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A culture of reinvention

A new book offers compelling insight and ideas on how to revamp a company.

 

In order to remain competitive, businesses must constantly adjust, update or reinvent themselves. This may seem obvious, but it isn’t. Only a company willing to constantly question itself can successfully reinvent itself. To this day, there are not as many companies like this as you might think. And while the ability to change is beneficial for all organisations, it may be especially crucial for small and medium enterprises. Hence the need for a book like “Restartup. Le scelte imprenditoriali non più rimandabili” (“Re-start-up: Entrepreneurial choices that we can’t put off any more”) by Andrea Arrigo Panato. The author was able to condense his vast experience as a consultant in the areas of extraordinary management and business restructuring into less than 200 pages.

The book is therefore intended for SMEs, and especially those who sense they’ve reached some sort of make-or-break point. But, as stated in the preface, it’s also for any company hoping to recapture that “start-up way of thinking”, in order to redefine both itself and the sector in which it operates. In fact, it’s a volume that can also be useful for productive organisations interested in highlighting their history and tradition, or even the history and tradition of their owners’ families.

One of Panato’s overarching messages is that, in order to grow, SMEs must get over their tendency to always put off certain big decisions and learn to face those increasingly frequent “moments of discontinuity”, be it strategic (acquisitions, divestitures, adopting new business models) or family-related (generational transitions).

The book is structured in nine sections. After analysing the landscape in which businesses operate, Panato attempts to pinpoint the characteristics that can help a company succeed on the market. This leads straight to the heart of the matter: the cultural challenge of renewing a company. Ultimately, all the other sections build on this one: the need to make decisions, strategic discontinuity, the challenges of innovation, company size and generational transitions. Panato then identifies the “ten characteristics of the dynamic company” and finally lists the tools and strategies that can be used to reconfigure a business.

The work features a series of interviews with prominent figures from both academia and the corporate world, addressing a number of specific topics relating to business and innovation (Marco Cantamessa, Ignazio Rocco di Torrepadula, Paolo Gubitta, Alfonso Fuggetta, Corrado d’Elia, Renato Cifarelli, Alberto Baban, Luca Foresti, Francesco Venier, Alessandro Donadio, Filippo Berto, Stefano Mainetti, Alberto Staccione, Claudio Berretti, Ivan Ortenzi, Marco Berini).

Written in a fluid and easy-to-follow style, the book is readable and, more importantly, worth reading.

Restartup. Le scelte imprenditoriali non più rimandabili

Andrea Arrigo Panato

Egea, 2019