should act to cleanse the palate of anyone interested in the bigger picture of running a business. If you're inclined to question everything, this will be a read you enjoy - and one that will pass quickly with its enthusiastic tone and clear structure. If not, then burying your head in the sand may only get you so far while the rest of the world overtakes you...
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on 29 August 2012
It may be my time of life (definitely middle-aged), length of time working in the commercial world (nearly 20 years) or simply the perilous economic state many parts of the world finds themselves in, but almost every part Culture Shock resonated with me. WIll McInnes not only outlines a new model for business moving forward - one that is based on openness, honesty, fairness and a focus on the pursuit of meaningful goals rather than the pure financial - but provides practical hints and tips based on examples of genuine, globally successful organisations and his own experience of putting much of his advice into practice in his own business. It's this that takes Culture Shock beyond the purely theoretical and which, in my view, makes the book inspirational in the true sense of the world. For me, at least, it will be making me change my outlook and my behaviour. In fact, it already has.
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on 5 October 2013
What I loved about this book was that it made instinctive sense. However as a text it was unnecessarily drawn-out. Having finished the second chapter I felt energised and vindicated in my own leadership ethos, but the remainder of the book really offered relatively little value in comparison. If it hasn’t been done already I’d be inclined to take the first 2 chapters and create a manifesto for change and distribute it widely and freely. Much like the examples used in “Quiet Leadership” by Barradillo, I struggled to recognise some of the Fordist views of organisational structures and management philosophy. However that is more a reflection of the organizations I have chosen to work for. Autocratic, bureaucratic and technocratic organisations exist and to them the concept of ‘The Democratic Organisation” will seem as alien as the transparent culture it espouses. However for a great deal of ‘new organisations’ Culture Shock will be more of a Culture Tweak.
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