RETHINK by Ric Merrifield

I had the great pleasure of reading “RETHINK” by Ric Merrifield. It is a business manifesto to cost cutting and innovation. Is not what we need especially in this era of shrinking economy and fast change? I find the approach of the author simple & easy to understand. He refers to the fundamental questionings: the WHATS & the HOWS. In a nutshell, he suggests focusing on the  ‘Whats’ to be out of the trap of the ‘Hows’.

This precisely fits in with the ongoing discussions I was having with Olivier the last week. The software engineering part of his business concerns more the HOWs, he has to look into more of the WHATs. Easier said than done!

In Rethink, consultant and business architect Ric Merrifield challenges business

leaders to open their eyes and view the operation of their companies in a whole

new way, free from the “how” trap of concentrating on how things are accomplished.

Delving deep into every aspect of business activities, Merrifield shows

readers how to escape this trap by looking past the “how” toward the “what.” He

also illustrates how successfully rethinking business goals and the methods used to

reach them can lead to revolutionary new ways to cut costs and optimize the corporate


Never has there been a more important time for company leaders to re-evaluate

and reorganize their operations to maximize efficiency and productivity.

Merrifield explains how successful changes to a company’s business processes can

only come from learning to predict potential behaviors, identify and categorize the

important “whats” by value.

Merrifield also warns that before making any modifications, even to a seemingly

low-value process, each factor must be carefully examined to find its connection

to high-value “whats.” These connections are often overlooked because they

can be hidden in personal, emotional or technological relationships and, if severed,

can bring disaster.

By using the tools of analysis illustrated by Merrifield, businesses will be able

to anticipate the unexpected discoveries that will result from rethinking and will

be able to rethink, find innovative new ways to achieve their “whats,” best their

competition and increase profitability.

I enjoyed the analysis of Ric’s account of ING direct USA strategy to rethink on retail banking.


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