How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything, Expanded Edition
For almost two decades, Dov Seidman's pioneering organi¬zation, LRN, has helped some of the world's most respected companies build "do it right," winning cultures and inspire principled performance throughout their organizations. Seidman's distinct vision of the world, business, and human endeavor has helped enable more than 15 million people do¬ing business in more than 120 countries to outbehave the competition. In HOW: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything, Dov Seidman shares his unique approach with you. Now updated and expanded, HOW includes a new Fore¬word from President Bill Clinton and a new Preface from Dov Seidman on why how we behave, lead, govern, operate, consume, engender trust in our relationships, and relate to others matters more than ever and in ways it never has before.
Through entertaining anecdotes, surprising case studies, cutting-edge research in a wide range of fields, and reveal¬ing interviews with a diverse group of leaders, business executives, experts, and everyday people on the front lines, this book explores how we think, how we behave, how we lead, and how we govern our institutions and ourselves to uncover the values-inspired "hows" of twenty-first-century success and significance.
Divided into four comprehensive parts, this insightful book:
- Exposes the forces and factors that have fundamentally restructured the world in which organizations operate and their people conduct themselves, placing a new focus on their hows
- Provides frameworks to help you understand those hows and implement them in powerful and productive ways
- Helps you channel your actions and decisions in order to thrive uniquely within today's new realities
- Sheds light on the systems of how-the dynamics between people that shape organizational culture-andintroduces a bold new vision for leading and winning through self-governance
The qualities that many once thought of as "soft"-values, trust, and reputation-are now the hard currency of success and the ultimate drivers of efficiency, performance, innova¬tion, and growth.
With in-depth insights and practical advice, HOW will
help you bring excellence and significance to your business
endeavors- and your life-and refocus your efforts in powerful new
If you want to stand out, to thrive in our fast changing, hyper¬connected, and hypertransparent world, read this book and discover HOW.
Prologue: Making Waves 1
Part I: How We Have Been, How We Have Changed 13
Introduction: The Spaces between Us
CHAPTER 1: From Land to Information 17
Lines of Communication.
CHAPTER 2: Technology's Trespass 25
The Ties That Bind Us.
Distance Unites Us.
Can You Hear Me.
The Age of Transparency.
The Persistence of Memory.
The Information Jinni Is Out of the Lamp.
CHAPTER 3: The Journey to HOW 41
Just Do It.
The Certainty Gap.
The Limitations of Rules.
Outbehaving the Competition.
How We Go Forward.
Part II: How We Think 57
Introduction: The Paradox of Journey.
CHAPTER 4: Playing to Your Strengths 63
You Can Judge a Book by Its Cover.
Looking Out for Number Two.
The Evolution of What Is Valuable.
CHAPTER 5: From Can to Should 81
Rules as Proxies.
Dancing with Rules.
On the Tip of Your Tongue.
Risk and Reward.
CHAPTER 6: Keeping Your Head in the Game 103
Small Lapses, Large Costs.
Putting It in the Whole.
Part III: How We Behave 125
Introduction: How We Do What We Do.
CHAPTER 7: Doing Transparency 129
Beyond Proxies and Surrogates.
ICU, UC Me.
The Market Defines You.
Say You Are Sorry.
Sig, Don't Zag.
CHAPTER 8: Trust 157
The Soft Made Hard.
How High Is the Ceiling?
Going on a TRIP.
Trust Is the Drug.
Trust, but Verify.
CHAPTER 9: Reputation, Reputation, Reputation 181
Reputation in a Wired World.
Mismanaging Reputation Management.
A Second Chance.
Part IV: How We Govern 209
Introduction: Innovating in HOW.
CHAPTER 10: Doing Culture 215
The Sum of All HOWs.
The Spectrum of Culture.
The Four Types of Culture.
Five HOWs of Culture.
CHAPTER 11: The Case for Self-Governing Cultures 241
Self-Governance on the Shop Floor.
Freedom Is Just Another Word.
Taking Culture for a Test-Drive.
Values in Action.
A Journey to Culture.
Why Self-Governance Is the Future of Business.
CHAPTER 12: The Leadership Framework 267
Walking the Talk.
The First Five HOWs of Leadership.
Circles in Circles (A Thought).
The Leadership Framework, Continued.
HOWs Matter 305
Selected Bibliography 331
"Any book endorsed by Bill Clinton has to be worth a look. Across its pages, moral philosopher and LRN founder Seidman argues that in our hyperconnected world, how we do things matters more than ever. The first version of how came out in 2007, but an updated version was recently released on the basis that its teaching are now even more applicable in a post-recession age. Seidman argues that the global downturn demonstrated the interconnectedness of the world in a way that we previously couldn't have begun to fathom, and the need to understand that the way we behave has ramifications for others-near and far. So what are you waiting for"? (Elite Business Magazine)
"My friend Dov Seidman has dedicated his life's work to studying
how people conduct their business and their lives. As we settle
into the twenty-first century with all of its unique challenges . .
. it's clear that people worldwide will rise or fall together. Our
mission must be to create a global community of shared
responsibilities, shared benefits, and shared values. This new
focus will require all of us to think about the how, and to find
new ways to take action to solve the global issues that none of us
can tackle alone."
—From the Foreword by President Bill Clinton
"Dov Seidman's How is a brilliant social-ethical study. It
simplifies for the reader the complexity of vital challenges facing
humanity today. Students and teachers alike will profit from
reading this book."
—Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Laureate
"Dov Seidman basically argues that in our hyperconnected and
transparent world, how you do things matters more than ever,
because so many more people can now see how you do things, be
affected by how you do things, and tell others how you do things on
the Internet anytime, for no cost and without restraint . . . and
so it must be with us. We need to get back to collaborating the
old-fashioned way. That is, people making decisions based on
business judgment, experience, prudence, clarity of communications,
and thinking about how—not just how much."
—Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times columnist
"A trained moral philosopher, Dov Seidman has built a highly
successful business on the theory that in today's wired and
transparent global economy, companies that 'outbehave' their
competitors ethically will also tend to outperform them
"In his book HOW Mr Seidman explained why he feels
behaviour (as opposed to the more fashionable management notions of
engagement or motivation) is the key to organisational
success….Thought leadership, and big ideas, are rare. But
here is a challenging thought for you. Outbehave, outperform,
outgreen – or out you go."
–The Financial Times Business Life columnist Stefan Stern
"The book has understandably received a second wind, propelled
by the global economic turmoil. Books like Seidman's on the
importance of trust and building and strengthening corporate
reputation are being heralded as the voices of sanity."
–Economic Times journalist Arati Menon Carroll
"Dov Seidman captures the power that Ray Kroc instilled in us at
McDonald’s from the day he opened his first restaurant in
1955—a culture based on values puts the customer first. In
today’s world, focusing on the ‘how’ is critical
to accelerating momentum. HOW is required reading for anyone
seeking enduring success in business or life."
–Jim Skinner, CEO, McDonald’s Corporation
"In HOW, Dov Seidman takes the idea of 'success' even
further, redefining it as a quest for significance. Isn't that what
we all really want? To have a positive impact, to make a
difference, to excel? To do that you have to achieve significance,
and Seidman brilliantly shows you HOW. This book will change your
life in profound ways."
–Author Marcus Buckingham
"Dov Seidman's book introduces you to the world of how in a way
that will revolutionize the way you think about, assess, and
–Former Chief Learning Officer, Goldman Sachs and former head of leadership development at GE, Steve Kerr
“In this new century people worldwide will rise or fall together. Our mission must be to create a global community of shared responsibilities, shared benefits, and shared values. This new focus will require all of us to think about the how, and to find new ways to take action to solve the global issues that none of us can tackle alone.”
—President Bill Clinton from his new Foreword to HOW by Dov Seidman
In 2007, the first edition of HOW by Dov Seidman argued that we need a new approach to how we live our lives and pursue our endeavors, but nobody imagined how prescient it would become. From Bernie Madoff’s epic betrayal, to the financial crisis, to the waves of unrest in the Middle East, the biggest news stories of our new era are exposing the profound implications of the world’s increasing connectedness and transparency that Seidman warned us we would need to adapt to.
Now, in an updated and expanded edition with a new Preface by the author and a new Foreword by President Bill Clinton, HOW: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything (Wiley; September 21, 2011) is a timely call to action to adapt to what Seidman calls our new “Era of Behavior” for both individuals and organizations.
Society has changed
As our world becomes increasingly hyper-connected and hyper-transparent, we need to rethink our behavior in it.
Since everyone can instantly see not only what we do but how we do it, the value of principled behavior has been raised from a nicety to a necessity.
Our connectedness has rendered us interdependent, even morally so, and as such we can no longer win at the expense of others but instead rise or fall together. We are more tightly bound to each other as never before and therefore we are judged by who is better at forging deep connections with others through shared values and shared responsibilities.
Individuals and organizations must adapt in order to thrive, not just survive in today’s new normal
In HOW, Seidman not only gives us insight into our changing world, but clear steps for how to reshape our behavior and leadership, individually and organizationally, to thrive instead of getting left behind.
The individuals that will succeed best in our new “Era of Behavior” are those who use behavior to their advantage by doing things like extending trust. The organizations that will succeed are those that create environments where their people can self-govern, inspired by values instead of simply abiding by policies and following rules. “It’s a move from exerting power over people to generating waves through them,” writes Seidman. You’ll learn how leadership can be reinvented to inspire instead of coerce and motivate, and how to create a self-governing, values-driven culture in any organization.
Why adapting to How principles is urgent
Seidman shows us that HOW is the answer, and not merely a question, and it is the key to resilience in a world full of crisis, and to building enduring value, sustainability and a win-win for all in this new world.
Seidman illustrates the power of HOW with case studies and examples such as:
- The Middle East, where popular uprisings this year have been freeing people from despotic governments so they can live according to their own sustainable values
- A donut vendor who boosted sales by trusting customers to make their own change
- The University of Michigan Hospitals and Health System, which reduced medical malpractice lawsuits against them by 50% with the unheard of strategy of apologizing
- David Toms, who disqualified himself from the Open Championship golf tournament due to actions nobody saw that might have deserved penalty strokes
- Indonesia, which aims to teach integrity with “Honesty Canteens” in local schools that replaced cashiers with open boxes for depositing payments and taking your own change
Through surprising anecdotes like these, cutting-edge research in a wide range of fields, and revealing interviews with a diverse group of business leaders, experts, and everyday people on the front lines, HOW will inspire readers to reconsider how we think, how we behave, how we lead, and how we govern ourselves to uncover the values-driven "hows" that we need to adapt to our new “Era of Behavior”. With proactive, principled performance we can outbehave the competition, navigate today’s globally interconnected world, and move beyond short-term rewards toward lasting succes
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dov Seidman’s professional career has focused on how companies and their people can operate in both a principled and profitable way. He is the founder and CEO of LRN. Since 1994, LRN has helped hundreds of companies simultaneously navigate complex legal and regulatory environments and foster ethical cultures. In 2008, LRN acquired environmental innovation firm GreenOrder. Today, LRN operates globally and reaches, works with, and helps shape winning organizational cultures inspired by sustainable values in hundreds of companies with over 20 million people working in more than 100 countries around the world. Fortune magazine called Dov the “hottest advisor on the corporate virtue circuit” and he was also named one of the “Top 60 Global Thinkers of the Last Decade” by the Economic Times. Dov became the exclusive corporate sponsor of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity Prize in Ethics in 2008. He is a Harvard Law School graduate who also earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in moral philosophy from UCLA and a BA with honors in philosophy, politics, and economics from Oxford University. He has appeared on “Charlie Rose,” “Good Morning America,” and CNN.
ABOUT THE BOOK
HOW: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything
By Dov Seidman
Published by Wiley
Publication date: September 21, 2011
Price: $27.95; Page Count: 384 pages
For more information and an ongoing online discussion of all things HOW, please visit
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