From profoundly philosophical to immeasurably practical, the authors offer a solid playbook that businesses can use during times of disruptfion and global economic volatility. This is a must-read primer for businesses, entrepreneurs, students, and philanthropists alike, as well as those with a keen interest in identifying the tectonic shifts of our times. It will help readers understand how to build high-impact organizations that consistently deliver the best results to customers.
– Mukesh Aghi, President and CEO, US-India Strategic Partnership Forum
Congratulations to Nitin Rakesh and Jerry Wind for completing a wonderful book at an absolutely appropriate time. It will guide all decision makers how to think about navigating through the current crisis successfully. This is a playbook that can be applied at all times, including the current crisis.
– Raamdeo Agrawal, Co-Founder and Joint Managing Director, Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd
The COVID-19 crisis this year struck a body blow to many retailers who were forced to close their stores with little warning. It pushed some over the edge. At Williams-Sonoma, we embraced the crisis as a challenge. Our digital-first strategy combined with our omni-channel approach and commitment to sustainability have been a powerful source of differentiation and competitive advantage – and they have worked wonders. We have seen record growth in earnings and e-commerce during the past two quarters. These are the very strategies that Jerry Wind and Nitin Rakesh emphasize in their timely book. All retailers should heed their lessons.
– Laura Alber, President and Chief Executive Officer, Williams-Sonoma
Timely and provocative, Jerry Wind and Nitin Rakesh will challenge you to lean into the crisis and use it to disrupt your business to emerge even stronger. The interdependent chapters are sequenced in a way that offers leaders a roadmap to turn the ideas into real change.
– Paul Bascobert, Investor/advisor, former CEO, Gannett Inc.
In this short and terrific book, the authors make a compelling case that COVID-19 is both a crisis on its own as well as an experiment at scale of the impact of disruption. Companies must evidently fix the now, but the best ones are already looking at the after-COVID world, building new ways to sweat assets, building competencies, and creating new ways to compete – with a 360 degrees renewal. The eight principles form an excellent cookbook to speed up the change and succeed.
– Jacques Bughin, Portulans Institute, P.E. advisor at Fortino, former Senior Partner at McKinsey and Director of McKinsey Global Institute
If you are a decision-maker in an arts education or performing arts institution, Transformation in Times of Crisis provides a timely and powerful approach to confidently adapt to, innovate from, and lead amidst the permanent effects that the pandemic is having on our field. While the book is written for all fields of business, arts organizations in particular are struggling to overcome this once-in-a-lifetime upheaval and have no roadmap to do so. With this book, which I wholeheartedly recommend, Rakesh and Wind detail useful strategies for us to emerge from the crisis with the courage to try new and untested ways to enact our artistic and educational missions.
– Roberto Diaz, President and CEO, Curtis Institute of Music
Rakesh and Wind waste no time combatting the most significant inflection point in our lifetimes. They give you a once-in-an-era chance to make changes you never thought possible, or never even realized you needed to make. They delve into the cut-throat opportunities being presented by this massive shift to a purely digital environment and the mindset business and IT leaders must adopt if they are going to stand a chance of thriving in this environment. Most importantly they focus on the mental shift we have to confront head-on with how we approach our talent, our technology and our careers. A definite must-read for any business leader needing validation and inspiration as an uncertain, but opportunistic, future unravels.
– Phil Fersht, CEO and Founder, HFS Research
We are aware of collateral damage from catastrophes of all kinds, but there is also collateral benefit when societies or businesses adapt to circumstances imposed on them by external forces - natural, political, behavioral or technological. In this book, Wind and Rakesh have created a playbook for just such adaptation, and for conceptualizing your organization in anticipation of external forces to come. It is written with astonishing clarity and argued with rich histories of reinvention. This book is the Mother of all Mothers of Invention.
– Bob Garfield, Co-host, WNYC Studios’ “On the Media”; Host, “The Genius Dialogues” on Audible; Co-founder and president, The Purple Project for Democracy
This book is essential reading in 2020 and beyond. This current crisis has catalyzed and accelerated the digital transformation journeys already underway for businesses and in turn, created tremendous new opportunities for the industry. These opportunities have compelled us to redraft the playbook for the IT industry with talent, trust and innovation as key pillars of success in a hyper-digital, largely contactless world. Technology is a moving goalpost and without digital mastery over technology that has largely become democratized, we will lose our competitive edge to compete on the world stage. The eight principles in this book form a great framework to change our mindset and focus on the right implementation strategy to survive and succeed in the next normal. This is our moment and we cannot afford to lose it. Kudos to Nitin and Jerry for bringing this to us.
– Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM
During my 44 years as Founder, CEO and Chairman of the fastest growing and largest background check company in the world, crises have lived in my blood. There was never a moment in my career that I had not been required to change what we fundamentally did. I prided myself by saying my business card should say “Agent of Change” not CEO. I have a sign on my desk that says “If it ain’t broken, fix it anyway.” For a period of time, one of the job requirements in our firm was to wear sneakers because you could not run fast enough with shoes. We also believed that making mistakes was core to our culture. I even paid people a dollar for each mistake at one point in my career. What Nitin Rakesh and Jerry Wind have written strikes at the core of my beliefs on how to run a business. Having known Mr. Rakesh for almost two decades, I admire his and Prof. Wind’s instincts and abilities to transcend today's issues and historical framework and transform them into the needs of a post-pandemic economy.
– William Greenblatt, Founder, Ex-Chairman and CEO, Sterling Talent Solutions
I believe we should view the global pandemic, social unrest and economic crisis not as problems but as opportunities. These are helping us speed up long overdue changes to test new programs, partnerships, business models and approaches to set the stage for the continued transformation of TIME. For example, we are streamlining our B2B approach, accelerating data collection and recurring revenue streams, and launching fresh services focused on health care and kids. This is consistent with the approach that Rakesh and Wind recommend, which is why I am sure other leaders will find their book as relevant as I did.
– Keith A. Grossman, President, Time Magazine
Companies as well as countries are trying to grapple with the global pandemic. At such a time, Transformation in Times of Crisis is one of the most insightful, timely and relevant books to be written. Its core message – that every crisis presents opportunities disguised as challenges – needs to be heard widely. While the book is not aimed at government officials, it makes a compelling case why public policy must work hand in hand with private enterprise to find innovative solutions to the global crisis.
– Lady Barbara Thomas Judge, Senior Advisor, Athene Capital
This book is the one that needed to be written. Many books cover one or a few of these principles in depth. This book spells out all eight major principles that can help your company navigate through recovery, normalization, and growth. Don’t rely on only a few principles. All eight principles interact and need your full understanding and action.
– Philip Kotler, S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University (emeritus)
Read this necessary book. It is indispensable knowledge for today’s climate and in general for those interested in building sustainable businesses and brands. The pandemic has accelerated an impending change and led to very large and complex problems for many companies that many could not and did not anticipate. Wind and Rakesh, however, have been able to distill the complexity, uncertainty and change, and they provide optimism and wisdom. This book delivers very compelling actions of a new mindset leaders and organizations need to thrive in a world of change. Read the sections on “Challenge your mental models” and “Innovate and then experiment” immediately.
– Laurent Larguinat, Sr. Director, Mars Consumer and Market Insights
During periods of change and disruption, leaders must recognize the importance of transforming while maintaining a long-term perspective. As Rakesh and Wind skillfully illustrate in their topical, timely, well-argued book, companies can only survive and emerge stronger after crises by doing the right thing and serving the interests of all of their stakeholders.
– William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies and Lecturer, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
In a world marked by global uncertainty and incredible dynamism, the authors' prescient eight principles are truly a breath of fresh air, providing a solid framework for businesses new and old to redefine themselves in this era of unprecedented disruption. I cannot recommend it more highly.
– David K.P Li, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bank of East Asia
Leaders do not have the luxury of choosing when a crisis will occur, but their response and actions often have lasting implications. The authors of Transformation in Times of Crisis provide a smart, tangible approach to help companies emerge from crises, not only intact but stronger.
– Manny Maceda, Worldwide Managing Partner, Bain & Co.
This book delivers real-world strategies to play offense and disrupt rather than be disrupted. It’s a primer for navigating the dangers and seizing the opportunities of today’s once-in-alifetime triple whammy of crises.
– David Morey, Chairman, DMG Global and best-selling author of Creating Business Magic and Innovating Innovation
Nitin Rakesh and Jerry Wind are a rare combination of a successful tech CEO and an American business guru. Their complementary skill sets have resulted in a timely book that provides useful insights to millions of businesses struggling to grapple with the post-COVID world.”
– Saurabh Mukherjea, Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Marcellus Investment Managers
In the midst of the worldwide pandemic, leaders of institutions and companies have to make immediate choices. What is still relevant? What is to be discarded? In this timely guide to transformation, Nitin Rakesh and Jerry Wind use their lifetime of executive coaching experience to set forth immediate action steps for all leaders to meet the new needs of the people they serve, whether in private markets or in public and non-profit service. They adapt classic organization change models with the lessons of the post 2000 period to provide an essential manual on how to experiment and succeed in an accelerating world.
– Ralph Muller, CEO (retired) University of Pennsylvania Health System
The COVID crisis has dramatically accelerated the trends of digital disruption that were already underway. Businesses either need to seize the opportunities created by that disruption, or risk being left behind. Rakesh and Wind provide a smart guide to the first option.
– Alan Murray, CEO, Fortune
This book carefully assembles a framework for guiding businesses in thinking through their recovery after the destruction wrought by the pandemic. It is argued with exceptional clarity and dotted with several illuminating examples of success.
– P. Jayendra Nayak, Former Chairman & CEO, Axis Bank, India
In the more than 25 years that I have known Jerry Wind, his ability not only to see the future but to understand clearly what to do about it has not only impressed but inspired me. In this book, Jerry and Nitin have outlined a timely and critical guide for thriving through and beyond the crisis that we all face. The advice and processes laid out in Transformation in Times of Crisis is essential reading for anyone leading an enterprise who is trying to make it to the time when things get back to normal – simply because that normal of years past will never return.
– Ben Nelson, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Minerva Project
One of the clear impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it brought to a standstill many business-related activities: travelling, meetings, working in factories or offices, logistics, etc. We believe that the reaction to this period of stoppage will be an increase in the speed of business as companies try to recover lost ground. The work of Nitin Rakesh and Jerry Wind is the first approach I have seen to create a management structure for this increase of speed in order to facilitate how to control business operations and manage them better. Nitin and Jerry explain very well the fact that the new environment after controlling the pandemic requires a new strategy or at least some changes in strategy. The work of Nitin Rakesh and Jerry Wind can be of extraordinary help for enthusiastic managers who want to transform the Covid-19 pandemic into an opportunity to gain leadership in their sector through a faster speed than their competitors.
– Pedro Nueno, Professor IESE, Honorary President CEIBS
As is stated in Jerry Wind’s and Nitin Rakesh’s new book, “Winston Churchill is believed to have said that one should never let a good crisis go to waste.” In their timely book on managing during a crisis they have compiled what Sir Winston tried to say in one sentence. All organizations must adapt their approach to a crisis in a different manner and if they do not, they might find themselves damaging or destroying themselves. Leaders must become even more active in their style, and they must take charge in a manner that perhaps was not the approach in better times. Often that new style needs to be “do it and do it now.” Even in good times you should sit down and imagine what type of crisis could be cast upon you at some future date and determine what the approach might be if it comes around the corner. Those who deny that strong action must be taken in times of crisis are doomed to even greater difficulties. The “old way” probably won’t work. Jerry and Nitin have encapsulated the problems and how to address them in this excellent “eight principles” book.
– Russ Palmer, Chairman & CEO, The Palmer Group; former Dean, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Wow, we finally have a playbook for the new world. It's wellinformed, surprising, provocative and as current as today's New York Times. I’m really glad I got to read it before everyone else does.
– Chuck Porter, Chairman, Crispin Porter and Bogusky
Rakesh and Wind see the impact of the pandemic: a decade of trends compressed into a single year, delivering high failure rates and unplanned demand. Some leaders will surf the tsunami, others will drown. This book is the surfboard every CEO needs to turn challenges into triumph.
– Donald H. Putnam, Managing Partner, Grail Partners LLC
John D. Rockefeller famously said “I always try to turn every disaster into an opportunity.” Jerry Wind and Nitin Rakesh are providing a handbook for any CEO to make an opportunity of the COVID-19 crisis by transforming their business into a dynamic and successful enterprise. This book draws on the authors’ cumulative years of experience advising and teaching CEOs of companies in consulting assignments and as part of Wharton Executive Education. It offers eight integrated principles which I, as CEO of QS, a leading enterprise in higher education rankings and data analytics, can immediately seize upon and start to implement to transform our organisation. Transformation in Times of Crisis is practical, easy to understand and designed to be implemented in a structured fashion. Of the eight integrated principles, I have long since learned from Jerry to constantly challenge my mental models. I can also say that QS in 2020 is in the process of “speeding up our digital transformation and personalising user experience, reinventing our talent strategy and embracing a multi-stakeholder approach, whilst planning a portfolio of innovation initiatives over multiple time horizons.” But after reading this book, I realise we need to consider “open innovation, deploying idealized design and above all else… to experiment more.” I am excited to see where this journey takes us.
– Nunzio Quacquarelli, CEO, QS Quacquarelli Symonds
To best navigate through a time of crisis and disruption, leaders need a crystal clear and practical roadmap – and we are fortunate that Nitin Rakesh and Jerry Wind have written just such a book. Their eight principles to create opportunities in times of crisis and disruption set the foundation for an actionable strategy, and their implementation framework provides leaders and their institutions with indispensable tools to assure that the strategy becomes reality. All in all, Transformation in Times of Crisis: Eight Principles for Creating Opportunities and Value in the Post Pandemic World is an invaluable and indispensable guide for leaders of organizations of all types in an extraordinary time.
– Glenn W. Reed, ex Managing Director, The Vanguard Group, Inc.
Nitin Rakesh is the Jack Welch of our time. A multi-faceted leader who has that rare ability to distill ideas, concepts and business challenges into their most basic building blocks and then mobilize and motivate teams to execute massive transformational change across organizations. This book is the must-read primer for CEOs, boards, and aspiring leaders to refresh their innovation and agility skills and leverage a design and tech mindset to help them navigate in an ever increasingly changing world.
– Geeta Sankappanavar, Co-Founder, President, Grafton Asset Management, Chair of Board, University of Calgary
In Transformation in Times of Crisis, Nitin Rakesh and Jerry Wind offer important, useful, tested insights that are uniquely timely – and timeless. Crises tend either to unite an organization or to divide it. They challenge the organization to see the need for conservatism, and the opportunity for invention and reinvention, not as opposites but as complements. Through structured frameworks, and thoughtful examples chosen from the current crisis and past crises, the authors do more than illuminate how crises unfold. They challenge organizations to act in accord with a dynamic, complex, yet malleable environment; and to offer the optimism that it is possible to do so effectively.
– David Schmittlein, John C Head III Dean and Professor of Marketing, MIT Sloan School of Management
As a nonprofit museum leader navigating the concurrent disruptions generated by the global pandemic, Transformation in Times of Crisis has challenged and empowered me to boldly reframe the situation at hand. It helped me pivot from triage mode to proactively harnessing this moment to rebuild, reimage, and reinvent our organization at a pace that was unimaginable before the crisis.
– Gary Garrido Schneider, Executive Director, Grounds For Sculpture
This new release may be the best business book of the year. In his characteristically well researched yet plain spoken manner, Jerry Wind and Nitin Rakesh dissect the global pandemic crisis of 2020, and then with conviction, determine that this unprecedented time can lead to unparalleled opportunities for inventive business leaders. After acknowledging the conditions of our vastly altered marketplace, Wind and Rakesh then build a most compelling case for why now is precisely the time to conceive and implement transformational ideas. They buttress strategic principles with a comprehensive support package, including tools to ensure readers can and will implement their ideas. I urge all leaders to buy the book and use it to optimize opportunities in today’s significantly altered marketplace.
– Meg Touborg, Business Development Strategist and Co-Founder, The Leaders of Design Council
Though COVID19 has closed so many doors at so many firms, at the same time it has opened radically new ways of doing business – if rightly appreciated and properly led. In Transformation in Times of Crisis, Nitin Rakesh and Jerry Wind give us eight timely principles and plenty of examples for doing so, moving us beyond the calamity by accelerating, digitizing, personalizing, and reinventing our enterprise now, a ready roadmap for all who would seize it.
– Michael Useem, Professor of Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and author of The Leadership Moment and co-author of Mastering Catastrophic Risk
Jerry Wind and Nitin Rakesh have created an excellent and important book for the times we are living in. The recent crisis has cast us all to the wind, leaving transformation as our only tool to go forward. Yet, until now, leaders have lacked the steps to help us move forward in this new paradigm.
– John Winsor, Founder and CEO, Open Assembly
When the COVD-19 pandemic struck in the spring of 2020, it was more than a healthcare crisis. It also struck a crippling blow at educational institutions – which were forced to shut down almost overnight and send millions of students home. Still, as this book, Transformation in Times of Crisis, shows, catastrophe often is the mother of invention. Universities that use the current crisis as a spur to reinvent their pedagogical models will enhance their digital footprints and emerge stronger after the crisis has passed. That is one of this book’s most important messages – and one of many reasons why it belongs on the bookshelf of every leader in education and other fields.
– Rebecca Winthrop, Co-director – Center for Universal Education, Senior Fellow – Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institution
The need for this book is urgent – Nitin and Jerry’s eight key principles forming a highly adaptive framework underscores the importance of being customer-centric, especially at a time of crisis. With a coordinated response from central banks and economies reopening, recovery for the global economy will depend heavily on consumer spending, specifically on services. The answer to how businesses should monetize these new opportunities in the service of consumers to unleash new areas of growth lies in this seminal book.
– Arshad R. Zakaria, Chief Executive and Founder, New Vernon Capital
The Covid-19 crisis has challenged the resilience of businesses, large and small, in unprecedented ways. Leadership through this and any crisis, since more will surely follow, requires an explicit focus on how to prepare, how to rebound quickly and effectively, and how to transform rather than merely to return to normal. Rakesh and Wind provide a highly compelling framework to guide a leader's actions, not merely to drive his or her business to survive but to thrive in challenging times. It is a must read for anyone concerned about the future resilience of our economy.
– Judith Rodin, President Emerita, University of Pennsylvania; Former President, The Rockefeller Foundation; Author, The Resilience Dividend
In order to succeed during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond, companies will need to shed old ways of thinking and reinvent themselves. At Contigroup Companies (CGC), we have been doing this for more than 200 years, ever since the company was founded in Belgium in 1813. We have long believed in empowering people to build great businesses - which is exactly the approach that Jerry Wind and Nitin Rakesh recommend in their timely book, "Transformation in Times of Crisis." Based on our experience at CGC, we know that this approach works. I am confident that readers of this book will find its lessons equally valuable.
– Paul Fribourg, Chairman and CEO, Continental Grain Company (CGC)