Friday, September 27, 2019

Book Review: 'Interconnectivity, Flow, and Balance: A Values-Based Framework for Reinventing Leadership in Uncertain Times' by Yvette Bethel

Interconnectivity, Flow, and Balance by Yvette Bethel
‘Everything in business is connected: people, policies, and strategies.'

Author Yvette Bethel is a consultant, author, speaker, trainer, executive coach, and advanced emotional intelligence practitioner. She is a Fulbright Scholar who put her acquired skills to good use with more than twenty years’ experience in a Fortune 500 company prior to founding her consulting firm, Organizational Soul, in 2006. Her goal in writing this book - to help leaders who desire a cutting-edge roadmap that can help them navigate cultural transformation and organizational strengthening. This system is based on a foundation of integrity and trust and is the impetus for the movement to transform conventional practices into redefining ones.

In a well-written Introduction Yvette states, ‘One of the overarching goals of this book is to stretch your thinking and invite you to perceive your organization through new eyes. New perspectives bring fresh insights you can use to resolve mundane, as well as dramatic, unconventional challenges. This book introduces a framework that functions like the operating system of a computer. The operating system is the most important software on your computer. It connects and communicates with hardware and other software, and while it operates quietly in the background, it makes your experience seamless. Once you know the ground rules, the operations they facilitate become routine. When your operating system malfunctions, you may experience interruptions, delays, or worse—a crash. Similarly, the Interconnectivity, Flow, and Balance Model (IFB) is an operating system that functions in the background of your organization. Like computer operating systems, IFB is ever present, not always perceived, and prolific. It arranges your organization’s internal ecosystem around inherent rules of behavioral and other systems that guide daily activities, meaningful change, and innovation. When IFB malfunctions, the organization can still operate but there can be disruptions, unintended results, or delays. The IFB Model is an evolving, multipurpose tool that can stimulate the growth of your organization and give it the flexibility it needs to succeed in increasingly uncertain times. It is a model that takes the whole organization into consideration, balancing the development of leaders and teams with strategic needs. The model better equips leaders to enhance collaboration, improve internal communication, strengthen performance, and inspire innovation. Another invaluable use of the IFB Model is to improve engagement…. Engagement is linked to trust, and together they create a powerful driver of performance. The IFB Model is values based, centered on trust.’

One of the many strong points of this supportive book is the manner in which Yvette presents her opinions and studies. The gradual manner in which she unfolds the IFB model gives the reader the sense of discussing relationships rather than businesses, and that is a major aspect of what she is encouraging – evaluating relationships, trust, integrity, self-mastery and emotional intelligence
leads to the same sort of flow and balance that occurs in one on one binding relationships.

As she states following her user friendly and accessible information sharing, ‘My vision of IFB extends beyond organizations. My dream is for the model to be used to socially reengineer towns, cities, countries, in addition to organizations of all kinds. As a discipline, social engineering involves influencing attitudes and social behaviors on a large scale. Over time, I’d like the IFB Model to be used to help governments eradicate corruption and build cultures based on integrity, transparency, and collaboration. In time, I also envision the IFB Model being used to help address complex social issues such as poverty; it can also be useful for redesigning failing industries and making positive changes in how political systems work. Once the versatility of the model is understood, there are no limits to its applications. In the words of Walt Disney, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” I invite you to create new paths using IFB!'

This is a very valuable book on many levels and is highly recommended for all readers. 

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.