Interview and Book Review – Ric Merrifield, Author of “Rethink”

I had the opportunity to interview Ric Merrifield on camera about his new book “Rethink” and here are the questions I asked him:

  1. What inspired you to write Rethink?
  2. What is the key insight you want to share with this book?
  3. What is the most common mistakes people are making in cost cutting mode right now in this recession?
  4. What is the most common barrier to innovation that you encounter in your work?
  5. In your opinion, what recent innovation (or area of innovation) has the most intriguing potential?

“Rethink” arrived in my mailbox a couple weeks ago and after completing it, overall, I would give it a thumbs up.

For me, the second half of the book was the most interesting part. The case studies were good, and I felt they brought the book’s thesis to life. While I found myself thinking about core competencies and value curves when I was reading the book, I could also see how creating ‘what’ heat maps would integrate quite nicely with other business frameworks like these. They all fit together.

Looking back at my experience of reading the book, my favorite chapter was the ‘Key Concepts’ chapter. Personally I feel that all too often, the authors of business books spend too much effort expanding a single insight to the requisite thickness, only to omit a proper summary or useful cheat sheet that the reader can go back to for easy reference. The ‘Key Concepts’ chapter also gives you a glimpse into the level of detail and complexity that these ‘what’ heat maps actually deliver in practice. I had the opportunity to see one in all of its glory in Ric’s office, but there are supposed to be some examples in color at

So, if your organization is seeking to escape the ‘how trap’ and refocus its energies on identifying the ‘what’ changes that will have the greatest impact, I encourage you to check out “Rethink” by Ric Merrifield.

I would be interested to hear what you think of the interview and of the book. Please post a comment with your thoughts.

Braden Kelley (@innovate on Twitter)

Ric Merrifield




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