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How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything, Expanded Edition



How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything, Expanded Edition

Dov Seidman, President Bill Clinton (Foreword by)

ISBN: 978-1-118-10637-2 September 2011 384 Pages

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The flood of information, unprecedented transparency, increasing interconnectedness-and our global interde¬pendence-are dramatically reshaping today's world, the world of business, and our lives. We are in the Era of Behavior and the rules of the game have fundamentally changed. It is no longer what you do that matters most and sets you apart from others, but how you do what you do. Whats are commodities, easily duplicated or reverse-engineered. Sustainable advantage and enduring success for organizations and the people who work for them now lie in the realm of how, the new frontier of conduct.

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 ways.
If you want to stand out, to thrive in our fast changing, hyper¬connected, and hypertransparent world, read this book and discover HOW.

Foreword xi

Preface xiii

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.

Getting Flattened.

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.

Believe It.

CHAPTER 5: From Can to Should 81

Rules as Proxies.

Dancing with Rules.

On the Tip of Your Tongue.

Unlocking Should.

Risk and Reward.

CHAPTER 6: Keeping Your Head in the Game 103


Small Lapses, Large Costs.


Doing Consonance.


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.


The Market Defines You.

Say You Are Sorry.

Interpersonal Transparency.

Sig, Don't Zag.

CHAPTER 8: Trust 157

The Soft Made Hard.

How High Is the Ceiling?

Going on a TRIP.


Doing Trust.

Trust Is the Drug.

Trust, but Verify.

CHAPTER 9: Reputation, Reputation, Reputation 181

Reputation in a Wired World.

Reputational Capital.

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.

Closing Gaps.

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.

Afterword 299

HOWs Matter 305

Acknowledgments 307

Notes 315

Selected Bibliography 331

Index 337

"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 financially."
Fortune magazine

"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 experience success."
–Former Chief Learning Officer, Goldman Sachs and former head of leadership development at GE, Steve Kerr