Moments of Impact

How to Design Strategic Conversations That Accelerate Change

About The Book

Moments of Impact is a book on a mission: to eradicate time-sucking, energy-depleting workshops and meetings. In our fast-changing world, organizations have important challenges and opportunities to address—and no time to waste. Moments of Impact delivers the single most useful resource for managers and leaders who need better strategic conversation—now—to shape the future of their organizations.

Moments of Impact is an essential guide for ambitious leaders who get assigned the hardest and most vexing strategic issues in their organizations, for entrepreneurs trying to manage board expectations, for social change agents pioneering new business models for community impact, for hopeful educators and healthcare practitioners trying to transform slow-to-change industries, and for enterprising students committed to tackling global challenges.

Drawing on decades of combined experience as innovation strategists, Ertel and Solomon articulate the purpose, principles, and practices of well-designed strategic conversations. They weave together a lively and compelling mix of social science theories and research, interviews with more than 100 thought leaders, organization leaders, and practitioners, as well as dozens of anecdotes and practical cases from diverse organizations. The book also includes a sixty-page Starter Kit with diagnostic questions, best practices, tips and suggestions, and recommended readings to enable you to put the ideas to work immediately.

About The Authors

Photograph by Sam Willard Photography

Chris Ertel has been designing strategic conversations for fifteen years as an advisor to senior executives of Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and large nonprofits. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and daughter.

Photograph by Nicole Scarborough

Lisa Kay Solomon teaches innovation at the groundbreaking MBA in Design Strategy program at San Francisco’s California College of the Arts. A frequent public speaker and guest lecturer, she lives with her husband and two daughters in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 11, 2014)
  • Length: 272 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781451697698

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Raves and Reviews

Strategy is one of the most over-used, poorly understood words in the business lexicon. Ertel and Solomon set out to make it meaningful again, drawing on decades of experience running real strategic conversations.

– Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody and Cognitive Surplus

If you are even remotely interested in 1) having a team that knows what each other is doing, 2) delivering a complex message in a clear way, 3) making sense of the mania that passes for so much of "business thinking" these days, you must read this book.

– Dan Roam, author of The Back of the Napkin and Blah Blah Blah

Solomon and Ertel get it. We need to move beyond the blah blah blah dominating our meeting rooms today. We need strategic conversations - this book shows you how to design them.

– Alexander Osterwalder, author of Business Model Generation and Business Model You

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I say that’s also a pretty good definition of the typical business meeting. If you’d like to short-circuit the meeting loop and energize your team’s ability to solve real problems and create new visions, then Moments of Impact is the book you need.

– Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell is Human and Drive

So many times organizations go to the outside to develop and refine their strategic plans when the answers lie internally. Moments of Impact gives you a roadmap to unlock solutions that are literally in the room. It provides powerful examples and a step by step guide to creating intense engagement and encourages diverse and unique points of view. This leads to a powerful shared vision and strategic plan coupled with a pragmatic execution plan. And, as a bonus, it is a great bonding experience for all involved.

– George Borst, CEO of Toyota Financial Services

What if conversations at work actually mattered? Moments of Impact shows how they can, offering an actionable model for sparking creativity and driving change.

– Adam Grant, Wharton professor and bestselling author of Give and Take

Conversations are how groups of people lear, collaborate and act together, but having powerful, coherent and strategic conversations takes active design and support. Chris Ertel and Lisa Solomon collaborators of mine for many years have provided a practical and insightful guide to shaping consequential strategic conversations. A must read for anyone shaping the decision environment of an organization.

– Peter Schwartz, author of The Art of the Long View and co-founder of GBN

Stories ignite understanding and engagement on our most important strategic challenges. Moments of Impact reveals how to go beyond data-driven meetings to generate new insights that help change our world for the better.

– Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte Design, author of Resonate and Slide:ology

We've seen how the power of design can radically change experiences for the better. Moments of Impact shows how design can transform our strategic conversations, too.

– Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit

“…this is a guide every frustrated meeting-goer should read, with advice they should all implement.”

– Publishers Weekly

“Ertel and Solomon articulate the purpose, principles and practices of well-designed strategic conversations and support their ideas with a lively, convincing mix of social science theories and research, interviews with organizational leaders, anecdotes and case studies, and an invaluable 60-page Starter Kit…to enable you to put the ideas to work immediately.”

– Success Magazine

“Chris Ertel and Lisa Kay Solomon provide several useful tools for making sure all voices are heard--and empathized with--at strategy meetings. You can apply many of their tips to general meetings as well. Refreshingly, Ertel and Solomon remind readers that diversity comes in many forms--all of which are important in business settings.”

– Inc.com

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