We often believe the key to building our careers and generating better results for our companies is to use more resources—and spend lots of time trying to secure more money, bigger staffs, and extended timelines. But according to a thought-provoking new book, this can prevent us from achieving our goals. If we want to make better products, devise better services, do our jobs more efficiently, and run a better workplace, we don’t need more of anything. In fact, pursuing more can actually stall our progress. Instead, we need to unlock creative solutions from the resources we already have.
In his counterintuitive and thought provoking new book STRETCH: Unlock the Power of Less—and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined (HarperBusiness; on sale February 7, 2017; hardcover), Rice University professor Scott Sonenshein uses the latest social science findings, his own research, and dozens of provocative stories from business and culture to show us how to reach our goals and build organizations through the science of resourcefulness—a distinct skill set and approach that lets people accomplish more without having more.
Illustrated with colorful stories from businesses both well-known and little-known—Yuengling Beer, Major League Baseball, Fastenal, Netflix, and NASA, to name a few—Sonenshein demonstrates how stretchers’ ability to deploy resources beyond convention consistently helps them devise products, processes, services and work cultures that are unique and game-changing. He shows how stretching is superior to chasing, explains the four steps anyone can use to improve their ability to stretch, and describes instances when stretching can go wrong.