A Beautiful Constraint

How To Transform Your Limitations Into Advantages, and Why It's Everyone's Business

by Adam Morgan , Mark Barden

Number of pages: 288

Publisher: Wiley

BBB Library: Personal Success

ISBN: 978-1118899014

About the Authors

Adam Morgan : He is an author, award-winning screenwriter, book critic and adjunct writing


Mark Barden : He runs the west coast business for eatbigfish in the US.


Editorial Review

A Beautiful Constraint: How to Transform Your Limitations Into Advantages And Why It's Everyone's Business Now is a book about everyday, practical inventiveness, designed for the constrained times in which we live. It describes how to take the kinds of issues that all of us face today—lack of time, money, resources, attention, know-how—and see in them the opportunity for transformation of oneself and one's organization's fortunes. The ideas in the book are based on the authors' extensive work as business consultants, and are brought to life in 35 personal interviews from such varied sources as Nike, IKEA, Unilever, the U.S. Navy, Formula One racecar engineers, public school teachers in California, and barley farmers in South Africa. Underpinned by scientific research into the psychology of breakthrough, the book is a practical handbook full of tools and tips for how to make more from less. Beautifully designed and accessible, A Beautiful Constraint will appeal beyond its core business audience to anyone who needs to find the opportunity in constraint.

Book Reviews

“Our objective is to think more creatively, more innovatively, then we must think differently about how we think. Most human limitations are self-imposed… Think of this book as a passport to personal growth and professional development. Find a new path, chart a new course, and let your journey of discovery begin!”— Blogging on Business

“There are lots of books which promise quick solutions and can be read in a single flight. This is not one of them. The argument that a business needs not only to profit from scarcity but to manage abundance (and even avoid overabundance) is a profound one. This is a deeper book than the simple message find a constraint and make the most of it would suggest.” — Marketing Society

“The key to a constraint, say the authors, is to "make it beautiful" – to stop seeing it as a punitive restriction and start viewing it as an opportunity. And that’s what this tightly written tome is about: a user’s guide to turning lemons into lemonade.” — PRWeek

“You can read... about how Challengers turn constraints into opportunities in a new book by the founders of challenger brand thinking, Adam Morgan and Mark Barden, ‘A Beautiful Constraint’.” — Fifth Ring

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Wisdom to Share

By making a constraint beautiful, we mean seeing it as an opportunity, not as a punitive restriction, and using it as a stimulus to see a new or better way of achieving our ambition.

Those who refused to scale back ambition in the face of constraint seemed to be the ones most likely to make the constraint beautiful, whereas those who reduced their ambition were more likely to find the constraint constricting.

Resourceful people see that if they lack something and that scarcity is one of their apparent constraints, it is an opportunity to access abundance from elsewhere.

Think of the relationship between abundance and scarcity as an infinity loop. Abundance is not a self-reinforcing virtuous cycle-it leads to new forms of scarcity. And the ability to unlock the possibility in constraints, in turn, opens up new forms of abundance.

The person most affected by the constraint will not always be the person best placed to see the possibility in it.

Whether or not they have the seniority or the title, leaders are those who know how to influence others, to get them to work hard and constructively toward a common goal.

Ten years from now, we would like search Google for a definition of constraint and it include this: a limitation or defining parameter, often the stimulus to find a better way of doing something.

The enormous questions we face as people, whether parents, business leaders, or global citizens, won’t be addressed by changes in the players per se, as much as by changes in how we think and behave.