Book Synopsis:\u00a0How Stella Saved the Farm: A Tale About Making Innovation Happen by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble\r\n\u201cHow Stella Saved the Farm\u201d \u2013 is a metaphorical take on how disciplined change management and innovation can enable organizations to move into the next S - Curve. The most engaging element in the book is its \u2018fictional\u2019 Windsor Farm, with not so fictional characters and situations. The farm, which is run by animals, faces the risk of becoming redundant. It must make the decision of whether it should continue the way it has been working (faster, stronger, more efficient) or take the risk of exploring unchartered pastures.\u00a0 The keys themes of the book have been articulated in the diagram below:\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\nInnovation & Change Management:\r\nThe central theme of the book is \u2013 Innovation and Change Management. Dierdre, the CEO of the farm, realizes the need to explore new business avenues for Windsor Farm and thus triggers the innovation journey. Through a series of key obstacles, Dierdre outlines some important lessons:\r\n\r\n \tThe journey of innovation is very different from what one imagines (or plans) it to be. An idea is just the beginning. For an innovation project to be successful, it has to be given disproportionate priority in terms of resources and sponsorship.\r\n \tOne can\u2019t measure the performance of an innovation idea or the innovation leader through conventional parameters. Innovation is a process of \u2018disciplined experimentation\u2019 and these experiments have to be reviewed for effectiveness. The Windsor Farm innovation leader Mav is carefully guided through this process.\r\n \tInnovation is a complex interplay of dynamic organization structures, operations and human emotions. The last is the easiest to be missed and many change management interventions fail because of the same.\r\n\r\n\r\nEnhancing Team Performance:\r\nContrary to the title of the book, Stella is not the only person who saves the farm. In fact, she introduces the idea and what follows is an interplay of team dynamics, conflicts and prioritization.\r\n\r\nThe key learnings are as follows:\r\n\r\n \tHow can we create a Shared Understanding of the destination and the path? Without a proper alignment \u2013 there is a high chance that employees will continue to dedicate their attention to their everyday work.\r\n \tWhat are the key roles and who are best suited to deliver on these? How can we get the right people onboard? It\u2019s important that the Innovation team members are released from their existing responsibilities for complete immersion.\r\n \tWhat are the conflicts that are arising and what is the buzz in the informal organization? How do we manage these conflicts? Are team members getting burnt out? Who are the Influencers? Who are the detractors? How do we address all of them?\r\n \tEvery time that we are at a loss, or need to take an important decision, how do we dig deep into our values and culture to answer difficult questions.\r\n\r\n\r\nTalent Management: \r\nThe book also explores the themes of succession planning, managing GenY Talent and managing specific talent groups.\r\n\r\n \tThe book begins with the need for a change in the top management when Marcus, the CEO, decides to hand over the reins of the company to his daughter Deirdre instead of his long-term number two \u2013 the \u201cBull\u201d. Bull is an epitome of \u2018Stronger, Faster and more Efficient\u2019 \u2013 the mantras that have kept the Windsor Farm profitable for all these years. But are these mantras relevant today?\r\n \tStella and Maisie are the quintessential GenY\u2019s in the Farm \u2013 Unconventional and Determined. Stella goes off backpacking and brings back ideas \u2013 critical to the Farm\u2019s survival. Maisie is a creative and passionate nut. A series of mission critical roles explore the passion and talents of both Stella and Maisie. These are excellent examples of how different talents can together meet organizational goals.