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Sense and Respond

The End of Assembly Line Management We're in the midst of a revolution. Quantum leaps in technology are enabling organizations to observe and measure people's behavior in real time, communicate internally at extraordinary speed, and innovate continuously. These new, software-driven technologies are transforming the way companies interact with their customers, employees, and other stakeholders. This is no mere tech issue. The transformation requires a complete rethinking of the way we organize and manage work. And, as software becomes ever more integrated into every product and service, making this big shift is quickly becoming the key operational challenge for businesses of all kinds. We need a management model that doesn't merely account for, but actually embraces, continuous change. Yet the truth is, most organizations continue to rely on outmoded, industrial-era operational models. They structure their teams, manage their people, and evolve their organizational cultures the way they always have. Now, organizations are emerging, and thriving, based on their capacity to sense and respond instantly to customer and employee behaviors. In Sense and Respond, Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden, leading tech experts and founders of the global Lean UX movement, vividly show how these companies operate, highlighting the new mindset and skills needed to lead and manage them--and to continuously innovate within them. In illuminating and instructive business examples, you'll see organizations with distinctively new operating principles: shifting from managing outputs to what the authors call "outcome-focused management"; forming self-guided teams that can read and react to a fast-changing environment; creating a learning-all-the-time culture that can understand and respond to new customer behaviors and the data they generate; and finally, developing in everyone at the company the new universal skills of customer listening, assessment, and response. This engaging and practical book provides the crucial new operational and management model to help you and your organization win in a world of continuous change.
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About the Author

Jeff Gothelf is a lean-thinking and design evangelist, spreading the gospel of great team collaboration, product innovation, and evidence-based decision making. He is an author, speaker, and thought leader on the future of product development and design, often teaching workshops or giving talks on building cultures that support teamwork and innovation. Earlier in his career, Jeff led the UX design teams at TheLadders and Web Trends. He also worked with and led small teams of software designers at AOL. Find Jeff Gothelf at:,, and, and follow on Twitter @jboogie. Josh Seiden is a designer, consultant, and coach who helps companies create new digital products and services. In his 25-year career he's worked with start-ups, large organizations, and enterprises of all sizes, whether in Silicon Valley or on Wall Street. He is a founder and past President of the Interaction Design Association. Find Josh at:,, and, and follow on Twitter @jseiden.


ADVANCE PRAISE for Sense and Respond: Eric Ries, author, The Lean Startup-- "The authors' ideas--from the continuous two-way conversation we should be having with customers to the concept of 'learning forward' in order to forge ahead despite uncertainty--provide a crucial framework for the modern world of business. With fascinating case studies and practical advice, Sense and Respond shows how to take the structures and methods of software companies and apply them to organizations of all kinds and sizes." Rita Gunther McGrath, Professor of Management, Columbia Business School; author, The End of Competitive Advantage-- "Gothelf and Seiden starkly highlight that our twentieth-century management systems and practices simply cannot function in a world of constant change. In this insightful and practical book, they provide crucial principles and techniques for becoming a 'sense and respond' organization." Noelle Eder, Executive Vice President, Card Customer Experience and Operations, Capital One-- "Sense and Respond offers compelling, real-world examples and practical advice on what I've seen firsthand: how implementing agile practices and fully embracing a test-and-learn approach to innovation can drive results and create new opportunities--regardless of the industry you work in." Alan Cooper, Software Alchemist; coauthor, About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design-- "The significant challenge of the digital age isn't technology or design or agile methods. Rather it is understanding how to integrate these things into commerce. This demands approaches to organization and leadership that are qualitatively different from conventional ones. Gothelf and Seiden lay out a clear-sighted blueprint for success." Greg Petroff, Chief Experience Officer, GE Digital-- "Sense and Respond vividly illustrates a new world, where products get built dramatically differently and faster than in the past. Gothelf and Seiden show how companies that learn to sense, understand, and respond to customers in real time can leverage this new world to deliver breakout products of their own." Nick Rockwell, Chief Technology Officer, New York Times-- "Gothelf and Seiden translate and transport the essence of agile thinking from software development into the heart of the business. Their message is timely, as most companies are missing the boat on what is truly important about agile. Sense and Respond provides exactly the guidance we need to get back on the right path."

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