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1. The First 90 Days: Critical Success
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2. Leading Change
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3. Disneywar : The Battle for the
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4. Managing Transitions: Making the
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5. Confronting Reality : Doing What
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6. Lean Transformation: How to Change
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7. The Goal
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8. Does IT Matter? Information Technology
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9. The Improvement Guide : A Practical
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10. The Power of Appreciative Inquiry:
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11. The Heart of Change: Real-Life
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12. Double-Digit Growth : How Great
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13. The Art of Innovation : Lessons
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14. SCORE! : A Better Way to Do Busine$$:
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15. Fish! Sticks: A Remarkable Way
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16. Organization Development: BehavioralScience
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17. Mergers, Acquisitions, and Other
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18. Diagnosing and Changing Organizational
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19. An Experiential Approach to Organization
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20. The Minding Organization : Bring

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Colonel Eli Alford, U.S. Army

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

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

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

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

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

Reviews (10)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


3. Disneywar : The Battle for the Magic Kingdom
by James B. Stewart
list price: $26.95
our price: $18.33
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Asin: 0684809931
Catlog: Book
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 130977
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4. Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change
by William Bridges
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.86
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Asin: 0738208248
Catlog: Book (2003-05)
Publisher: Perseus Publishing
Sales Rank: 3990
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From the most trusted voice on transition, a revised edition of the classic practical guide to dealing with the human side of organizational change.

The business world is a place of constant change, with stories of corporate mergers, layoffs, bankruptcy, and restructuring hitting the news every day. Yet as veteran consultant William Bridges maintains, the situational changes are not as difficult for companies to make as the psychological transitions. In the best-selling Managing Transitions, Bridges provides a clear understanding of what change does to employees and what employees in transition can do to an organization.

Directed at managers and employees in today's corporations, Bridges shows how to minimize the distress and disruptions caused by change. Managing Transitions addresses the fact that it is people who have to carry out the change. When the book was originally published a decade ago, Bridges was the first to provide any real sense of the emotional impact of change and what can be done to keep it from disrupting the entire organization. With new information and commentary on layoffs, corporate suspicion, and the increasing tumult in the business world, Managing Transitions remains the definitive guide to dealing with change. ... Read more

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change
Leading a full-time staff of 20 people and over a 1000 volunteers, and having read a number of books on change, I have found William Bridges book extremely helpful. Many talk about change without thinking about the people that change can effect. William helps us understand that change is situational, while transition is emotional. He puts flesh and bones on change.

This book is well organized, breaking down transition into three phases. Phase I: "The Letting Go Stage", Phase II: "The Neutral Zone" and Phase III: "The New Beginning" In each phase William helps us understand what to anticipate and gives us extremely practical advice and checklists.

I also enjoy the awesome quotes throughout the book. Here are some great qoutes from Phase II:

"It's not so much that we're afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it's the place inbetween that we fear... It's like being between trapezes." Marilyn Ferguson

"It takes nine months to have a baby, no matter how many people you can put on the job." American saying

"An adventure is only an inconvience rightly understood. An inconvience is only an adventure wrongly understood." C.K. Chesterton

Get the book. It is well worth your investment. It will help you with your greatest asset: PEOPLE.

5-0 out of 5 stars Answers the question: Why most organizational change fails?
William Bridges is one of the world's leading experts in the area of managing the human side of change. Bridges originally introduced the notion of "transition" in his first book, Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes (1980), which was a primer on coping with the tumultuous life changes we all face on a personal level. In Managing Transitions, Bridges applies the concept of transition within the context of organizational change.

Bridges asserts that transition is not synonymous with "change." A change occurs when something in the external environment is altered. In an organizational setting this would include changes in management, organizational structure, job design, systems, processes, etc. These changes trigger an internal psychological reorientation process in those who are expected to carry out or respond to the change. Transition is this internal process that people must go through in order to come to terms with a new situation. Unless transition occurs, change will not work.

Bridges believes that the failure to identify and prepare for the inevitable human psychological adjustments that change produces is the largest single problem that organizations encounter when they implement major change initiatives.

Unfortunately, many managers, when confronted with predictable change-induced resistance by those charged with implementing a change, respond in punitive and inappropriate ways that only serve to undermine the change effort. Due to their lack of understanding of transition, they do not possess the skills to facilitate it effectively.

Leaders and managers often assume that when necessary changes are decided upon and well planned, they will just happen. Unless the transition process is handled successfully by management, all that careful decision making and detailed planning will matter little.

We must face the fact that for a change to occur, people must own it. Unless people go through the inner process of transition, they will not develop the new behavior and attitudes the change requires. Change efforts that disregard the process of transition are doomed.

Bridges presents the reader with a simple three-phase transition model that eliminates much of the mystery surrounding the human side of change. He then provides would-be change agents with a series of checklists that serve as a road map for managing transitions in the real world.

Both research and experience remind us that although a change can be implemented quickly, the psychological process of transition takes time. Transitions can take a very long time if they are not well managed. Few organizations can afford to wait that long for the results.

The good news is that leaders can learn basic transition management strategies. Armed with these skills, they can lead employees through complex and difficult changes with renewed energy and purpose, and can actually accelerate the process of transition.

With as many as half of all major organizational change efforts failing, leaders must learn new strategies and skills that will increase the odds of success. Bridges has provided us with a toolkit for managing the human side of change that is well worth considering.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
This is one of the most succinct and clearly written business books you will ever read. Author William Bridges uses language with care and precision, delivering the goods without any superfluous jargon. He cites many welcome quotations on change and innovation from a wide range of writers and thinkers whose work is not usually found in business books. He places these quotations in context with aptly chosen examples of recent business transitions, bringing intelligence and sensibility to a subject too often addressed only with clich├ęs and cant. Only those who have read many business books can fully appreciate the value of such an approach. Others will merely find that they are able to read this book from cover to cover without at any point having to wonder what the author really means to say. Managing transitions is really about helping people deal with fear and uncertainty - the key is to build trust and confidence. Everything Bridges says flows from that common sense insight, and seems obvious and necessary once he says it, though it may not seem as evident to you until you read his book. We highly recommends that you do so.

1-0 out of 5 stars crap
if you think this book is good, then you are bad.

5-0 out of 5 stars MANAGING change and more!
This book shows you how to MANAGE transitions and why transitions fail. It is an excellent read. If you want to know how to make the MOST of change, you have to be an Optimal Thinker. So read Optimal Thinking: How To Be Your Best Self too. ... Read more


5. Confronting Reality : Doing What Matters to Get Things Right
by Larry Bossidy, Ram Charan
list price: $27.50
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400050847
Catlog: Book (2004-10-19)
Publisher: Crown Business
Sales Rank: 479
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Amazon.com

In their 2002 bestseller, Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan identify why people don’t get results: they don’t execute. Bossidy and Charan are back with another stellar study on organizational behavior that shows how companies can succeed if they return to reality and examine every part of their business. Confronting Reality is based on a simple concept, but many companies approach strategy and execution in a surprisingly unreal manner and even the simplest of measurement methods, like the business model, are not applied correctly.

Cisco, 3M, KLM, Home Depot, and the Thomson Corporation are just a few of the companies that Bossidy and Charan examine. To demonstrate how to examine a business using the business model, Bossidy and Charan map out external variables, financial targets, internal activities, and an iteration stage (defined as a time to "make tradeoffs, apply and develop business savvy") to prove how a dynamically evolving business model will help improve performance.

"The version of the business model we have developed is a robust, reality-based process for thinking about the specifics of your business in a holistic way. It shows you how to tie together the financial targets you must meet, the external realities of your business and internal activities such as strategy development, operating tactics, and selection and development of people."

Larry Bossidy, retired chairman and CEO of Honeywell International and Ram Charan, author of What the CEO Wants You to Know and Profitable Growth Is Everyone's Business, have once again shed industrial-strength light on how to run a successful business. --E. Brooke Gilbert

Amazon.com Exclusive Content

Amazon.com Interview: Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan


Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan are back with Confronting Reality to show how companies can succeed if they get back to reality and examine every part of their business. Amazon.com senior editor E. Brooke Gilbert interviewed Bossidy and Charan to discuss the current business climate, their new book, and future projections.
Read the interview.



Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan Discuss the Airline Industry

Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan discuss the airline industry's failure to confront reality based on a recent Wall Sreet Journal article and their new book as a backdrop.
Read their comments.



... Read more


6. Lean Transformation: How to Change Your Business into a Lean Enterprise
by Bruce A. Henderson, Jorge L. Larco, Stephen H. Martin
list price: $26.86
our price: $22.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0964660121
Catlog: Book (1999-05-01)
Publisher: Oaklea Publishing
Sales Rank: 53552
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Known in manufacturing among those striving to maximize productivity and create pull-scheduling of production as "the yellow book," Lean Transformation: How to Change Your Business into a Lean Enterprise is used across the globe by companies as they switch to lean production and management by empowered teams. Touted by lean production experts everywhere as practical, down-to-earth, and easy to read, it warns of cultural issues that are almost certain to arise, and gives management step by step instructions as it explains clearly in terms anyone can understand such concepts as continuous flow, value stream mapping, kanban, kaizen, six sigma, just-in-time (JIT), techniques for converting to quick set-ups, and other pillars of the Toyota Production System. Indeed, Toyota may have been the first, but Toyota is not the only company that excels at lean manufacturing. Dell Computers provides another model of a successful lean enterprise as do Harley-Davidson and Pella Windows. Learn why initial improvements of 40 percent in direct labor productivity and a 50 percent reduction in the space required for manufacturing are routine when production and assembly are converted to continuous flow. Lean Transformation is chock full of real life examples of value stream mapping, how kanban can resolve material supply issues, how kaizen brainstorming can result in startling improvements overnight, how just-in-time (JIT) frees mountains of money tied up in work-in-progress, why six sigma quality needs to be built in and not inspected in, how bottlenecks can be eliminated, kanban snafus spotted before they happen, and how instilling a championship mentality in cross-functional teams can lead to increased productivity and continuous improvement that doesn't stop after the initial kaizen event.

It doesn't take a genius to know that the low cost producer that meets customers "want" dates 99% of the time yet carries only two days inventory has a tremendous competitive advantage. So put value stream mapping, just-in-time (JIT), six sigma, kanban, kaizen, continuous flow, empowered teams, and all the other techniques you'll learn about in Lean Transformation to work. Order a copy for everyone involved in your transformation into a lean enterprise. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Very Complete Look at the Lean Journey
This book will be an excellent read for both the experienced lean warrior and those new to the subject. Henderson has clearly been through many lean implementations, for his words of caution in Part I of this book could not be more accurate. Also of specific interest is a section near the end of the book on financial measurements for lean - very interesting. This would be a great book for a lean champion in any company to put on the required reading list.

5-0 out of 5 stars For any company wanting to win--a must-read
Lean Transformation is an informative yet easy-to-read guide for companies wishing to transform themselves into lean manufacturers. Authored by Bruce Henderson, CEO Invensys Controls and Jorge Larco, a leading manufacturing consultant, the book addresses topics ranging from cultural issues to mapping for continuous flow, to right-sizing machinery and quick set-up, to kanban and material handling to spreading the transformation from final assembly throughout the entire organization. Readers will learn from the experiences of Toyota, Dell Computers and others, while benefiting from the charts, diagrams and step-by-step instructions provided in the book. A must-read for any and all companies wanting to lead in the next millennium. ... Read more


7. The Goal
by Eliyahu M. Goldratt, Jeff Cox
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 0884271781
Catlog: Book (2004-07-01)
Publisher: North River Press
Sales Rank: 2474
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Over 2 million copies sold!Used by thousands of companies and hundreds of business schools!Required reading for anyone interested in the Theory of Constraints.This book, which introduces the Theory of Constraints, is changing how America does business.The Goal is a gripping, fast-paced business novel about overcoming the barriers to making money.You will learn the fundamentals of identifying and solving the problems created by constraints.From the moment you finish the book you will be able to start successfully addressing chronic productivity and quality problems. ... Read more

Reviews (189)

5-0 out of 5 stars Informative and Entertaining
Told in first person in the form of an entertaining novel, Goldratt's "The Goal" is a popular book that explores ideas valuable to managing numerous business situations. We are placed into the life of plant manager Alex Rogo as he faces an immediate production crisis and the threat of plant closure. During a business trip, he has a chance encounter with manufacturing guru Jonah.

Rogo's dialogue with this teacher as he wrestles with his own plant and it's manufacturing problems serves up a rich body of material that requires no background in manufacturing or assembly line processes. It remains interesting even as inventory management, assembly throughput, and bottleneck analyses take place in his quest to keep his plant in business. The use of a hiking trip to discuss fluctuations and dependencies as a scout troop progresses through the woods is superb, making "Herbie" a recognized name among many manufacturers. The book also provides a valuable illustration of the importance and impact of "choosing what to measure," that is, which numbers (production data) one should track to determine the effectiveness of an operation.

Reading "The Goal" is well worth the time for anyone managing a business. Its principles are far-reaching and applicable in a wide variety of situations. Given its popularity, you can pretty much bet that your competitors have read it.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Goal: Book of Plenty or Plenty of Book?
The main objective of the text is to present Goldratt's theory of constraints. The story is meant to present what would otherwise be a boring and dry text in an easy to read, interesting format. As stated in "Here today, wrong tomorrow" by Daniel Butler, many of these types of books are not even opened, much less read. Goldratt actually adds a compelling story, making the book much more palatable, and also better showcasing the natural flow of the theory of constraints. The story is also inspirational, as it details a man who saves his factory and his marriage at once, as well as the moment when he took a six-pack on the hill to overlook his town trying to sort his thoughts. Those real details make Alex much easier to identify with, and make the book a much more interesting read. The inter-office politics and the scout trip are also two really good areas of the book just for the entertainment value. The late night escapades with co-workers are also mildly fun to read, but I especially liked the way that Goldratt hinted at Alex developing feelings for a co-worker before getting back with his wife. A plot twist like that is far more than I expected from the book by simply looking it. I would recommend this book to any students interested in learning about the fundamentals of the theory of constraints or managerial accounting in general. The fluidity of the book (I read it in about 2 days, a shockingly fast rate of page turns for an assigned book) and the general principles behind the book make it a good choice for an introduction to accounting, or at least far better than a textbook. I would also recommend this book to a manager just because knowledge is power. The theories prescribed in this book may or may not work for an individual corporation, but it is at least worth a read because the said manager's company could really benefit from implementing such a system. If the company would not benefit from it, the manager still read a pretty good book.

2-0 out of 5 stars I stopped ready after 33 pgs. & found reviews and summaries
The concept is good. But the marriage details that surround it were TOO MUCH. The points could have been given in overview format and much more concisely stated.

I got tired of this fast, because I don't have time to read it all. I read about 2 books a weeks, but not when I have to sit through a bunch of boring details.

Intead, I like the setup of "Mastering the Rockefeller Habits." The first chapter was designed for executives who won't spend the time reading the whole thing, but instead want an overview to quickly grasp the point of the book. These busy readers are then instructed to find the chapters that they are interested in and read up as needed. I recommend reading the whole book, "Mastering the Rockefeller Habits" but I like the option to read or just review!

Unfortunately, I didn't have this option with "The Goal."

4-0 out of 5 stars Easy read, but tends to drag at end
Straight forward & easy to follow reading. The Theory Of Constraints portion was a bit dumbed down and a the romance thread was a little tiresome, but all in all it was a decent read. The last 50 pages are a complete bore...just kept dragging along so I suggest you close the book once you think the hero has saved the town - you won't miss a thing.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Introduction to Operation Management
"Common sense is not so common." -- Voltaire

The beauty of this work is that it is able to distill complex but dry operational management issues and transform them into easy to follow conceptual framework that is both enlightening and entertaining. The solutions to the problems are stated in plain language that appear almost like common sense, but "common sense is not so common."

This book is a must-read for operation consultants, VCs, and restructuring artists. ... Read more


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

A Bold Manifesto on the Future of Information Technology

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

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

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

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

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

... Read more

Reviews (21)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


9. The Improvement Guide : A Practical Approach to Enhancing Organizational Performance (Jossey-Bass Business and Management Series)
by Gerald J.Langley, Kevin M.Nolan, Clifford L.Norman, Lloyd P.Provost, Thomas W.Nolan, Clifford L. Norman
list price: $48.00
our price: $48.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0787902578
Catlog: Book (1996-07-12)
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Sales Rank: 29586
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Improve quality and productivity in most any organization

Based on W. Edwards Deming's model, this guide offers an integrated approach to testing and improvement?one that is designed to deliver quick and substantial results. Using simple stories to illustrate core ideas, the authors?all active consultants?introduce a new, flexible model for improving quality and productivity in diverse settings. They draw from research conducted in a variety of areas?manufacturing, government, and schools?to present a practical tool kit of ideas, examples, and applications. What's more, they've included a Resource Guide to Change Concepts so even beginners can utilize the tested techniques of some of the world's most experienced practitioners.

... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for all Black Belts
This is a very practical and powerful guide for improvement.

1. The first revelation this book brings is: improvement is a change. From this viewpoint, the fundamental questions faced by the improver (e.g. Green Belts and Black Belts) are:

(1) What are we trying to accomplish? (Define phase)
(2) How will we know if a change will result in an improvement? (What are the key Y's?)
(3) What changes can we make that will result in improvement?
(What are the key X's and their settings to affect Y's)
Appropriate tools from '6-sigma' tool sets can be used to seek answers to (2) and (3).

2. The Guide emphasizes testing a change in small scale before full implementation so we can learn and improve the proposed change using the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle. This significantly improves our typical 'trial-and-error' approach.

3. The Guide classifies improvement into 3 categories:
(1) Eliminate Quality Problems (the aim of many '6-sigma' projects)
(2) Reduce Costs while maintaining or improving quality (the goal of many internally focused improvement efforts)
(3) Expanding Customer Expectations
Specific advises and examples are presented for each of these categories.

4. Best of all is a list of 70 Change Concepts categorized under 9 sessions, e.g. standardization under Manage Variation, Synchronize under Improve Work Flow.
Using these change concepts can significantly reduce the time to develop the specific changes.

This book is very easy to follow and contains a lot of examples. It is a must read for all improvement practitioners including Green Belts and Black Belts.

5-0 out of 5 stars Improvement viewed as a science.
Whether involved with improving products/processes within a business or coaching little league baseball, The Improvement Guide provides a practical and fundamental approach for improving performance. The book serves as an excellent reference for those involved with change, specifically, change that will result in improvement.

A few of the items from the book which ring in my mind continuously include:

Improvement can be viewed as a science (in fact, some of us do!).

Three questions provide the framework for improvement: 1. What are we trying to accomplish? 2. How will we know if we if a change will result in an improvement? 3. What changes can we make that will result in improvement?

While there are many opportunities to change, there are only 70 change concepts (included in the Appendix) available to us today.

Any system for improvement will include five activities: 1. Establishing and communicating the purpose of the organization/team. 2. Viewing the organization/team as a system. 3. Designing and managing the a system for gathering information for improvement 4. Planning for improvement and integrating it with business planning. 5. Managing individual and team improvement activities.

Leaders are required to implement change that will result in improvement and they draw their power from three sources (the informal leader gets his/her power from sources 2 and 3 below). 1. Authority or position 2. Knowledge 3. Personality and persuasiveness (caring about people)

These items and many more, are introduced in the book via an easy-to-understand model that uses proven methodology for developing, testing, and implementing change that produces specific, identifiable improvements.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Answer to Dr. Deming's question: "By What Method?"
Dr. W. Edwards Deming, whose management ideas and Profound Knowledge provide the theoretical underpinnings of this book, continually asked the question to anxious audiences: "By what method? How do you go about it?" As a professional in the quality sciences field, I believe this book has the answer to those questions as it relates to improvement. The Improvement Guide defines improvement and describes in complete detail workable, easy to use techniques that are effective and time-tested. The book is based around the Improvement Model, an expanded and improved version of the Deming-Shewhart cycle, whose historical roots trace are grounded in applications of the scientific method and applied scientists since Roger Bacon. The principle of testing on a small scale, learning using the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle, and building knowledge sequentially using the Improvement Model are some of the most practical and useful aspects of the book. Part I is written on an introductory level and provides lots of simple examples that guide the beginner through theory and practice. The heart of the book, and some of its most useful content, describes ways to develop, test, and implement a change. The insights provided, based on decades of experience and knowledge of the authors, are invaluable. They are followed up by thoroughly documented and easy to understand case studies that ring true using real life examples related to manufacturing, services, health care, and a variety of standard business and educational processes. Finally, the third section describes an integrated approach to various standard improvement goals and useful strategies for achieving them. This section also includes extremely insightful guidance for leaders trying to promote and enable improvement, and an innovative and thought-provoking section suggesting techniques for expanding customer expectations to increase demand for products and/or services. This section, too, is replete with examples and case studies to support and illustrate methods and concepts.

This book should be studied by anyone, beginner or experienced professional, interested in a systematic method for improving processes, products, or services. I strongly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars The definitive book on performance improvement
I think this is the most important and practical book available on performance improvement since Deming's "The New Economics". I found this book to be highly useful and well articulated around the practical application of Deming's system of profound knowledge, authored by some of the world's most preeminent thought leaders and practitioners in quality improvement. Chock full of relevant and easy to understand examples. The Model for Improvement, introduced in this book, is an amazingly simple way to bring about improvement in any undertaking. If you are interested in performance this book is a must.

5-0 out of 5 stars A significant contribution to quality literature
In the extensive library of quality material, a select few items stand out for their practical approach to implementing powerful quality principles in such a manner to be understood by everyone. These authors, strongly tied to Deming principles, are consultants with Associates in Process Improvement, a national quality consulting firm, and have consulted on quality with numerous industries in the US, Canada, and Europe. They are heavily schooled in statistics and quality engineering and now add this valuable item to the elite group of quality tools. The book is driven by their simplified approach to the now well known PDSA cycle, preceding this with their three fundamental questions: What are we trying to accomplish?, How will we know a change is an improvement?, and What changes can we make that will result in improvement? After considering these questions, the authors then take the reader through the classic PDSA steps in this useful model of quality improvement easily adaptable in any business. Part 1 introduces and explains this model, part 2 further applies the model in exemplary business situations, and part 3 offers solid advice for leadership in a quality organization. The added resource guide, alone worth the investment in this work, further explains how different executives are applying in their business the numerous concepts that fill this excellent guide to improvement. This is a very useful addition to the library of any quality professional, and will be most useful to those newly entering the endless road to quality improvement. ... Read more


10. The Power of Appreciative Inquiry: A Practical Guide to Positive Change
by Diana Whitney, Amanda Trosten-Bloom, David Cooperrider
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1576752267
Catlog: Book (2003-01-01)
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Sales Rank: 16659
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Power of Appreciative Inquiry describes a new strategy that inspires people and brings about a higher performance level in any organization. This method encourages people to study, discuss, learn from, and build on what works well when they are at their best, rather than focusing on what’s going wrong. The theory, practice, and spirit of this approach to organizational change is described in plain language. The authors provide guidelines for defining the change agenda, initiative, or project; forming the "steering team"; and launching an organization-wide kick off. Case histories demonstrate how organizations can attain sustained positive change by studying their strengths. This book is the most authoritative, comprehensive guide to Appreciative Inquiry by two of the founders and pioneers of this technique. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Power of Appreciative Inquiry
I read this book one weekend, and felt inspired! I have been a student of people, groups, and organizations for 30+ years, and was extraordinarily uplifted by the philosophy and stories that the authors captured. Their clear writing summarizes the rigorous underpinnings of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) in psychology and sociology and in the maturing methodologies that have emerged in AI practice, yet the book is eminently accessible. And it does a good job of integrating theory and practice, so has widespread practical application for those who want to implement the appreciative inquiry process. Overall I felt fueled by the stories, and realized that opportunities to help create other positive stories exist everywhere: in my work with individuals, teams, and communities, and in health care and educational institutions as well as in businesses. Colleagues and I are reconnecting to our best selves, and creating conditions for other individuals, groups, organizations, and communities to do so also. Through making Appreciative Inquiry more transparent, the authors encourage us to be part of the contagion. I have heartily recommended the book to clients and colleagues. With deep appreciation, Bea Mah Holland

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Return on Investment
Note: the previous review I just submitted, I spelled the authors names incorrectly. Please adjust. Thank you.

5-0 out of 5 stars An outstanding book with a priceless ROI!
First of all, we must note that this is a significant book among the many that have been written on Appreciative Inquiry. This book is brilliantly written with the practioner in mind and is easy to understand. I mentally refer to it as my 'happy book' since I grin and feel good each time I pick it up to read. It deals with those pesky questions such as, 'what do I do first?' and 'how can I get a large organization enthusiastic about using AI?' These ladies also give us some other options than using the AI summit (there are 8 options in all), which can open more possibilities and let us use our own creativity to apply to AI.

The book is organized into three sections: Chapters 1-4 explain what AI is and how it works, Chapters 5-10 explain ways to practice AI and the last Chapter 11 deals with why it works so well. Additionally, each chapter gives specific, practical advice on "how to" with charts and case studies. Perhaps the most valuable chapter is in the third section, which answers the questions "why does AI work so effectively? Perhaps you may do as I did and read this chapter first. This is a very powerful and valuable chapter.

Although based on sound theory and research, the real value of this book comes from the experiences each author shares with us, which highlights ideas and concepts with specific examples from the field. Appreciative Inquiry can seem to be deceptively simple. Simple, it is not. We have only scratched 5% of the learnings from AI's beginnings and there is so much more to learn and experience. The importance of this particular book is that it can be so helpful for both the novice (the one who is trying to understand what AI is all about) and the experienced practioner (the OD professional who uses AI in her practice). It is both a good first book to read to try to understand the underpinnings of Appreciative Inquiry and a tool book for us more experienced folks.

This is a good solid book to have on your shelf that you can refer to often to clarify understandings, theory, and applications of appreciative inquiry. It's a joy to read.

I highly recommend it; the ROI is priceless!

Helene C. Sugarman
Principle, Dynamic Communication
(Organization Development Consulting using AI) and
Chartered Co-owner of AIConsulting, LLP

5-0 out of 5 stars User Friendly Handbook for AI Interventions
As a practitioner and passionate "convert" to AI from more traditional action research and deficit approach/gap analysis models, I wish I'd had this book 5 years ago when first exposed to AI. It is an outstanding "how to." The descriptions of various designs and activities were pleasant affirmation that the interventions I had designed were "right on." I found the authors' weaving in of actual cases and their candor about when things waned or executives pushed refreshing and reassuring.

The model in chapter 2 of "change agenda, form of engagement, and inquiry strategy" is an excellent way of looking at an initiative from the beginning, parallel to Peter Block's "entry and contracting" phase in action research, but in AI language and philosophy. Whitney & Trosten-Bloom add 3 more underlying principles of AI to Cooperrider's original work:wholeness, enactment, and free choice. They are right on in my opinion. What was particularly helpful in this section was the "principle in practice" followed by an example.

The tables of suggested steps/sequences for each section describing the 4D model in practice were particularly helpful guides, though the authors continually remind the reader of the improvisational nature of this philosophy and approach to positive change. The whole book was respectful of different learning styles and made meaning out of so much of the earlier, more academic publications about appreciative inquiry.

Whitney and Trosten-Bloom have created a very "user friendly," accessible handbook, well organized and written in layman's language. I find it helpful for the current practitioner of AI wanting to learn through the lens of case study snippets, for the novice wanting to learn how it works and how to "do it" before investing the time for more rigorous academic readings, for the manager who wants to approach change in a positive framework, and the OD consultant seeking new, innovative ways to co-create effective, energized workplaces with their clients.

Hats off to the authors for this most recent addition to the growing body of knowledge on AI!

5-0 out of 5 stars A readable "how to" book about organizational change
The authors have produced a very lively and readable book that pulled me into the heart of positive change and the spirit of affirmation. Their stories of success establish them as credible organizational change experts. From the principles behind the theory, to the methods of operationalizing the change process, this book gives clear direction on how to start now and move your company (and its bottom line) in the right direction. Avoiding the dry and parched style of other OD books, The Power Of Appreciative Inquiry gently guides the reader on a path that allows each person to discover his/her own use of this wonderful change process. I recommend it highly to all small business owners. ... Read more


11. The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations
by John P. Kotter, Dan S. Cohen
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578512549
Catlog: Book (2002-08-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 4696
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

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

Reviews (15)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A solid read.

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

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

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

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


12. Double-Digit Growth : How Great Companies Achieve It--No Matter What
by MichaelTreacy
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 159184066X
Catlog: Book (2004-12-28)
Publisher: Portfolio Trade
Sales Rank: 36876
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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After Michael Treacy finished writing his bestseller, The Discipline of Market Leaders, he continued to track the companies profiled to answer one major question: how do market-leading companies foster growth? In Double-Digit Growth: How Great Companies Achieve It—No Matter What the MIT Management Professor addresses this problem with a five-part portfolio of management disciplines. He offers case studies of well-known and little-known companies that have achieved growth year after year based on this diversified approach.

His first three disciplines--"keep the growth you have already earned," "take business from your competitors," and "show up where the growth is going to happen"--may seem obvious, and even beyond the control of the average executive. But Treacy provides frameworks for applying each as business practice, not just wishful thinking. His fourth and fifth disciplines, "invade adjacent markets" and "invest in new lines of business," are perhaps the most controversial. Here, though, he is not advising rampant conglomeration. Rather, he stresses the need for acquisitions and expansions made based on reliable data predicting long-term growth with risk spread over diversified investments.

Treacy is not presenting a step-by-step formula for success. Through his quick, readable prose he offers instead a course in mental re-training for executives. A management team must construct tools for tracking and measuring its success against each of the five growth disciplines, and it must build a corporate culture that instills growth as a core goal. While he offers no guarantees, his arguments are compelling, and the nuanced management strategies he suggests seem a plausible base for attaining predictable growth. --Patrick O’Kelley ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great insights, a must for corporate "victims" everywhere.
Michael Treacy sets out to show that growth, double digit growth at that, is possible in every economic environment.This is of course a creative possibility, but is often not acknowledged or even sought after by many in corporate America who are content to do the easy risk-avoidance strategies which ensure their ultimate demise.I liked this quote early in the book to set the tone:"Why do many managers preside over no-growth organizations without confronting the reality that accepting the status quo is the business equivalent of committing suicide?"

The highlights of the book are the way the ideas are laid out and then described in action with examples across several industries.Some of the tactics include; Spread the risk, Take small bites, Balance your strategies, and Commit to superior value.One key according to Treacy is to accept that growth is a choice.He describes managers talking about growth difficulties as "a little like listening to an addict in denial. Don't they understand that growth is a choice - a choice that lies entirely within their power and no one else's?" (Page 17).

Treacy covers 5 disciplines; Improving customer base retention; Market share gain; Market positioning; Penetrating adjacent markets; New lines of business. While these are certainly solid examples of the ways to approach growth, the real depth in the book is around understanding consumer behavior.He points out the reality behind why most "customer retention" strategies don't work, and how to increase "switching costs" of your products and services.Making your products and services "sticky" is a key to growth working well, by retaining current customers while attracting new ones.

While the information and theories here are certainly not the final word on growth, this book should be required reading for all the corporate "victims" blaming their woes on things outside their control.It is clear that countless opportunities exist within every market niche and through every economic trend to facilitate growth.Many companies do in fact continue to grow, and they are usually ones who are committed to it.The companies that do not grow are usually gone in time.The section on Corning, caught in the euphoria of the late 90's telecom boom, was a great example of how even market leaders fail to get ahead of the indicators and lose as a result.

Overall, a great read, with some good insights.I would have liked to see a bit more focus on the inspirational factors that great leaders bring to align their employees to deliver when the employees themselves may not see the way.That is obviously a huge key to executing a strategy, and was not covered as in depth as it could have been here.Otherwise, a good look at how to achieve growth and will likely cause many light bulbs to go on while reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars Low Inflation Makes Revenue Growth Harder to Accomplish
During the times when inflation and GNP growth in the United States were higher, investors gradually expanded their expectations of what "growth" meant.During the great bull market of the 1960s, a company that grew revenues by 10 percent a year was considered a great growth firm.Soon, that target was being set north of 15 percent.Exciting breakthroughs in technology meant that many markets were actually growing faster than that, so those who were growing market share were expanding at enormous rates (remember Cisco in the 1990s?).

Since then, inflation has declined to almost nothing, GDP has been stagnant during the Bush administration (with a recent up tick), and the dollar has been plummeting (making overseas revenues worth much less).That's a tougher environment to grow in than even the 1960s.So Double-Digit Growth is talking about a difficult target for those who are not in the highest growth industries.In appreciation of that point, Michael Treacy (coauthor of The Discipline of Market Leaders) says that companies should measure their growth in terms of total gross profits.So if you are expanding your value-added enough, you may be able to have double-digit growth while having less than double-digit revenue growth.That said, he argues that ANY company can have double-digit growth.I assume that he means it is POSSIBLE.Based on the track record of the last three years, most would agree that it?s IMPROBABLE though if we look at time frames of five years or more.

As with The Discipline of Market Leaders, Mr. Treacy looks at a few successful companies that have met his targets in the past (Johnson Controls, Mohawk Industries, Paychex, Biomet, Oshkosh Truck and Dell) and extrapolates what they did into a few simple lessons.The strategic lessons are:

1) Spread your risk by pursuing many growth initiatives

2) Take on small growth challenges so you don't become overwhelmed by the size of the task

3) Use a variety of strategies involving organic growth and acquisitions, as appropriate to grow

4) Be committed to providing superior value

5) Develop your management to handle growth opportunities before tackling more opportunities

6) Make growth a central focus of your management processes (using Balanced Scorecard-like measures).

To implement these six strategic perspectives, he counsels that each company should focus on five management disciplines:

a) Reduce customer turnover

b) Take business from competitors

c) Emphasize those areas in your industry that are growing fastest

d) Invade adjacent markets where you can bring important advantages to bear

e) Invest in new lines of business

The heart of the book is devoted to these five disciplines.Each receives a chapter that talks about the difficulties involved and how to over come those difficulties.I thought that the book's advice was most practical and interesting when it talked about the disciplines.

If I look back to when I was first learning about strategy, I think that every article or book I read talked about the last four disciplines . . . but omitted the first.In fact, the best chapter in the book is on the first discipline, especially in debunking those who advocate that you can build loyalty in customers with any method other than making your value proposition be terrific.

Another excellent part of the book comes in the case history of First Data which used these disciplines to improve its situation.Presumably First Data was a consulting client of Mr. Treacy's.

I was pleased to see that Mr. Treacy noted that many of his champion growers frequently changed business models in positive ways (especially Paychex and Dell).Double-Digit Growth is rare book in noting and describing such management excellence.In doing so, the book's only weaknesses were that few examples of continuing business model innovation were included and not enough attention was paid to describing the key elements of this new and important management discipline.I hope in future books that Mr. Treacy will place more emphasis on the best practices in this area.

The book's perspective is that of the strategist and marketing executive, so those who come from other perspectives will probably gain the most from this book.Double-Digit Growth will give other executives a chance to understand what they should be focusing on as they meld their talents together with others in the organization.

If you are, however, a veteran strategist or marketing executive, you may get little benefit except from reading whichever company cases in the book (listed above) you have not read or heard about before.

As I finished the book, I wondered about how companies can make it more exciting to work on customer retention.Perhaps Raving Fans! has it right in that regard.

If you are not in a high growth market, though, I would still rate your chances of double-digit growth in revenues or gross profits to be slim . . . unless you become a master of continuing business model innovation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hits the nail on the head
In this excellent book, Michael Treacy discusses a subject that had been forgotten by most companies---growth. It's all about growth. Creating revenues. Being creative and competitive.Too many companies are focused on being Mr. Cheapskate by cutting back and many of those companies have lostbusiness to companies that are growth focused.Every executive and every business person must read this book if you want your company to move forward or even stay around in this new, tougher enviroment.Also recommend Good To Great by Jim Collins.

4-0 out of 5 stars Finally some good thinking after years of gloom n doom
Double-digit growth looks at an issue that is finally regaining importance.After years of cutting costs and getting rightsized we are not talking about making companies grow.Hurrah.Treacy does a good job in pointing out how really few companies consistently grow and the practices that they use to create this truely virtuous cycle.

He provides five disciplines:

1) Keep the growth you already have
2) Take business away from your competitiors
3) Show up where the growth is going to happen
4) Invade adjacent markets
5) Invest in new lines of business

The disciplines and their explaination are make in lively action oriented prose with actionable advice.This is a powerful book written about a powerful subject.I have been dismayed by the quality if business book ideas over the past three years and now with this book and some others, ideas and interest in them seem to be getting off the ground.

Read this book, if nothing more than to check yourself and your company against these disciplines.Look at what you are doing and how you are positioning yourself for growth.I think that you will be surprised at what you uncover.

5-0 out of 5 stars the mystery to growth revealed
Mr. Treacy's book offers clear and consise information about how to grow a company.I was drawn to this book because I am so tired of listening to all of the negativity about the economy, corporate scandals and the recession.Treacy proves- through excellent exmaples-- that several companes, of all shapes and sizes were able to grow durin these challenging years.Ultimately this book touts wise management, a plan to grow and the need to grow.Every American company would be wise to make this book required reading among their managment teams. ... Read more


13. The Art of Innovation : Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm
by Tom Kelley, Tom Peters, Tom Peters
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385499841
Catlog: Book (2001-01-16)
Publisher: Currency
Sales Rank: 7846
Average Customer Review: 3.98 out of 5 stars
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IDEO, the world's leading design firm, is the brain trust that's behindsome of the more brilliant innovations of the past 20 years--from the Applemouse, the Polaroid i-Zone instant camera, and the Palm V to the "fat" toothbrushfor kids and a self-sealing water bottle for dirt bikers. Not surprisingly,companies all over the world have long wondered what they could learn from IDEO,to come up with better ideas for their own products, services, and operations.In this terrific book from IDEO general manager Tom Kelley (brother of founderDavid Kelley), IDEO finally delivers--but thankfully not in the step-by-step,flow-chart-filled "process speak" of most how-you-can-do-what-we-do businessbooks. Sure, there are some good bulleted lists to be found here--such as thesecrets of successful brainstorming, the qualities of "hot teams," and, towardthe end, 10 key ingredients for "How to Create Great Products and Services,"including "One Click Is Better Than Two" (the simpler, the better) and "GoofProof" (no bugs).

But The Art of Innovation really teaches indirectly (not to mentionenlightens and entertains) by telling great stories--mainly, of how the bestideas for creating or improving products or processes come not from laboriouslyorganized focus groups, but from keen observations of how regular people workand play on a daily basis. On nearly every page, we learn the backstories ofsome now-well-established consumer goods, from recent inventions like the PalmPilot and the in-car beverage holder to things we nearly take for granted--likeIvory soap (created when a P&G worker went to lunch without turning off hissoap mixer, and returned to discover his batch overwhipped into 99.44 percentbuoyancy) and Kleenex, which transcended its original purpose as a cosmeticsremover when people started using the soft paper to wipe and blow their noses.Best of all, Kelley opens wide the doors to IDEO's vibrant, sometimes wackyoffice environment, and takes us on a vivid tour of how staffers tackle a designchallenge: they start not with their ideas of what a new product should offer,but with the existing gaps of need, convenience, and pleasure with which peoplelive on a daily basis, and that IDEO should fill. (Hence, a one-piece children'sfishing rod that spares fathers the embarrassment of not knowing how to teachtheir kids to fish, or Crest toothpaste tubes that don't "gunk up" at themouth.)

Granted, some of their ideas--like the crucial process of "prototyping," orincorporating dummy drafts of the actual product into the planning, to work outbugs as you go--lend themselves more easily to the making of actual things thanto the more common organizational challenge of streamlining services oroperations. But, if this big book of bright ideas doesn't get you thinking ofhow to build a better mousetrap for everything from your whole business processto your personal filing system, you probably deserve to be stuck with themousetrap you already have. --Timothy Murphy ... Read more

Reviews (49)

3-0 out of 5 stars Less than expected
The Art of Innovation is the story of the famous Palo Alto based design firm, IDEO. The book is easy to read and moves quickly. The author, Tom Kelley, is the brother of founder David Kelley. Tom is the General Manager and is an ex-management consultant. This is important because the book really devolves into a light treatise on business management practices. This makes sense since given Tom Kelley's responsibilities at IDEO and his background. It also explains the Tom Peter's Foreword. If you like Tom Peter's books, you will enjoy this book.

If you are looking for real insights into the IDEO design process you will be disappointed. Most of the insights are of a personnel management nature, and even those are at a relatively high level. Mr. Kelley pokes more than a few veiled barbs at the slow industrial giants who simply cannot compete with the brain power and management prowess at IDEO. That may sound sarcastic, but Mr. Kelley's pride in his company often crosses that fine line into arrogance.

There are a few actual projects described to point out how valuable a certain IDEO practice is. There are repeated references to IDEO's contribution to the invention of the Apple mouse and follow-up work on the Microsoft Mouse. Also, a great deal of time is spent talking about the redesign of the common shopping cart that was done in one week for a segment on Nightline. I know that IDEO has had many important clients and recent important projects. Perhaps they can't talk about them because of non-disclosure agreements. There are color pictures of some products at the beginning of each of 15 chapters but often there is no mention of those products in the text. Some black & white photographs of products and the IDEO workspaces also accompany the text. There are no diagrams or illustrations.

A great deal of the book outlines the emphasis that IDEO puts on the treatment of their employees and their penchant for quick and frequent prototyping as a key to success. All projects start by assigning a "hot" team and letting them brainstorm and prototype their way into some great ideas. No details are given on how the teams are formed or managed.

This book is for you if you are looking for a light management practices book and just a little insight into a premier design firm. You will probably be disappointed if you want to find out how products are designed or what specific processes are used to manage the design process. You also will not get a great deal of competitive information about IDEO. The book assumes that you have at least a general idea of what Industrial Design is about.

Tom Kelley admits that workshops about the "IDEO way" have been turned into a profit center. They give seminars on how to organize product development at client companies. I could see IDEO including this book with their seminar, or perhaps they could give it to a prospective client to whet their appetite. It definitely leaves you wanting more information. I am left wondering, "How much is that seminar, and will they let me in?"

5-0 out of 5 stars Innovation for Fun as Well as Profit
There are dozens of excellent books which discuss innovation. This is one of the best but don't be misled by the title, "Lessons in creativity from IDEO, America's leading design firm." Unlike almost all other authors of worthy books on the same subject, Kelley does NOT organize his material in terms of a sequence of specific "lessons"...nor does he inundate his reader with checklists, "executive summaries", bullet points, do's and don'ts, "key points", etc. Rather, he shares what I guess you could characterize as "stories" based on real-world situations in which he and his IDEO associates solved various problems when completing industrial design assignments for their clients. "We've linked those organizational achievements to specific methodologies and tools you can use to build innovation into your own organization...[However, IDEO's] 'secret formula' is actually not very formulaic. It's a blend of of methodologies, work practices, culture, and infrastructure. Methodology alone is not enough." One of the greatest benefits of the book is derived from direct access to that "blend" when activated.

It is extremely difficult to overcome what James O'Toole characterizes, in Leading Change, as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom." He and Kelley seem to be kindred spirits: Both fully understand how and why truly innovative thinking encounters so much resistance within organizations. Whereas O'Toole suggests all manner of strategies to overcome that resistance, Kelley concentrates on the combination ("blend") of ingredients which, when integrated and then applied with both rigor and passion, may (just may) produce what Jobs once referred to as "insanely great." What both O'Toole and Kelley have in mind is creating and sustaining an innovative culture, one from within which "insanely great" ideas can result in breakthrough products and (yes) services.

"Loosely described", Kelley shares IDEO's five-step methodology: Understand the market, the client, the technology, and the perceived constraints on the given problem; observe real people in real-life situations; literally visualize new-to-the-world concepts AND the customers who will use them; evaluate and refine the prototypes in a series of quick iterations; and finally, implement the new concept for commercialization. With regard to the last "step", as Bennis explains in Organizing Genius, Apple executives immediately recognized the commercial opportunities for PARC's technology. Larry Tesler (who later left PARC for Apple) noted that Jobs and companions "wanted to get it out to the world." But first, obviously, create that "it."

Kelley and his associates at IDEO have won numerous awards for designing all manner of innovative products such as the Apple mouse, the Palm Pilot, a one-piece fishing mechanism for children, the in-vehicle beverage holder, toothpaste tubes that don't "gunk up" in the cap area, "mud-free" water bottles for mountain bikers, a small digital camera for the handspring Visor, and the Sun Tracker Beach Chair.

With all due respect to products such as these, what interested me most was the material in the book which focuses on (a) the physical environment in which those at IDEO interact and (b) the nature and extent of that interaction, principally the brainstorm sessions. In the Foreword, Tom Peters has this in mind when explaining why Kelley's is a marvelous book: "It carefully walks us through each stage of the IDEO innovation process -- from creating hot teams (IDEO is perpetually on 'boil') to learning to see through the customer's eyes (forget focus groups!) and brainstorming (trust me, nobody but nobody does it better) to rapid prototyping (and nobody, but nobody does it better...)." Whatever your current situation, whatever the size and nature of your organization, surely you and it need to avoid or escape from "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom." Granted, you may never be involved in the creation of an "insanely great" product but Kelley can at least help you to gain "the true spirit of innovation" in your life. I join him in wishing you "some serious fun."

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the way I would run my company
This should be the first book you read when you get out of college. Much of what Tom Kelley says would probably make your boss turn away, going against many theorems taught in management classes.

But just maybe he is re-defining the perfect environments for the the ideas that change the way we interface.

5-0 out of 5 stars a handbook of innovation
It is a handbook for innovation, the book share the experience of IDEO, the methods and the work practice to generate new ideas and the process of turning ideas to product. The first one is observation, people many ignore this point or pay little attention on that point. Tom mentioned a point that, we should user-oriented. Observed people how actually use a product instead of only interview them. Because some of customers are lacking product knowledge they cannot express the difficulty of using the product, even they do not fully utilize the product, so you may only get limited insight from interviewing them only.
I know that many people know the term of Brainstorming, which is a method of ideas generation. However, how to have a good brainstorming is a difficult task.

The third process is making prototype. It helps to solve the problem in 3-D, and let you know the problem or mistake in early stage of the process.

The last insight is about the quality of the team members. They should broad in their skills and interests, deep in their knowledge and experience in one or more disciplines. All these could enhance the cross-pollination. All they should accept the divest within the team.

1-0 out of 5 stars Waste of time.
Reading this book is a waste of time. I know, It is tough to explain how someone can do innovating thinking etc. But this book does not help any. Read books on mindmapping instead. ... Read more


14. SCORE! : A Better Way to Do Busine$$: Moving from Conflict to Collaboration
by Thomas T. Stallkamp
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0131435264
Catlog: Book (2005-03-05)
Publisher: Wharton School Publishing
Sales Rank: 743780
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15. Fish! Sticks: A Remarkable Way to Adapt to Changing Times and Keep Your Work Fresh
by Stephen C. Lundin
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786868163
Catlog: Book (2003-01)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 9662
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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In this third installment in the popular Fish! series, the authors examine change as a necessary, ongoing process that should never stop--at least not if one wants to keep the workplace vital and fully alive. Using a fictitious sushi restaurant as an example, this fable examines the three principles that Lundin, Christensen, and Paul believe are necessary for continuing success: Find It ("it" being each employee's personal vision of the business), Live It, and Coach It. Readers of the authors' previous books--Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results and Fish! Tales--should find its familiarity comforting. For those new to the series, this standalone volume is easy to read and highly valuable. --David Bombeck ... Read more

Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Read!
You're back in the fishing boat with the crew that brought you the successful Fish! and Fish! Tales. Offering another finny fable, Stephen C. Lundin, John Christensen and Harry Paul present a business parable based on creating and sustaining successful change. The book uses the same fictitious approach as the other two Fish!ing trips, but this time the story is set at a hospital's nursing station. The agent-of-change head nurse has departed and the new head nurse feels that the group is losing its vision. Then, she discovers that a local sushi restaurant is a model of excellence, and all goes swimmingly after that. Although the advice offered isn't particularly unique, some may find a certain charm in the story. Given that this is round three, the format may seem a little repetitive to those who have already Fish!ed. If you want to catch the core of the message on your first cast, look for the highlights on the occasional pages in whale-size type. We recommend the basic common sense of these messages, even if the storytelling is a little fishy.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Read!
You're back in the fishing boat with the crew that brought you the successful Fish! and Fish! Tales. Offering another finny fable, Stephen C. Lundin, John Christensen and Harry Paul present a business parable based on creating and sustaining successful change. The book uses the same fictitious approach as the other two Fish!ing trips, but this time the story is set at a hospital's nursing station. The agent-of-change head nurse has departed and the new head nurse feels that the group is losing its vision. Then, she discovers that a local sushi restaurant is a model of excellence, and all goes swimmingly after that. Although the advice offered isn't particularly unique, some may find a certain charm in the story. Given that this is round three, the format may seem a little repetitive to those who have already Fish!ed. If you want to catch the core of the message on your first cast, look for the highlights on the occasional pages in whale-size type. We recommend the basic common sense of these messages, even if the storytelling is a little fishy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Make your changes stick
I liked this book because it took the parable book concept to a more productive level by teaching readers how to make changes and ideas stick after the story ends. Fish Sticks is like a motivational speaker who gives you solid, practical tips that you remember even after the conference. Rat Race Relaxer: Your Potential & The Maze of Life by JoAnna Carey is another great book for companies to share with employees because it offers entertaining stories and goal oriented advice about improving your workplace and your life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't Starve, Learn To Fish!
An excellent book for our changing work enviroment. Let's face it, the workplace isn't the same as it use to be. you better get on board or be left behind. This book will show you how.

5-0 out of 5 stars Making change stick
How do you get a group of people to adopt new strategies of coping with change? This story provides food for thought. I recommend you read it along with Optimal Thinking: How to Be Your Best Self. When we use Optimal Thinking, we take the most constructive actions and achieve what is supremely important. ... Read more


16. Organization Development: BehavioralScience Interventions for Organization Improvement (6th Edition)
by Wendell L. French, Cecil H. Bell
list price: $80.00
our price: $80.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 013242231X
Catlog: Book (1998-12-15)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 88045
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

B> Appropriate for courses inOrganization Development, this new edition explores the improvement oforganizations through planned, systematic, long-range efforts focused on theorganization's culture and its human and social processes. The authors presenta concise and comprehensive exposition of the theory, practice, and researchrelated to organization development. The Sixth Edition reflects the most recentdevelopments, advances and expansions, and research in the area of OD. KEYTOPICS: Adds and updates new material to provide the most currentinformation available. Strengthens coverage by adding new interventions and newmaterial. Offers a more lively tone and writing style. Emphasizes theeverchanging paradigms in OD theory and describes several new and importantinterventions in considerable detail. Sets discussions in the rapidly-evolvingcontexts of globalization, intensified competition and collaboration, TotalQuality Management (TQM) and large-scale organizational change.Provides excellent coverage of the organization and its dynamicsfor managers and professionals. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars how about some double loop learning ?
This is a flawed edition of a classic book.
Yes, it is historical in its overview. Yes it is dense with ideas and concepts. It makes readers think that OD/change management is hard work. But this is a good thing. Change aint easy, and intervening in people's working lives is serious business. Lets learn from the past. It also has lots of case explanations, and it does explain the theory clearly. I wouldn't let anyone who couldn't understand it near my consultancy work.

The criticism that it is dated is a bit more on the mark; not because the more recent stuff on change isn't there, it is, but it is tacked on to the material from earlier editions with no thought to the coherence of the book's structure. A shame; it needs a good, new third author who loves the original text to bring it up to date.

Despite the flaws, I give it 5 stars to bring the average up. Those who award it only one star do it an injustice. And, a lesson for the would be change agent, things in life, whether books or bits of our client organization are rarely wholly good or wholly bad..... (ok,ok).

Another good thing, compared to its competitors its small !

1-0 out of 5 stars Out of date. Great during the seventies!
This book is long out of date. Read either Kotter, Beitler, or Schein.

1-0 out of 5 stars This book is out of date!
This book was written in the seventies! It shows. I recommend reading something current; such as Cummings & Worley, or Beitler, or Kotter.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Resource!
I really didn't care for this book at first, but had to purchase it for a class. As I read the book, it began to grow on me and I found it to be a great resource book, one that you may want to keep in your personal library for future questions about organizational development. This book gives great options on how to get people to work together, how to endure the resistance of people during change, as well as how to make the most of the a sucessful organizational change. I wish I had this book when I was president of my organization and had trouble getting larger groups of people, all with various strong opinions, to work together. This book gives it to you straight, a definite source of relief when dealing with or preparing for chaos in an organization!

4-0 out of 5 stars This book "fills in the blanks" of OD
The book provides an introduction to the discipline, describing the historical foundations as well as specific applications in both for-profit and non-profit settings. The definition provided is deceptively simple; it is brief, yet completely encompasses the critical elements of OD efforts. What brings me back to it as a text again and again, however, is it's comprehensive list and descriptions of OD techniques. I have yet to find another book that so simply lays out the fundamentals of activities for interpersonal, team, inter-team, and large-scale organizational change. The final chapters deal with issues of consulting and the future of OD.
Because it ranges from a large-scale conceptual overview down to the nitty-gritty specifics of OD activites, it serves as an ideal framework to springboard to other books and readings.

Only caveat: The writing style is not commensurate with the excellence of the content. ... Read more


17. Mergers, Acquisitions, and Other Restructuring Activities, Second Edition
by Donald DePamphilis
list price: $99.95
our price: $99.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0122095529
Catlog: Book (2002-12)
Publisher: Academic Press
Sales Rank: 113999
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This second edition is written readers who crave real world learning. Professor DePamphilis has filled this book with updated cases and grounded models which reflect the theoretical underpinnings of the field. Expanded usage of "key idea" section headings enable the student to understand more easily the key point in each section of each chapter. Chapter 5 provides a detailed listing of questions commonly used to evaluate target firms doing due diligence.A primer on using financial ratios in Chapter 8 has been extended to include a convenient summary of commonly used financial ratios and suggestions as to how they may be used to evaluate target firms.The accompanying CD includes a set of Excel spreadsheets that supplements Chapter 8.

An Instructor's manual, available on the web, contains suggested learning objectives, chapter presentations for creating lectures or providing students with study guides, more than 750 test questions and answers (including true/false, multiple choice, essay questions, and practice problems), and solutions to all chapter business case studies in the book. The manual also contains detailed course syllabi that have been used extensively for both undergraduate and graduate classes and suggested ways for teaching the materials.

Includes 18 new case studies; all 70 cases have been updated

Instructor's Manual available on the web; includes practice problems and solutions

Accompanying CD includes a set of Excel spreadsheets that will supplement Chapter 8
... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Includes great M&A modeling software
This book takes the mystery out of M&A financial modeling and structuring deals. Many books on the subject seem to take a "black box" approach to how to do deal structuring and valuation. The author discusses in plain language how to do valuation, simulation, and deal structuring using financial models and how to use such models to select the best offer price for a target firm. The book includes detailed discussions of tax, accounting, and alternative deal structures.

The CD accompanying the book contains an Excel spread sheet model that can be modified to fit the unique circumstances of any transaction. This alone justifies buying the book, in my opinion.

The book also provides keen insights into how M&A can be used to implement business plans, how to identify potential target firms, strategies for contacting potential targets, and how to draw up initial documents such as confidentiality agreements and letters of intent. The book is highly comprehensive covering virtually all topics necessary to understanding the M&A process.

For the money, it is the best book on the subject, up-to-date, complete, and highly readable. If you have a serious interest in the subject, this is an important book to add to your library.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding treatment of technical/non-tech.aspects of M&A
Unlike many other treatments of this subject, this text discusses M&A in the context of a process or framework. The author takes great pains to show how all M&A related activities interact. The text discusses both technical (e.g., valuation, accounting, and tax issues) and non-technical (e.g., strategy development, identifying potential targets, initial contact, negotiation, and integration) issues. The book does an excellent job of talking about alternatives to M&A for executing strategies, including alliances, joint ventures, partnerships, etc.

Numerous recent case studies illustrate various concepts and situations. The coverage of laws affecting different types of business combinations, of accounting standards applicable to M&A, and of relevant tax considerations is both current and excellent. The book also contains useful checklists to facilitate implementing transactions. The book is also chock full of helpful insights and hints of what to look for and how to avoid the traps that often accompany different types of transactions.

The book also contains an excellent discussion of other ways to enhance shareholder value. These include spin-offs, divestitures, carve-outs, bust-ups, and bankruptcy.

The book is highly practical and well-documented and could be viewed as a handbook on how to use M&A (or alternatives to M&A) to execute business stratgies. I think the book is an indispensable reference for accountants, lawyers, investment bankers, CFOs, and others involved in making transactions happen.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, Stimulating, and Enjoyable
This book is very well written...packed full of helpful information on M&A. The author's use of short cases to illustrate key points was most helpful. I found the down to earth discussion of how to put deals together very clear. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the scope of the book included an extensive discussion of alternative strategies such as JVs to mergers and acquisitions. The author also managed to include an exceedingly large number of case studies in the book, many of which were international transactions. Good book, good read. I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great M&A, Valuation, and Modeling Book
While this book covers all aspects of how to do a deal, the chapters on valuation, deal structuring, and financial modeling are by far the most lucid I have seen. The Excell spread sheet model on the CDROM accompanying the book provides incredibly helpful insight into how purchase price strategies are developed. The reader can review all of the underlying formulas enabling them to modify the model or to develop their own. Moreover, the model provides the reader with unusal insight in how all valuation, tax, accounting, and synergy considerations converge and interact to affect price. Overall, the book is very well written, clear, and supported.

5-0 out of 5 stars Winning book, winning software
I loved this book. It managed to treat a highly complex subject in an understandable fashion. The author makes use of detailed examples (alright, sometimes too detailed) and explanations to ensure the reader is able to understand important points. The book is sprinkled with short business cases to illustrate key points and concepts. The author removes successfully the shroud of mystery that seems to envelope some books on this subject, namely with many authors it is unclear how they arrived at a particular conclusion. This book also does a great job of documenting observations and conclusions. The reader is given the opportunity to review additional resources if he (she) is interested in drilling down in more detail on a single subject.

The author also gives the reader incredible insight into M&A model building, providing detailed excel spreadsheets containing the underlying formulae needed to value transactions and determine financing feasiblity. I was able to alter many of the model's formulas to meet my own requirements. This model saved me many hours of painstaking work that I would have had to undertake in its absence.

While book contains cases desribing virtually all major transactions during the last decade, it is a little light in its discussion of international transactions. The major ones are covered such as Vodafone and Mannesmann, but I would have like to see a broader cross section of international transactions covering more industries. However, this would add substantially to the book's length. Given the author's writing and organizational skills, I would like to see a book focused totally on interantional transactions by him.

All in all, the book is well worth the price. In fact the software alone on the CD ROm may be worth the price. ... Read more


18. Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture : Based on the Competing Values Framework (Addison-Wesley Series on Organization Development)
by Kim S. Cameron, Robert E. Quinn
list price: $40.00
our price: $37.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0201338718
Catlog: Book (1999-08-10)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 35948
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Model
The model presented is an interesting and for the most part effective one. For an alternative model see O'Reilly, Chatman and Caldwell's OCP Method and in particular the commercially available web tools from ThinkShed (www.thinkshed.com) that leverage the method.

Whichever method you use, culture change is ultimately about the application of a consistent approach...my personal preference is the OCP because of the availability of robust web based tools that enable one to penetrate the organization to a much deeper level than is otherwise possible with a paper based model or an interview based model. This can be important if you are wanting to get at deeply rooted and/or problematic sub-cultures.

Smith

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book, plus...
This is a great book. In addition, I recommend "Strategic Organizational Change" by Michael Beitler.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most helpful book...
This is the most helpful book available on organizational culture. Their OCAI instrument (for diagnosing organizational culture) alone is worth more than the price of the book. I use Cameron & Quinn's material with every one of my clients.

Dr. Michael Beitler
Author of "Strategic Organizational Change"

5-0 out of 5 stars A remarkable tool
The authors provide a great model for understanding and diagnosing organizations. Their cultural quandrant methodology also provides a common language for people within an organization to talk about what they have and what they want. I recommend this for everyone who wants to understand their own organization. Their instrument (OCAI) is both easy to understand and easy to use.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very useful framework and tool for changing org culture
I took Prof. Cameron's course on "Navigating Change" at the U of M Business School and this book was used as ONE of the tools that could be used in understanding and managing change in an organization's culture. There are many ways to look at organizational culture. This one gives you a means to measure various aspects and get a view of where you are and where you think you need to be. It can elicit helpful discussion and real insights into your organization.

The book gives helpful background and context for the model (what each quadrant means and doesn't mean), the instrument itself, instructions for administering it, and instructions on how to interpret it. It also provides a condensed formula for organizational change and helpful hints on how to begin change in each of the quadrants.

As we used it in class and our term project it helped us understand the organization our team studied and why it was different than its competitors. I think Competing Values Framework is a powerful model that is backed by up with a lot of research and can be very useful when used seriously. This is a very helpful book. ... Read more


19. An Experiential Approach to Organization Development (6th Edition)
by Don Harvey, Donald R. Brown
list price: $84.00
our price: $79.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0130262781
Catlog: Book (2000-12-08)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 69703
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars Games, and more games!
This book is nothing more than a collection of games. Practice must be based on theory. The authors' approach will not lead to lasting change.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's a very helpful.
I think this book is very available for lecturers and practicioners. I would like to know about some additional materials such as VIDEO CASES, Accumen personal computer softwate, and Louts 1-2-3 templates. Please give me the above information. I want to puchase these materials. sincerely yours. ... Read more


20. The Minding Organization : Bring the Future to the Present and Turn Creative Ideas into Business Solutions
by Moshe F.Rubinstein, Iris R.Firstenberg
list price: $34.95
our price: $23.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471347817
Catlog: Book (1999-08-16)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 264673
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Change. It's fast, furious, relentless--and we're all in the midst of it. Indeed, it's the topic of choice for most business books on the market today. The problem, however, is that so many of these books merely warn managers how to plan for and anticipate change, rather than giving useful guidance on how to react to it successfully.

That's where the authors of The Minding Organization have made a difference. Rubinstein and Firstenberg believe that the real issue for businesses dealing with change lies in developing a truly adaptable organization. Being able to adapt, they argue, is the key not only to coping with a continuously changing environment but to addressing the problems that arise within that environment with innovative, successful solutions. An adaptable organization is a living, breathing organism, a "minding organization" that coordinates its goals and efforts as a single being. Each part of the organization knows what the other parts are doing, and is committed to creating a cohesive unit that maintains a unified focus for the future, shares information, articulates and learns from the individual errors of its members, continually seeks to strengthen its powers of perception, and is able to express itself creatively in a variety of ways. By developing this unity, an organization can bring the future closer to the present; it will be able to respond to events in real time, thereby transforming change from a threat to continued existence to a catalyst for improved performance. This type of organization won't shy away from the chaos of change but will embrace its opportunities, ready and well equipped to respond quickly and effectively.

The Minding Organization is a meaty book, packed with inspiring examples, solid analyses, and practical suggestions. Rubinstein, a professor at the UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Firstenberg, an adjunct professor in UCLA's Psychology Department, make a good team (they also wrotePatterns of Problem Solving). They apply theoretical knowledge and practical experience to the realities of the business world in a timely and useful manner. Forget being the CEO; this book will teach you how to be an OEC, an operator on the edge of chaos, capable of inspiring and leading a flexible, evolving, and thriving organization. --S. Ketchum ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Care and Feeding of Intellect
According to the authors, "To keep up with the complexity and uncertainty of an unconventional and largely unpredictable global business world, organizations must embrace a new metaphor that will transform an organization into a minding organization. The minding organization behaves like a living organism, in which adapting is central to vitality and control." Agreeing with Drucker that organizations must manage the implications and consequences of a future that has already occurred, the authors suggest a number of strategies which will "bring the future to the present and turn creative ideas into business solutions." Their book is organized as follows:

Chapter One: The Minding Organization

Chapter Two: Transforming the Organization into an Organism

Chapter Three: Adapting and Planning

Chapter Four: Structure, Creativity, and Error: The Foundations of the Minding Organization

Chapter Five: Chaos to Order to Chaos: Embracing Uncertainty

Chapter Six: Expanding the Imagination: Frames as Filters

Chapter Seven: Kniht [Think] Backward: Visit the Future in the Present

Chapter Eight: The New Leadership: Operating on the Edge of Chaos

Chapter Nine: The Minding Organization in Action

The authors provide a rigorous analysis of each component of a process by which to "bring the future to the present and turn creative ideas into business solutions." At the conclusion of Chapter Six, they suggest that the minding organization "creates chaos deliberately up front by starting with divergent concurrent perceptions and encourages errors to surface early when the costs of detection and correction are minimal." Immediately in the next chapter, they explain that the "frames" we create "filter the world for us, allowing us to manage the tremendous amount of information available." They then examine various "filters" which could prevent us from formulating the aforementioned "divergent concurrent perceptions." The sequence of the authors' ideas thus flows logically from one chapter to the next.

In the final chapter, the authors identify thirteen "precepts" of the minding organization. By now they have explained the interrelationships between (indeed the interdependence of) these precepts; they have also provided a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effective plan by which to apply those precepts to the needs of any organization, regardless of its size or nature.

Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to read two books written by Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline and The Dance of Change. Rubinstein, Firstenberg, and Senge no doubt agree with Derek Bok's observation, when criticized by parents of Harvard students after a tuition increase: "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." In the minding organization, education is alive and well...and given its relative cost, a bargain.

3-0 out of 5 stars First "Learning" Organisation, Now "Minding" Organisation
This book taps into the trend of seeing organisations in organic terms and focusing on action-based creativity. It is about creating a "minding organization," one that behaves like a human being-instantly able to adapt to new and ever-changing conditions; where the right hand literally knows what the left hand is doing.

In a minding organization, all of the parties involved in a project-whether it's developing a new product, streamlining a process, or changing a strategy-get together from the start to explore the issues. They bring insights up front that would normally be learned only later on, a kind of high-level connection that is the hallmark of the minding organization and the surest way to gain competitive advantage. The goal of a minding organization is to adapt so readily that it innovates before its competitors do.

This book shows managers how to transform their organisation into one that behaves like a living organism-alive with ideas and instantly able to adapt for survival in an increasingly complex, unpredictable global business world.

Moshe F. Rubinstein is a professor at the UCLA School of Engineering and a frequent speaker at universities and organizations all over the world. Iris R. Firstenberg is an adjunct professor in the UCLA Department of Psychology and has also taught at the UCLA School of Engineering and the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA.

Reviewed by Azlan Adnan, Managing Partner of Azlan & Koh Knowledge and Professional Management Group. ... Read more


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