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161. Harvard Business Review on Crisis
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162. Harvard Business Review on Turnarounds
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163. The Death of Distance: How the
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164. The Human Equation: Building Profits
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165. The Essentials Of Managing Change
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166. Invented Here: Maximizing Your
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167. Digital Capital: Harnessing the
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180. Customer Connections: New Strategies

161. Harvard Business Review on Crisis Management (A Harvard Business Review Paperback)
by Norman R. Augustine, Anurag Sharma, Idalene F. Kesner, N. Craig Smith, Robert J Thomas, John A. Quelch, Greg Brenneman, Linda Hill
list price: $19.95
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Asin: 1578512352
Catlog: Book (2000-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 288955
Average Customer Review: 4.5 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.

In the rapidly changing world of business, close calls and near misses are not uncommon. Obtaining the managerial skills and tools to effectively manage or avoid these crises is critical to the survival and success of your organization. Harvard Business Review on Crisis Management highlights leading ideas on how to deal with difficult situations, crises, and other sensitive topics in a business environment. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Great book. Good case studies. Solid crisis management examples

4-0 out of 5 stars A useful tool
Acquiring required skills and tools to effectively manage or mitigate crises is essential to the success of modern organizations. 'Harvard Business Review on Crisis Management' is a collection eight essays presenting new ideas and concepts on how to manage, mitigate crises and other related key issues in a rapidly changing business environment.

Some of the essays in this collection are written by leading management consultants and CEOs. Topics covered include; 'strategic approaches to product recalls', 'leadership', 'what happens when an executive defects' and how companies can develop better media policies and plans as part of crisis management and preparedness.

My favorite is Norman R Augustine's essay titled 'Managing the Crisis You Tried to Prevent'. In this well researched essay, Augustine describes six stages of a crisis drawing lessons from several well-known crises. The important issue emerging is that "almost every crisis contains within itself' the seeds of failures as well as the "roots of failure." Drawing quotations from Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde, the author provides very useful insights into understanding, managing and preventing a crisis.

This book is a useful tool for executives and managers who need to upgrade their knowledge or gain access to leading experts on topics related to crisis management. ... Read more


162. Harvard Business Review on Turnarounds
by Harvard Business Review
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Asin: 1578516366
Catlog: Book (2001-10-15)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 158988
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Book Description

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

This dynamic collection of articles features the latest theories on change management and real-world stories of successful turnaround efforts. With compelling first person stories about successful turnarounds, readers will learn how to address their own organizations' needs from such diverse figures as Rich Teerlink, Gary Hamel, and Bill Parcells. ... Read more


163. The Death of Distance: How the Communications Revolution Is Changing our Lives
by Francis Cairncross, Frances C. Cairncross
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Asin: 157851438X
Catlog: Book (2001-03)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 173181
Average Customer Review: 3.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this paperback edition of the acclaimed book The Death of Distance, journalist Frances Cairncross of The Economist shows us how the world is changing with the introduction of the Internet and wireless technology.First published in 1997, Cairncross's provocative book-based on evidence from two sweeping surveys on telecommunications-argues that new communications technologies are rapidly obliterating distance as a relevant factor in how we conduct our business and personal lives.

Now, the author has substantially rewritten and updated the book, with 70 percent new data, fresh analysis, and new company examples to offer a look at the economic landscape ahead.Cairncross argues that the story today is not only the diminishing importance of distance, but also the mobility and ubiquity of technology.New material covers the implications of recent events and debates including:

* the rise and fall of the dot-com phenomenon;
* the spread of mobile telephones and other wireless communications;
* the wave of technology mergers;
* the authenticity of the "new economy;"
* diverging trends in business-to-consumer and business-to-business e-commerce;
* the restructuring of the organization in the wake of the Internet;
* the increasing impact of patent law on the communications economy;
* the so-called "digital divide";
* and the democratizing effects of communications technology on companies, governments, and society.

With an updated "Trendspotter's Guide" that offers a snapshot of the new opportunities and challenges we face in a wireless world, this timely book will help all of us envision and enjoy an increasingly connected future. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Impact of the Interactive Age, for Everyone
This is an easy-to-read, interesting book for business people and others who want to know how the Interactive Age will change the world. Francis Cairncross, who writes in The Economist for people who think, has studied and thought a great deal, and it shows. Cairncross says that the improvements now being developed in telephony, television and the Internet will touch every single life within a few years. Fundamental changes in how we learn, get food, deal with friends, enemies and lovers, make money and pay for goods are definitely in the works. And that distance will no longer dictate how we communicate. This is not fantasy, this is the right stuff. Anyone who expects to be around longer than a very few years had better listen up.

5-0 out of 5 stars A look into the future
In this updated paperback edition of the 1997 original, Frances Cairncross of The Economist expounds the theory that, with the introduction of the Internet and new communications technologies, distance as a relevant factor in how we conduct our business and personal lives is becoming irrelevant. This, she claims, will be the single most important economic force shaping all of society over the next half century.

This revised version covers more topics than the original. It explores the rise and fall of the dot-com phenomenon, the spread of mobile telephones, the wave of hi-tech mergers, the lasting power of the new economy, trends in e-commerce, organizational restructuring to adapt to the Internet, the impact of patent law as it pertains to communications, and the democratizing effects of communications technology on worldwide societies as a whole.

Francis Cairncross writes eloquently and convincingly about the cataclysmic changes sweeping through our means of communication. She discusses how the consequences of such changes will tilt the balance between large and small, rich and poor, as they influence where companies locate, what kind of work people do, how governments raise revenue, which businesses succeed etc.

Amongst the most striking trends, she sees citizens with a greater freedom to locate anywhere, thus leaving governments to reduce tax burdens in an attempt to attract higher income-earners. She sees, too, the continuing rise of English as a global language in business and commerce. She foretells, too, of new opportunities and challenges we will face in a wireless world.

I disagree with those who claim that, just because we have the ability to do something, doesn't mean we will do it and change society. If people don't want mobile phones, why do they buy them? If people don't like the Internet, why do they use it? My own experience (Brit living in France, working in various European countries, employed by an American company) tells its own story. Twenty years ago, my situation would have been considered almost unique. Today it is commonplace. AND YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHIN' YET !

5-0 out of 5 stars Prudent Optimism
I recently read this brilliant book before reading Cairncross' more recently published The Company of the Future. I highly recommend both and suggest that they be read in the order in which they were written.

In this volume (first published in 1997), Cairncross carefully organizes her material within ten chapters following a Preface in which she observes: "The new ideas in this book are about the many ways in which the most significant technological changes of our time will affect the next century -- and your life. You will find a preview of the most important in 'The Trendspotter's Guide to New Communications' that immediately follows this preface; the rest of the book sets out to interpret and elaborate these key points." in which she identifies and then briefly discusses "Ten Rules for Survival." I have a minor quibble with the title because I think that technological changes to which Cairncross refers have not caused the death of distance; rather, they have re-defined it.

With regard to the aforementioned important developments, Cairncross identifies and then briefly discusses 30 which range from "The Death of Distance" to "Global Peace." All are valid even as some readers may believe that others should be added to the list or replace some of those included. There are several in which I have special interest, including #27, "Communities of Culture." Cairncross suggests that "electronic communications will reinforce less widespread languages and cultures. not replace them with Anglo-Saxon and Hollywood. The declining cost of creating and distributing many entertainment products and the corresponding increase in production capacity will also reinforce local cultures and help scattered peoples and families to preserve their cultural heritage." Once again, many readers who agree on the importance of such trends may disagree with the implications which Cairncross derives from them. Fair enough.

In the final chapter, "Government and the Nation State," Cairncross duly acknowledges that being able to communicate may not be enough to keep the nations of the earth at peace with one another "but it is a start." Thanks to new technologies now available or which will soon become available, people will become less susceptible to, indeed dependent on propaganda from politicians who seek to stir up conflicts. Cairncross concludes, "Bonded together by the invisible strands of global communications, humanity may find that peace and prosperity are fostered by the death of distance." She held out that possibility in 1997. Whether or not it remains a reasonable possibility is for each reader to determine. As I compose this review, violence continues to erupt in the Middle East and elsewhere; extensive poverty worldwide persists and could become even worse. Death does indeed have many faces.

1-0 out of 5 stars Written by an economist? No kidding.
It would appear that this book continues the line of technological revolutionists/determinists - who provide no reasons as to why this new 'communications revolution' should be able to change our society apart from wide-eyed 'look at what this technology will allow' type suggestions. Just because we have the ability to do something, doesn't mean everyone will do it and thus change society.

A book like Winston's "Media Technology & Society" highlights, with academic integrity, how SOCIETY drives technological change, not some group of engineers sitting round 'inventing stuff'. This is surely the first revolution dictated by commerce & economics rather than actual social need. As Nasdaq stocks fluctuate wildly, the crash and burn of Iridium surely shows that market driven technology isn't as simple as these types of books make it sound.

This book provides nothing new to the topic and as one reviewer previously noted, fails to come to grips with the true power of money.

5-0 out of 5 stars What could happen in a world without borders
The Death of Distance Frances Cairncross presents a compelling and thought-provoking analysis of a rapidly shrinking world as she presents a story of a revolution - a technological revolution, where three technologies namely the telephone, the TV and the networked computer are literally making everywhere here. As the senior editor of the Economist magazine, her analyses of world markets not just from an economics perspective, but from cultural, emotional and societal viewpoints is breathtaking. Distance will become irrelvant, she argues and it won't be long before people across the globe will organize their work on the basis of language and three time shifts - one for the Americas, one for Europe and one for East Asia and Australia. She discusses the implications of workers able to earn a living from anywhere and countries finding themselves competing for citizens as people relocate for reasons ranging from lower taxes to nicer weather. Cairncross discusses about 30 major changes likely to result from the technology-driven revolution including a shifting landscape in terms of freedom, privacy and intellectual property, the changing role of government and the implications for the concept of the nation state, citizenship, regulation and laws in a world without borders, in a world where distance is irrelvant. ... Read more


164. The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First
by Jeffrey Pfeffer
list price: $27.50
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Asin: 0875848419
Catlog: Book (1998-01-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 36637
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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The lure of new and profitable markets has lead many companies to formulate strategies to capture these markets. This focus on strategy often leads to downsizing and the shedding of old businesses in favor of a "lean" economic model that stresses outsourcing. The strategy that leads to downsizing has its short-term rewards--a fatter bottom line and happy shareholders.

Jeffrey Pfeffer argues that much of this downsizing is nothing more than a throwback to 100-year-old employment practices. Instead of cutting costs as a means to increase profits, companies should focus more on building revenue by relying on solid people-management skills. Through dozens of examples, Pfeffer demonstrates that successful companies worry more about people and the competence in their organizations than they do about having the right strategy. Pfeffer contends that the strategy part is relatively easy--it's the day-to-day execution that's hard. Companies that understand the relationship between people and profits are the ones that usually win in the long run. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars The importance of people to organizations' returns
Summary:
This book highlights the importance of respecting employees in an organization. By treating employees as a strategic asset, a firm can make lucrative profits. The book can be divided into the following parts.

¡P Wrong sources of organizational success that firms
commonly use
¡P Seven practices of successful organizations
¡P Reasons why smart organizations sometimes do dumb
things and the suggested solutions
¡P How conventional wisdom about employment contract,
compensation method, and unions is wrong
¡P The role of public policy in making profits through
people

Comment:
- Good points:

1. Good insights provided:
The author provides his opinions about why and how putting people first can bring great returns to organizations with different detailed examples such as Lincoln Electric. This can make me understand the importance of employees to organizations.

2. Lots of evidence provided:
This book explains why putting people first can help companies make great profits by providing lots of examples, which include companies in different industries. Some examples are explained in a more detailed way such as Albert Dunlap.

3. Clear illustration of the concepts:
The main message of each chapter is clearly delivered.

Also, as the main theme of this book is about ¡§building profits by putting people first¡¨, the author has provided a diagram called ¡§Downward Performance Spiral¡¨ to illustrate the relationship between organization¡¦s poor treatment of its¡¦ employees and its¡¦ corresponding performance. Besides, he provided a diagram about how ¡§People-based strategy¡¨ can make sustained profits to organizations. All these diagrams can increase my understanding about these concepts.

4. Comprehensive information provided:
The author not only states what are the wrong sources of organizational success that firms commonly use, he also provides what and how organizations can do to make lucrative profits.

- Bad points:

1. Not interesting enough:
The author has repeated the main theme of this book ¡V ¡§building profits by putting people first¡¨ many times in different chapters. Although this can remind readers about the main theme of this book, readers may feel too bored.

4-0 out of 5 stars Explains the importance of putting people before profits
This book is very well researched, although perhaps over-long in some parts.

The underlying message is that "do you see people as labour costs to be reduced or eliminated, or do you see your people as the only thing that differentiates you from your competition?"

I did find it quite satisfyingly radical for a US author to actually recommend that US Managers need to look overseas, as in this quote :
"One might be well-served to spend more time outside of the United States ... What has come to be taken as 'good management practice' in the United States is very, very culturally specific to the United States. Managing in a different way may require developing a broader world view ..."
I can related to that, given that I work in the UK for a US Fortune 500 Company.

The Case Studies cover a broad range of Industries such as Automobile, Banking, Steel, Clothing, Semiconductors, Retailing, Oil Refining, Energy, Airlines; and Geographical coverage includes not only North America, but quite a number of Countries in Europe & Asia.

A Chapter dedicated to Unions but yet not to Union-bashing is a pleasant change.

All in all, an interesting book that I wish more CEO's & HR Officers would read to see the alternatives to boom-and-bust downsizing & outsourcing.

5-0 out of 5 stars People and organization success
The Human Equation (1998) is an exceptional book. In the first chapter Pfeffer shows that conventional wisdom about the sources of organization success are not correct. In particular he disproves the ideas:

- that it is essential to work in the right sector,
- that the size of the organization is crucial,
- that it is necessary to have an international precense,
- that downsizing is indispensible, and
- that it is necessary to have a technological lead.

Then the author clearly and impressively presents the enormous amount of evidence of the last decade showing the strong association between how organization treat people and how they score on financial and operational performance indicators. Pfeffer describes the following seven HR practices that demonstrable correlate with organization success. He names these practices High Performance Work Practices. They are:

1. Employment security
2. Selective hiring of new personnel
3. Self-managed teams and decentralization of decision making as the basic principles of organization design
4. Comparatively high compensation contingent on organizational performance
5. Extensive training
6. Reduces status distinctions and barriers, including dress, languag, office arrangements, and wage differences across levels
7. Extensive sharing of financial and performance information throughout the organization

This list contains some elements that may seem counterintuitive to some. For instance: how can it be that high wages contribute to financial performance? Don't they just keep the profits low? And how can you afford to be selective in this hard labour market? And how can companies afford to invest much in training of personnel? Aren't employees so mobile and disloyal that you run the risk of training them for your competitor? Speaking about this, how can you in this time of employability of employment security? And it is wise to have an open information policy? If you'd do that, wouldn't you weaken your position by feeding your competitor with valuable information?

If you read this book you will find crystal-clear answers to these questions. The conclusion is that the seven practices do indeed work.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting but found lacking
Although some of his fundamental theories are interesting, this author's means of proving his hypothesis are weak in my opinion. His facts lack substance. There is a lot of work that needs to be done before he is going to convince large companies of his theories. Basically, his magazine articles are much more interesting than this book. Save your money.

5-0 out of 5 stars A company doesn't grow to greatness by shrinking...
The premise of Pfeffer's book is that companies' success is directly correlated to the quality of people and their management. This seems like common sense. After all, many companies proclaim "people are our biggest asset." In practice, however, it's uncommon sense: companies often lack the deep conviction necessary to follow through. It's much easier to take a "tough love" approach to "management," cut training and lay off 10% of the workforce than it is to focus on the long-term people issue.

Based on his research, Pfeffer offers several HR practices that are common in effective organizations. Among them:

* Maintain a sense of employment security. Psychologically speaking, people will work more effectively when they can focus on doing their job rather than worrying about keeping it. Similarly, if employees are your company's hugest asset, then it behooves you to ensure they're not working for your competition. This is common sense. More companies practice uncommon sense and get sucked into the peformance death-spiral. For example, we frequently read where a new CEO is brought in and his first action is to initiate layoffs. (Apple Computer is an often-cited case study of this.) With their sense of security threatened, the remaining employees will become less motivated. Profits begin to sag, so the company reacts by cutting training. Employees may have more accidents, and customer service is affected. The spiral continues until it or the company broken.

* Hire selectively - a recurring theme is that to avoid layoffs, you need to be operating efficiently enough not to *have* extra employees.

In a perfect world, we would have a large number of applicants, screen them based on corporate fit and their attitude, then filter them out through several rounds of screening. Senior staff should become involved in the latter part of the process to emphasize the importance of hiring. After hiring, we need to evaluate the success of our hiring practices and adjust them as necessary. This follows the axiom "that which gets measured, gets done." This common sense approach is used by highly successful companies such as Southwest Airlines and Cisco. Companies exhibiting "uncommon sense" may get so desperate to fill the position that they go against their own guidelines. Having made this mistake before, I am very much aware that a bad hire is far worse than no hire.

* Facilitate ownership and responsibility through decentralized decision making.

Assuming you hire the "best and brightest," you should trust them to use their brains. This provides a sense of ownership, challenge, and supports the organization's organic development. We all hope to have the equivalent of the "Post-It" note developed internally by folks taking initiative.

Pfeffer had an interesting comment from Bill Gurley about the effectiveness of stock options. Specifically, they're not really as much a sense of ownership as we'd like to believe because if the market has a violent downswing (as it did in early 2000), employees are almost incented to leave their underwater options.

-

Pfeffer's book is an evolution of his previous ideas. What's also interesting in his analysis was seeing that long-term company success was *not* correlated to technology or industry.

Pfeffer's suggestions seem like common sense, but Pfeffer realizes they're not AND is aware of the need to quantify the information. The case studies and quantitative research are very helpful in supporting these ideas. In a few of the cases -- Lincoln Electric springs to mind -- it would be especially helpful to have a more recent examination, perhaps a follow-up. ... Read more


165. The Essentials Of Managing Change And Transition (Business Literacy for HR Professionals)
by Harvard Business School Press, The Society for Human Resource Management
list price: $34.95
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Asin: 1591395739
Catlog: Book (2005-04-30)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 1662238
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Book Description

This book provides an overview of the various approaches to change management, provides assessments and tools for preparing employees and the organization for a change initiative, and offers strategies for successfully managing the human and business aspects of the transformation as it rolls out.

Today's HR professionals work side by side with senior executives to devise a strategy for their organizations and to marshal the talent and resources to implement it. That means going beyond the traditional HR domain and mastering the fundamentals of all aspects of business and management. The Business Literacy for HR Professionals series, developed in conjunction with the Society for Human Resource Management, is designed to help HR professionals do exactly that. Covering essential areas such as negotiation, decision making, change management, finance, and more, these highly practical books will help HR professionals in their goal to be true strategic partners who bring additional bottom line value to their organizations. ... Read more


166. Invented Here: Maximizing Your Organization's Internal Growth and Profitability
by Bart Victor, Andrew C. Boynton
list price: $29.95
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Asin: 0875847986
Catlog: Book (1998-05)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 478637
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Record breaking economic growth.Rapid global expansion.Dizzying technological innovation.As we head toward the new millennium, it seems as if there are more opportunities than ever for your company to create new value, satisfy customers, and make money.But, given today's bewildering array of management methods, how do you determine which path to follow--and how do you adapt your company for the journey?With Invented Here, authors Victor and Boynton argue that to succeed in a market where consumers increasingly demand customized goods and services, you cannot rely on any one formula.Instead, you must look within your own organization to invent, develop, and deliver the distinctive competencies that ensure growth and profitability.The authors conclude that there are distinct patterns in the way that successful companies manage their internal growth--patterns found in the evaluation and application of organizational knowledge.More important, they provide a workable strategy for emulating these patterns; arguing that any company, in order to more closely satisfy the needs of its customers, can develop the capabilities necessary to evolve from craft work to mass customization, and beyond.With examples from companies such as Beretta, Taco Bell, Dell Computer, Xerox, and Merrill Lynch providing a real-world context, Invented Here reveals how managers can determine the best path of change for their company by assessing its existing knowledge base.The book is a pioneering guide to using the knowledge that resides within your company in the actual transformation of work: the nature of what you do, the value that you can create with your customers, and the organizational knowledge to be mined along the way. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply a milestone
The key concept of this book is that every organization could evolve trough several status. There is no a suggested preeferred status. Winning organisations are those which could find the right 'alignment' between market needs and behaviours and the internal organization. The evolution of the organization is only driven by the market change. The book focus on transitions between these different stages, analysing the impact of these changes through the entire Value Chain. Invented Here is a milestone for those people which needs to manage transition also in a turbulent environment. It helps managers to think about the actual company positioning and to build a framework helping to identify market changes and relevant organizational needed impact. Simply great!

5-0 out of 5 stars Learning From Others
The importance of organization design on the success of a business, be it that of a service company or a product supplier, is often underestimated. Strategy alone is not enough.

The great value of this book lies in 3 areas :

i) Use of illustrating failure as well as success - better to learn from someone else's mistakes so that you can, hopefully, avoid them.

ii) Identifying in meaningful terms where to position your organisation for your product/service e.g. if you need a great mass production machine, that is how you should organize;when your customers need more, don't hide from it - just do it well.

iii) The style is refreshingly alive.You feel you can relate to real people solving real problems.Too often, books like this feel like they belong only in libraries - this one offers genuinely practical insight.It's up to you to apply it.

If I have one (minor) criticism, it is the title. Don't let it mislead you. This book is a very helpful guide to many aspects of organizational design and a better title, in my opinion, would be something like:- "Optimizing Your OrganizationFor Your Customers"

5-0 out of 5 stars Important insights into the learning organization.
This book reveals how to use knowledge residing in the company to transform organization and manage growth. It presents a model of organizational learning and development with four steps: craft, massproduction, process enhancement, and mass customization. It explores theleveraging of four associated types of knowledge and presents a learningsystem for developing organizational knowledge. Provides important insightsthe learning organization.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wakes you up to the importance of Knowledge Management.
A well written book to help you understand how to develop your company'sbusiness along the "right path"to deliver higher customer value. The format and language of the book make it a joy to read.The concreteexamples from both service and product industries are very useful.

5-0 out of 5 stars The keys to corporate success are in the corporation!
Too many managers look to external consultants to provide the keys to their organization's success.Was it quality circles, TQM, or re-engineering you last tried as a way to rejuventate your struggling organzation?Victor and Boynton suggest you save your money and focus within.Their logical process of analysis and implementation will help your firm on the "right path" to organizational success.

The process demands that firms think clearly and carefully about who they are and what business they are in compared to what their customers really want.This analysis helps a firm determine if it should compete on the basis of novelty, commodity, quality, or precision.The choice made suggests that craft work, mass production, process enhancement, or mass customization provides the best strategy to meet those customer demands. Achieving these strategies can only occur as a firm moves from craft work, through mass production and process enhancement to mass customization via the "right path."

In an engaging combination of personal insight andcase examples, the authors lead the reader along the "path."They offer numerous stories of organizations around the world that have followed this "path" to organizational success.

Don't let the reletive brevity of their effort mislead you. The ideas they propose should force the thoughful manager into careful and thoughful consideration of the firm's current structure, products, and processes.If the analysis suggests that changes are warranted, then Victor and Boynton's guidebook along the "right path" will prove well worth the initial investment.

A thoughtful, creative tour de force in a fieldlittered with lightweight, feel-good competitors.Enjoy! ... Read more


167. Digital Capital: Harnessing the Power of Business Webs
by Don Tapscott, David Ticoll, David Ticoll, Alex Lowy
list price: $27.50
our price: $18.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578511933
Catlog: Book (2000-05)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 287753
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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God forbid that doing business and making money on the Internet should bear any resemblance whatsoever to the past millennium of bricks-and-mortar capitalism--that would be too easy.Nope, it's a whole different ball game now, and the new rule is: adapt or die.At least that's the message behind Digital Capital.From the three principal cyberconsultants at the Alliance for Converging Technologies (one of whom, Don Tapscott, authored the bestsellers The Digital Economy and Growing Up Digital), comes a paradigm for global takeover: the business web, or "b-web" for short. In their words, b-webs are "strategically aligned, multi-enterprise partner networks of producers, suppliers, service providers, infrastructure companies, and customers that conduct business communication and transactions via digital channels."Some examples are eBay, Cisco, Dell, MP3.com... in short, any enterprise that a) knows how to form lateral partnerships with other goods-or-service providers, and b) eliminates the role of planes, trains, and automobiles--not to mention lots of time, money, and human energy--by doing almost everything over the Internet. Not only do the authors provide a wealth of b-web case studies (including Charles Schwab, Priceline.com, Webvan, AT&T Solutions, and OptiMark in addition to those mentioned above), they outline a step by-step process for weaving a b-web of one's own.

Too often, Digital Capital's sound ideas come marinated in think-tank jargon so alienated from plain English as to be nearly impenetrable. Consider: "Disaggregation leads to 'disintermediation' and 'reintermediation'," which, believe it or not, isn't a line that French film theorists use in pick-up bars, but the simple statement that business webs manage to cut out a lot of the traditional steps between producers and customers. Now why couldn't they just have said that?No matter. After you nibble through the self-important MBA-speak, you'll find a smart look at how online shops are rewiring early 21st-century capitalism. --Timothy Murphy ... Read more

Reviews (36)

5-0 out of 5 stars Establishing Improved Business Models in a Connected Age
This is one of the few business books that dare address the central issue for most companies today: How to establish competitively-advantaged business models for serving customers that capture the power of the Internet to work with others. Anyone who doesn't know what they want to do for an Internet-based business model or doesn't like the one they have will get great benefit from this book.

Like Blown to Bits, Digital Capital looks squarely at the economic impact of the Internet on existing business models. But Digital Capital goes further in laying out the necessary steps to build on five business models that have been working that involve creating business networks that are Internet enabled (b-webs in the parlance of this book).

You will instantly recognize the five business model types, because the authors provide lots of examples (at least some of which will be familiar to you) and lists of characteristics of each type.

You will also know how to go from where you are to reaching one of these archetypes by the strategy directions the authors provide. The only drawback of this section is that the language gets a little b-schoolish (and full of very long words).

The conceptual basis of the work is sound. The only two points that were not discussed were (1) how these models might evolve into more powerful models in the future, and (2) how they might merge with each other.

Where the book is at its best is in helping you think through how to add other companies into a related web of interests to get more done -- thinking that goes well beyond the well-known outsourcing mindset.

Good luck with improving your Internet-based business model! Keep in mind that technology will evolve rapidly and enable some new business models that can only be dreamed about today in just 3-5 years. So be sure to look at the irresistible forces of technology development in thinking ahead.

5-0 out of 5 stars Prospering from Electronically-Connected Business
Digital Capital is one of the few business books that dare address the central issue for most companies today: How to establish competitively-advantaged business models for serving customers that capture the power of the Internet to work with others. Anyone who doesn't know what they want to do for an Internet-based business model or doesn't like the one they have will get great benefit from this book.

Like Blown to Bits, Digital Capital looks squarely at the economic impact of the Internet on existing business models. But Digital Capital goes further in laying out the necessary steps to build on five business models that have been working that involve creating business networks that are Internet enabled (b-webs in the parlance of this book).

You will instantly recognize the five business model types, because the authors provide lots of examples (at least some of which will be familiar to you) and lists of characteristics of each type.

You will also know how to go from where you are to reaching one of these archetypes by the strategy directions the authors provide. The only drawback of this section is that the language gets a little b-schoolish (and full of very long words).

The conceptual basis of the work is sound. The only two points that were not discussed were (1) how these models might evolve into more powerful models in the future, and (2) how they might merge with each other.

Where the book is at its best is in helping you think through how to add other companies into a related web of interests to get more done -- thinking that goes well beyond the well-known outsourcing mindset.

Good luck with improving your Internet-based business model! Keep in mind that technology will evolve rapidly and enable some new business models that can only be dreamed about today in just 3-5 years. So be sure to look at the irresistible forces of technology development in thinking ahead. The current crash of the dot coms is just the beginning of what will be a period of enormous innovation and progress.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don Tapscott's Way... 'Clear Vision' & 'Great Thinking'


Like his other books, this 'Digital Capital' will bring us to a new level of thinking about how Net-Economy will work and shape the world we've already known.

Tapscott's clear vision about 'digital money' will surely give us a higher perspective about what works and what doesn't work in this internet 'boom and bust' era.

One of the best Tapscott's book since 'Digital Economy'.....

5-0 out of 5 stars Digital Capital: Harnessing the Power of Business Webs
Digital Capital articulates the characteristics of web based business models and illustrates how the application of these business models can rapidly change the status quo. Ample examples and quotations from business web innovators show the practicality of the models while the authors' framework offers guidelines to explore and examine business web opportunities. I can now better run and build my company's digital future.

5-0 out of 5 stars Putting your money where your business should be
If the University Texas is correct, the Internet economy is "increasingly being driven by traditional companies adapting Internet technologies." This book discusses how other companies are doing it.

Don Tapscott is a must for any executive looking for tangible case studies. Find more than just a justification for your Internet initiative--find out how other companies are doing it. Fight Coase's Law through more efficient outsourcing; Streamline your partnerships; And more...

I recommend this book to all of my Internet marketing students and would love to make it required reading. ... Read more


168. Done Deals: Venture Capitalists Tell Their Stories
by Udayan Gupta
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
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Asin: 0875849385
Catlog: Book (2000-09)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 103088
Average Customer Review: 3.57 out of 5 stars
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"Until a few years ago," notes journalist-consultant Udayan Gupta, "venture capitalists were hardly on anyone's radar screen."That's not the case these days, as financiers who used to work behind the scenes now regularly set markets afire with their public support of high-profile technology and Internet stocks. In Done Deals, Gupta allows 35 of the brightest stars in what has become a $30-billion-a-year business to tell their own stories in their own words. We get to see exactly what they were thinking when they backed such endeavors as Intel, eBay, Excite, Genentech, and 3Com. Gupta's intention is to demonstrate how the industry has changed over the past half-century and how it differs today among its various forms. He achieves this beautifully by dividing the first-person accounts into thematically attuned sections that focus on dealmakers of the future (such as Mitch Kapor of Accel Partners), early pioneers (including the late Benno Schmidt of J.H. Whitney & Co.), West Coast veterans (such as Don Valentine of Sequoia Capital), past and present East Coast practitioners (like Charles Waite of Greylock Management), and visionaries (including John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers). Some of the stories are more detailed than others, but taken together, they provide a well-rounded view that will interest anyone who must deal with this often intertwined yet still individual world. --Howard Rothman ... Read more

Reviews (14)

2-0 out of 5 stars Not Impressed
Where are the great stories that are promised? I read the whole book and am still scratching my head! Most of the stories surround how the VC's got started in the business, what it was like being a VC in the 60's & 70's, how much money investors made on different investments, etc...not why deals were funded. I was hoping to get a better sense of what decision making criteria were used to justify various investments and left severely disappointed.

Where is the industry going? Again, no real insights here...

As someone stated earlier, if I wanted a historical perspective on the VC industry or a who's who in the industry, there are many, many sources on the internet for this information.

Try Ruth Ann Quindlan's book for better insights into the decision making that goes into dealmaking.

4-0 out of 5 stars Horrible editing, but great stories!
The stories of the pioneers of the industry were captivating and showed the "pure" spirit of the early VC world. Their warnings on the collapse of the fee-driven, vapor business plan-led, and greedy VC environment of the 00's and its dangerous deviation from the "let's build profitable businesses and let the entrepreneurs shine forth" mindsets that got it all started were prescient. The stories tell you how it began, and how to build long-term success by tempering your craving for instant gratification (in fact, several of the pioneers warned that the lust for quick money can destroy the industry), then read this book. If not for the poor proofreading (lots of grammatical errors, from a Harvard book, no less!), I would have given this 5 stars. Probably... well, I saw this in a bookstore in China and read through it on the plane to Europe last week. If the Chinese read this... watch out!

5-0 out of 5 stars AN INVALUABLE PEEP INTO THE WORLD OF VENTURE CAPITAL
Many of the yesteryear superstars from the boom hitech sector may have unceremoniously gone belly up, and VC is not exactly as "hot" as it was at the turn of the century, but turns out that circling overhead the dot-com carnage was an enthusiastic Gupta scribbling detailed notes of what was going on in the industry. He rounded up a flock of 35 leading venture cap investors, from early pioneers such as Eugene Kleiner and Arthur Rock to current industry stars Geoff Yang and John Doerr. Had them reveal a great deal of gripping skinny on their ventures, solid facts from actual deals they'd worked on. Organized the stash of all this collective wisdom into a neat little bound volume -- and voila - we have a ripper of a book!

Organized into five parts (Fast Forward, Beginnings, West Coast, East Coast and Visions), the book examines the industry's humble beginnings to its extraordinary present (ok, very very recent past and hopefully a recent future). For a non-US reader such as myself, it also contains a priceless critique on the differences between West Coast and East Coast investing, which is unique because you'll recognize that a relatively nascent industry such as VC can sport widely varying investment philosophies as well. As investment spreads out to Europe, Australia and China, this becomes even more useful.

The book packs info about the hottest deals we had heard about - from Yahoo to www.Amazon.com - which makes for a gripping read in of itself. But beyond that, there are invaluable insights and discussions at length about how the VCs set up their partnerships and hand pick top management teams. Much better than reading a "VC 101" text book because it presents a hands-on glimpse at the industry's past and future from the veterans' point of view.

Consider this book to be a detailed case study introduction to some of the more successful companies, from some of the more committed (and recognized) minds. A highly recommended possession for your libraries -- if not as investment advice, at least as an insider guide to the fascinating industry of venture capital.

2-0 out of 5 stars Questioning
I opened this book with anticipation that I would be presented with an insightful examination of how the greats of the venture capital world worked with thier investments. What I found was a one-sided exploration about why these folks were great but not any of the grit that they must have faced to become the success that they are.

4-0 out of 5 stars a must for VCs
As a VC myself, I found this book to be very inspirational. What struck me as a common theme among the great VCs was that there was a sense of vision and purpose. Sure everyone wanted to make a lot of money but you get the feeling all of these guys cared about creating a frontier and exploring it. With the bursting of the internet bubble I think people need to get back to that. Unfortunately, VCs are too busy raiding distressed companies to really think about creating the next tech frontier. But the next great VC will be the one that follows the instincts laid out in this book. Hopefully it will be me! ... Read more


169. Hidden Champions: Lessons from 500 of the World's Best Unknown Companies
by Hermann Simon
list price: $32.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0875846521
Catlog: Book (1996-05-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 131810
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Hidden Champions reveals the strategies and practices of hundreds of low-profile super-performers. While most of our role models for excellence are large or growing companies that create highly visible products and services, behind the headlines lies a group of global competitors-unknown even to the general business community-that have attained global market share of over 70 percent. These companies-small and mid-size niche firms that make products like buttons, harmonicas, and gummi bears-are all great innovators. Many have created their own markets. They avoid outsourcing, diversification, and strategic alliances. Instead, they have developed unmatchable internal competencies. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars They Know Who and Where They Are
What can be learned from 500 German companies, most of which you have probably never heard of? Actually, a great deal. The book is Hidden Champions and ts author is Hermann Simon. He explains that his book "reveals the secrets of success of the best of the best unknown companies." They are unknown, for the most part, because that's the way they want it. They "relish their obscurity. They shy away from publicity, some through explicit policies of not dealing with the press --or, by the way, with academic researchers!" such as the author. Simon selected them according to three criteria: They must be #1 or #2 in a world market or in their European market; they must be small-to-midsize; and they must have low public visibility.

In Chapter 11, the final chapter, Simon carefully reviews various "lessons" which can be learned from "hidden champions." He categorizes them as follows: Lessons for Large Corporations, Lessons for Champion Corporations, Lessons for Diversified Corporations, Lessons for Small Companies, Lessons for Investors, and General Qualitative Lessons. He concludes: "The hidden champions go their own ways. Their procedures are quite different from those of other companies and of modern management teaching. Essentially, their only secret success formula is common sense. So simple, but so difficult to achieve! This is the ultimate lesson."

Simon is to be commended for drawing attention to "champions" who know who and where they are...even if we didn't until now. His book is well-written, the content is substantial, and the lessons to be learned from these "champions" have immense potential value. However, as Coach Darrell Royal once observed, "potential" means "you ain't done it yet."ÿ

5-0 out of 5 stars Eliminate Stalled Thinking About World Business Leadership
Many of us become aware of a few models of how to prosper. Magazines like Fotune, Forbes, and Business Week are one example; and they help us understand the e-commerce start-ups and the really LARGE companies. Books about successful leaders help as well (Jack Welch and Warrren Buffett books abound). Enrepreneurs are featured in other magazines like INC. What we get very little of is information about outstanding small and medium sized companies around the world who do things according to other ways of succeeding. This very large information gap is greatly improved by reading THE HIDDEN CHAMPIONS. If you have read and liked BUILT TO LAST, CUSTOMERS.COM, THE INNOVATOR'S DILEMMA or MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY (all are excellent books: be sure to read them if you haven't yet), be sure to add THE HIDDEN CHAMPIONS. This book is the sort of superb research that will stimulate your thinking about new models for how to succeed and prosper. The book is easy to read and understand, and you will learn about a lot of very well run businesses that you currently do not know about. You have a real treat ahead of you!

5-0 out of 5 stars Not only Fortune 500 companies deserve the spotlight
A nice change to the many many books and essays on how a Fortune 500 company did great. These small and medium sized companies are fantastic examples of what the core ingredients of a succesfull strategy are. Especially in times in which small technology companies conquer the world, the insights from the Hidden Champions are a must-read!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Study of Dominant World-Class Exporters
The main weakness of many business books is that they study the same companies over and over again and make the same points, until the companies start to do badly, and then new companies are found to describe in the same tired way. Peter Drucker told me about this book, and I am very glad that he did. By selecting very successful smaller companies with dominant world exporting positions, Hermann Simon gives us a totally different universe to consider. The lesons are very valuable, because these companies have found another path to success that most larger companies ignore. For an entrepreneur, this book is a better guide than 99% of the books about what entrepreneurs should do, because it points the way to large, lasting success. I have tried to do the same thing in my work, published annually in CHIEF EXECUTIVE magazine, by studying the most successful 100 CEOs in the country. These people also do things differently than what the business books suggest, and their model is quite different from what Hermann Simon found with these companies. The lesson seems to be that there are many paths to the top, and we should spend time finding them. This book is a "must" read for anyone who is serious about business success. I look forward to future books by Mr. Simon.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very usefull
this is a very practical guide to what are some of the best practices in medium sized businesses. Extremely usefull. Shows that family businesses are very healthfull. ... Read more


170. Top Down: Why Hierarchies Are Here to Stay and How to Manage Them More Effectively
by Harold J. Leavitt
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
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Asin: 1591394988
Catlog: Book (2004-11-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 78254
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Book Description

Authoritarian Hierarchies Are Inevitable--So Let's Learn to Live with Them

Pundits have been forecasting the demise of the hierarchical corporation for decades. We denigrate those authoritarian structures as controlling, territorial, bureaucratic, and slow-and we celebrate "alternatives" that are flatter, more democratic, and networked.

But renowned organizational behavior expert Harold J. Leavitt argues that such alternative structures have not proven viable-or even desirable-and that despite its human failings, hierarchy remains the foundational shape of every large human organization. Why? Because it works. Top Down neither defends nor attacks the much-maligned hierarchy. Rather, this counterintuitive book convincingly shows that even the "flattest" of today's organizations are really just hierarchies in disguise-and, to improve the ways hierarchies function, we must first acknowledge their inevitability.

Exploring both the benefits and shortcomings of top-down structures, Leavitt shows how leaders can reshape hierarchies to incorporate the human values and motivations that enable employees to thrive. He then offers middle managers suggestions about how best to negotiate the way through those authoritarian mazes, while maintaining their personal integrity and even finding satisfaction in their work.

Top Down is a refreshing "get real" examination of the true state of today's workplace-and an important step toward creating organizations that are efficient and productive, but also egalitarian and humane.

Harold J. Leavitt is Kilpatrick Professor of Organizational Behavior Emeritus, the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University.

... Read more


171. Net Worth
by John Hagel III, Marc Singer
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
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Asin: 0875848893
Catlog: Book (1999-01-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 402547
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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No one ever said consumerism was easy. At one end, the poor consumer faces a bewildering array of goods and services. On the other, vendors contend with a diverse and fragmented marketplace that makes finding the right set of customers akin to finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. And in between are the billions misspent on muffed purchases and broken marketing campaigns that serve only to stuff mailboxes and alienate the very customers that vendors are trying to attract. The rise of e-commerce has only intensified the problem by offering consumers even greater choice and vendors more competition.John Hagel and Marc Singer think they've got a better idea, and in Net Worth, they present an online scenario that would end this chaos and give both customers and vendors what they really want.

At the heart of Hagel and Singer's solution is the "infomediary" that sits between the customer and vendor. For the consumer, the infomediary acts as a trustworthy agent who knows the needs and habits of the client. For the vendor, the infomediary is the holy grail of consumer behavior, a marketer's dream. The infomediary brokers client information to vendors in exchange for goods and services for the consumer. The result? Happy consumers, satisfied marketers, and a very lucrative business model that awaits those entrepreneurs and companies that are bold enough to embrace the idea. The authors painstakingly outline the challenges and opportunities of developing an infomediary business and go as far as to peg the potential market cap of a dominant player at $20 billion by its fifth year of operation. While the idea of software agents is nothing new, Hagel and Singer may be breathing new life into the idea at just the right time. And even if infomediaries never arise, following the thinking of Hagel and Singer is well worth the price of admission. For marketers, managers, entrepreneurs, and just about anyone who thinks about e-commerce. Highly recommended.--Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Clear Threat That You Ignore At Your Own Peril
You must read this book. Information is the goldmine in the Internet age, and the company that has the gateway to the Internet population's customer information will be more powerful than Bill Gates.

Hagel's vision is so true, it is scary ... someone is going to control that information, and it is not going to be the credit agency, or the cable company, or Microsoft, but rather a company that is focused on giving the customers the best deal for their information.

If you don't understand why Hagel's predictions will come true, you have not spent enough time in a Fortune 500 company spending millions of dollars on market research for worthless data. Once THE infomediary comes up and offers companies a list of customers who are interested in their product AND want to be contacted, that infomediary will replace all the consumer research, advertising agency and market research expenditures which represent over 10% of these companies' global marketing budget.

A tremendous, visionary book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Net Worth - a worthwhile read
Net Worth John Hagel III and Marc Singer

Net Worth is relevant to three very different audiences. To business leaders in perhaps fifty large and mature businesses, not yet publicly associated with innovation on the Net , it provides a detailed plan for building a $4bn turnover businesss within ten years, by dominating a new business category, that of 'infomediary'. Achieving category dominance has high initial investment costs but, particularly in relation to other Net business lines, it is genuinely a category where winner takes all and with highly attractive barriers to new competitors. To database marketers, to vendors of consumer data and to CRM specialists, it sets out the very different model which the Net will create in the way consumer data are accessed, used and profitably traded. To the generalist reader of business titles it offers a clear and challenging argument as to why, to survive, most businesses will have to focus much more selectively on a much narrower section of the value chain than they currently attempt to cover.

Despite its title, I suspect that Net Worth has little to say to those whose interest in the Internet is as a tool for delivering information to consumers. Its focus is on the Internet as a tool for generating information about consumers. But do not think you couldn't profit from this book just because you are not an e-commerce specialist..

A sequel to Net Gain The authors are consultants at McKinsey & Co. For one, John Hagel, Net Worth represents the evolution of a thought process begun in Net Gain. The thought process is an original one - it does not seem to borrow on other academic literature - but it is clear that the authors have benefited from much collective pondering on the part of McKinsey as to where equity value is most likely to be gained in an Internet-enabled world.

Polemical clarity The style is neither that of an academic or of a practitioner. To some it may seem too much a polemic. At times it is as though you are reading transcripts of board level management presentations. You are bludgeoned rather than seduced. There is little room for uncertainty - other than who will win the prize - and none for humour. Full marks, however, for the clarity of the text and of the argument. Copyright, intersetingly, is vested in McKinsey.

The Net Worth thesis is built on a clearly articulated model. In this model companies will in the future increasingly specialise in particular stages of the value chain, in innovation within the production of specific consumer services, almost as commodities; in the manner in which these products and services are communicated to, and delivered in customised form to meet the increasingly specific demands and circumstances of, individual customers; and in infrastructure support services which will become increasingly standardised. Innovation, customisation and cost reduction will be the core qualities needed by successful companies in these three stages of the value chain.

Customer profiles The 'customisers', who specialise in the management of the customer relationship, will have at the core of their business proposition the leveraging of information on consumers, or customer 'profiles'. To deliver effective personalisation and satisfy increasingly demanding consumers, these organisations will need to operate across multiple product categories. In addition, they will increasingly rely on their ability to gain the active endorsement of the consumer for access to and use of their web usage as well as demographic and product purchasing characteristics. Expertise in the manipulation of these data to provide tailored services to both consumers and to potential providers will be their key competence.

Infomediaries To the consumer, allowing a trusted infomediary to consolidate their personal profile into a single data source has a number of attractions. It reduces the number of times common personal attributes have to be made available to suppliers. Assuming the infomediary can be trusted, it reduces the concerns over privacy and misuse of personal data. By interposing between the consumer and providers, the infomediary can negotiate better terms with suppliers; can require them to customise their offers in such a way as to better meet the needs of groups of consumers with similar needs; can enforce controls to suppress irrelevant communication, and conversely can initiate relevant proactive communications. In an era when the consumer is increasingly unwilling to offer personal information without exacting a price, and when most companies lack the expertise to pattern existing data into sensible communication strategies, such a shift would offer benefits all round.

A frictionless market? Few readers would find flaws in this logic, other than the touchingly Benthamite faith in the extent to which rational self-interest can be relied on to drive consumer behaviour into a world in which brand values - other than those of the trusted infomediary of course - would increasingly wither away. Hagel and Singer's heaven is a totally frictionless market - which marks them out as inhabitants of the Net world rather than that of Madison Square.

Outsourcing Whatever companies' ambitions to relive past glories, Hagel and Singer are particularly compelling when they argue how, in an increasingly complex business world, companies cannot survive unless they develop management cultures appropriate to the positions in the value chain they want to fill, and that the contrasting cultures for each position are becoming increasingly difficult for any single organisation to nurture and sustain within a single operation. From outsourcing the canteen and the cleaning, and then the manufacturing of assembled components, it may not be absurd for Ford to move to the outsourcing of the entire manufacturing process, but not the design, while it positions itself to the consumer as the relationship manager for all consumer (and business) needs associated with the funding, provision, insurance and maintenance of personal transportation needs.

The benefits of scale The other proposition I found compelling - as one might expect from McKinsey employees - was that, unlike other Internet businesses, many of which suffer from very low entry barriers and attempt to replicate traditional businesses but in more frictionless and hence lower cost forms - the position of an infomediary was more akin to the owner of an operating system in terms of benefits of scale. The more customers you have persuaded to trust you with their data, the greater your commercial influence with suppliers on their behalf. The more producers you deal with, the greater the width of data you build up on your consumer customers, and the more attractive you become to them. The more they deal through you, and the longer your relationship, the richer becomes your database and the more difficult it becomes for competitors to provide your customers with a service of equal value. Such dynamics do not apply to the same degree to individual sites or to portals, or indeed to suppliers of 'old world' products and services.

Given the pace of change in the world of e-commerce, you might suppose that the Net Worth thesis could increasingly be justified or refuted by market events in the 18 months since its original conception. Other than Scoot I cannot at present identify any aspirant European infomediary as would be defined by Hagel and Singer. However, in markets such as financial services, utilities, cars, home buying and travel, in the UK at least, we are daily witnessing the decomposition of the traditional value chain as predicted. What is foretold in this book is, I'm confident, a long-term shift, and I would hazard that evidence so far supports rather than refutes the arguments it sets out.

In summary, a worthwhile read. You don't have to read it all, or read it in any particular sequence. Better read in a train or plane than at home or on holiday.

Richard Webber FIDM Managing Director Micromarketing Division, Experian, UK

This review was published in the Journal - Interactive Marketing. www.henrystewart.com/journals/im

5-0 out of 5 stars Dimensions and Applications of Effective "Infomediation"
Hagel has co-authored two especially important books (with Arthur G. Armstrong III and Marc Singer, respectively) and Net Worth "which builds on a number of the themes originally developed" in Net.Gain. 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 in Net Worth is carefully organized within three Parts: The New Infomediaries, Entry Strategies, and The Infomediation of Markets. Hagel and Armstrong also provide an Appendix: The Technology Tool Kit, followed by excellent suggestions for further reading. According to Hagel and Singer, "We came up with a key insight. Digital networks such as the Internet might for the first time provide the tools necessary for customers to capture information about themselves and to deny vendors access to this information....It became clear that there would be an opportunity for a new kind of business -- we call it 'information intermediary' or 'infomediary' -- to help customers capture, manage, and maximize the value of this information."

Hagel and Singer challenge a number of common views about the Internet: "First, we urge senior managers not to view the Internet simply as a way to do the same things cheaper and faster....Second, we reject the notion that the Internet is uniformly leading to disintermediation, creating opportunities for vendors to connect directly with customers while relentlessly eliminating all intermediaries that previously came in the way....Third, we question whether the real value of the Internet is in information access. The Internet instead is a powerful platform for connecting people or businesses with each other, enriched and enhanced by relevant information....Fourth, we are suspicious of claims that the Internet will systematically lower barriers to entry and lead to fragmentation of businesses." These excerpts from the text correctly suggest that (a) Hagel and Singer believe that there are several quite serious misconceptions about the Internet relative to virtual communities and (b) they have quite specific opinions about how best to shape markets at a time when customers determine what the terms of engagement are.

They assert (and I wholeheartedly agree) that companies playing the "infomediary" role are now -- or will soon become -- the custodians, agents, and brokers of customer information, marketing it to businesses (and providing then with access to it) on consumers' behalf, while at the same time (key point) protecting their privacy. In the final chapter, Hagel and Singer observe that "This book has argued that infomediaries can play an extremely valuable market role in reconciling the tension between the growing value of customer information and the growing concern over customer privacy....[Over time] infomediaries will reshape firms and markets. In doing so, they will unleash broad social changes and call into question many conventional approaches to public policy. Our response to these social and public policy issues will in many respects determine the pace and the ultimate effects of this innovative new business model." It is probably impossible to calculate the full value of what Hagel and Singer provide in this single volume. Theirs is a stunning achievement.

Beyond its obvious implications for multi-national enterprise, the concept of "infomediation" may well be the defining principle of global connectivity and interactivity for decades to come. My strong recommendation is that Net.Gain 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. Those who share my high regard for the two books are urged to check out Peter Senge's The Fifth Discipline as well as O'Dell and Grayson's If Only We Knew What They Know. Both can also help with the planning and then implementing the off-site workshop recommended earlier.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well done book on the marginal value of information
The ecommerce "correction" of early 2000 forces us to re-examine the true economic value of the Internet. Growth alone can't sustain real value.

Net Worth has a different approach. The authors look at the margins in transactions and seeing how information can capitalize on these margins by making transactions more efficient. This, they argue, has value.

Although the book was written in the heyday of the Internet, when a bright idea was a license to print money, I find the book to be even more valuable today, as we start to look at where we can mine long-term value from Internet approaches.

5-0 out of 5 stars On the Cluetrain
Whatever you may think about the infomediary business model -- and I've got my own reservations -- the real value of this book lies in its approach to thinking about the challenges and opportunities of serious e-commerce. This isn't a simple formula for overnight success or (god help us) yet another instance of high-tech boosterism. Instead, it offers deep insight into the dynamics which businesses must grasp in order to survive and prosper in a networked economy. Following on Hagel's previous work, Net Gain, this book will richly repay the attentive reader. Even if your ultimate response is a critique of its axioms and assumptions, you'll come away smarter from having engaged in the exercise. Highly recommended. ... Read more


172. Fast Forward: The Best Ideas on Managing Business Change (Harvard Business Review Book Series)
by James Champy, Nitin Nohria
list price: $29.50
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Asin: 0875846734
Catlog: Book (1996-03-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 585341
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173. Blown to Bits: How the New Economics of Information Transforms Strategy
by Philip Evans, Thomas S. Wurster
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Asin: 087584877X
Catlog: Book (1999-10-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 48228
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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Philip Evans and Thomas S. Wurster think that the Internet can blow away practically any business, and in Blown to Bits, they examine how the new economy is "deconstructing" industries such as newspapers, auto retailing, and banking while creating new opportunities for others. They write that the "glue that holds today's value chains and supply chains together" is melting, and that even "the most stable of industries, the most focused of business models and the strongest of brands can be blown to bits by new information technology."

Evans and Wurster, both executives of the Boston Consulting Group, argue that the Internet demands new business strategies because it provides companies tremendous "reach" for customers without sacrificing "richness," or the quality of the information about products and services. The book shows how some businesses--Microsoft and Intuit in personal finance, Dell Computer in retailing, and the Automotive Network Exchange in manufacturing supply--are thriving amid a rapid expansion of connectivity and the widespread acceptance of new technical standards on the World Wide Web. Clearly written and tough-minded, Blown to Bits is required reading for business leaders, entrepreneurs, strategists, and others concerned about the new economics of the information age. --Dan Ring ... Read more

Reviews (64)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good discussion of eCommerce Dynamics
Blown to bits provides a good review of the fundamental issue in eCommerce, what are you going to be when you go virtual. The premise, that you compete on reach or richeness, provides a way of distinguishing the various paths through eC as well as the impact of eCommerce on business models and market structures. Overall, the book is worth the read, however, the authors rely too heavily on the richness/reach framework so it shows some wear-n-tear latter on in the book. This is a strategy/economics type work, so if you are looking for implementation guidance this is not the book for you. If you are looking for something that will help explain what eCommerce may be doing to your company and markets its as good as anything out there and better than most.

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Insight into the New Economics of Information
Richness or reach? The trade-off used to be simple but absolute: your business strategy either could be focus on "rich" information-customized products and services tailored to a niche audience-or could reach out to a larger market, but with watered-down information that sacrificed richness in favour of a broad, general appeal. Much of business strategy as we know it today rests on this fundamental dilemma.

Now, say Evans and Wurster, the new economics of information is eliminating the trade off between richness and reach, blowing apart the foundations of traditional business strategy. Blown to Bits reveals how the spread of connectivity and common standards is redefining the information channels that link businesses with their customers, suppliers, and employees. Increasingly, your customers will have rich access to a universe of alternatives, your suppliers will exploit direct access to your customers, and your competitors will pick off the most profitable parts of your value chain. Your competitive advantage is up for grabs.

To prepare corporate executives and entrepreneurs alike for a fundamental change in business competition, Evans and Wurster expand and illuminate groundbreaking concepts first explored in their award-winning Harvard Business Review article "Strategy and the New Economics of Information", and present a practical guide for applying them.

Examples span the spectrum of industries-from financial services to health care, from consumer to industrial goods, and from media to retailing. Blown to Bits shows how to build new strategies that reflect a world in which richness and reach go hand in hand and how to make the most of the new forces shaping competitive advantage.

Philip Evans is a Senior Vice President of The Boston Consulting Group. Thomas S. Wurster is a Vice President of The Boston Consulting Group in Los Angeles. The authors are co-leaders of The Boston Consulting Group's Media and Convergence Practice.

Reviewed by Azlan Adnan. Formerly Business Development Manager with KPMG, Azlan is currently Managing Partner of Azlan & Koh Knowledge and Professional Management Group, an education and management consulting practice based in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysian Borneo. He holds a Master's degree in International Business and Management from the Westminster Business School in London.

1-0 out of 5 stars Internet Hype
The authors must be embarrassed. But they are probably too busy on their next bogus book full of more mananagement consulting buzzspeak and claptrap.
"Blown to Bits"?--perhaps they were referring to the bursting of the Internet bubble??

5-0 out of 5 stars Blown to Bits
BLOWN TO BITS
How the new Economics of Information transforms Strategy
Authored by Philip Evans & Thomas S. Wurster

By Mike Jones
Management Information Systems
05/27/03

This book is about how the new age of technology dealing with the way information has changed the business environment forever. It starts out with the example of Encyclopedia Britanica and how they were leaders in their field in the late eighties and early nineties. Though they were very pricey the sales force targeted families with young children and the parents had to have this source of valuable information for their children. Sales were very high and there was no competition for the Encyclopedia icon. Everything was great until the computer age took hold and all of a sudden you could get that same information on a little round disk known as a CD-ROM for a fraction of the cost. That disk was even being given away with the purchase of a microcomputer that people could use for other things as well. This goes to show us that even the strongest business can be blind sided when they least expect it. Moral to be learned here is that "even the most venerable can be the most vulnerable".
All businesses are information businesses and the information is the main glue that holds any business together. The business of information is different than the business of things. When something is sold, the seller no longer owns it but when a piece of information is sold, the seller still has access to that information and can sell it again. Although the two are different they are still very much linked together as all things consist of some kind of information.
One of the most fundamental issues of the information business in the beginning was the dilemma of Richness and Reach. It was nearly impossible to have both Richness and Reach in information but the rise of the computer industry and the Internet has changed that forever. There are six aspects that come into play when talking about Richness of information and they are Bandwidth, interactivity, reliability, security, currency and the degree to which the information can be customized. This has all changed with the computer. This change is melting the informational glue, as we know it. It "deconstructs" value chains, supply chains, franchises and organizations. The definition of deconstruction is the reformulation of traditional business structures. The newspaper industry and retail banking is just a couple of businesses that have been deconstructed. You used to have to go to the bank to do your banking and newspapers were either delivered or you had to go get them. Now both can be done via the personal computer at nearly no cost and in a fraction of the time. Deconstruction does a lot of damage at first and hits where a company can least afford it and if a company is willing to accept the change it can make it through tough times.
Intermediaries exist because of the trade off between richness and reach. The deconstruction of the old intermediaries is known as disinter mediation and the creation of the new intermediaries is known as navigation. Disinter mediation used to be about substituting reach for richness but now it is about transforming them both. This will happen where a company can least afford it. The new navigators compete against each other on richness, reach and affiliation. The key is reach but reach is clutter without navigation. We need navigation to find what we want. Navigators are not consumer oriented even though consumers use them. They are supplier oriented because the supplier needs to get their product to the consumer. Reach has developed faster than navigation but we are slowly catching up.
Navigators affiliate mostly with suppliers but are starting to lean toward affiliating themselves with the consumer. This is surprising that this is only happening now and hasn't happened in the past. Navigation is worth more than the supplier business due to the need for navigation because without navigation the products and services would not get to the consumer.
Adding richness is the most powerful way to put off deconstruction due to the fact that if your giving people what they want you will stay in business. You need to be giving them something they don't already have which makes the consumer your biggest competitor. Richness goes up as reach increases. As richness and reach escalate so does the competitive advantage and intensity at all levels of the supply chain.
In closing I would like to say one thing and that is business has changed forever with the desktop workstations and microcomputers and the Internet. People are touching out to one another unlike they have ever done before. Networks are connected to networks all over the world. A message can get across the globe with the touch of a keyboard. Business is ever changing and will continue to change for a long time to come. We will either keep up and make the changes necessary or we will be left behind and fail. As it said in the book "The winner is not the player who understands the endgame. There is no endgame. The winner is the player who sees just one or two moves further ahead than the competitors".

5-0 out of 5 stars How information economy is going to blow your business?
It is common sense to say that industrial age businesses will have to change to enter in the new Information economy, but the reasons to change are not often clearly explained. Philip Evans and Thomas S. Wurster are giving some sound answers in their book: "Blown to Bits".

In fact industrial age businesses are historically built on two compromises: Information bound with things and a trade-off between richness and reach. Information is embedded in things to reach through physical channels the final consumer, who have some difficulties to get complete unbiased information on things he buys. On the other hand, physical constraints and costs are creating a need to find balance between richness (depth and detail of information) and reach (access and connection). A salesman is able to bring richness to chosen customers when advertising is reaching more people with less richness in information. The management of Information non-transparency and asymmetry is often the base for a competitive advantage.

What is happening if Information can travel separately from things and if it is possible to offer richness and reach at a same time? In that case the industrial age compromises are blowing up and competitive advantages based on asymmetric Information are disappearing putting many businesses in danger. This is what is happening with the development of computers networks using common standards to communicate in the Internet world where geography and time constraints are disappearing. Information can be unbundled from things and richness, at zero marginal cost, can be supplied with extended reach. The competition battlefield is moving from profitable cross-linked activities constituting a typical industrial age organization to individual profitable activities: "blown to bits." To compete there is no need to attack on all fronts for destabilizing a traditional company. Just concentrate on the more profitable activities-classified ads for newspapers, best customers for banks-makes it possible to "deconstruct" a business. Offering richness and reach together-deeper information on a larger range of products than retailers-makes it is possible to "desintermediate".

It's real hard time for traditional organizations, which have no other alternative than to "deconstruct" and "desintermediate" themselves their own business, before somebody else is doing it. But this task is not easy against the "navigators" as Yahoo!, Intuit, but also Amazon. These one are helping consumers to find their way in the Internet marketspace. They supply reach, richness and create a link with consumers by affiliation. They concentrate more on consumers' needs than on suppliers' one and have the objective to gain a critical mass giving them an added value. Traditional companies, often too closed to their physical offer, have lower reach than "navigators" and have difficulties to gain affiliation from customers who are suspecting them to promote their own products before liberating an impartial Information. However, they can build on a slight advantage in product richness, when products are changing rapidly.

To really compete, traditional companies need to go out from their own boundaries, and collaborate with their suppliers, but also with their competitors when needed. Supply chains and organizations are "deconstructed" as value chains are. Hierarchically leadership becomes obsolete to give place to a new leadership creating a culture and shaping a strategy, which will be the "glue" for a new corporation, a purposeful community.

"Blown to Bits" gives many other keys as enhancing "brands as experience", creating "new intermediaries" towards a fascinating "New Economy" and I can only recommend to every executive to read this book to make sure to be aboard the train going to our common digital future. ... Read more


174. Harvard Business Review on Managing Uncertainty (The Harvard Business Review Paperback Series)
by Hugh Courntney, Jane Kirlsnd, Patrick Viguerie, De Geus Arie P., Claton M. Christensen
list price: $19.95
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Asin: 0875849083
Catlog: Book (1999-02-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 239449
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

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

Harvard Business Review on Managing Uncertainty presents leading-edge ideas to help managers make strategic decisions in an increasingly uncertain world.Includes the landmark piece "Competing for the Future" by Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars An useful survey on strategies under uncertainty
Why shoudn't we read the original books on the subject, the uncertainty ? If we are managers under pressure and without sufficient time, a similar collection is really useful. Of course, some auctors should be considered in total(Hamel & Prahalad), but this book offers a good insight on the matter. And some explications about companies strategies (competition based on the innovation rythm, for instance, in the last article) ... Read more


175. The Harvard Business School Guide to Careers in the Nonprofit Sector (A Harvard Business School Career Guide)
by Stephanie Lowell
list price: $22.95
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Asin: 157851231X
Catlog: Book (2000-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 65293
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Guiding MBAs into the Nonprofit Sector

As interest in nonprofit sector careers grows among MBA students and MBAs further along in their careers, the number of interesting opportunities and the need for MBA skills in this sector also continues to spiral upward. Yet MBA students and alums have experienced frustration with the job search process in this field. The Harvard Business School Guide to Careers in the Nonprofit Sector is a great resource for newly minted MBAs and alums interested in entering the nonprofit sector - whether as full-time managers, board members, or volunteers.

Tapping the career histories of thirty-four Harvard Business School alums who have carved out successful and personally rewarding lives in the nonprofit sector, Stephanie Lowell has created a resource that is both inspirational and practical. Topics covered include:
nonprofit subsector overviews with descriptions of key roles and positions for MBAs the pros and cons of a nonprofit career managing expectations salary expectations cultural differences the job search process as it applies to nonprofits an extensive bibliography of resources Reflecting the depth and breadth of the nonprofit sector, the HBS Guide covers management careers in arts and culture, community economic development, education, environment, foundations, government, health care, international aid and economic development, social services, social purpose businesses, and socially responsible business/corporate community relations. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Work for nonprofits
I've just finished reading Stephanie Lowell's Careers in the Nonprofit Sector. I recommend it highly. Almost every page contains a profile about someone working with nonprofits. Lowell supports these profiles with thorough discussions of how to find work in nonprofits, why work for nonprofits, and what nonprofits are like.

About half of the book categorizes the nonprofits. I found these the most useful sections. They subdivide each sector, list the hot topics, discuss the roles for MBAs, present profiles, and provide addresses and web sites.

There is two recurring themes: the rewards of working for nonprofits and the importance of volunteering. Everyone working for a nonprofit or wanting to work for a nonprofit should read this book. ... Read more


176. Peak Performance: Aligning the Hearts and Minds of Your Employees
by Jon R. Katzenbach
list price: $29.95
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Asin: 0875849369
Catlog: Book (2000-03-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 202314
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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There was a time, not too long ago, when employees were encouraged to check their emotions at the corporate door. The workplace was considered a strictly professional environment, in which personal emotions had no place. Management theorists finally woke up to the realization that this practice didn't, in the long run, actually benefit the company. In Peak Performance, Jon Katzenbach expands on this realization. He asserts that today's companies will get the best work from their employees and beat the competition only when they actively seek out, cultivate, and sustain the energy generated by their employees' emotional commitment to work.

Though many companies pay lip service to the notion of employee fulfillment, most do not actually focus critical attention on this vital component of corporate success. Those that do, Katzenbach contends, consistently attain higher levels of workforce performance than their competitors. While these companies share some characteristics in their employee management ideals, they do not follow identical methods of achieving and sustaining the emotional commitment of their employees. In the course of conducting extensive research into the high-performing workforces of more than 20 companies, Katzenbach has identified five distinct paths that, he believes, achieve a balance between enterprise performance and employee fulfillment: Mission, Values, and Pride; Process and Metrics; Entrepreneurial Spirit; Individual Achievement; and Recognition and Celebration.

To define the leadership philosophy and illustrate the defining characteristics of each path, Katzenbach uses case studies and extensive interviews with the employees of such enterprises as The Home Depot, Southwest Airlines, the U.S. Marine Corps, Avon, the Silicon Valley underwriter Hambrecht & Quist, McKinsey & Co., and Marriott International. He explores the different ways of aligning the workforce energy that is generated and demonstrates the necessity of enforcing disciplined behavior. The result is a book of evidence for company leaders interested in getting the best and the most from their workforce; it is not an altruistic plug in support of the happy worker but rather a pragmatic exposition of the best conditions for achieving peak performance. --S. Ketchum ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars Achieving and Then Sustaining an Emotional Balance
In the Preface, Katzenbach explains that "The central topic of this book -- energized workforces that deliver higher (peak) performance -- can be defined as any group of employees whose emotional commitment enables them to make or deliver products or services that constitute a sustainable competitive advantage for their employer. By peak performance [italics] we mean the norm, better than expected, better than the competition, and better than similar workforces in other places." These clarifications are important, especially the reference to "sustainable", because Katzenbach is not talking about the "hot groups" which Lipmen-Blumen and Leavitt analyze nor the types of groups which Bennis examines in Organizing Genius [italics].

In Chapter 1, Katzenbach suggests four criteria by which to identify "higher-performing workforces. They are: More than one-third of the workers consistently exceed the expectations of their leaders and customers, the average worker outperforms the average competitive worker, a strong emotional commitment to higher standards and aspirations is manifest throughout the entire workforce, and finally, the collective performance of that workforce or of critical segments (typically at the front line) creates the core of the organization's competitive advantage...and is extremely difficult to copy.

Katzenbach organizes his material within three Parts: Maintaining the Critical Balance, Exploring the Five Balanced Paths [Mission, Values, and Pride; Process and Metrics; Entrepreneurial Spirit; Individual Achivement; and Recognition and Celebration], and Applying the Lessons Learned. He then provides an Appendix in which he skillfully summarizes key points about 27 "Participant Companies and Organizations" and "Outside-In Cases" which include The Home Depot, McKinsey & Company, NASA, Southwest Airlines, Toyota, the U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. Navy Seals.

It would be a mistake to assume, however, that Katzenbach has only larger organizations in mind. On the contrary. If anything, the "critical balance" between enterprise performance and employee fulfillment is even more important in small-to-midsize organizations than it is in organizations such as those previously listed because, in a smaller organization, an individual worker can have greater impact...be it positive or negative. For Katzenbach, having an appropriate "critical balance" will enable any organization to "stay the course and successfully climb" any "mountain" it may encounter because it has "an emotionally committed, peak-performance workforce."

5-0 out of 5 stars Characteristics of the Five Balanced Paths
"This book is concerned with energizing people for performance and the different successful paths to that end". Jon R. Katzenbach writes, "It describes how each path concentrates management attention on worker fulfillment to harness the emotions of many people in sustaining a higher-performing workforce. This is a different challenge than simply motivating people to meet demanding financial performance objectives. The latter is what most companies do, and it implies setting unambiguous goals, establishing clear measures, and holding people individually accountable for results (consequence management). Logical, rational motivation is certainly a good thing, but it is no match for engaged, emotional commitment...Energizing people for performance elevates the game significantly, to the point that many employees go well beyond leaders' expectations, individual accountabilities, financial resuts, and short-term market objectives. This book describes how to unleash the full individual and collectve potential of people to achieve and sustain higher levels of performance than the workers themselves thought possible, than management or customers expected, and than competitors can realistically achieve. Unleashing the full potential of people is undeniably a tall order; few institutions have managed to do it consistently. This book explores the approaches of those who apparently have gone far beyond any conventional notions of managing solely to meet ambitious financial objectives. It looks at how such institutions tap into worker fulfillment to develop the extra quotient of emotional commitment that deeply energizes many people to perform well beyond conventional norms".

In this context, Jon R. Katzenbach introduces five paths (balanced paths) that explain all the higher-performing workforce situations. As argued by Katzenbach, "each path constitutes a clearly different approach for energizing a workforce for higher performance. Certainly, there are overlaps and similarities among the paths, but the primary focus and value proposition of each is quite distinct". Hence, throughout this invaluable study, he explores these five paths as the overarching concept or framework for this book. And he defines (1) top management philosophy, and (2) characteristics of the five balanced paths as follows:

I- Mission, Values, and Pride:

(1). Employees will feel truly proud of what this enterprise stands for, what their specific work group can accomplish, and what they can contribute, both collectively and individually; their pride will be continually reinforced with external and internal recognition.

(2). a. Noble purpose

b. Rich history

c. Strong values

d. Group cohesion

II- Process and Metrics:

(1). Employees who consistently meet and exceed their metrics and adhere to the critical process requirements will be recognized and respected by their peers and conspicuously recognized and rewarded by management.

(2). a. Clear measures and standards

b. Focused processes

c. Performance transparency

d. Collaborative and collective effort

III- Entrepreneurial Spirit:

(1). Employees will be rewarded directly in proportion to what they create and the personal risk they incur; those rewards have virtually unlimited upside financial and ownership potential.

(2). a. High earning opportunity

b. Strong ownership interests

c. Personel risk

IV- Individual Achievement:

(1). Employees will be recognized and rewarded directly in proportion to their personal accomplishments. They will be paid and advanced based on those contributions, and they will work alongside talented individuals in the field.

(2). a. Lots of opportunity

b. Individuals given freedom to act

c. Focus on individual performance

d. Performance-based advancement

e. Healty competitiveness

V- Recognition and Celebration:

(1). Employees will be recognized, rewarded, and celebrated in dozens of ways-by supervisors and colleagues as well as top management-for their collective and individual contributions. As a result, they will work in an environment alive with enthusiasm, excitement, and fun and wherein formal compensation is of secondary importance.

(2). a. Widespread recognition/reward

b. Lots of specific events

c. Visible high energy

d. Social interaction and fun

Strongly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Hit From Jon Katzenbach
Using exciting companies such as The Home Depot, Southwest Airlines and Marriott, Dr. Katzenbach weaves a strong case balancing care of the workforce with top-notch organizational performance. His formula includes a number of possible tracks to follow. Any one, or a combination of the alternatives, can surely add value to your organization.

The book is a primer for line leaders and human resource executives showing how companies can have their cake and eat it to. He builds a powerful argument suggesting that strong companies can be built on a compelling story that satisfies both the workforce and the bottom line.

I strongly recommend this book to those seeking the "secret sauce" of workforce alignment. It is clearly another Jon Katzenbach winner! ... Read more


177. Harvard Business Review on Advances in Strategy
by Robert Kaplan, Kathy Eisenhardt, Don Sull, Peter Tufano, Orit Gadiesh, James Gilbert, Mohanbir Sawhney, Michael Porter
list price: $19.95
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Asin: 1578518032
Catlog: Book (2002-05-07)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 151828
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Book Description

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

This collection features the latest breakthroughs in strategy from some of the most pre-eminent names in the field.

... Read more


178. Total Access
by Regis McKenna
list price: $27.50
our price: $18.70
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Asin: 1578512441
Catlog: Book (2002-03-29)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 323350
Average Customer Review: 3.55 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Marketing as we know it is disappearing, declares industry legend Regis McKenna.As marketers focus on advertising and promotion, the chief information officer is automating their core functions. As they obsess over brand, the chief strategy officer is dispersing their responsibilities throughout the organization. And as they squabble over whether marketing is an art or a science, McKenna argues that they're completely overlooking what marketing has become: a technology.

What does this displacement mean for the future of marketing and its role in today's increasingly networked organizations? Who will manage the all-important customer relationship-and how? In this bold new book, McKenna marshals over forty years of experience as a marketing innovator, investor, and industry visionary to explore an emerging-and essentially different-marketing paradigm.

In this unconventional model, says McKenna, computers and the network do most of the work, from data gathering to customer care and response. The marketing function disappears into a network of relationships and responsibilities between man and machine throughout the value chain. Total consumer access to-and interaction with-the marketplace replaces the archaic broadcast model. For marketers, the end goal changes from creating brand awareness to satisfying customers. And brand itself becomes a"persistent presence" which sustains the customer dialogue however and whenever the customer chooses.

McKenna argues that marketers must shed their marginal role as image creators and take on the brave new role of managing this new infrastructure. They must learn to operate with one foot in marketing and one foot in information systems-integrating the people and technological tools necessary to deliver value and novelty to every customer anytime, all the time. Competitive advantage will come from engaging the entire business in this total access network-making marketing a mission-critical, enterprise-wide responsibility.

A rousing manifesto by a renowned pioneer of high-tech marketing, Total Access will remake marketing and redefine success in our networked world. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
The premise of this book is that the process and function of marketing are changing - in large part due to changes in technology. While it's hard to argue with that basic premise, you're likely to find yourself agreeing with some of the author's opinions about the implications of these changes and disagreeing with others. Whether you agree or disagree with McKenna's predictions for the future, you'll probably find them thought-provoking. The theme I found most compelling was that technology, along with a number of other factors, is likely to bring an end to the era in which branding dominates marketing thought.

4-0 out of 5 stars Has some great new ideas, bad news for traditional marketers
While the book tends to go round and round a bit, its central theme (the evolution of branding to include all channels of access and the need for a new marketing discipline) is very thought provoking.

McKenna argues that many of the functions traditionally performed by marketers under the auspices of "brand" such as customer service, market intelligence, etc. are being performed by IT departments. He warns marketers that their jobs are being absorbed by the CTO and CIO.

His description of a new kind of "Marketing Architecture" is very interesting. The book manages to tie channels of access together with loyalty, brand awareness, globalization, and partnerships. I found that the book required me to wrench my brain to think about marketing and technology from a very different angle.

I suspect marketers will dislike its central premise. Nobody likes to hear that their job is going to be automated by the guys in the IT department!

1-0 out of 5 stars More Regis hype
Typical puffed-up, self-promoting. How did this self-described "legend" manage to pull the wool over so many eyes? Remember - this is a PR guy! His advice on anything except self-promotion should be ignored. The book is circuitous and deadly dull.

1-0 out of 5 stars What was I thinking....
when I bought this book. Completely worthless. First, this book seemed to be a commentary rather than a book filled with facts. No references were made about any of the facts...just the author's and his family's experiences. Kind of like the John Madden of marketing. If you score more points than the opposing team you have a good chance of winning the game....duh!

2-0 out of 5 stars Too fluffy
The most valuable part of this book is in chapter 7 in which he provides the checkpoints for the marketing architecture. McKenna used the first six chapters to create the foundation from which he postulates the need for the marketing architecture -- which is chapter 7.

I bought into his reasons in the first chapter and as a result, I could have, should have gone directly to chapter 7. ... Read more


179. Harvard Business Review on Culture and Change
by Bill Munck, Rpbert Kegan, Lisa Laskow Lahe, Debra E. Meyerson, Donald Sull, Katherine M. Hudson, Paul F. Levy
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
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Asin: 1578518369
Catlog: Book (2002-05-07)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Pr
Sales Rank: 113284
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

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

This unique collection looks at the often messy and difficult process of changing workplace culture.The articles examine why there is resistance to change on the corporate and individual level and explains the effect of passive aversion to cultural problems on company performance.

... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Supplement!
I recommend this book in addition to my own, "Strategic Organizational Change." The combination of the two books works well for my students (and clients). ... Read more


180. Customer Connections: New Strategies for Growth
by Robert E. Wayland, Paul M. Cole
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
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Asin: 0875847994
Catlog: Book (1997-09-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 389030
Average Customer Review: 2.55 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

With this book, managers have a rigorous new approach to building firm value. The authors offer a comprehensive system for putting customer relationships at the center of the business and give managers the tools for implementing customer-based strategies to improve profitability and growth. Fresh, practical examples illustrate how companies-including ScrubaDub car wash, Inc. magazine, and Staples office supplies-have inventively used information and knowledge management technologies to connect with their customers in new ways. Customer Connections reveals how these firms have managed to offer products and services that match the needs of their most valuable customers. It introduces a "value compass" that enables executives to target the four sources of customer value: right customer portfolio (choosing the customers you want), range of value proposition (selecting what you want to offer them), roles in relationship (deciding what type of relationship you want with them), and rewards sharing (creating mutual value). To improve its position along of these dimensions, a firm must master the three essentials of a customer connected strategy. Wayland and Cole teach managers to ask-and act on-the right questions about generating and managing customer knowledge. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

2-0 out of 5 stars Lots of Caveats...
This book attempts to persuade the reader that businesses are best managed by customer portfolio management, a method consisting of three general parts: (a) mathematical modelling and computation of "customer value" (b) segmenting customers in "value groups" (c) optimize revenue by focusing on the "value groups" offering highest revenues

The authors' calculation of value does not include the indirect results of the customer's patronage. Will their buying habits influence others, such as their children, to remain loyal to the brand? Will their recommendations influence others to buy? This whole chain of reasoning appears absent from the text -- a puzzling omission since the importance of referrals as a positive influence in affecting sales has been known for eons.

Similarly, the authors are strangely absent with regards to providng value and quality across all products and services, not just those offering the most attractive "customer value". It should be remembered that today's carpenter, may be tomorrow's subcontractor and then may be a future home builder. By selecting and focusing only on select groups, the company's performance may be viewed by such a customer as inconsistent or spotty. Indeed, such a customer may very well ask themselves, "Will I be in the next group slighted because I'm viewed as 'low value'?" (NOTE: This is not to say that differing services can be provided to different types, levels or classes of customers. On the contrary, to fail to offer this would be foolish. Companies can, however, offer customers the *choice*, and not pre-ordain their fates, esp. when such a fate is dictated by such an abstraction.)

Relying on a highy volatile measure such as "customer value" is inherently very, very risky and one wonders if the recurrent churning of those calculations would, in fact, yield meaningful results in a fast-paced business environment.

3-0 out of 5 stars Where are your company in the ¡§customer relationship¡¨?
I found that this book is useful as it introduced a useful tool for customer relationship. The author introduced a great customer relationship model, ¡§The Value Compass¡¨.

I think that it is important for the company to understand that ¡§reduce cost¡¨ is not the most important element to achieve success. Instead, company should put effort on creating value in order to achieve goal. And we have already known that the cost of retaining customer is much lower than the cost of acquiring new customers. So, why look for new customers, when you can improve the ones you¡¦ve already got?

Customer satisfaction is one of the elements of retaining customers. And customer satisfaction can be done by ¡§creating value¡¨. This book introduced you with ¡§The Value Compass¡¨ which provided you a great tool to create value and thus build up long-term customer relationship.

With the help of ¡§The Value Compass¡¨, company can position itself among different dimensions of relationship value. After know ¡§where you are¡¨, company should decide ¡§where are you going to be¡¨, according to ¡§The Value Compass¡¨. Then the company can achieve the target position by prepare customer connection strategy, which has discussed by this book.

So, if you are in the management level of your company, if you want your company to create value to the customers in order to build long-term customers relationship, you may read this book to achieve your goal more efficiently and effectively.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not bad!
Customer connection
After reading this book, you will know what is the customer relationship model, that is the value compass and foundation of customer connection strategy.
I do agree that the author did present the book in an academic way which is quite bored. For the value compass, it is a complicated model and it is not easy to be understood. However, I remember that the author did distinguish the difference among the product manager, process manager and the network manager, this part is quite good and clear.
Also the author did explain the customer equity by using the equation, it¡¦s quite good and impressed.
Generally, I think you can learn something from this book, for example, we know that we need to create long term relationship with our customers and the critical success factor for running a business is to create value to the customers but not to reduce cost for the business.

3-0 out of 5 stars Adding Economic Value through Customer Relationships
I like books that combine qualitative and quantitative techniques to describe what must be done. Customer Connections takes on the challenge of providing that perspective.

The book's basic point is that logical thinking can be applied to developing better economic results through analyzing and pursuing the potential of different ways to have relationships with various customers. For example, some customers buy more, more often, and of higher margin products or services. Find ways to attract more of their business and your enterprise is going to be more profitable and valuable. An example of Scrub-a-Dub the car wash company explores this idea.

You are encouraged to think through this opportunity by analyzing your mix of customers, the ways that you can add value for these customers, the risk involved in acquiring them, and ways of sharing risks and rewards with customers and suppliers. Then, you create a solution that combines all four elements to produce more economic value (discounted cash flow) for your company.

To do this, you are going to need to know more about your customers than many companies know today, keep them better informed about what you are doing, and use technology to strengthen your connections in economically beneficial ways. So, there's a basic knowledge management issue to be resolved.

Like many consultants, the authors propose a complicated model that requires lots of data-gathering, analysis, building of new data bases, and improved IT systems. Ultimately, the benefits can only be estimated in advance. A set of interviews with 200 Fortune 1000 executives suggests that knowing more about customers is associated with higher growth.

In the last four years I have done a lot of research into ways that companies have changed their business models to be more successful. In that research, I was struck that the kinds of thinking described in this book were hardly ever used. So although there are lots of examples in the book of applying these concepts, I really wonder if the process to be followed is the one described here. Ultimately, the book's process reminded me of the kind of mechanical "left-brained" planning that failed for so many companies in doing their strategic thinking. The methods I have seen used were based much more on inexpensive experiments, gut feel, and rapidly rolling out the successes. The approach here is more of the opposite. Find something that should be great. Make a big bet on it. Keep your fingers crossed that your one expensive experiment will work.

The value thinking in the book is also very primitive, basically only describing the expected discounted cash flow. Every enterprise has many different economic values at a given time (depending on its value form), and expected discounted cash flow is only one. You could have removed all of the "value" references and equations in this book and not lost very much.

Ultimately, I was concerned about the book's basic concept -- that you should be customer-based in your thinking rather than customer-driven or customer-led. Being customer-based in doing value calculations can be very misleading. Few market innovations have followed from understanding customer profitability better. You still have to understand customers better . . . as they see and feel themselves.

Create more beneficial results for all those you meet!

2-0 out of 5 stars Hmmmm... I don't know about this one.
The book was part of the compulsary literature used for a relationship marketing course at my university, so I had to read it, but if I had the choice, I probably wouldn't have read it. The book provides some useful insights, but I believe the first two chapters cover the whole book. The rest consists of numerous boring case examples, which don't clarify that much. And I didn't like the authors' use of mathematics, or is that just me? I think the field of relationship marketing could be presented in a more interesting way than that. In their words, for me as a customer, the costs were higher than the value I got back for it in the end (but I don't know my mark for the exam yet :). I don't think they'll keep me as their customer. ... Read more


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