Identity Is Destiny
Leadership and the Roots of Value Creation
By Laurence Ackerman
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Final Release Date: March 2000
Pages: 220

In this time when "change is everything," leaders and people at all levels of organizations need guideposts to live, work and grow by - unshakable principles that can be relied upon implicitly, irrespective of how much technology and globalization drive people to change. Today, organizations and individuals alike need a compass with which to set a course that is true and that they can believe in no matter what.
In this groundbreaking book, Laurence Ackerman reveals that identity - the unique characteristics that define who we are-is such a compass. Surprisingly, Identity Is Destiny shows that organizations who are best able to adapt to change are those whose leaders understand and "invest in"-rather than change-their companies' unique identities. It is when leaders align strategic development and day-to-day operations with their company's unique, value-creating capacities that identity truly becomes destiny.
The author illustrates how identity gives rise to culture, that identity precedes strategy, and that, most important, companies like individuals, can never be other than who they are.
Ackerman describes three features that mark organizations who are led according to their true identities: grand efficiency - having all parts of the enterprise working in sync; integrity - in the sense of unity, or "wholeness;" and endurance-the possibility of the company living in perpetuity. The author goes on to provide a comprehensive blueprint for "identity-based management"-everyday decision-making and action-that reveals a path to authentic leadership.
When it is clear who a company is, Ackerman explains, everything else follows naturally: making acquisitions that fulfill their promise; hiring and retaining people who "fit in;" developing marketing and product strategies that make sense for customers and the company alike; establishing partnerships that work.

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