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141. Process Innovation: Reengineering
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142. The New Deal at Work: Managing
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143. From Global to Metanational: How
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144. Harvard Business Review on Corporate
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145. Simply Better: Winning and Keeping
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146. Third Generation R & D: Managing
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147. The Set-Up-to-Fail Syndrome: How
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148. 20/20 Foresight: Crafting Strategy
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149. Net Gain: Expanding Markets Through
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150. Breaking Through: The Making of
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151. Harvard Business Review on Business
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152. Rosabeth Moss Kanter on the Frontiers
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153. Expectations Investing: Reading
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154. The Smart Organization: Creating
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155. Adaptive Enterprise: Creating
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156. In Good Company: How Social Capital
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157. Franchise Organizations
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158. Managing Yourself for the Career
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159. What's the Big Idea? Creating
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160. Harvard Business Review on Becoming

141. Process Innovation: Reengineering Work Through Information Technology
by Thomas H. Davenport
list price: $35.00
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Asin: 0875843662
Catlog: Book (1992-10-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Pr
Sales Rank: 268273
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A roadmap for process innovation and improvement
Davenport presents a practical roadmap for process improvement and process innovation which I have found very useful as a practitioner. Although not prescriptive, the text provides practitioners with useful very insights which can form the basis of an organisation's business process innovation/improvement methodology.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must read
This is a well-written book on the subject of process or business reengineering. It is written in a non-technical language, wastes few words, and covers the entire spectrum of topics that are essential to a successful reengineering effort. The discussions place a significant emphasis on the role that information or computer technology play today in the reengineering effort, particularly how this technology can facilitate the overall effort. I found the book largely sticking to the overall thread however at times it did become a wee bit academic to flip through the sections. All in all, a very good read. ... Read more


142. The New Deal at Work: Managing the Market-Driven Workforce
by Peter Cappelli, PeterCappelli
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Asin: 0875846688
Catlog: Book (1999-03-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 354545
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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The days of lifetime jobs and employee loyalty are over. Instead, competition and other market forces lead companies to lay off people, and employees to leave for the highest bidder, writes Peter Cappelli in The New Deal at Work. These changes in the workplace are making a salient impact on companies, employees, and the nation. For instance, companies are less likely to provide employee training and development, for fear employees will be poached by other firms. At the same time, companies are more apt to hire outside consultants than full-time employees, in order to stay competitive in a rapidly changing environment. This affects everything from national educational policy to employee morale to corporate management and payment principles, warns Cappelli, who is a Wharton School professor of management and codirector of the U.S. Department of Education's National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce. The book, well researched and filled with footnotes, provides historical perspective and insight for company leaders looking to manage the current economic reality. It's aimed primarily at managers, but anyone concerned about the nation's economic policies will gain some valuable insight. --Dan Ring ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Insightful Analysis of Complex Trends
Cappelli's main idea -- that HRM is changing because the external marketplace is being brought into the firm -- really gets to the essence of changes in the employment relationship. Once you've read the first two chapters, you'll never think about HRM the same way again. However, I wish Cappelli had explored the complexity of labor markets and practices more deeply -- we really have a multi-model HRM now, rather than the "new deal" he outlines, and probably always will because of differences in product and labor markets and industries.

5-0 out of 5 stars Insightful Reading
The New Deal explores the breaking of the structural ties that modern employees have with employer. It strives to explain the employee's basis for his association with his managers. A good read..no doubt.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wakeup Call for Middle Managers !
Cappelli provides an understanding of the changes in the social and psychological contracts between employees and their employers in todays world. I feel as if blinders have been removed from my eyes and that I now have the tools to understand the changing work environment and labor market of the new economy.

A must read for those in large companies that have existed longer than 40 years (or are over 40 years old themselves).

For for those who believe they have security and entitlement based upon their "knowledge of the company"... Here's a News Flash " Organizational man is dead ..."

Thanks Professor for the heads up ! ... Read more


143. From Global to Metanational: How Companies Win in the Knowledge Economy
by Yves L. Doz, Jose Santos, Peter Williamson
list price: $29.95
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Asin: 0875848702
Catlog: Book (2001-11-15)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 175013
Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars
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"Metanational" is the term that Jose Santos, Peter Williamson, and YvesL. Doz--management and technology professors at the international INSEADgraduate school of business--coined to describe a new type of globalcorporation. It refers, they explain in From Global to Metanational, to"a company that builds a new kind of competitive advantage by discovering,accessing, mobilizing, and leveraging knowledge from many locations around theworld." And as they unveil and dissect the concept, it becomes apparent that itmay indeed be an apt description for those worldwide enterprises most likely tosucceed in our rapidly changing times. Based on interviews with 36 companiesfrom America, Asia, and Europe (including long-established firms like 3M andToyota and newcomers like Acer and Shiseido), the authors describe innovativeways to efficiently tap into "pockets of technology, market intelligence and ...specialist knowledge scattered around the world," rather than relying solely oninput from a home nation or a few select locales. They explore how trailblazersare identifying this information wherever they find it, parlaying it into newproducts, services and processes, and merging the result with all sales,distribution, and marketing efforts. Anyone involved in multinational businessshould find this both provocative and potentially useful. --HowardRothman ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The new small world
I was delighted to grab a better understanding on global competitiveness and the new productive opportunities provided by the Metanationals.

You don't know about it yet?? God, your business is under great danger...

1-0 out of 5 stars nothing new here
Just a recap of ideas about globalization. They didn't even coin the term metanational, they probably read Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars) and stole it from him. Furthermore, the book doesn't even begin to deal with the issue of democracy in global corporations. These so-called "virtual states" are feudal by design, and fundamentally backwards. They may make money for their CEOs and boardmembers, and "stimulate the economy" (which really means helping other CEOs and boards make money), but where does all that money come from? Ultimately globalization just centralizes power and money, putting us back in the dark ages.

3-0 out of 5 stars Finding knowledge in unlikely places
What does a large company need to concentrate on for sustained success in a globalized world? Doz and his colleagues claim that it is to become metanational and to become good at innovating from a platform of bringing together knowledge from many different parts of the world. Metanationals differ from globalized companies in that they recognise that new ideas, products or directions may originate somewhere other than the corporate centre.

The focus of the authors is on innovation and they argue that this requires that the organization becomes good at :
• identifying where good ideas and special competencies are;
• mobilizing the often scattered capabilities and opportunities (they use the term 'becoming a magnet' for such capabilities); and
• optimising the size and configuration of operations for efficiency, flexibility and financial discipline.

This is a book that makes an important point about success in a globalized world, but presents one factor in success as if it was the whole. As with a number of books, I had an uncomfortable feeling that the content of a very good article was expanded into an only moderately good book.

The core message is important and useful. Organizations that operate on a global scale need to move beyond the extension of a unitary culture into new localities and recognise that new knowledge is found in unlikely places. They need to become excellent at recognising that knowledge, becoming an attractor for it, mobilizing it to provide a superior stream of innovations and operationalizing production, distribution and marketing into diverse markets.

The weakness is that the book is written at a fairly high conceptual level - for all the detailed example - that fails to get to grips with how to manage multiple cultures or the detail of innovation, or the issues of governance across countries. It also has surprisingly little on the major changes that are occurring in world consumer markets.

The book also falls into the 'one size fits all' trap. Issues of being effective globally are very different for a consumer fashion business, a high tech product or service industry and a major commodity business, but this is not recognised explicitly in the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must reading for international business
This is one of the most refreshing books about managing multinationals that I have read. It goes one step beyond the idea of a transnational, proposing a new model of how a company can succeed by prospecting the world for new knowledge about technologies and customer behaviour and using this to innovate. It won't be easy to implement, but the last three chapters provide a good starting point about how to make it happen. I was convinced that if we didn't try and build a metanational we would simply be left behind.

2-0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia for Globalization
The first two chapters tell you the picture and that is it. The kernel is summarized in a table at page 83 (end of chapter 3). Make a copy of this page, file it for later reference, and you are done. At best, this book reviews the vaunted wisdom of globalization, which many companies have been living at and dealing for years. At worst, it recites the squabbles between the global platform (the standardization) and regional initiatives (the deviations and the sensing ends). No specific solution or action is advised for the first & most obvious problem - how to transcend the intracompany transaction, which more than often bogs down companies attempting to quickly profit from the global learning. ... Read more


144. Harvard Business Review on Corporate Governance (The Harvard Business Review Paperback Series)
by Walter J. Salmon, Jay W. Lorsch, Gordan Donaldson, John Pound, Jay A. Conger, David Finegold, Lawler Edward E. III
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
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Asin: 1578512379
Catlog: Book (2000-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 65283
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

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

Corporate governance can raise many difficult leadership, strategy, and policy questions within an organization. Harvard Business Review on Corporate Governance is an essential reference, focusing on both policy and strategic challenges, for senior managers working with boards or dealing with governance issues. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars a variable overview about governance
This paperback is designed to be a reference, focusing on both policy and strategic challenges for senior managers working with Boards and Board members. Some of the chapters are articles; others are transcripts of interviews with key business leaders.

Like any edited series, there is a range of quality here.

Some of the pieces are far-out prescriptions from academics that will never see the light of day.

And some of the pieces are practical, thought-provoking ideas written by academics, consultants, and Board members themselves.

For example, Walter Solomon serves on the Board of Neiman Marcus Group, Hannaford Brothers Company, Tufts Health Plan, and Circuit City Stores. He has an excellent article that provides a framework for Board size and composition.

Philip Caldwell is former CEO of Ford Motor Company and former member of the Boards of the following companies: Chase Manhattan, Federated Department, and the Kellogg Company. He notes that the selection of the CEO is one of the most important roles of a Board. It is in the interests of the company that there be viable internal candidates and that the Board have options. It is sometimes in the interests of the incumbent CEO that the CEO be the one to nominate the one and only internal candidate.

For this reason, the Board needs to annually monitor CEO Succession development. The Board also must make sure the program is focused on the competencies of chief executive officers. For example, being a better team player may or may not be a critical issue in the role of CEO. Great team players don't necessarily make great CEOs.

... Read more


145. Simply Better: Winning and Keeping Customers by Delivering What Matters Most
by Patrick Barwise, Sean Meehan
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 0875843980
Catlog: Book (2004-07)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 62227
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Book Description

A No-Nonsense Approach to Customer-Focused Business

In their relentless quest for differentiation, many companies have poured their energies into making their offerings distinctive from competitors'. Yet, according to marketing experts Patrick Barwise and Seán Meehan, in doing so companies have neglected the very basic activities that matter most to customers.

This refreshingly straightforward book argues that it is not the addition of unique gizmos or features that wins and keeps customers, but the steadfast delivery of the fundamentals-products that actually work and reliable services that take place on time.

Barwise and Meehan show that being truly "customer-driven" means consistently fulfilling these types of obvious needs for customers Simply Better than competitors. The authors provide an actionable framework that managers can use to: understand customer needs and priorities; explore why customers do and don't buy a particular brand; decide which "basics" their company should focus on; and overcome the five key challenges to meeting and exceeding their customers' true expectations.

Candid and refreshing, Simply Better refocuses marketers and managers on what really matters to customers-and outlines exactly what companies must do to deliver it.

... Read more


146. Third Generation R & D: Managing the Link to Corporate Strategy
by Philip A. Roussel, Kamal N. Saad, Tamara J. Erickson
list price: $35.00
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Asin: 0875842526
Catlog: Book (1991-04-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 205919
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Third Generation R&D, written by three senior consultants from Arthur D. Little, provides managers with a new approach that will make R&D a truly competitive weapon. The authors relate how R&D management has evolved from the naive "strategy of hope" approach of the 1950s and 1960s, when companies spent lavishly in the vague expectation that something good would result, to the more systematic approach of the past two decades. But as we enter the 1990s, it is clear that a new generation of R&D management is needed, one that makes the connection between R&D and broader issues of corporate strategy. The third generation of R&D is a pragmatic method for linking R&D to long-term business planning. It shows managers how to integrate technology and research capabilities with overall management and strategy; break down organizational barriers that isolate R&D from the rest of the company; foster a spirit of partnership and trust between R&D and other units; and create managed portfolios of R&D projects that match corporate goals. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, Thoughful & Precise
Congratulations to the authors! This is a well-written, honest book, which at least addresses the specific differences in outlook between R&D staff and standard business-oriented management. I worked for many years in R&D and fully agree that R&D people do require a unique management approach. Furthermore, the authors are correct in stating that expert input from technical staff is often "not included in the company's higher councils" that leads to alienation of R&D people. On this subject, I would like to add that the book does not address one aspect crucial to good management/R&D working relationships. Nowhere is it stated that R&D people, because of their higher education and expertise, find it difficult to respect managers, who are not expert in the project's subject area, yet are frequently assigned by upper management, to make all the pertinent technical and business project decisions.

By the way, I recently read another very enjoyable book. It openly addresses many of R&D staff's frustrations with management in a typical company, which has clearly not embraced "Third Generation R&D" management principles! It is a hilarious, witty, sharp, satire that brings to life many of the underlying R&D problems covered in "Third Generation R&D". If you feel like a good laugh, do try "Management by Vice" by C.B. Don.

5-0 out of 5 stars Patrick Desbrow - Peperdine University Student
Roussel et al's 1991 text, Managing the link to corporate strategy, Third Generation R&D describes that evolution of research and development in the corporate business environment. This text provides a guide to link organizations objectives and strategies to their R&D activities. Below is a description of this reader's reactions, big ideas, implications, and lingering questions after completing this book.

Reactions

The theory behind Roussel's text is very well thought out. It offers a set of easy to understand models for developing a third generation R&D environment for your organization. Roussel present these models in an optimistic way that encourages the reader to reconsider how R&D should be managed. This book is an excellent tool for all technology managers. Roussel blends the business and technology disciples together and helps struggling technology managers to bridge the gap between these long separated functions within the organization. For example, Roussel suggests that projects must be organized into portfolios in order to manage risk and return. The concept of project management is a technology disciple while portfolios, and managing risk is a business discipline.

Big Ideas

There are a number of pressures, which require companies to invest in research and development (R&D) activities. These pressures include competition from local and global companies, as well as a decreasing availability of scientists and technologists. The pressures from competitors require companies to continuously introduce "high quality, innovative, cost-effective new products". Roussel's answer to these pressures is third generation R&D. Roussel states that there are three generations of R&D. The first generation of R&D relies on the insights and intuition of technology managers to determine which projects are worth investing time and money. In addition, there is no connection between the R&D projects and the objectives of the company. Top management only considers these projects as a required cost to the company. The second generation of R&D organizes activities into projects and measures the progress against a set of established goals. In addition, the cost of each project is examined against the possible benefits that will result from the research and development. The third generation of R&D technology managers and top management work together as a partnership to selected and evaluate projects. The goals of the organization are aligned with the R&D activities. Projects are organized in to portfolios in order to manage risk and maximize profits. When companies employ a third generation philosophy they are more competitive, more effective with a smaller investment in R&D activities. Roussel also states that there are three types of R&D. The first type is called incremental R&D. This is referred to as small "r" and big "D" and represents small advances in technology. However, the focus is on clever applications of this research. The second type is called Radical R&D. This is referred to as large "R" and often large "D". The focus is to discover new technologies and to produce a commercial viable breakthrough for the organization. The third type is called fundamental R&D or large "R" and no "D". Roussel calls this a "scientific/technological reach into the unknown". The main goal is to develop a depth in research competencies to build future competitive advances. This includes preparing for the long-term commercialization of these technologies. Roussel believes that a company needs to build portfolio of research projects that blend all three of these types of R&D to guarantee prolonged profits and success. Roussel also explains the function of R&D as a tool to (a) defend or expand existing business, (b) drive new business, and (c) broaden and deepen a company's technologies competencies.

Implications

This model for business and technology change has the potential of redefining many organizations. It also can be the competitive advantage, which determines your success over the competition. The interesting fact is that many companies will not make the change and this simple plan may allow for a few companies to rise to the top. This model can also be a catalyst for technology managers to think out side of the box. Many of these managers have both a technology and business background. However, they may not have tried to connect the learning in these two disciples together. This could be that start of a new way of thinking. It definitely has for this reader. Questions

One concern for that this reader has for the book is related to time and change. Many organizations are not prepare to consider third generation R&D as a realist option. The amount of time needed to transform a company into a third generation environment may seem to great to risk. Even the most advance technology companies many see the investment as unreasonable. How would a technology change to the company's paradigm and consider the possibility of a next generation strategy like Roussel suggests?

5-0 out of 5 stars Matching R&D projects with corporate strategy
This is one of the great classics in research management. All R&D departments can and want to do more R&D than there are funds available. Prioritisation between projects is therefore unavoidable. For many years there was hope that by forecasting income and costs for the projects and comparing the two the most profitable projects could be chosen. Unfortunately that does not work other than for very simple development projects. This book describes the "portfolio method". The portfolio consists of projects. The projects are presented in two-dimensional diagrams. The axes of the diagram can be competitive position and technological maturity, or reward and probability of success, or annual budget and years to completion. Each organisation must decide which diagrams are relevant for their situation. These diagrams form the basis for a meaningful dialogue between the R&D function and other functions in the organisation and with top management. Another great merit of the book is that it introduces a new vocabulary where words are properly defined. Examples of subjects covered this way are types of R&D, technological impact, technological competitive position and project attractiveness. Even though the explanations of the portfolio system in the book are very clear the reader should not think that they are easily introduced. In a report by the European Industrial Research Management Association (EIRMA) of 95 six case studies are presented describing portfolio installation projects. Four represent successes and two failures. At least two conditions are essential for success: interest and support from top management and active participation in the development of the system of all the functions concerned (R&D, and marketing for example). It is impossible for an outsider to impose a standard system.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring. A book that really helps you to get results
Selection of the most attractive R&D projects is complex and puts strain on an organization. This book offers useful tools. I've tried them. They work ... Read more


147. The Set-Up-to-Fail Syndrome: How Good Managers Cause Great People to Fail
by Jean-Francois Manzoni, Jean-Louis Barsoux
list price: $26.95
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Asin: 0875849490
Catlog: Book (2002-10)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 272374
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The Set-Up-to-Fail Syndrome, by Jean-Francois Manzoni and Jean-Louis Barsoux, looks into the negative dynamics that unintentionally but unequivocally define far too many relationships between bosses and the people who report to them. More importantly, it also proposes ways to attack the problem where it exists and to keep it from occurring elsewhere. Manzoni and Barsoux, researchers at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France, first addressed the issue in a 1998 Harvard Business Review article examining how "bosses unwittingly set up some of their subordinates to fail and, more generally, mismanage many of the subordinates they regard as acceptable but lower-than-average performers." After discussing the various causes and effects of this behavior--including why responses from both sides tend to generate "an escalating spiral of malaise and underperformance"--the authors present assorted remedies (such as "the mental adjustments bosses must make before trying to interrupt" this conduct), a framework for interventions (with details, for example, on handling discussions between two parties whose rapport has deteriorated), and a litany of preventive measures (including specific suggestions for getting new relationships off to a positive start). Very well researched with solid, practical advice. --Howard Rothman ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Common Wisdom: Insidious & Pernicious
This work deftly weaves those seemingly abstract and academic studies Psychology 101 students have been reading about for 40 years into the fabric of everyday work experience. The authors are able to put the subtle pattern into high resolution, which at first appears shocking, then depressing, and finally, hopeful.

It was depressing to think that the syndrome is both insidious and pernicious because the common wisdom of most coaching models is a key driver of the syndrome. That is, when a manager notices a performance problem, the appropriate response is to give the person feedback and put them on a "short leash" so that the employee gets extra guidance. On the face, this starts a chain of events:
• Employee perceives the lack of trust, feels cramped by the limited autonomy, as well as being under appreciated.
• Employee responds by withdrawing and reducing unnecessary contact with the boss.
• The Boss takes the withdrawal as confirmation the this is indeed a weaker performer and so shortens the leash even more.
• Progressively, the employee begins to doubt her own capability and ability to contribute, and
• The ugly cycle continues in a downward spiral and the employee has been successfully set up to fail.

It was hopeful to realize that the dynamic is not really based in the coaching model at all. It is based in the very human tendency to categorize and label. It is the common wisdom that there are three kinds of employees: the Stars (or A-Players), the Worker Bees (or B-Players), and the Deadwood (or C-Players). The problem lies in the labeling and how the manager relates to the Worker Bee employee. The Stars have close partnerships with the Boss and are treated as 'trusted assistants." The Worker Bees, on the other hand, have low quality relationships with the Boss and are treated as "hired hands." This stark differentiation in the quality of relationship, based on the label is at the root of the issue. Curt Coffman of the Gallup Organization has said, "We're running as an economy at a 30% efficiency rate because so many workers are not contributing as much as they can..." because a disconnect with an immediate supervisor.

Psychologists say that "Perception is not reality." That is truth in their offices; truth in the workplace is, "Perception IS reality." Unfortunate but true. Manzoni & Barsoux do the business world a great service because they clearly and skillfully lay out how our perception creates unintended bias. This awareness is required by both the Boss and the Subordinate to be able to stop the dysfunctional "dance" that occurs when the Set-Up-To-Fail Syndrome is at work. The hope that they present is that awareness leads to re-evaluation and the reduction of bias.

This is one powerful book; buy it, read it, talk about it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good Analysis But Bad Prescription
Being one authored by INSEAD experts, I bought the book with high expectations, believing that FINALLY the truth can be out!!! I read the first few chapters of the book so religiously (almost treating it like my Bible), taking down key points that are so wonderfully said about the self-fulfilling prophecy that many managers have set themselves up to, i.e. to fail. What's disappointing as I come to the middle portion of the book is that authors suggestion on how managers can avoid the SUTF syndrome by taking the first step (not to mention swallowing all their ego and pride) and start initiating a de-SUTF relationship with his/her subordinate even if it means this person might eventually have a chance of not improving at all (due to job mis-fit)??? I returned the book and bought and digested "First Break All Rules" instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Negative Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
This book is based on more than fifteen years of extended and combined research whose primary objective was to reveal the reasons why so many in positions of authority, especially bosses, are so ineffective when managing their subordinates, especially their perceived weaker performers. That is to say, supervisors are often unaware of the fact that they are "complicit in an employee's lack of success. How? By creating and reinforcing a dynamic that essentially sets up perceived weaker performers to fail." Hence the title of Manzoni and Barsoux's book. The authors explain the causes and effects of that "dynamic" (see "Set-Up-to-Fail Syndrome," Chapter 3) and also explain how to avoid it ("Preventing the Set-Up-to-Fail Syndrome: Lessons from the Syndrome Busters," Chapter 9). One of this book's most valuable contributions is comprised of a series of "Tables" which organize and summarize key points. For example:

Table 2-1: "How Bosses See Their Behavior toward Subordinates" which contrasts tendencies of bosses in relationships with weaker and stronger performers.

Table 5-1: "Taking Sides" which presents two views of the same supervisor's observed behavior either as a "great boss" or as an "impossible boss."

Table 7-2: "Taking Responsibility Away from an Employee" which juxtaposes a supervisor's thoughts and feelings about a subordinate with their interaction in dialogue.

Manzoni and Barsoux assert that the set-up-to-fail syndrome is "both self-fulfilling and self-reinforcing, which obscures the boss's responsibility in the process as well as some of the key psychological and social mechanisms involved." My own experience suggests an often great discrepancy exists between modes of behavior determined by conscious and unconscious mindsets. That is to say, many supervisors would vehemently deny that they are "complicit in an employee's lack of success....[by] creating and reinforcing a dynamic that essentially sets up perceived weaker performers to fail." Nonetheless they are. Were they to read this book, they would probably agree that there is such a syndrome and then lament how unfair it is to subordinates who are victimized by it.

One final point. Countless research studies of face-to-face communication have arrived at essentially the same conclusion: Body language creates 60-75% of the impact, tone of voice 15-20%, and content (i.e. what is actually said) only 10-15%. (Percentages vary among research studies but only slightly.) With the publication of this book, Manzoni and Barsoux have made a substantial contribution to our understanding of a widespread but, until now, neglected cause of human dysfunction in the workplace. Whether intentionally or not, a supervisor can sometimes create irreparable damage, especially to those who already feel insecure, by a negative and demeaning "message" which need not be expressed in words but comes through loud and clear nonetheless.

5-0 out of 5 stars Relationship between leadership and subordinate performance
Jean-Francois Manzoni is Assistant Professor of Accounting and Control at French business school INSEAD; Jean-Louis Barsoux is a Research Fellow at INSEAD. Barsoux is also co-author of 'Managing Across Cultures' (1997). This Harvard Business Review article was published in March-April 1998.

This article is based on two studies designed to better understand the causal relationship between leadership style and subordinate performance - or in other words, how bosses and subordinates mutually influence each other's behavior. Those studies suggest that bosses - albeit accidentally and usually with the best intentions - are often complicit in an employee's lack of success. Manzoni and Barsoux use the term 'set-up-to-fail syndrome' to describe a dynamic "in which employees perceived to be mediocre or weak performers live down to the low expectations their managers have for them." The set-up-to-fail syndrome usually begins surreptitiously and underlying the syndrome are several assumptions/generalizations about weaker performers that bosses appear to accept uniformly. The authors describe these assumptions/generalizations and the impact they have on organizations and relationships. The two costs of the syndrome are the emotional cost paid by the associate and the organizational cost associated with the company's failure to get the best out of an employee. Other costs to consider, often indirect and long term, are: Sapping of the boss' emotional and physical energy, the impact on the boss' reputation, and the impact on the team (team spirit, time management, etc.). So how can we break out of this syndrome? The authors provide a five components framework for effective interventions but they warn that these interventions do not take place very often. In line with the recent emphasis on emotional intelligence, they conclude that higher emotional involvement and investment from bosses is the key to getting the subordinates to work to their full potential.

Good article into a very familiar problem, not just to organizations but also to people. The 'set-up-to-fail syndrome' is mostly based on generalizations by managers and bosses, but is difficult to reverse. The authors provide a solution which is primarily based on emotional intelligence, which is still difficult to learn. I recommend this article as an complement to Daniel Goleman's articles and books into emotional intelligent leadership and management. The authors use simple business US-English. ... Read more


148. 20/20 Foresight: Crafting Strategy in an Uncertain World
by Hugh Courtney
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578512662
Catlog: Book (2001-09-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 198530
Average Customer Review: 4.09 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In the midst of a changing economy, most executives continue to use a strategy toolkit designed for yesterday's more stable marketplace. As a result, strategies emerge that neither manage the risks nor take advantage of the opportunities that arise in highly uncertain times.

Now, McKinsey & Company consultant Hugh Courtney argues that managers must move beyond the outdated "all-or-nothing" view of strategy in which future events are either certain or uncertain. Instead, he suggests a simple-yet powerful-alternative: Understand the level of uncertainty you are facing in a given situation, and you will make better, more informed strategic choices.

Based on an international review of the key strategy problems faced by over one hundred leading companies, Courtney reveals how executives can develop 20/20 foresight-a view of the future that separates what can be known from what can't.While executives with 20/20 foresight can rarely develop perfect forecasts of the future, says Courtney, they can isolate the "residual uncertainty" they face and use this insight to create competitive advantage in today's turbulent markets.

Unveiling a revolutionary framework for diagnosing to which of the four levels of residual uncertainty a specific strategy choice corresponds, 20/20 Foresight shows how readers can leverage this knowledge to answer three key strategic questions: 1) Shape or adapt to uncertainty? 2) Make strategic commitments now or later? and 3) Follow a focused or diversified strategy?

20/20 Foresight also:

* shows strategists how to tailor every aspect of the decision-making process-from formulation to implementation-to the level of uncertainty faced,
* describes the strategic-planning processes readers can use to monitor, update, and revise strategies as necessary in volatile markets, and
* includes a toolkit for identifying, developing, and testing new strategy options-complete with guidelines for applying the right tool to the right situation at the right time.

A comprehensive approach to strategy development under all possible levels of uncertainty and across all kinds of industries, this is the essential guide for making tough strategic choices in a changing world. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Measuring Degrees of Probability Amidst Uncertainty
Courtney and his McKinsey associates decided to launch within their firm the Strategy Theory Initiative (STI), a multi-year research effort whose objective was to identify, develop, and disseminate what they learned about a "better approach" to the immensely challenging complicated design/implementation process. (While reading the Preface to this book, I was reminded of one version of a Hebrew aphorism, "Man plans and then God howls with laughter.") The material is carefully organized within seven chapters. In the first, Courtney shares what he and his research associates learned about crafting strategy in an uncertain world; in the next chapter, we are introduced to what are called "The Four Levels of Residual Uncertainty." (All by itself, this chapter is well worth far more than the cost of the book.) Then on to address five separate but related questions:

• Should we shape or adapt?

• Should we begin the process now or later?

• Should we focus or diversify?

• Which new tools and frameworks are needed?

• Which new strategic-planning and decision-making processes are needed?

Of course, Courtney fully realizes that the revelations of the STI research can only guide and inform appropriate answers to questions such as these. He agrees with Mike Hammer that searching for a "silver bullet" is a fool's errand, noting that "there [is] no easy one-size-fits-all solution that could be translated from theory into practice. Business strategists needed new theory [and, in italics] new practices if they wanted to make better strategy choices."

At the height of the Cold War, I recall someone noting that Russian historians could predict the past with absolute certainty. This book's title does not suggest that if you read this book, you can see the future. ("Man plans and then God laughs.") Rather, instead of burying uncertainties in meaningless base case forecasts or avoiding rigorous analysis of uncertainties altogether, Courtney suggests that we "embrace uncertainty, explore it,, slice it, dice it, get to know it." If we do this well? "[You] will reach a wonderful goal: 20/20 foresight." The best available information serves as the basis of the most reliable forecasts which, in turn, improve the chances of devising the soundest strategies.

After summarizing the appropriate toolkit for each level of residual uncertainty (see figures 6-1 through 6-4), and having also suggested various tools and frameworks needed to develop 20/20 foresight, Courtney offers five additional tools in the Appendix: The Uncertainty Toolkit. He briefly but brilliantly explains how to use scenario planning, game theory, decision analysis, system dynamics models, and management "flight simulators." Although this book will obviously be of substantial value to senior-level executives in larger organizations, I think it will be invaluable to others such as CEOs and other decision-makers in small companies. The challenge for all of them is to "tailor strategy to the level of uncertainty," whatever the nature and extent of their competitive marketplace may be. Here in a single volume is about all they need to begin the process. Another thought: This book would be an excellent choice as the basis of a one-day or (preferably) two-day offsite executive "retreat" for strategic planning. Reading it in advance would be required. The first two chapters would be excellent for assisting situation analysis, then on to the next five chapters which could serve as the core of the agenda. (I also recommend that Hammer's The Agenda be consulted, at least by the person who leads the group discussion. And, by the way, that person should NOT be the CEO.) The session would conclude with a review of the consensus achieved, followed by a discussion of how to communicate and collaborate effectively while using various tools, including the five recommended in the Appendix.

Courtney would be the first to point out that, over time, other sources of information and guidance may become necessary. For that reason, he includes clusters of annotated "Recommended Readings" to assist his reader's selection process. Thoughtfully, he adds to their number with other suggestions within his extensive notes.

For at least some individual executives and some organizations, this may well prove to be for them the most valuable business book published during the first decade of the 21st century.

To those who share my high regard for it, I specifically want to recommend (again) Hammer's book as well as Jim O'Toole's Leading Change, Jason Jennings' Less Is More: How Great Companies Use Productivity As a Competitive Advantage, Peter Schwartz' The Art of the Long View: Paths to Strategic Insight for Yourself and Your Company, and finally, Carla O'Dell's If Only We Knew What We Know: The Transfer of Internal Knowledge and Best Practice.

4-0 out of 5 stars Concise Tools & Framework Guideline
The book provides a concise guideline on business strategy tools & framework, based on 4 levels of 'residual uncertainty'. Courtney repeatedly mentioned the non-dynamic nature of Michael Porter's competitive strategy framework, thus the need of utilizing various 'new' tools (such as Real-Option, Simulation). I find that Porter's work on competitive advantage, value chain, clusters, do incorporate the 'dynamic nature' of the present business world. What Courtney nicely provides is a systematic way to select the relevant 'tool' in the business decision process. But a through understanding and analysis based on 'classic' strategy framework (such as Porter's) is critical in order to achieve business success.

2-0 out of 5 stars Nothing impressive
The book provides no exciting findings for strategic decision makers. The only idea this book has is to distinguish uncertainties into four levels and it uses this four-level frame in its following discussions. And even the four-level classification is cliche. You can skip contents after chapter 3 without regretting anything.

2-0 out of 5 stars Nothing impressive
This book provides bascially no new ideas for strategic decision makers. The only idea it has is to distinguish uncertainties into four levels and this book uses the four-level frame in all its following discussions. If you want to read it, maybe you can stop before chapter three and you won't miss any precious insight by skipping the rest of it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Impressive, systematic approach to handling uncertainty
This book may be one of the most interesting pieces of work to come out of McKinsey. Hugh Courtney recognizes that traditional strategy approaches do not work well in conditions of significant uncertainty. Traditional tools such as Porter's Five Forces, market research, SWOT analysis, and NPV valuation models work only in "level 1 uncertainty". Courtney rightly critiques those who see uncertainty in binary terms, instead outlining four levels of uncertainty each of which require different strategic approaches. Level 2 uncertainty (several distinct possible futures), in addition to the traditional tools, can be tackled with scenario planning, game theory, and decision-tree real-options valuation (ROV) techniques. Companies dealing with level 3 uncertainty face a range of futures and need to use additional tools such as system dynamics models in addition to those of level 2. Companies facing confusing level 4 uncertainty, where there is true ambiguity, can use analogies and reference cases and "management flight simulators" to help make sense of deep uncertainty. In a sharp break with the usual approach, the growing number of companies facing level 4 uncertainty need to think backwards from hypothetical futures to what you would have to believe about the future to support a particular strategy. In addition to the levels of uncertainty framework, Courtney outlines the alternatives of "shape or adapt" to uncertainty, make strategic commitments now or later, and follow a focused or a diversified strategy. The details of this book may be familiar in many ways, but the overall framework potentially could be highly enlightening for planners who want to use the right tools for the job. ... Read more


149. Net Gain: Expanding Markets Through Virtual Communities
by John Hagel III, Arthur G. Armstrong
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 0875847595
Catlog: Book (1997-03-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 234454
Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Building relationships with customers has been a buzz phrase in many business circles for years. Now John Hagel and Arthur Armstrong declare that's not enough. They make a strong case that business success in the very near future will depend on using the Internet to build not just relationships, but communities. The payoff, they maintain, will be phenomenal customer loyalty and high profits. But, they warn, this race will definitely go to the swift. Here's a cyberspace book that could make your business future. Not everyone agrees with Hagel and Armstrong, but with stakes so high they deserves a serious reading. ... Read more

Reviews (60)

4-0 out of 5 stars A forerunner on how to create profitable on-line communities
Notwithstanding the many new books on on-line communities, I still keep this book on my bookshelf as a useful reminder of the conceptual framework around which many new businesses - failed or otherwise - were subseqently developed.

It has been nearly six years since I attended a seminar organized by the consulting company McKinsey at which the two authors (both McKinsey consultants)presented their book and what seemed, at that time, to be its somewhat radical proposition about profitably developing self-organizing on-line communities around the passionate interests of their memberships.

As I become more familiar with Amazon and how it is organizing the community through which you are reading this and other reviews, I am reminded about the fundamental concepts that Hagel and Armstrong laid out in their book regarding the economics of virtual communities. Amazon attracts member-generated content which is a key part of its business model which uses the passionate interests of its own customer base to increase its business value. Many doubted the vailidity of this proposition when this book came out, but the evidence does appear to increasingly support it.

Arguably, many might now say that this book is dated, on-line businesses having mushroomed and failed since this book appeared, yielding new lessons that this book could not have foreseen. Many of its claims now seem overhyped.

While this and other criticims may all be well and true, I suspect that this book will come to be regarded in future business histories of the on-line business as one of the seminal pieces of strategic business thinking in the late 1990s. I shall keep it for posterity, if not profitability. In any case, there must now be enough second-hand copies for you not to have to make the investment at the full original cost!

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth the time reading with practical application
According to Hagel and Armstrong, virtual communities that combine content and communication can expand market opportunities, and those who form these online communities will experience commercial success. Throughout the book, the authors stressed that those organizations who wait will lose out. However, the emphasis of the book is not about making money; rather it's about forming communities, collecting information on members' preferences, interests, etc., and using that information to meet their needs.

In my opinion, two of the most useful components of the book are a listing of personnel required for the implementation and maintenance of an online community, and steps needed to help managers get started in organizing a virtual community. The book is certainly worth reading, whether you are developing websites for business, education, recreation, etc. Hagel and Armstrong present valid reasons and practical suggestions for developing online communities that will help members connect, as well as seek and find.

5-0 out of 5 stars Virtual Communities = Real Prosperity
Hagel has co-authored two especially important books (with Arthur G. Armstrong III and Marc Singer, respectively), the other being Net Worth "which builds on a number of the themes originally developed" in this volume. As Hagel and Armstrong point out, Net.Gain "systematically [analyzes] the economic drivers for value creation that exist on networks. It [uses] one particular business model -- the virtual community -- to illustrate the unique capabilities of digital networks and how these might be harnessed to create a substantial business with very attractive economics." The material is carefully organized within three Parts: The Real Value of Virtual Communities, Building a Virtual Community, and Positioning to Win the Broader Game. Hagel and Armstrong also provide a "Management Agenda", followed by excellent suggestions for further reading.

In the Preface, Hagel and Armstrong acknowledge three inevitable limitations in writing Net.Gain: "The first arises from the profound uncertainties associated with evolving electronic networks and the myriad business models emerging in the primordial brew known as cycberspace....Second, the need to be concise has led us to make some generalizations about the likely evolution of virtual communities and the key principles for success....Third, we do not expect virtual communities to be the only 'form of life' on public networks. Indeed, many other commercial and non-commercial formats (including dictionaries, market spaces, 'web'zines,' corporate sites and game areas) will thrive on these networks as well." Working within these limitations, Hagel and Armstrong succeed admirably when describing the power and potential of the virtual community concept. Also, when explaining (a) how to target the kind of community to start-up; (b) the principles of a successful entry strategy, emphasizing the need to generate, engage, and lock in traffic over time; (c) characteristics of community organizations; and (d) criteria by which to select the right technology. Then in Part Three, Hagel and Armstrong shift their attention to explaining the fundamental ways in which the emergence and spread of virtual communities will alter traditional business.

My strong recommendation is that this book be read first, then Net Worth. My further recommendation is that both books be used to formulate the agenda for a workshop or what is generally referred to as an "executive retreat" (preferably for two days and located offsite) with all participants required to read both books in advance. In their Epilogue, Hagel and Armstrong suggest that "the most radical potential impact of the virtual community may well be its impact on the way individuals manage their lives and companies manage themselves. Communities will serve to connect, much like the postage system and telephone before them. But they will go several steps further than the telephone or fax, as they help the individual to seek out and find. Souls in search of relationship, colleagues in search of teamwork,, customers in search of products, suppliers in search of markets: the virtual community might have a place for them after all." Those who share my high regard for Hagel's two books (co-authored with Armstrong and Singer, respectively) are urged to check out Peter Senge's The Fifth Discipline as well as O'Dell and Grayson's If Only We Knew What We Know. Both can also help with the planning and implementing of the off-site workshop recommended earlier.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Ideas that can hold in 10 pages
Excellent ideas on Internet marketing and business strategies but did not need to write a book, ten pages would have been enough. Read a well condensed summary is less time consuming for the same amount of great information provided by the author.

2-0 out of 5 stars Straight Line Depreciation, from Five Stars to Two.
This book was probably five stars when it was published - in 1997. However, too much has changed since then, obviously through no fault of the authors. I knew I was in trouble when the authors raved about Motley Fool and asked "can online trading be far behind?" Save your money. ... Read more


150. Breaking Through: The Making of Minority Executives in Corporate America
by David A. Thomas, John J. Gabarro
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0875848664
Catlog: Book (1999-06)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 155286
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

American companies may tout their equal opportunity initiatives, but with 95% of all executive-level positions in the US held by white males, most of these programs clearly fall far short of their goals when it comes to diversifying upper management.Yet, even in the face of such overwhelming odds, some minority executives do break through to the highest leadership ranks.What can we learn from these success stories?In one of the first in-depth studies to focus on minorities who have made it to the top, Breaking Through examines the crucial connection between corporate culture and the advancement of people of color.The often surprising conclusions drawn by authors Thomas and Gabarro represent important milestones both for the study of organizational practice and for minorities planning their own course of professional achievement.

Breaking Through profiles minority executives at three different firms who encountered-and conquered-barriers throughout their careers.It then contrasts their successes with the experiences of white executives who've reached upper management, and with white and minority middle managers coming to grips with stalled careers at the same companies.From the compelling stories a distinct pattern emerges in the way minorities advance.The message is clear and startling: the path that leads minorities to the top is fundamentally different than the route followed by their white peers.Here are the determining factors--both individual and organizational--that correspond to the advancement of minority executives to the highest levels.

Breaking Through is an unflinching look at the very real obstacles that await minorities in a workforce whose leadership is still predominantly white.Pathways to success do exist for minorities, say Thomas and Gabarro, and breakthroughs can happen-if individuals and organizations understand the roles they play in creating the opportunities that enable minority executives to reach the top. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is destined to be a classic management text
This is destined to become one of the classic management texts. I found the authors treatement of the subject matter to be insightful and well thought out. This is a must for any person of color who is wondering why it's taking them so long to move into the executive level. As a trainer I will be using this as one of my texts, and I plan on sending a number of copies to my friends.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it
I just finished reading Breaking Through and learned quite a bit. Recommend it to you. I wish the subject of leadership, and how to properly use it to get results on the job, was addressed more. I recommend you also get a copy of another book that addresses this issue and is very applicable to the subject of minorities as leaders: "The Leader's Guide: 15 Essential Skills." It's at Amazon too.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
Breaking Through is a multifaceted book that speaks to a spectrum of audiences: the business leader committed to creating a diverse workplace; the human resource professional charged with designing and implementing diversity initiatives; the minority professional aspiring to break through.

This book sheds light on the complex career dynamics presented to minority professionals in corporate America. As an aspiring minority professional, I took away valuable strategies, as well as pitfalls, for achieving my career goals.

The book is a balance of compelling empirical evidence and real-life examples. The depth of analysis makes for an engaging and enlightening reading experience.

Breaking Through will serve as a personal professional reference guide and I am sure that it will become an invaluable resource throughout my career.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is wonderful
Few books have the ability to relate the importance of the information contained within to both professional and layman alike. That is, however, exactly what this book accomplishes. It shows you the how the achievements of minorities trying to attain status at the corporate level are linked to career decisions and mentoring relationships. This is accomplished by examining the characteristics of several minority executives at different companies who have managed to break through the glass ceiling. It also teaches several approaches for acheiving racial diversity throughout a company. It examines three large corporations who have accomplished this feat, by tracing their diversity efforts throughout the past few decades. This book is a must read for anyone interested in the processes by which businesses accomplish diversification throughout all levels of the company. ... Read more


151. Harvard Business Review on Business and the Environment (A Harvard Business Review Paperback)
by Amory Lovins, Hunter Lovins, Paul Hawken, Forest Reinhardt, Robert Shapiro, Joan Magretta
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578512336
Catlog: Book (2000-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 205767
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Book Description

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

With concern for environmental issues growing, defining the controversial relationship between business and the environment has become even more essential. Harvard Business Review on Business and the Environment brings together the latest management thinking on the role of the environment in business, and offers a general management perspective that will help outline the critical environmental issues your organization may face. ... Read more


152. Rosabeth Moss Kanter on the Frontiers of Management
by Rosabeth Moss Kanter
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0875848028
Catlog: Book (1997-08-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 559049
Average Customer Review: 1 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Rosabeth Moss Kanter is at the forefront of management thinkingand practice--a leading figure in the attack on organizationalrigidities, boundaries, and top- down traditions whose ideas arespearheading a period of great discovery and change in the businessworld.

Here, for the first time, is the essential Kanter: thecutting-edge ideas and wisdom of nearly two decades that are even morerelevant today. With Rosabeth Moss Kanter on the Frontiers ofManagement, the renowned management guru presents a sweeping look backacross a decade of change in business--what has worked well, whathasn't, and what businesses still need to learn--as well as apenetrating look forward at the hard work of leadership and innovationstill to be done.

In this landmark book, Kanter has integrated allher Harvard Business Review articles and the framing essays she wroteas Editor into a powerful new statement. The six sections span today'smost critical topics--strategy, innovation, customer focus, globaltrends, planning for change, strategic alliances, compensation systems,and community responsibility. They are joined by overviews and a freshnew introductory chapter to reinforce a single, timeless message: theimportance of treating people as assets and of providing the tools andconditions that liberate them to use their brainpower to make adifference.

Ever at the frontier, Kanter has published this book asa compelling call to action. Together, her articles and essayscrystallize the real work of business leaders and serve as aprovocative reminder of why they should never lose sight of the factthat values--and people--are the foundation of business success. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars drivel
I apologize for being trite, but this book is drivel. Ms Kanter is not on the frontier, but rather at the tail end, making random observations as they go past. ... Read more


153. Expectations Investing: Reading Stock Prices for Better Returns
by Alfred Rappaport, Michael J. Mauboussin, Peter L. Bernstein
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 159139127X
Catlog: Book (2003-02-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 81469
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

About 75 percent of active investors consistently deliver returns below those of passive index funds. Why? In part, it's because proven methods for valuing assets are too complex to apply-causing investors to rely on commonly used benchmarks such as current earnings and price-earnings multiples that simply don't reflect how the market prices stocks.

Now, leading valuation experts Alfred Rappaport and Michael J. Mauboussin argue that the secret to beating the market stands in plain sight. Embedded in the stock price-the most accessible piece of information in the investment arena-lies all investors need to know about how the market expects a company to perform. By correctly decoding that information, say the authors, investors are on the way to anticipating changes in a company's competitive position that the current stock price doesn't reflect-and making informed buy, hold, or sell decisions before the rest of the crowd. This proven approach, expectations investing, holds the potential to change the rules and improve the odds of the stock selection game forever.

The beauty of expectations investing is that it harnesses the power of the market's own tried-and-true pricing model-discounted cash flow-without requiring difficult and often dubious long-term forecasting. Highly practical, the book provides a strategic framework and corresponding tools for using price-implied expectations (PIE) to:

Interpret current prices and anticipate revisions in expectations.
Monitor signals from managerial actions such as mergers and acquisitions and share buybacks and estimate their impact on shareholder value.
Devise, adjust, and communicate management strategy in light of shareholder expectations.

In addition, a unique expectations infrastructure helps track value creation from the initial triggers that shape performance to the resulting impact on sales, operating profit margins, and investment efficiency.

Universally applicable to public companies across the economic landscape, Expectations Investing will enable professional investors, analysts, and executives to translate heightened uncertainty into lucrative opportunity.

... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Must Reading
In an investment world filled with tinsel and glitter, Rappaport and Mauboussin have given us substance and common sense. Using the invaluable information imbedded in the price of a stock to establish the market's expectations,the authors present a (fairly) simple methodology for assessing the valididity of those expectations, and to invest accordingly, It is, as Peter Bernstein says in his brilliant foreword (an absolute must- read before you plunge into the text), "a logical path to the heart of value."
I'm pleased to have give the book an earlier endorsement, because I hope that mutual fund managers will learn from "Expectations Investing" that there are far better ways to manage money--ways to focus on "value" whether their style is value or growth--than the costly, high-turnover, momentum-driven strategies that are rife in the industry today.
More than ever after the 35% fall in the stock market since March 2000, investors need wisdom. They'll find it here.

5-0 out of 5 stars An investor's guide on how to approach the investing process
This book is a must read for anyone that invests in the market and wants to make consistent gains in his/her portfolio. Most people spend more time planning a vacation than they do in picking the stocks in their portfolios. And even when they do some research into a stock usually it constitutes asking their peers on what they think about company XYZ. And the people they solicit this advice from are just as ineffective in their research and knowledge about company XYZ.

Mr. Mauboussin and Mr. Rappaport give investors the right tools to make careful and informed investing decisions. The authors suggest that the market prices "expectations" into a stock and a good investor needs to strip this from the analysis and find the true intrinsic value of a security. The is accomplished by various financial analysis tools presented in the book and also by a fundamental shift in investor thinking and perception.

2-0 out of 5 stars A Different Approach
Stock market investing books usually come in two flavors.

The first group of authors tell you to look for certain price and volume patterns; that the stock price depends on those patterns because those patterns are a reflection on human behavior.

The second group of authors tell you to look for certain ratios in the financial statements; that the stock price depends on those ratios.

Then there's this book, which tells you that the price could depend on a lot of things, like mergers and acquisitions and the synergy they generate, executive compensation, competitive strategies, stock buybacks, etc. But they don't tell you how to calculate those factors into the stock price. The book is a good book which certainly provokes thought. And it's probably good for finding stocks for the long term investor. But for me, it's a little too impractical. And a little too academic intellectual guru voodoo. When I have money at risk, and I have to make quick decisions (which can affect my net worth), I like to keep things simple and easily measurable which technical and fundamental analysis allows me to do.

3-0 out of 5 stars Recommended by Enron!
I haven't read the book but I saw an unintentionally funny quote on the book jacket. Amongst other people praising the book and urging you to buy it, there is a quote from one Jeffrey Skilling from the Enron Corporation:

"Expectations Investing reinvents today's investment market architecture. . . . A valuable tool for the innovative investor." -Jeff Skilling, CEO, Enron Corp.

You too can become as "innovative" as Enron! Wonder if they'll remove that recommendation in reprints...

5-0 out of 5 stars Expectations Investing: Reading Stock Prices for Better Retu
I used to always wonder how do investment analysts evaluate stocks.Buffett never beleived in P/E nor P/S or P/CF. Mind you [local store] never traded under P/E of 24, neither DELL nor msft.
So how do you pick these great stocks?

If a investor is reading this book, he has crossed over from Amateur investor stage to become a semi professional. Evaluate your stocks as you evaluate a business. When you buy business, you are basically looking at how much cash can I take home very month.

This is a great book. ... Read more


154. The Smart Organization: Creating Value Through Strategic R&D
by James E. Matheson
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 087584765X
Catlog: Book (1998-01-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 127899
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Here is an experience-rich book on how companies can createvalue by becoming smart organizations.Based on research andconsulting engagements with the world's largest R&D-intensivecompanies, it reveals how senior managers can dramatically improve thereturn on their companies' investment in R&D and technology.

TheSmart Organization brings new perspective to management decision makingthroughout the organization.It identifies the key practices thatenable successful organizations to deliver a stream of winning productsand services.Smart organizations, say the Mathesons, haveinternalized nine interlocking principles essential in creatingcorporate cultures that emphasize making the right strategic decisionsat the right time. They use best practices to support these decisionsand sustain their success.These principles--among them, embracinguncertainty, disciplined decision making, and value creationculture--enable companies to make appropriate choices about their R&Dplanning, portfolio management, and product strategies.

Drawing onthe experiences of R&D-intensive organizations all over the globe, theauthors illustrate the book with best practice examples from companieslike Hewlett- Packard, 3M, Merck, Proctor & Gamble, DuPont, Monsanto,and AT&T.They stress the importance of evaluating trade-offs,investigating alternatives, and getting buy-in across functions toensure that decisions will be viable from both the technological andmanagerial perspectives.They show how managers can apply thesemethods more broadly to create a smart organization.The Mathesonsclearly demonstrate that changing the decision-making process is anefficient means of reforming culture and improving not just R&D butoverall company performance. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book. If you liked the HBR article, you'll love this!
Frequently organizations face the challange of what not to do. They tend to believe in the person presenting the idea, rather then creating a rigorous process for evaluating the options before them. Companies adopting best practices in managing their investment options realize substantial gains in their long term bottem line. This book quantifies this performance difference, and what the best practices are across a range of industries.

Why aren't organizations more rigorous in selecting projects? The book outlines several barriers which are extremely relevent:

· It will make a popular champion look bad,

· Organizational resistance to change, or cannibalization of an existing business for a new opportunity,

· We confuse the urgent with the important,

· Its hard to agree on measures and success criteria

· People are afraid of making the wrong prediction, so they don't make any,

· Its hard to normalize results from different contributors,

· Business plans are not integrated with new project activity,

· Power and politics, a methodical evaluation leaves no room for interpretation and "behind the scenes" trade offs between groups and individuals,

· Lack of strategy.

The best practices outlined in this book are backed by substantial research. I would have like to have seen a few additional chapters on application of best practices in real companies ... a case study of a turn around.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ideas in the book come to life!
Thank you very much for sending me a copy of The Smart Organization. I have completed only two chapters, but find the book to be thoroughly engaging. Especially, the six dimensions of decision quality.

My current job is proving to be a daily "case study." The ideas contained in the book have come to life, helping me to better understand my environment at work and make better decisions along the journey.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great insights for all concerned with strategy and renewal.
Focusing on large R&D intensive organizations, this book explores nine key principles that make these enterprises effective, such as: open information flow, systems thinking, and continual learning. The author's emphasize the decision making process as a means of changing and improving overall organizational performance. If you are seeking new insights into how strategy is developed, excellence can be achieved in decision making, and organization renewal can be realized, you will find this book enlightening and fascinating reading. The insights offered here are by no means limited to high-technology firms; they apply to any organization seeking to be successful in today's fast-paced markets. This work includes an organizational IQ test (a diagnostic tool) for identifying root causes of the barriers to improving decision processes. There is an impressive amount of knowledge about organization to be gleaned in The Smart Company. Whether you are a technology -based bus! iness or not, you will find many nuggets in this work. We highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best organising frameworks I've met
The Strategic Decisions Group framework for smart organisation is informative. One reason for this is that the authors are reporting a practical benchmark study of R&D which appears to include every American corporate I've ever heard of. They do readers the great favour of synthesising this into a 9 principle framework for Smart Organisation. 3 principles for achieving purpose: -continual learning -value creation culture -creating alternatives 3 principles for mobilizing resources: -open inforamtion flow -disciplined decision making -alignment and empowerment 3 principles for understaning environment: -systems thinking -embracing uncertainty -outside-in strategic perspective What I especially like is that for each principle 5 How do you knows? are given scaling the difference between an organisation which hasn't got a clue about the principle (not smart) to one that lives it (smart org) For example these are the 5 how-you-knows of alignment & empowerment: 1 Examine the strategies at different levels (eg technology strategy to portfolio strategy to project startegy). In smart org: there are clear strategies at all levels taht provide useful guidance for decision making. Strategies at one level are clearly linked to the next. Lower level strategies interpret and carry out the implementation of higher-level strategies. In not-smart: few strategies or they provide little guidance for decision-making. They are viewed cynically as corporate PR. Links among strategies are absent, unclear or ambiguous 2 Examine the value measures used to evaluate decisions at different levels. In smart org: there are clear measures of value at all levels. Value measures at one strategic level are clearly linked through the strategy to measures at the next level. In non-smart: There may be no value measures. If there are, each level sets its own values or decision criteria, with no special requirement that they be related to values and strategies at other levels. 3 Examine the approvals required to make or carry out important decisions. In smart org: Decisions require few approvals because people understand the strategy and are trusted to carry it out. Meetings with upper management are viewed as adding value. In not-smart: Decisions require many levels of approval. Review meetings are perceived as wasting time. Often meetings with upper management are feared because it may redirect efforts and change priorities without clear reason. Upper management often feels overloaded with the need to check on subordinates. 4 Examine the roles of people involved in an important recent decision. In smart orgs: Many people participated in the decision process,at multiple levels in the organisation. A dialogue was carried out in the process that continually aligned and refined the vertical links. Management at different levels collaborated to build a high quality decision and achieved aligned commitment to action. In non-smart: Either few people participated in the decision or so many did that the process got bogged down. Typically, lower level employees make proposals to upper levels for approval or rejection 5 Examine a recent decision that was controversial. In smart org: People unified around the decisions aand carried it out with little intervention. They understood the reasons for the decision and believe the organisation is carrying out a sensible strategy for creating value. In non-smart: The decision did not stick and was undone or remade over and over again. 100+ of us are discussing frameworks like these in a free e-mail group : Organising Creativity Network. e-mail me, Chris Macrae, at wcbn007@easynet.co.uk if you are passionately interested.

5-0 out of 5 stars At long last (we have) found a potential path to salvation..
Quoted from an e-mail from a major aerospace corporation executive: "Some of us at (large aerospace company) have at long last found a potential path to salvation in the Mathesons' new book, 'The Smart Organization.' (Director, Technology) ... Read more


155. Adaptive Enterprise: Creating and Leading Sense-And-Respond Organizations
by Stephan H. Haeckel
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
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Asin: 0875848745
Catlog: Book (1999-07-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 283983
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In today's fast-changing marketplace, a business can't expect to thrive by just making products and selling them, argues Stephan H. Haeckel in Adaptive Enterprise. "It does not matter how good you are at making widgets if the market for widgets disappears or if your competitors offer dramatically new and improved widgets faster than you can," writes Haeckel, director of strategic studies at IBM's Advanced Business Institute. Instead, for a company to succeed nowadays, says Haeckel, it needs to know how to adapt to customers--even before they themselves know what they want. Haeckel lays out a strategy to create such a "sense-and-respond" approach that will allow companies to move quickly amid change. Among the key steps: companies must use innovative ways to gather information about customer needs. For instance, car manufacturers used video cameras in airport parking lots to discover that people often struggle to lift heavy suitcases over the high lower edges of trunks. In mall parking areas, the cameras revealed that shoppers had nowhere to put soft drinks they just bought. Now, low trunk edges and cupholders are standard features in almost every car. Because "sense-and-respond" is a relatively new business model formulated by Haeckel, the book is heavy on theory and slim on concrete examples. Nevertheless, Adaptive Enterprise has some good ideas for business leaders looking for an edge in a world where rapid change is the norm. --Dan Ring ... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars A practical prescription for radical change.
Haeckel has written one of the most thoughtful and useful books on the enterprise available today. By use of simple metaphor, Haeckel makes the distinction between the existing build-and-sell model and his proposed sense-and-respond model. Build-and-sell firms are like bus companies with fixed routes and schedules designed to meet predicted customer demand. Sense-and-respond firms are like taxi companies that dispatch cabs in response to customer demand. Although the concepts are well presented and readily understood, Haeckel offers the reader no easy answers!

Hackel avoids using the usual metaphors of complexity science but instead adopts and explains the term "adaptive enterprise". This choice enables him to focus upon three essential elements of business - governance, leadership, and commitment.

Beware! Adopting his customer focus concepts will produce radical organizational change. For instance, "Sense-and-Respond firms do not forecast demand for products and services. But they do place selective bets upon the stability of fundamental customer needs and on what capabilities should be in their modular response repertoire." The need to create modular organizations that support modular products - a point often misunderstood in practice by even progressive build-and-sell firms - is well made in Appendix A.

Haeckel frequently returns to the theme of a phased transition to a sense-and-respond model and demonstrates a profound understanding of the risk and reward of change in an existing organization.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Future of Service Industries
Adaptive Enterprise covers two separate but related topics - mass customisation (customisation at mass production costs) and agility (capability to deal with changes in the business environment and the associated high levels of uncertainty). The book is primarily focused on service industries, where services can often be customised through organisational (re)configuration (hence the agility dimension). Most importantly, the book covers the difficulties of moving from make and sell to sense and respond - difficulties often ignored in cookbook style business books. The book also addresses application of systems thinking to enterprise design - an important topic that is not covered enough in business books. Those interested in agility will also find Appendix B useful. Here one finds a decision process to use when one is faced with significant uncertainty. Overall the book is refreshing in its honesty. After reading this book you might also want to read some follow-ups: Mass Customisation (Joseph Pine); Agile Virtual Enterprise (Ted Goranson) and Agile Manufacturing (Paul T. Kidd).

Paul T. Kidd

1-0 out of 5 stars Looking for Guidance in eCommerce - its not here
Adaptive Enterprises, the title holds the promise of long term sustainable advantage. Unfortunately the book reads like an extended IBM consulting sales pitch. The central case study (Westpac) is over 10 years old. Surly if this was a break through the book would talk about long term results and how they were able to take over their market by being adaptive. There is little evidence of this. Other examples are internally focused about how IBM's training and education have become more adaptive.

Not enough detail to warrant the read or to get a real idea of how you would implement the concepts.

If you are looking for guidance on eCommerce and competing in hyper competition. It is not here.

3-0 out of 5 stars Command and control in complex adaptive systems
If you are ready to accept the notion that complexity governs your external markets, but are not yet ready to accept that the same rules may apply inside your organisation, you may find comfort in this prescription. It purports to be about the distinction between a 'make-and-sell' organisation and a 'sense-and-respond' organisation. The first is production efficiency focused and second is focused on customer satisfaction. (What the author calls 'sense-and-respond' is in fact an unacknowledged version of the Kolb cycle or cycle of organisational learning cycle, so well examined by Nancy Dixon. It is essential to all forms of learning, whether that is applied to providing customer satisfaction or to playing a musical instrument)

Overtly he argues that the shift from a make-and-sell orientation to a sense-and-respond orientation is a major piece of unfinished business for organisations. The reason that he can argue this is that he 'bundles' the issue of customer responsiveness with the much wider issue of complexity and unpredictability in the environment - in other words, he argues that it is not possible to be truly customer responsive if you do not also recognise complexity in markets.

Beneath this surface argument that the new complexity requires new approaches and its characterisation as a move to 'sense-and-respond', lies the real issue, which is the defence of command-and-control from devolution of control, which the author characterises dismissively as 'communicate-and-hope'. The author develops a framework which is designed to retain the essential features of command-and -control, while building flexibility and responsiveness. He argues that forms of governance that challenge command-and-control have only been effective in smaller and simpler organisations than the giants with which he is primarily concerned. By extension, he argues that they can not work in such organisations.

The core of his prescription is the ability of central management to provide central direction to the organisation by the use of an analogy to 'fly by wire' technology. In other words, he advocates the use of modern technology to keep central management informed of unpredictable change so fast that they can respond appropriately within tight time deadlines. When a 'modular' approach to structuring organisations is added, he argues that they can respond effectively not only to the generality of customers but to particular customers. However, the question of relationships with internal stakeholders - employees - does not figure in his schematic, nor does the issue of external alliances and partnerships. Both (separately and together) challenge the capacity of command and control: it is not just customers and markets.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book full of really wonderful gems
As I am quoted as saying elsewhere "I wish I had had this book years ago!" In 1994 when Steve first introduced me to these principles, now so clearly set out in the book, I intuitively recognised their brilliance, and usefulness. The problem came in trying to implement a process that was itself in the throes of development. There is many a slip between "grasping the concept" and "making money from it."

In one sense, there is little that is completely new in this book. But, what a gem, where else have all the essential pieces been put together in such a logical and user friendly fashion?

I note that reviewers have not yet reached the Annexures. Using the "Adaptive Decision Process" resulted in the most exciting and valuable discussion of high level business strategy that I have ever been involved with. Debating with my management team the many strategic choices that were available to us in about 35 areas was a time consuming exercise. It took all of a day! As we progressed we found that we had developed about five possible strategies for the future. We were rather confused as to how we would make the many choices. Then came the enlightenment from modeling the financial impacts of each. We discovered that there were only a few choices that had significant financial impacts. And for once the entire management team was agreed on what these few vital choices involved. Talk about a powerful management process! This very powerful approach is hidden in an Annexure. Readers be warned, there is gold in the pages of this book, but there is so much that it is easy to miss much of it.

Another gem is the Commitment Management Protocol. My dream is to computerise this in such a manner that my email in box becomes my "promise" list showing what I owe to whom when, and what who owes to me when. Performance management becomes quite simple. This is despite the fact that we are now in an era when jobs can no longer be planned, scheduled and delivered according to schedule because those troublesome folk, our customers, do not want the standard services or products our assembly lines are designed to deliver. They want something almost unique to them.

The idea of "negotiating" conditions of satisfaction makes so much sense that I cannot believe it has taken so long for someone to write about it.

My congratulations to Steve Haeckel on a great addition to "wisdom literature". ... Read more


156. In Good Company: How Social Capital Makes Organizations Work
by Don Cohen, Laurence Prusak
list price: $27.50
our price: $18.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 087584913X
Catlog: Book (2001-02-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 67091
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Knowledge has always resided in organizations-but it wasn't until the Information Age put a premium on ideas that intellectual capital was recognized as a critical resource. Now, forces like technology, globalization, and the rise of free agency and virtual workplaces are bringing another form of "hidden" capital to the forefront.

In Good Company is the first book to examine the role that social capital-a company's "stock" of human connections such as trust, personal networks, and a sense of community-plays in thriving organizations.Written by leading knowledge management experts Don Cohen and Laurence Prusak, this groundbreaking book argues that social capital is so integral to business life that without it, cooperative action-and consequently productive work-isn't possible. The authors help today's leaders understand the nature and value of social capital, suggest ways they can encourage and enhance it, and explore how they can protect this vital but increasingly vulnerable resource in a volatile, virtual world.

Drawing on major social and economic theories, and the experiences of organizations including the World Bank, Aventis Pharma, Alcoa, Russell Reynolds, and UPS, In Good Company identifies the social elements that contribute to knowledge sharing, innovation, and high productivity. The authors convincingly show how almost every managerial decision-from hiring, firing, and promotion to implementing new technologies to designing office space-is an opportunity for social capital investment or loss.They also reveal the benefits that derive from investments in social capital, such as greater commitment and cooperation, increased talent retention, and more intelligent responses to customer needs.

A landmark book on the critical role that relationships play in organizational success, In Good Company helps employees at all levels recognize the power of social capital to help people work better, and make organizations better places to work. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Work as Social Process
Why do new CEOs staff the company with their men?
Why are women under-represented un the business world?
Why could some succeed in launching and establishing new enterprises while other couldn¡¯t manage do so?
Why are the MBA degree craved, while there is no link between MBA results and future salary?
Social capital is supposed to be the answer to these questions. Social capital is widely exploited to emphasize the social nature of work: the work is the social process. Previously, corporate culture is used to point out such a nature. Organization¡¯s culture means the set of rites and rituals that give it its unique character. Culture is the ¡®way things are done around here.¡¯ The HP way, for example, the open-plan, walkabout management style laid down in the 1950s, by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, a style that still imbues the company today. But culture is a elusive concept. It¡¯s too soft to be managed. One executive asserted that ¡®the only culture round here is in the yoghurts in the canteen.¡¯ Nevertheless, though too soft to grasp, it¡¯s very real one. So many M&As have been botched for clashes between corporate cultures. It¡¯s real but too elusive to manage and grasp. Social capital is introduced to ground it on tangible material base. Then what is social capital? Social capital refers attributes like trust, commitment, attachment and so forth which belongs to active connections among people, in other word, network and community.
When the God decided to put a stop to human-being¡¯s first great collective enterprise, he confused their language so they could no longer understand one another, and could not carry out the joint project, Tower of Babel. Carry a heavy stone could be done without words. The real problem was the loss of understanding that cannot be mimed or diagrammed. Without common speech, the tower¡¯s planners could not have inspired others to join the project, workers could not have learned to trust each other¡¯s judgment, resolve unexpected problems together, or count on each other¡¯s help in dangerous situations. In other words, what they lost was not just common language, but the social capital which was probably more critical than the failure of information exchange.
Some schools in economics of organization characterized the firm as the flow of information. It¡¯s hard to deny. In this regard, however, corporate culture is no more than each company¡¯s idiosyncratic frame to each processing info: the firm is no more than a cybernetic system. But the firm is a social process built on community and network. Culture is what resides in community and network within personnel.
Moreover, organization¡¯s knowledge and capabilities lies not in official hierarchy but in unofficial community of practice. Most job training occurs after workers join a firm. They learn by dong on the shop floor. There is always a manual that describes how to operate a particular machine or conduct a job. As times passes, however, workers are apt to devise better ways to do the job and surpass the manual. And this is the collective process. As they work together, knowledge slowly moves from person to person. Network and community are not only the repository of corporate knowledge and capacities, but also the incubator of collaboration, especially voluntary collaboration that does not rely on external incentives. They help create and sustain our personal identities, the intrinsic satisfactions of praise, respect, and gratitude from fellow members. Those have more meaning and power than little prizes or even monetary rewards.
Now, I think, you¡¯ve got what is social capital. Above, I followed the style of the book which does not burden the reader with abstract concepts, but illustrate the picture of social capital with real world examples, to enlighten readers to the practical meaning of social capital in their own workplace. With closing the last page. I bet you get the crux and import of social capital.

4-0 out of 5 stars I was glad someone noticed!
This is a good and helpful read. While Cohen and Prusak do tend to say a lot of things that one has a gut feeling of but has never read or heard someone say aloud about working relationships, some of it was really fascinating. They have a particularly interesting chapter on chat and storytelling and the functions those activities serve at work. The theme of the book is that organizations should invest in social capital the way they invest in other kinds of capital, but that such investments can't be faked. Workers know when the love is real, so to speak.

The writers address particularly cogent trends of telecommuting and volatile industries and how those can cause stress in organizations because they lower social capital. They had some interesting points. One thing I particularly responded to was the chapter on trust. They wrote that when someone says their organization is particularly political, what they are saying is
that there is very low trust. Another thing they wrote that really interested me is that the virtual office isn't going to succeed - and hasn't as predicted - because work is an inherently social activity. That's one of the reasons people like it and are dedicated to it. Not that many people are ever going to want to work at home in their pajamas - every single day. They also suggest that money isn't the only effective lure for new talent or retainer of current employees. They write that if talent can just be bought, it will be, but if you create high social capital in your organizations, money alone won't be able to suck the talented people from your offices.

[The book made me want to read more by Chris Argyris, who is an organizational pyschologist at Harvard, and the book "The Social Life of Information."]

3-0 out of 5 stars Pointing Out the Intangible Values of Positive Connection
"Social capital consists of the stock of active connections among people, the trust, mutual understanding, and shared values and behaviors that bind the members of human networks and communities and make cooperative action possible." What is new about this book is that it applies this sociological concept to business enterprises.

As the authors point out, having more social capital inside an organization is good, but it is not sufficient to create a successful enterprise. Digital Equipment is used as an example of this point. Also, organizations can have social capital and be serving harmful ends (the Nazis are used as an example).

The authors feel that there are important limits to what free agency, telecommuting, virtual organizations, and hoteling offices can accomplish because their basis in social capital will be weaker.

On the positive side, they argue for hiring and encouraging people who fit the values and culture of the organization, and creating an environment in which social capital will build. To do this, companies should actively take steps that build trust, networks and communication through making appropriate spaces and time available, and help people learn through effective story telling.

The benefits of this approach will be better knowledge sharing, lower transaction costs, lower turnover of key employees, better coherence of action due to organizational stability and more shared understanding. You may also see more creativity if people are allowed to experience the intrinsic pleasures of making the future.

I thought that the best part of this book was in the detailed look at the various kinds of stories that organizations tell and what their purposes are. This book extended my understanding of that subject, which is an important one for communications.

The main drawback of the book is that it does not address social capital in terms of the connections between the individuals in the organization and most stakeholders (like customers, suppliers, partners, owners, lenders, and the communities the company serves). These connections are more important in those dimensions discussed in the book than the equivalent connections within the company. So this omission is a pretty significant limitation of the book.

The major secondary drawback of the book is that those who work in organizations like the ones described here with lots of social capital (UPS, SAS Institute, and J & J) will probably find little that is new. For those who are insensitive to the importance of social connections, this book will seem too amorphous and nonquantitative to change minds. If the target is to make those with low emotional intelligence become more effective and supportive, this book won't make the grade. It's preaching to the choir, without enough discipline in defining its prescriptions. For example, the book argues that cubicles with lots of sight lines are great for improving communications. But those who need quiet time and places to work for extended periods will tell you that cubicles drive them up the wall and reduce certain kinds of productivity. What's the best way to encourage both more communications and quiet thinking time when it's needed?

If you are interested in seeing lots of case histories on these subjects, you would probably enjoy the parts of The Dance of Change that focus on improving communication, trust, and connection.

After you finish this book, think about where your organization needs more trust, where you need more connections within and without the company, and how you can create a more cohesive creativity on the significant opportunities that face you.

Be open to the positive potential of the new, and help others to see it also!

5-0 out of 5 stars Common sense, uncommon insight
If I could inflict one book on business executives this year, this would be it. In arguing that social capital within organisations has a value, and that there are ways to encourage it, the authors will not surprise most corporate infantry. But they draw together the human strands of this topic - trust, networking, the office environment, gossip - in an elegant and compelling way, and turn an insightful lens towards everyday facets of employee interaction. While the approach is scholarly, there's enough case study and anecdote to give their case a grounded authenticity. It's extremely well written, and the ideas it brings together beg for enlargement and further research.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Company Makes for Good Business
Here's a fascinating read that emphasizes one of the most-often overlooked components of an organization's success: the power of chance or commonplace conversations in stairwells or over a drink after work. The authors' "knowledge management" bias leads them to urge companies to invest in "social capital" by bringing together isoldated groups, encouraging in-person meetings, and giving employees time for casual conversations. Clearly a humanist argument but an important one that's gaining a lot of currency in a number of companies. ... Read more


157. Franchise Organizations
by Jeffrey L. Bradach
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 087584832X
Catlog: Book (1998-01-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 246295
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For all its growing importance, the booming franchise phenomenonremains largely undocumented and poorly understood, with very littleinsight available on the management challenges that chains face. Jeffrey Bradach fills this void with a penetrating look at the keyfactors that shape a chains' success.

Using examples from majorrestaurant chains, including KFC, Pizza Hut, Hardee's, and Jack in theBox, Bradach extracts the ingredients that make for a thrivingenterprise.Clear and engaging, this is essential reading forunderstanding and managing today's franchise business. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Need better research design and deduction
This book was written by Dr.Bradach in 1997 but it stills a good reference today.
The comment I have, however, would be the research design is too limited. The research was conducted based on "food resturant chain" but the deduction (including the book title) seems to cover every franchise business. Is it possible that the research results for restuarant business only? We don't know. The research validation of the author still questionable to me.
The selected companies are too subjective, still. Several questions raised while I read the book about other franchise companies that the author didn't select. Although the author indicate three criteria (see research design of the book) to conduct the research, there is no mention to other companies that the author didn't choose.
This book is quite comprehensive but it can be one of the best reference book if the author go more detail (and change the title) for food restuarant business and add more detail about his research design.

2-0 out of 5 stars Overdone
This book has a lot of good information but is buried within very long-winded writing.

5-0 out of 5 stars MILLENNIUM MARVEL
THE BOOK IS A SYNTHESIS OF THE EXACT CORE ISSUES OF FRANCHISING IN AN ENLARGED BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT AND IS HELPFUL FOR ORGANISATIONS AND BUSINESS PEOPLE WHO WISH TO ESTABLISH THE CHAIN THROUGH FRANCHISING. THE CASE LAWS REFERENCES COULD BE APPROPRIATELY GEARED UP AS EVERY BUSINESS HAS THESE FOCUSSES DESPITE OTHER ISSUES SUCH AS FINANCE, MARKETING, TECHNICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very informative and well researched
Great in depth research is what first striked me about this book. It has a focus on the restaurant franchise business, with 5 successful examples from the US. The book explains a lot about the details of the organizational work done in the franchise business. I have come up with a useful insight on the whole matter. It is a well written thoroughly researched book and at the same time interesting to read, with chapters and parts divided nicely if you want to go back and forth between subjects. Although I own an non-restaurant franchise, this book helped me understand how the system works and what I should expect from my franchisor in some managerial aspects. I would highly recommend it if you own or think about owning a restaurant franchise, or any other franchise for that matter.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quite insightful
It would be prudent of anyone in the franchise business to read this thoroughly researched, clearly written and carefully considered book by Professor Bradach. This is not a how-to manual, like many of the books cluttering the business sections of bookstores. Instead, it's a study of how, why and to what extent organizations choose to franchise themselves. While it may come across as too academic to some readers, the insight is fresh and informative. I found the interviews with franchising industry executives particularly useful, because Professor Bradach elicited such candor from them, especially with regard to the expectations of industry leaders in their relationships with franchisees. Put simply, you'll know where they, the franchisors, are coming from. For a potential fist-time franchisee, reading this book is like accumulating years of first hand knowledge from the inside of the company, something that will better prepare anyone for negotiating and working with a franchisor for the first time. Highlighted, dog-eared and often consulted, this one will stay on my bookshelf for years. ... Read more


158. Managing Yourself for the Career You Want (The Results-Driven Manager Series)
by Harvard Business School Press
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1591393469
Catlog: Book (2004-06-11)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 228229
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Book Description

The Results-Driven Manager Series

Managers are under increasing pressure to deliver better results faster than the competition. But meeting today's tough challenges requires complete mastery of a full array of management skills, from communicating and coaching to public speaking and managing people. The Results-Driven Manager series is designed to help time-pressed managers hone and polish the skills they need most. Concise, action-oriented, and packed with invaluable strategies and tools, these timely guides will help managers improve their job performance today-and give them the edge they need to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Managing Yourself for the Career You Want

  • Create and capitalize on new opportunities for advancement
  • Find mentors and boost networking skills
  • Enhance personal emotional intelligence
  • Evaluate future job prospects
  • Stay on a rewarding career track
... Read more

159. What's the Big Idea? Creating and Capitalizing on the Best New Management Thinking
by Thomas H. Davenport, Laurence Prusak
list price: $27.50
our price: $11.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578519314
Catlog: Book (2003-04)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 61659
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Secrets of Successful Idea Practitioners

Change management. Reengineering. Knowledge management. Major new management ideas are thrown at today's companies with increasing frequency-and each comes with evangelizing gurus and eager-to-assist implementation consultants. Only a handful of these ideas will be a good fit for your organization. Choose the right idea at the right time and your company can become more efficient, more effective, and more innovative. Choose the wrong one-or jump on the right bandwagon too late-and your company could fall hopelessly behind.

Thomas H. Davenport and Laurence Prusak say that some managers have found ways to improve their odds of success in the risky but essential game of idea management. In What's the Big Idea?, they introduce a largely unsung class of managers they call-idea practitioners-individuals who do the real work of importing and implementing new ideas into businesses. While gurus reap most of the credit when big ideas take flight, Davenport and Prusak's research reveals that idea practitioners actually play the most important role: They turn the right ideas into action.

Drawing from decades of consulting, academic, and business experience and from their novel study of more than 100 of these critical change leaders, What's the Big Idea? offers tools and frameworks for:

  • Assessing the merits of the top business gurus
  • Scanning and tracking emerging ideas in the marketplace
  • Distinguishing promising ideas from rhetoric
  • Refining ideas to suit your organization's particular needs
  • Packaging and selling the idea internally
  • Ensuring successful implementation

Davenport and Prusak prove that there are no faddish management ideas-only faddish ways of adopting them. Encouraging managers to embrace the power of ideas while avoiding the hype that often accompanies them, this pragmatic guide shows how passion and reason combine to build innovative companies. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read for the idea practictioner and inspiring guru
This book was a great read discredited in chapter 8. The authors did a fantastic job summarizing what makes ideas work in an organization and the business model of business gurus. Their writing style was very readable, entertaining and enjoyable making this a good read that is easily recommendable. However, in chapter 8 they speak to close to their history and represent a view of knowledge management that may not be shared by all readers. One sentence highlighting that in a chapter that is otherwise represents their bias is not enough. Also, in chapter 9, the questions presented to an idea practictioner were leading. I will however find myself quoting the book so it is still a recommended read to broaden your thought leadership and success in pushing ideas forward. For the consultant make sure you complement this book with something that allows you to capture the client's view of value.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
A most interesting and delightfully opinionated book is the latest offering from Tom Davenport and Larry Prusack. Easily digested, this book attempts to 'out-meta' the competition in the game of management idea mindshare, by giving a framework by which other ideas are evaluated for their applicability to your organization. 'He who owns the process wins' is an oft-quoted cliché at ManyWorlds.com and this book makes a good claim for the process. But more seriously, it does introduce some important (dare I say new) thinking into the faddish and/or fatigued of management ideas.

The most critical of those is that of the 'idea practitioner' - the role of the unsung heroes in organizations that translate the guru's missives from on high to that of the real-world working business. They are defined as 'individuals who use business improvement ideas to bring about change in organizations'. And to help you seek out these people in your company, Davenport and Prusack helpfully profile a number of real idea practitioners across a range of companies such as BP, Clarica, World Bank, BIC and many others. But chances are that if you are attracted to this book, you are probably an idea practitioner yourself, even in latent form.

The idea practitioner is an idea filterer who possesses the key skills of 'translation, harmonization and timing' and applies them to new ideas around the organization. It's the skill of knowing when to introduce an idea, to maximize its impact and benefit to the organization.

What's the Big Idea? examines the lifecycles of ideas, internal and external adoption rates as well as describing the categories of gurus. These include academic gurus (think Michael Porter), consultant gurus (think Adrian Slywotzky), practicing manager gurus (think Jack Welch) and journalist gurus (think Tom Stewart). Of course these categories are blurred but the distinction is useful. An interesting step would be to consider what type of guru your company seems most interested in. My guess would be that hard asset companies are likely to be swayed by practicing manager and consultant type gurus, high growth companies by journalist gurus and very large enterprises by academic gurus.

But the problem with being an idea practitioner is while you may be rewarded by a good profile in Davenport's next book, you may not be appreciated for your network and filtering skills by your own organization. Indeed, pursuing your interest in ideas may only be tolerated once you have proved yourself in more operational roles. Even so, such an idea driven route can be career limiting, since in every idea you sell to the organization, there will always be an ounce of personal credibility that has to go with it. But by taking the core of the idea, the 'zeitgeist' and perhaps even innovating a little on top of it to make it more acceptable to your organization, you can build on the foundation of initiatives before it.

Which is just as ideas themselves do. In every idea, the authors would argue, there is a kernel of good practice that should be adopted. The problem is that there is often so much emotion wrapped up around a guru, or a leading company or the idea itself is that this kernel is often ignored or dismissed. But gurus themselves are also guilty of this practice. They often battle against each other, dismiss others' ideas or do not give credit to their sources, teams or inspiration. Sounds just like the local management corporate politics wrestled with in 90% of companies, doesn't it? Thus the role of idea practitioner becomes all the more important to the corporation, navigating both the external and internal battlefields.

Overall, a highly recommended read .Additional highlights including a non-partisan ranking of the top 200 business gurus (contrast that with our traffic based rankings on ManyWorlds.com) and an interview with the immensely smart Steve Kerr, previously CLO at GE and now at Goldman Sachs, on how he 'idea practitions'.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Message -- But Mavericks are Targets in a Sick Culture
Thomas Davenport is now officially one of my "heroes" by championing the cause of us "idea introducers" and "boundary spanners". Unfortunately, being one of these people myself, I find that companies with an unhealthy culture (and with the associated weak/passive H.R. dept that perpetuate this sickness), ultimately cannot innovate.

Their Mavericks (also known as "the man in the brown suit") get laid-off, fired, or strategically bumped out of the way. And instead, go along to get along behavior is rewarded, crafty executives who change jobs ever 2-3 years (i.e. they quit BEFORE they get fired) swoop in long enough to go for the low-hanging fruit and then leave before they ever really build anything, and in the meantime the uninvolved & uncommitted (the ones who kept their head down and did what they were told) get promoted based on seniority & politics instead of competence & contribution.

So as I contemplate Davenport and Friends' latest book offering, I am moved to share this simple truth:

Unhealthy culture eats: strategy for breakfast, the project schedule for lunch, troublemaker and soon to be laid-off maverick employees for dinner, and all remaining discretionary funds in the annual operating budget 6-months early for a midnite snack.

We can talk until the cows come home about the latest and greatest ideas for maximizing the productivity of knowledge workers -- but the $500 question is: WHEN will executive management start treating culture management as a fiduciary responsibility?

Until this happens, NOTHING else will happen -- except for the razorblade ride down to zero margins. Also, 80% of all new jobs are in companies with less than 25 employees. For the larger companies in the business landscape who think that they're going places -- there's a MESSAGE there.

I really appreciate Davenport's perspective on things; and he's always been a good collaborator with other leading minds. Davenport's focus has now shifted away from I.T. and K.M. and full tilt into Human Capital and Organizational Effectiveness. AMEN! It's about time! I'm an I.T. veteran of 20+ years who is SICK of living and working in a cess-pool of low morale by staff in tandem with displacement of responsibility by executive management.

CIO's everywhere sit up and take heed -- the goldmine that you seek is NOT in integration of your processes or technology; those are merely 2nd & 3rd order consequences of what's really important -- and this your Human Capital / workforce capability.

...

Focus FIRST on organizational effectiveness or else find yourself on a downward spiraling path to failure because the culture and the organizational defensive routines are stronger than any 1 executive's resolve. Heed this advice or else "CIO" really does mean "career is over".

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine guide through fads to value
For anyone who has felt overwhelmed by the barrage of business and management ideas and movements, and at times even skeptical of their individual and cumulative claims, and that is most of us, this is the perfect book. Davenport and Prusak are veterans of the last two decades of management revolutions-they have been in the game long enough to look back at some of the ideas with which they have been associated with critical detachment, and to make some novel and deep sociological observations about how ideas get made, marketed, used, abused, and superceded. However, they are less interested in a blanket judgment on the idea trade than in taking a closer look and identifying what works and who is doing the working. According to D & P, none of the ideas pushed over the past couple of decades is entirely new, and none is without merit. However, none of the ideas is, or ever was, the best solution for each company in every set of circumstances. So much depends on the particular company's situation, and so much of a company's success depends on those inside the corporation-the "idea practitioners"-who select, advocate, refine, and implement the otherwise general and abstract ideas of management gurus. D & P (& W) have done a great service in refocusing attention and credit from the brand names to the practitioners, without, of course, slighting the great contributions of gurus, like themselves, to the agility and productivity of modern enterprise.

4-0 out of 5 stars HOW TO "EXECUTE" ON WHAT WE "KNOW"
Chances are you feel you've read books like this before. WHAT makes an idea work? WHO in an organization makes it work? WHY are idea practitioners not always rewarded or recognized? IS your organization stifling the flow of ideas or motivating ANYONE to come up with them?

Yet, veering around interviews with 100 or so actual idea practitioners, this offering from Davenport et al has a very specific thematic intent and does a fabulous job of it. Below are some thoughts that form the spine of this brilliant work --

(1) It is usually the same people who advance new business approaches at organizations. It's a whole class of people who have never been exalted to the status of high-profile business gurus (Porter, Tom Peters, Drucker, Hammer etc) despite being the ones to _actualize_ the ambitious ponderings of the Porters and Druckers of our world.

(2) And no, rarities like Jack Welch may be more of an exception than the rule. Most idea practitioners are not on a fast track to the corner office. Most of them believe that they could probably have done better within the company if they had instead focused their careers on power and responsibility.

(3) Yet, many of these people can't help themselves. They tend to gravitate to the jobs that have more intellectual content.

(4) It is the contribution of these folk that gives companies competitive edges in times of an economic slump or industry stagnation/maturation, or even an elevated "perceived" business performance resulting in improved shareholder value and morale.

(5) None of the above is conveyed in the form of fluffy business wisdom tripe. A smattering of examples from around the world support all the authors' theses -- failing K-Mart versus the expanding Walmart, the nearly bygone Westinghouse versus GE, Cemex in Mexico, Holcim in Switzerland etc.

(6) Finally, amidst the profiles of the idea practitioners the authors attempt to offer a framework to evaluate and execute ideas. As for evaluation, they recommend running the idea through the litmus of the CLASSIC THREE of strategy (Efficiency, Effectiveness and Innovation). This does not come off as altogether fresh although the suggested framework is useful. As for execution, we are left more or less with the interviews and the thoughts therein.

Overall, I'd say this is an engrossing book and the actual success stories are inspiring (perhaps a decent springboard for ideas too). The organization of the content could have been a little bit better but you don't have to be a true believer in the power of management ideas to appreciate the value of this book in our management thinking driven times.

An important, interesting read. ... Read more


160. Harvard Business Review on Becoming a High-Performance Manager
by Harvard Business School Press
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1591391296
Catlog: Book (2002-02-26)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 86721
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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.

With offerings ranging from the timeless classic "Management Time Who's Got the Monkey" to innovative, cutting edge ideas, this book provides busy managers with strategies for more effective time and stress management, and offers insights into what a manager's job really entails. This is a must read for any professional wanting to work more effectively and become a better manager.

... Read more


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