Summary of Detonate

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Deloitte principals Geoff Tuff and Steven Goldbach argue for blowing up one-size-fits-all strategies based on conventional wisdom and replacing them with unorthodox practices. In this short yet meaningful read, they invite you to adopt four business process principles: Try to understand human behavior better, think like a first-timer, welcome impermanence and pursue the smallest workable strategies you can. The authors’ message of change offers concrete, practical examples.

About the Authors

Geoff Tuff and Steven Goldbach are principals at Deloitte and leaders in their respective fields of innovation, design and strategy. They help internal teams and clients transform their organizations by adopting unorthodox practices in the face of uncertainty.



Adopt a “Detonate mind-set” by using four principles that lead toward transformation: understand behavior, think like a first-timer, welcome impermanence and pursue the smallest workable strategies.

Many core business processes draw from conventional wisdom or best practices. As a result, few large organizations nourish cultures of innovation. Instead, embrace four principles that lead to real change:

  1. Seek a richer understanding of human behavior – You could have a great strategy, but not succeed. To develop your business, understand how your customers behave and what drives your employees’ behavior. 
  2. Adopt a “beginner’s mind – A new hire is faster to spot excess “orthodoxy.” Make it everyone’s mission to question the status quo and challenge how you’ve always done things.
  3. “Embrace impermanence – Traditional organizations believe in permanence. Your organization believes it will never go out of business, but that assumption is no longer viable. Whatever structures, processes or systems...

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