Going on Offense

A Leader’s Playbook for Perpetual Innovation

Non-Fiction - Business/Finance
264 Pages
Reviewed on 05/13/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Going on Offense: A Leader’s Playbook for Perpetual Innovation by Behnam Tabrizi is a compelling guide for leaders seeking to cultivate a culture of continuous innovation within their organizations. Tabrizi, a seasoned expert in organizational transformation with extensive experience at Stanford University and a robust consulting practice, draws on his deep knowledge and new insights from innovative companies worldwide to present a comprehensive framework for perpetual innovation. The book is structured to provide a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical applications. It begins with a reflective preface, in which Tabrizi shares his journey and realization that even his extensive expertise lacked a critical part—spreading an innovation mindset throughout an organization. The book focuses on transforming organizations to sustain agility and innovation.

Divided into two main parts, the book first considers the importance of creating a robust foundation for innovation by setting an existential purpose and fostering customer obsession. Tabrizi emphasizes the importance of a clear and compelling mission, illustrated through case studies of companies like Microsoft under Satya Nadella, which pivoted to a purpose-driven approach with remarkable success. The second part transitions to practical strategies, such as embracing a startup mindset and managing energy and tempo, which are crucial for sustaining innovation over the long term. Going on Offense provides rich examples from diverse companies. Behnam Tabrizi dives into tech giants like Apple, Amazon, and Tesla, alongside non-tech firms like Starbucks and Zara, to extract valuable lessons on how different organizational cultures approach innovation. These case studies are not just theoretical musings but are backed by extensive research, including a survey of nearly 7,000 global executives and in-depth analyses of 26 companies. The writing is clear and engaging, making complex concepts accessible. His emphasis on emotional commitment and the human aspects of organizational change underscores the holistic nature of his approach. Some readers might find the heavy focus on high-profile companies daunting, as replicating their success seems an enormous challenge. Yet, Behnam Tabrizi reminds readers that the goal is improvement, not imitation. It is an excellent book for leaders.