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Uncommon Sense, Common Nonsense: Why some organisations consistently outperform others Paperback – 23 May 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books; Reprint edition (23 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846686024
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846686023
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 249,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

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.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. S. Jarrett on 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 By A. Michaelides on 8 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jack Robertson on 25 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
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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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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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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