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81. Priceless: Turning Ordinary Products
$16.17 $15.82 list($26.95)
82. Bad Leadership: What It Is, How
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83. Manager's Toolkit: The 13 Skills
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84. Harvard Business Review on Corporate
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85. Value Migration: How to Think
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86. Connecting the Dots: Aligning
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87. Managing Change and Transition
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88. The Keystone Advantage: What the
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89. Results-Based Leadership
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90. Relevance Lost: The Rise and Fall
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91. United We Brand
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92. Generation to Generation: Life
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93. Harvard Business Review on What
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94. Succeeding Generations: Realizing
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95. Commercializing New Technologies:
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96. Experimentation Matters: Unlocking
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97. Revival of the Fittest: Why Good
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98. Harvard Business Review on Customer
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99. Serious Play: How the World's
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100. Harvard Business Review on Strategic

81. Priceless: Turning Ordinary Products into Extraordinary Experiences
by Diana Lasalle, Terry A. Britton
list price: $27.50
our price: $18.15
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Asin: 157851746X
Catlog: Book (2002-12-04)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 48773
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Whether their complaints are about customer-proof packaging, a never-ending voice mail loop, or a purchase that doesn’t live up to its claims, customers are consistently disappointed in their interactions with companies. And while experts say that the creation of "customer experiences" is the new requirement for success, few companies have managed to deliver.

Now, veteran experience consultants Diana LaSalle and Terry A. Britton take businesses from concept to practice, offering a tactical guide to creating value-adding experiences around any product or service—whether the offering is candles or computers, catering services or consulting advice.

The authors argue that most managers remain stuck in a "features and benefits" mentality that zeroes in on what a product does. That focus needs to shift, they say, to what a product or service offers and how it affects customers’ lives. LaSalle and Britton provide a hands-on model for understanding the relationship between value and experience, and then show how companies can leverage that knowledge to transform ordinary products and services into experiences that customers consider extraordinary—even priceless.

Drawing from extensive research and the stories of experience pioneers, the authors introduce new systems—the "Experience Engagement Process" and the "Experience Event Matrix"—businesses can use to:

- Evaluate the entire consumption experience through the customers’ eyes

- Better understand what various customer groups value and why

- Identify areas where new dimensions of value can be added to an offering

- Eliminate customer sacrifice and increase rewards at every stage of the process

- Align products, service, and environment to deliver a complete value experience

- Translate experience creation into bottom-line profits

Lively, practical, and entertaining, Priceless helps managers, marketers, and strategists recognize exactly what customers want and how to deliver it. We’ll never look at what we sell—or buy—the same way again. ... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Informative
Unlike most books that stretch out one idea for 200-300 pages, every chapter in Priceless provides powerful tools that you can take away and use to improve the customer experience. This is a must read book for any company that wants to move their product or service from ordinary to extraordinary. It is both an informative and enjoyable read with real life examples of companies that have put these principles in action.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone in business!
This is the most valuable business book I've read in years.
There have been books on value and books on experience, but
this is the first one that connects the dots. What's more
it's understandable. I'm giving Priceless to all my
marketing clients so they can better understand the
recommendations I make and hopefully they'll put the
customer-centric concepts to work in other areas of their
companies.

4-0 out of 5 stars my comment
Priceless is a good book I recommend people who are interested in marketing to read. The paragraph is easy to read and understand. There are lots of examples in the book trying to illustrate some theories which are hard to explain in words only.

After I read the book, I appreciate some examples very much, only some small adjustments have made, the total result would be different. For example, there¡¦s an example is talking about how the product display on the shelf. Stores always place the products in a very high shelf which customers are difficult to get the one on that top of the shelf. This would waste resources if customers have to ask the staff for help in every time. So that, the store place a ladder near the shelf which the customers could get the product themselves.

The most interesting example in the book is talking about the dessert¡XBanana. The dessert is not a very special one, but it is very expensive and many customers come to the restaurant just for this dessert. This is because the dessert was made in front of the customers. This special serving way creates an extraordinary experience to the customers, and this the dessert seems has a special value to the customers.

To turning the ordinary products into extraordinary experience, one of the critical points is trying to understand the customers¡¦ needs and provide something exceed the customers¡¦ expectation which could delight the customer and make a memorable experience to the customers.

4-0 out of 5 stars My comment
Priceless is a good book I recommend people who are interested in marketing to read. The paragraph is easy to read and understand. There are lots of examples in the book trying to illustrate some theories which are hard to explain in words only.

After I read the book, I appreciate some examples very much, only some small adjustments have made, the total result would be different. For example, there¡¦s an example is talking about how the product display on the shelf. Stores always place the products in a very high shelf which customers are difficult to get the one on that top of the shelf. This would waste resources if customers have to ask the staff for help in every time. So that, the store place a ladder near the shelf which the customers could get the product themselves.

The most interesting example in the book is talking about the dessert¡XBanana. The dessert is not a very special one, but it is very expensive and many customers come to the restaurant just for this dessert. This is because the dessert was made in front of the customers. This special serving way creates an extraordinary experience to the customers, and this the dessert seems has a special value to the customers.

To turning the ordinary products into extraordinary experience, one of the critical points is trying to understand the customers¡¦ needs and provide something exceed the customers¡¦ expectation which could delight the customer and make a memorable experience to the customers.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Value!
For those who think that Value is just about structuring a good financial deal, Priceless by LaSalle & Britton will open your eyes to a wealth of new areas for consideration. I found this book to be very useful and delightfully well written with good examples and checklists throughout. It's an excellent catalyst to broaden the thinking on how to improve the value of a product or service. ... Read more


82. Bad Leadership: What It Is, How It Happens, Why It Matters
by Barbara Kellerman
list price: $26.95
our price: $16.17
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Asin: 1591391660
Catlog: Book (2004-09-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 28731
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Book Description

A Bold Look at the Dark Side of Leadership

How is Saddam Hussein like Tony Blair? Or Kenneth Lay like Lou Gerstner? Answer: They are, or were, leaders. Many would argue that tyrants, corrupt CEOs, and other abusers of power and authority are not leaders at all-at least not as the word is currently used. But, according to Barbara Kellerman, this assumption is dangerously naive.

A provocative departure from conventional thinking, Bad Leadership compels us to see leadership in its entirety. Kellerman argues that the dark side of leadership-from rigidity and callousness to corruption and cruelty-is not an aberration. Rather bad leadership is as ubiquitous as it is insidious-and so must be more carefully examined and better understood.

Drawing on high-profile contemporary examples-from Mary Meeker to David Koresh, Bill Clinton to Radovan Karadzic, Al Dunlap to Leona Helmsley-Kellerman explores seven primary types of bad leadership and dissects why and how leaders cross the line from good to bad. The book also illuminates the critical role of followers, revealing how they collaborate in, and sometimes even cause, bad leadership.

Daring and counterintuitive, Bad Leadership makes clear that we need to face the dark side in order to become better leaders and followers ourselves.

A Leadership for the Common Good book

Published in partnership with the Center for Public Leadership

... Read more


83. Manager's Toolkit: The 13 Skills Managers Need to Succeed (Harvard Business Essentials)
by Harvard Business School Press
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 1591392896
Catlog: Book (2004-03-31)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 132206
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Book Description

Manager's Toolkit: The 13 Skills Managers Need to Succeed

Zeroing in on the specific skills that make great managers stand out from the pack, this comprehensive guide is both an essential primer for new managers and a valuable resource for seasoned executives. From hiring and retaining good people to motivating and developing team members, from understanding key financial statements to delegating work effectively, and from setting goals for others to managing your own career, this actionable guide walks readers through every aspect of managing in a complex business world. Filled with practical tools and tips, this essential toolkit will help managers to stay at the top of their game.

The Harvard Business Essentials series is for managers at all levels but is especially relevant for new managers. It offers on-the-spot guidance, coaching, and tools on the most relevant topics in business. Each book includes the critical information that managers need on a given topic-from budgeting to hiring to communication to strategy-and offers interactive tools and worksheets that translate advice into action. Providing ready answers to day-to-day issues, these guides make sound, trusted mentoring advice available whenever managers need it. ... Read more


84. Harvard Business Review on Corporate Ethics (Harvard Business Review Paperback Series)
by Harvard Business School Press, Joseph L. Badaracco
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
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Asin: 159139273X
Catlog: Book (2003-07-10)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 150894
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Book Description

Harvard Business Review on Corporate Ethics

Resolving today's most pressing questions about business behavior has become a priority in today's corporate environment. In deciding how to act, managers reveal their inner values, test their commitment to those values, and ultimately shape their characters. Readers of this collection of articles will learn to identify the theoretical and practical issues of recognizing and responding to ethical dilemmas and will find the link between good ethics and good business.

The Harvard Business Review Paperback Series

The 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.

... Read more


85. Value Migration: How to Think Several Moves Ahead of the Competition
by Adrian J. Slywotzky, McGraw-Hill Harvard Business School Pr
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
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Asin: 0875846327
Catlog: Book (1996-01-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 123905
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book includes a new strategic concept to enable managers to understand and anticipate where the value in their business is headed. It identifies and articulates the key principles that form the basis of a sound strategy: understanding the customer and innovative business design. Techniques to help companies develop profitable business models are described. It shows companies how to act aggressively to capitalize on the opportunities they create. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Mastering an "Acquired Skill"
According to Slywotsky, there are three phases of what he calls "value migration": In "inflow," the initial phase, a company starts to absorb value from other parts of its industry because its business design proves superior in satisfying customers' priorities; the second phase, "stability," is characterized by business designs that are well matched to customer priorities and by overall competitive equilibrium; in "outflow," the third phase, value starts to move away from an organization's traditional activities toward business designs that more effectively meet evolving customer priorities. Slywotsky explains that Part I of this book describes the basic rules of Value Migration" and the workings of what he refers to as "the new game of business." As when playing chess, winning at this game requires an understanding of the individual pieces (i.e. when to deploy them and how to capture them). One must master basic moves and simple techniques such as openings, traps to avoid, end-game moves, etc. It is also important to understand the the importance of controlling (as in chess) "the four central ones." In business as in chess, one must become familiar with certain "basic patterns" which will ultimately determine success or failure. These "patterns" are examined in Part II. There are seven: Multidirectional Migration (from steel to materials), Migration to a Non-Profit Industry (airlines), Blockbuster Migration (pharmaceuticals), Multicategory Migration (coffee), From Integration to Specialization (computing), From Conventional Selling to Low-Cost Distribution, ands finally, From Conventional Selling to High-End Solutions. Slywotsky shifts his attention in Part III to explaining how to play the Value Migration "game" well on a day-to-day basis. He identifies certain specific initiatives to take which help to (a) avoid value loss and (b) preempt the next cycle of value growth. "The final chapter of the book focuses on the increasingly high-stakes nature of the decisions that determine future value growth."

There are more than a dozen charts which effectively illustrate Slywotsky's key points. For example, Figure 15-1 presents "The Grand Masters of Value Growth" and identifies them, their key moves, and the value each created (in terms of billions of dollars) from 1980 until 1994. All of these visionary leaders (Welch, Walton, Vagelos, Gates, Petersen, Grove, Malone, Platt, Noorda, Iverson, and Kelleher) focused on making the right moves and thereby created enormous value for their respective companies. "Business chess is a game that is as demanding as [football and basketball], but in very different ways. It is not physical stamina, but stamina of thought. It is not transactional concentration, but constant shuttling between a focus on the current move and imagining the next several moves out. It is an unrelenting exercise of matching patterns on the current game board to the countless patterns in your mind." Slywotsky concludes the final chapter with a suggestion that this question be asked: What five moves will capture most of the given industry's value growth? "Give yourself a couple of months to analyze and assimilate the grand masters' key moves. Then come back and determine the five (or fewer) critical moves for your company." In this exceptionally thought-provoking book, Slywotsky indicates why he would be an indispensable guide throughout that difficult but necessary process.

4-0 out of 5 stars High level view
This book presents a very high level strategic view of business. Slywotzky emphasizes the value of a good business design vs reliance on technology for growth.For example, there is the simplified view of why IBM became a slogging giant in the early 90s. Lou Gerstner would certainly like to add to it

However there is good set of tools to understand your business better. I find his radar screen tool particularly useful to visualize business competitors and analyze the direction of value migration.

All said, this book is worth reading..just don't expect ttoo much.

5-0 out of 5 stars Insightful and influential
I discovered this book during a business trip to Phoenix in 1996, and it still occupies a space on my special shelf of books that have deeply influenced me.

As the most basic level the concept of value migration is business design, and the ability of that design to evolve in a dynamic market. The simple map of where your business, which is a function of design, is summed up in three states: value inflow, stability or outflow.

At a more complex level, this book provides seven patterns that serve as markers to show how value can migrate from one business (or industry) to another. The final part of this book shows how the concepts and patterns can be applied in your own business.

The foregoing may erroneously give the impression that this book is heavy on concept and lite on practicality. It's not. The material is meticulously presented, reinforced by recognizable examples drawn from industries, and prescriptive measures are laid out with realism and pragmatism. The concepts are what have influenced me. After reading this book I've looked at certain industry trends differently, and after eight years my observations bear out the premise of this book. This is highly actionable information that is invaluable to any company that wants to prevent the outflow of value, while capitalizing on stability and finding ways to create inflow. A more recent book that meshes nicely with this one is "The Ultimate Competitive Advantage: Secrets of Continually Developing a More Profitable Business Model" ISBN 1576751678. In fact, that book extends this book in many ways, especially with respect to business design, and further proves the concepts Slywotzky set forth in this book in 1996.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!!
This book is a must for consultants and managers in general. It provides you with basic understanding of how the value proposition that companies have to deliver to customers has changed and will keep on going. Since the very first pages Slywotsky challenges you to think about the issue customer needs vs. customer priorities, and explains how the business design should change accordingly to these priorities. A must buy.

5-0 out of 5 stars A whole new way of thinking for me
I normally do not read business books of this book's scope; however, it was recommended by my co-author for an article on which we were collaborating. Our challenge was to support the assertion that the U.S. software industry is being supplanted by India, and a shift in off-shore development resources from the U.S. consumer to Indian provider is actually moving to Indian consumer to Russian and Egyptian providers. This is obviously value migration in its truest form and is consistent with the ideas set forth by Mr. Slywotzky in this book.

Using the inflow-stability-outflow model that is one of the basic paradigms in this book, we developed a model upon which we were able to build a case supporting our assertion. More interestingly, the whole concept and numerous case studies that reinforce it throughout the book provided me with a deeper understanding of the macro and micro issues of value migration - this was eye-opening.

My favorite chapter is at the very end of the book. Titled, "Five Moves ... or Fewer," it showed how major companies captured or recaptured the biggest share of value available, and each of the examples involved five or less moves. I was personally fascinated.

Although my initial reason for reading this book was to research an article, it has changed my way of thinking on a number of levels that go well beyond a single-topic research project. The writing style is clear and engaging, and the concepts and ideas ring true. I am giving this remarkable book 5 stars and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to see a bigger picture of economics or develop a keen business strategy. ... Read more


86. Connecting the Dots: Aligning Projects with Objectives in Unpredictable Times
by Cathleen Benko, F. Warren McFarlan
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578518776
Catlog: Book (2003-03-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 199170
Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

As companies look for ways to unlock shareholder value, restore investor confidence, and adapt to uncertainty, the project portfolio is a smart place to look. Why? Because companies' project initiatives have grown faster than their ability to manage them-affecting the return on trillions of investment dollars while failing to prepare companies for today's unpredictable environment.

Connecting the Dots argues that the portfolio is a company's future currency-the truest measure of organizational intent. And the best way to leverage this currency is through greater alignment.

Simply put, alignment is about better matching the company's portfolio to its objectives and the uncertain environment. Connecting the Dots employs a practical, "play the hand you are holding" approach, providing a balance of concepts and roll-up-your-sleeves guidance on how to:

* Determine how well aligned-or misaligned-an organization is today

* Apply tools that reveal opportunities to reduce portfolio risk while increasing the economics of a company's portfolio

* Instill more adaptive mind-sets to better respond to whatever future presents itself

Executives already know their portfolios are not delivering as expected. This guidebook helps "connect the dots" between an organization's objectives and its project investments, capturing hidden value today while better preparing for tomorrow.

... Read more

Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Insightful with practical advice....worth the read
I read about this book in CFO & CIO so I picked up a copy. For a book written by a professor and a consultant, I found it to be very practical and easy to understand. As a turnaround manager I read a lot of business books and strategy publications and was pleasantly surprised at how approachable, yet valuable the book was. I checked out the documents featured on the book's website (...) and found them to be very useful and comprehensive. In fact, I will probably use some of these documents as frameworks for a project I am currently working on for my client.

Overall, I think the book does a great job at outlining a practical framework and approach to portfolio management. What's more, the book's concepts and tools seem fairly easy to implement....which is always a good thing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally a practical set of IT portfolio management tools!
Connecting the Dots is a great read for anyone working in IT management. It can help you gain better control of your capital expenditures and information technology projects - both critical success factors in our industry.

Some of the ideas in the book are new and some aren't, but the book has done a great job at simplifying these concepts (ie. portfolio management) and making them accessible and usable. Instead of the usual 'pie in the sky' statements, this book dives into a company and illustrates how the tools and frameworks can be used in a typical business. It's refreshing to find the kind of book that can help you manage the execution of these issues.

The book claims that a company's project portfolio is what moves it into the future and provides great tools and techniques that teach you how to get your company to focus on producing business results and think about the bigger picture: where all these projects are actually taking your organization. The book also does a good job at helping you bridge the technology and business sides of an organization even though I could have done without the business history lesson in Chapter 2.

This book can easily be read in two to three hours. I just read it over the weekend and was able to start applying some of the ideas.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book on balancing the project portfolio thru process
Many organizations approve any project that sounds like "a good idea". This "soda straw" perspective is a sure way to over-task people, make project cost and delivery unpredictable, and ensure a poor reputation for the organization executing projects. While business leaders do not set out to cripple and distract their organizations, the lack of an institutionalized process frequently yields poor results. While this book addresses the narrow space of project alignment with organizational objectives, the authors propose a framework and tools that organizations with the commitment to follow it through can use to get optimum results from their project portfolio. Specifically, the approach offered by the authors helps organizations align their project portfolio with corporate objectives, align individual projects with one another, and enable organizational flexibility.
The process provides a certain rigor, but those seeking to implement this process in their organization should consider 1) first implementing a functional basic project portfolio management process, 2) ensuring that the process proposed in this book is a good match to their organizational culture, and 3) that in implementing this process they do not over-engineer their project portfolio management process.
Those proposing this process for adoption, or who are conducting a project portfolio alignment workshop, may wish to visit the book Website (HBSP), which has Microsoft PowerPoint slide presentations and graphics available for download. This Website is a useful adjunct to the book.
This is a useful book for project portfolio managers in organizations who want more rigor in their project portfolio management process.

Utility of the Information
The value of the book, in my view, lies in the following attributes:
• The authors present complex ideas in an easy-going, not scholarly style, making the book easy to read. They use graphics to communicate concepts like frameworks and tools, and they employ a case-study approach to illustrate application.
• The framework consisting short- and long-term objectives along with organizational trait objectives provides for a balanced perspective.
• The alignment tools provide an approach to view projects in a portfolio view. This allows the portfolio management team to align projects and the portfolio with organizational direction, improve project efficiency, manage risks, and achieve flexibility.
• The framework and tools consciously align the project portfolio with organizational goals, bringing focus to the portfolio.
• Workshop attendees can use the tools to gain fresh a perspective of projects instead of a traditional, organizational alignment point of view where, say, projects are always associated with the division who sponsors the projects.
• Incorporates a change management perspective by asking how much change an organization can digest in a given time period.
• Supports and promotes program management by forcing analysis of the interdependencies of projects and project deliverables.
• Supports and promotes spiral (iterative development) through the "project chunking" perspective.
• Aids the risk management process by balancing project benefits versus risks in the project proposal and review process.
• Portfolio managers or teams can apply the framework and tools in a step-by-step fashion, reducing anxiety about "how to eat the elephant". This stepwise approach supports workshop breakout sessions.

Application of the Framework and Tools
Several questions arise when one considers if one can apply an authors approach to solving business problems; is the approach practicable.

Position of the Framework in the Larger Project Portfolio Management Context
If the project portfolio management process includes 1) understanding supply and demand (people, money and projects), alignment of decision boards with authority, project assessment, and continuous process improvement (IPS Associates and Stanford APM), this framework fits toward the end of that process spectrum. This book does not describe the overall project portfolio management process, or how to implement project portfolio management in an organization. This book really answers the question "Now that I have a project portfolio management process in place, how do I mature my portfolio alignment and balance process?"

Feasibility, Suitability and Acceptability
For organizations which have implemented project portfolio management and wish for more rigor in the project-business alignment sub-process, this book is a credible offering. One would expect that if a portfolio management team applied all the tools in this book to their portfolio that the result would be 1) a considerable time investment and 2) a better aligned portfolio. The portfolio management team must therefore be willing to take the time to 1) learn several tools and 2) apply the tools in a step-wise and iterative fashion over time.
The framework, tools and examples emphasize application in a business (for profit) context. Practitioners in governmental or other not for profit organizations will need to critically review, tailor and possibly adapt the framework and tools to their purposes.
Organizations with a small number of projects and who have portfolio management team members who are more inclined to make decisions quickly, who are not possessed with an engineering or analytical mindset may think that they do not need or have the patience for such a process. Team members may respond to this approach saying "I'll just use my business experience and common sense to achieve balance in my portfolio". While this statement may or may not be true, I would expect this response in some cultures. One approach to this may be for the portfolio management support office to compile the data, apply the tools, and make a staff recommendation to the portfolio management team for decision.
While the authors bring both academic (McFarlan is a professor) and business experience (Benko is a consultant) to this book, they cite no studies to support the effectiveness of their approach. Therefore, organizations which require empirical evidence of process effectiveness before accepting or implementing a new business process may be resistant to implementing this process.

References, Footnoting and Bibliography
This book is well referenced, footnoted and indexed. This increases the utility of the book for one who has first read and understood the book.
One can often tell when an academic was on the team of authors; the footnoting is excellent, and the Notes section (Benko and McFarlan 221-30) is a useful resource for exploring other sources of information for further research. Specifically, the notes section is ample at nine pages, the lexicon is helpful with three pages of content, and the index is well populated with nine pages of indexed words.

3-0 out of 5 stars A workable and appealing alignment framework
Consultant Cathleen Benko and business professor McFarlan come into alignment in this tremendously practical book. Today's companies need to bring their misaligned, overlapping, and inconsistent projects into alignment through "frontier living". This means delivering results in the present while adapting for the future's business context by using four "traits" to configure your project portfolio for confusing, volatile, and unpredictable conditions.

The title of the book refers to the need to "connect the dots" between an organization's objectives and its project investments to create and balance present and future value. The book's plethora of tools combined with the easygoing writing style makes it engaging and painless to absorb. Benko and McFarlan can be forgiven for overstating the role of project alignment - that is, after all, the standard book author's tendency. It is true, however, that companies project initiatives total up into the trillions of dollars and it requires no stretch to accept the claim that those initiatives have grown faster than companies' ability to manage them. Benko and McFarlan focus on the project portfolio as the most promising key to unlocking value, arguing that the portfolio is a company's future currency. We find their underlying principle that "companies are better served by adapting themselves for the future rather than by trying to predict its destination" to be a sound one.

Alignment, in this book, specifically means aligning three drivers of business performance: a company's project portfolio with its objectives; the projects in the portfolio to each other; and the portfolio and company's objectives with the ever-changing realities of the business context. To prosper on the "information frontier", certain shifts in mind-set - "traits" - are needed. Along with operational short-term and strategic long-term objectives, these constitute the organization's *intentions*. Four traits are used throughout the book as each of the various tools are explained and applied: Eco-Driven (effective collaborations), Outside-In (looking at yourself the way others look at you), Fighting Trim (agility, coordination, and options orientation to deal with uncertainty and respond to change), and House in Order (provisioning the other traits to enable cross-enterprise collaboration).

The seven alignment tools in this book fall three groups. The Trait Meter assesses, plans, and measures trait development according to the four traits. Once this first step is completed (which includes creating an Intentions Framework), the second group of diagnostic tools comes into play: The Intentions, Sides, and Right Brain tools. These measure the nature and size of the alignment opportunity, identify organizational bias and sort projects into business activities, and identify change capacity issues. The third group of tools - Common Threads, Project Chunking, and What-If Planning - focus on building flexibility into the portfolio.

Working through the book for real will, of course, be far more challenging than merely reading it. But the authors have done a good job of clarifying important issues of alignment and have provided a workable and appealing framework and toolset for tackling those issues.
(3 stars from me is good. 4-star ratings are given too easily.)

4-0 out of 5 stars Strong, simple decision making for your services portfolio
The strength of this book is it's simplicity and graphical representation of decision frameworks. For most companies this is a strong tool for internal development planning and compliment to Six Sigma initiatives. For consultants, this can be used to plan your services portfolio. Well written and an enjoyable read. ... Read more


87. Managing Change and Transition
by Harvard Business School Press
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578518741
Catlog: Book (2003-01-02)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 21700
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Harvard Business Essentials

Your Guide and Mentor to Doing Business Effectively

In the faced-paced world of business today, everyone needs a personal resource-a place to go for advice, coaching, background information, or answers. Bosses and colleagues aren't always available when you need them-and they might not always have the most reliable solutions to your business problems right at hand.

The Harvard Business Essentials series fills the gap. Concise and straightforward, these books provide highly practical advice for readers at all levels of experience. Whether you are a new manager interested in expanding your skills or an experienced executive looking to stay on top, these solution-oriented books give you the reliable tips and tools you need to improve your performance and get the job done. Harvard Business Essentials titles will quickly become your constant companions and the trusted guides you'll turn to throughout your business career.

Managing Change and Transition

Managing through change and crisis is difficult in any business environment, let alone one as turbulent as managers face today.This timely guide offers authoritative advice on how to recognize the need for organizational change, communicate the vision, prepare for structural change such as M&A, and address emotional responses to downsizing.With tools for managing stress levels and advice on gathering and sharing information during transition, this book is an indispensable guide for managers at any level of the organization. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Invaluable "Essentials"
This is one of several paperbacks in the "Essentials" series, each of which offers "cutting edge" thinking on a major business subject. Mike Beer served as the adviser to Richard Luecke while he wrote this volume. Brief information about both is provided. There are seven chapters following an Introduction in which Luecke observes that "Accepting the necessity and inevitability of change enables [all companies and their decision-makers] to see times of transition not as threats but as opportunities -- opportunities for reinventing the company and its culture." Indicators include a merger, acquisition, or divestiture; the launch of a new product or service; a new leader; or a new technology. "In this book you will learn how to manage change constructively, and how to help your company, division, and people deal with the upheavals of change. You'll also learn practical things you can do to make change initiatives more successful and less painful for the people you manage."

Each of the seven chapters (which are arranged in a logical sequence) focuses on a separate but related component of effective management of change and transition. For example, in Chapter 2, Luecke explains why leaders must be respected and effective for change to happen, the role of motivation in change-readiness, the importance of a nonhierarchical culture in implementing change, and then offers several "tips" on how to become "change ready." To me, one of the most valuable chapters is the sixth (in which Luecke examines the four stages of reaction to change (i.e. shock, defensive retreat, acknowledgment, and acceptance and adaptation), how individuals can help themselves navigate change, how managers can help employees cope with change, and alternative ways for managers to think about change registers.

At the conclusion of each of the seven chapters, Luecke offers an especially useful "Summing Up" section which facilitates a periodic review of key points. I also appreciate the provision of Appendix A ("Useful Implementation Tools") and Appendix B ("How to Choose and Work with Consultants"), both of which provide basic but sound information to supplement material covered in the previous chapters.

Those who share my high regard for this volume are urged to check out Jim O'Toole's Leading Change, William Bridges' Transitions and Managing Transitions and Jon Katzenbach's Real Change Leaders, all of which are available in paperback editions. ... Read more


88. The Keystone Advantage: What the New Dynamics of Business Ecosystems Mean for Strategy, Innovation, and Sustainability
by Marco Iansiti, Roy Levien
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.80
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Asin: 1591393078
Catlog: Book (2004-08-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 46418
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Book Description

In biological ecosystems, "keystone" species maintain the healthy functioning of the entire system. Why? Because their own survival depends on it. This book argues that business ecosystems work in much the same way-one company's success depends on the success of its partners.

Based on more than ten years of research and practical experience within industries from retail to automotive to software, The Keystone Advantage outlines a framework that goes beyond maximizing internal competencies to leveraging the collective competencies of one's entire network for competitive advantage.

... Read more


89. Results-Based Leadership
by Dave Ulrich, Jack Zenger, Norman Smallwood
list price: $27.50
our price: $18.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0875848710
Catlog: Book (1999-04-15)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 41271
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

It's possible to look like a leader, say all the right things to shareholders, make employees feel good about themselves, and still not produce the sorts of results everyone expects and wants from your company. A previous generation might have called this winning the battle but losing the war.

Directing employees is harder than it looks, since past performance isn't really an indication of how a leader will do in the future. As the authors say, "The half-life of knowledge grows ever shorter in most professions, requiring even high performers to unlearn what they know and do."

The authors--a university professor and two heads of consulting firms--divide leadership priorities into four areas: employees, organization, customers, and investors. A company head generally has to focus on one responsibility over the other three, but can't get away with ignoring any of them for very long. They explain each of these four priorities in depth--noting, for example, that keeping employees committed and productive means "mass customizing" the workplace to fit individual employees' needs while keeping everyone working toward the same goal. That customization may require adjustments unheard-of a few years ago--allowing an employee to work from home in a different city, for example--but pays off in the retention of valuable human assets that would otherwise take their training, experience, energy, and creativity to other companies, possibly competitors.

People who already have leadership positions in their companies can certainly find a lot of important information, but the book may be even more valuable to those who want to move into management roles. It certainly shows what challenges to expect. --Lou Schuler ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars "I felt that I was reading the 'Rosetta' stone."
I read and re-read Results-Based Leadership over the fourth of July weekend, along with some additional materials provided by Provant, and I truly believe this book is a major management 'hit'! I took 50 pps of notes, and even bought a copy for a friend of mine (truly a rare event) who is about to start up a major division for a large local firm. I love the way the authors integrated Kaplan's Business Scorecard Process with the Leadership Development process. Truly a marriage of employee development and strategic 'results'. The 'so that' and 'because of' virtuous cycle is especially clever. I've subtitled the book 'The Missing Linkage'. You've solved so many conceptual issues I've had over the years that I felt that I was reading the 'Rosetta' stone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally...a book that focuses on what matters.
I have read close to 100 management and leadership books and found this to be one of the best. It stands apart because it looks at both halves required for leadership, whereas most of the other books focus on one or the other. The halves are Results and Character. The authors also provide a framework called the Model of Balanced Outcomes, which I am actually using in my organization. In fact, I just completed a diagnostic and prescriptive paper for my MBA program, which focused completely on this model. This book is one of the few that provides practical application without a whole lot of theoretical mumbo jumbo. Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on leadership & implementation...
Together with Kotter's "Leading Change" and Fogg's "Implementing Your Strategic Plan," this is one of the best books ever written on leadership and strategy implementation. Contrary to what an earlier reviewer stated, this book only mention's Enron on two pages (out of 234). And, in each instance, is very specific about what can be learned from the ill-fated company (this book is far from a "cheerleading session" for Enron). Instead, the book focuses on the mechanics of leadership and strategy implementation. As a strategy consultant, I find myself recommending this book to clients again and again. I believe it should be a part of any serious manager's business library -- particularly if you are a senior manager. Overall grade: A/A+.

1-0 out of 5 stars A "leadership" book that trumpets Enron
... Spare yourself [the money] and to talk to the manager of your local Denny's restaurant for some real inspiration.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Leadership is all about results."
"The quest to become a more effective leader will neither begin nor end with this work. However, we want to shift how to think about and become a better leader. It is faddish to think of leaders as people who master competencies and emanate character. While agreeing with this perspective, we believe that it falls short of assuring that leaders lead. Leaders do much more than demonstrate attributes. Effective leaders get results. This book refocuses and reframes the search for effective leadership by connecting attributes to results...By so doing, this book makes a bold statement about the next generation of leadership thinking. This does not mean less attention to the leader's attributes, but it does mean making sure that leaders understand and commit to the results they must produce-and how they are produced" (pp.1-23).

In this context, D.Ulrich, J.Zenger, and N.Smallwood suggest the following fourteen specific actions described in Chapter 7 can help leaders make results a major part of their leadership equation, at whatever level they function in their companies:

1. Begin with an absolute focus on results.

2. Take complete and personal responsibility for your group's results.

3. Clearly and specifically communicate expectations and targets to the people in your group.

4. Determine what you need to do personally to improve your results.

5. Use results as the litmus test for continuing or implementing leadership practice.

6. Engage in developmental activities and opportunities that will help you produce better results.

7. Know and use every group member's capabilities to the fullest and provide everyone with appropriate developmental opportunities.

8. Experiment and innovate in every realm under your influence, looking constantly for new ways to improve performance.

9. Measure the right standards and increase the rigor with which you measure them.

10. Cnstantly take action; results won't improve without it.

11. Increase the pace or tempo of your group.

12. Seek feedback from others in the organization about ways you and your group can improve your outcomes.

13. Ensure that your subordinates and colleagues perceive that your motivation for being a leader is the achievement of positive results, not personal or political gain.

14. Model the methods and strive for the results you want your group to use and attain.

Ulrich, Zenger, and Smallwood argue that these suggestions which may be implemented right now by any leader occupying any position, will modify behavior and improve performance- all without a month-long absence from work or expenditures of large sums of money.

Highly recommended. ... Read more


90. Relevance Lost: The Rise and Fall of Management Accounting
by H. Thomas Johnson, Robert S. Kaplan
list price: $35.00
our price: $35.00
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Asin: 0875841384
Catlog: Book (1987-03-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 520254
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Since its initial publication in 1987, Revelance Lost has gone through nine printings, won two major awards from the accounting profession, and had a profound impact on how management accounting systems operate in the 1990s. It has become a manifesto for managers in accounting and control. By exploring the evolution of management accounting in American business from the early textile mills to present-day computer-automated manufacturers, Johnson and Kaplan reveal why modern corporations must make major changes in the way they measure and manage costs. In a world of rapid technological change, vigorous global and domestic competition, and enormous information-processing capabilities, it is critical that managers receive information that is timely, accurate, and relevant. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars this is a book that revolutionized management accounting
Relevance lost of a book about the history of management accounting. The book is very well documented in that in times they were able to deduce different conclusions made by others. They start from the very beginning exploring as far back as the 18th century. They start out by discussing how textile mills started recording in their books accounting information. They begin from the very beginnings of accounting. Accounting emerged as a discipline in the early 18th century, but their underlying purpose in not for internal uses but it was created so that stakeholders can gauge the value of their investment in the firms that put out these financial statements. In the book there are a number of firms they highlight that made important contributions to management accounting. The first company they highlight is DuPont corporation in the nineteenth century. There is a theme to the development of management accounting. DuPont first staterted out as a manufacturer of gunpowder but went on to become bigger. The first companies that innovated their way of internal controls in management accounting grew out of a necessity. DuPont first came out with a measure of their business which was the return on investment measure. Because Dupont was becoming bigger and it needed to measure return on investment to measure the profitability of individual business units. It was a measuring rod to asses the different business activities of it business units. With this measure the managers of DuPont could make decisions such us which business units to invest on and do away with units that are performing poorly.
In the 1920's at General Motors they have been experimenting with using variances to measure how well they are doing in their manufacturing. In to the picture is a man named Alfred Sloan, he is one of the most brilliant thinkers in management. With implementing variances GM was able to have a uniform way to impose standards to its managers. With this system, GM's growth became remunerative.
Then there came a period as the authors put it when relevance was lost. Financial accounting accounted for the bulk of the innovations in accounting leaving behind management accounting. This is like the "dark ages" of cost accounting when companies and academics did not innovate methods and processes to advance management accounting. There were a number of reasons for this, first is the requirement imposed in companies to generate financial statements for the stakeholders of the companies. Second, the cost of putting together the necessary information was prohibitive. Technology has not yet grown mature enough to allow managers to go through the trouble of compiling the information needed to make the decisions.
The beauty of this book is that it traces beginnings of topics that are familiar to us now. Topics like variances, discounted cash flow analysis, return on investment, sunk cost, and even just-in-time inventory systems. The next evolution of management accounting is to be led by academicians according to the authors. In this stage of the life of management accounting arose discounted cash flow analysis. This is a step ahead of the return on investment method. This is also a time when economist started to innovate management accounting further. The concept of sunk cost is introduced by economist in the London School of Economics. Innovations also arose by way of the field of operations research. Operations research deals primarily of mathematics. And about this time management accounting was taking hold as a discipline of its own. Along with discounted cash flow analysis, opportunity cost is introduces as well as agency theory and residual income. Residual income is interesting in that it was a step backward in the innovations of theories. Even though, GM started using this instead of the return-on-investment measure. The driving force of this period of the growth of management accounting is the need to have better decision making. This is why economics along with operations research contributed to the growth of management accounting.
Next up, management accounting in its evolved form before 1980 falls short. Management accountants make a couple of theoretical mistakes. They are no longer providing managers of the critical information needed to make decisions. Management accounting has become obsolete in a sense. The next development is what happened after 1980. Because of bitter and growing competition because of global forces and deregulation there needed to be more changes. In this period arose what is now called total quality management, and its progeny just-in-time systems. Manufacturers needed to control their work-in-process inventory. Meaning the Japanese where beating Americans by having zero inventory. This led to changes in management accounting systems throughout the United States.

4-0 out of 5 stars Historical backgrounds of BSC, ABC & EVA
If you want to understand everything about the historical backgrounds of such now well-known management instruments like the balanced scorecard, activity based costing and EVA, there is no better book to read than this book. This book started off a transformation of management accounting and of organizational performance management. Essential reading for controllers, students of management and management consultants.

4-0 out of 5 stars Broad History of Mgmt Accounting
Good in-depth survey of the history and purpose of Management Accounting. Classic book. You see Kaplan's thought processes as he develops the basis of his later works on new forms of accounting such as the Balanced Scorecard and EVA.

If you are a management accountant this book will put your work into perspective as well as caution you about the pitfalls of doing things the way theu have always been done.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good read for discouraged management accountants.
For those management accountants who feel less than totally appreciated (the real ones will know this to be a common feeling) then this book shows how financial accounting usurped management accounting when the bean counters went looking for shareholders and needed to tell less than the truth about what was going on inside their firms.

If auditors are just hookers with a degree, then financial accountants are then just politicians without a cause - you cannot run a business on late and averaged data from the financial perspective.

This book reminds us that knowing what things cost to make and cost to sell is what keeps a firm on the black ink side of the ledger.

Worth a read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent treatment of subject
This is a small book which puts forward the idea that we must return to a better use of product cost data to make decisions. The authors review the literature going back to the first industries in the 1700's that used cost data in a managerial way. The work quotes heavily A. Chandler, J.M. Clark and Vatter for their contributions. It then reformulates their idea's and other historical data to come to the author's conclusion. In summary, it is well done for those interested in the subject and have an appreciation for business history ... Read more


91. United We Brand
by Mike Moser
list price: $27.50
our price: $18.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578517982
Catlog: Book (2003-04-04)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 254854
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Five Steps to an Unforgettable Brand

Today's customers face a dizzying array of choices, whether they're buying a car, choosing a school, or contributing to a charity. As a result, brand is often the critical differentiating factor in a customer's decision-making process. Yet for most companies, there is a yawning gap between how the brand is viewed within the company-and how it is perceived out in the world.

Marketing veteran Mike Moser argues that the problem isn't that executives don't "get" their brand. It's that they don't know how to funnel that knowledge into a form that is easily communicated and understood by every person-whether employee, partner, customer, or investor-who comes in contact with it.

In United We Brand, Moser unveils a hands-on tool he has developed over the course of two decades of branding experience with organizations ranging from brand giants like Reebok and Dell Computers to fledgling startups to nonprofit firms. The "Brand Roadmap" puts insights and strategies once available only through top flight consulting and advertising agencies in the hands of every executive, small business owner, and entrepreneur.

Step-by-step, Moser shows readers how to map out the four key components of brand strategy: identifying core values, creating a focused brand message, developing a distinctive brand personality, and choosing a consistent set of brand icons. He then provides a template for unifying these components into a customized Brand Roadmap that ensures:

" The same values and brand message are echoed in every interaction-both in and outside the company

" A consistent brand statement and identity drive all strategic activities and determine the allocation of marketing dollars

" Management and design experts have a common language with which to talk about brand execution

" Marketing materials and communications accurately reflect the core values and brand message

Filled with vivid case examples and practical worksheets, United We Brand offers a compass for guiding day-to-day branding decisions-and a roadmap for charting a company's path to long-term success.

BACK JACKET: "Mike Moser has written a highly informative and engaging guide to creating powerful brands.He has successfully distilled his years of experience helping build brands for a number of leading organizations into a practical step-by-step process that should be must reading for marketing leaders."

-Michael George, Chief Marketing Officer, Dell Computer Corporation

"Mike Moser's United We Brand demystifies the world of marketing, unlocking its secrets so that community groups, schools, and other groups without multi-million dollar advertising budgets can follow a step by step guide to create their own brand roadmap-rooted in their core values and imbued with their organizational personality."

-Carla Javits, President and CEO of the Corporation for Supportive Housing

"To be a good creative director, you must often be a teacher.That's exactly the approach Mike Moser takes in this 'textbook' on how to understand, manage, and articulate a company's image and reputation.Simply and clearly, he teaches you how to create a brand."

-Lee Clow, Chairman and Worldwide Creative Director, TBWA\Chiat\Day

"The simple steps outlined in United We Brand help define what a company has accomplished, what it does well, and how others perceive it in order to begin articulating where it wants to go in the future. The book defines a set of steps which allows an organization to articulate-and thus control-something as seemingly mysterious and elusive as a brand."

-Jeanie Kortum, Executive Director, A Home Away From Homelessness ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Clarity, Cohesion, and Impact
Several hundred books on marketing and branding have been published since Ted Levitt's seminal article ""Marketing Myopia" appeared in the Harvard Business Review (September 1, 1975). He later wrote The Marketing Imagination (1986) which remains "must reading" for anyone directly or indirectly involved with marketing. There are several excellent recently published books on brand management and this is certainly one of the best. As its subtitle correctly indicates, Moser explains "how to create a cohesive brand that's seen, heard, and remembered." In the proverbial nutshell, that has become one of brand managers' primary objectives: To create a multi-sensory experience for the consumer which increases, enhances, and sustains the appeal of the given brand. Moser draws upon more than 25 years of experience in the agency world, having worked closely with a number of major corporations (e.g. Kia Motors, Cisco Systems, and Dell) to formulate a "brand road map" based on a template which, until now, has been inaccessible to most organizations. What he offers in this book is a step-by-step process by which to create cohesive brand strategies.

As Moser explains with meticulous care, citing examples along the way, there are four components of a brand: Core values (the foundation of any organization), brand message (the overall key message which must be communicated effectively), brand personality (the overall tone and attitude with which to deliver the brand message), and finally, brand icons (executional tools which help to deliver the brand message...all of the various elements that make all of an organization's marketing materials uniquely its own). These four components provide the foundation of a "brand road map" which, like all other roadways, requires conscientious maintenance to ensure expeditious delivery of the brand message to its destination.

Moser leaves no doubt whatsoever that this process is very difficult, requires an abundance of time and energy, and is subject to all manner of perils such as internal resistance which Jim O'Toole characterizes as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom." Why bother? "Capturing the essence of your brand [whatever or whoever it may be] and putting it into a form that's clear and concise will help ensure that your brand has the tools necessary to be seen heard, and remembered in the marketplace for years to come." Presumably Moser agrees with this follow-up thought which I now share: Even if Levitt and Moser personally worked closely with you and your associates on the formulation of a "road map" for your organization, it will be essentially worthless unless and until your brand (be it a product or service or both) is of the highest possible quality.

Readers of this brilliant book will be pleased and relieved that Moser's approach is eminently practical. His text is mercifully free of jargon. He seems determined to help any and all who would otherwise not have access to a step-by-step process which has been used for years by large corporations, branding experts, and brand consultancies as well as by multinational corporate identity firms and advertising agencies. Understanding this process will help those who read his book to achieve some of the same brand insights, brand focus, and brand consistency now delivered by various proprietary formulas.

5-0 out of 5 stars The New Bible, by Mike Moser
Smart, relevant and witty.
And written for just about everyone at every level
of the communications business. Whether you're a Jr.
Copywriter, or a C.E.O. Moser gets to the heart
(and soul) of turning any business into a household word.
Finally, someone has written about the most difficult
task in advertising and made it incredibly clear, and
even more startling, incredibly easy.
The first textbook on branding that doesn't read
like a textbook.
And to think it was written by an Art Director.
Amen.

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy steps to branding! MUST READ.
Defining the brand is often a company's hardest task in marketing anything from computers to social services. Mike Moser presents an easy-to-read, easy-to-follow guide to developing and defining a powerful brand in today's marketplace. This book is essential for any businessperson who is either trying to understand the complexity/process of branding or attempting to assist in developing a company or individual brand.

5-0 out of 5 stars How to sell
My background is in law and network programming. What's amazing to me about this book is how well it translates to the needs of any business. Moser offers up a way to think clearly about how to sell whatever product/service you have. He also makes you aware of what is being sold to you and how! It's easy to read and offers invaluable advice. As busy as I am right now I'm glad I took the time to read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Profound Insights...Powerful Tool
The message delivered in Mike Moser's wonderfully insightful book has a wide application. Perhaps even wider than the author intended.

Moser deftly distills some very powerful marketing insights into an easily comprehensible form, while providing practical tools to create more impactful brand communications. Not only are those tools relevant to companies striving to better define/articulate their distinctive positioning in the marketplace, Mike Moser's message will resonate with folks, such as myself, trying to "brand themselves" as we seek employment in today's highly competitive and overly "commoditized" workplace. ... Read more


92. Generation to Generation: Life Cycles of the Family Business
by Kelin E. Gersick, John A. Davis, Marion McCollom Hampton, Ivan Lansberg
list price: $32.50
our price: $21.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 087584555X
Catlog: Book (1997-01-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 79751
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars A 'must-read' for the whole family !!
"Generation to Generation", published by Harvard Business School Press, is an attempt to model how family businesses work in essence. The authors' research include interesting vignettes and 'lessons-learned' from a variety of families; how they achieved their goals, how they resolved conflicts between family members etc. Since the topic of family business in academics is fairly new, this book can be considered as one of the best in its field.

Important topics (such as succession, development stages and inter & intragenerational issues) are covered in detail to enlighten the reader. Contrasting viewpoints are also included to make the reader think for his or herself.

In general, the book is fairly easy to read since it explains the modeling theory with examples from numerous enterprises.
I strongly recommend it all who are destined to work in the complex system called family business.

5-0 out of 5 stars Packed with Knowledge!
Most businesses in the world today are owned by families, but only a small percentage of these companies will survive and grow into major corporations. The unique challenges posed by family ownership can undermine even the best-performing small business, as issues of control and succession permeate the generations. In Generation to Generation, the authors apply the simple premise that managing a family-owned business to a large extent means managing the family itself. To that end, they provide a rich compendium of research and strategic suggestions for those charged with making a family business work, including the consultants who guide them. We from getAbstract highly recommend this book for these applicable measures and methods, which will help the performance of both business and family.

5-0 out of 5 stars A perfect blend of theory and practice!
The authors effectively present a theoretical, as well as practical model of family business dynamics, incorporating the complexities of development over time. This book is a must-read to gain a deep understanding of families in business from the key perspectives of familiy, business, and ownership. Their use of case examples effectively illustrate the practical application and relevance of theory. To sum it up, it's steak AND sizzle!

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for anyone interested in family businesses
I think this is one of the best books available on family businesses! I found it insightful and informative. I think anyone interested in the subject should read this book. I strongly disagree with the review that describes this book as "too theoretical." I found it immensly practical.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice, but too theoretical
Provides a very thorough framework for understanding and theorizing about family owned / managed businesses. When the rubber meets the road, the book does not provide enough practical advice to be useful outside of business school. ... Read more


93. Harvard Business Review on What Makes a Leader
by Daniel Goleman, Michael Maccoby, Thomas Davenport, John C. Beck, Dan Clampa, Michael Watkins
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578516374
Catlog: Book (2001-10-15)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 59324
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. 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.

The latest thinking in the field of leadership is collected in this volume. With all-new articles published in the last three years and two articles from leadership guru, Daniel Goleman, this collection is a must have for CEOs and top level managers. The volume also pays special attention to leadership succession issues. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Given the Quality, an Exceptional Value
This is one in a series of volumes of articles which previously appeared in the Harvard Business Review. They offer direct and relatively inexpensive access to cutting-edge thinking on a major business subject. This volume provides eight essays, each preceded by an "Executive Summary." The first selection "What Makes a Leader?") was written by Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, Working with Emotional Intelligence, and the most recently published Primal Leadership. After years of wide and deep experience with all manner of executives, Goleman has found that "the most effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence [which Goleman asserts] is the sine qua non of leadership." He then identifies and briefly discusses what he calls "The Five Components of Emotional Intelligence at Work": Self-Awareness. Self-Regulation, motivation, empathy, and Social Skill." These are the titles and authors of the other seven essays:

"Narcissistic Leaders: The Incredible Pros, the Inevitable Cons" (Michael Maccoby)

"Leadership That Gets Results" (Goleman)

NOTE: Those especially interested in this subject are urged to check out Bossidy and Charan's Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done (June 2002).

"Getting the Attention You Need" (Thomas H. Davenport and John C. Beck)

NOTE: Davenport and Beck later developed their ideas in much greater depth in The Attention Economy.

"The Successor's Dilemma" Dan Ciampa and Michael Watkins)

"The Rise and Fall of the J. Peterman Company" (John Peterman)

NOTE: To "Seinfeld" fans, yes, he is that Peterman.

"Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?" (Robert Goffee and Gareth Jones)

"Leading Through Rough Times: An Interview with Novell's Eric Schmidt" (Bronwyn Fryer)

No brief commentary such as this can do full justice to the rigor and substance of the articles provided. It remains for each reader to examine the list to identify those subjects which are of greatest interest to her or him. My own opinion is that all of the articles are first-rate. A majority were later developed into books. For me, one of this volume's greatest benefits is derived from sharing a variety of perspectives provided by several different authorities on the same general subject. In terms of value, if all eight articles were purchased as an individual reprint, the total cost would be $56.00.

4-0 out of 5 stars Some valuable insight
This book contains a collection of essays about the makings of a great leader. Some essays, particularly the one about emotional intelligence, I found invaluable. Others, were interesting, but not new news. ... Read more


94. Succeeding Generations: Realizing the Dream of Families in Business
by Ivan Lansberg
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0875847420
Catlog: Book (1999-07)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 70349
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Finding the right successor to a well-loved founder or president is often the most difficult task an organization can face-and the challenge is often even greater for family-run businesses.Succeeding Generations explores leadership transitions in family businesses, offering a clear-eyed assessment of the different options, from direct succession to building partnerships between siblings and cousins.

Family-owned companies may dominate the worldwide business landscape, yet surprisingly few are successfully passed down from one generation to the next, and fewer still reach the third generation intact.Author Ivan Lansberg, an organizational psychologist who grew up in a family business, examines the reasons behind this high failure rate, and reveals the factors that contribute to long-term success.Succeeding Generations offers a framework for understanding the succession process, as Lansberg highlights the need for families to share a "dream" much like a business has a vision.He also offers practical advice on how to mentor successors, how to set up a systematic selection process, and how to make the best use of the board of directors during times of transition.With a wealth of examples from companies in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America, Succeeding Generations provides a thoughtful and comprehensive look at the sensitive dynamics of leadership succession in family businesses.

Planning for continuity is a life-long process for families in business, and Succeeding Generations is the first book to provide in-depth answers to the questions that arise at every stage in the evolution of the family firm. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Packed with Knowledge!
Succeeding Generations takes the family business where few dare to venture: into the perilous landscape of succession - the boneyard of many a family enterprise felled by dissension, sibling rivalry, and greed. Ivan Lansberg, co-founder of the Family Firm Institute and your guide through this treacherous terrain, neatly straddles the worlds of academic rigor and real-world experience as he shows you how to pave the way for the generation to come. Case studies of well-known family businesses illustrate Lansberg's observations and bring his advice home. We from getAbstract recommend this book to anyone involved in the complex concern of family business.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Landmark Book on Family Businesses!
Ivan Lansberg's new book is an excellent resource for anyone living through, or helping to manage, the succession process in a family business! The book is thoroughly scholarly yet practical...it is "a must read," for anyone interested in the subject. It is the best book on the subject I have read!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best
Ivan Lansberg is among the top thinkers in the Family Business field. In this book, drawing on his experience as a consultant, and also on his work as co-author of Generation to Generation, he sums up all there is to say about the complex family/business relationship. A must for anyone interested in the subject. ... Read more


95. Commercializing New Technologies: Getting from Mind to Market
by Vijay K. Jolly
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
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Asin: 0875847609
Catlog: Book (1997-10-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 276857
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96. Experimentation Matters: Unlocking the Potential of New Technologies for Innovation
by Stefan H. Thomke
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578517508
Catlog: Book (2003-06-12)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Pr
Sales Rank: 197333
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Revolutionizing Innovation and Performance Through New Experimentation Technologies

Every company's ability to innovate depends on a process of experimentation whereby new products and services are created and existing ones improved. But the cost of experimentation often limits innovation. New technologies-including computer modeling and simulation-promise to lift that constraint by changing the economics of experimentation. Never before has it been so economically feasible to ask "what-if" questions and generate preliminary answers. These technologies amplify the impact of learning, paving the way for higher R&D performance and innovation and new ways of creating value for customers.

In Experimentation Matters, Stefan Thomke argues that to unlock such potential, companies must not only understand the power of experimentation and new technologies, but also change their processes, organization, and management of innovation. He explains why experimentation is so critical to innovation, underscores the impact of new technologies, and outlines what managers must do to integrate them successfully.

Drawing on a decade of research in multiple industries as diverse as automotive, semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and banking, Thomke provides striking illustrations of how companies drive strategy and value creation by accommodating their organizations to new experimentation technologies. As in the outcome of any effective experiment, Thomke also reveals where that has not happened, and explains why. In particular, he shows managers how to:

  • Implement "front-loaded" innovation processes that identify potential problems before resources are committed and design decisions locked in
  • Experiment and test frequently without overloading their organizations
  • Integrate new technologies into the current innovation system
  • Organize for rapid experimentation
  • Fail early and often but avoid wasteful "mistakes"
  • Manage projects as experiments

Pointing to the custom integrated circuit industry-a multibillion dollar market-Thomke also shows what happens when new experimentation technologies are taken beyond firm boundaries, thereby changing the way companies create new products and services with customers and suppliers.

Probing and thoughtful, Experimentation Matters will influence how both executives and academics think about experimentation in general and innovation processes in particular. Experimentation has always been the engine of innovation, and Thomke reveals how it works today.

... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Innovation redefined
Observation, exploration and experimentation have been the three basic means of learning for scientists. Of these, experimentation calls for the highest levels of external intervention and as a topic by itself has always been of interest to statisticians who have developed powerful techniques to derive maximum information through the least possible number of experiments. Application of these statistical techniques has resulted in substantial reduction in research expenditure, quicker understanding of scientific principles and shorter time to convert ideas into useful products. On the other hand new technologies like simulation, CAD/CAE that harness the advances in computing have completely changed the experimental landscape by providing powerful techniques for rapid and economical experimentation on our desktops and servers. To cite one example discussed in this book, car maker BMW's crash simulation test progressed from 3000 to 700000 finite elements between 1982 to 2002 while simultaneously resulting in reduction of processing time from 3 months to 30 hours. Power of computing enables "front-loaded" innovation - understanding the phenomenon before committing resources into physical manufacturing.

But the lacuna is that experimentation has never been thought as a separate management discipline cutting across functional silos to bring innovative solutions into the marketplace. Experimentation as a strategic tool that needs management attention and involvement is the core theme of this book.

Management deals with producing results under uncertainty. Uncertainty can be broadly classified under technical, production, market and customer needs. Experimentation should tell us not only what will work, but also what does NOT work. The knowledge so derived should seamlessly flow across the Design-Build-Run-Analyze cycle that cuts across departmental boundaries in large organizations. This is analogous to the concept of ERP in business processes. Though this concepts looks simple, organizational barriers prevent the seamless sharing of information for innovation. Design, manufacturing , marketing and procurement functions fail to optimize on the organizational repository of knowledge that can put winning products into the marketplace. This book is an excellent study on how management can use experimentation as a unique strategy within and beyond organizational boundaries. Case studies are quite detailed and well illustrated.

Read this book. It is worth experimenting.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book matters!
The way to succeed is to double your failure rate. That comment by Thomas Watson, Sr. is not among the innovators' words of wisdom in Stefan Thomke's densely informative exploration of technologies and processes of experimentation but it perfectly fits the message. Central to Thomke's message in this book is the idea that iterated experimentation through the use of models, prototypes, and computer simulations is the key to learning and innovation. Getting the key to fit in the lock of increased organizational innovation capability, however, takes some jiggling and struggling. Experimentation Matters details the technologies that can transform innovation but place just as much emphasis on the changes that must be made to business processes, organization, culture, incentives, and management. Thomke provides plenty of detailed illustrations of companies wrestling with these issues, and offers six principles revolving to help companies experiment early and often and to organize for rapid iteration.

The first part of the book explains in depth the reasons why experimentation matters for learning and innovation, and how new technologies are affecting the development of both products and services. Thomke shows how the rate of learning is influenced by several factors that affect the process and how it is managed: fidelity, cost, iteration time, capacity, sequential and parallel strategies, signal-to-noise ratio, and type of experiment. Beneath the bewildering diversity of approaches to innovation in different industries, Thomke uncovers six principles that can improve how experimentation occurs: Anticipate and exploit early information through front-loaded innovation processes; Experiment frequently but do not overload your organization; Integrate new and traditional technologies to unlock performance; Organize for rapid experimentation; Fail early and often but avoid "mistakes"; and Manage projects as experiments.

In the final chapter, Thomke looks at how some companies are "shifting the locus of experimentation" to customers as a way to create new value. This approach, sometimes referred to as "co-creation", not only raises productivity but helps fundamentally change the sorts of products and services that can be created. Innovation toolkits given to customers need to enable them to iterate through the steps of experimentation, be user-friendly, contain libraries of useful, pretested and debugged components and modules, and they must contain information abut the capabilities and limitations of the production process. In addition to the development of a customer toolkit, Thomke adds four other steps for shifting experimentation and innovation to customers and, very importantly, notes how the creation and capture of value also shifts.

One great strength of Thomke's book is the attention given to the managerial and organizational challenges of implementing new technologies such as computer modeling and simulation and combinatorial and high-throughput testing. As other writers have repeatedly emphasized - but many managers have not yet understood - new technologies *must* be introduced only in concert with revised business processes, structures, and management approaches. Iterated experimentation helps learning by increasing the number of failures. But if incentives continue to punish failures, the new technologies will be underused or misused. Financial incentives, organizational culture, and management communications will have to change if experimenters are to feel free to fail at the most productive rate.

Thomke illustrates and details the crucial role of organization, process, and management in realizing the potential of experimentation technologies with a range of illuminating cases. He devotes a chapter to these effects in the integrated circuit industry, examines the challenges faced by Bank of America in its bold service experimentation efforts, and shows how managers at Eli Lilly struggled with non-technological aspects of high-powered experimentation in the drug discovery process. A study of experimentation in the auto industry, particularly at BMW, suggests several lessons regarding the reality of technology introduction: Technologies are limited by the processes and people that use them; organizational interfaces can get in the way of experimentation; and technologies change faster than behavior. Thomke also shows how managers can look at projects as experiments, reiterating, refining, and learning from them as they proceed through the stages of design, build, run, and analyze.

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy This Book!
Buy this book!! Thomke's important new book on innovation is the best that I have read. As a lecturer in product development, I would recommend it highly to anyone with an interest in innovation. In particular, it will be of benefit to company executives wishing to improve the efficacy and efficiency of new technology generation and product development within their firms and students of all levels in this area.

New technologies have allowed for experimentation to be conducted on a much larger scale and in a much more cost effective fashion than ever before. However, what most organisations do not realise is that merely employing new technologies is not sufficient to unlock their true value. The organisation itself must be structured to fully exploit their potential. In today's competitive environment, innovation is crucial and speed is the essence. How this can be done most effectively within organisations is the critical issue addressed in this book. Six simple yet practical principles have been promulgated by Thomke to help senior managers optimise value from experimentation.

The importance of experimentation in driving innovation is wonderfully highlighted and Thomke discusses important paradigms such as failing often to succeed sooner as well as contemporary issues thrown up by new technologies such as what to do with the opportunity to experiment more. He even delves into real-world issues of engineers not trusting computer simulations resulting in the seeming paradox of even more physical prototyping.

The book is written in a highly readable style which engages the reader. Particularly fascinating are the case study examples which illustrate vividly the importance of experimentation in driving innovation and the practical value of the principles which he advocates. These studies cover such diverse companies as Eli Lilly, BMW and there is even one on the design of yachts for the America's Cup! User-friendly boxes explaining important concepts such as computer simulation make the book accessible even to those unfamiliar to this field.

All in all, this is an excellent book and it is highly recommended. Five Stars!

5-0 out of 5 stars Innovation through Experimentation
Stefan Thomke has produced a landmark book that beautifully reinforces an often ignored aspect about innovation -- experimentation matters. Indeed, experimentation is at the heart of innovation, and Thomke has delivered that much-needed message very well. Drawing upon his extensive research and with many insightful case studies from across the industries, Thomke's book is a powerful account of how new technologies and processes
can be leveraged to innovate and compete. This book is a "must read" for anyone who believes that innovation will increasingly be the driving element of competitive success, and that strategic experimentation design and management are at the center stage of innovation. Those not believing so, needless to say, will obviously be left behind. Read this book now and implement its ideas faster than your competitors.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sound Experimentation
The book's significance lies in Stefan Thomke's idea that sound experimentation is at the crux of the innovation process. This is a departure from either the fairly generalised thinking about product development and/or innovation, on the one hand, and the overly specific focus on techniques like simulation, on the other, that one tends to find nowadays. Experimentation is, of course, an old and commonplace idea in scientific circles and in some specialised management areas. But I believe this book will lead the way in making experimentation a crucial part of mainstream corporate management.

Thomke has developed his own conceptual framework for this purpose consisting of the four stages of "design-build-run-analyse". He focuses on a wide range of new experimentation technologies (including simulation) and he has studied how they are applied in a wide range of industries. He makes it a point to distill the knowledge thus gained into sets of principles, key factors, steps, findings etc at regular intervals. Thus the book's contents have been made highly accessible to a managerial audience. Managers will appreciate the challenge Thomke presents of tapping into the full potential of experimentation.

The book should also prove a valuable academic resource in management given the rigour of the research and its great managerial relevance. In fact, Thomke's cutting edge idea of customer toolkits for innovation (which catapult experimentation from the corporate realm to the customer domain) is already germinating in India. I, myself, have published a scholarly article on it very recently and I know others who have devoted sessions to it in top-flight MBA and executive programs here.

The book should make for absorbing reading by the management community worldwide and I recommend it highly. ... Read more


97. Revival of the Fittest: Why Good Companies Go Bad and How Great Managers Remake Them
by Donald N. Sull
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578519934
Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 308611
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Will Your Organization Still Be Here in Ten Years?

It’s a familiar story: A company rises to become an industry leader. Competitors try to emulate it. Analysts rave about it. The CEO’s picture is splashed across magazine covers. Then the company stumbles, profits erode, and the stock plummets. How does this happen? Why do good companies so often go bad? More important, what can you do to prevent it from happening to your company?

In Revival of the Fittest, Donald N. Sull takes a provocative look at corporate failure and proposes a practical new model for effecting change that can vastly increase your organization’s lifespan. Ironically, argues Sull, leaders sow the seeds of failure during a company’s most successful times, when they make a set of commitments—whether to a core strategy, a key customer, or an innovative manufacturing method—that constitute the company’s success formula. Managers become so married to the formula that they can’t divorce themselves from it when the competitive situation changes. They respond to the future by doing more of what worked in the past—a phenomenon Sull calls "active inertia."

Based on extensive global research into successful and failed transformations across many industries, Revival of the Fittest introduces a three-step model for making transforming commitments—actions that prevent managers from reinforcing old behaviors in the face of change. Sull identifies five areas in which transforming commitments can be anchored—strategic frames, processes, relationships, resources, and values—and provides diagnostic tests, hands-on tools, and real company examples to show how managers can:

• Gauge their company’s susceptibility to active inertia
• Determine which commitment is right for a specific situation
• Appoint the best person to lead the charge
• Ensure that the new commitment sticks
• Avoid common mistakes that can sabotage the transformation effort
• Weigh the personal risks associated with leading corporate change

In an unpredictable marketplace, commitments can make and break a company. But Sull shows that corporate demise is not inevitable. Through transforming commitments, revival of the fittest is possible—and managers can make the difference. ... Read more

Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars The strong shall become weak, and the weak strong again
At some point in a great battle between good and evil, at least as portrayed in pop culture, we can expect the villain to gloatingly assert: "It is your very goodness that will make you weak and fail." Professor Donald Sull is no super-villain but makes a similar, though rather more developed, claim about the best businesses. Rather than blaming the failure of a previously excellent company on incompetence, corruption, laziness, or lack of imagination, Sull locates the problem of stumbling giants in active inertia: the tendency of management to respond to disruptive changes by accelerating activities that succeeded in the past. In Revival of the Fittest, Sull analyzes this barrier and helps managers tackle the demanding task of overcoming it.

To overcome active inertia, Sull recommends neither evolutionary nor revolutionary change typically prescribed for faltering champions. Instead he explains the power of transforming commitments. Commitments matters, he explains, in that they both enable effective management and can disable it when they no longer fit what is needed. Managers select, make, honor, and less often remake commitments or binding actions by investing capital, making personnel decisions, exiting a business, making public promises, making public promises, forging relationships with resource providers, writing contracts, or by manipulating information. Commitments are a powerful tool for creating the desired future but they also become cognitive, cultural, and structural shackles that prevent a company from changing - even when the need to change is clear to all.

Companies take shape at the beginning of the "life cycle of commitments" through defining commitments consisting of strategic frames, resources, processes, relationships, and values. The character of the organization hardens over time as managers make reinforcing commitments large and small. The best companies develop a "success formula" that becomes the envy of competitors and the source of best practices for writers and consultants. This story takes a tragic turn when, eventually and inevitably, a gap opens and widens between the nature of the company and the business environment. The only way out - if one exists at all - is through transforming commitments that require boldness, prudence, and tenacity.

Sull uses pairs of companies to show how some have spiraled down while others successfully made and kept their transforming commitments. IBM's justly famous transformation under Gerstner exemplifies the latter, though this is only one of a wide range of illuminating examples in the book. Sull casts light on the active inertia trap which can arise from the basis of any of the original defining commitments. He follows this with eight risk factors to check for and some diagnostic tests to administer. If transforming commitments fit your situation, you must then choose the right anchor. This may be a new strategic frame but may also be new resources, processes, relationships, or values. The right anchor needs to be worked on by the right person who gives the transforming commitments traction by making commitments credible, clear, and courageous.

Since commitments are powerful tools, Sull's cautious advice includes an unflinching look at seven common mistakes that can lead transformation efforts off-track. Neither does Sull allow managers to anticipate the benefits without also appreciating the personal costs. The book does not try to delve deeply into every relevant aspect of each stage, allow the book to convey vital points while remaining slim enough for busy executives to actually read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Revival of the Fittest
I was in the author's class 11 years ago at Harvard Business School when he was getting his degree. The high quality of Don's book Revival of the Fittest is no surprise - his insights were always superior (deep, relevant, and entertaining). No one else came close.

Revival of the Fittest is built on persuasive and powerful arguments that become actionable through the mechanisms/exercises he identifies.

I'm passing the book to each member of my company's executive team - I've said that it's a must read.

I hope that the incumbent set in our industry doesn't read this. Applause for their "active inertia" while the sharp blade of significant innovation gets them in the soft underbelly. So much of the framework was relevant even for early stage organizations like ours - recognizing the active inertia enables us to take greater chances in seeking collaborative arrangements with these potential competitors. Revival of the Fittest and other recent research-based books including Creative Destruction demonstrate that change in industry after industry comes from outside the firm - and significant innovation comes from the margin of the industry. I particularly enjoyed learning how the "success formula" for an organization often mutates into blinders and millstones - early insights and truths become shibboleths.

I read business books constantly - this one is a keeper!

5-0 out of 5 stars Successful Second Acts
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in 1940 that there are no second acts in American Lives. Professor Sull's witty, crystalline prose in Revival of the Fittest offers a rebuttal. Sull's case-studies of corporate rebounds and managerial reinventions provides a global array of second acts.

Contrary to the following review, Sull's wise reflections, his acute hindsight, on what separates mid-course corporate successes from failures is full of insights, though not quick-fixes or one-size-fits-all makeovers.

Rather, Sull provides an array of diagnostic tools for managers, helping them isolate the "active inertia"--a term he has coined and that is gaining currency among business theorists--and sift through the vast horizon of possibilities and risks managers in crisis must face.

A multi-disciplinary work with a global perspective, Revival of the Fittest is both informative and potentially transforming.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing - lots of hindsight with no insight
Not very impressed.

This book is based upon many interviews and observations with over 2 dozen companies around the world. However its all observation based upon hindsight of 'what' happened, with no real revelations into 'why'.

The selections are not convincing.

There's plenty of reference to Asahi Breweries in Japan who literally bet the whole Company on one idea about creating a market for Dry Beer. It paid off, but such a venture was very dangerous. Other Companies are studied that also bet everything yet didn't pay off; but there's no real insight into why the outcomes were different.

The index is poor; many Companies mentioned in the text don't appear in the Index. Compaq appears indexed under both 'failed transformations' and 'successful transformations' - so I re-read the relevant pages. It's the same anecdote, simply saying that what they did was a success 1991-98, but then caused their failing post-98? So what should they have done? If following the same action is deemed a 'fail' over 10 years, is it appropriate to still call it a 'success' over 8 years?

It's a history lesson, but with no real tools & techniques to take away for the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars Refreshing look at the rise, fall, rebound of companies
This is an excellent, pragmatic, and thoroughly engaging book on how successful companies can find themselves at risk for failure due to what Sull coins as "active inertia". This concept is illustrated with a great set of corporate examples which are different from the ones used in many other business texts -- and this is a key feature which sets the book apart from its competitors. Sull walks the reader through some very useable steps for how companies can transform themselves and avert obsolescence. A great book, greatly written. ... Read more


98. Harvard Business Review on Customer Relationship Management
by C.K. Prahalad, Patrica B. Ramaswamy, Jon R. Katzenbach, Chris Lederer, Sam Hill
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578516994
Catlog: Book (2002-01-15)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 76008
Average Customer Review: 3.67 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.

This collection of cutting-edge articles will help organizations understand how to build customer loyalty through unique relationship-building strategies such as partnerships, branding, and superlative customer service. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Customer service, not CRM
This Harvard Business Review title is not about Customer Relationship Management, but about customer service. If you are interested in Customer Service I must say there are at leat 3 articles very useful and interesting. If you are searching for CRM, this is not going to fulfill your expetations

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Eloquent Delineation of Basics
This is one in a series of several dozen volumes which comprise the "Harvard Business Review Paperback Series." Each offers direct, convenient, and inexpensive access to the best thinking on the given subject in articles originally published by the Harvard Business School Review. I strongly recommend all of the volumes in the series. The individual titles are listed at this Web site: www.hbsp.harvard.edu. The authors of various articles are among the world's most highly regarded experts on the given subject. Each volume has been carefully edited. An Executive Summary introduces each selection. Supplementary commentaries are also provided in most of the volumes, as is an "About the Contributors" section which usually includes suggestions of other sources which some readers may wish to explore.

Some of the most valuable benefits in this volume are provided by comprehensive charts which, all by themselves, are worth far more than the cost of the book. Here are a few examples.

• The Evolution and Transformation of Customers (page 4) and The Shifting Locus of Core Competencies (page 7): both are provided by C.K. Prahalad and Venkatram Ramaswamy.

• Are Your Retail Pillars Solid -- or Crumbling? (page 52): Leonard L. Berry identifies the major differences between inferior retailers from superior retailers.

• The Three Dimensions of Synchronization (page 90): Mohanbir Sawhney explains how any organization can present a single, unified face to the customer -- one that can change as market conditions warrant -- without imposing homogeneity on its people.

• One Destination, Five Roads (page 111) and Teams and Work Groups: It Pays to Know the Difference (page 123): Jon R. Katzenbach and Jason A. Santamaria explain how five practices followed by the U.S. Marine Corps enable it to outperform all other organizations in terms of "engaging the hearts and minds of the front line."

These and other charts are especially helpful whenever a reader wishes to review the key points in any of the eight essays, each of which provides cutting edge thinking and eminently practical advice. Although no bibliography is provided, those who wish to consult other sources need only read the About the Contributors section which will direct them to those sources.

2-0 out of 5 stars CRM or customer service?
I bought this book willing to find essentials about CRM as a Philosophy as a System not by pieces. I cannot qualify this as a coherent book about CRM but as a compilation of eight articles of eight valuable authors writing about Relations with Customers not CRM as an integrated system of Human Resources, Technology and Philosophy into an organization's life. If you see this book as a group of articles gathered to give you different points of view about customers and service (not CRM) this is a good book, if you buy it considering the title "Customer Relationship Management" and "Harvard Business Review" it will not full your expectations.

Nevertheless I have to recommend the article written by Fournier, Dobscha and Mick about preventing the premature death of Relationship Marketing. Very interesting point of view. ... Read more


99. Serious Play: How the World's Best Companies Simulate to Innovate
by Michael Schrage
list price: $27.50
our price: $18.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0875848141
Catlog: Book (1999-12-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 30344
Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Recall the old saying about all work and no play making Jack a dull boy? World-class companies today need play--serious play--if they want to make truly innovative products, argues Michael Schrage, an MIT Media Lab fellow and Fortune magazine columnist. In Serious Play he writes, "When talented innovators innovate, you don't listen to the specs they quote. You look at the models they've created." Whether it's a spreadsheet that tests a new financial model or a foam prototype of a calculator, what interests Schrage is not the model itself, but the behavior that play--be it modeling, prototyping, or simulation--inspires.

Schrage examines the approaches to successful prototyping at companies such as AT&T, Boeing, Microsoft, and DaimlerChrysler and describes the kind of culture that's needed for encouraging innovation. In the last chapter, he lays out the 10 rules of serious play, including: Be willing to fail early and often; know when the costs outweigh the benefits; know who wins and who loses from an innovation; build a prototype that engages customers, vendors, and colleagues; create markets around prototypes; and simulate the customer experience. Well-written and inspiring, Serious Play, is a first-rate user's guide for managers, project leaders, and other innovators. --Dan Ring ... Read more

Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Serious Play is Serious Fun
Prototypes, simulations, beta versions, these, according to author Michael Schrage, are the stuff of Serious Play.

Serious Play is a book that I found myself taking very seriously in deed. Its well-researched, highly readable pages gave me a framework for understanding so much of my own experiences, both in the development of games and the development of technography, that I found myself having genuinely serious fun reading and rereading this remarkably intelligent little book.

The subtitle, "how the world's best companies simulate to innovate," explains a great deal of the power of Schrage's vision. His is a deep, and firmly rooted understanding of the emergence of a key practice for doing business in the new economy. He draws his insights from Microsoft and Disney, Boeing and Shell, top design firms and winners of the America's Cup.

Designing games, I learned over and over again the value of a good prototype. No matter how clear my vision or how carefully sketched and documented the game might be, the only way I could successfully communicate the concept was by giving people something they could actually play with. At Ideal Toys, the toy and game designers worked next to the model making group. At Mattel Multimedia we had a whole division of people who spent their days creating storyboards or prototyping our ideas in Director. The more detailed and functional the prototype, the more successfully I was able to engage my programmers, my designers, my marketers, my bosses, my salespeople, and my audiences in the design and development of a truly innovative game.

"Prototypes," explains Schrage, "should turn customers, clients, colleagues and vendors into collaborators...That's why such invitations should emphasize play...errors can be captured before they become obstacles, serendipity becomes a colleague. The more flexible and dynamic the prototype, the more flexible and dynamic the play -- and the greater the opportunities for profitable innovation."

The efficacy of the outliner as a tool for supporting collaborative work can be explained by thinking of the dynamic outline itself as a prototyping tool. Every technography-enabled consultation has at its heart the goal of helping people play with their ideas.

Schrage quotes British management professor David Lane: "Rather than attempting to take the position 'I am an expert in techniques that will teach you about your business,' the consultant should offer a process in which the ideas of the team are brought out and examined in a clear and logical way."

Technography works because it gives people the chance to see their words on screen, and then to play with their ideas, to organize and reorganize, iterate and reiterate, until they are able to synthesize individual views into a coherent, well-structured vision.

When I first met Michael Schrage and demonstrated technography to him, he was so moved by the power of what he experienced that he wound up writing Shared Minds. Today, reading Serious Play, I find my own ideas "brought out and examined in a clear and logical way," and myself moved to a new and clearer perspective on my work. As Tom Peters says of Serious Play, it is "simply the best book on innovation I've ever read."

3-0 out of 5 stars Questions, questions (and not so many answers)
I'm not sure of Michael Schrage's actual background in this field, but from the book, I got the impression that he's more of an academic/writer than someone actually deeply immersered in this process of "serious play" (prototyping or modeling).

He certainly provides some useful tips and advice about the modeling or prototying process yet, for me, I found the book coming up short.

One device the writer uses is to consistently ask the reader questions about the modeling/prototyping process, i.e."Is it better for a company to do more [modeling] iterations to perfect the product, or to use less and send the product quickly to market with less iterations, but beating the competition?" While this is an effective device in getting the reader to realize that these are very real questions any company will face in using extensive prototyping, unfortunately, Mr. Schrage doesn't really provide much guidance or assistance in how companies have arrived at conclusions regarding these issues.

I'd like to ask Mr. Schrage, "How have these companies resolved these issues?, What kind of metrics do they use to decide those types of questions relating to decisions surrounding the prototyping process?" Maddeningly, these issues are never substantively dealt with.

As Mr. Schrage informs the reader on page 201 (near the end of the book, but the start of a brief 13 page "User's Guide") ... "A time-pressed innovator hungry to benefit from serious play might prefer a book entitled 'The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Innovators' or 'The One-Minute Modeler'. This is not that book."

I agree with that statement.

5-0 out of 5 stars Three years on, still a great book
Here's the best review I can give Michael Schrage's "Serious Play": Three years on, it's consistently the first book I pull out of my bookshelf when I'm looking for ideas for presentations, thoughts on introducing new products or services, etc. His commentary on "mean-time-to-payback" is something that will stick with you for years. It's brilliant stuff, written in clear, concise terms. And, surprisingly, very little of it is dated. Unlike many books from that era, there's no .com or Enron fixation for the author to be embarrassed about. Schrage's examples are pulled from health care technology, animation, theater...in short, an eye-opening spectrum of ideas. I consider "Serious Play" one of my best purchases ever.

2-0 out of 5 stars Preaching to the choir
This is a good book for someone to read if they are skeptical of the benefits of prototypes. However, since I already know the value of interactive prototypes I became quickly tired with the book.

Other critiques: it felt like the author had a bunch of cool little examples lying around and finally got the idea to put it together, surrounded by some fluffy text to make it thick enough to sell as a book, and put it on the market. Lots of space is taken up by these excerpts, as well as big text in the margins summing up "important points," which I would usually find useful but instead gave the impression of just taking up space.

Also, the author makes repeated use of similes to the point that it got annoying; "Just like a is to b, c is to d."

At one point, the author brings up the difference between a "simulation" and a "prototype," and just when you think the core of the matter is going to be distinguished the author backs out, leaving you wondering why they brought it up in the first place if they weren't going to take a stab at defining and differentiating them.

Sorry, but given the hype I was sorely disappointed. Read the first chapter or so in a bookstore before actually buying this.

4-0 out of 5 stars Enlightening
This book gave me a very good and new insight of how to manage prototyping. It is enlightening for not only it explains and lists the topics that are important. It also gives us lots of practical examples of implementations. ... Read more


100. Harvard Business Review on Strategic Alliances
by Harvard Business School Press
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1591391334
Catlog: Book (2002-02-26)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 123978
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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 classics and best new thinking on how to build and manage strategic business relationships, this book features articles by well-known authors such as Rosabeth Moss Kanter and Gary Hamel. This important volume provides a broad and diverse look at strategic alliances, including why and how they provide strategic advantage, the counterintuitive logic behind allying with your competitors, and how to effectively build and maintain cross-border alliances.

... Read more


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