As I approached the end of the process of writing The Management Shift, and started getting fantastic endorsements and advice that the book has the potential to be a bestseller, I realised that special attention needed to be applied to the book cover.
I spent a few weeks carrying out research on visual imagery, working with my advisers and branding designers. There is a rich store of knowledge on the symbolism and meaning of colours and images, and we researched different graphical options. After considering several, my advisers and I chose the final version of the cover that we felt would work perfectly in terms of representing the book content and appealing to the target audience. Also, it is aligned with the brand developed for The Management Shift book/business website.
My choices of colour have been based on some fascinating research into organisational evolution, and summarised in Integral Theory and Spiral Dynamics Theory. This thinking has resulted in a colour code for phases of development, from infra-red to shades of green, as this article describes. The colour teal used in the background represents the highest developmental level for organizations. This colour is highly appropriate as The Management Shift is about shifting the developmental level for individuals and organisations, and moving towards highest levels.
Teal represents communication, stability, growth, clear thinking and decision-making, as well as development of organisational and management skills. It also represents caring attributes, confidence and a heightened level of creativity, in keeping with the higher levels of leadership that The Management Shift describes. The green/lime details complement teal perfectly. They represent growth, wealth and prosperity. The font chosen is clear, modern and corporate, and it aligned with the target audience.
Overall, the graphics on the cover represent growth, transformation and success.
The green butterfly illustrates transformation. Butterflies are the only beings that completely change their DNA during the process of metamorphosis from cocoon to a butterfly, just as an organization can be transformed from being stunted to creative through inspirational leadership. A butterfly is also at the centre of a familiar metaphor describing chaos and complexity theory: the butterfly effect is a phenomenon in which small changes can trigger successively larger consequences: the flapping of a butterfly wings causing a tornado in another part of the world.
The origami theme used in the graphical design introduces an Eastern theme, to illustrate the blend of Eastern and Western philosophies which are incorporated in my work. I have sought to integrate the holistic approach of Eastern cultures, with the more individualistic Western cultures.
Finally, the three white origami ribbons represent ascension and growth, and most importantly they represent the wealth, health and happiness that this book aims to bring its readers!