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The Challenge Culture

Why the Most Successful Organizations Run on Pushback

By Nigel Travis
Narrated by Graeme Malcolm / 8 hours 39 minutes
Bookseller Recommendation

The Challenge Culture

“Nigel Travis tells and excellent story *and* delivers actionable advice for business owners and managers. It's difficult to manage both in the same book and I was mightily impressed. A combination of autobiography and a step-by-step guide to creating a "challenge culture" in one's business, I found much inspiration and practical advice here. Travis uses examples from his past (Papa John's and Blockbuster) both good and bad to illustrate how he came to see that the best way to run a company is to trust everyone in the company, from the lowest paid to the highest, to come up with great ideas and to give them a space to do it. I learned a lot from this book and am finding it very useful even in my tiny company and in my life in general. It is also a great read because Travis has read so many business and psychology books (I have read many of the same as he) that he has distilled the best points of many into this book so you don't have to read all the rest of them! I listened to this book on audio. He reads the introduction. He is English and it's good to hear his voice and his passion. The book itself is read by Graeme Malcolm, an exceptional narrator, also English. He really captures the compassion, creativity, and zeal expressed by Travis in the text. Highly recommended!”

Fountain Bookstore image Kelly, Fountain Bookstore

The executive chairman and former CEO of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins reflects on the unique, results-oriented discipline he's developed over decades of leadership, which provides a blueprint for any organization to achieve prosperity.

We live in an era in which successful organizations can fail in a flash. But they can cope with change and thrive by creating a culture that supports positive pushback: questioning everything without disrespecting anyone.

Nigel Travis has forty years of experience as a leader in large and successful organizations, as well as those facing existential crisis-such as Blockbuster as it dawdled in the face of the Netflix challenge. In his ten years as CEO and chairman of Dunkin' Brands, Travis fine-tuned his ideas about the challenge culture and perfected the practices required to build it. He argues that the best way for organizations to succeed in today's environment is to embrace challenge and encourage pushback. Everyone-from the new recruit to the senior leader-must be given the freedom to speak up and question the status quo, must learn how to talk in a civil way about difficult issues, and should be encouraged to debate strategies and tactics-although always in the spirit of shared purpose. How else will new ideas emerge? How else can organizations steadily improve?

Through colorful storytelling, with many examples from his own career-including his leadership in turning around the fear-ridden culture of the London-based Leyton Orient Football Club, of which he is part owner-Travis shows how to establish a culture that welcomes challenge, achieves exceptional results, and ensures a prosperous future.

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