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Book Club

The Net and the Butterfly:

The Art and Practice of Breakthrough Thinking

Authors: Olivia Fox Carbane and Judah Pollack



According to the authors, the creative mode in your brain is like a butterfly: beautiful and erratic, hard to catch and highly valued as a result. If you want to capture it, you need a net. To succeed, you need both modes to work together – your inner butterfly to be active and free, but your inner net to be ready to spring at the right time and create that “aha!” moment.

A major topic in recent times has been how automation and RPA will change the face of the outsourcing profession. Outsourcing service providers need to addresses these technology changes or risk extinction. This book deals with how a company (a conglomeration of individuals) can create a mindset of innovation. A few years back, businesses were reading Blue Ocean, which dealt with how companies need to rethink their strategy and business proposition. This book promotes the idea that it is the individual mindset that will allow companies to “rethink.”



“Brilliantly challenging! Cabane and Pollack counter the familiar excuse that true innovation is only for the gifted genius or quirky cousin by linking how the mind functions with some eminently practical things any of us can do to stimulate innovation. Thoughtful, erudite, and, for many of us, the nudge we need.” – General Stanley McChrystal, retired U.S. Army, author of Team of Teams

“New technology and forces of change require companies to think beyond what has made them successful to date. Change doesn’t just come because it is so dictated by the management or recommended by a consultant. Change happens when people in an organization begin to think differently. I am familiar with a leading BPO company that has made innovation part of their normal work effort for all of their 4,000 employees who implement innovative ideas regularly. No wonder they are extremely successful.”
– Jag Dalal, COP, Chief Advisor, Thought Leadership IAOP

“Highly recommended. If you want to generate big ideas, read this book. It is a game changer.”

– Daniel L. Shapiro, Founding director of Harvard International Negotiation Program


“This book teaches you how to coax breathtaking breakthroughs and ‘Eureka’ epiphanies from the recess of your mind.” – Adam Cheyer, inventor of Apple’s Siri

Book Topics:

The first part of the book called “The Butterflies” has chapters that show how to innovate and think beyond what you are capable of at that moment. The second part called “The Blockers” includes chapters that deal with negative forces that preclude you from innovating and thinking differently. The Net and the Butterfly also has a well-detailed bibliography and references.

Available formats: Print and digital versions.


Tell us what you think: PULSE wants to hear what you think of this book. Share your review with us at pulse@iaop.org

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