April 2020
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Choose Change

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Reinventionist Mindset: Learning to Love Change, and the Human How of Doing It Brilliantly

By Joe Jackman
Page Two Books, 256 pp., $24.95


There is a serial killer of companies on the loose—the status quo—and it is coming for every slow-moving and change-resistant organization on the planet," writes Jackman. In The Reinventionist Mindset, he encourages readers to see change as good and—more significantly—to choose change before they have to.

To him, reinvention is possible, even in seemingly impossible-to-turn-around circumstances. Story after story from Jackman's experience looks at companies at their lowest points and how reinvention—if people are prioritized—can still bring them back from the precipice.

In one powerful section, Jackman asks readers to figure out whether it is time for reinvention at their company. He asks them to consider what phase the organization is in, if growth is disappearing, if the business isn't being talked about anymore, if the business is adhering faithfully to the rules of the category, and more. If we answer his questions for our field, the answer is a resounding yes: It's time for an L&D reinvention.


While motivating, the book may disappoint if you're looking for new insights on change or a deep learning on how to do it. For those of us with studied or practiced change expertise, most concepts are high-level reminders that lack depth. Although Jackman is acclaimed as a standalone expert in reinvention, he doesn't leverage, reference, or appear to be aware of the wealth of work already known and practiced in the change management or organization development fields. New insight on how to embrace change and invite others to the game is slim.

The book is organized in a set of case study–like stories from Jackman's experience, which read more as a resume or marketing portfolio, rather than a clear, cohesive illustration of his five mindset principles. Although sold as a behind-the-scenes look, each story lacks the nitty-gritty, where the tough conversations are explored. Instead, Jackman focuses more on the end of the story: the win.

Despite its shortcomings, if you're looking to reinvigorate your belief that change is possible and you should lead the charge, this book is worth a read. It serves as a great motivator. Many of us are in a time of experimentation and exploration. Jackman's book can remind you that instead of change fatigue, we can choose change and gain all the possibilities that come with a reinventionist mindset.

About the Author

Crystal Kadakia is a two-time TEDx speaker, organizational consultant, and best-selling author, known for transforming the toughest workplace changes into exciting possibilities for our digital world. As a consultant, she brings organizations into the digital age, reimagining people strategies with clients in areas such as career development, learning culture, inclusion, leadership development, and employee engagement. Past clients include General Mills, Southern Company, Monster.com, Sierra Club, and other organizations.

She is the co-creator of the Learning Cluster Design model and the co-author of the related book, Designing for Modern Learning: Beyond ADDIE and SAM (ATD Press, 2020). This model empowers the revolution of the training industry for our Digital Age by showing L&D how to design a set of multiple learning assets, available across the flow of work, to deliver a performance goal on the job.

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