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    1. Good to Great: Why Some Companies
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    2. Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create
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    3. Strategic Management : Concepts
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    4. Strategic Management and Business
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    5. Lean Thinking : Banish Waste and
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    6. Business and Its Environment (4th
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    7. The Strategy Process (4th Edition)
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    8. Modeling Derivatives in C++ (Wiley
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    9. The Balanced Scorecard: Translating
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    10. Strategic Management : Competitiveness
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    12. Organizational Theory, Design,
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    14. Think Big, Act Small : How America's
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    16. The Medici Effect: Breakthrough
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    17. Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking
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    18. SCORE! : A Better Way to Do Busine$$:
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    19. Concepts in Strategic Management
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    20. The Organizational Behavior Reader

    1. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
    by Jim Collins
    list price: $27.50
    our price: $19.25
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0066620996
    Catlog: Book (2001-10)
    Publisher: HarperBusiness
    Sales Rank: 52
    Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com's Best of 2001

    Five years ago, Jim Collins asked the question, "Can a good company become a great company and if so, how?" In Good to Great Collins, the author of Built to Last, concludes that it is possible, but finds there are no silver bullets. Collins and his team of researchers began their quest by sorting through a list of 1,435 companies, looking for those that made substantial improvements in their performance over time. They finally settled on 11--including Fannie Mae, Gillette, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo--and discovered common traits that challenged many of the conventional notions of corporate success. Making the transition from good to great doesn't require a high-profile CEO, the latest technology, innovative change management, or even a fine-tuned business strategy. At the heart of those rare and truly great companies was a corporate culture that rigorously found and promoted disciplined people to think and act in a disciplined manner. Peppered with dozens of stories and examples from the great and not so great, the book offers a well-reasoned road map to excellence that any organization would do well to consider. Like Built to Last, Good to Great is one of those books that managers and CEOs will be reading and rereading for years to come. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

    Reviews (298)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Jim Collins: REQUIRED READING (See why.)
    With an overall keen focus on discipline and accountability, Jim Collins was assisted by a large team of gifted, discerning graduate students. Hence, "Good to Great" is a most welcome piece of major solid research in our current time when "business spin" has contributed to the failure of corporations, market values, employee careers, etc. Unfortunately, similar books over the past few decades have relied more on "impressionism" from the author(s), including the now famous "In Search of Excellence" which has since been exposed as not fully grounded in the true facts of the time. While Warren Buffet is not identified as a "Level 5" leader in "Good to Great," this is a volume which could surely bear the imprimatur from that "Sage of Omaha." This book could even assist GE's Jack Welch "grow" into a more effective individual. [Prepare yourself for a surprise-jolt: based on Jim Collins' penetrating analyses across 11 major organizations, Mr. Welch would probably be considered as a "Level 4" leader.]

    This book is of significant value to anyone wanting to move from "good to great" no matter if it is within a profit, not-for-profit, or even in a home-family setting. Great, easy reading and, most importantly, an excellent, life-long reference manual to help you remain "tuned-up." Notably, this book should be a required supplemental text for all general management courses (undergraduate or graduate).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Achieving and continuing spectacular business success
    In 1994, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras wrote one of the most successful management books of the last decade: Built to Last. Collins and Porras had studied 18 visionairy companies, many of which had existed for 60 years or more. These companies had a strong focus on values and people and great ability to to learn and exchange knowledge. They gave less priority to maximalizing shareholder value but paradoxically outperformed the market enormously. In a conversation with Jim Collins, McKinsey director Bill Meehan said he, too, loved the book, but added: "Unfortunately, it's useless". He explained why. The companies featured in Built to Last had always been great companies. But because most companies are just good (not great) they are not interested in a book which shows how to stay great (Built to Last) but in a book that shows how to become great. The matter inspired Collins. He built a research team of 15 people and started a 5 year study.

    The team tried to identify companies that had jumped from good to great and had managed to continue their great growth for at least 15 years. They found 11 of these (Abbott, Circuit City, Fannie Mae, Gilette, Kimberly-Clark, Kroger, Nucor, Philip Morris, Pitney Bowes, Walgreens, Wells Fargo). These good-to-great companies (GTG's) outperformed the market by a factor 6.9 in the 15 year period of the analysis! (General Electric outperformed the market 'only' by a factor 2.8 between 1985 and 2000).

    The study focused on the question: what did the GTG's have in common that distinguished them from comparable companies in comparable circumstances? The GTG's were compared with two sets of other companies: 1) the direct-comparisons: companies within the same sector and in comparable circumstances, 2) the unsustained comparisons: companies that had had a breakthrough but that had not been able to continue their success. Collins intended to, from the ground up, build a theory which could explain the successful transformation of the GTG's.

    As it turned out, all of the GTG's had a period of build up, preparation (often lasting many years) before the breakthrough moment. Three phases could be identified:

    PHASE 1: DISCIPLINED PEOPLE
    1. LEVEL 5 LEADERSHIP: contrary to the expectation, leaders of the GTG's turned out to be quiet, self effacing and even shy. At the same time, however, they were very determined. Mostly, they were leaders that came from within the company and that have remained unknown to the greater public.

    2. FIRST WHO...THEN WHAT: also contrary to what you might expect was that GTG's first got the right people on the bus and the wrong people off and only then focused on strategic direction and vision.

    PHASE 2: DISCIPLINED THOUGHT
    3. CONFRONT THE BRUTAL FACTS (..BUT NEVER LOSE HOPE). Characteristic was a combination of realism and hope.
    4. THE HEDGEHOG CONCEPT (SIMPLICITY IN THREE CIRCLES): just like a hedgehog, the GTG's seemed to have a very simple but effective success formula: all of the activities of the company had to lie within the intersection of the following three circles: 1) what can we become best in the world at? 2) what are we passionate about? 3) what can we make money with?

    PHASE 3: DISCIPLINED ACTION
    5. CULTURE OF DISCIPLINE: the GTG's turned out to have a culture of discipline that made hierarchy and bureaucracy largely superfluous.
    6. TECHNOLOGY ACCELERATORS: none of the GTG's had technology as a cause of the success, but technology did play the role of accelerator of the success.

    Collins rather convincingly demonstrates the validity of this model. All of the GTG's showed these practices throughout the 15 year period, while none of the direct comparisons did. The unsustained comparisons showed some of these practises often right until the moment of their decline.

    Looking at the share price development of the GTG's, you might expect that there has been a clear marking point of the transformation because their share price stays rather flat at first (for many years) and then just suddenly takes off and keeps on going up. An important finding of the team was, however, that there were nó special change programs, and nó breakthrough decisions or products. On the contrary, the process evolved very fluently. To eplain, Collins uses the metaphor of the flying wheel. When you start to turn this wheel it goes heavily and moves slowly. But by continuously keeping on turning the wheel, it starts to build momentum and then, just suddenly, a point is reached at which the wheel turns at great speed without you having to turn it any harder than at first. Is this the practice of many companies? Not at all! The reality of many companies is nót consistently following a chosen path but rather swinging from one hype to another.

    I think this research evokes one principal issue. That the concept 'great' is operationalized in a financial way is easily understood from a practical standpoint. This criterion is clear and rather easily obtained and makes it easy to compare the companies scientifically. But is 'great' the best word to describe spectacular financial success? Does their financial success necessarily make GTG's 'great'? Wouldn't that be like saying that Bill Gates en Silvio Berlusconi are great people while implying Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa are not?

    But, having said that, demonstrating how companies achieve and continue spectacular financial success, in itself, is extremely interesting and valuable. This is a terrific book that, I think, has the quality to equal or perhaps even surpass the success of Built to Last. Unlike most management books (which contain creative but highly speculative ideas), the message of this book is based on well-designed research and mindful interpretation of results that is explained and justified terrifically. Despite this thoroughness, the book remains a pleasant read. A pity that the book does not offer some more practical suggestions to help readers get started. I think that would have made it even better.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Study on Critical Factors for Organisational Greatness
    Collins' curiosity and clear study brings to light some of those factors that contribute to greatness. These findings are grounded within individual, teachable 'points of view' which are easily applied to large organisations and applicable to small busness as well.
    Collins puts his findings in clear accessable language. Including the finding that is responsible for the title... That good is the enemy of great.
    I highly recommend this book/CD to leaders that are enaged with designing futures and those that work with them. It is core reading for key teams. It has made a significant difference in being able to articulate powerful conversations with teams about that which is tacit and critical to success. Giving common language and principles to engage with. A great study book for learning teams.

    3-0 out of 5 stars But, what about........?

    Read it - but maybe buy it used

    This books does however ask some good questions about how to go from being good to GREAT such as:

    1. What am I(or what is the company) intrinsically passionate about?
    2. What is the company\I good at? and does this "thing" come naturally?
    3. Finally does this area that was chosen have "GREAT" potential?

    On the other hand, here are some questions that I felt were left unanswered:

    Can't you be GREAT at two things at the same time?

    According to Jack Welch's book, you should strive to be #1 OR #2.
    btw: Aren't there three medals awarded in the Olympics?

    What about sales? The Mary Kay Company motto is "Nothing happens until somebody sells something." (from her book)

    What about creating barriers to entry for competitors? (to protect market share like Carnegie or Rockefeller did)

    Why didn't you include MORE on the failures of the Good to Great companies? Not just the failures of the competition. Guys like Edison, Lincoln had many defeats before they found ultimate success.
    Doesn't bouncing back from failures have something to do with going from Good to Great?

    The author mentions getting the right people in the right seats on the bus and the wrong people off. I believe this is an oversimplification. Age, salary, tenure, unions, hierarchy etc make this a very difficult task to accomplish!!

    Yes this book took 5 years to write and was supported by 21 staff researchers BUT I am not totally convinced of the results. (and I liked the first book - Built to Last)
    That's why I gave it only 3 stars

    5-0 out of 5 stars Must read for any executive, manager, or entrepreneur
    This book was number one on the Wall Street Journal's list for a long time for good reason. It is a very pleasurable and easy read that will certainly set off light bulbs in your head. The coverage of the iterative process of buildup and breakthrough is outstanding. If you are an executive, manager, or entrepreneur, make sure you grab this book and take it to the beach or knock it out over a weekend. It certainly belongs in your library. ... Read more


    2. Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant
    by W. Chan Kim, Renée Mauborgne
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $18.45
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1591396190
    Catlog: Book (2005-01-25)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 35883
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    Book Description

    Winning by Not Competing: A Fresh Approach to Strategy

    Since the dawn of the industrial age, companies have engaged in head-to-head competition in search of sustained, profitable growth. They have fought for competitive advantage, battled over market share, and struggled for differentiation. Yet these hallmarks of competitive strategy are not the way to create profitable growth in the future.

    In a book that challenges everything you thought you knew about the requirements for strategic success, W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne argue that cutthroat competition results in nothing but a bloody red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves spanning more than a hundred years and thirty industries, the authors argue that lasting success comes not from battling competitors, but from creating "blue oceans": untapped new market spaces ripe for growth. Such strategic moves-which the authors call "value innovation"- create powerful leaps in value that often render rivals obsolete for more than a decade.

    Blue Ocean Strategy presents a systematic approach to making the competition irrelevant and outlines principles and tools any company can use to create and capture blue oceans. A landmark work that upends traditional thinking about strategy, this book charts a bold new path to winning the future.

    W. Chan Kim is the Boston Consulting Group Bruce D. Henderson Chair Professor of Strategy and International Management at INSEAD. Renée Mauborgne is the INSEAD Distinguished Fellow and Professor of Strategy and Management.

    ... Read more


    3. Strategic Management : Concepts and Cases (10th Edition)
    by Fred David
    list price: $136.67
    our price: $136.67
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    Asin: 0131503499
    Catlog: Book (2004-07-23)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 12531
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The tenth edition of Strategic Management is a current, well-written strategic management book with the most up-to-date compilation of cases available. Designed in functional four-color, it offers a popular practitioner-oriented perspective, focuses on skill-building in all major areas of strategy formation, implementation, and evaluation, and weaves three very contemporary themes throughout each chapter—globalization, the natural environment, and e-commerce. 46 Experiential Exercises, and 43 cases are included. The author provides and overview of strategic management, as well as strategy formulation and implementation, strategy evaluation, strategic management case analysis, 46 Experiential Exercises and 43 cases including service company cases and manufacturing company cases. For management professionals, small business owners and others involved in business.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good book, but not spectacular
    This is a good, step-by-step book for strategic management.

    It lays out the steps very well, but it could use a bit more information.

    The financial ratios section could use more information, and the case studies are often unequal in the types of information that they carry. This makes it difficult to do competitor comparisons.

    How do you rank a company's workers policy when only one case has information on it and the other does not? You cannot simply discount such information when it could be an important competitve factor.

    Essentially, this is a good book for teaching you a process, but it could use some work on giving you more details.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Wealth of Information
    This book provides you with numerous analytical tools that can be used to quantify the strategic decision making process. Not a real page turner but the models are useful and the case analysis provides real world examples of companies entering strategic crossroads. Overall I think it provides the reader with a pragmatic way of managing the abundance of information involved in the strategic decision making process.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Strategic Management: Concepts & Cases
    It is a helpfull book, especially for anyone who deal with the strategy formulation. This book provide some valuable tools for analyzing the organization's environment, both external and internal, which is something special with this book that make it different with the other.

    3-0 out of 5 stars An up-to-date book on strategic management
    This book was the text for my strategic management class, and it was one of my favorite textbooks. The authors of this book tried to explain the concepts of strategic management. The case studies were very interesting, and the book gave insight into successes and failures of some companies. It may be wordy, but it's packed with useful information and analysis.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Need a College textbook
    Great introduction into strategic management.A lot of topics about global strategic management. ... Read more


    4. Strategic Management and Business Policy, Ninth Edition
    by Tom Wheelen, J. David Hunger, David Hunger
    list price: $133.00
    our price: $133.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0131421794
    Catlog: Book (2003-07-15)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 40475
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This comprehensive book offers an engaging look into new and traditional strategic management topics. Its thorough coverage helps readers develop an understanding of the wide range of theories and research available in this field—from competitive strategy and industry analysis to environmental trends and ethics. Integration of international issues throughout provides an essential understanding of global economics and its impact on business activities in any location. KEY TOPICS 43 timely and well-researched corporate cases examine real companies at all stages of development.For directors of strategic planning, competitive intelligence analysts, and strategic planners. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Common sense for those that know business concepts well...
    Although one may learn new terms, most of the concepts laid out in this book are fairly common sense, if you've had any type of job in your life where you had to do payroll, forcast sales, or any other "strategic" processes of doing business. This is not to talk down at the book....it is an excellent book that covers the topic(s) that it set out to quite well. In the real business world, you would always try to figure out the most cost effective way to increase profits, decrease costs, and simultaneously maintain workplace efficiency. I didn't really need a textbook to tell me that.

    I originally bought this book on the advice of bain4weeks.com which recommended this as the text of choice to successfully test out of the Excelsior College Exam ECE Business Policy and Strategy. 120collegecredits.com did not have a study guide for this test at the time . While I merely scanned through a few of the pages, I ended up getting a "B" on what was supposed to the the "capstone" business degree class. The test was all essay response, which made it sound hard, but to be honest, it was probably one of the easiest tests I've taken. It took all 3 hours, but it was kind of hard to fail that exam. AS LONG AS you put something down for an answer, and it made sense to the senario. It was very open-response and more or less asked for your opinion on the best way to solve the particular case study.

    I strongly recommend anyone wishing to get 3 required upper level semester credits in Business Policy/Strategy to register NOW for that ECE exam; it will be discontinued in Sept 2004. Grab the Strategic Management book if you feel you'll need a good review of what would be unfamiliar business concepts for you. TECEP does have a version of the Business Policy test as well . But I'd try to take the Excelsior version while I can. outlines the whole credit-by-examination process and how to finish your degree a lot faster.

    5-0 out of 5 stars See your business as an integrated whole
    I originally used an older version of this book in 1991 when I took Wheelen's class "Strategic Management and Business Policy". The value of this book is Wheelen's methods of taking all the parts of a business and integrating them into a workable whole--the physical tool to enable such a transformation is the strategic business plan. I was only 20 when I read this book, and I was awestruck.

    This was the most valuable book I read in college. ... Read more


    5. Lean Thinking : Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation, Revised and Updated
    by James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones, James Womack, Daniel Jones
    list price: $28.00
    our price: $18.48
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743249275
    Catlog: Book (2003-06-10)
    Publisher: Free Press
    Sales Rank: 1809
    Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    In the revised and updated edition of Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation, authors James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones provide a thoughtful expansion upon their value-based business system based on the Toyota model. Along the way they update their action plan in light of new research and the increasing globalization of manufacturing, and they revisit some of their key case studies (most of which still derive, however, from the automotive, aerospace, and other manufacturing industries).

    The core of the lean model remains the same in the new edition. All businesses must define the "value" that they produce as the product that best suits customer needs. The leaders must then identify and clarify the "value stream," the nexus of actions to bring the product through problems solving, information management, and physical transformation tasks. Next, "lean enterprise" lines up suppliers with this value stream. "Flow" traces the product across departments. "Pull" then activates the flow as the business re-orients towards the pull of the customer's needs. Finally, with the company reengineered towards its core value in a flow process, the business re-orients towards "perfection," rooting out all the remaining muda (Japanese for "waste") in the system.

    Despite the authors' claims to "actionable principles for creating lasting value in any business during any business conditions," the lean model is not demonstrated with broad applications in the service or retail industries. But those manager's whose needs resonate with those described in the Lean Thinking case studies will find a host of practical guidelines for streamlining their processes and achieving manufacturing efficiencies. --Patrick O'Kelley ... Read more

    Reviews (25)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good Conceptual Overview of Eliminating Waste in Producing
    Unlike most cost-reduction books, Lean Thinking has a strong conceptual underpinning for thinking about improving your operations. The authors move beyond the narrowest application of the lean manufacturing model (the original Toyota system) to explore key concepts like value (what do the customers want? as opposed to what do they choose from the limited options we give them?), flow (continuous production is faster and more efficient than batch processing), pull (letting immediate demand determine what is produced rather than sales projections), and perfection (thinking through the ideal way to do things, rather than just improving from where you are today somewhat). Providing this conceptual framework makes it easier to understand the benefits of operating a lean enterprise. People who did not understand the message in Direct from Dell would find Lean Thinking to be a useful framework.

    One of the strengths of this book is that it is deliberately full of examples of companies which took traditional methods in existing plants and converted them into lean operations. I know of no other set of case histories half as useful on this subject.

    The key limitation of this book is that most people new to lean manufacturing would not be able to implement solely using the book as a guide. The conceptual perspective, while being uniquely valuable, leaves the inexperienced person with few guideposts. Some of the key requirements are simply described as "get the knowledge" and so forth. As a follow-up, I suggest that the authors team with those who have done this work and write a hands-on guide. Much more benefit will follow.

    If you are interested in understanding how a new business model of how to provide your products and/or services might work and what the benefits might be, Lean Thinking is a good place to start. Most executives and operations managers have never seriously considered going from batch to cell-based production. This will open your eyes to the potential.

    Based on my many years of experience with improving business processes, you will actually need to go visit some of the companies cited to fully understand the issues and what must be done. I know that visits to Pratt & Whitney can be arranged and are very insightful. You might try to start with that one.

    One area may turn you off. The cited examples moved forward pretty ruthlessly. That may not be your cup of tea. You may be reminded of some of the early reengineering. My own experience is that such changes can be done in a more positive and constructive way. Stay open to that possibility as you read the cases. They basically all use command and control to create more flexibility. You can also use other methods like those encouraged in The Soul at Work and The Living Company to create these kinds of results. Keep that in mind.

    I recommend that everyone who uses batch and sequential operation methods read this book. It will open your eyes to great potential to grow faster and more profitably.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the business bible!
    As a strategic planning consultant, I recommend 'Lean Thinking' to all of my clients. Some mistakenly view this book as a 'how to' for manufacturing companies. While it is, it is also much more. It is an attitude about business strategy. Waste, in any type of company, drains profits in one of two ways: as direct costs that they can see today, and as indirect costs when waste discourages repeat business. For any business manager worth his or her six figure income, this book is a must read.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Great, if you like stories about business.
    I'm not sure who the audience is for Lean Thinking. Call me naïve, but I assumed it was written by Womack and Jones to help organizations analyze their business processes and eliminate muda (Japanese for "waste"), thereby improving overall performance. However, after reading almost 250 pages of anecdotal success stories, the chapter entitled "Action Plan," where one would assume resides the punch-line of the text, I was met by the profound advice to "Get the knowledge" by hiring one of the numerous experts in North America, Europe or Japan, and read some of the "vast literature" available on lean techniques. Reminds me of the Steve Martin joke where he tells you how to be a millionaire. "First, get a million dollars."

    After reading Lean Thinking, I'm struck by the irony that while the authors recommend removing waste from the manner by which your products are delivered to the end customer, they don't take their own advice. The text could have been distilled from 384 pages down to five or six, since there's no real substantive instruction on how to implement lean principles. Then again, maybe I completely misinterpreted the intent of the authors as to their audience and it really was written for the business historian who enjoys reading about how Pratt & Whitney started in 1855. That must be it, because after I ponder the title, I realize that Lean Thinking is for just that, thinking. What I really wanted was a book entitled Lean Doing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Roadmap for Efficient Value Creation
    Would you like to double productivity, cut development time by 60%, reduce inventory by 65%, reduce throughput time by 95%, reduce capital investment while doubling sales? Pre-existing assets, technologies, practices, organizations and concepts often cause enormous waste, i.e. activity which does not create value. This exciting book is about a way to do more and more with less and less - to create value instead of waste.

    Lean Principles
    1. Accurately understand VALUE (needs and preferences) from the customer's perspective.

    2. Perform VALUE STREAM analysis. This will reveal three types of actions: 1) those that create value, 2) those that do not create value but are unavoidable in the present situation and 3) those that don't create value and are immediately avoidable.

    3. After eliminating avoidable waste activities, make the remaining activities continuously FLOW. This requires the elimination of departmentalized "high speed" batch-and-queue "efficiency". It requires quick changeovers, "right-sizing" and close coupling of operations without buffers. The authors state that the results are always a dramatic reduction of effort and improvement in throughput.

    4. Because of the radical reduction achieved in throughput time, you now are capable of Just In Time operations. You can now let the customer PULL the product.

    5. Finally search for PERFECTION. Perfection is, of course, impossible. But the effort compels progress.

    "Just Do It"
    The lean approach is to "just do it" with dedicated cross functional product teams which often include suppliers and customers.

    The beauty of this system is that it won't work at all unless everything works properly all the time. Thus 100% performance becomes an absolute requirement.

    The authors present a number of very interesting case studies in which dramatic results were obtained. They conclude with advice as to how to get started - including a list of available resources. This book is especially well-suited to operations managers, but will also benefit any executive in a company that relies upon operational excellence as a part of their strategy.

    (Robert Bradford is CEO of Center for Simplified Strategic Planning and co-author of Simplified Strategic Planning)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Russian edition of Lean thinking
    This book was translated and published in Russia in January 2004. We find that it will be interesting and usefull for russian managers and companies. ... Read more


    6. Business and Its Environment (4th Edition)
    by David P. Baron
    list price: $133.00
    our price: $133.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0130470643
    Catlog: Book (2002-07-19)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 246328
    Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Brings together the disciplines of economics, political science, law, and ethics to address a class ofmanagement issues of growing importance to the performance of companies.Provides conceptual frameworks for understanding issues in the environment of business and their development; strategy formulation; analysis of the news media; political analysis; the economics and politics of government intervention in markets (regulation, antitrust, and torts); the economics and politics of international trade; the political economy of countries; and ethical analysis and decision-making.For all business professionals, including managers looking to enhance their knowledge of an ever-changing, increasingly global field. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    3-0 out of 5 stars The book for dilettante readers
    The author provided some good examples to demonstrate some business's environments. The book is very readable. You will get bored if you have exposed to industrial organization or some applications of game theory.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Easy Reading
    I've read a good chunk of this book during a B-school elective on non-market strategies, and found it imparted some valuable information. It's not very prescriptive if that's what you're looking for. But it made me feel like I got something out of the class despite an unstellar professor. ... Read more


    7. The Strategy Process (4th Edition)
    by Henry Mintzberg, Joseph B. Lampel, James Brian Quinn, Sumantra Ghoshal
    list price: $140.00
    our price: $140.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0130479136
    Catlog: Book (2002-08-02)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 60629
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (3)

    3-0 out of 5 stars decent book
    This book is an ok book. The cases are very interesting and they were the best part of the book. The readings in the first half of the book were random at times and generally not that good. Mintzberg has a great grasp of the concepts, but the book does not do well at conveying them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent business book
    This is the kind of book that everyone who wants to be a business administrator should read. It is a compilation of diferents articles most of them from HBR and each unit has some real cases which explain the theme better.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very good book.
    I managed to read it throughly and study most of the cases presented on this book. This book is a very actual source of information to learn and expand existing knowledge. I give 5-stars due to the fact that it is rich in its contents. ... Read more


    8. Modeling Derivatives in C++ (Wiley Finance)
    by JustinLondon
    list price: $95.00
    our price: $59.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0471654647
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-17)
    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
    Sales Rank: 7087
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    Book Description

    This book is the definitive and most comprehensive guide to modeling derivatives in C++ today. Providing readers with not only the theory and math behind the models, as well as the fundamental concepts of financial engineering, but also actual robust object-oriented C++ code, this is a practical introduction to the most important derivative models used in practice today, including equity (standard and exotics including barrier, lookback, and Asian) and fixed income (bonds, caps, swaptions, swaps, credit) derivatives. The book provides complete C++ implementations for many of the most important derivatives and interest rate pricing models used on Wall Street including Hull-White, BDT, CIR, HJM, and LIBOR Market Model. London illustrates the practical and efficient implementations of these models in real-world situations and discusses the mathematical underpinnings and derivation of the models in a detailed yet accessible manner illustrated by many examples with numerical data as well as real market data. A companion CD contains quantitative libraries, tools, applications, and resources that will be of value to those doing quantitative programming and analysis in C++. Filled with practical advice and helpful tools, Modeling Derivatives in C++ will help readers succeed in understanding and implementing C++ when modeling all types of derivatives. ... Read more


    9. The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action
    by Robert S. Kaplan, David P. Norton
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0875846513
    Catlog: Book (1996-09-01)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 4039
    Average Customer Review: 3.92 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Here is the book--by the recognized architects of the Balanced Scorecard--that shows how managers can use this revolutionary tool to mobilize their people to fulfill the company's mission.More than just a measurement system, the Balanced Scorecard is a management system that can channel the energies, abilities, and specific knowledge held by people throughout the organization toward achieving long-term strategic goals.

    Kaplan and Norton demonstrate how senior executives in industries such as banking, oil, insurance, and retailing are using the Balanced Scorecard both to guide current performance and to target future performance.They show how to use measures in four categories-financial performance, customer knowledge, internal business processes, and learning and growth-to align individual, organizational, and cross-departmental initiatives and to identify entirely new processes for meeting customer and shareholder objectives.

    The authors also reveal how to use the Balanced Scorecard as a robust learning system for testing, gaining feedback on, and updating the organization's strategy.Finally, they walk through the steps that managers in any company can use to build their own Balanced Scorecard.

    The Balanced Scorecard provides the management system for companies to invest in the long term-in customers, in employees, in new product development, and in systems-rather than managing the bottom line to pump up short-term earnings.It will change the way you measure and manage your business.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (38)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Overcome Poor Communications and Bureaucracy for New Actions
    The Balanced Scorecard looks at the important issues of alignment, coordination, and effective implementation. Most business thinkers like to start with the big picture, and end there. As a result, most ideas for going in a new direction are quickly diluted by misunderstanding, falling back on old habits, and lethargy. Since Peter Drucker first popularized the idea of business strategy, there have been vastly more strategies conceived than there have been strategies successfully implemented as a result. Much attention has been paid to devising better strategies in the last four decades, and little to implementing strategies. The big pay-off is in the implementation, and The Balanced Scorecard is one of handful of books that provide important and valuable guidance to explain what needs to be done to successfully execute strategy. You must have more measures, and different measures than the accounting system provides. You also need to link measures and compensation to the key tasks that each person must perform. This book is simply the Rosetta Stone of communicating and managing strategy. The Balanced Scorecard is the beginning of the practical period of maturity in the field of business strategy. Read this book today to enjoy much more prosperity! I also recommend that you read The Fifth Discipline, The Fifth Discipline Handbook, and The Dance of Change to understand more about the context in which you are trying to make positive change. These four books are excellent companions for each other.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Book that spawned a core business approach
    This book is a seminal work that has significantly affected the way businesses frame and execute strategy.

    In a nutshell, the authors show you how to view your business strategy, drivers and key indicators in four dimensions - financial, external (customer satisfaction), internal (processes) and learning/growth. They then show you how to link these to your strategies and develop and execute plan for transforming them into action and results.

    The good and the bad. First, the good - before Kaplan and Norton published this book there was no standardized method for framing and measuring what's important. This book rectifies that. Also, the ideas first introduced have been embraced and extended to the point that a book search of similar titles returns over 2600 hits, and a google search using 'balanced scorecard' as a keyword returns ten time that many. This is a clear indication of how influential this book is and remains eight years after publication. But those are simple statistics. What's important about this book is many of the other resources that have sprang from it assume that you are familiar with the concepts and approach in this book.

    The bad - the writing style, as noted by others is ponderous. That does not diminish the concepts and approach. It is also showing its age, but only because of the body of work that this book has inspired, which has greatly extended and refined the basic ideas. You will still need to read this book to get the most out of the body of work that is based upon it. Also note that even Kaplan and Norton, the authors, have extended this work into strategy maps and a 'strategy-focused organization' paradigm.

    Overall this book has - and will continue to - influence thinking. The ideas set forth are still evolving and have been embraced by some of the largest (and smallest) companies on the planet. If you are new to this material I recommend visiting Balanced Scorecard Institute (ASIN B00006CKQ2) for introductory information, and Balanced Scorecard Online (ASIN B00006DBZ5) for more detailed material.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Be a Top Performer
    If you want to rise to the top in your business and career you need to have a great system for managing results. The management cycle involves defining objectives, assigning responsibilities, developing performance standards, evaluating results, and developing improvements where necessary.

    There may be many layers or hierarchies of organizational objectives, such as Corporate, Branch, Department, Team, and Individual. A good management system will capture all of the organizational objectives, and all will be linked to the overall business strategy. One helpful tool for capturing organizational objectives is the Balanced Scorecard. This system
    uses measures in four major categories:

    1. FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

    2. CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

    3. INTERNAL BUSINESS PROCESSES

    4. LEARNING AND GROWTH REQUIREMENTS

    The actual measures selected are highly dependent upon the type of business and should be carefully developed to ensure proper
    results are obtained. The goal is to select measures that best relate to the overall company strategy. As such, each scorecard will be unique. I have used a Balanced Scorecard and highly recommend them to help organize the complex assemblage of organizational objectives into a unitary whole. This fantastic book tells you everything you need to know. Highly recommended!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Once a 5 star essential, but now slightly outdated
    Kaplan and Norton are the visionaries behind the Balanced Scorecard (BSc), and this is their first book on the subject. BSc as Kaplan and Norton conceived of it was focused on measurement, specifically measuring variables that had some linkage to corporate financial results so that the direction of the organization could be determined prior to the occurrence of a bad quarter or two. THE MEASURES OF ANY MANAGEMENT CONCEPT ARE ITS ADOPTION AND ITS STAYING POWER, AND KAPLAN AND NORTON'S BSc IS AN OVERWHELMING SUCCESS.

    BUT companies that enacted BSc's started to tie them to corporate strategies, making them strategic management tools and not just measurement tools. One of the advancements was to tie define measures that measured the success of strategic intent as defined by specific objectives and goals. Another was to create cause and effect maps of the objectives, called "strategy maps."

    Measurement is, of course, still an important part of the BSc, but the process of determining what to measure begins higher up the strategic ladder. KAPLAN AND NORTON THEMSELVES CHRONICLE THE GROWTH OF BSc INTO A STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT TOOL IN THEIR SUBSEQUENT WORK.

    So, this book is a bit outdated, though it is still a useful introduction. However, I recommend that you try:
    * Strategy Maps: Converting Intangible Assets into Tangible Outcomes by Kaplan and Norton

    * The Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment, also by Kaplan and Norton

    * Balanced Scorecard Step-by-Step: Maximizing Performance and Maintaining Results by Paul R. Niven

    And a good introductory article to the idea of strategy mapping is "Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System", a Harvard Business Review article by Kaplan and Norton that is also available on Amazon.

    2-0 out of 5 stars OK
    The book is somewhat helpful, but given the current conditions, it is no longer applicable. I would rather go for the new book Six Sigma Business Scorecard, which is a surprisingly good modification and has a new revolutionary theme to it. ... Read more


    10. Strategic Management : Competitiveness and Globalization, Concepts and Cases
    by Michael A. Hitt, R. Duane Ireland, Robert E. Hoskisson
    list price: $130.95
    our price: $125.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0324275285
    Catlog: Book (2004-02-13)
    Publisher: South-Western College Pub
    Sales Rank: 34587
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Strategic Management: Competitiveness and Globalization, 6th edition provides the most accurate, relevant, and complete presentation of strategic management today. Authors Michael A. Hitt, R. Duane Ireland, and Robert E. Hoskisson thoroughly revised each chapter, weaving cutting-edge ideas, research, and modern practice to create a presentation that captures the dynamic nature of the field. The authors integrate the traditional industrial organizational model of strategic management with the more modern resource-based view of the firm to explain how firms use the strategic management process to build a sustained competitive advantage. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Strategic Management in the Context of Globalizatiion
    This book is a detailed investigation of strategic management in the context of globalization and competitiveness. An integrated approach is used, but firm-based theory of strategic management is stressed throughout the book. Cases included in the book are chosen properly in relation with the topics, that is theory is clearly connected to the real experiences. Especially, topics titled as "Cooperative Strategy" , "Corporate Governance" , "Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation" will be very useful to better understand the planning dynamics.

    The book is divided into two sections. One is assigned for theory and the other is assigned for cases. Cases are updated and includes the most popular and fabulous companies such as "Amazon.com". Overall, I recommend this comprehensive book (1008 p.) to readers who wish to have a grand source !

    3-0 out of 5 stars Highly Overpriced by Publisher for Quick Profit Seller
    Don't bother buying this book unless you 'absolutely' have to have it for a class you might be taking or for special research. I found this book to be better than most, however it is ridiculously overpriced and would best be left on the shelf to collect dust than to fork over a whole days' wages on this book. ... Read more


    11. Built for Growth: Expanding Your Business Around the Corner or Across the Globe
    by Arthur Rubinfeld, Collins Hemingway
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0131465740
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-07)
    Publisher: Wharton School Publishing
    Sales Rank: 12086
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    If there’s one thing that’s consistent in today’s business world, it’s rapid change. So how do you not only stay steady but actually grow—and quickly enough to stay safely ahead of your competitors? Built for Growth delivers specific solutions to create a brand and presence that generates true customer passion, as you lay a solid foundation for long-term success. Author Arthur Rubinfeld was a major driver in Starbucks' unprecedented retail expansion from 100 stores to more than 4000-- and its transformation into one of the world's most recognized brands. Here he draws on his singular expertise to present a proven, holistic approach to conceiving, designing, and executing your business plan: creating exciting concepts, growing them to fruition in local markets, expanding rapidly, and keeping your brand fresh and relevant as it matures. His revolutionary approach to business strategy embodies strong personal values, promotes exceptional creativity, leverages scientific methodology in finance and market analysis, and brings it all together with 'old-time' customer service. Each lesson is clearly distilled with detailed examples from one of the best business writers, Collins Hemingway, co-author with Bill Gates of the #1 bestseller Business at the Speed of Thought. So whether you're seeking to reignite growth or planning your first store, Built for Growth will be utterly indispensable. Foreword by Jeff Brotman, Co-founder and Chairman of Costco, the world's #1 warehouse club. ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Solid And Straightforward
    Everything you ever wanted to know about success in retail in jammed into this one book.This author covers it all, not just by focusing on the brand or location, but real solid ideas on people management, property management, finance and long term strategy.Somehow the author covered both how an upstart company can get it done and how a big and bland organization can get back on the right track.The books main focus is helping a retail business expand into becoming the next Starbucks.

    The author starts out by detailing some rather hard facts.Most new business owners jump into the enterprise.They do little planning and as a result over half fail within the first year.The author details that the real issues are not always a lack of cash, but that the entrepreneur had a lack of knowledge of how to avoid mistakes, how to efficiently operate a business, and how to think through business issues.The author believes that you need a holistic approach to conceiving, designing and carrying out a retail business plan.This book gives you real world examples on how to keep your brand fresh and relevant.On top of all this the book is also well written and easy to read.The pages fly by.Overall I thought the book was wonderful.It had a ton of insight and more good ideas then you can possibly use.This is one of those books that you keep handy and keep going back to.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Overall book
    I am only half way through this book and have more than gotten my money worth.I am not a retailer but a service business owner and would still consider this a must read.If you like Good to Great, you will like this as well...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Required Reading!
    Run, don't walk, to pick up this book. This is one of the most stimulating and thought provoking books I've read in quite some time. Built For Growth unveils the secrets of the Starbucks expansion. It is full with magnificently researched concepts, leaving a great trail of other inspiring materials. Well written sets of practical tools can be put to use right away.The book outlines growth models that are going to be essential to get ahead. Want to stay one step ahead of the competition? You have to read this book then!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Add This to Your Buisness Bookshelf
    Rubinfeld and Hemingway identify their audience by asking a simple question, "Who doesn't want to run his own business?"Then they segment the audience between the young who "think about it from time to time" and the old who "wish [they] had opened that little shop before the kids came."I fall in the latter category.Still this book offered me much to consider.

    The chapter most directly relevant to me described how to create, train and motivate an effective organization.It was written in the context of hiring a retail team, but the authors' advice carries over well to creating organizations in general.In the hiring process, dig beyond the resumes.A person's values and abilities are the characteristics that make them succeed, not their pedigree.Get past the formal questions quickly and ask less formal ones, ones the interviewee can't anticipate and prepare for in advance and ones that reveal their core values. Look for "utility players," people who can adapt their experiences to different situations.Don't rush the hiring process.Make sure you find the right person and once you do, immerse him or her into the culture of your company as quickly and completely as possible. To get the best you need to be able to tell a compelling story for why that person should want to work for you.You, the hiring manager, need to prepare as much as the interviewee.

    Throughout the book, Rubinfeld and Hemingway stress the importance of articulating your core values when you define your retail business and suggest an exercise:Create a mantra of three words that captures your values, then in a sentence or phrase, explain how each word reflects your values.The examples they give for the companies Il Fornaio Cafe and Bakery, Omaha Steaks and Gateway Computers are instructive for retail purposes, but it occurred to me that this was a valuable exercise even for my own personal values and I took the time to work through my own mantra.

    The strength of the book is definitely Rubinfelds' experiences working with companies either as an employee or a consultant.The authors use those experiences effectively to support their views about what it takes to create first-class retail businesses.The stories of Starbucks, Blue C Sushi, Potbelly Sandwiches and others are each interesting in their own right and they are told over the course of the book in an interesting fashion.

    "Built for Growth" is a book worth reading and keeping on your bookshelf next to other classic business books like Jim Collins's books "Build to Last" and "Good to Great" both of which are referenced by Rubinfeld and Hemingway.If you found the Collins books interesting, you'll enjoy "Build for Growth."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Business Book Page-Turner
    This is a fun, well-written book that provides unique, expert insights into all the tools and concepts needed to turn an idea into a successful retail business.
    It works on two levels.It's a great, practical nuts-and-bolts primer on the process of drafting a business plan, getting investors interested, deciding where to locate, negotiating the lease, designing the store, tailoring your goods to the customer's needs, and developing customer loyalty.It can be scaled up from a single store to a large chain. Co-Author Arthur Rubinfeld, now a prominent retail consultant, was a leading architect of the strategy that turned Starbucks into a household name throughout the world, so his advice is well-taken.He's generous with that advice; filling the book with interesting and amusing anecdotes about the real-world application of his principles.The "inside scoop" on Starbucks' wild ride reads like a good novel.
    On a different level, the book explores the "big picture" ideas that form the zen of retailing.The authors provide hard-won guidance to prospective entrepreneurs in the difficult process of determining what their real goals are, how their retail store or chain will help realize those goals, and how that success will benefit their customers and their community. The authors make an effective plea for a more human approach to establishing a business identity, "branding", through quality service and not just fluff.Along the way they demonstrate that a little soul-searching in the beginning of the process can save many days of regret and lots of money.It will be a very useful and enjoyable addition to your library..
    ... Read more


    12. Organizational Theory, Design, and Change, Fourth Edition
    by Gareth R. Jones
    list price: $125.00
    our price: $125.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0131403710
    Catlog: Book (2003-04-30)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 31229
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    Book Description

    This book provides the most current, thorough, and contemporary account of the factors affecting the organizational design process, making important organization theories accessible and interesting. It addresses the many issues and problems that are involved in managing the process of organizational change and transformation, providing direct and clear managerial implications.Topics covered in this comprehensive book are the organization and its environment; organizational design; organizational change; and finally, interesting case studies that illustrate the concepts presented.A useful book that is appropriate for managers in any organization. ... Read more


    13. The Modern Firm: Organizational Design for Performance and Growth (Clarendon Lectures in Management Studies)
    by John Roberts
    list price: $27.50
    our price: $27.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0198293763
    Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Sales Rank: 15255
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    14. Think Big, Act Small : How America's Best Performing Companies Keep the Start-up Spirit Alive
    by JasonJennings
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1591840767
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-05)
    Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover
    Sales Rank: 3611
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Is it possible for a company to grow its revenues and profits by 10percent ormore for atleast ten consecutive years, not counting acquisitions? That’s an incrediblyhigh bar forgrowth and profitability, one that 99.99 percent of American companies can’tmeet— including the famous ones that routinely land on magazine covers.

    Management expert Jason Jennings screened 100,000 companies to identify ninelittle- known firms that have delivered stellar performance for a full decade or more,despite theups and downs of the economy. And, as he reveals in his new book, thesesuperstars havea lot in common despite their wide range of industries, which includes software,foodservices, medical supplies, and sporting goods.

    It turns out that the best long-term performers all combine the strengths of abigorganization with the hunger of a start-up. They build excellent relationshipswith theircustomers, suppliers, workers, and shareholders. They groom future leaders atall levels.They balance their short-term goals with their long-term visions. And they teachtheirmanagers to get their hands dirty.

    Jennings did extensive interviews at his nine featured companies to find outexactly howthey consistently increase revenue and profits without using manipulation orgimmickry.He reveals their unique approach to leadership and shows how any company, nomatterwhat size or industry, can benefit from following their examples.

    Think Big, Act Small may be the most powerful management book sinceGood to Great and Execution. ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Business Novel--Read for Pleasure, Read for Profit
    Telling the stories of nine companies, in a manner both fascinating and insightful, Jennings's has created a true business novel.You'll want to take this book on vacation for pleasure and then bring it home for profit.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Prudent Business Advice for any Business
    I can't remember the last time I've considered a business non-fiction book a "page turner", but Jason Jennings has accomplished what very few writers in this genre do. His wit, combined with articulate facts, make "Think Big, Act Small" a much better read than similar books. However, what really encapsulated me were candid, yet invigorating details about what differentiates so-so businesses from the shockingly sparse few companies who actually maintain steady, consecutive growth along with increased profits year after year. Free from scandal, quiet, humble, down-to-earth CEO leadership appears to be one pervasive factor for a success formula. Incredibly, Jennings and his staff conduct face-to-face interviews with these precious leaders of the featured corporations more as if it were a coffee clutch than a business profile. Casual, laid-back and approachable, the words they speak aren't about themselves at all. Rather, their sage advice regarding the prosperity of their respective companies proves "big" dreams are still attainable while "acting small" as they genuinely focus on what's best for all.
    As the owner of a successful computer company, one other surprise were the parallels seen within our own business. Namely, of the successful companies featured in the book, more than half are some of our BEST customers. This may be a perfect fit for any proactive sales organization. You'll be hooked from the start so this is just bonus material well worth the price of admission itself.
    This book is a must read for anybody even slightly interested in learning about what makes today's best businesses tick.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Jennings' Most Important Book...Thus Far
    Jennings' highly innovative, at times refreshingly unorthodox thinking was evident in his previously published books,It's Not the Big That Eat the Small...It's the Fast That Eat the Slow (co-authored with Laurence Haughton) and then Less Is More: How Great Companies Use Productivity As a Competitive Tool in Business.

    As I read this volume, I was reminded of at least some of the material in Sun Tzu's The Art of War and, especially, the strategies recommended in a section called "Estimates" in Samuel B. Griffith's superb translation. For example: "All warfare is based on deception. Therefore, when capable, feign incapacity; when active, inactivity. When near, make it appear that you are far away; when far away, that you are near. Offer the enemy a bait to lure him; feign disorder and strike him. When he concentrates, prepare against him; where he is strong, avoid him. Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance. When he is united, divide him. Attack when he is unprepared; sally out when he does not expect you." You get the idea.

    Jennings is a staunch and eloquent advocate of this principle: Do much more and do it much better, faster, and do it with less. OK, but how? The answer to that question was revealed by rigorous and extensive research which he and his two associates (Brian Solon and Greg Powell) conducted. They began with 70,000 companies as candidates for designation as the best performing companies in the U.S. Among all of them, which have increased their revenue and profits by at least 10% for ten years or longer? Only nine qualified: Cabela's, Dot Foods, Koch Industries, Medline Industries, O'Reilly Automotive, PETCO Animal Supplies, SAS Institute, Sonic Drive-in, and Strayer Education.

    Back to "How?" Jennings identifies ten "Building Blocks" which, in combination, explain why each of those in an obviously mixed bag of companies has been and continues to be a best performer (i.e. among the top one-hundredth of 1% of all U.S. companies). It would be a disservice to both Jennings and to those who read this brief commentary to list them and then comment on each out of the context within which Jennings so skillfully presents them. Suffice to say that all organizations (regardless of their size or nature) need to have all ten Building Blocks as a core foundation on which to increase their revenue and profits by at least 10% and then continue to do so year after year after year.

    How revealing that the CEOs whom Jennings and his research associates interviewed indicate little (if any) interest in any of Sun Tzu's deception strategies...nor in what their competitors are up to, for that matter. They seem wholly preoccupied with sticking to their own "knitting," focusing on what their companies can do best, how to do it even better, and thereby deliver even greater value to their customers. Also, each seems determined to nourish and enhance the quality of life as well as standard of living of everyone involved in the enterprise. This is precisely what Jennings means when referring to building communities, Building Block #9. Employees, customers, and allies should be viewed as "partners" and treated as such.

    Ultimately, one of the most formidable challenges for those in any organization is to achieve and then maintain an appropriate balance of "thinking BIG" while "acting small." Hence the importance of Section Three, "The Quad: A Self-Evaluation and Ranking," in which Jennings "breaks down the title of the book into four scenarios, each represented by a quadrant":

    TSAS Think Small, Act Small
    TSAB Think Small, Act Big
    TBAB Think Big, Act Big
    TBAS Think Big, Act Small

    He applies this template to each of the ten Building Blocks. It remains for each reader to complete the self-evaluation, one which helps to measure her or his own organization's current situation. The details of this exercise are best revealed within the text, pages 189-201.

    I highly recommend this book for reasons previously indicated but also because I cannot recall a prior time since the Great Depression when it was more difficult for companies to increase their revenue and profits by at least 10% for ten years or longer. Consider these statistics which Michael Gerber shares in his recently published E-Myth Mastery: "Of the 1 million U.S. small businesses started this year [2005], more than 80% of them will be out of business within 5 years and 96% will have closed their doors before their 10th birthday." Chilling statistics indeed. Here in a single volume is a rigorous analysis of how nine quite different companies have achieved and then sustained their "full economic and human potential."

    How important and potentially valuable is this book? Please re-read the statistics provided by Gerber. ... Read more


    15. The Strategy Concept and Process: A Pragmatic Approach (2nd Edition)
    by Arnoldo C. Hax, Nicolas S. Majluf
    list price: $110.00
    our price: $110.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0134588940
    Catlog: Book (1996-01-15)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 190491
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Hax and Mailuf offer a pragmatic approach to strategic management, offering practicing managers and business readers a disciplined process that facilitates the formulation and implementation of strategy.Most comprehensive, integrated, explicit approach to strategy formulation; Proctor & Gamble used as a running case throughout the text. Other real world examples include NKK and Merck; global perspective, companies are drawn from all over the world. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Strategy Concept and Process
    Need to know about the fundamental concept and process in Strategy? read this book, you will find a comprehensive description in "easy to understand" language, even that you're a beginner in Strategic Management. This book is a usefull guide for anyone, no matter you're a undergraduate, Graduate or Doctoral student. A state of the art of Strategic Management.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Learn To Develop a Strategic Plan and Capture the Essence
    Basically, this book aims at making strategy concepts and techniques very clear to readers. In this book, strategy concepts were translated into well-considered formulations.

    While reading book, you will see this property many times and it will help you better understand the abstract concepts. When you finished the book, you will be able to place your strategy theory on a strong base. No longer you will think that "Strategy Is a Staff Work." This book will give you the framework in which strategic plans are developed.

    And lastly, you will find a lot of cases related to the theory in this invaluable book. I higly recommend..

    5-0 out of 5 stars very usefull in the field
    Very exciting knowledge from the expert

    5-0 out of 5 stars A clear and compehensive methodology to make a strategy
    The book present a clear and comprehensive methodology to make a strategy at three levels: corporate, business and functional. Include the Porter and BCG analysis. The method explain each step to make a complete analysis of the business before the formulation of the strategy. Each step is practical and adaptive to any kind of business. ... Read more


    16. The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts, and Cultures
    by Frans Johansson
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1591391865
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-01)
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
    Sales Rank: 3752
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    Book Description

    Enter Innovation's Most Fertile Breeding Ground

    Why is it that so many world-changing insights come from people with little or no related experience? Charles Darwin, after all, was a geologist when he proposed the theory of evolution. And it was an astronomer who finally explained what happened to the dinosaurs.

    Frans Johansson argues that breakthrough ideas most often occur when we bring concepts from one field into new, unfamiliar territory. In this space-which Johansson calls "the Intersection"-established ideas clash and combine with insights from other fields, disciplines, and cultures, resulting in an explosion of totally new ideas. The Medici Effect-referring to a remarkable burst of creativity in Florence during the Renaissance -shows us how to get to the Intersection and how we can turn the ideas we discover there into pathbreaking innovations.

    From the insight that created the first Cherokee written language to the ideas that enabled scientists to read the mind of a monkey-The Medici Effect is filled with vivid stories of intersections across domains as diverse as business, science, art, and politics.

    Johansson reveals the core principles-including breaking down associative barriers, routinely combining unlike concepts, and executing past your failures-that can enable individuals, teams, and entire organizations to create their own "Medici effects" in any arena of work and life.

    ... Read more


    17. Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling fora Complex World with CD-ROM
    by JohnSterman, John D. Sterman
    list price: $123.43
    our price: $123.43
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 007238915X
    Catlog: Book (2000-02-23)
    Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Irwin
    Sales Rank: 158723
    Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The leading authority on system dynamics explains this approach to organizational problem solving, emphasizing simulation models to understand issues such as fluctuating sales, market growth and stagnation, the reliabilityof forecasts and the rationality of business decision-making. The CD includes modeling software from Vensim, ithink, and PowerSim. ... Read more

    Reviews (13)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The very best SD book on my book-shelf!
    This book is the ultimate resource for any serious learner of System Dynamics. Sterman covers all aspects of SD modeling in a witty and easy-to-understand- manner. He deals extensively with the foundations of SD modeling, treats extensively causal loop diagramming, the logic of stocks and flows, gives numerous examples of practical SD projects, makes an in-depth investigation into all kind of building blocks of SD models etc. All the models of the book are avaliable on the added CD in the Vensim, Stella and Powersim data formats. Although published just in spring 2000, it is IMHO already a classic. A last word: Business Dynamics is not cheap, but it is worth every cent or penny you spend for it. There may be other good or even excellent SD-textbooks, but "Business Dynamics" is simply outstanding and a category in its own.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good book, but could be better ...........
    This book is a must for anyone with interest in business modeling and simulation. It is the culmination of Forrester's seminal book on System Dynamics + the 40 odd years maturation that has occured in this discipline since 1961.

    Though this book with 900 odd pages is large, it could have been useful if it had at least one serious case study which flowed through all the chapters and linked all the concepts. This would have helped potential practioners. In its current form the book contains many examples to explain the concepts, but none detailed enough. Many a times the author mentions that the actual models were complex, and a simplified version is being shown in the book. This however does not help the reader to understand and appreciate the complexities involved. It is probably because the concerned organizations were not willing to reveal "too much" lest they loose their IP.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Essential if you lead strategy formation exercises
    John Sterman has written a superb book that masks the underlying calculus and reveals the capability of causal loop based situation analysis. The examples in the book are absolutely mind-boggling in scale and brilliance with which they are written. The wide applicability of system dynamics is revealed though the large problem spectrum covered in all the chapters of the book.

    Without needing to run through the software enclosed in the book, one can easily perceive the dependant causation of a specific problem by following the simple rules expained early on in the book for drawing reinforcing and balancing conditions that drive the causes leading to a specific problem being addressed.

    By focusing on the software (which is enclosed on the CD ROM) to develop a problem solving approach, one has to work hard to create a balanced problem and this is not easily done by merely reading the book. I am considering further training in this aspect to master the topic by taking some more ExecEd courses that John Sterman teaches at MIT Sloan along with Jay Forrester and Peter Senge or even taking the eight week remote learning course offered toward credit at the System Dynamics program at Sloan.

    I deal with complex IT architectures in my work on a daily basis involving financial, technical and business driven dependencies for Fortune 1000 firms. I use causal looping as taught by John and others at MIT Sloan to understand the path to cut through the complexity and reach an action plan that I can recommend to my clients.

    The book has helped me tremendously in my work in the last few months that I have been reading it on airplane trips between my office and customer offices. For a busy consultant, this is a tremendously useful way to spend flight time.

    I would give it 5 stars for the content except that the book is not available in e-Book format, forcing me to carry it with me in my laptop bag on flights(its a heavy tome at 900 + pages) and the software on the CD-ROM is not updated to the most current version one can download from the Vensim website nor can it be used for commercial purposes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brain Bending!
    5 stars is not enough!

    I read an awful lot and most of the books I come across have about 20% of pages that are useful or informative to me if that. The rest tend to be filler. Not this one!! On virtually every page and paragraph in this book I found a gem!

    This is one of those rare books that causes your brain to contort itself into shapes and positions that you were not previously aware of. It is also the kind of book that I can see refering to and re-reading many many times.

    Sterman takes what can be quite a complex subject and evolves a storyline which is incredibly instructive but at the same time flows quite naturally and easily.

    Having said that, while overall this is a very good read, some parts can be mind-numbing and mentally exhausting. I found myself on some occasions needing to rest and reflect after reading just a few pages. It has taken me months to get through this book with appropriate periods of rest and reflection between readings to let the ideas sink in. (That is in great contrast to most text books which I am usually able to get through in a weekend or 2 without great strain.)

    While parts of this book have been hard work to get through (due to mental overload at times, not due to poor wriiting), it has been incredibly worthwhile and instructive.

    This book has given me some invaluable insights and tools which I have applied professionally to great advantage; not the least of which is competitive advantage.

    A tour de force!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Is Good, but not Very Good
    The book if fine for novice and medium users in simulation. Very pages with same example or topic, expensed, really few contents.

    There are not numerical methods, integration with event models or process models, cibernetic vision, complex problems, visual simulations, business data minning, control theory, business theory, etc.

    Therefore, if you need to know simply small business systems simulations with only equations differential modeling, this is the book for to begin. ... Read more


    18. 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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    19. Concepts in Strategic Management and Business Policy, Ninth Edition
    by Tom Wheelen, J. David Hunger
    list price: $91.00
    our price: $91.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 013142405X
    Catlog: Book (2003-07-07)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 254197
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    20. The Organizational Behavior Reader (7th Edition)
    by Joyce S. Osland, David A. Kolb, Irwin M. Rubin
    list price: $90.00
    our price: $90.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0130265543
    Catlog: Book (2000-08-23)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 79028
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well-grounded OB course basics
    "The organizational behavior reader" contains twenty chapters, each with two or three readings by recognized academic experts, usually adapted from the original source, e.g., Harvard Business Review. Chapters begin with the psychological contract (1), theories of managing people (2), individual and organizational learning (3), individual and organizational motivation (4), ethics and values (5), personal growth and work stress (6), and later topics include managing diversity (12), leadership (13), decision making (15), performance appraisal (18), and managing change (20). The pantheon of authors features experts such as Henry Mintzberg, Jay Conger, Denise Rousseau, Ed Lawler, Peter Senge, Cary Cooper, Deborah Tannen, Geert Hofstede, Hank Sims, Victor Vroom, Jeffrey Pfeffer, Ray Miles, and Rosabeth Moss Kanter. There are numerous charts, diagrams, graphs and models. Anecdotes and examples are plentiful. Self-assessments are rare. Few of the readings offer empirical data; the emphasis is on mental models, images, and concepts.

    Professors of organizational behavior, looking for readings rather than integrated text, exercises, and cases, as well as a less expensive alternative to traditional college textbooks, will find this book appealing. These authors are, in general, engaging and highly readable. Chapters can be assigned in an order or avoided altogether to please the teacher's preferences. The breadth of topics, the currency of the treatments, and the expertise of the authors provide a solid foundation for the primary college OB course. Graduate students in need of less text structure and faculty in need of less ancillary materials will find the most benefit.

    The book is rooted in social psychology and emphasizes perception, learning, thinking, images and personality, e.g., interpersonal communication, attribution, creativity. There is less on the 'behavior' side of organizational behavior. Several authors use the device of posing 'myths' to contrast with the author's learned, alternative state ('fact'), and sometimes the myths read more like 'conventional wisdom' or the author's own attempt to make his or her point more vivid by presenting a myth that exists only in the minds of a few people. For business school students, this reader is more about organizations and people than about business. Business faculty and courses adopting this book will likely want and need to provide a management context.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Book!
    An Excellent Book.. A Must For All The Managers In Any Organistaion. ... Read more


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