Reviews: The Untapped Power of Discovery

“Navigating change is the hardest task that leaders and managers face. Karen Golden-Biddle is here to help. As one of the world’s foremost experts on change, she’s written a book that is an accessible, actionable resource for finding your way through the fog.”

-Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of HIDDEN POTENTIAL and THINK AGAIN, and host of the podcast WorkLife

“You have heard the phrase, ‘Embrace the unexpected.’ The puzzle remains, as a leader or manager, how do you recognize and make good use of the unexpected in a way that delivers results and positive change for your organization? The Untapped Power of Discovery is a unique guide to helping you understand and make good use of unexpected developments and convert them into a capacity for discovery. This focus on the process of discovery produces critical new insights about how to effectively lead during a time of unprecedented change.”

-Jane Dutton, Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Professor Emerita, University of Michigan and Co-Author (with Monica Worline) of AWAKENING PASSION AT WORK and (with Gretchen Spreitzer) HOW TO BE A POSITIVE LEADER

“This book will benefit any leader concerned about the failure of imagination in their company. Drawing on a wide variety of vivid cases, Golden-Biddle provides a tool-kit to jumpstart discovery in your company and using surprise and doubt are the doorways to lasting change.”

-Hayagreeva Rao, Atholl McBean Professor of Organizational Behavior, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University and co-Author (with Robert I. Sutton) of SCALING UP EXCELLENCE and THE FRICTION PROJECT

“We must embrace change to achieve success in organizations and have a fulfilling life. Using stories and research, Karen Golden-Biddle provides a compelling framework with actionable strategies to integrate discovery for change with innovative impact.”

-Kenneth W. Freeman, Boston University interim president, previously Chairman & CEO of Quest Diagnostics and Partner at KKR

“In a world full of uncertainty and surprises, Karen Golden-Biddle uses extensive research and compelling stories to teach us the overlooked practice of discovery. Readers will have many “ahas” on their way to learning how to more effectively innovate, solve difficult problems and advance in their careers.”

-Scott Sonenshein, Bestselling author of STRETCH and co-author (with Marie Kondo) of JOY AT WORK

“I sat down to start reading this book and couldn’t put it down until I finished. This creative and very gripping book helps readers discover quite a lot. It conveys crucial insights by means of true examples of very ambitious change projects, and demonstrates in practice its underlying conceptual message. The examples in each chapter show not only what three-pronged discovery processes mean in practice, but also what the courage to carry them out as an organizational leader involves. The questions at the end of each chapter engage readers, making the experience of reading the book more than just seeing what others have done.

The book conveys beautifully both the temporariness of our knowledge and the worth of temporary unknowing. It conveys the value of being nervous and hesitant, at least with respect to the tools we use. Further, it not only discusses but also shows in practice, the profound importance of respect for people that change agents and other leaders often ignore – such as children, hospital patients, homeless people, village elders, low level employees in organizations. Most books about change do not even acknowledge the importance of such people, let alone incorporate them in creative processes. Finally, the very helpful figure that summarizes each chapter also ties the chapters together very well,

This is a beautifully written book. I hope that it will lead readers to experience some doubt about admonitions for change they have previously read, and point them towards important new possibilities that await creation.”

-Jean Bartunek, Robert A. and Evelyn J. Ferris Chair, Professor of Management and Organization, Carroll School of Management, Boston College