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Laurel Thoennes @ Quality Digest

Quality Insider

Books: “The Surprising Solution”

Creating possibility in a swift and severe world

Published: Monday, November 2, 2009 - 21:29

Bruce Piasecki’s new book, The Surprising Solution: Creating Possibility in a Swift and Severe World (Sourcebooks, 2009) is about how to make better leaders, better products, and a better world. The Surprising Solution is about how to create possibility in our world of global consolidation and how to combine innovation with sustainability.

This is not another book on “going green,” it is a new edition of Piasecki’s revolutionary work of more than 25 years concerning observation and thought application in modern management, commerce, and social change.

The Surprising Solution, an updated version of his book, World Inc. (Sourcebooks, 2007), includes the transformations in society as a whole as well as corporate developments during the vast changes of the world's economy for the last two years. Piasecki shares personal experiences, corporate perspectives, and updated case studies on how to come up with solutions to deal the swiftness of information and with the severity of the global marketplace and its meltdown.

Deming, Juran, and the quality revolution got it right—partially—that all firms need to compete on price and quality, says Piasecki, but companies today need to compete on price, quality, and social needs such as poverty, mobility, better use of materials, energy diversity, and clean air. Corporate globalization is here and future customers will be poorer and will need miniaturization and more integrated products, such as a cell phone, a copier, and a printer all in the same electronic set.

Companies need to get beyond the despair of not knowing what to do and develop more transparent leaders that we can trust, develop more efficient products by sustainable means, and learn how to address the needs of society as a whole.

In the book’s foreword, Darryl Poole, founder and chief executive of The Cambridge Institute for Applied Research Inc., points out that global sustainability is the key issue that drives this book, and Piasecki has a special way to connect it to future growth for firms. “His message is a clear one that provides us with a new wave of understanding,” says Poole.

Piasecki calls this new area of understanding the S Frontier—the new frontier of sustainability, innovation, and corporate social responsibility—where each of us needs to decide what is valuable in our lives and in our firms.

Bruce Piasecki, Ph.D., is the president and founder of the AHC Group Inc., a management consulting firm headquartered in Saratoga Springs, New York, specializing in energy, materials, and environmental corporate matters since 1981. He is the author of seven seminal books on business strategy, valuation, and corporate change, including the Nature Society’s book of the year, In Search of Environmental Excellence: Moving Beyond Blame (Simon & Schuster, 1990). His articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Technology Review, and the Christian Science Monitor.

Since 1990, Piasecki and his staff have run hundreds of benchmarking workshops for numerous multinational corporate affiliates, involving key executives in site remediation, power markets, emerging issues, and governance concerns. As researchers, the AHC Group strives to discover what is actionable by linking the needs of corporate business strategy with external demands for new products and environmental leadership.



The Surprising Solution, by Bruce Piasecki (Sourcebooks, 2009)

Dennis Michael of Sky Radio interviews Bruce Piasecki

The Leading Authorities speaker bureau interviews Bruce Piasecki

Bloomberg TV’s Money & Politics anchor Peter Cook interviews Bruce Piasecki



About The Author

Laurel Thoennes @ Quality Digest’s picture

Laurel Thoennes @ Quality Digest

Laurel Thoennes is an editor at Quality Digest. She has worked in the media industry for 33 years at newspapers, magazines, and UC Davis—the past 25 years with Quality Digest.