Success. Innovation. Creativity. Growth. We all want these things at work – but the one thing they have in common is that they involve failure. A fear of failure, or the inability to bounce back and learn from failure, is one of the biggest things that can hold us back in our professional development. So how do we learn how to fail well and develop our resilience? Wherever we work, and whatever role we deliver, we all have the power to change our thinking and our response to failure. Bounce Back is here to help.
Written by Business Psychologist Dr Susan Kahn, this book will show you how to embrace failure. Failing fast, failing well and learning how to be agile and resilient at work is a vital part of being a successful and innovative leader, approaching opportunities with excitement and creativity and driving forward your personal and professional growth. Packed with practical exercises, inspirational case studies and a useful resilience self-assessment guide, Bounce Back will help you invest in your resilience in a deliberate way and empower you to face risk head-on. From learning how to respond well to critical feedback, to understanding cultural attitudes to failure around the world, it will help you become a stronger, more resilient you.
Such is the international popularity of Bounce Back, it was recently translated into Vietnamese.
FINALIST: American Book Fest Best Book Award 2020 - Business: Careers
HOW TO FAIL FAST AND BE RESILIENT AT WORK
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"What a brilliant subject for a book, courageously chosen and boldly tackled. We all fail. What matters is what we do next, how we cope with it. I will still fail, but after reading Susan's Kahn's first-rate book I know I can bounce back. And if I can cope more confidently with failure, I'm more likely to succeed."
Daniel Finkelstein OBE, The Times
“This book will have a profound impact on those who read it. Not just of coping, but of flourishing. Not just of managing risks, but of unbound creativity.”
Nicola Mendelsohn CBE, VP EMEA, Facebook
How to fail fast and be resilient at work should be a staple on any entrepreneur's bookshelf. Susan Kahn's book is full of practical advice and tools for anyone trying to understand themselves deeper, become a better leader and co-worker, and live a balanced life. Not a book to simply be read, but a manual that also gives its reader space for introspection and questioning.
Courtney Carlsson, Co-Founder and CEO of Paradym
This wonderful book by Dr Susan Kahn focuses on what many believe to be the key to success at work - our psychological resilience and our ability to thrive - rather than crumble - in a changing environment.
Kate Davies, CEO, Notting Hill Genesis
In Bounce Back, Susan Kahn provides a comprehensive exploration of our resilience both at work and in our personal lives. Susan skillfully weaves insights from neuroscience, psychoanalysis and positive psychology to create a practical and essential guide to building more resilient behaviours. The book also explores issues of human purpose with the help of Aristotle, Frankl and the Japanese idea of Ikigai, as well as key concepts in leadership (and followership!) which explore with kindness and compassion the difficulties that we face leading in the modern world of work. Each chapter finishes with some helpful and readily applicable exercises which can be put into practice straight away by the reader. In short, a thoroughly enjoyable, well researched and hugely practical book which is essential reading in these uncertain times.
Raul Aparici, Coach, Consultant Facilitator and Lead Faculty at The School of Life
Often books like this fall between two types. They are either too to complex and psychological, or too quick fix and simplistic. Dr Susan Kahn has squared that circle by producing a book which mixes real depth and richness with accessible practical advice. There's no better book on resilience that you could read.
Derek Draper, CEO of CDP Leadership Consultants and author of Create Space
DEATH AND THE CITY
ON LOSS, MOURNING AND MELANCHOLIA AT WORK
Working life is vulnerable.
Technology, the economy and uncertain political times mean that change, disruption and loss are common features of our working lives. Organisational collapse is part of our vernacular: Enron, Woolworths, Lehman’s, Bank of America, Rover, BOAC, Northern Rock – these failures are part of our cultural experience of work. And it is not just the headline closures that impact us – mergers, downsizing, high street closures and shifts in working patterns mean that our working lives are disrupted and we face the inevitability of endings at work. Such vulnerability at work creates leadership challenges for decision making, operations, communication and morale as well as the loss and suffering of individuals involved.
Death & the City offers a psychoanalytic perspective of death in organisations. It brings fresh insight into Freud’s work on death and applies this thinking to understand contemporary organisational closure and collapse. The book provides an in-depth portrait of a failing bank and transports the concepts of mourning and melancholia and of the death drive into the workplace and bring this important, but under explored, stream of psychoanalytic thought to the fore as a means of interrogating and further understanding organizational life.
This work is useful and applicable to thos experiencing and having to deal with organisational death, such as CEOs, change leaders and HR professionals. Professionals working inside an organisation to help smooth the closure process would be strengthened by an understanding of the machinations of loss below the surface. Consultants brought in from the outside to plan and support closure could use these findings to open discussion and structure and facilitate closure.
Change is often embraced as certain and positive, it is assumed to be a good thing, if things were not to change for the better then there would be no reason for change. This positive approach to change conceals the pain and vulnerability evoked by change and loss. This pain and suffering is often overlooked in the march forward towards reinvention. The positive attitude evinced by the change culture is actually a denial of the loss that change creates. This is an important topic of discussion at a time when organisational endings are part of so many people’s work life experience. Yet despite endings being so commonplace they are very easy to overlook.
"Presenting oneself as “embracing change” has become something of a given for the employee in today’s fast-evolving professional and corporate environment, where flexibility and adaptability are understandably celebrated as highly valued attributes. Often less appreciated, however, is the potential psychological impact on those navigating change and coping with the loss of the familiar. By reference to the world of psychoanalysis, Susan Kahn shines a light, at times moving and compassionate, on the dynamics of an organisation in its death throes. And whilst this is of course a case study of an extreme and deeply negative corporate demise, its underlying themes and messages will be of interest to anyone seeking to understand the nature of change management and its implications."
Douglas Krikler, Group Development Director at Investec
‘Death and the City addresses the key present-day taboo that stifles all potential work on the societal and financial quagmire we are all stuck in. Based on thoughtful observation, it follows in the footsteps of a group of anthropologists/psychoanalysts to give us a comprehensive picture from a socio-anthropological perspective. It is generally accepted that you can’t address an issue unless you acknowledge its presence. Kahn exposes the dilemma in a new and innovative way, and thus makes a commendable contribution to addressing society’s current woes.’
Anton Obholzer, Emeritus Director, Tavistock Centre
‘This is a well-researched volume that provides a timely, thorough, and valuable exposure of the many facets of the death of an organisation. The strength of this volume is the application of analysis and theory to an actual organisation death over an extended period. The organisational observation research employed by the author provides us with a unique, first-hand, account of an organisation going through the process of dying. It is a rich and fascinating source of learning that will be of considerable interest to those employed in the financial services sector; to students and practitioners of organisation consulting; and to leaders and managers of organisations and institutions.’
Lionel Stapley, PhD, Professor of Organisation Coaching at Birkbeck, University of London, and author of Individuals, Groups, and Organisations Beneath the Surface
“It is generally accepted that you can’t address an issue unless you acknowledge its presence. Kahn exposes the dilemma in a new and innovate way and thus makes a commendable contribution to addressing society’s current woes.”
Emeritus Director, Tavistock Centre
‘An innovative weave of psychoanalytic theory and detailed observation, Death and the City presents a fascinating portrait of a workforce caught in the experience of institutional crisis and failure, at once submitting to and resisting the snares of the death drive.’
Josh Cohen, psychoanalyst (BPAS) and Professor of Literary Theory, Goldsmiths, University of London
‘Sex and death are two sides of the same coin. While one is repressed, the other flourishes. Freud’s major contribution was to make the moribund Victorian bourgeoisie see that sex needed to be talked about. In a welcome return to Freud, Kahn argues that in today’s permissive society, death and our reactions to it are strongly avoided – in particular when the notions of loss are not just about individuals, but also about groups, organisations and institutions. Acutely observed, Kahn offers her reader a ringside seat and chronicles the demise of a financial institution during the 2007 financial crisis and beyond. This book makes an important contribution to our understanding of the struggling human subject at work.’
Dr Andreas Liefooghe, Birkbeck, University of London
“A rich and fascinating source of learning that will be of considerable interest to those employed in the financial sector, to students and practitioners of organisation consulting; and to leaders and managers of organisations and institutions.”
Professor of Organisation Coaching