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61. Harvard Business Review on Change
$18.15 $16.50 list($27.50)
62. Equity: Why Employee Ownership
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63. Mass Affluence: Seven New Rules
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64. Harvard Business Review on Entrepreneurship
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65. Profit From the Core : Growth
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66. The Entrepreneurial Mindset
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67. Harvard Business Review on Marketing
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68. Predictable Surprises: The Disasters
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69. Harvard Business Review on Measuring
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70. High Flyers: Developing the Next
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71. Leading Teams: Setting the Stage
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72. Information Rules: A Strategic
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73. The Social Life of Information
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74. Harvard Business Review on Negotiation
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75. Harvard Business Review on Managing
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76. A Bias for Action: How Effective
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77. Managing Projects Large and Small:
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78. Working Identity: Unconventional
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79. Strategy Maps: Converting Intangible
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80. Harvard Business Review on Managing

61. Harvard Business Review on Change (Harvard Business Review Paperback Series)
by John P. Kotter, James Collins, Richard Pascale, Jeanie Daniel Duck, Jerry Porras, Anthony Athos
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.97
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Asin: 0875848842
Catlog: Book (1998-09-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 18126
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Harvard Business Review paperback series is designed to bring today's managers and professionals the fundamental information they need to stay competitive in a fast-moving world. Here are the landmark ideas that have established the Harvard Business Review as required reading for ambitious businesspeople in organizations around the globe. From the seminal article "Leading Change" by John Kotter to Paul Strebel on why employees so often resist change, Harvard Business Review on Change is the most comprehensive resource available for embracing corporate change--and using it to your company's greatest advantage. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good book! Just don't buy the eBook copy!
It's a decent book that outline the necessary steps and precautions that need to re-engineer your company. However, I made a mistake by buying the eBook copy of this book because I needed it right the way. However, for this eBook, I cannot print any of the pages and, worse yet, I can't view the book on another PC. So my suggestion is that DON'T BUY eBOOK, it's the worst investment you can make.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good, and in addition.
This is a very good series of articles. In addition, I strongly recommend "Strategic Organizational Change" by Beitler. It is time and money well spent.

5-0 out of 5 stars A positive goldmine

In the nicest possible sense, this book isn't exactly what the title claims. All to often discussions of change management tend to concentrate on the people side of things and ignore the less glamerous topics such as re-tooling, revised administrative and reporting procedures and so on.
So, just to keep the record straight, this book is primarily concerned with the personnel aspects of change, with all other aspects of the overall process taking a very secondary part in the proceedings.

And now, on with the review:

One of the ways I judge a book like this is by the number of highlights I've made (makes it so much easier to refer back to the key points).
Sometimes I'll go through an entire book and be lucky to have half a dozen highlighted passage.

NOT here, though.

Without a hint of exaggeration I found numerous points worth highlighting in every one of the eight reprinted articles.

Of course this is not entirely surprising given the list of contributors, which includes such "leaders of the pack" as John Cotter ("Leading Change"), Richard Pascale and Anthony Athos ("The Reinvention Roller Coaster"), and Jerry Porras (Building Your Company's Vision").

I'd also like to commend the article "Managing Change : The Art of Balancing", by Jeanie Daniel Duck, (which ended up with highlighting on nearly every page!).

So, whilst the material is not exactly new (the various items appeared in the Harvard Business Review between 1992 and 1998), I'd suggest this well-chosen set of articles is as important now as when the articles were first published.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tight, Concise and Has Executive Summaries
Do you prefer tight, concise articles compared to eloquent tomes, simply because you don't have the time to read as much as you might like? If that's the case, then here is a great book on change management just for you. This collection is one in a series from the Harvard Business Review, and is just about the most wide-ranging printed resource that this writer has found available for taking on corporate change.

There are articles from such leading authorities on change management as John Kotter (Leading Change), Paul Strebel, and more. Each article opens with an executive summary, helping you decide if you want to tackle that article then and there, or move on to another that fits your interests of the moment.

Sooner or later, change is about people altering the status quo, and those in charge often turn a blind eye to the fact that leadership is singularly the most important issue when an organization has to implement major changes. This is followed closely by teamwork, of which there won't be any without leadership.

Inside the covers you'll find the collected knowledge, opinions and counsel of those executives and consultants who have dealt with change at all levels. If your schedule doesn't permit you to leisurely meander through hundreds of pages to find a few workable ideas upon which to build some change solutions, then this collection should be highly recommended for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars The only thing constant in business is change!
This books brings togheter the thoughts, experiences and advice of consultants and managers that have dealt with change. If companies don't learn how to cope with change they'll go out of business, and this book teachs you how to deal with it. I specially liked the Lockheed Martin's survival story because it showed how a company involved in a declining industry (defense) was able to reinvent itself through acquisitions and other strategies, making it a profitable company who's stock outperformed for several years the S&P 500 index. Change is eventually about people changing and managers often disregard the fact that leadership is the most important factor when an organization has to implement serious changes. ... Read more


62. Equity: Why Employee Ownership Is Good For Business
by Corey Rosen, John Case, Martin Staubus
list price: $27.50
our price: $18.15
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Asin: 1591393310
Catlog: Book (2005-05-30)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 23190
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

How employee ownership can pay bottom-line benefits

Today, more than 25 percent of American workers own stock in their employers. You can shop at employee-owned supermarkets such as Publix, buy Gore-Tex fabric from employee-owned W.L. Gore & Associates, and sip coffee served by employee owners at Starbucks.

Now Corey Rosen, John Case, and Martin Staubus present convincing evidence that employee ownership can be much more than just a good benefit program. Done right, it can be the foundation for a new-and more effective-model of management. Drawing on first-hand studies of dozens of companies from large corporations to local retailers, the authors show that the "equity model" enables firms to grow faster and more profitably than conventionally run competitors. Vivid examples of both winning and failed attempts at employee ownership reveal the key concepts that make the model successful, and suggest how managers can adapt these strategies for use in their own companies.

This lively and practical guide delivers a sound business case for making employees true partners in a firm's success.

... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Stories Make It Work
Rosen, Case and Staubus have authored one of the most readable books I have encountered on employee ownership and the difference it can make for employees and companies, irrespective of industry or geography. This book is filled with very personal stories, as well as compelling dreams that have been realized through the collaboration of owners at all levels of an organization. The authors provide rich evidence in the post-Enron era that hope is very alive for business models that invite all employees into the opportunities for success. After reading the book I had a list of several businesses I wanted to visit just to see how they've done it. Definitely an inspiring book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Everything you want to know about employee ownership
As someone who's been active in employee ownership for over a decade, I can't think of any of book - or any other source - that does a better job of pulling together dozens of company stories, hundreds of examples, and thousands of hours of collected wisdom into a single place. This book will intrigue company leaders who want to know how to make ownership work, satisfy the prove-it-to-me crowd with up-to-date research, and even entertain the lay reader with inspiring stories and personal anecdotes. It strikes a balance between history and current events, between theory and practice, and between raw fact and the human touch. Read it to get the inside scoop on one of the most under-reported trends in the U.S. economy from three of the field's most respected thinkers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sid Scott, M.B.A. (Dubuque, IAUSA)
Recently, personal ownership of various kinds in our society has been emphasized. This book addresses perhaps the most important and rewarding type of ownership--employee ownership.

The book is chock full of interesting statistics and insightful research studies juxtaposed with wonderful success stories and anecdotes about how having significant and broad ownership changes (for the better)how an organization is run. Rosen, Case and Staubus bring decades of experience, observations and conclusions that will help everyone from owners looking for positive ways to perpetuate their businesses to managers wanting to improve product development, customer service, management, motivation, rewards systems and profitability to employee owners interested in learning from the experiences of folks at other organizations.This book is a must read for anyone wanting to learn the important business advantages of having people own and actively participate in making the places where they work more competitive and successful.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Business Owners and Management Consultants
This is a clear, concise and very readable book that makes the case for the Equity Model of ownership and management better than anything that has been written to date.After reading this book, you will readily see why all of the management theories of the past-Theory X, Theory Y, Theory Z, Management by Objectives, Management by Walking Around, Reengineering by Downsizing, the One Minute Manager, Quality Circles, etc.-have failed. Throw out all of your existing management theory books.This is the only only one that has got it right.

The Equity Model has evolved over the past 30 years and has resulted in phenomenal performance by those companies that have used it. As described by the authors, the Equity Model involves three essential components-stock ownership, an ownership culture, and employee training and involvement in the specific goals and strategies of the business in question.Unfortunately, most business owners and most ESOP consultants have overlooked the importance of the third component.Ownership by itself is not sufficient.An ownership culture by itself is not sufficient.Even combining stock ownership with an ownership culture is not sufficient. Superior results only occur if all three components are utilizied.

This book traces the origins and development of each of these three components and then illustrates through numerous case examples how these components have been successfully combined to create high performance results, even in very mundane industries.

This book also gives practical, easy-to-follow guidelines as to how these components can be combined to create the best results.In today's global competitive environment, following these guidelines may just make the difference between success and survival on the one hand or business failure on the other.




5-0 out of 5 stars This book makes sense
Rosen, Case and Staubus have done a wonderful job of making a very basic case.Having broad employee ownership of a company makes sense.It makes sense for the employees.And it makes sense for the company.The employees benefit through receiving value beyond wages.The company is better off because the employees work smarter and work harder as owners than as hired hands.Through the case studies and the analysis the authors write what historically has not been written: a book which realistically makes the case that employee ownership helps companies become stronger and more competitive.It is also very important to note that Harvard has published this book.To date, major university presses have not emphasized employee ownership among their priorities.It is to Harvard's credit that they have found a fabulous book to publish on this topic. ... Read more


63. Mass Affluence: Seven New Rules of Marketing to Today's Consumer
by Paul Nunes, Brian Johnson
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
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Asin: 1591391962
Catlog: Book (2004-09-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 96054
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Book Description

How to Capture Today's Biggest Untapped Market

Forget mass customization and microsegmentation. Winning in today's business world requires a return to an approach abandoned by marketing experts decades ago. Mass marketing is back, say Paul Nunes and Brian Johnson-but with a new target and a fresh approach that companies ignore at their peril.

While the mass-marketing concepts of the 1950s consisted of lowest-common-denominator strategies aimed at the "middle class," Nunes and Johnson argue that the rules of mass marketing must be rewritten to appeal to today's burgeoning mass of different-and far more affluent-consumers. The "moneyed masses" have more disposable income than ever, and research shows the richest among them are not spending up to their potential-thus creating a windfall of opportunity for marketers. Based on extensive consumer research, Mass Affluence outlines seven new rules for capturing this largely ignored market, and reveals how innovative companies are already employing them to launch billion-dollar industries in categories from oral care to homebuilding to exotic automobiles.

A sea change in marketing is underway-and future growth and profitability will belong to the companies that woo and win today's affluent mass market.

... Read more


64. Harvard Business Review on Entrepreneurship (The Harvard Business Review Paperback Series)
by Amar Bhldt, William Sahlman, James Stancil, Arthur Rock, Michael Nevens, Gregory Summe
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
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Asin: 0875849105
Catlog: Book (1999-02-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 30924
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Download Description

Beginning with the basics of writing a business plan, this wide-ranging resource moves on to cover sophisticated topics such as how to navigate the world of venture capital funding and strategies for turning technological innovations into successful marketplace realities. Harvard Business Review on Entrepreneurship offers valuable insights for all types of business pioneers. The Harvard Business Review Paperback Series is designed to bring today’s managers and professionals the fundamental information they need to stay competitive in a fast-moving world. Here are the landmark ideas that have established the Harvard Business Review as required reading for ambitious business people in organizations around the globe. Articles include: The Questions Every Entrepreneur Must Answer by Amar V. Bhide; How to Write a Great Business Plan by William A. Sahlman; How Entrepreneurs Craft Strategies That Work by Amar V. Bhide; How Much Money Does Your New Venture Need? by James McNeill Stancill; Milestones for Successful Venture Planning by Zenus Block and Ian C. MacMillan; Strategy vs. Tactics from a Venture Capitalist by Arthur Rock; Bootstrap Finance: The Art of Start-Ups by Amar V. Bhide; and Commercializing Technology: What the Best Companies Do by J. Michael Nevens, Gregory L. Summe, and Bro Uttal. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Simply easy to read with many examples
If you are looking to become an entrepreneur, or if you are are one, I recommend you read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most important handbook for entrepreneurs
As an entrepreneur with varying degree of success and failure, I found this book to be the most accurate writing on the subject. If I could read this book many years ago, I would have avoided many expensive mistakes. If you are looking to become an entrepreneur, or if you are are already one, I strongly recommend you read this book--and take notes because virtually everthing in this book applies to every entrepreneur. This is a must read for every business person.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Guide to Entrepreneurship
This book is a collection of easy to read articles by eminent faculty as well as venture capitalists teaching and supporting entrepreneurship.

These articles offer an insight into the problems faced by a start-up as well as methods to prioritize their activities. It does offer ideas to entrepreneurs to manage and grow a start-up.

Overall a good collection of articles with some very contrasting schools of thought.

4-0 out of 5 stars Entrepreneurship
I found the articles light and easy to read, yet interesting enough to keep me up in bed. Also, very informative. Good selection of case studies on topic. As good as HBR Effective Communication ... Read more


65. Profit From the Core : Growth Strategy in an Era of Turbulence
by Chris Zook, James Allen, James Allen
list price: $27.50
our price: $18.15
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Asin: 1578512301
Catlog: Book (2001-02)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 62125
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Spawned by a 10-year study of 2,000 firms conducted at Bain & Company, a global consultancy specializing in business strategy, Profit from the Core is based on the fundamental but oft-ignored maxim that prolonged corporate growth is most profitably achieved by concentrating on a single core business. To help companies identify this true essence, narrow their focus accordingly, and move forward in a manner that builds upon existing structure, Bain director Chris Zook and former Bain director James Allen present "a set of practical and proven principles, diagnostic tests, and questions for management teams to use as tools for reexamining or revising their strategies in search of the next wave of profitable growth." Bolstering their argument with real-world examples--including companies such as Disney, which succeeded by taking this approach, and Bausch & Lomb, which faltered by eschewing it--the authors show how to effectively uncover true corporate strengths, elevate them to realize their potential, identify related new businesses that could be successfully added, and even completely redefine a core when confronted with factors forcing such action. (For example: they offer a step-by-step method for mapping "adjacent opportunities" that may prove complementary, ranking them according to potential, and developing strategies to further evaluate and ultimately implement them.) The result is recommended for anyone tired of the management theory du jour who seeks a proven way to propel their company into the future. --Howard Rothman ... Read more

Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars Facts and common sense
It is such a pleasure to read a business book free of the gibberish catch-phrases and stilted prose that characterize so many in this saturated segment. Zook's expositions on how companies grow and create value are not driven from guesswork or force-fitting examples into a pre-conceived frame. He started with data and draws the unavoidable conclusions from the data elegantly and simply. Relative market share in a well-defined industry is shown time and again to be a sure way to sustainable growth. Running a business is 95% operations, 5% strategy, but the 95% is useless if the 5% is wrong. This book deals comprehensively with the 5%. Practitioners shouldn't need much else to guide their most important decisions.

5-0 out of 5 stars Without a Core, Chaos
After a two-year study of the key strategic decisions that most often determine growth or stagnation in business, Zook (with Allen) realized that clients of Bain & Company were eager to share the results of that study. Only later did he decide to write this book, one in which he presents and then develops "a useful framework for understanding and addressing the key decision points encountered in growing a business." He concluded that this framework is practical and could be applied (with appropriate modification) within almost any organization. In the Preface, Zook acknowledges that he was surprised by some of the findings which he briefly identifies. He then observes: "Central to our findings are three ideas: the concept of the core business and its boundaries; the idea that every business has a level of full-potential performance that usually exceeds what the company imagines; and the idea that performance-yield loss occurs at many levels, from strategy to leadership to organizational capabilities to execution." In the five chapters which follow, Zook (with Allen) examines "the types of strategic business decisions that most often seem to tilt the odds of future success or failure." Zook correctly suggests in this book that many organizations cannot resist the appeal ("the siren's song") of "miracle cures" of their problems. Zook focuses entirely on what has been verified in real-world experience, on what is practical, and on what will reliably achieve the desired results of sound strategic decisions.

He and his associates learned a great deal from the study, confiding that "some of the results were quite counterintuitive to us." Several of the findings caught my eye and caused me to challenge a few of my own cherished assumptions. For example, that "the choice of the next hot industry was much less important in driving growth and profitability over the long term than were strategy, competitive position, reinvesting rates, and execution." They also learned that many of the most successful sustained growth companies are actually in lower growth businesses (e.g. Enron in energy, ServiceMaster in basic services, and Bechtel in engineering). Why? Zook suggests that "it might be precisely the difficulty of of these market environments that elicits superior business creativity in the search for new growth out of their core businesses." In other words, these companies ignored "the siren's song" and stuck to the aforementioned "basics": strategy, competitive position, reinvesting rates, and execution. In the last chapter, Zook quotes Sun Tzu: "The more opportunities that I seize, the more opportunities that multiply before me." He then asserts that this phenomenon "is at the heart of growth strategy and embodies the fundamental tension between protecting the core [i.e. 'the basics'] and driving into more and better adjacencies, propelled by greater and greater success."

The various mini-case studies provided are very informative. I also appreciative the dozens of check lists (e.g. "Ten Key Questions for Management"), charts (e.g. 3-1 "Adjacencies Radiate from the Core"), and chapter "Conclusion" sections, all of which serve two important functions: they distill key ideas, and, they can serve as helpful reminders when reviewed later. Obviously, the "goal posts" in today's business world approach and then withdraw, widen and then narrow, with sometimes maddening unpredictability. Wait until they are closer for an easier kick or kick now ("carpe diem") before they begin to back up? Wait until they are wider? What if they become narrower? This metaphorical situation is complicated by the fact that opponents are trying to block the kick in what may well be inclement weather or at least against the wind. Kick now or wait?

One of the most interesting concepts shared in this book is what Zook refers to as "The Alexander Problem." Briefly, Alexander the Great and his armies eventually conquered an area stretching from Mount Olympus to Mount Everest. That was accomplished in less than four years. His resources became overextended. "His sticking point -- the failure to anchor in the core business (in his case, governance) and consolidate a rapid expansion --exemplifies the most common problem across all growth strategy": pursuing the wrong adjacency opportunities. With Alexander's premature death, his empire died with him. He was its core. The same is true of countless companies which expand into related segments which do not utilize, much less reinforce, the strength of their profitable core. "Business adjacencies are growth opportunities that follow a company to extend the boundaries of its core business. What distinguishes an adjacency from another growth opportunity is the extent to which it draws on the customer relationships, technologies, or skills in the core business to build competitive advantage in a new, adjacent, competitive area." Have you ever wondered why at least 70% of all mergers and acquisitions either fail or perform well below expectations? The board members and senior-level executives of those organizations obviously had not read Zook's analysis of "The Alexander Problem" in Chapter 3.

Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to check out Crawford and Matthews' The Myth of Excellence, Fitz-enz's The E-Aligned Enterprise as well as The ROI of Human Capital, and Collins & Porras' Built to Last.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Realistic and very useful
This book is very good, it explains very clearly the different growth concepts with clear definitions, and a very interesting growth matrix. in addition, unlike other books, this book uses a lot of real world examples to illustarte the different concepts and growth startegies. It explains how companies, that succeded, evolved from their core business and developed new products without getting lost in the process. Also, explains why and how some companies failed. The book is realistic, and gives you some tools and matrix that you can apply when analyzing and developing a growth strategy. You should also check out the web site, it has some examples of how to apply the gowth matrix.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dell has applied this book idea very well
This is a very good book for anyone interest in business strategy. Especially reading it with Creative Destruction. One company which has applied this strategy very well is Dell. Its strategy to stay at the core in PC while adjaceny expansion into Printer, PDA ... etc. It stated in Businessweek that it is entering into the low-end (maybe ignorant by market leader) market for market share first. It is similar to a point mentioned in the book. I guess it has a lot to do with Rollin (one of the head of Dell)

1-0 out of 5 stars These guys really messed up
This book is clearly overrated -- very simplistic and nothing more than a marketing tool for would-be customers. The book's fatal flaw is probably its praise of Enron and its ability to grow from its "core" ... Read more


66. The Entrepreneurial Mindset
by Rita Gunther McGrath, Ian MacMillan
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0875848346
Catlog: Book (2000-08)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 41986
Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A Blueprint for Building Entrepreneurial Organizations
Nobody needs to tell you that in the new economy, managers using conventional strategies are losing out to smart, fast, entrepreneurial competitors who move on ideas others overlook and who confidently act while others dither.Are the managers of leading companies simply doomed to let this happen?Not at all, argue Rita Gunther McGrath and Ian MacMillan.The fundamental problem is that the tools, training, and conceptual frameworks that work for business-as-usual can't, and don't, work when your main challenge is to bury old business models and aggressively create completely new ones.To succeed, today's strategists need the thought process and discipline that are second nature to successful entrepreneurs. The Entrepreneurial Mindset offers a refreshingly practical blueprint for thinking and acting in environments that are fast-paced, rapidly changing, and highly uncertain. It provides both a guide to energizing the organization to find tomorrow's opportunities and a set of entrepreneurial principles you can use personally to transform the arenas in which you compete.

Using lessons drawn from leading entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies, The Entrepreneurial Mindset presents a set of practices for capitalizing on uncertainty and rapid change.Like McGrath and MacMillan's bestselling Harvard Business Review articles, such as "Discovery-Driven Planning," the book provides simple but powerful ways to stop acting by the old rules and start thinking with the discipline of habitual entrepreneurs.

The Entrepreneurial Mindset will show you how to:
* Eliminate paralyzing uncertainty by creating an entrepreneurial frame that shapes a shared understanding of what is to be accomplished and what would be worthwhile
* Create a richly stocked opportunity register in which you mobilize great ideas for redesigning existing products, finding new sources of differentiation, resegmenting existing markets, reconfiguring market spaces, and seizing the huge upside potential of breakthroughs
* Build a dynamic portfolio of businesses and options that continuously move your organization toward the future
* Execute dynamically your ideas so that you can move fast, with confidence and without undue risk
* Develop your own way of leading with an entrepreneurial mindset to create a vibrant entrepreneurial climate within your organization

The Entrepreneurial Mindset is about succeeding in an unpredictable world. It will help everyone from independent entrepreneurs to managers of large corporations develop insights that others overlook and act on them to build the truly entrepreneurial organizations of the future. ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Actionable advice for entrepreneurship
MacMillan and McGrath put together one of the most actionable management books I have read in years. Each chapter is replete with how-to information: frameworks, tools and methodologies to implement their strategies and build-out new ventures.

The first 7 chapters provide tools to identify and define opportunities. Chapter 2, for example, details exactly how to set up a database to capture new business opportunities, with fields that describe the product/service and forces that affect its success, such as competition and company position. Chapters 3 through 6 provide usable frameworks which will fill your database with opportunities. The frameworks cover everything from redesigning products and services and redifferentiating for customers to resegmenting and restructuring markets and creating new competencies. The rest of the book covers execution: developing and timing entry strategies, managing uncertainty through discovery driven planning, and creating an entrepreneurial culture.

As a consultant, I have been able to use many of MacMillan's and McGrath's frameworks with my clients. Specifically, chapter 8's opportunity options frameworks have been invaluable to categorize new venture opportunities for our clients in the high-tech and financial services industries, and have aided in determining "go" and "no-go" decisions for further investment. Additionally, as I am an aspiring entreprenuer, I personally use their tools for opportunity assessment to inventory and rate my own business ideas.

I highly recommend The Entrepreneurial Mindset to corporate venturers and entrepreneurs alike. While the book covers a lot of ground, it is able to do so in an easy to read fashion. The tools and frameworks throughout the book keep the reader engaged and turn the theoretical into the applicable. The Entreprenuerial Mindset is an essential desk reference for new venturing and a highly worthwhile read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading
Bottom line first: Buy this book. Not only can you immediately implement the tools described, but it will also serve as an excellent reference tool. It is well worth the time invested to read it. Consider it a[n]... option on your career with limitless upside.

The Entrepreneurial Mindset illustrates the process for rationally generating, choosing among, executing, and monitoring strategic opportunities in the face of uncertainty. Starting from the premise that no market is so mature that you cannot further differentiate your offerings, the authors offer action-oriented, simple tools that help to assess opportunities for launching new products and entering new markets. And those tools aren't just simple, they're also smart and unconventional, providing insight into the minds of habitual entrepreneurs who have honed their skill in creating value time and again.

McGrath and MacMillan publish the checklists, questions, quizzes, and models it took them years to develop while working with management teams in established firms to discern original responses to business challenges. You can start applying the principles and tools in each chapter immediately, getting some good quick hits even before finishing the book. For example, Chapter 11 alone contains 8 tools for developing leading indicators of the business to help tell if a project is heading in the right direction, long before the results become available. Chapter 10 is a gem too. It is based on one of Harvard Business Review's most popular articles, 'Discovery Driven Planning,' (written by the authors of this book) which was then developed into a course at Wharton's Executive Education Programs for several years.

Anyone who reads and implements the principles, strategies, and tools outlined in this book is sure create value, regardless of their corporate title, and it is a must-read for any strategy professional or executive manager. If you think your industry or business is too mature to benefit from this book, consider one of McGrath and MacMillan's many case studies that are fresh and actually worth studying: Blyth Industries boosted sales from $3 million in 1982 to nearly $500 million in 1996 by exploiting a mature industry. How mature? More than 5,000 years old: Blyth Industries sells candles.

Creating and nurturing an Entrepreneurial Mindset is a lot of fun and carries a lot of rewards, both professionally and personally. To quote the authors at the end of their first chapter: 'If nobody knows what the future will hold, your vision of how to navigate it is as good as anyone's. The future may well belong to you.'

-Sean Nevins, President of The Zermatt Group

4-0 out of 5 stars good stuff
If you need more check out www.antiventurecapital.com for startup manual for entrepreneurs who are unable or unwilling to tap venture capital.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best business book I have have ever read!!
If you are looking for structure in building/discovering new opportunities for a new or existing product or want to help in validating your current product offerings, this is the book for you. The insight it brings in helping you gain a better grasp of not only your products and services but also your business is invaluable. I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to establish a well thought out strategy to ensure future success and open their eyes to new possibilites.

Out of all the business book that I have read in getting my MBA and working in the real world, this one is the best. Great Job!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Just about any chapter demands you buy this book
This is a great book on strategy and innovation... of products, services, and your entire company.

There are many actionable checklists, as well as excellent case studies and comments. Lots of footnotes and a well-developed bibliography.

Minutes after you buy this book you could use their checklists to improve your product and service offerings.

Most highly recommended.

John Dunbar
Sugar Land, TX

PS: I bought a second copy to give away to a friend. ... Read more


67. Harvard Business Review on Marketing
by Harvard Business School Press
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578518040
Catlog: Book (2002-05-07)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 28841
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Harvard Business Review Paperback Series is designed to bring today's managers and professionals the fundamental information they need to stay competitive in a fast-moving world. From the preeminent thinkers whose work has defined an entire field to the rising stars who will redefine the way we think about business, here are the leading minds and landmark ideas that have established the Harvard Business Review as required reading for ambitious businesspeople in organizations around the globe.

A first-time collection of the old classics and best new thinking on marketing. The articles provide a diverse look at marketing, including global branding, one-to-one marketing, and how to manage buzz.

... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Collection of the best articles from the HBR magazine.
There are now over 20 books in this Harvard Business Review series. All the books are compilations of the best articles from the Harvard Business Review magazine. This book is one of the best books in the series for the quality, relevance, and usefulness of the articles selected for inclusion.

The eight articles selected for this book are 'The Brand Report Card', 'Bringing a Dying Brand Back to Life', 'How to Fight a Price War', 'Contextual Marketing: The Real Business of the Internet', 'The Lure of Global Marketing', 'Are the Strategic Stars Aligned for Your Corporate Brand', 'Torment Your Customers (They'll Love It), and 'Boost Your Marketing ROI with Experimental Design'.

My favorite article was the first one 'The Brand Report Card'. This article in just a few pages cuts to the core of how to evaluate the strength of your brand using a very logical approach.

The article on Contextual Marketing about the Internet is very interesting since it was written in late 2000 and makes predictions about how the Internet will change by the end of 2003 to 2005. But even the basic predictions haven't come true regarding how ubiquitous the authors predict the Internet will become. Yes, we have access to the Internet through wireless devices but they are not very profitable for businesses right now. Of course, the current economic conditions are influencing the predictions quite significantly.

Overall, this is indeed an excellent collection of articles relating to Marketing and the book is priced well since it is far more expensive to buy the same collection of articles directly from Harvard Business Review online (almost 5 times more expensive).

I have been reading several books on marketing over the last few years to apply in my small business and this book is one of the best I have read. It is less than 200 pages long and makes for a very quick yet powerful read. Enjoy reading and benefiting from the book! ... Read more


68. Predictable Surprises: The Disasters You Should Have Seen Coming, and How to Prevent Them (Leadership for the Common Good)
by Max H. Bazerman, Michael D. Watkins
list price: $27.50
our price: $18.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1591391784
Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 21813
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Book Description

You and Your Organization Are at Risk

Were the earth-shattering events of September 11, 2001, predictable, or were they a surprise? What about the collapse of Enron in bankruptcy and scandal? Max H. Bazerman and Michael D. Watkins argue that they were actually "predictable surprises"-disastrous examples of the failure to recognize potential tragedies and actively work to prevent them. Disturbingly, this dangerous phenomenon has its roots in universal human and organizational tendencies that leave no individual or company immune.

In this riveting book, Bazerman and Watkins, leading experts in managerial decision making, show that many disasters are preceded by clear warning signals that leaders either miss-or purposely ignore. They explain the cognitive, organizational, and political biases that make predictable surprises so common in business and society, and outline six danger signals that suggest a predictable surprise may be imminent. They also provide a systematic framework that leaders can use to recognize and prioritize brewing disasters and mobilize their organizations to prevent them.

Filled with vivid accounts of predictable surprises in business and society across public and private sectors, this book highlights a phenomenon that holds grave consequences-and challenges leaders to find the courage to act before it's too late.

A Leadership for the Common Good book

Published in partnership with the Center for Public Leadership

... Read more


69. Harvard Business Review on Measuring Corporate Performance (Harvard Business Review Series)
by Peter F. Drucker, Robert Eccles, Joseph A. Ness, Thomas G. Cucuzza, Robert Simons, Antonlo Dbvlla, Robert Kaplan, David Norton
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0875848826
Catlog: Book (1998-09-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 94529
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Harvard Business Review paperback series is designed to bring today's managers and professionals the fundamental information they need to stay competitive in a fast-moving world. Here are the landmark ideas that have established the Harvard Business Review as required reading for ambitious businesspeople in organizations around the globe. The works collected in Harvard Business Review on Measuring Corporate Performance--including the three groundbreaking articles on the balanced scorecard by Kaplan and Norton--offer managers practical guidance for measuring their intangible assets (customer relationships, internal business processes, and employee learning) and aligning corporate strategy accordingly. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good compilation of articles - but repeat information
If you have read The Essential Drucker, Balanced scorecard etc. , the book essentially has the same information repeated under a different title. Recommend Essential Drucker, Balanced Score card which is more comprehensive than this title.

4-0 out of 5 stars The ABC's of Balancing Your Scorecard...
This collection of eight articles from the HBR is a must IF AND ONLY IF you want the only highlights of some of the new management tools and theories out there. If you've ever wondered what Activity-Based Costing (ABC) is or what Kaplan's "Balanced Scorecard" is all about, this may be just the introductory text for you. I mention these two tools first since 2 out of 8 articles deal with ABC, either in whole or in part, while another 3 deal specifically with the balanced scorecard. So, if you've got ABC and the balanced scorecard already firmly laid out in your head, this may be a bit redundant.

The remaining three articles are still worth a quick read though. I found in one article, "How the Right Measures Help Teams Excel," ideas that I hadn't seen anywhere else (for example, the team "dashboard"). And, the "How High is Your Return on Management?" article might give managers a moment of reflection on whether or not they have a good ROM and what they can do to improve it.

As I stated before, much of this is merely highlights though. Do not expect to be able to use this book as a primary source to implement any of the measures. It's a tease that gets you excited (at least it did me), but doesn't provide much of a game plan for bringing it all about.

Still, if what you want is a quick overview and a few case studies where these principles and tools have been applied, by all means, read this. It's worth at least that much.

5-0 out of 5 stars THIS BOOK MEASURES UP TO THE BEST ON THIS SUBJECT.
Looking for some informative, original and clear thinking about measuring performance? This book is a great choice! This is a collection of eight outstanding articles selected from past editions of the HBR. The articles cover such subjects as activity-based costing, the use of nonfinancial criteria, and tools executives require to generate the information needed. Each article begins with an executive summary which, for the fast-forward crowd, is a big plus.

So many books are merely ONE GOOD ARTICLE embedded in a thicket of verbiage. Chopping away through such a jungle of verbosity for the gist-of-it-all often proves tedious and disappointing. (Blessed are the laconic!) This book, on the other hand, just serves up a bunch of 'gists' -the pure meat and potatoes of ideas. Happily, the HBSP has published several other collections of this sort on such topics as knowledge management, change, and strategies for growth. Each of these is collection of first-rate 'gists'. Reviewed by Gerry Stern, founder, Stern & Associates, author of Stern's Sourcefinder The Master Directory to HR and Business Management Information & Resources, Stern's CyberSpace SourceFinder, and the Compensation and Benefits SourceFinder.

5-0 out of 5 stars very useful book
This is a vey useful books as a reprints of HBR and catagorized on the corporate reviews of companies, with big part on the famous balanced scoeboard, and a nice section on team performance. But this is not suiatble for small companies review system which i m looking for. If what you r looking for is a way of seeing hhow company performs and you r in big corporation, this is an exellent books as other HBR reprints books that now availabe at many formats... definitely 5 stars.

tanadi santoso ... Read more


70. High Flyers: Developing the Next Generation of Leaders
by Morgan W. McCall Jr.
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0875843360
Catlog: Book (1998-01-15)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 203314
Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

How do you develop the people who will one day lead yourcompany?

This book challenges conventional wisdom about how togroom executives for the top positions in your firm. It presents astrategic framework for identifying and developing future executivesthat senior managers can use to find the "hidden" talents in theirmidst. The key is to look for the people with the capabilities to runthe business tomorrow--not today.

McCall demonstrates that the bestexecutives aren't necessarily managers who possess a previouslyidentified, generic list of traits or who have risen to the top throughsurvival of the fittest. Rather, the real leaders of the future arethose who have the ability to learn from their experiences and remainopen to continuous learning. If these people get the right experienceson the job, they will have the ultimate opportunity to learn newexecutive skills--and it's the responsibility of the firm's currentleadership, especially line management, to make that happen.

Fullof vivid real-life examples, High Flyers explains how senior managerscan create an environment that supports the development of talent andlink the firm's business strategy with the kinds of experiences peopleneed if they are to lead a company in fulfilling its mission. The bookalso shows how individuals can take charge of their own development andavoid common pitfalls that lead to falling off the executivetrack.

This revealing guide is for everyone in the organization whohas responsibility for developing people--as well as for aspiringmanagers who want to learn what it takes to become truly effectiveleaders. For companies, High Flyers demonstrates the power of executivedevelopment as a competitive advantage and the way to ensure the bestleadership for the future. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars More about executives than leaders...
The author is a professor of management at USC, so his perspectives on leadership are limited to those qualities found in executives and in very large businesses that support the training of executives. The most helpful aspect of his book is that McCall urges large companies to develop systematic training for executive leaders, rather than leaving younger executives in a sink-or-swim situation. He also has a bias against ruthless, cut-throat competition and male testosterone-driven demonstrations of power and wealth that executives can get drawn into or promote.
Nevertheless, the book is limited: it says very little about leadership as a quality found in other people, other settings; implies that leadership is a unique quality of exceptional people that can be taught to those up-and-coming risers primarily; and supporting data is quite limited. He stumbles when he talks about leadership per se by using an example of a child violin prodigy, as if this child-becoming-virtuoso should be our model of leadership development.
It also is overwritten, the way stuff from Harvard Business School Press is overwritten: breathless, breathtaking, fawning over winners, etc.

4-0 out of 5 stars Decent book, especially if you are new to the field
This is a pretty good book for those new to the leadership literature. Its main point is that leaders are made, not born. I found it a little long for the point it was making, but thats probably because I've read other books in the area.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Process for Strategy-Driven Leadership Development
You will find a thoughtful, thorough process here for using a company's strategy to delineate what kind of leaders you will need, identify the leadership experiences that can create that type of leader, then to locate those who have the highest potential to develop those capabilities (those who learn rapidly and well), and to monitor progress. This is a very humane book that will help many avoid the painful career derailments that we read about all too often when a top performer suddenly crashes and burns in public.

By comparison, most companies are looking for executives with the right stuff for today, not the future. Then in a Darwinian process of survival of the fittest, those with the best track records win the leadership roles. Professor McCall points out a very serious flaw in this model, in that many people progress without developing any better leadership skills. With more and more success, leadership skill may actually drop as strengths and competencies are more and more likely to turn into weaknesses as they become exaggerated and weaknesses stay weak. He uses a detailed case history of Horst Schroeder, who was fired as president of Kellogg's after only 9 months, to make these points.

On the usually-correct assumption that your company has not yet brought this new model to bear, the author presents an excellent appendix for helping an individual executive to plan and implement one's own development.

"The message of High Flyers is that leadership ability can be learned, that creating a context that supports the development of talent can become a source of competitive advantage, and that the development of leaders is itself a leadership responsibility." I suggest that you consider Jack Welch at General Electric as the embodiment of the truth of this statement.

Now let me share my concerns about this book. Most companies change strategies at least as often as they change CEOs. Many do it even more often. The average life of a strategy has to be about 3-5 years. That's too short a time to be the context for a leadership development program, unless the new strategy requires exactly the same kind of leaders -- which is unlikely to be the case. In such environments, leadership recruiting probably deserves more attention than leadership development. On the other hand, strategy should not change so often. As my co-author and I point out in The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, it is possible to have a constant mission, vision, and strategy in the midst of a rapidly changing business environment if you think through the issues of potential volatility in advance. In that sort of company, this book's approach will prosper, as will the company and its stakeholders. I urge you to combine these perspectives and approaches in that way.

My other concern is that mission, vision, and emotional context are more important than strategy to success. Professor McCall unaccountably ignored those other important "fit" and "development" issues. They should certainly be added back into this general model by anyone who is interested in systematically developing and providing more and better leadership.

After you have finished reading this excellent book, consider the next governmental election you are asked to vote in. How could government leadership be improved by using a similar process to develop the next generation of elected candidates? Certainly, the task of governing is becoming ever greater yet the current process has all of the flaws of "survival of the fittest" that Professor McCall describes here. We can do better. How should we?

How can this process be used in a nonprofit organization that you do volunteer work for?

4-0 out of 5 stars A MODEL FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS
MCCALL INTRODUCES A MODEL FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS, SUGGESTING THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE ABLE TO LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE WILL LEARN THE NECESSARY LEADERSHIP SKILLS, IF THEY ARE EXPOSED TO THE RIGHT KIND OF EXPERIENCES, AND IF THEY RECEIVE THE RIGHT KIND OF SUPPORT IN THEIR LEARNING EFFORTS. HE POINTS OUT, THAT IT HAS TO BE THE BUSINESS STRATEGY AS DEFINED BY THE TOP-MANAGEMENT THAT DETERMINES WHICH LEADERSHIP SKILLS ARE REQUIRED FOR THE FUTURE OF THE ORGANISATION, AND WHICH KIND OF EXPERIENCE WILL BE KEY FOR THE INTENDED PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT (188).

McCall starts by discussing the nature of leadership skills: are they a set of skills, that one either does have or not, or can they be learned? Based on his previous research he holds, that executive leaders are more made than born. Therefore he asserts that leadership potential can not be identified by looking for a profile of "competencies", but by looking for the ability to acquire the skills that will be needed in the future. Only this approach will insure leadership capability in a world of rapid change (4/5). McCall goes on by contrasting a "selection perspective" and a "developmental perspective". If leadership requirements are seen as a finite set of positive attributes, or "competencies", a leader either has them or not. Experience will be a test to verify whether one has them or not. On the other hand, if leadership requirements are seen as something that can come in multiple possibilities, a leader might obtain them, but also loose them, over time. Experience will be a source of the required attributes.

To build the case for a developmental perspective, McCall analyses "derailment" cases, were things went wrong. Using the example of the president of Kellogg Co., Horst Schroeder, he names five factors of initial success, which are common to people who failed at a later stage of their career: track record, brilliance, commitment, charm and ambition (29). When looking at the causes for the turn from success to failure, he lists four elements: 1) strengths can become a weakness, 2) blind spots or weaknesses that did not matter initially, later do matter, 3) success can lead to arrogance and 4) bad luck. (36).

McCall then sets out to define what would be the "right kind of experience". He outlines sixteen developmental experiences, coming in four groups: 1) assignments, 2) other people, 3) hardships and 4) other events (68). McCall emphasises, that there is no such thing as a generic development path, however, meaning that many different experiences can be useful. Development, therefore, is about a rational use of experience (81).

McCall holds that executive development should be determined by business strategy: the business strategy has to suggest which experiences are the most important for development (108). He points out that there are already processes at work, that have to be identified first. He than uses a case study (99) to describe the path from strategic intend to executive development: strategy, e.g. "sustained growth", was translated into leadership challenges, e.g. "dealing with increased complexity effectively". These leadership challenges were subsequently translated to possible developmental experiences, e.g. "lead an expansion that requires adding something new or different".

As McCall believes that leadership talent should not be identified by using a list of end-state attributes, but by looking for the ability to learn what needs to be learned from experiences, he introduces a growth model for talent (130). First, talented people will have to pay the "price of admission" for getting the organisational attention and investment. This involves being committed to making a difference, seeing things from new angles and having the courage to taking risks. Then, talented people will take advantage of the opportunities generated by the visibility. The next difference that characterise talented people is that they increase the learning opportunity. Finally, they take learning to heart, and change as a result of the experience.

Because of the central role of "the right kind of experience" in the development of the next generation of leaders, the mechanism to move people from one assignment to another is McCall's next focus. Succession planning can be more productive from a developmental perspective, if replacement candidates for key assignments are not identified on the basis of their current readiness for the job, but on the basis of how much they could learn from it. He predicts, that decision makers would only dare to do so, if they are not only held accountable for short-term results, but also for development of talent to meet future strategic needs (149). In organisations, were no formal system for movement exists, tactics for development could include making deals with other managers, influencing individual executives and counselling talented people to play a more active role in their own development (153). Yet another approach would be reengineering or corporate restructuring, presenting opportunity to redesign jobs without necessarily reassigning people (157). In conclusion, McCall underlines that people learn most by doing things they have never done before.

McCall defines three catalysts as the right kind of assistance for the learning efforts of leadership talent: 1) improvement of feedback, 2) provision of incentives and resources, 3) support of the change effort (181).

In his final chapter, McCall summarises the case for strategic executive development: 1) leadership makes a difference for the successful change of organisations, 2) leadership can not always be found or bought outside, 3) derailments are expensive and therefore should be avoided, 4) "survival of the fittest" is not the same as "survival of the best", meaning that leaving leadership development up to chance is foolish, 5) development cost are already sunk for the larger part, so at least the return on the investment should be sought for, 6) creating a learning environment is consistent with employee empowerment, 7) it is good business practice and good for stakeholder relations.

The book is certainly worth reading.

3-0 out of 5 stars A strong argument overstretched.
Many celebrated leaders were high flyers. So was Icarus.

If experience teaches us anything, it's that we learn most effectively from experience. Such is the conclusion of Morgan McCall, whose years of work with leaders and organizations are encapsulated most recently in High Flyers. In McCall's view, leaders achieve success (and therefore promotion) because they have profited by experience, or at least proved themselves equipped to meet the challenges thrown at them. The emphasis here is on experience, not talent: although ability clearly plays a part in the ascent of the high flyer, it's the capacity and even eagerness to learn that distinguishes the eagle from the penguin.

Unfortunately, the shift from star-rise to nose-dive can strike even the highest flyer, and often does. Using extensive research and restrained gusto, McCall recounts cautionary tales of top corporate leaders, seemingly destined for greatness, who alarmingly and disastrously derailed. Initially successful for their track record, brilliance, commitment, charm, and/or ambition, these leaders were all perceived as having the "right stuff". However, as their power and authority increased, so did the importance of what McCall calls "the darker side of strengths", until - all too suddenly - the strengths became weaknesses, the arrogance and blind spots grew, the luck ended, and the house of cards came crashing down.

So what is to be done? McCall makes a persuasive case that if experience is the best teacher, then experience can be planned developmentally. In Chapters 3 and 4, the strongest of the book, he offers a series of figures and descriptions that identify (a) what makes an experience powerful, (b) which experiences can be planned as developmental interventions, and (c) how organizations can link their strategic intent to leadership challenges, and the challenges in turn to specific experiences for executive development. Here again McCall focuses on assignments, such as leading a turnaround, participating on an expansion team, or working for an effective leader several layers up. Training receives short shrift, other than the occasional passing reference to formal programs as substitutes for experiences that are unavailable or nonexistent. For the most part, leaders are made - not born - because their "talent [is] honed by experience over a long period." Give them the experience, create a learning culture, and the talented leaders will rise.

Assuming that you have identified the talent, of course. It's on this point that McCall himself derails, or switches to a slower and less certain track. The author dislikes and distrusts competencies; indeed, in referring to HR's over-hasty attempts to identify leadership talent, he asserts that "thus was ushered in the age of competencies, leadership development programs, and belief in miracles." Yet although he's correct that "end-state" competencies too often verge on the inflexible and vague, McCall ignores the potential of future-focused competencies and level-specific behavioral definitions. Furthermore, having denigrated leadership competency models, McCall falls back on nebulous notions of assessment that stress learning over performance and development over immediate results. But by admitting that (a) these notions differ merely in the competencies' orientation, (b) competency models provide the most consistent assessment criteria, and (c) competency-based assessments provide a progress report for development, McCall by book's end has gradually abandoned his stance in favor of inconclusive recommendations.

Ultimately, High Flyers poses a strong argument for planned, experience-based executive development. Other recommendations remain less clear, in part because McCall's "Prescriptive Matrix" appears in the last ten pages of the main text without room for full elucidation. One could wish that McCall had targeted his audience more precisely; for the relatively knowledgeable HR/OD professional, much of the second half of the book will tease rather than satisfy. But read High Flyers nonetheless, and use it to reexamine and reinvigorate the developmental path of your organization's leadership talent. Even better, give a copy to the reluctant senior executive who thinks leadership development is a waste of time. The research and business case will help you alarm, and even inspire. ... Read more


71. Leading Teams: Setting the Stage for Great Performances
by J. Richard Hackman
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578513332
Catlog: Book (2002-07-15)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 18543
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Winner of the 2004 George R. Terry Book Award!

Teams have more talent and experience, more diverse resources, and greater operating flexibility than individual performers. So why do so many teams either struggle unpleasantly toward an unsatisfactory conclusion-or, worse, crash and burn shortly after launch?

J. Richard Hackman, one of the world's leading experts on group and organizational behavior, argues that the answer to this puzzle is rooted in flawed thinking about team leadership. It is not a leader's management style that determines how well a team performs, but how well a leader designs and supports a team so that members can manage themselves.

According to Hackman, cookie-cutter formulas and prescribed leadership styles often backfire because they place far too much emphasis on the leader as the primary cause of team behavior. In Leading Teams, he identifies the key conditions that any leader can put in place to increase the likelihood of team success-regardless of his or her personality or preferred style of operating.

Through extensive research and compelling examples ranging from orchestras to economic analysts to airline cockpit crews, Hackman identifies five conditions that set the stage for great performances: a real team, a compelling direction, an enabling team structure, a supportive organizational context, and the availability of competent coaching.

Leading Teams outlines what leaders can do to structure, support, and guide teams in a way that

· enhances the social processes essential to collective work;

· builds shared commitment, skills, and task-appropriate coordination strategies;

· helps members troubleshoot problems and spot emerging opportunities; and

· captures experiences and translates them into shared knowledge.

Out of these conditions, Hackman argues, the very best teams emerge-teams that exceed client expectations, grow in capability over time, and contribute to the learning and personal fulfillment of individual members.

Authoritative, practical, and astutely realistic, Leading Teams offers a new and provocative way of thinking about and leading work teams in any organizational setting. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Engaging, practical, well-structured: a superb book on teams
Teamwork is more popular as a buzzword than as a practice when it comes to the actual experiences of team members in many organizations. In this engaging, well-structured, and practical book, Richard Hackman addresses this puzzling gap between theory and practice. Teams should have a richer pool of talent and experience, greater resources, and more flexibility than an individual. Yet a painfully large proportion of teams function poorly, often underperforming the same work done by individuals. Drawing on years of research and observation of teams ranging from music ensembles to airline crews to hockey teams, Hackman illuminates the dark corners of teamwork. Anyone working in a team or leading a team will benefit from reading his book. The author's engaging style comes as a significant bonus.

Teams go awry because leaders have focused on the wrong things (such as leadership style) when designing, managing, and supporting teams. Hackman explains why team effectiveness is best measured by the three criteria of a team product acceptable to clients, growth in team capability, and a group experience that is meaningful and satisfying for its members. Team members and leaders alike will benefit from fully appreciating the five conditions that Hackman has found to foster work team effectiveness: having a real team, a compelling direction, an enabling team structure, a supportive organizational context, and expert team coaching - the first three of which are the core conditions.

Contrary to "cause-effect" models of team leadership in which all the emphasis is placed on leadership behaviors and styles, in Hackman's view the central role of leaders is to create and maintain these five conditions. Leaders should not attempt to continually manage a team to *push* it to perform well. They will do better to establish a clear purpose and then make small adjustments at the right times. Consistent with this approach, Hackman warns against the pervasive tendency to assign credit or blame to specific individuals. Taking that perspective blinds those trying to "fix" or improve team performance to dynamics only evident at a group level of analysis.

Commendably, Hackman does *not* present his findings as a *universal* model for teams. His Authority Matrix (p.52) sets out four levels of team self-management. He does not address "manager-led teams" which have the lowest level of self-management since they are invariably disastrous for well-understood reasons. Nor does he look in depth at self-governing groups which take on all four levels of setting overall direction, designing the team and its organizational context, monitoring and managing work process and progress, and executing the team task. Hackman's model revolves around the most heavily populated middle categories of self-managing and self-designing teams.

Don't mistake this group level of analysis for any kind of fuzziness. You will find the book outstanding in the author's ability to combine compelling narrative with a finely-carved explanatory structure. The first condition of having a "real team" may appear fuzzy, but only until you read chapter 2 in which Hackman analyzes real work teams into four components, each with its own subtleties. As you read the examples and reflect on your own experiences participating in or observing teams, you will see how commonly teams fail to have a real team task (rather than being merely a "co-acting group"), to suffer from being "underbounded" or "overbounded", or to lack clearly delimited authority or inadequate stability over time. On the last element of real teams, Hackman strongly disputes the notion that long-lasting teams tend to deteriorate in performance. The only except appears to be research and development teams who becoming uniquely stale after about three years of stable membership.

Despite pushing back against over-managing teams, Hackman finds a crucial role for leadership in setting a compelling direction - the second core element of effective teams. Even here, direction must be carefully limited to ends rather than means. In the very worst teams, a leader sets highly specific means but leaves the purpose completely unspecified. Hackman's example of such a team at a bank will make some of us wince in painful remembrance. This understates the subtleties of Hackman's account, which unfolds in his discussion of the trade-offs involved in setting direction for a team.

If this were an infomercial rather than a review, I would say "And there's more! Much more!" The last section of the book examines imperatives for leaders, including 7 execution skills of team leaders, and how to think differently about teams - the obstacles to improving teams, what it takes, and what it costs those who would attempt the task. If you prefer to test drive some of Hackman's ideas, you might first read his articles "The Five Keys to Successful Teams" (which covers some of the material in the last two chapters), and "New Rules for Team Building". You may want to abandon such caution however. Unlike so many books where 80 percent of the text acts as filler, adding little if anything to the initial points, every one of Hackman's chapters will yield an excellent returning on your reading investment.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Nighthawks and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
An author who proposes a common lens through which to understand the dynamics of the Nighthawks hockey team and the conductor-less Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is pretty audacious, but Richard Hackman carries if off in this book. Solidly researched and very well written, the book presents an apparently wide range of work groups, including airline crews, musical ensembles and hockey teams, and unifies them by illustrating how they are effective (or not) as teams. What do they have in common? "Their work requires members to generate performances 'live' and in real time, often without the chance to go back and try again if things don't go well." The examples are compellingly interesting, e.g., a reader will never fly a 737 again without noticing the specific roles and choreography of the flight crew. It's a good read, far more entertaining than one would expect from a publication of Harvard Business School Press. ... Read more


72. Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy
by Carl Shapiro, Hal R. Varian
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
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Asin: 087584863X
Catlog: Book (1998-11-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 48249
Average Customer Review: 4.19 out of 5 stars
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Chapter 1 of Information Rules begins with a description of the change brought on by technology at the close of the century--but the century described is not this one, it's the late 1800s. One hundred years ago, it was an emerging telephone and electrical network that was transforming business. Today it's the Internet. The point? While the circumstances of a particular era may be unique, the underlying principles that describe the exchange of goods in a free-market economy are the same. And the authors, Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian, should know. Shapiro is Professor of Business Strategy at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and has also served as chief economist at the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department. Varian is the Dean of the School of Information Management and Systems at UC Berkeley. Together they offer a deep knowledge of how economic systems work coupled with first-hand experience of today's network economy. They write:

Sure, today's business world is different in a myriad of ways from that of a century ago. But many of today's managers are so focused on the trees of technological change that they fail to see the forest: the underlying economic forces that determine success and failure.
Shapiro and Varian go to great lengths to purge this book of the technobabble and forecasting of an electronic woo-woo land that's typical in books of this genre. Instead, with their feet on the ground, they consider how to market and distribute goods in the network economy, citing examples from industries as diverse as airlines, software, entertainment, and communications. The authors cover issues such as pricing, intellectual property, versioning, lock-in, compatibility, and standards. Clearly written and presented, Information Rules belongs on the bookshelf of anyone who has an interest in today's network economy--entrepreneurs, managers, investors, students. If there was ever a textbook written on how to do business in the information age, this book is it. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

Reviews (62)

5-0 out of 5 stars Monarch of the Early-21st Century
Those in need of a strategic guide to the network economy will find a wealth of valuable material in Information Rules, co-authored by Carl Shapiro and Hal R. Varian and published by Harvard Business School Press. The titles of its ten chapters suggest the nature and extent of subjects covered: The Information Economy, Pricing Information, Versioning Information, Rights Management, Recognizing Lock-In, Managing Lock-In, Networks and Positive Feedback, Cooperation and Compatibility, Waging a Standards War, and Information Policy. In effect, Information Rules combines all of the benefits of an operations manual with the counsel of two renowned experts who accompany the reader, step by step, through the manual.

According to the authors, the thesis of their book is that "durable economic principles can guide you through today's frenetic business environment. Technology changes. Economic laws do not. If you are struggling to comprehend what the Internet means for you and your business, you can learn a great deal from the advent of the telephone system a hundred years ago." That's true. The interdependence of information (software) and infrastructure (hardware) will always be important, indeed imperative. Therefore, interconnection battles are won only if, for example, local telephone companies in 1900 were interconnected with Bell to provide long-distance service and, 100 years later, browsers are interconnected with operating systems.

The authors "use the term information very broadly. Essentially, anything that can be digitized -- encoded as a stream of bits -- is information." However, Information Rules focuses on models, not trends; concepts, not vocabulary; and analysis, not analogies. Recall the previous reference to "durable economic principles." Trends come and go, as do vocabularies; therefore, today's brilliant analogies may well make no sense tomorrow, or even later today. Hence the necessity of durable principles, principles which continue to guide efforts to anticipate and then manage what Peter Drucker has called "the consequences of what has yet to occur."

The Chinese character for "crisis" has two different meanings: peril and opportunity. The title of Information Rules can also be interpreted in two different ways: rules of principle and rules of dominance. In a Darwinian sense, those who dominate the Information Age will be those who apply the right principles. What do Shapiro and Varian suggest?

With regard to the pricing of information, the subject of Chapter 2, they suggest two strategies: don't be greedy and play tough. The "lessons" to be learned are to personalize your product and personalize your service, "know thy customer", differentiate your prices when possible, and use promotions to measure demand. Indeed, at the end of each chapter, they summarize "lessons" to be learned after having suggested specific strategies to apply them. In the "Further Reading" "Bibliography" sections which conclude Information Rules, Shapiro and Varian direct the reader to various sources to which they referred previously.

Who will gain the greatest value from this book? Owners/CEOs of small-to-midsize companies which are struggling to decide what to do...and what not to do...with opportunities created by the Internet and, more specifically, the WWW. Also, senior-level executives of much larger organizations (both for-profit and not-for-profit) who must formulate long-term strategies to achieve sustainable prudent growth. For thousands of years, there has never been a shortage of available information but until the printing press, access to it was severely limited. Since then, a variety of media have broadened and deepened that access and, indeed, the volume of available information has increased exponentially.

According to Shapiro and Varian, the challenge today is not one of access; rather, the challenge is to follow certain "certain durable principles" on which effective strategies are based. No one knows precisely how and to what extent the network economy will change in years to come. Principles which endure are those which accommodate change, whenever it occurs, whatever it proves to be. Shapiro and Varian suggest what those principles should be.

Information Rules is a stunning achievement.

5-0 out of 5 stars Prescient rules for winning in the Internet economy
Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy by Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian takes a look at the emerging Internet economy, and argues compellingly that traditional economics still apply in evaluating the Yahoos of our generation. In fact, history provides a pretty good guide for evaluating network-centric businesses. One only has to look at the evolution of the railroad, telephone and television networks. The book reaches some interesting conclusions, summarized here:

1.Information is costly to produce but inexpensive to reproduce (i.e., has a high fixed cost but a low marginal cost). This translates to a lot of latitude, challenges and opportunities in coming up with pricing models and corresponding versions of a product to create both the maximum revenue opportunities and establish the largest number of members of the product's network of users. Also, given the low cost of reproduction, it stands to reason that protecting intellectual property is a key determinant of information good's economic success. 2.Information is an "Experience Good," which is to say that customers must use and experience the product to put value on it. One only has to think about Netscape's initial success giving away the browser to see the value of leveraging the "experience" factor. 3.Products that can achieve "lock-in" will benefit from the "switching costs" that preclude customers from switching-over to competing (even superior) solutions. In other words, products that get a user to commit time, knowledge and/or resources to them are likely to continue to be used even in the face of superior products given the cost of switching to alternative products. An interesting point the book makes is to look at lock-in and switching costs not only in terms of your product, but your collaborators and complementors as well. 4.Fundamental to success is leveraging the power of positive feedback, or network effects. What this means is that the value of your product is a function of the total number of vendors, partners and endusers participating in its "network."

Some specific strategic considerations:

1.Versioning: create different versions of your products tailored to the need of different groups of customers. This allows customers to select the version that best meets their needs and enables you to pick up as wide a base of customers as possible (e.g., Quicken, Quicken Deluxe, QuickBooks). Specific mechanisms for accomplishing same are: delay, user interface, convenience, image resolution, speed of operation, flexibility of use, capability, features and functions, comprehensiveness, annoyance, support. 2.The total cost of switching = cost the customer bears + costs the new supplier bears. Types of lock-in: contractual commitments, durable purchases, brand-specific training, information and databases, specialized suppliers, search costs, loyalty programs. 3.The lock-in cycle: brand selection, product sampling, entrenchment, lock-in. Needless to say, the more successful you are at getting customers more locked-in to your products (e.g., taking advantage of proprietary features), the more successful you will be in keeping customers at peak prices. 4.Leveraging your installed base: focus on selling complimentary products (Micorsoft), selling access to your installed base (Yahoo), setting differential prices to achieve lock-in (Adobe's Photo Deluxe for beginners is a low-end product that is often bundled with scanners and gets users hooked on product. Many ultimately upgrade to full version of product, Adobe Photoshop), exploiting first-mover advantages (Ticketnmaster locks customers into long-term contracts). 5.Market adoption dynamics in positive feedback markets tend to evolve along the lines of an S-curve, with the initial adoption period being flat (while the market winner is in doubt). Once an apparent market winner emerges, the adoption rates takes off dramatically continuing until market saturation. In other words, popularity in positive feedback markets is the ultimate metric of success. Hence, perception becomes reality in these markets. Those expected to win in the market do win because second place or third place is tantamount to last place (i.e., having to bear the switching cost of moving to the winning vendor in the market). This is a zero-sum game, where both vendors must proclaim themselves the ultimate winner, and the success of getting out the message is as important as the technical attributes of the product. 6.Evolution vs. Revolution: there are two paths for unseating an incumbent. One is evolution, which is akin to providing an adapter to a legacy technology. The other is revolution, which disregards legacy in favor of improved design (CDs as a replacement for records). Both paths have technical, creative, systemic, performance and legal considerations. 7.Openness vs. Control: This is a key tightrope in the age of open standards. The more open your solution, the lower the bar to positive feedback. With control comes a hedge against commoditization and low margin pricing. Four key vectors are represented: Controlled Migration (Windows 98), Performance Play (Iomega Zip), Open Migration (fax machines), Discontinuity (records to CDs). 8.How standards change the game: Expanded network effects, reduced uncertainty, reduced consumer lock-in, competition for the market vs. competition in the market, competition on price vs. features, competition to offer proprietary extensions, component vs. systems competition. 9.Tactics in formal standard setting: If you can follow a control strategy, you are better off organizing an alliance outside of the formal standards bodies. Search carefully for blocking patents of competitors in the standard definition. Consider building an installed base pre-emptively. 10.Waging a standards war -The key assets in such a battle are: 1. Control of an installed base, 2. Intellectual property rights, 3. Ability to innovate, 4. First mover advantages, 5. Manufacturing abilities, 6. Presence in complimentary products, and 7. Brand name and reputation. Example: Netscape vs. Explorer: Netscape had a huge first-mover advantage over Microsoft that Microsoft was able to neutralize by preempting new users through a number of strategies, including bundling on OS, signing deals with OEMs, bundling content with the browser and giving links to ISPs for making Explorer the preferred browser supported. Both vendors used penetration pricing to set a low bar to using their products. Both vendors also leveraged the expectations management and alliances trump cards to win their places in the market.

2-0 out of 5 stars Really?
The book starts by proclaiming that neo-classical economics is adequate for explaining the information economy. This claim is not backed up in the book. First, textbook neo-clasical equilibrium theory contains neither money nor 'information'. Second, the book merely discusses qualitatively and nonsystematically ideas like positive feedback and increasing returns that were better presented by Brian Arthur. Third, even asymmetric information is not discussed (Ackerlof and Stiglitz are not even mentioned). Fourth (or zeroth), there is not a single empirical graph in the entire book, and nothing of modern ideas of network theory. So I would say that the book is more or less on the same level as Kelly's (pre-bubble-bust) "New Rules for the New Economy". All of these books implicitly hype the unregulated free market, in the face of both qualitative and empirical evidence that unregulated markets are not only unstable but are detrimental to human health and well-being.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Among Analysis of Network Economy
It was astounded by what descriped in the opening of the book: at first, the events seem to be at the current, but then they were happened at the last turn of century!

It is still the best anlaysis of network economy among 5 books that I read about, though 2 of which are also from Harvard. This book just touches the heart of network economy, and it gives me a lot to further analyze the continuous economics events happening in the globe.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
I read this for an information-age econ class I'm taking, and I really liked it. The authors refute the idea that traditional economic rules don't apply to the age of computers, information trading and cyber sales. They make a convincing case that it's all the same econ, just a new application, and I learned a great deal from it about both the traditional models and the economics of selling information. I really recommend it for anyone. It's very readable, accessible and cogent. ... Read more


73. The Social Life of Information
by John Seely Brown, Paul Duguid
list price: $16.95
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Asin: 1578517087
Catlog: Book (2002-02-15)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 21222
Average Customer Review: 3.98 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

All New Preface by the Authors

For years pundits have predicted that information technology will obliterate everything-from supermarkets to business organizations to social life itself. But beaten down by info-glut, exasperated by computer crashes, and daunted by the dot com crash, individual users find it hard to get a fix on the true potential of the digital revolution.John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid argue that the gap between digerati hype and end-user gloom is largely due to the "tunnel vision" that information-driven technologies breed.We've become so focused on where we think we ought to be-a place where technology empowers individuals and obliterates social organizations-that we often fail to see where we're really going. The Social Life of Information shows us how to look beyond our obsession with information and individuals to include the critical social networks of which these are always a part. ... Read more

Reviews (43)

4-0 out of 5 stars A View of IT from a Social Context
I enjoyed reading this thoughtful book, which evaluates and analyzes the role of technology in a balanced social context. I learned to appreciate a different perspective - a perspective where information technologies are placed in a balanced contextual relationship to social values, and to human needs and relationships. Other books I have read survey technology from the standpoint of technological determinism, or as the book says, from the standpoint of the "blinkered euphoria of the infoenthusiast." This book is a good reading and it seeds deeper discussion and thought.

Since I work in the field of distance learning, I found Chapter 5, "Learning - in Theory and in Practice," Chapter 6, "Innovating Organization, Husbanding Knowledge," Chapter 7 - "Reading the Background," and Chapter 8, "Re-education," particularly interesting and relevant. The authors identify three differences between information and knowledge: 1) knowledge usually entails a knower (the person who knows), 2) knowledge appears harder to detach (than information), and 3) knowledge requires assimilation. So these days, with all the talk about hot distance education trends and increasing on-line and other technology-mediated educational programming, we need to remain mindful of the need for technology-mediated programming to empower folks to learn, i.e., acquire and assimilate knowledge.

I also appreciated Brown and Duguid's insightful discussion regarding changes in higher education. It is true that an opportunity exists to provide greater access to higher education through the expanding use of information technologies. But, it is important to distinguish the current hype about distance learning from the reality of what really is currently available and accessible. The authors also draw distinctions between social distance and geographical distance and the dangers of polarization. I also agree that the goal should be access to higher education.

4-0 out of 5 stars Full of ah-ha moments, though a bit of a slow read.
I just finished reading The Social Life of Information, by John Seeley Brown and Paul Duguid. This was not the quickest read; it's a business book with the obtuseness of vocabulary that implies. However, if you're a computer person with any desire to see your work in a larger context, this is a book you should read. In it, they examine eight separate areas in which computers, and the internet in particular, have supposedly changed our lives (this is typically called 'hype', though the authors don't use the word) in the latter years of the 20th century. (This book is copyright 2000.) You probably remember some of these claims: the death of the corporation, of the university, of paper documents, of the corporate office. In each chapter, they review one claim, show how the claim's proponents over-simplify the issue, and look at the (new and old) responses of people and institutions to the problem that the claim was trying to solve. They also examine, in detail, the ways in which humans process information, and how the software that is often touted as a replacement simply isn't.

I really enjoy 'ah-ha' moments; these are times where I look back at my experiences in a new light, thanks to a theory that justifies or explains something that I didn't understand. For example, I remember when I started my first professional job, right out of college, I thought the whole point of work was to, well, work. So I sat in my cube and worked 8 solid hours a day. After a few months, when I still didn't know anyone at the office, but had to ask someone how to modify a script I was working on, I learned the value of social interaction at the office. (Actually, I was so clueless, I had to ask someone to find the appropriate someone to ask.) While examining the concept of the home office, the authors state "[t]he office social system plays a major part in keeping tools (and people) up and running." It's not just work that happens at the office--there's collaboration and informal learning.

I've worked remotely in the past year for the first time, and anyone who's worked remotely has experienced a moment of frustration when trying to explain something and wished they were just "there," to show rather than tell--the authors refer to this process as 'huddling.' When someone is changing a software configuration that I'm not intimately familiar, it's much easier to judge correct options and settings if I'm there. The authors explain that "[huddling] is often a way of getting things done through collaboration. At home with frail and fickle technologies and unlimited configurations, people paradoxically may need to huddle even more, but can't." This collaboration is even more important between peers.

Reading about the home office and its lack of informal networks (which do occur around the corporate office) really drove home the social nature of work. After a few years at my company, I had cross-departmental relationships (often struck up over beer Friday) that truly eased some of my pain. Often, knowing who to ask a question is more important than knowing the answer to the question. It's not impossible to build those relationships when you're working remotely, but it's much more difficult.

Another enjoyable moment of clarity arose when the authors discussed the nature of documents. I think of a document as a Word file, or perhaps a set of printed out pages. The explicit information (words, diagrams, etc) that I can get from the document is the focus (and this is certainly the case in document management systems sales pitches). But there's a lot more to a document. How do I know how much to trust the information? Well, if it's on a website somewhere, that's a fair bit sketchier than if it's in the newspaper, which is in turn less trustworthy than if I've experienced the information myself. Documents validate information--we've all picked up a book, hefted it, examined it, and judged it based on its cover. The authors say "readers look beyond the information in documents. ... The investment evident in a document's material content is often a good indicator of the investment in its informational content." Just as if someone says "trust me" you should probably run the other way, information alone can't attest to its own veracity. The authors also look at aspects to documents (like history, like feel, like layout) that simply aren't captured when you treat them as streams of bits.

And there are many other examples of 'hype' that are deflated in this book, and a few other 'ah-ha' moments as well. As I stated above, this is a great read for anyone who thinks there is a technical answer to any problem (or even most problems). By taking apart various claims, and examining the truth and untruth of those claims in a real world context, these two authors give technology credit where it's due, while at the same time explaining why some of the older institutions and important factors in our lives will remain around. Reading this book was hard work, but understanding what the authors say gives me yet another way to relate to non-technical people, as well as fend off the zealots who claim, in a knee-jerk fashion, that more software solves problems. I majored in physics, in college, but minored in politics. It always seemed that the people problems, though more squishy, were more interesting. This book is confirmation of that fact.

4-0 out of 5 stars Valuable idea towards the new IT century
Living in this new century, Information Technology plays a very important part in our daily life. However, as the world is flooded with information, meaningless of the mass information become a questionable matter in return.

This book is just about some ideas concerning the new technology and the new world information. People nowadays know the importance of information but they always missed the limitation of it. As mentioned by the author, increased in information is not necessary equivalents to increased in the value and meaning of it. Controlling the flow of mass information became a critical issue and solutions like better processing and improved data are suggested for improvement.

The book raised an essential element in the IT world, that is the social network, which in fact is playing the core role in this new technology world. Without the help of socialization, technology cannot grow so fast into our daily life. Think about facing problems about how to operate a new version of Microsoft windows, majority of new users would seek advice from those they knew rather than seek helps from the ¡§help¡¨ menu or instruction guidelines on the internet. Therefore, social context plays an important role in helping information and technology become more valuable to human.
It is the truth that even the professional technicians cannot solve problems by themselves sometimes and what they would do is to discuss with colleagues and share experience and knowledge with each other.

I agree that information itself has little meaning; it becomes valuable only after we digested and changed them into knowledge. Without doubt, technologies can ease our learning of knowledge and save much time. Therefore, they all have close relationship with each other.

This book is worthwhile to read and I have several learning insights from it. For instance, the difference between information and knowledge, IT is not as powerful as what I think before and there are still many rooms for improvements. The author pointed out an important term, Tunnel Vision, which means looking at a particular thing in a narrow vision and ignoring other things around. Whenever we try to focus on a certain issue, we should mind the thing around, broader vision is better to help us in getting a more objective view.

In addition, it is informative in clearing our misunderstandings on IT development and there are some good points raised by the author like those I have mentioned before.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lets go forward to the past
This is a remarkable book, not simply in terms of its insights on how technologies can be misguided if they do no recognize the underlying social structure that they are there to support, but also with regard to the release of this book in March of 2000 at the height of the dot-com boom.

In this book you will not find technological evangelicalism or ideas about how the Internet can change the world, but you will find thoughtful discussion about why online universities need the value of the offline university, why a knowledge economy cannot be understood in terms of a manufacturing paradigm of inter-changeable parts, why Chiat-Day's unstructured office design was an interesting concept but a failure in supporting the social structure of an office, and why groups of like-minded businesses will cluster in the same geographical area even though new technologies would elminate the need for proximity.

This book is positive about technology, but asks to look first at the real impact and real opportunity. While this is an amazing book that I would highly recommend to everyone interested in this subject, I did think the delineation of new technology and existing social context did not explore emergining social patterns as a result of technological change. We can only hope for a book in the future on this topic by these authors

3-0 out of 5 stars Engaging Introduction to a Neglected Topic
This book offers a counterargument to the claim that more information (and more Information Technology) will magically make life easier. It is not an argument against technology, but it is a call for more realistic expectations when it comes to things like telecommuting, the "paperless office", and the virtual university.

The authors' engaging tone helps to overcome the dryness of some of the material. As someone who has spent a good deal of time in online communities, however, I felt that the book (and its authors) might have benefitted from a closer look at some of the more social online communities.

Like any book on technology, of course, this book faces the problem of quickly becoming dated, particularly when the authors look into the (possible) future, but it serves as an excellent introduction to the topic. It also includes a bibliography, for readers wishing to delve more deeply into the history and studies behind the book. ... Read more


74. Harvard Business Review on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (A Harvard Business Review Paperback)
by Harvard Business School Press
list price: $19.95
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Asin: 1578512360
Catlog: Book (2000-02-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 39918
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Harvard Business Review Paperback Series brings managers and professionals the fundamental information they need to stay competitive in a fast-moving world. Gathered in a highly accessible format are the leading minds and landmark ideas that have established the Harvard Business Review as required reading for forward-thinking businesspeople worldwide.

Managers at every level, and in every industry, must balance various working styles, build efficient management teams, and develop sharp negotiation skills to remain competitive. Harvard Business Review on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution offers a selection of the best thinking on negotiation practice and managing conflict in organizational settings. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A must!
The Harvard Business Review has done it again. A very useful tool for negotiation. ... Read more


75. Harvard Business Review on Managing People (Harvard Business Review Paperback Series)
by Rob Goffee, Garetht Jones, Sterling Livingston, Pfeffe Jeffrey, David Thomas, Robin J. Ely, Jean-Frantois Manzoni, Jean-Louis Barsoux
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
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Asin: 0875849075
Catlog: Book (1999-02-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 47032
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

THE HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW PAPERBACK SERIES is designed to bring today's managers and professionals the fundamental information they need to stay competitive in a fast-moving world.Here are the landmark ideas that have established the Harvard Business Review as required reading for ambitious business people in organizations around the globe.

From managing diversity to exploring alternative workplaces to debunking myths about compensation, the topics covered in this collection address how to build organizations with judicious and effective systems for managing people. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars HBR Managing People
Definitely one of the better books in the series. Discussion of common corporate issues. Provides good solutions. I've read 4 in the series and like this one the most. ... Read more


76. A Bias for Action: How Effective Managers Harness Their Willpower, Achieve Results, and Stop Wasting Time
by Heike Bruch, Sumantra Ghoshal
list price: $29.95
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Asin: 1591394082
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 12918
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Surprising Truth About Effective Managers

Why do most managers work so hard but accomplish so little? We have blamed everything from a lack of motivation, time, and money to the overwhelming amount of work and corporate bureaucracy that managers face. But a new study suggests a different cause: how much willpower managers bring to their jobs.

In A Bias for Action, Sumantra Ghoshal and Heike Bruch show that managers often confuse action with accomplishment, and motivation with leading. Their research has revealed that 90% of managers spin their wheels by procrastinating, detaching emotionally, and distracting themselves with busywork-while only 10% act purposefully to get truly important work done.

Based on exclusive research across several industries, and illustrated through stirring personal stories, A Bias for Action shows that great managers produce results not by motivating others, but by engaging their own willpower through a powerful combination of energy and focus. Bruch and Ghoshal provide simple strategies for bolstering your own willpower and action-taking abilities, and explore ways to marshal the willpower of others to encourage collective action.

Upending conventional thinking about the requirements for effective leadership, this book will help CEOs and frontline managers alike to stop simply doing things-and start getting things done.

... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars An Executive Coach and Leadership Primer
Required reading for anyone who aspires to success in business. The first half does the job on an Executive Coach. The second half explains why some people at some companies can transition from good to great -- and provide more insight than the Collins book on the process. I like the authors approach -- based in accepted scholarly theories -- and not just another bunch of stories from personal experiences (although there are a good many of those here too). Notwithstanding, I'm recommending this to my clients and associates; and, I've already instituted certain changes with the expectation of being more effective. ... Read more


77. Managing Projects Large and Small: The Fundamental Skills to Deliver on Cost and on Time
by Richard Luecke
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Asin: 1591393213
Catlog: Book (2003-02)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 123605
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78. Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career
by Herminia Ibarra
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
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Asin: 1591394139
Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 48417
Average Customer Review: 4.87 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

How Successful Career Changers Turn Fantasy into Reality

Whether as a daydream or a spoken desire, nearly all of us have entertained the notion of reinventing ourselves. Feeling unfulfilled, burned out, or just plain unhappy with what we’re doing, we long to make that leap into the unknown. But we also hold on, white-knuckled, to the years of time and effort we’ve invested in our current profession.

In this powerful book, Herminia Ibarra presents a new model for career reinvention that flies in the face of everything we’ve learned from "career experts." While common wisdom holds that we must first know what we want to do before we can act, Ibarra argues that this advice is backward. Knowing, she says, is the result of doing and experimenting. Career transition is not a straight path toward some predetermined identity, but a crooked journey along which we try on a host of "possible selves" we might become.

Based on her in-depth research on professionals and managers in transition, Ibarra outlines an active process of career reinvention that leverages three ways of "working identity": experimenting with new professional activities, interacting in new networks of people, and making sense of what is happening to us in light of emerging possibilities.

Through engrossing stories—from a literature professor turned stockbroker to an investment banker turned novelist—Ibarra reveals a set of guidelines that all successful reinventions share. She explores specific ways that hopeful career changers of any background can:

• Explore possible selves
• Craft and execute "identity experiments"
• Create "small wins" that keep momentum going
• Survive the rocky period between career identities
• Connect with role models and mentors who can ease the transition
• Make time for reflection—without missing out on windows of opportunity
• Decide when to abandon the old path in order to follow the new
• Arrange new events into a coherent story of who we are becoming.

A call to the dreamer in each of us, Working Identity explores the process for crafting a more fulfilling future. Where we end up may surprise us. ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Change doesn't happen overnight
This well-written, thought provoking book provides reassurance and guidance for anyone considering a career change. Unlike many self help manuals it is realistic about the immense upheaval a mid-life career transition can cause. The case studies helped me understand just why changing career is so hard, especially if you have been successful and well rewarded/ respected in your 'first' career. The fact that so many of the interviewees took several years to find their new identity gives hope to high flyers who want to make a change but are unsure as to how to make the leap.

Ibarra explores career change as identity change which gives a far more intellectually driven and in depth perspective to approaching a 'new you' than other books which simply ask you to look at your strengths and weaknesses and get on with applying for a new job or reskilling yourself for a new career. Like going into a fancy dress shop Ibarra recommends trying out new career identities for size - by making new contacts, re-establishing peripheral contacts or trying new jobs unpaid or part time.

Highly recommended for all those stuck in a career rut, those en-route to career self-actualisation or who simply want to put out feelers as to what else might be out there.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very encouraging, very useful.
This is a beautifully conceived, one of a kind book. It's method is strongly scientific, based on a collection of case studies, asking how do people really change careers? This being the case, then what sort of structure or theory would best describe this process? This might sound dry or uselessly academic but it's not, it gives the quietest advice and the most assured guidance. If you are passionately working through your own career change, it's very likely you are experiencing much that is described in these case studies, and unlike the highly structured step by step guides to career change, you might find the reflection of your own experience very encouraging.

The theory itself is simply stated, easy to understand, but neither superficial nor dumbed-down. In a nutshell, this book debunks the clean sequence of career change from analysis (questionnaires, introspection, structured exercises) to action (now let's find that job). Rather, as long as you are strongly bound to your old working identity, this clarity is not possible. One learns what one wants to do by doing, by trial and error experiments in new tasks. One's working identity is also held in place by our professional relationships, by people who view you as you already appear. These relationships reinforce and support your current situation, so if you do want to explore a change, new professional relationships (new mentors and peers) will be necessary. Viewing one's working identity as involvement in professional tasks and relationships, tapping into new possibilities isn't as easy as doing a questionnaire. Rather, your working identity must be loosened before you can fully experience new possibilities and ultimately commit to a new career. Basically, it's a muddle: if you're experiencing doubt, confusion and a sense of limbo that doesn't mean you're not on the right track. You are making the harrowing crossing between identities. Embedded in the case studies--and the authors discussion--are ways in which people actively made this crossing, so this work also offers guidance about how to press on, despite the confusion. Very encouraging, very useful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally - a career advice book that offers real advice
Even after completing an MBA and spending 12 years in marketing in various companies, I still had no real sense of what I wanted to do with my life (career-wise). I undertook many so-called career tests (Myer-B, etc) and completed many exercises in loads of books (Parachute, etc), but none seemed to offer any plan or guidance as to what to do next. It was nice to know what I enjoyed doing, what skills are preferred and so on - but that really offered little in practical advice as to what to do next. This book offers practicality, and interesting case studies that I could directly relate to, thus providing a reference map of what to do next. So many of Herminia's people profiled in this book had similar career issues as me, and it was nice to know I wasn't alone. But better still, it was nice to know there was a way out too. I particularly related to the person in the book who had so many interests (like me) but no clear singular passion, so he built a portfolio of jobs and activities to satisfy his interests. It was nice to know that such a choice can be made in today's world, where specialisation in corporate environments appears the only way to get ahead, at least financially and status of position. But sometimes being a generalist can be even more satisfying, as you're doing what you really want to do, not what others think you should do. I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and insightful
Working Identity is one of the few self-help books that I have read from cover to cover. I found Ms. Ibarra's thoughtful work extremely helpful in my personal, mid-career dilemma. It offers practical advice and approaches the topic from a different perspective. I would highly recommend it to anyone who eschews the more "touchy-feely" approach to personal change and also to anyone who yearns for more satisfaction in her/his career.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well researched insight on finding the "next phase" of work.
This review is from a person who has been through outplacement, worked with career counselors, read many of the career books, have had a combination of a Fortune 500 and consulting/entrepreneurial career, and went to one of the top rated B-schools.

Ibarra makes a valuable contribution by showing that you learn by experimenting, meeting new people, stepping out of your current and comfortable (or increasingly uncomfortable) self.

The odds of finding the right work through the ususal "revalation" methods (HR/Career Counselor methods like Myers Briggs tests, other psych. tests or methods, etc.) is small. The path often involves several steps - an evolution.

Outplacement and HR types (and the Department of Labor) look at how fast you can get a new job - ignoring the real experiential and mental changes that probably need to take place.

If you are reading this review and looking for a job, it is likely you need to find one. Go out and get it, but read this book and refer to it. You may even land in what will be for you a great place for many years. However, the book will give you perspective on the longer journey, which will likely continue even in your new position. ... Read more


79. Strategy Maps: Converting Intangible Assets into Tangible Outcomes
by Robert S. Kaplan, David P. Norton
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1591391342
Catlog: Book (2004-02-02)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 1983
Average Customer Review: 3.07 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

More than a decade ago, Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton introduced the Balanced Scorecard, a revolutionary performance measurement system that allowed organizations to quantify intangible assets such as people, information, and customer relationships. Then, in The Strategy-Focused Organization, Kaplan and Norton showed how organizations achieved breakthrough performance with a management system that put the Balanced Scorecard into action.

Now, using their ongoing research with hundreds of Balanced Scorecard adopters across the globe, the authors have created a powerful new tool-the "strategy map"-that enables companies to describe the links between intangible assets and value creation with a clarity and precision never before possible.

Kaplan and Norton argue that the most critical aspect of strategy-implementing it in a way that ensures sustained value creation-depends on managing four key internal processes: operations, customer relationships, innovation, and regulatory and social processes. The authors show how companies can use strategy maps to link those processes to desired outcomes; evaluate, measure, and improve the processes most critical to success; and target investments in human, informational, and organizational capital.

Providing a visual epiphany for executives everywhere who can't figure out why their strategy isn't working, Strategy Maps is a blueprint any organization can follow to align processes, people, and information technology for superior performance.

... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Organizational Cartography of the Highest Order
Kaplan and Norton co-authored an article which was published in the Harvard Business Review (January/February 1993). In it they introduce an exciting new concept: the balanced scorecard. They have since published three books: this one, preceded by The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action (1996) and The Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment (2000). Here's some background on the two books before we shift our attention to Strategy Maps.

In The Balanced Scorecard, as Kaplan and Norton explain in their Preface, "the Balanced Scorecard evolved from an improved measurement system to an improved management system." The distinction is critically important to understanding this book. Senior executives in various companies have used the Balanced Scorecard as 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. When writing this book, it was the authors' hope that the observations they share would help more executives to launch and implement Balanced Scorecard programs in their organizations.

Then in The Strategy-Focused Organization, Kaplan and Norton note that, according to an abundance of research data, 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."

Those who have not as yet read The Balanced Scorecard and/or The Strategy-Focused Organization are strong urged to do so. Brief comments about them in commentaries such as these merely indicate the nature and extent of the brilliant thinking which Kaplan and Norton provide in each.

What we have in Strategy Maps are two separate but related components: Further development and refinement of core concepts introduced in the earlier two books, and, a rigorous examination of new ideas and new applications by which to convert intangible assets into tangible outcomes. In the Introduction, Kaplan and Norton explain that their direct involvement with more than 300 organizations provided them with an extensive database of strategies, strategy maps, and balanced scorecards. This abundance of material has revealed a number of strategies and tactics by which literally any organization (regardless of size or nature) can create and then increase value. The strategies and tactics are embraced within three targeted approaches for aligning intangible assets to strategy:

"1. Strategic job families that align human capital to the strategic themes

2. The strategic IT portfolio that aligns information capital to the strategic themes

3. An organization change agenda that integrates and aligns organizational capital for continued learning and improvement in the strategic themes."

Kaplan and Norton carefully organize their material within five Parts. I presume to suggest that Part I be read and then re-read before proceeding to Value-Creating Processes, Intangible Assets, and Building Strategies and Strategy Maps. Part Five provides a number of case files generated by private-sector, public-sector, and nonprofit organizations. In fact, I strongly suggest that Chapter 2 be re-read several times because it offers an invaluable primer on strategy maps. When reading and then re-reading Chapter 2, be sure to check back on Figure 1-2 (Page 8) and Figure 1-3 (Page 11) in the Introduction.

One word of caution from Kaplan and Norton: "It is important (if not imperative) to describe an organization's strategy with word statements of strategic objectives in the four linked perspectives BEFORE turning to measurements. Many organizations building BSCs attempt to go directly from somewhat vague strategy statements to measures without this step, and often omit critical aspects of the strategy or else select from measures that are already available, rather than selecting measures that quantify their strategic objectives."

This is a much longer review than I usually compose because I am convinced that only what is measurable is manageable. Also because, after extensive prior experience helping corporate clients with formulating process maps of various kinds, I am convinced that organizational "journeys" to increased sales, profits, and value need maps by which to reach those destinations just as those who drive vehicles do when seeking their own destinations. One of the greatest benefits of strategy maps is that the process by which they are devised helps to ensure that the most appropriate destination is identified. Think of Kaplan and Norton as travel agents and cartographers, to be sure, but also as consultants whose services you can retain merely by purchasing their three books, then by absorbing and digesting the information and counsel those three books provide. For many decision-makers in all manner of organizations, Strategy Maps may well prove to be the most valuable business book they ever read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great addition to the trilogy
"Strategy Maps: Converting Intangible Assets into Tangible Outcomes" by Robert S. Kaplan, David P. Norton is a great third addition to the trilogy - "The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action" and "The Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment"

The book goes into extraordinary detail of how both private and public organizations have succeeded in today's competetive environment by using the Balanced Scorecard to transform into what Kaplan and Norton call "Strategy-Focused Organizatons."

I particularly like the fact that the authors do not rely on theoretical "what if" examples like many academic theorists do -Kaplan and Norton have tested their ideas with real organizations that now endorse the concenpt (indeed, they created a Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame to recognize those organizations that achieve exemplary results). The authors provide many examples of how such organizations have achieved breakthrough results through case studies.

This is a must have for all Balanced Scorecard enthusiasts and a great tool for managers to have to help think through the articulation of strategy, a pre-requisite to its actual implementation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Organizational Cartography of the Highest Order
Kaplan and Norton co-authored an article which was published in the Harvard Business Review (January/February 1993). In it they introduce an exciting new concept: the balanced scorecard. They have since published three books: this one, preceded by The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action (1996) and The Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment (2000). Here's some background on the two books before we shift our attention to Strategy Maps.

In The Balanced Scorecard, as Kaplan and Norton explain in their Preface, "the Balanced Scorecard evolved from an improved measurement system to an improved management system." The distinction is critically important to understanding this book. Senior executives in various companies have used the Balanced Scorecard as 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. When writing this book, it was the authors' hope that the observations they share would help more executives to launch and implement Balanced Scorecard programs in their organizations.

Then in The Strategy-Focused Organization, Kaplan and Norton note that, according to an abundance of research data, 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."

Those who have not as yet read The Balanced Scorecard and/or The Strategy-Focused Organization are strong urged to do so. Brief comments about them in commentaries such as these merely indicate the nature and extent of the brilliant thinking which Kaplan and Norton provide in each.

What we have in Strategy Maps are two separate but related components: Further development and refinement of core concepts introduced in the earlier two books, and, a rigorous examination of new ideas and new applications by which to convert intangible assets into tangible outcomes. In the Introduction, Kaplan and Norton explain that their direct involvement with more than 300 organizations provided them with an extensive database of strategies, strategy maps, and balanced scorecards. This abundance of material has revealed a number of strategies and tactics by which literally any organization (regardless of size or nature) can create and then increase value. The strategies and tactics are embraced within three targeted approaches for aligning intangible assets to strategy:

"1. Strategic job families that align human capital to the strategic themes

2. The strategic IT portfolio that aligns information capital to the strategic themes

3. An organization change agenda that integrates and aligns organizational capital for continued learning and improvement in the strategic themes."

Kaplan and Norton carefully organize their material within five Parts. I presume to suggest that Part I be read and then re-read before proceeding to Value-Creating Processes, Intangible Assets, and Building Strategies and Strategy Maps. Part Five provides a number of case files generated by private-sector, public-sector, and nonprofit organizations. In fact, I strongly suggest that Chapter 2 be re-read several times because it offers an invaluable primer on strategy maps. When reading and then re-reading Chapter 2, be sure to check back on Figure 1-2 (Page 8) and Figure 1-3 (Page 11) in the Introduction.

One word of caution from Kaplan and Norton: "It is important (if not imperative) to describe an organization's strategy with word statements of strategic objectives in the four linked perspectives BEFORE turning to measurements. Many organizations building BSCs attempt to go directly from somewhat vague strategy statements to measures without this step, and often omit critical aspects of the strategy or else select from measures that are already available, rather than selecting measures that quantify their strategic objectives."

This is a much longer review than I usually compose because I am convinced that only what is measurable is manageable. Also because, after extensive prior experience helping corporate clients with formulating process maps of various kinds, I am convinced that organizational "journeys" to increased sales, profits, and value need maps by which to reach those destinations just as those who drive vehicles do when seeking their own destinations. One of the greatest benefits of strategy maps is that the process by which they are devised helps to ensure that the most appropriate destination is identified. Think of Kaplan and Norton as travel agents and cartographers, to be sure, but also as consultants whose services you can retain merely by purchasing their three books, then by absorbing and digesting the information and counsel those three books provide. For many decision-makers in all manner of organizations, Strategy Maps may well prove to be the most valuable business book they ever read.

1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and a rehash
I was extremely disappointed by this book.

My most serious concern was the failure of the authors to cite John Thorpe's "The Information Paradox: Realizing the Business Benefits of Information Technology". Results Chains were first developed in the late 80s and early 90s by DMR Consulting and Fujitsu Consulting. Basically, Strategy Maps are simplified Result Chains with a Balance Scorecard flavor. Harvard professors MUST do a review of the literature BEFORE they publish.

This is important because a Results Chain avoids 3 problems that will bedevil Strategy Map users.
1) A Results Chain is more much explicit about the role that assumptions play in achieving business outcomes. Assumptions are either statements about uncertainty (e.g. price is an important criteria for customers) or they are things that are outside of your control (e.g. a competitor will not enter this market). Strategy Maps DO NOT talk about risks or assumptions. This is bizarre.

2) The book continually mixs up inputs, outputs (from internal processes), and outcomes. (Osborne's "Reinventing Government" has a nice appendix about the differences.) It is not clear whether the elements on the Strategy Maps are actions to be taken or the results of these actions.
The failure to understand these distinctions will cause confusion down the road.

3) Results Chains are much more explicit about the contributions that one element plays in achieving business outcomes. In contrast, all the Strategy Maps have many-to-many relationships.
What will happen if the benefits are not achieved? How are you going to do any kind of root-cause analysis with a Strategy Map?

As the other reviewers have noted, the Strategy Maps in the book are very generic. This may provide a starting point for developing your own Results Chain.

Take a look at Thorpe's book.

1-0 out of 5 stars What about IP?
I will confess -- I've only spent a few minutes with this book in a boosktore. I didn't buy it. Here's a big reason why: the index lacked entries not only for "patents" but for "intellectual property".

For lots of companies in my part of the world (Silicon Valley) patents and other intangible rights in technology are the most important kind of intangible asset. You also can't do patent strategy without having some understanding of the constraints (and opportunities) created by patent law. If the book omits those topics, then I don't see how it can do a complete job.

OTOH, if you like lots of consultant-type diagrams with platitudes about "customer value", "long-term value" "meeting customer needs" and the like, all garnished with arrows going all over heck, you might feel very comfortable with this book. ... Read more


80. Harvard Business Review on Managing Diversity
by R. Roosevelt Jr. Thomas, Thomas R. Roosevelt, David Thomas, Robin J Ely, Debra Meyerson
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578517001
Catlog: Book (2002-02-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 154248
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

The Harvard Business Review Paperback Series is designed to bring today's managers and professionals the fundamental information they need to stay competitive in a fast-moving world. From the preeminent thinkers whose work has defined an entire field to the rising stars who will redefine the way we think about business, here are the leading minds and landmark ideas that have established the Harvard Business Review as required reading for ambitious businesspeople in organizations around the globe.

This collection of classic and cutting-edge articles, and case studies provides a broad range of perspectives on affirmative action, career development for minorities and women, and other HR-related policies. ... Read more


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