Most management literature is based on using cases or surveys to deduce the underlying behaviour that makes a company perform great or bad. The basic premise is, that we can isolate the generic factors that make a company great. This book is a much needed anti-thesis to this prevailing "wisdom".
The author first takes us through the two cases (yes, thats a bit ironic) of Cisco and ABB. Two companies who in their prime could do nothing wrong, only later to become ridiculed as badly managed companies. Convincingly, the author argues that we attribute positive and negative behaviour to a company depending on how it performs, rather than determine it's performance based on it's behaviour.
The book then takes us through a series of delusions, each hammering a nail through common 'halos'. The author reminds us, that cases are fine to learn from, as long as we take them as anecdotes and stories, and not as scientific truth. Some of the halos seems a bit overlapping, and toward the end, the book becomes a bit repetitive.
But still, this is a book that give you a clear perspective on what is wrong with most management literature (I mean 90% or more). This title ought to be required reading before reading as much as one piece of traditional business literature.
But better late, than never. A true eye-opener!