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Confronting Reality: Doing What Matters to Get Things Right [Hardcover]

Larry Bossidy , Ram Charan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

12 Oct 2004
Confronting Reality will change the way you think about and run your business. It is the first book that shows how to connect the big picture of the new era of business with the nitty-gritty of what to do about it. Through a completely new way to understand and use the business model as the primary tool for confronting reality—a breakthrough that will become the management innovation of this decade—you’ll know sooner rather than later whether your fundamental business premise is under assault, where your best opportunities lie, what you should change and what you should leave alone, and how to realistically plan the future of your business.

The fundamentals of how a business makes money are being rapidly and permanently altered by sweeping structural changes. With their extraordinary depth and breadth of experience, Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan are the ideal guides for everyone—entrepreneur, mid-level manager, or CEO—about what is to be done so you can get things right in this challenging, radically changed world. They start by showing you how to understand the most fundamental element of any business: whether you can realistically make the money you hope to in the game you’re playing.

Bossidy and Charan show how to use the business model to develop a robust, reality-based process for thinking about the speci?cs of your business in a holistic way. They show how to tie together the financial targets you must meet, the external realities you face, and internal activities such as strategy development, operating tactics, and selection and development of people.

Through the lens of the business model, as well as the skillful use of initiatives and development of people with the right leadership characteristics, you’ll see how Robert Nardelli at Home Depot, Jim McNerney at 3M, Dick Harrington at the Thomson Corporation, Michael Wisbrun at KLM, Joseph Tucci at EMC, and John Chambers at Cisco confronted reality. Whether they faced crisis or opportunity, all made the right kinds of changes through a combination of business savvy (the art of understanding the fundamentals driving a business) and business model thinking.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; First Edition edition (12 Oct 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400050847
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400050840
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 14.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 848,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Publisher

By the authors of the international bestseller Execution --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Larry Bossidy, former Chairman and CEO of Honeywell International, has become a media and lecture circuit mainstay. Ram Charan, the legendary strategy consultant, works with companies around the world in almost every industry. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strategic solutions for a familiar problem 11 Dec 2006
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Authors Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan start with what you know: the business world has dramatically, irrevocably changed. Companies confront the new reality of globalization, free capital flows and powerhouse retailers. The book's strength lies in its relentless insistence on a basic fact that business leaders know but have apparently been trying to deny: you must see the economic world as it really is. This is not new. You know the ground has shifted, but have you figured out everything that you need to do now? Most of today's business models describe how companies made money in the past - but survival now requires more than a model based on the old economy. You need that elusive, intuitive attribute Bossidy and Charan call "business savvy." Even if they can't quite seem to nail down a precise definition, their case studies illustrate how this super sense works, and why you need it. We recommend their book to managers and executives who want to learn how to rethink their businesses in today's environment.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.5 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
108 of 116 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Buy their bestseller EXECUTION instead 10 Nov 2004
By Peter Leerskov - Published on
There are many good and new things in this book. Unfortunately, the good things aren't new, and the new things aren't good.

I have reviewed Charan and Bossidy's book on EXECUTION as well as Charan's book on PROFITABLE GROWTH. Both were great readings that asked us to confront reality in order to do what matters to get things right.

I've just read CONFRONTING REALITY. And I cannot help asking myself, why it was published at all? It doesn't add any new material compared to their marvellous bestseller; Execution. Instead this book spends most of its time telling case stories on the subject. I find too many of them too long and too boring.

The authors' new focus on the vague concept of the business model is still a mystery to me. Why not build on strong concepts such as McKinsey's business system or Porter's value chain with proven track records. Please, confront reality!

My advice is that you buy Execution instead. It's much better. It has a clear concept, a stronger structure - and exactly the same highly important messages.

If you're a hardcore fan - like I am - of Charan and Bossidy's execution concept, you may just want to have this as an audio book for a long highway trip... that's how I managed to get through it.

Peter Leerskov,
MSc in International Business (Marketing & Management) and Graduate Diploma in E-business
47 of 54 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong, wrong, wrong ... 21 April 2005
By Occasional Critic - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Larry & Ram lost me, and I hope most of you, with their very first example. The new CFO, with no knowledge of the company or plant other than reading a few spreadsheets, with about 3 comments convinces the General manager to close the plant, fire everyone, desimate the town and move to China. The coatings company described was high end, high service, specialty-focused and anything but commodity. The workers were unusually dedicated. They had some time. For the GM to do anything other than allow THE WORKERS to confront reality and give them a shot at reengineering the place is a complete travesty. I've seen it work many times and I am no bleading-heart union man. Bossidy & Charam set this up as a great example, but it is a pure, short-term, initial price analysis with NO consideration for total cost and total value. The GM might have been able to save a business, save a town and actually win customers -- or yeah, move to China afterall. But no one will ever know. Larry and Ram sure don't. Get real, guys.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confront and optimize reality. 14 April 2005
By Senior Executive, Fortune 100 Company - Published on
This book is excellent for entrepreneurs and junior managers who have bought into the myth that optimism is a foundation for success. Bossidy has a wealth of corporate management experience and offers some compelling case studies (although sometimes I wish he would have gone into more detail). Bossidy does not explain the flaws of positive thinking, [...] but he does write a practical perspective on the power of confronting reality. I recommend this book [...] to rise above mediocrity and create optimum results.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not much new 30 Dec 2004
By P. Byrne - Published on
I got this book because of their previous book, "Execution". The core idea in "Confronting Reality" is the Business Model, which is, simply put, looking at three factors: External Forces, Internal Capabilities, and Financial Goals, before deciding on how to solve problems and set direction.

The issue is that the book is full of case studies (too many from ex-GE execs - I wonder how wide these guys travel outside their "GE Club") but one idea. The illustrations at the end of every case study are always the same - they don't even go to the trouble of customizing the three factor model to show how Sun is different then Cisco for example - and the point is always the same. This should not have been a book, but instead limited to an HBR article or something like that.

The best part is Bossidy's style of how he interacts with teams and asks good questions....but "Execution" is much better at this.

The title was catchy and Bossidy is a pro at this topic of facing reality and turning around businesses...but he should have either invested more to fill it out or skipped it all together.
40 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old material well documented with good case studies 22 Oct 2004
By Trent - Published on
In Confronting Reality, Larry Bossidy states the obvious: wishful thinking is dangerous and businesses must carefully assess reality. Bossidy describes various airlines who did not heed warning signals in sufficient time to avert serious consequences. [...]
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