Author’s Spotlight: ‘Unsquaring the Wheel’

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Unsquaring the Wheel: Written by Chris Bondy, College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, with Wayne Peterson and Joe Webb

Little did Chris Bondy know that when he was coaching a Rochester-area travel hockey team awhile back, his approach to assessing the talents of his players on ice would form the idea for a business tool and upcoming book.

“I used an assessment process to evaluate the progress of each player and I felt that the approach could be applied to evaluating businesses as well,” said Bondy, the Frank E. Gannett Distinguished Professor in the School of Media Sciences at the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

The practical tool is the basis for Unsquaring the Wheel, a comprehensive business transformation book and evaluation system that Bondy designed with highly respected consultants Joe Webb and Wayne Peterson to help the graphic communications industry migrate from print-centric enterprises to integrated cross-media service businesses that merge Web, mobile, print and social media.

According to Bondy, the program includes nine “critical points of transformation” that when laid out like the spokes of a wheel form a series of “vectors” that are used to assess a firm’s transformational maturity.

The “Unsquaring the Wheel— Business Transformation Assessment” (or BTA) is an interactive, Web-based survey and report reflecting the current state of the company. Businesses that are fully transformed produce a nine-vector radar chart resembling a mostly round wheel. Invariably, however, Bondy said most companies discover that there are areas needing development and thus form an unbalanced wheel.

“The book’s premise and title refer to where you are in the transformational effort and it enables you to gain insights into what needs to change and how,” he said.

While it primarily targets the graphics communications industry, the book has applications to all businesses, he said.

RIT Press will serve as the self-published book’s distributor. Bondy is currently planning a full-day seminar and launch at the massive GraphExpo trade show in Chicago in September.

“Graphic-communication service providers need a ‘field guide’ to help navigate these transformation efforts,” Bondy said. “There’s no better venue than GraphExpo to get it started.”