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    1. Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create
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    2. The First 90 Days: Critical Success
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    3. Leading Change
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    4. Does IT Matter? Information Technology
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    5. The Balanced Scorecard: Translating
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    6. The Experience Economy
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    7. The New CIO Leader: Setting the
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    20. The Innovator's Dilemma: When

    1. Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant
    by W. Chan Kim, Renée Mauborgne
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $18.45
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1591396190
    Catlog: Book (2005-01-25)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 35883
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    Book Description

    Winning by Not Competing: A Fresh Approach to Strategy

    Since the dawn of the industrial age, companies have engaged in head-to-head competition in search of sustained, profitable growth. They have fought for competitive advantage, battled over market share, and struggled for differentiation. Yet these hallmarks of competitive strategy are not the way to create profitable growth in the future.

    In a book that challenges everything you thought you knew about the requirements for strategic success, W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne argue that cutthroat competition results in nothing but a bloody red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves spanning more than a hundred years and thirty industries, the authors argue that lasting success comes not from battling competitors, but from creating "blue oceans": untapped new market spaces ripe for growth. Such strategic moves-which the authors call "value innovation"- create powerful leaps in value that often render rivals obsolete for more than a decade.

    Blue Ocean Strategy presents a systematic approach to making the competition irrelevant and outlines principles and tools any company can use to create and capture blue oceans. A landmark work that upends traditional thinking about strategy, this book charts a bold new path to winning the future.

    W. Chan Kim is the Boston Consulting Group Bruce D. Henderson Chair Professor of Strategy and International Management at INSEAD. Renée Mauborgne is the INSEAD Distinguished Fellow and Professor of Strategy and Management.

    ... Read more


    2. The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels
    by Michael Watkins
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
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    Asin: 1591391105
    Catlog: Book (2003-09-18)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 1217
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Whether challenged with taking on a startup, turning a business around, or inheriting a high-performing unit, a new leader's success or failure is determined within the first 90 days on the job.

    In this hands-on guide, Michael Watkins, a noted expert on leadership transitions, offers proven strategies for moving successfully into a new role at any point in one's career. The First 90 Days provides a framework for transition acceleration that will help leaders diagnose their situations, craft winning transition strategies, and take charge quickly.

    Practical examples illustrate how to learn about new organizations, build teams, create coalitions, secure early wins, and lay the foundation for longer-term success. In addition, Watkins provides strategies for avoiding the most common pitfalls new leaders encounter, and shows how individuals can protect themselves-emotionally as well as professionally-during what is often an intense and vulnerable period.

    Concise and actionable, this is the survival guide no new leader should be without.

    "Few companies develop a systematic 'on-boarding' process for their new leaders, even though this is a critical function with major organizational implications. Michael Watkins's The First 90 Days provides a powerful framework and strategies that will enable new leaders to take charge quickly. It is an invaluable tool for that most vulnerable time-the transition."

    -Goli Darabi, Senior Vice President, Corporate Leadership & Succession Management, Fidelity Investments

    "Every job-private- or public-sector, civilian or military-has its breakeven point, and everyone can accelerate their learning. Read this book at least twice: once before your next transition-before getting caught up in the whirl and blur of new faces, names, acronyms, and issues; then read it again after you've settled in, and consider how to accelerate transitions for your next new boss and for those who come to work for you."

    -Colonel Eli Alford, U.S. Army

    "Watkins provides an excellent road map, telling us what all new leaders need to know and do to accelerate their learning and success in a new role.The First 90 Days should be incorporated into every company's leadership development strategy, so that anyone making a transition in an organization can get up to speed quicker and smarter."

    -Suzanne M. Danielle, Director of Global Leadership Development, Aventis

    "Michael Watkins has nailed a huge corporate problem and provided the solution in one fell swoop. The pressure on new leaders to hit the ground running has never been greater, and the likelihood and cost of failure is escalating. Watkins's timing with The First 90 Days is impeccable."

    -Gordon Curtis, Principal, Curtis Consulting "The First 90 Days is a must-read for entrepreneurs. Anyone who's been the CEO of a start-up or early-stage company knows that you go through many 90-day leadership transitions in the course of a company's formative years. In this groundbreaking book, Michael Watkins provides crucial insights, as well as a toolkit of techniques, to enable you to accelerate through these transitions successfully."

    -Mike Kinkead, President and CEO, timeBLASTER Corporation, serial entrepreneur, and Cofounder and Trustee, Massachusetts Software Council ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good advice, wish I'd read it sooner
    I bought this book in anticpation of a move that never happened. That said, it was remarkably useful even in my current position. It helped me frame many of my career experiences in a larger context, and when I do make a move in the future, I will be prepared for it.

    I even bought it for a friend as a "happy new job" gift. She loved it, too.

    5-0 out of 5 stars His earlier stuff is good too
    I work for a leading health care company and went through one of Watkins's transition forum programs here. If really helped me get off to a running start. We also got his negotiation book, Breakthrough Business Negotiation, which also was very helpful. I've since also read his book on influencing government and business strategy, Winning the Influence Game. Definitely helpful if you are dealing with issues of regulation and reimbursement as we are. It's nice to see him getting recognition for the First 90 days, but his earlier stuff is just as good, if negotiation or influence are important to what you do.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Watkins' negotiation book is great too.
    I bought The First 90 Days when I was heading into a new VP Sales position. It was a huge help just like the other reviews say. Then I got his Breakthrough Business Negotiation book and it was great too. I bought copies for all my regional and district sales managers. It's the best thing for tough negotiations I've read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars just what I needed
    I was on day 6 of a new CEO job and everything was falling apart -- I encountered serious resistance to even minor changes that obviously needed to be made. Reading this book, I realized I had walked into a problem where management saw the company was in need of a turnaround, but the employees had no idea and saw their company as a steady success story.

    Every bit of this book is gold. From how to approach change implementation based on situation, to managing upwards, to making the mental switch to your new position, it's all been helpful.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Many great ideas to think about!
    There are many original great ideas presented in this book which stand alone on their own merit. But perhaps the biggest idea of the book is for companies to view a job transition as any other business process- and subsequently look to optimize it. There are so many transitions in most companies in any given year, that having a process that makes more transitions successful and the new employees effective sooner should noticeably improve the bottom line. Most importantly, this book makes you think!

    Also noteworthy in this book is its straightforward organization- the book lays out 10 areas to consider during a transition, then dedicates a chapter to each, and concludes with a brief summary. The book also reads well, and has examples to clarify the 10 areas. ... Read more


    3. Leading Change
    by John P. Kotter
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0875847471
    Catlog: Book (1996-01-15)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 1617
    Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (47)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Make Change Irresistibly Attractive
    The leaders of some organizations have no idea how to make successful changes, and are likely to waste a lot of resources on unsuccessful efforts. Professor Kotter has done a solid job of outlining the elements that must be addressed, so now your organization will at last know what they should be working on.

    On the other hand, if you have not seen this done successfully before, you may need more detailed examples than this book provides or outside facilitators to help you until you have enough experience to go solo. I suspect this book will not be detailed enough by itself to get you where you want to go.

    Here's a hint: The Harvard Business Review article by Professor Kotter covers the same material in a much shorter form. You can save time and money by checking this out first before buying the book.

    I personally find that measurements are very helpful to create self-stimulation to change, and this book does not pay enough attention in that direction. If you agree that measurements are a useful way to stimulate change, be sure to read The Balanced Scorecard, as well, which will help you understand how to use appropriate measurements to make more successful changes.

    If you want to know what changes to make, this book will also not do it for you. I suggest you read Peter Drucker's Management Challenges for the 21st Century and Peter Senge's Fifth Discipline.

    Good luck!

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE Standard for Organizational Change
    This book was recommended to me as being the standard for organizational change, and that recommendation was close to the mark. For any project manager who is involved in the mechanism of change, this is one book that should be right at the top their 'short list.'

    This may seem like a strong statement, but reading this book can be life changing. Its concepts apply across many other business ideas, and it is particularly useful for implementing project management into an organization.

    Lots of resources are wasted on unsuccessful efforts because often the leaders of some organizations don't know how to implement successful changes. The thought process gets tied up in the existing bureaucracy and remains stalled, going nowhere. In Leading Change, Professor Kotter has performed a commendable job of outlining all the elements that must be addressed. He identifies the most frequent mistakes in effecting change, and suggests eight steps to overcoming obstacles.

    The author offers some good business essentials, but also adds a solid structure for implementation that can be applied across organizational cultures. Following his recommendations should make it easier for an organization to know what they should be working on and how to progress to the next steps.

    There are good books that may be more recent than this, but you would do yourself and your organization a disservice if you passed this book by just based on that. As stated earlier, this book lives up to its reputation of being the standard for organizational change.

    4-0 out of 5 stars One of the Best
    I agree with some of the earlier reviews that recommend this book along with "Execution" by Bossidy & Charan, "Strategic Organizational Change" by Beitler, and "Good to Great" by Collins.

    This book is a little light on practical tools, but it does offer a good overview for managers who are dealing with change.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Recommended
    One of the great books on self help practical leadership that has come out in recent years. You can complete your philosophical knowledge on leadership of character by going on to read the Remick book, "West Point: Jefferson: Character Leadership..." when you finish Kotter's "Leading Change".

    4-0 out of 5 stars How to lead change
    Kotter's eight-step formula for leading change provides some practical and valuable strategies, but it does not get to the core of the problem. When an organization hires and retains only those who have made the commitment to do their best regardless of the circumstances, then complacency is never a serious problem and the leader does not need to falsely impose a sense of urgency. I recommend this book, and suggest Optimal Thinking: How to be your best self is read along with it. We are integrating Optimal Thinking into our company (mission statement and culture) and moving away from the old paradigm of managers and employees to the new optimized paradigm of corporate optimizers. ... Read more


    4. Does IT Matter? Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage
    by Nicholas G. Carr
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $17.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1591394449
    Catlog: Book (2004-04)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 13008
    Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A Bold Manifesto on the Future of Information Technology

    Over the last decade, and even since the bursting of the technology bubble, pundits, consultants, and thought leaders have argued that information technology provides the edge necessary for business success.

    IT expert Nicholas G. Carr offers a radically different view in this eloquent and explosive book. As IT's power and presence have grown, he argues, its strategic relevance has actually decreased. IT has been transformed from a source of advantage into a commoditized "cost of doing business"-with huge implications for business management.

    Expanding on Carr's seminal Harvard Business Review article that generated a storm of controversy, Does IT Matter? provides a truly compelling-and unsettling-account of IT's changing business role and its leveling influence on competition.

    Through astute analysis of historical and contemporary examples, Carr shows that the evolution of IT closely parallels that of earlier technologies such as railroads and electric power. He goes on to lay out a new agenda for IT management, stressing cost control and risk management over innovation and investment. And he examines the broader implications for business strategy and organization as well as for the technology industry.

    A frame-changing statement on one of the most important business phenomena of our time, Does IT Matter? marks a crucial milepost in the debate about IT's future.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (21)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Where is IT going?
    Full Title: Does IT Matter? Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage -- With $2 trillion being spent on computers and communications each year there is an underlying assumption that IT is critical to increasing the competitive advantage and strategic success of a business.

    But with the ready availability of computers, storage, software and people, has the IT function perhaps become one of the foundation building blocks of a corporation, just like sales, engineering or manufacturing?

    Similar to other books that are appearing, the author argues that it is time to look at IT with a managerial view. What are you getting for the investment? Is IT simply another cost center or a strategic benefit to the company? How do you control costs and yet get the information you need in a timely manner? The book provides an interesting and timely view of such points.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A different view of the computer revolution
    There has seemed to be a neverending flood of hype about computers for at least the last 20 years. Information technology (IT) is going to change everything, we've been told - from the way businesses operate to the way people live. Well, the flood ends here. Meticulously argued, well researched, and surprisingly lively, this short book dissects one computer myth after another. Most of it focuses on the business world, showing how IT is turning into another commonplace technology like electricity. There's an engaging historical review of how big technologies create big business changes early in their development, but then quickly turn into routine costs. It also provides practical advice for companies on how they should manage IT. It ends, though, with a broader examination of how we tend to get carried away with our dreams of big technological revolutions. It shows that in comparison with earlier technologies computers have had a fairly modest impact on society and commerce - and that some of the consequences have been less than positive. This book is a breath of fresh air.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Excellent questions with inferior answers
    'Does IT Matter' is a difficult book to rate. As to the questions it raises, it deserves 5 stars. But its answers, are two-star, at best.

    By way of analogy, most bomb threats are bogus, but each one must be treated as if it were genuine. With that, in his new book Does IT Matter?, Nicholas Carr throws a bomb, and it turns out to be a dud.

    Carr's book is an outgrowth of his article "IT Doesn't Matter," which appeared in the May 2003 issue of the Harvard Business Review. His hypothesis is that the strategic importance of IT has diminished. Carr views IT as a commodity, akin to electricity.

    He also compares IT to the railroad infrastructure. In the early days, railroads that had their own tracks had a huge advantage, but once the rails become ubiquitous and open, that advantage went away.

    Carr feels that since all companies can purchase the same hardware and software, any strategic advantage is obviated. It's true that the core functions of IT (processing, network transport, storage, etc.) are affordable and available to all, but there's still huge strategic advantage to be gained in how they're implemented.

    It's much like two airlines that purchase the same model of airplane. If one airline streamlines and optimizes operations, trains its staff and follows standard operating procedures, it can expect to make a profit. If the other has operational inefficiencies, labor problems and other setbacks, it could lose money. The airplane is identical, but the outcome is not.

    Carr is correct in that there have been some huge IT outlays of dubious value. But to say that IT is simply the procurement of hardware and software is to be blind to the fact that hardware and software are but two of the myriad components of IT.

    To use the railroad metaphor, hardware and off-the-shelf software are the rails of IT; how they are designed and implemented is what provides their strategic value. Carr views IT as completely evolved. But the reality is that although IT has matured, it still is in a growth mode. The IT of today is vastly different from the IT of both 1999 and 2009.

    Carr's view that most innovations within IT will tend to enhance the reliability and efficiency of IT rather than provide a competitive advantage is in direct opposition to what is said by every CIO I have met.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Does Enterprise Architecture Matter?
    Readers of this book should also read books on Enterprise Architecture as a solution to the concerns raised by the author.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Provocative title, narrow claim, strong argument
    You may recall the uproar in 2003 around a short Harvard Business Review article entitled "IT Doesn't Matter". Various IT company leaders spoke out against the article, with Carly Fiorina calling it "dead wrong" and Steve Ballmer calling it "hogwash". There were also many lengthy rebuttals. Nicholas Carr, the author of the original 8 page article, expanded the argument into a well-written book, explaining his claim more thoroughly and responding to his critics.

    The book (like the article) has a provocative title, but in fact Carr's claim is much narrower than the title suggests. Carr is only focused on *corporate IT*, the systems that companies build and deploy for their own use and the use of their customers and suppliers. He is not looking at consumer IT --- the digital wonders that are showing up in our living rooms, cars, and in our pockets. And he is not looking at governmental IT --- the systems that are used to find terrorists, wage combat, or evaluate welfare eligibility.

    More significantly, Carr is also focused on one corporate use of IT, to attain a *competitive advantage*. Can Coke achieve some competitive advantage over Pepsi by implementing a new application? Carr is not asking whether IT can add value to a company --- clearly there are thousands of examples of IT saving money, providing value to customers, to suppliers, and adding value in other ways. Instead, Carr asks whether we can expect IT to add this value in a way that competitors cannot quickly realize the same added value. Can Coke do something significant with IT that will not be quickly replicated by Pepsi?

    Finally, Carr agrees that in the past IT has been used to gain competitive advantages. By automating reservations, pricing, and seat assignments in the 1960s, American Airlines really did achieve a lasting advantage over its rivals. By creating logistics applications in the 1980s, Walmart really did achieve a lasting advantage over Sears and Kmart. Carr's claim is that *those days are gone*, that the days of using IT for competitive advantage are over.

    His claim rests on three broad trends, each of which undercuts the opportunities for competitive advantage. First, the time needed to replicate a particular IT application---the "technology replication cycle" in his words---has shortened considerably over the last few decades. Hardware, tools and platform technologies have made it increasingly easier, faster, and cheaper to replicate a successful application built elsewhere. This declining technology cycle is likely to continue, and make any advantage in the ownership of a particular application to be short-lived.

    Another reinforcing trend is the push toward standardization. 40 years ago every company built their own applications. Since then software products have emerged. These products can always be customized to particular situations, but they often are not. It is often cheaper and easier to adapt the business to the best practices in SAP, rather than to customize SAP to the specifics of the business. The economics of standardization --- the cost advantages for companies to be like their competitors --- trump the advantages of maintaining differences. BPOs further this push to standardization, and away from competitive advantage via IT.

    A third trend is the spread of IT business insight. It is much better understood today how to achieve value with IT. The secrets of how to do this spreads with individual experience, with analysts, with books and trade rags, and with consultants. If a company has success with a particular technology, everyone in their industry knows about it quickly.

    These three trends (Carr claims) are reducing IT to a role much like electricity. Electricity is critical to all businesses today, but (aside from mishaps like the recent problems in California) no one would expect to find a competitive advantage in superior use of electricity.

    Does Carr make his case? I think he does, although there are some big exceptions to his argument. ... Read more


    5. The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action
    by Robert S. Kaplan, David P. Norton
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0875846513
    Catlog: Book (1996-09-01)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 4039
    Average Customer Review: 3.92 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Here is the book--by the recognized architects of the Balanced Scorecard--that shows how managers can use this revolutionary tool to mobilize their people to fulfill the company's mission.More than just a measurement system, the Balanced Scorecard is a management system that can channel the energies, abilities, and specific knowledge held by people throughout the organization toward achieving long-term strategic goals.

    Kaplan and Norton demonstrate how senior executives in industries such as banking, oil, insurance, and retailing are using the Balanced Scorecard both to guide current performance and to target future performance.They show how to use measures in four categories-financial performance, customer knowledge, internal business processes, and learning and growth-to align individual, organizational, and cross-departmental initiatives and to identify entirely new processes for meeting customer and shareholder objectives.

    The authors also reveal how to use the Balanced Scorecard as a robust learning system for testing, gaining feedback on, and updating the organization's strategy.Finally, they walk through the steps that managers in any company can use to build their own Balanced Scorecard.

    The Balanced Scorecard provides the management system for companies to invest in the long term-in customers, in employees, in new product development, and in systems-rather than managing the bottom line to pump up short-term earnings.It will change the way you measure and manage your business.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (38)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Overcome Poor Communications and Bureaucracy for New Actions
    The Balanced Scorecard looks at the important issues of alignment, coordination, and effective implementation. Most business thinkers like to start with the big picture, and end there. As a result, most ideas for going in a new direction are quickly diluted by misunderstanding, falling back on old habits, and lethargy. Since Peter Drucker first popularized the idea of business strategy, there have been vastly more strategies conceived than there have been strategies successfully implemented as a result. Much attention has been paid to devising better strategies in the last four decades, and little to implementing strategies. The big pay-off is in the implementation, and The Balanced Scorecard is one of handful of books that provide important and valuable guidance to explain what needs to be done to successfully execute strategy. You must have more measures, and different measures than the accounting system provides. You also need to link measures and compensation to the key tasks that each person must perform. This book is simply the Rosetta Stone of communicating and managing strategy. The Balanced Scorecard is the beginning of the practical period of maturity in the field of business strategy. Read this book today to enjoy much more prosperity! I also recommend that you read The Fifth Discipline, The Fifth Discipline Handbook, and The Dance of Change to understand more about the context in which you are trying to make positive change. These four books are excellent companions for each other.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Book that spawned a core business approach
    This book is a seminal work that has significantly affected the way businesses frame and execute strategy.

    In a nutshell, the authors show you how to view your business strategy, drivers and key indicators in four dimensions - financial, external (customer satisfaction), internal (processes) and learning/growth. They then show you how to link these to your strategies and develop and execute plan for transforming them into action and results.

    The good and the bad. First, the good - before Kaplan and Norton published this book there was no standardized method for framing and measuring what's important. This book rectifies that. Also, the ideas first introduced have been embraced and extended to the point that a book search of similar titles returns over 2600 hits, and a google search using 'balanced scorecard' as a keyword returns ten time that many. This is a clear indication of how influential this book is and remains eight years after publication. But those are simple statistics. What's important about this book is many of the other resources that have sprang from it assume that you are familiar with the concepts and approach in this book.

    The bad - the writing style, as noted by others is ponderous. That does not diminish the concepts and approach. It is also showing its age, but only because of the body of work that this book has inspired, which has greatly extended and refined the basic ideas. You will still need to read this book to get the most out of the body of work that is based upon it. Also note that even Kaplan and Norton, the authors, have extended this work into strategy maps and a 'strategy-focused organization' paradigm.

    Overall this book has - and will continue to - influence thinking. The ideas set forth are still evolving and have been embraced by some of the largest (and smallest) companies on the planet. If you are new to this material I recommend visiting Balanced Scorecard Institute (ASIN B00006CKQ2) for introductory information, and Balanced Scorecard Online (ASIN B00006DBZ5) for more detailed material.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Be a Top Performer
    If you want to rise to the top in your business and career you need to have a great system for managing results. The management cycle involves defining objectives, assigning responsibilities, developing performance standards, evaluating results, and developing improvements where necessary.

    There may be many layers or hierarchies of organizational objectives, such as Corporate, Branch, Department, Team, and Individual. A good management system will capture all of the organizational objectives, and all will be linked to the overall business strategy. One helpful tool for capturing organizational objectives is the Balanced Scorecard. This system
    uses measures in four major categories:

    1. FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

    2. CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

    3. INTERNAL BUSINESS PROCESSES

    4. LEARNING AND GROWTH REQUIREMENTS

    The actual measures selected are highly dependent upon the type of business and should be carefully developed to ensure proper
    results are obtained. The goal is to select measures that best relate to the overall company strategy. As such, each scorecard will be unique. I have used a Balanced Scorecard and highly recommend them to help organize the complex assemblage of organizational objectives into a unitary whole. This fantastic book tells you everything you need to know. Highly recommended!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Once a 5 star essential, but now slightly outdated
    Kaplan and Norton are the visionaries behind the Balanced Scorecard (BSc), and this is their first book on the subject. BSc as Kaplan and Norton conceived of it was focused on measurement, specifically measuring variables that had some linkage to corporate financial results so that the direction of the organization could be determined prior to the occurrence of a bad quarter or two. THE MEASURES OF ANY MANAGEMENT CONCEPT ARE ITS ADOPTION AND ITS STAYING POWER, AND KAPLAN AND NORTON'S BSc IS AN OVERWHELMING SUCCESS.

    BUT companies that enacted BSc's started to tie them to corporate strategies, making them strategic management tools and not just measurement tools. One of the advancements was to tie define measures that measured the success of strategic intent as defined by specific objectives and goals. Another was to create cause and effect maps of the objectives, called "strategy maps."

    Measurement is, of course, still an important part of the BSc, but the process of determining what to measure begins higher up the strategic ladder. KAPLAN AND NORTON THEMSELVES CHRONICLE THE GROWTH OF BSc INTO A STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT TOOL IN THEIR SUBSEQUENT WORK.

    So, this book is a bit outdated, though it is still a useful introduction. However, I recommend that you try:
    * Strategy Maps: Converting Intangible Assets into Tangible Outcomes by Kaplan and Norton

    * The Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment, also by Kaplan and Norton

    * Balanced Scorecard Step-by-Step: Maximizing Performance and Maintaining Results by Paul R. Niven

    And a good introductory article to the idea of strategy mapping is "Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System", a Harvard Business Review article by Kaplan and Norton that is also available on Amazon.

    2-0 out of 5 stars OK
    The book is somewhat helpful, but given the current conditions, it is no longer applicable. I would rather go for the new book Six Sigma Business Scorecard, which is a surprisingly good modification and has a new revolutionary theme to it. ... Read more


    6. The Experience Economy
    by B. Joseph Pine, B. J., II Pine, James H. Gilmore
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $19.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0875848192
    Catlog: Book (1999-04-01)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 5170
    Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Sometime during the last 30 years, the service economy emerged as the dominant engine of economic activity. At first, critics who were uncomfortable with the intangible nature of services bemoaned the decline of the goods-based economy, which, thanks to many factors, had increasingly become commoditized. Successful companies, such as Nordstrom, Starbucks, Saturn, and IBM, discovered that the best way to differentiate one product from another--clothes, food, cars, computers--was to add service.

    But, according to Joseph Pine and James Gilmore, the bar of economic offerings is being raised again. In The Experience Economy, the authors argue that the service economy is about to be superseded with something that critics will find even more ephemeral (and controversial) than services ever were: experiences. In part because of technology and the increasing expectations of consumers, services today are starting to look like commodities. The authors write that "Those businesses that relegate themselves to the diminishing world of goods and services will be rendered irrelevant. To avoid this fate, you must learn to stage a rich, compelling experience."

    Many will find the idea of staging experiences as a requirement for business survival far-fetched. However, the authors make a compelling case, and consider successful companies that are already packaging their offerings as experiences, from Disney to AOL. Far-reaching and thought-provoking, The Experience Economy is for marketing professionals and anyone looking to gain a fresh perspective on what business landscape might look like in the years to come. Recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

    Reviews (28)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Nardelli-led bounce gives book its just due
    As I write this review on July 29, 2003, I see 'The Experience Economy' is ranked at #624 in amazon.com's constantly updated sales rankings. Pretty heady for a fairly esoteric business book published in April 1999.

    The reason has to do with the latest (August 2003) edition of 'Fast Company' magazine. The editors asked a series of business leaders to pick one "book that matters," noting that "one book can change the direction of a company -- or a career." Bob Nardelli, ex-of GE and now CEO of the Home Depot, chose 'The Experience Economy.'

    That's a great thing, because this excellent piece of work really got the short shrift - with its April 1999 publication date, its message of capturing the full potential of face-to-face retail got buried in the tsunami of e-commerce hysteria.

    Now that we all recognize the Internet as just another viable sales channel, this fine effort by Pine and Gilmore has a second life. The fact that Nardelli picked it as his one book that matters tells you all you need to know about his vision for the future of Home Depot.

    3-0 out of 5 stars The Divergence of Theory and Reality
    The book takes a very logical, reasoned approach towards the theoretical next steps of economic expansion. It reasons that margins drive profits and that by constantly searching for higher margin offerings, a company will naturally improve and increase its profitability.

    The logic is understandable... Commodity goods have small margins, as they are undifferentiated from each other and relativly easy to reproduce. Manufactured goods take things one step further, providing higher margins due to some level of product differentiation and brand specificity. Above that are Services, where the products don't last long enough to be copied and are customized enough to prevent easy manipulation. The higher margins should lead to higher profitability and better staying power. Fair enough.

    Where the book's logic becomes strained, however, is where it strethes out towards the next generation of higher margin offerings, "Experiences." While it is true that experience companies my be able to provide higher margins than can older economy companies, experience companies tend to suffer from a fatal flaw that has infected many of the companies praised in the book. That flaw is the utter lack of repeat business generated by most experience economy companies.

    Take two of the companies mentioned in the book as companies to emulate -- Planet Hollywood, the restaurant chain, and Peapod, the online grocery store. Planet Hollywood is under bankruptcy protection, because people are simply unwilling to pay through the nose repeatedly for the same experience over and over again. Peapod ran out of cash and is limping along only after being bought out by a Dutch firm. Hardly two stellar companies to emulate when searching for ever expanding profits.

    Throughout the book, by expounding the virtues of ever expanding margins, rather than focusing on goods, services, and 'experiences' that people would be willing to repeatedly pay to have, the authors make the mistake of ignoring the overall forest for the sake of a single tree.

    In the real world, experience companies know their limitations and create their pricing scheme to represent that fact. Amusement parks sell season passes for less than the cost of two visits -- acknowledging the fact that people may pay more for experiences, but only once, and repeat business depends heavily on making the repeat worth the cost.

    Had the book focused more on successful ways for experience economy companies to thrive, rather than spending its time drolling on about the virtues of failing companies with the right plan, it would have been far more believable and enjoyable.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Insightful Look at Business Today
    This book definitely makes you stop and think about what today's consumer wants and expects. (In fact, it's easy, just ask yourself what you would want - what you're offering or what Walt Disney is offering). Businesses that don't make a lasting impression, offer an experience for the consumer will eventually go the way of the dinosaur.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a fresh and novel view of the current business trends
    this book is definitely out of the ordinary: it proposes a novel (to me at least) view of the current economy trends and well illustrate an equivalence between the work environment and the stage of a theatrical play.
    Worth reading it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The ultimate product differentiator
    This book really opened my eyes, and made me see my service offerings from a customer perspective. I've become incredibly passionate about the experience economy concept, and am constantly looking for real life examples or potential applications.
    When I stand in a queue I'm thinking about how I would go about offering the service or product I'm queueing for.
    When I speak to the beauracracy that provides me banking or insurance services, I'm forever demanding that they change the impersonal and inflexible way that they engage with me.
    If you're looking for a new paradigm in selling what you have to offer, then this is the book for you.
    I love it. ... Read more


    7. The New CIO Leader: Setting the Agenda and Delivering Results
    by Marianne Broadbent, Ellen Kitzis
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1591395771
    Catlog: Book (2004-12-01)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 3334
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    Book Description

    An Actionable Framework for Elevating the CIO's Strategic Role

    Two converging factors-the ubiquitous presence of technology in organizations and the recent technology downturn-have brought Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to a critical breaking point. They can seize the moment to leverage their expertise into a larger and more strategic role than ever before, or they can allow themselves to be relegated to the sideline function of "chief technology mechanic."

    Drawing from exclusive research conducted by Gartner, Inc., with thousands of companies and CIOs, Marianne Broadbent and Ellen Kitzis reveal exactly what CIOs must do now to solidify their credibility with the executive team and bridge the chasm that currently separates business and IT strategy. The New CIO Leader outlines the agenda CIOs need to integrate business and IT assets in a way that moves corporate strategy forward- whether a firm is floundering, successfully competing, or leading its industry.

    Mandatory reading for CIOs in every firm, The New CIO Leader spells out how information systems can deliver results that matter-and how CIOs can become the enterprise leaders they should be. ... Read more


    8. IT Governance: How Top Performers Manage IT Decision Rights for Superior Results
    by Peter Weill, Jeanne Ross
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1591392535
    Catlog: Book (2004-06-01)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 3823
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Firms with superior IT governance have more than 25% higher profits than firms with poor governance given the same strategic objectives. These top performers have custom-designed IT governance for their strategies. Just as corporate governance aims to ensure quality decisions about all corporate assets, IT governance links IT decisions with company objectives and monitors performance and accountability.

    Based on a study of 250 enterprises worldwide, IT Governance shows how to design and implement a system of decision rights that will transform IT from an expense to a profitable investment.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fills in blanks left by CObIT
    This book is not consistently aligned to CObIT (Control Objectives for IT), which is an IT governance standard set forth by the IT Governance Institute (paste the ASIN, B0001F8V14, into the search all products box on this page). However, it does provide a realistic approach to governance that reflects successful practices developed and employed by 250 companies surveyed by the authors. The key differences between CObIT and the approach in this book is the stakeholder model presented versus the control model CObIT incorporates. More importantly, the authors approach more effectively aligns IT to business goals and objectives, with IT in a supporting role more than as the primary decision maker.

    Among the points the authors make is that IT is a strategic asset, and effective governance links IT to strategy and performance. I fully agree with this approach, and especially like the recommendations the authors make for implementing and managing IT governance, as well as the resources in the appendix which show which companies were surveyed.

    If you are following CObIT you may have issues with this book; however, if you read through it with an objective mind you will find that the approach will work effectively, and does come closer to IT-business alignment than the CObIT approach. ... Read more


    9. Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Leading
    by Martin Linsky, Ronald A. Heifetz
    list price: $27.50
    our price: $18.15
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1578514371
    Catlog: Book (2002-04-18)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 6356
    Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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    Climbing Mount Everest: dangerous. Hitchhiking in Colombia: very dangerous. Leading through change: perilous. Perilous but possible, say Heifetz and Linsky in their encouragingly practical guide to putting yourself on the line and negotiating the hazards of leadership. As the authors acknowledge, many leadership books are "all about inspiration, but downplay the perspiration." This one doesn't. Leadership is always a risky business, but those risks can be understood and reduced. Effective leadership comes from doing more than the technical work of routine management; it involves adaptive work on the part of the leader, and a willingness to confront and disturb people, promote their resourcefulness, and engage their ability to adjust to new realities. But adaptive change always encounters resistance. Heifetz and Linsky examine four forms of resistance--marginalization, diversion, attack, and seduction--before presenting a number of practical resistance-response skills to nurture and employ. Some are fairly obvious (like developing and maintaining perspective, and holding steady in the midst of change), and others more complex (like thinking politically when dealing with friends, foes, and fence sitters), but shimmering nuggets of insight and practical wisdom can be found in each. The dangers of leadership also spring from within, however, and the book's final section addresses ways to recognize and manage competing "hungers" and learn to distinguish one's roles from one's self. The authors' points are illustrated by the experiences of leaders from all walks of life, making this a useful and inspiring manual for anyone hoping to put themselves on the line and make a difference in the lives of others. --S. Ketchum ... Read more

    Reviews (12)

    4-0 out of 5 stars No-nonsense guide to the art of leadership
    This book educates to inspire and lead. It is a motivated effort of describing individual challenges and strategic problems that crop up while attempting to put forth a positive sway. It is crucial to anyone attempting massive changes in the approach their company does business. Unlike many books about leadership, this is more pragmatic about the risks and rewards linked to reform an organization. Ability & Courage to innovate despite of a conventional ladder,is all about true leadership. This is a no-nonsense guide to the art of leadership combining vibrant stories with logical conclusions. Vivek Dixit, Stanford.edu

    5-0 out of 5 stars A new, Improved, & User-Friendlier incarnation
    Serious scholars of leadership will already be well-acquainted with the path-breaking work of Ron Heifetz. His "Leadership W/out Easy Answers" and other significant contributions to "The Harvard Business Review," for instance, have already established him as one of the foremost authorities in the field. I believe that "Leadership W/out Easy Answers" is one of the top 5 works on leadership. I recommend it highly to any and all leaders, managers, and students with professional aspirations. "Leadership on the Line" reiterates several of the previous book's compelling themes--but with a more informal, user-friendlier tone. I'd recommend that discerning readers sample this (more recently published) one first, and then proceed to Heifetz's earlier title (publ'd in 1994) if they're curious to read more.
    In their "Introduction" to this new volume, Heifetz and Linsky explain that "We wanted this second book to be more focused, more practical, and more personal [than "L'ship W/out Easy Answers"]. We hope this book will be accessible, eminently usable, and inspiring in your work and life." Happily, they've accomplished their mission this time around, too!
    This narrative is even more readable, more anecdotal, and less jargon-laden than its "more academic" predecessor. It should thus reward an even broader audience of readers (including more committed "generalists").
    If one of James MacGregor Burns's seminal contributions to the field was the distinction between transactional and transformational leadership, Heifetz's elucidation here of "adaptive vs. technical leadership" merits similar distinction, in my view. "Leadership on the Line" speaks to the heart and soul as well as the mind. Most of us are likely to have plenty to glean from the incisive leadership insights it offers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book shows things that open the view of leadership
    I recomend this book to everyone who needs a good understanding of leadership and its implications. This book helps to analise day to day cases, implement changes or new ideas, and many others things. It uses simple and efective examples. I consider it a must have book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
    Thank you for the line of survival. I am better able to comprehend the mind set and behaviors that contribute to a persons inhibitions to lead. I am now better equipped to lead in the midst of an ever changing environment.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best
    This book is not neccessarily comprehensive on the topic of leadership. As a person who has read around 10 books on leadership, I am beggining to realize the topic is far more complex to be contained in a single book. This book addresses on aspect of leadership, change managment, better than any book I have read. As the book points out, leadership is about change (which is too categoric for me to totally agree). A good leader brings change only at a rate which the stakeholders of the change can absorb it, and failure to do so will result in the ousting of the leader. This simple concept was quite revealing to me and deserving of the price of this book. ... Read more


    10. The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations
    by John P. Kotter, Dan S. Cohen
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1578512549
    Catlog: Book (2002-08-01)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 4696
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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    The Heart of Change is the follow-up to John Kotter's enormously popular book Leading Change, in which he outlines a framework for implementing change that sidesteps many of the pitfalls common to organizations looking to turn themselves around. The essence of Kotter's message is this: the reason so many change initiatives fail is that they rely too much on "data gathering, analysis, report writing, and presentations" instead of a more creative approach aimed at grabbing the "feelings that motivate useful action." In The Heart of Change, Kotter, with the help of Dan Cohen, a partner at Deloitte Consulting, shows how his eight-step approach has worked at over 100 organizations. In just about every case, change happened because the players were led to "see" and "feel" the change. In one example, a sales representative underscores a sense of urgency to change a manufacturing process by showing a videotaped interview with an unhappy customer; in another, a purchasing manager makes his point to senior management about corporate waste by displaying on the company's boardroom table the 424 different kinds of gloves that the company had procured through different vendors at vastly different prices. Well written and loaded with real-life examples and practical advice, The Heart of Change towers over other change-management titles. Managers and employees at organizations both big and small will find much to draw from. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

    Reviews (15)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Worth the time to read...then pass it on.
    I will admit to being skeptical when I was first introduced to this book. I had not read the original book, "Leading Change" by John Kotter for the same reason that I was reluctant this time...books that focus on change mangement are generally too dry and formula driven. This book was also driven upon the 8-step process highlighted in the first book.

    However, I was told that the book focused this time more on the behavior changes of people that are needed to make change successful...and from experience, I knew that getting employees to really want to make a change makes all the difference to a successful change effort.

    The book uses stories to describe how to educate and motivate others to accept change through the 8-step process. If you just look at the eight steps, they appear dry and built on well-worn cliches. Increase Urgency, Build the Guiding Team, Get the Vision Right, Communicate for Buy-In, Empower Action, Create Short-Term Wins, Don't Let Up, and Make Change Stick. Certainly, anyone that has led change can figure this out.

    However, I found the stories to be very practical in describing the concept of See, Feel, Change that is needed by all employees to really embrace the change emotionally and not just logically. They have to want to change their own behaviors, not just for the project, but forever. The story I could relate to the most was "The Boss Goes to Switzerland". I have seen this happen numerous times for others and myself.

    This book has practical content that can be referred to over and over again...I will use this book each time a new change initiative gets underway. Recommended for all business leaders.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Heart of Change
    As the title indicates it's a "how to" book of real life stories of how people changed their organizations. This is not a quick fix-it remedy book. It has real take-away values and merits applicable not only for the corporate environment but for any organization where people are recognized as the key to success through change. Kotter introduces his book with the premise that people are more willing to change if shown a "truth that will influence their feelings" rather than be bombarded with analytical data that force them to change their thinking. He then introduces his 8-step process which will lead to successful large-scale change. To further validate his viewpoint Kotter includes examples of real stories of individuals(managers, tech people, presidents, etc) who succeeded in bringing about positive change to their companies of course sometimes after much frustration and repeating of certain steps. I strongly recommend this book for those who are "change agents." The book also lists an interactive site for additional tips to one's personal change effort. The book is dynamic and forceful and an excellent resource for those organizations/communities of practice with the vision for the future and a "heart for change."

    4-0 out of 5 stars Show, don't tell
    If you've ever felt like you're not powerful enough to make needed changes in your organization, this book has a powerful message for you: Approach change in the right way and you'll make things happen.

    Filled with real-life stories, this book offers lots of inspiration. Perhaps the strongest anecdote is the story of an executive presentation made by a mid-level manager and an intern about revamping a wasteful purchasing process. Instead of cranking out a fancy report, the manager and intern filled a box of 424 different pairs of gloves (with attached price tags ranging from $5-$17) that the company was buying. Then they dumped the box on the boardroom table, clearly making a point that this process needed to be fixed.

    The moral: Communicate change by appealing to emotions. And often, emotions are stirred by showing people, not just telling them.

    A solid read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good book, plus...
    This is a good book. But, I also recommend "Strategic Organizational Change" by Beitler.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Change Management - an Oxymoron?
    In this book Kotter explains how people change less because they are given analysis and facts about why change is needed and more because we show them a truth that influences their feelings. This concept is not adopted by all those writing on change management. Yet it is a concept that does fit with my experience. Unless the facts, figures, and general information presented by those wanting to effect change is compelling enough to generate the feelings that change is a requirement, then change will not happen. Kotter puts it this way: See, Feel, Change. So the information and analysis must be geared toward the "seeing," and the "feeling" in order to prompt people to change. If we do not actively pursue the task of driving necessary change, change management becomes an oxymoron - change forced upon us becomes chaos and we do not manage the change, it manages us.

    One of the things I enjoyed most about reading this book was the clear and logical layout with the interesting web-page navigation graphics. Also the case studies from "real life" gave practical examples of what successful change might look like in our companies. His eight steps to successful change are: 1. Increase Urgency, 2. Build the Guiding Team, 3. Get the Vision Right, 4. Communicate for Buy-In, 5. Empower Action, 6. Create Short-Term wins, 7. Don't let up, 8. Make Change Stick.

    All of this helps in building a practice of Shaping the Corporate Culture, which is, of course, near and dear to our hearts at dbkAssociates. Many of the insights in this book will be of practical use to us and to our clients. ... Read more


    11. Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence
    by Daniel Goleman, Annie McKee, Richard E. Boyatzis
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $17.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 157851486X
    Catlog: Book (2002-03-15)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 2128
    Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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    Business leaders who maintain that emotions are best kept out of the work environment do so at their organization's peril. Bestselling author Daniel Goleman's theories on emotional intelligence (EI) have radically altered common understanding of what "being smart" entails, and in Primal Leadership, he and his coauthors present the case for cultivating emotionally intelligent leaders. Since the actions of the leader apparently account for up to 70 percent of employees' perception of the climate of their organization, Goleman and his team emphasize the importance of developing what they term "resonant leadership." Focusing on the four domains of emotional intelligence--self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management--they explore what contributes to and detracts from resonant leadership, and how the development of these four EI competencies spawns different leadership styles. The best leaders maintain a style repertoire, switching easily between "visionary," "coaching," "affiliative," and "democratic," and making rare use of less effective "pace-setting" and "commanding" styles. The authors' discussion of these methods is informed by research on the workplace climates engendered by the leadership styles of more than 3,870 executives. Indeed, the experiences of leaders in a wide range of work environments lend real-life examples to much of the advice Goleman et al. offer, from developing the motivation to change and creating an improvement plan based on learning rather than performance outcomes, to experimenting with new behaviors and nurturing supportive relationships that encourage change and growth. The book's final section takes the personal process of developing resonant leadership and applies it to the entire organizational culture. --S. Ketchum ... Read more

    Reviews (52)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Leading through Emotions, Intellect and Cognitive Skills
    Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee first correctly remind us about the importance of dealing with emotions in the workplace. To their credit, Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee do not downplay the dramatic impact of both intellect and cognitive skills in building a company to last. Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee then explore the four emotional intelligence dimensions and their associated competencies: Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Those capabilities are key to managing others successfully. After exploring each of these four concepts of emotionally intelligent leadership, Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee apply them to the six types of leadership styles: Visionary, coaching, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting, and commanding. The authors convincingly demonstrate that emotionally intelligent leaders are flexible in their use of leadership styles because some styles are more appropriate than others in specific situations. Emotionally sub-optimal leaders who are willing to improve themselves can learn through self-directed learning and with the help of others how to fill the gaps that separate them from emotionally intelligent leaders. Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee also explore how to build emotionally intelligent organizations. Ignoring how to deal with the realities of team norms and organizational culture often is a recipe for disaster as Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee clearly show us. The result is indeed a toxic and rebellious environment that will have a negative impact on both customer and investor loyalty. Finally, Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee examine the process for sustaining emotionally intelligent leadership over time. To summarize, "Primal Leadership" is a good read that brings an additional dimension of leadership to our attention.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Emotionally Sound Bytes
    The control board 'Emotion' requires balanced computerised system programming of Thoughts and Actions. How Powerful are emotions that override circumstances with ease! The author focus on four domains of emotional intelligence - self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. At a workplace, Management always stands at cross roads and is hard to understand but you got to slowly convince coz they too need to be Savvy in some areas too. In Primal Leadership, the author emphasis on 'smart leaderships' to cultivate emotionally intelligent savvy leaders.
    The development of the four EI competencies initiate leadership qualities that call attention to vision for their organization restricting the commanding and authority style which hinders pace setting reach. The author Daniel Goleman discuss on the research done with Executives who render real life examples. The leaders do need to nurture good feelings and develop human relations in those people whom they lead. Though the concept remains the same like in 'Emotional Intelligence', Daniel Goleman implies to repeat the same rule. Most successful leaders are emotionally intelligent but yet remains problems to tackle with new ideas, diversed fields and more and over, Emotionally being stable to balance to lead the organization to par excellence. Communication is the key to success and that is also one factor that misleads many Leaders to stumble the blocks with the correlated managers and staff. Leaders get 'stalled' and hooked off emotionally knocking off the tolerance of the Executives who no longer stick to the rule of 'grudge & grumbles' - No way, flying them off to check out for better prospects elsewhere as we see these days. Daniel's book is an insight to be Emotionally sound and so if you haven't read his earlier book, sure this is the pick! Go ahead, adopt the Leadership styles!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for leadership development
    I have to admit, I enjoyed the first half of the book (devoted to personal leadership styles, competencies, and learning) more than the second half (which focuses on organizational development).

    I've assigned this book and related exercises to a number of my executive coaching clients. Even if they only breeze through emotional intelligence domains and associated competencies (page 39) and the styles of leadership (summarized on page 55), we have plenty to work with. Clients come back amazed at how often they employ non-resonant styles (and begin to notice the consequences), at how transparent their moods are to others, etc.

    One client, hugely successful in prior businesses, wondered aloud if he should "go back" to his former hard-driving (Pace-Setting) style, given his lackluster experience in his current tech start-up using a softer approach.

    It helped him to distinguish between his former endeavors (where his teams were highly self-motivated, competent, and connected to one another) and his current endeavor (where there was less intrinsic trust and some questions about competencies on the team). Rather than the often dissonant Pace-Setting style, he realized the need to emphasize more resonant styles, especially some very specific Coaching style interventions to address competency issues. After working together, it wasn't just about "hard" or "soft" styles in business, but about appropriate styles for different situations.

    If you're interested in "integral theory" then this is one of of the ones that counts. Here's a quick mapping of models that Primal Leadership explores and how they relate to the the domains of integral theory:

    * Self-awareness and self-management map to the subjective world, my world, the world of "I." While "mood" is covered, I would have liked to see more of a distinction between mood (a person's ongoing "climate") and emotions (a person's current reactions or "weather").

    * Social awareness and relationship management map to the intersubjective world; the world of business, culture, and relationships, where many rules are unwritten and must be sensed. Social competence is the world of "We."

    * The "neuroanatomy of leadership," with its focus on how the brain works and learns, maps to the objective world, the world of physical phenomena and measurements, the world of "It."

    Primal Leadership is an easy read, but it's also a great reference, with models that people "get." Highly recommended!

    4-0 out of 5 stars We read this book for a class assignment - mixed reviews
    We read Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead With Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee. The authors are well educated and actively participate in the organizational field through consortiums, boards, and consulting. Each author has written numerous best selling books, articles, and programs to help leader become great leaders.

    The book is broken into three parts: The Power Of Emotional Intelligence, Making Leaders, and Building Emotionally Intelligent Organizations. The main points of The Power of Emotional Intelligence are that leaders are not born, with opportunity and training leaders can be made, and leaders either create resonance or dissonance. Resonant leaders bring positive energy, create excitement and passion for an organizational goal or objective, inspire excellence, and promote collaboration. Dissonant leaders are out of touch with the feelings of others, create emotionally toxic environments, and dispirit by misleading or manipulating. The authors describe four traits that emotional intelligent leaders have in varying degrees: self awareness, self management, social awareness, and relationship management.

    The main points of Making Leaders are that many leaders do not get appropriate feedback, training and seminars rarely provide lasting change, and self directed learning is the best way to change behavior. Self Directed Learning is a five step process that address who you want to be, who you are, developing an agenda, practicing, and feedback.

    The main points of Building Emotionally Intelligent Organizations are that the most effective teams are those where the leader relinquishes complete control to the team and sustainable changes should be an ongoing process rather than a one time program.

    Overall, we felt that the book was well presented. We, each had a different break-through with the book. For instance, one group member felt that the discussion about leaders being made instead of born was beyond prevailing mainstream thinking. Another group member had never heard of the CEO Disease, which describes how, as a leader ascends in power and influence, the quality of feedback diminishes and the leader becomes unable to correctly self assess their effectiveness. Others related to the differences between resonant and dissonant leaders and the realization that many of our leaders are untrained and have no organizational opportunities to grow as a leader.

    Our action plan includes making sure that leaders have 360 degree feedback, access to mentors and coaches, establish weaknesses and goals to bridge the gaps between their strengths and weaknesses, and have opportunities both social and professional to practice.

    In conclusion, we would recommend this book to some people but not to everyone. The book focused more on theory rather than practice. We would have preferred several different applications of the theories to case studies, and a more in depth discussion of the four main skills used by managers. Overall, the book was relatively easy to follow, but difficult to remain engaged in. There were some discussions about neuroanatomy that some of us found hard to understand and that tended to break the flow of the book. Primal Leadership had great leadership philosophies in it, but we found many of those philosophies were not knew. We agreed that there are other books on the market that are easier to read and provide more application.

    5-0 out of 5 stars More connections of "Primal Leadership" and Neuroscience
    This is a very interesting and substantial book and I recommend it highly. It illustrates one thing that'd probably be too trivial in the context of child development, yet is very surprising when applied in the context of leadership: a leader would probably be considered autistic if he/she leads by being just intellectually or analytically superior - the leader must connect affectively with troops to be effective, explicitly or implicitly. Having said that, I think the main points can be further elucidated if it spends a bit more time in incorporating more findings from neuroscience. In particular, I find its arguments for the main themes inadequate by just employing brain¡¯s cognitive and emotional functions. In fact, there are two other brain functions that are orthogonal to the fore-mentioned functions, but nonetheless play key roles in the leadership as well: the automatic and controlled function of the brain. Some of leadership behavior can probably be better explained by the following framework: cognitive and controlled, cognitive and automatic, emotional and controlled, and finally emotional and automatic. ... Read more


    12. Changing Minds: The Art and Science of Changing Our Own and Other People's Minds
    by Howard Gardner
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $17.79
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    Asin: 1578517095
    Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 2640
    Average Customer Review: 3.89 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Insights into One of the Greatest Mysteries of Human Behavior

    Minds are exceedingly hard to change. Ask any advertiser who has tried to convince consumers to switch brands, any CEO who has tried to change a company’s culture, or any individual who has tried to heal a rift with a friend. So many aspects of life are oriented toward changing minds—yet this phenomenon is among the least understood of familiar human experiences.

    Now, eminent Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner, whose work has revolutionized our beliefs about intelligence, creativity, and leadership, offers an original framework for understanding exactly what happens during the course of changing a mind—and how to influence that process.

    Drawing on decades of cognitive research and compelling case studies—from famous business and political leaders to renowned intellectuals and artists to ordinary individuals—Gardner identifies seven powerful factors that impel or thwart significant shifts from one way of thinking to a dramatically new one.

    Whether we are attempting to change the mind of a nation or a corporation, our spouse’s mind or our own, this book provides insights that can broaden our horizons and improve our lives. ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars More than one intelligence
    I've seen Howard Gardner speak and he really taught me a lot about there being more than IQ to success in life. He is famous for his work with multiple intelligences which considers the impact of emotional intelligence. I bought Changing Minds with the recommended title "The Emotional Intelligence Quickbook" and it was a great combo. Good recommendation Amazon!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Seven Levers to Influence Decision-Making
    One key to success is the ability to influence people's thinking. Whether one is attempting to introduce a major organizational change or convince consumers to switch brands, the ability to change people minds is an important business process.

    Howard Gardner, a Harvard psychologist who specializes in cognitive theory, offers us insight into what happens when one changes his or her mind. In order to change someone's mind, Gardner writes, one has to produce a shift in that person's perceptions, codes and the way he or she retains and accesses information.

    There are seven levers to change, he says.

    1. Reason.
    2. Research
    3. Resonance
    4. Re-descriptions
    5. Rewards
    6. Real World Events
    7. Resistances.

    Gardner explores how these levers are employed in six realms.

    1. Diverse Groups - such as a nation.
    2. Homogeneous Groups - corporations, universities.
    3. Culture - Changes effected by art, science or scholarship.
    4. Classroom
    5. Intimate Gatherings - one-on-one meetings, family gathering.
    6. Changes within one's mind.

    This book is enlightening and compelling. It offers insights into the methods one can employ to influence others and oneself.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Art and Science of Deep and Pervasive Mental Surgery
    Although many of Gardner's core concepts were first introduced and developed in earlier works, notably in Multiple Intelligences and Frames of Mind (1993) and then Intelligence Reframed (2000), he breaks important new ground when examining the process by which we can change others' minds (assumptions, premises, mindsets, convictions, opinions, etc.) and, of even greater importance, how we can change our own minds wherein resistance to such change can be especially formidable. This is precisely what Jim O'Toole has in mind when discussing "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom" in his brilliant book Leading Change. As Gardner advocates, "One can -- and must -- go through an exercise of deep and pervasive mental surgery with respect to every entrenched view: Define it, understand the reasons for its provenance, point out its weaknesses, and then develop multiple ways of undermining that view and bolstering a more constructive one. In other words, [in italics] search for the resonance and [also in italics] stamp out the resistance." It seems to me imperative that we never underestimate the nature and extent of resistance which results from "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom"

    Gardner identifies seven factors ("sometimes I'll call them levers"), most or all of which may influence a mind change: research (relevant data), resonance (the affective component), redescriptions (mutually reinforcing images of what will result from the change), resources and rewards (perceived cost-benefit relationship), real world events (wars, hurricanes, terrorist attacks, depressions, etc.), and resistances (motivation stimulated by opposition). When we attempt to change our own minds or others' minds, or when they attempt to change theirs or ours, the process of persuasion usually involves concepts, stories, theories, and skills. How we (or others) use logic and/or evidence, for example, is determined by our (or their) age, intelligence, education and training, and experience. Young children who fully understand various fables and fairy tales will probably not understand concepts of gravity, democracy, photosynthesis, and pride. How parents attempt to convince their children to take proper care of their toys is obviously quite different from how the same parents attempt to persuade each other when disagreeing about financial issues. Gardner asserts (and I agree) that over time, people become more resistant to change. Set in their ways, determined to protect their "comfort" and "custom."

    From my own perspective, entrenched views tend to fall within one of three categories: Those which remain unchanged by any of the seven factors (or levers), those which are improved (i.e. made "more constructive") by it, and finally, those beyond remediation. Moreover, all entrenched views (like nuggets of cheese) have an unsettling tendency to move around -- or be relocated -- by external forces. Therefore, presumably Gardner agrees with me that what he calls the process of "deep and pervasive mental surgery" should be continuous. Unless and until we understand how and why to change our own minds, it is possible but unlikely that we will be able to change anyone else's.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Social commentary and post-analysis
    I purchased this book after hearing Mr. Gardner's awesome interview and commentary on NPR (you can download the show here: http://www.npr.org/features/feature.php?wfId=1829910 ). I was looking for a book that was a practical guide to leveraging people's opinions and beliefs, identifying modes and techniques for changing minds, and understanding how this relates to cognitive science.

    What I got instead was a social commentary on different famous leaders.. many many parables, while interesting, harder to relate to my own life. The system Mr. Gardner proposes for effecting mind change is sufficient for typifying or categorizing how people have accomplished this in the past.. but not as useful of a guide for learning how to do it yourself in the future. It is more for categorizing, instead of predicting and causing.

    Still an interesting book, and I like his writing style, but certainly not what I anticipated. If you'd like to understand people better, and meet some theories on how to better influence them, I'd instead recommend a great introduction to Carl Rogers and his theories, "On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy". This presents concepts such as "congruence" that might help you better influence people.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Dissapointed
    Since this book was published by HBR, I really expected it to have a lot more to do with changing business thinking. What I found, however, was what seemed like a psych text book that was applied to business as an after though. I found it to have little practical value. ... Read more


    13. The Only Sustainable Edge: Why Business Strategy Depends On Productive Friction And Dynamic Speicalization
    by John Hagel, John Seely Brown
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1591397200
    Catlog: Book (2005-06-01)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 1289665
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    14. The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts, and Cultures
    by Frans Johansson
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1591391865
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-01)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 3752
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    Book Description

    Enter Innovation's Most Fertile Breeding Ground

    Why is it that so many world-changing insights come from people with little or no related experience? Charles Darwin, after all, was a geologist when he proposed the theory of evolution. And it was an astronomer who finally explained what happened to the dinosaurs.

    Frans Johansson argues that breakthrough ideas most often occur when we bring concepts from one field into new, unfamiliar territory. In this space-which Johansson calls "the Intersection"-established ideas clash and combine with insights from other fields, disciplines, and cultures, resulting in an explosion of totally new ideas. The Medici Effect-referring to a remarkable burst of creativity in Florence during the Renaissance -shows us how to get to the Intersection and how we can turn the ideas we discover there into pathbreaking innovations.

    From the insight that created the first Cherokee written language to the ideas that enabled scientists to read the mind of a monkey-The Medici Effect is filled with vivid stories of intersections across domains as diverse as business, science, art, and politics.

    Johansson reveals the core principles-including breaking down associative barriers, routinely combining unlike concepts, and executing past your failures-that can enable individuals, teams, and entire organizations to create their own "Medici effects" in any arena of work and life.

    ... Read more


    15. Human Resource Champions
    by David Ulrich
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $20.37
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0875847196
    Catlog: Book (1997-01-01)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 57791
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (15)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
    The management of human resources, says the author, holds the key to an organization's future success. HR people serve as strategic players, administrative experts, employee champions and change agents. Full of illustrations and examples from dozens of companies, this book show how HR professionals can operate in all four areas simultaneously.

    This book is highly recommended to all HR people at all levels, and will help non HR professionals understand the importance of HR issues within corporations, and see how HR is really a strategic function.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's wake up time for Human Resources!!
    If there was ever a Bible for HR, this is it! It's about time someone wrote a book on how Human Resources is supposed to be creating value for American business. This book is full of excellent examples on techniques and strategies on what HR can begin doing-right away-to help the business become more competitive. HR can do this by helping the business to create organizational capabilities through it's people resources, to gain and sustain a competitive business advantage. The final chapter entitled HR for HR is a quide map for transforming today's traditional HR ogranization from an administrative, transactional entity to a strategic business partner. If you're an HR professional, this is a must read!

    3-0 out of 5 stars basically good, but no longer cutting edge
    I read this book back in grad school (degree in HR). While it was current then, the concepts are no longer cutting edge/benchmark HR. This is a well-written book and is helpful for the HR novice to gain an understanding of the evolution of HR as a profession. However, for those who already work in an organization where HR is not only at the table, but setting the strategic direction hand in hand with the CEO as a valued member of the leadership team, this book could use a few more chapters. In the last 5 years many companies have moved past the "recognizing HR as a player" stage and are firmly in a space where there is a set expectation of HR - to help set the stategic direction for obtaining their revenue and market growth targets. It is in these areas that I would like to see the next ground breaking insights from Ulrich.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ulrich and Beitler
    If you like Ulrich's work, you should also buy "Strategic Organizational Change" by Michael Beitler. The two books together are a great combo for managers.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not So Good
    I am not a human resource champion or guru, but I do have an MBA and my approach is from the IT corner.

    I found this book tough going and very academic.

    There was so little coming out of it I skipped a few chapters.

    Sorry about that ... Read more


    16. The Hr Value Proposition
    by Dave Ulrich, Wayne Brockbank, David Ulrich
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1591397073
    Catlog: Book (2005-06-30)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 2650
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    Book Description

    HR's leading thinkers provide a blueprint for the future

    The international bestseller Human Resource Champions helped set the HR agenda for the 1990s and enabled HR professionals to become strategic partners in their organizations. But earning a seat at the executive table was only the beginning. Today's HR leaders must also bring substantial value to that table.

    Drawing on their sixteen-year study of over 29,000 HR professionals and line managers, leading HR experts Dave Ulrich and Wayne Brockbank propose The HR Value Proposition. The authors argue that HR value creation requires a deep understanding of external business realities and how value is defined by key stakeholders both inside and outside the company. They provide practical tools and worksheets for leveraging this knowledge to create HR practices, build organizational capabilities, design HR strategy, and marshal resources that create value for customers, investors, executives, and employees.

    Written by the field's premier trailblazers, this book charts the path HR professionals must take to help lead their organizations into the future.

    Dave Ulrich is a professor at the University of Michigan School of Business and the author of twelve books and more than a hundred articles on the subject of human resources. Wayne Brockbank is a clinical professor of business at the University of Michigan School of Business, the author of award-winning papers on HR strategy, and an adviser to top global organizations.

    ... Read more


    17. How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding
    by Douglas B. Holt
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $19.77
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    Asin: 1578517745
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-01)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 10392
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    Book Description

    The First Systematic Strategy for Building Iconic Brands

    Coca-Cola. Harley-Davidson. Nike. Budweiser. Valued by customers more for what they symbolize than for what they do, products like these are more than brands-they are cultural icons. How do managers create brands that resonate so powerfully with consumers?

    Based on extensive historical analyses of some of America's most successful iconic brands, including ESPN, Mountain Dew, Volkswagen, Budweiser, and Harley-Davidson, this book presents the first systematic model to explain how brands become icons. Douglas B. Holt shows how iconic brands create "identity myths" that, through powerful symbolism, soothe collective anxieties resulting from acute social change.

    Holt warns that icons can't be built through conventional branding strategies, which focus on benefits, brand personalities, and emotional relationships. Instead, he calls for a deeper cultural perspective on traditional marketing themes like targeting, positioning, brand equity, and brand loyalty-and outlines a distinctive set of "cultural branding" principles that will radically alter how companies approach everything from marketing strategy, to market research, to hiring and training managers.

    Until now, Holt shows, even the most successful iconic brands have emerged more by intuition and serendipity than by design. With How Brands Become Icons, managers can leverage the principles behind some of the most successful brands of the last half-century to build their own iconic brands.

    ... Read more


    18. The Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment
    by Robert S. Kaplan, David P. Norton
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $19.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1578512506
    Catlog: Book (2000-09)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 5661
    Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    In their previous book, The Balanced Scorecard, Robert Kaplan and David Norton unveiled an innovative "performance management system" that any company could use to focus and align their executive teams, business units, human resources, information technology, and financial resources on a unified overall strategy--much as businesses have traditionally employed financial management systems to track and guide their general fiscal direction. In The Strategy-Focused Organization, Kaplan and Norton explain how companies like Mobil, CIGNA, and Chemical Retail Bank have effectively used this approach for nearly a decade, and in the process present a step-by-step implementation outline that other organizations could use to attain similar results. Their book is divided into five sections that guide readers through development of a completely individualized plan that is created with "strategy maps" (graphical representations designed to clearly communicate desired outcomes and how they are to be achieved), then infused throughout the enterprise and made an integral part of its future. In several chapters devoted to the latter, for example, the authors show how their models have linked long-term strategy with day-to-day operational and budgetary management, and detail the "double loop" process for doing so, monitoring progress, and initiating corrective actions if necessary. --Howard Rothman ... Read more

    Reviews (19)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Perilous "Journey" to Breakthrough Performance
    If you have not already read Kaplan and Norton's The Balanced Scoreboard, I presume to suggest that you do so prior to reading this book. However, this sequel is so thoughtful and well-written that it can certainly be of substantial value to decision-makers in any organization (regardless of size or nature) which is determined to "thrive in the new business environment." Research data suggest that only 5% of the workforce understand their company's strategy, that only 25% of managers have incentives linked to strategy, that 60% of organizations don't link budgets to strategy, and 85% of executive teams spend less than one hour per month discussing strategy. These and other research findings help to explain why Kaplan and Norton believe so strongly in the power of the Balanced Scorecard. As they suggest, it provides "the central organizing framework for important managerial processes such as individual and team goal setting, compensation, resource allocation, budgeting and planning, and strategic feedback and learning." After rigorous and extensive research of their own, obtained while working closely with several dozen different organizations, Kaplan and Norton observed five common principles of a Strategy-Focused Organization:

    1. Translate the strategy to operational terms

    2. Align the organization to the strategy

    3. Make strategy everyone's job

    4. Make strategy a continual process

    5. Mobilize change through executive leadership

    The first four principles focus on the the Balanced Scorecard tool, framework, and supporting resources; the importance of the fifth principle is self-evident. "With a Balanced Scorecard that tells the story of the strategy, we now have a reliable foundation for the design of a management system to create Strategy-Focused Organizations."

    After two introductory chapters, the material is carefully organized and developed within five Parts, each of which examines in detail one of the aforementioned "common principles": Translating the Strategy to Operational Terms, Aligning the Organization to Create Synergies, Making Strategy Everyone's Job, Making Strategy a Continual Process, and finally, Mobilizing Change Through Executive Leadership. Kaplan and Norton then provide a "Frequently Asked Questions" section which some readers may wish to consult first.

    There are many pitfalls to be avoided when designing, launching, and implementing the program which Kaplan and Norton present. These pitfalls include lack of senior management commitment, too few individuals involved [or including inappropriate individuals at the outset], keeping the scoreboard at the top, too long a development process (when, in fact, the Balanced Scorecard is a one-time measurement process), treating the Balanced Scorecard as an [isolated] systems project, hiring consultants lacking sufficient experience with a Balanced Scorecard, and introducing the Balanced Scorecard only for compensation. When organizations experience one or more of these pitfalls, their key executives can soon become impatient, confused, frustrated, and ultimately, opposed to Balanced Scorecard initiatives. It is imperative to understand both what the Balanced Scorecard must be (e.g. cohesive and comprehensive) and what it must not be (e.g. fragmented and episodic). Kaplan and Norton correctly note that the journey they propose "is not easy or short. It requires commitment and perseverance. It requires teamwork and integration across traditional organizational boundaries and roles. The message must be reinforced often and in many ways." Those who are determined to achieve organization-wide breakthrough performance are fortunate to have Kaplan and Norton as companions every step of the way during what is indeed a perilous "journey."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely detailed, highly informative, dryly written
    The Strategy-Focused Organization

    Building on their Balanced Scorecard approach, Kaplan and Norton have developed an impressive framework in The Strategy-Focused Organization for the implementation of strategy. They have found that 90% of strategic initiatives fail due not to formulation but to implementation difficulties. Successful implementation of strategy requires all parts of an organizations to be aligned and linked to the strategy, while strategy itself must become a continual process in which everyone is involved. The Balanced Scorecard, originally seen by the authors as a measurement tool, is now presented as a means for implementing strategy by creating alignment and focus.

    Financial measures report on lagging financial indicators. The Balanced Scorecard aims to report on the drivers of future value creation. The book shows in detail how this is done from four perspectives: Financial, customer, internal business perspective, and learning and growth (these are outlined on p.77). These four perspectives produce a highly detailed framework when combined with the five principles of a strategy-focused organization: 1: Translate the strategy to operational terms. 2: Align the organization to the strategy. 3: Make strategy everyone's everyday job. 4: Make strategy a continual process. 5: Mobilize change through executive leadership.

    Absorbing every detail of this book will require many hours. The sheer detail of this complex system requires considerable attention, perhaps more than some readers can muster, but clearly distinguishes this work from many books full of business fluff. The style tends to be turgid and pedantic while being admirably complete. Readers can grasp the essence of the book's central points by reading only Chapter 1 (Creating the Strategy-Focused Organization), Chapter 3 (Building Strategy Maps), and Chapter 8 (Creating Strategic Awareness). Skip quickly through the chapters in Part Two: Aligning the Organization to Create Synergies. This section is the least engaging of the five. The balanced scorecard approach to strategy will appeal to those with a systematizing frame of mind. The book is filled with complex diagrams of corporate processes consisting of interrelated boxes and forces.

    This approach is extremely detailed and complex. It requires a major commitment and effort. Though the authors claim it can be implemented by smaller organizations, this will be more challenging than for large companies who can commit a team full time to working out the details.

    Much of the value of the approach may lie not so much in following through on completely working out the balanced scorecard but on absorbing the lessons regarding organizational integration across silos and the importance of clarity about mission, strategy, and goals. The balanced scorecard is one way to achieve and implement this clarity but not the only way. Another would be continual reiteration of these (as in Confessions of An Extraordinary Executive). Some companies may benefit from strict use of this system, including finding units of measurement for its implementation. Others will gain much from applying the insights without such a formal and complete implementation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A "Must Read" for Executives!
    If you are an executive don't fail to read this. Kaplan and Norton's Balanced Scorecard approach has had a tremendous impact on thinking in the executive suite. Buy and read a copy today. I have bought copies for all of my clients.

    Michael Beitler
    Author of "Strategic Organizational Change"

    2-0 out of 5 stars Overblown and impractical
    Having used the BSc a few times in my work, I expected this to be a hepful addition to my knowledge base in the area. I found that it added little to the author's other published tomes and to his articles in journals like HBR. Although the basic concept is sound, the implementation challenges are dealt with as you'd expect from an ivory tower-based profesoor and are several steps removed from the challenges that most of my real-world, and smaller company clients, need to address. I truly felt as though I didn't get my money's worth with this purchase and I should have stuck with the materials I already had by the author that was available in other forms. I would have saved time, money and a degree of frustration.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A must have tool for business improvement
    If you're attempting to improve the way you do business, this book is a must have. It is a little dry so you have to be committed to using the concepts presented. If you can manage to stick with it, you will reap the benefits of the BSC. Good Luck! ... Read more


    19. Hardball: Are You Playing to Play or Playing to Win
    by George Stalk, Rob Lachenauer, John Butman
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $15.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1591391679
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-01)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 4090
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    Book Description

    Classic Strategies for Unapologetic Winners

    Great companies stumble and fall when they lose it. Highfliers crash when a competitor notices they don't have it. Start-ups shut down if they can't develop it.

    "It" is a strategy so powerful and an execution-driven mind-set so relentless that companies use it to gain more than just competitive advantage-- they achieve an industry dominance that is virtually unassailable and that competitors often try to explain away as unfair. In their "hardball manifesto," authors George Stalk and Rob Lachenauer of the leading strategy consulting firm The Boston Consulting Group show how hardball competitors can build or maintain an enviable competitive edge by pursuing one or more of the classic "hardball strategies": unleash massive and overwhelming force, exploit anomalies, devastate profit sanctuaries, raise competitors' costs, and break compromises.

    Based on twenty-five years of experience advising and observing a range of companies, the authors argue that hardball competitors can gain extreme competitive advantage--neutralizing, marginalizing, or even destroying competitors-- without violating their contracts with customers or employees, and without breaking the rules.

    A clear-eyed paean to the timeless strategies that have driven the world's winning companies, Hardball redefines and reinterprets the meaning of competition for a new generation of business players.

    ... Read more


    20. The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change Series)
    by Clayton M. Christensen
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $19.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0875845851
    Catlog: Book (1997-06-01)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 23356
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    What do the Honda Supercub, Intel's 8088 processor, and hydraulic excavators have in common? They are all examples of disruptive technologies that helped to redefine the competitive landscape of their respective markets. These products did not come about as the result of successful companies carrying out sound business practices in established markets. In The Innovator's Dilemma, author Clayton M. Christensen shows how these and other products cut into the low end of the marketplace and eventually evolved to displace high-end competitors and their reigning technologies.

    At the heart of The Innovator's Dilemma is how a successful company with established products keeps from being pushed aside by newer, cheaper products that will, over time, get better and become a serious threat. Christensen writes that even the best-managed companies, in spite of their attention to customers and continual investment in new technology, are susceptible to failure no matter what the industry, be it hard drives or consumer retailing. Succinct and clearly written, The Innovator's Dilemma is an important book that belongs on every manager's bookshelf. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

    Reviews (125)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Book About Business Strategies, Must Read for Managers
    Comment: This review is done as a class project for the San Jose State University MBA e-commerce course by Ji Luo.

    Dr. Christensen's book offered me a fresh perspective into looking at how large established business failed. As the author explained it, the standard process that governs sound management could be the same one that destroys the company. I found his use of graphics and quantities data sufficient as well as very useful in understand concepts such as the S-curve and the value networks. The detailed analysis shows that the author has done quite a bit of research into the topic and that makes the data more credible to me. His writing style is very easy to understand and organized. First few chapters go into how disruptive technology can destroy a company if not harnessed. His later chapters list guidelines on how to avoid the pitfalls. These guidelines are followed thoroughly by many case studies and quotes from industry leaders. While company's policies shouldn't be based on a few guidelines and the situations in a person's particular industry may find the guidelines hard to follow, the author's particular views are irrefutable and should at least be considered by the managers. It's really exciting to see him link the same principles to so many varying industries from high tech to low tech. The overarching principle of sustaining technology and disruptive technology and how a company should embrace it could be applied to any large established industry.

    People who are interested in the business world should read this book and should especially be read by top managers in large corporation because many of them are ultimately responsible for success or failure of implementing disruptive technology. However, this is not a perfect book. I am a bit skeptical as to whether these rules apply to medium sized companies or companies with low margins. Therefore, my opinion is that the guidelines listed here really only applies to large organization with a lot of resources to divide. Also, The author sometimes repeat his points more than he should. He tends to concentrate so much on the hard disk drive industry that he left less room to get into deeper analysis into other industries.

    Overall, I think this is a great read for anyone interested in business and wondered about how large companies such as Montgomery Wards could go belly-up or why Digital Corporation disappeared from our vocabulary.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A "must own" for managers and business executives
    This is the best book on strategy I have ever read (and I've read a few in my time). In his book, "The Innovator's Dilemma", Clayton M. Christensen, business professor at Harvard, explains why established firms fail, more often than none, when confronted with disruptive technologies.

    Disruptive technology is different from radical innovation. Such technology initially proposes attributes that are not valued by current, mainstream customers. The technology is initially attractive to a small market segment -- making it unattractive for larger firms. Therefore lies the innovator's dillema: how to allocate resources to developing a technology that will target a smaller market and at lower margins.

    Thoughout his book, Mr. Christensen develops a framework for managers and executives (also valid and valuable for consultants and analysts) to be able to resolve this dillema.

    If you are to read only one book on business this year, the Innovator's Dillema should be it.

    The reviewer is a certified management consultant and earned his MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University and completed the Wharton School Multinational Marketing and Management Program. He is also a Professional Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering from the University of Toronto.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to a nice Theory
    Not quite as easy to read as I would have liked. Christensen describes some very interesting & plausible theories, but is somewhat confined into employing the computer disk industry as the rapidly changing example which both demonstrates & proves his theories, and its not necessarily the most exciting case material. Other products only get a minor look-in.

    What I did like is how he covers the footnotes at the end of each Chapter - so if they don't interest you, you can skip over them, but if they do interest you, then you don't have to struggle to the back of the book. I wish more authors & publishers would use that technique.

    One quibble - given his Economics background - of course there are plenty of graphs, and 99% of them are straight lines - there are no time dependent variances in his world.

    Read this before you read the Innovators Solution.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Driven by disks
    Clay Christensen combines the science of empirical research with the art of organizational behavior in his best-selling "The Innovator's Dilemma." The book provides tangible advice on how to foster innovation within a corporate environment. His case studies draw from the successes and failures of American companies within numerous industries (disk drives, excavators, motorcycles, software). Christensen's strong points include a creative presentation of data, lucid writing and frank admission that the advice in his book is not a one-size-fits-all panacea for management challenges. But a heads-up to readers: perhaps 50% of the book centers on the disk-drive manufacturing industry. Although the lessons learned in hard drives are interesting, a more balanced approach would have been welcome. "The Innovators Dilemma" is a well written management how-to, in the same league as classics by Peters or Hammer. The book seems to be written for managers in large organizations, but entrepreneurs will probably find the material just as beneficial.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book for anyone . . . especially business students
    This was a fantastic book. I began reading it less than half way through the MBA program I am in and I was amazed at how many of the arguments others were making in class fell apart. This book helped me better analyze several aspects of many of my classes and I only wish I would have read it sooner.

    I continued on and read the Innovator's Solution, and while I thought it was also a good book, I got much more out of the Innovator's Dilemma, though I still recommend both of them. ... Read more


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