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Uncommon Sense, Common Nonsense: Why some organisations consistently outperform others [Kindle Edition]

Jules Goddard , Tony Eccles
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This is a book for managers who know that their organisations are stuck in a mindset that thrives on fashionable business theories that are no more than folk wisdom, and whose so-called strategies that are little more than banal wish lists.

It puts forward the notion that the application of uncommon sense - thinking or acting differently from other organisations in a way that makes unusual sense - is the secret to competitive success. For those who want to succeed and stand out from the herd this book is a beacon of uncommon sense and a timely antidote to managerial humbug.

Product Description


Provocative, insightful, innovative and contrarian - with truths on every page (Professor Lynda Gratton, London Business School)

This ground-breaking book s a joy to read (Tom Robertson, Dean, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)

Investing in new ideas is more fruitful than investing in market research. Goddard and Eccles understand this, pinpointing that an openness to making mistakes is often a better route to success than the goal of making money (Sir James Dyson)

Book Description

The winning difference daring to be different can make - insights into how organisations can stand out from the herd.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1814 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books; Reprint edition (3 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846686024
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846686023
  • ASIN: B007XUGB0S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #232,031 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! 8 Sept. 2013
Challenging corporate orthodoxy is a fun thing to do. However most popular management literature tends to reinforce orthodoxy. Occasional foraging in provocative territory is rarely profound and often ends at the catchy title or undue generalization of some special case or other. This book is an exception. Goddard and Eccles argue that prevalent management models are dated and dangerous and provides delightfully contrarian perspectives in the form of brief assertions, that the authors skilfully defend. Here are my favorites:

* Firms outperform their competitors by aiming to be different, not better
* Losers look to competitive benchmarks rather than their own imagination for their model of success
* Success is best measured by added value not profit
* The greatest threats to corporate performance are internal not external
* A strategy is not a plan of attack but an idea under study
* Strategy belongs more naturally to the crowd than to the professional
* Strategy is more dependent on courage and humility than talent and charisma
* The need for extraordinary management suggests a poorly designed organization
* Everything important happens at the end of chaos
* Companies underestimate the power of intrinsic motivation
* Tapping the collective intelligence of the organization creates value
* Statements of corporate values trivialize ethics and demean employees
* Firms underestimate the collective wisdom of their employees
* Firms would benefit from becoming more open societies.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding 12 Oct. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the best book on management I have read. I have wanted to wallpaper my office with its pithy succinct, logical and well written words. If it wasn't on the kindle I would have stapled each page on the foreheads of several people I know. Its been along time since I wanted to quote from every other page in a book. Finally someone talking real sense about business strategy in a way that can infect your thinking
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
At long last - a management book that makes perfect sense and written by practitioners who know their stuff inside out. I particularly like (and value) the analysis of individual and management behavioural strategies that have caused failure and have developed good practise all of which can either be avoided or applied by the good advice this wee gem of a book proffers. For all the old management teachings and experience one has in looking after groups, one can easily slip into dead ends, cul-de-sacs, blind alleys and indeed often be persauded by colleagues into patently bad practise that it is so refreshing to read these remedies. I have no hesitation in suggesting that this book should be compulsory reading/study material on any College/University undergraduate and post graduate management course anywhere in the world. Catch them young with this wise book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interim review but wow-ed already 21 May 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Hi this is odd perhaps, and have never done this before, but am only up to p. 31 yet moved already to add to the very positive reviews of others. Not yet of course able to form proper overall view, but to explain why I am so bowled over by this book, these are just a few of the quotes I asterisked and scribbled beside and put exclamations beside in my own copy, so far:
- " [the book] challenges the fashion for panaceas, formulae and notions of best practice, and it reflects a view that most business strategies are generic and banal, and most management theories are little more than sophistry or folk wisdom"... - at LAST, someone is daring to say much of the the business school/business literature Emperor not only has no clothes, but looks fat and flabby and a bit balding on top without them. For a science-trained reader who often tosses aside even the most famous business school journals in depair as yet another qualitative uncontrolled unrandomised survey of 300 people is touted as "proof", this is fresh air indeed.
- the set of 6 Venn diagrams on pp xiii - xv are the simplest, clearest yet most powerful explanation of the psychology of humans' (and therefore business') inability to cope with the avalanche of data, and what to do about it, that I have yet seen
- hugely relevant for our Graduates: "to have designed a business that creates a sustainable stream of wealth... is to have created a singularity. Like a scientific discovery, or a work of art, it is a unique, non-repeatable event. It resists generalisation or theoretical explanation. Trying to distil a winning strategy into a universal theory of business is a doomed, albeit highly fashionable project". This for me was a very deep "ah-hah" moment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly thought-provoking 1 Nov. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this an unusual, and unusually good, book.

It is unconventional in its format - a series of interrelated essays rather than long chapters - that make it enjoyable and easy to read, especially if you have bite-sized chunks of time to fill, for example as a regular traveller.

However, the book's real value comes from its ability to uncover underlying assumptions and management conventions and turn them on their head. This is a book that really makes you think.

The authors draw intelligently upon a wide range of disciplines - economics, strategy, marketing, operations management, organisational behavior, education and so on - and weave them expertly into thinking models and questions that cut open huge but under-examined challenges facing organisations today.

You won't agree with every statement in this book, and I suspect the authors would be horrified if you did. They clearly want to help managers think for themselves and develop, as the title implies, their own 'uncommon sense'.

Imagine a book that explores management failings with the perceptiveness and wit of Dilbert, but with the detail to actually understand the problems and optimism to offer some practical solutions. This is that book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great insights into business and human behaviour
Really enjoyed this book. A thoughtful and engaging set of observations, based on many years of working with real businesses. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Nicholas Toon
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncommon Sense:Common Nonsense
Goddard and Eccles have produced a refreshing and challenging call to look critically at the commonly accepted. Read more
Published on 27 Dec. 2012 by Mr. A. Q. Kopp
5.0 out of 5 stars Well, what can I say??
I seldom read a book again. I have read this one three times and still not tired. It is absolutely fantastic in terms of the 'insights' it offers. Read more
Published on 18 Nov. 2012 by Mr. P. Nagpal
5.0 out of 5 stars Really great business book - kills common myths, packed with common...
"Uncommon sense, Common nonsense" is a much-needed blast of fresh air from Jules Goddard and Tony Eccles. Read more
Published on 10 Nov. 2012 by P. Dixon
5.0 out of 5 stars Layman's Guide
The authors offer some possible explanations of why some companies succeed and others founder in a highly readable book which is, at the same time, replete with their joint... Read more
Published on 28 Oct. 2012 by Jane-B
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, challenging and enjoyable!
What a read!
Goddard and Eccles have done something wonderful - they have brought together all those wonderful questions we are supposed to ask when we are in the office, but... Read more
Published on 24 Oct. 2012 by jens meyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncommon sense, common nonsense
Excellent book. A real page turner. Blows away all the mental cobwebs and gives you practical insights to get ahead of the game.
Published on 20 Oct. 2012 by pat
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncommonly Good
A book that will help everyone navigate the journey of discovery necessary for organisations to outperform others. Read more
Published on 14 Oct. 2012 by peter hessey
5.0 out of 5 stars Business Brains
I came to this book a Business Phobic and Left it a Wannabe entrepreneur. Far from a dry and academic tombe, it is a collection of wise and pithy pointers that apply to Life as... Read more
Published on 9 Oct. 2012 by Catherine M
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