Beyond Measure Book Summary By Margaret Heffernan

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"Beyond Measure" (2015) reveals how to take a struggling company and turn it into an innovative powerhouse.

It examines the many small systemic changes we can make to empower people, helping them speak up more frequently and work together in order to achieve success.

It explains why companies should stop being controlled by the workload of one single CEO and instead enable ideas to develop freely.

Learn what steps you can take to enable your company to reach its potential.

Beyond Measure

Book Name: Beyond Measure (The Big Impact of Small Changes)

Author(s): Margaret Heffernan

Rating: 4.5/5

Reading Time: 11 Minutes

Categories: Career & Success

Author Bio

Margaret Heffernan is an expert in the corporate world, being a highly educated and successful writer and former CEO.

She holds a Cambridge degree, coming from a multi-cultural background and has put her talent to use by becoming the chief executive of InfoMation, ZineZone, and iCAST.

She also has the reputation of being a prize-winning author with her books A Bigger Prize and Willful Blindness having earned international recognition.

No doubt, Margaret Heffernan married together years of experience with impressive academic knowledge to write Beyond Measure, which can be seen in its comprehensive observation on modern business.

How Businesses Can Achieve Success Through Interpersonal Relationships


Beyond Measure, a book by Vicki Culpin and Carolyn Dalton, explores how businesses can achieve amazing results by embracing the interpersonal relationships side of their environment.

Intangible things like trust and shared vision can be powerful drivers in creating spectacular successes.

Companies must focus on the soft, human sides of their business if they want to get great outcomes.

The importance of social capital is emphasized throughout the book as well.

Social capital is a term that describes what is created when people come together to build strong relationships around either personal or professional goals.

It also shows how effective collaboration requires much more than an individual’s effort – it needs motivation from all involved.

Additionally, Beyond Measure highlights why working more hours does not necessarily lead to better productivity and it emphasizes that some of the best solutions might come from those who are outside of the company mindset and culture but still understand the objectives from an outsider’s point-of-view.

Learning How To Effectively Have Constructive Conflict At Work Takes Time And Practice

Just like any other skill, creative conflict within companies can be learned and perfected through practice.

Brooke Deterline, a constructive conflict specialist, encourages her clients to recognize this and to practice their skill whenever possible.

This ensures that when it comes time for those heated debates and difficult negotiations at the office, everyone is prepared.

Deterline even coached one of her clients, Luke, on how to prepare for a negotiation with his boss.

The first step was simulating how the situation might play out; anticipating every move made by Luke’s boss so he could have appropriate counter-reactions ready.

Next was gaining support from colleagues in the company who could back up his position in the negotiation.

With this kind of preparation and supportive structure in place, Luke was able to engage with his boss productively and get what he wanted.

Creative conflict is an essential skill for anyone in business today, and it takes time and practice to get it right.

It’s also important to find ways of gathering support within your organization so you’re better equipped to handle intense situations.

How Building Social Capital Can Unlock Creative Conflict And Lead To Prosperity

If you want to be successful in collaborative and group efforts, one of the most important factors is having a strong social capital.

In the book “Beyond Measure”, the author explains that social capital is essential for constructive conflict and it can be built up through small actions.

For example, anthropologists have studied ancient tribes where members rely on each other for support and help.

Today, companies who successfully establish strong social capital thrive and succeed as a result of trusting relationships between coworkers.

Further, you build social capital when engaging in creative conflict which strengthens bonds between employees by allowing them to bond over their differences.

This further enables trust which builds more confidence so people are willing to take part in future conflicts.

Another way companies can build up their social capital is by taking small steps like having each department make a short film highlighting the work they do, or any other kind of activity that brings the whole team together.

Even though it might not seem like much, simply allowing everyone to work together towards common goals helps foster connections and creates an atmosphere of positivity.

At the end of the day, if you want your company or business to progress and grow, the building of a strong social capital will enable you to achieve this goal with ease.

The Ill Effects Of Working Too Much: Why Reducing Working Hours May Be More Productive

More Productive

It’s no secret that working too much can negatively affect your productivity, cognitive ability and overall health.

Studies show that people who work longer than 40 hours a week are less productive due to exhaustion and more prone to making mistakes.

This results in a less efficient company.

Moreover, overworking hovers hand-in-hand with tunnel vision: once you’re tired, it’s hard to think critically or objectively, leading to stubborn decision-making and an inability to adapt to changing circumstances or even recognize existing errors.

And when you work too many hours, the quality of your work suffers – not only does this have serious repercussions on business efficiency, but it also has grave effects on your mental and physical wellbeing.

Research by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health showed that working 11 hours a day doubles one’s risk of depression!

Additionally, overworked employees tend to experience slower reaction times and even lose their language and problem-solving skills at a younger age.

The takeaway is clear: while companies may view long working hours as an effective way of getting the job done quickly and efficiently, there’s just not enough evidence out there to support this belief.

The truth of the matter is that working too many hours leads to decreased productivity, impaired cognitive ability, and poor health outcomes – which should definitely be taken into account when setting up an ideal working environment for employees.

The Power Of Thinking Outside The Box: How Scientists And Artists Can Make Breakthroughs Together And How Companies Benefit From Teamwork

It’s no surprise that companies are struggling to come up with new and creative ideas.

Many times, it can take an outsider with a different perspective to spark a revolutionary idea.

We see this often in the corporate world, where firms looking for innovation turn to those outside of their organization and open up their perspectives to the world.

Matthias Essenpreis did just this when he encountered a roadblock with his team at Roche Pharmaceuticals.

He enabled them to ask more questions by introducing an artist who approached problem-solving differently than the logical way of his scientists.

This collaboration allowed them to form innovative diabetes packs containing a device that measured blood sugar levels simultaneously with insulin administration.

Similarly, ARM was able to grown from a small business of 12 employees into one collaborating with thousands due to their openness in connecting with the outside world.

Rather than struggling alone, they found success by becoming part of other teams.

Flat Hierarchies Are The Key To Achieving Creative Collaboration

Creative Collaboration

It has been proven that organizations that promote collaboration between all employees have more innovative ideas and tend to be more successful than those structured with a vertical hierarchy with multiple levels of managers.

That is why many organizations have now adopted a system of flat hierarchies which eliminates all extra levels of middle management and gives every employee an equal opportunity to contribute creative thoughts and ideas.

One example of this is South Africa’s FirstRand Bank, which introduced a new flat hierarchy system led by CEO Paul Harris.

Not only is this structure much more efficient than the traditional vertical hierarchical model, but research shows it also helps to prevent bad leadership from occurring.

When one individual has too much control, it can lead to disastrous outcomes since such powerful individuals tend to become less receptive to the opinions and suggestions of their team members.

At FirstRand Bank implementing a flat hierarchy system has enabled initiatives such as introducing an electronic payment method for customers who could use their cell phones for money transfers – something that would not have been possible in a traditional hierarchical setting.

Wrap Up

The Beyond Measure Book has a simple, but important message – great success comes from fostering creativity, innovation and open communication.

In order to achieve success and foster a positive work environment small but important changes need to be made such as cutting down on work hours, flattening hierarchies, and encouraging employees to voice their opinions.

The book encourages readers to lead from where they are regardless of whether they are CEOs or entry-level employees by looking out for opportunities.

Practicing voicing their opinion is also important in leading the company in the right direction as it may result in some annoyance and mistakes at first, but ultimately be beneficial in the long-run.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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