Book Review: How to Hit A Curveball

book review change management Oct 28, 2022
baseball batter hitting ball

Scott Singer's How to Hit A Curveball: Confront and Overcome the Unexpected in Business uses a baseball analogy and a nine-inning framework to discuss how to navigate obstacles in business and in life. He interviews an impressive array of people (Buzz Aldrin, Jerry Levin, Alan Schwartz, Strauss Zelnick, and Michael J. Fox, among others) and has some interesting ideas for handling the unexpected. Especially useful were his suggestions for "out of the batter's box thinking" using creativity tools such as brainstorming, Robert Eberle's SCAMPER approach, Edward de Bonos's concept fan idea, and Michael Morgan's reframing matrix. It's always nice to see the concepts we discuss in organizational development used in the real world.

Although much of the book is written for the individual -- in fact, at many times, it reads more like a self-help book than a business book (not necessarily a criticism) -- it does offer some good advice for creating a curveball-hitting culture within an organization. Singer emphasizes that "curveball hitters are made, not born" and many organization can help their people become more adept at handling unforseen problems and opportunities.

For anyone going through change (especially the unwelcome variety) this book makes for an interesting read.

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