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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 12 October 2013
Despite the numerous 5 star "friends and family" book reviews, this is nevertheless an interesting book written by a couple of senior guys from McKinsey Consulting on the subject of sustained organisational performance. However the book is very dry reading and I think it offers little practical help to managers and leaders who work for the vast majority of companies in the real world. The book offers an interesting perspective at what the authors called performance and health factors which leads to companies being sustained market leaders in their respective fields. The book is also packed with plenty of high level research carried out by McKinsey to back up their narrative.

In my opinion this is not a book that can easily be used by managers/leaders to change their organisation into one that repeatedly outperforms its competition. I personally did not feel any creative light bulb lighting up in my head after reading this book.

For a much more useful, readable book based on a similar theme, but with more practical application for managers and leaders is a great book by Professor Andre de Waal from the High Performance Institute. What Makes A High Performance Organization: Five Validated Factors of Competitive Advantage That Apply Worldwide This book is highly recommended over this book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2011
I only wish I'd thought of this - trust Colin Price to get there first and make it so palatable. His practical guide to sustainable change is a common sense approach backed by hard facts and solid research. The writing and illustrations make it digestible and actually very enjoyable. Every organisation should make time to read this - it's inspirational and certainly not a chore. And, even if you're not in business you could do worse than read it yourself and ignite some thinking about your own approach to life and even change a mindset or two.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Scott Keller and Colin Price acknowledge that although there is a "multitude" of books about business leadership and management already in print (actually, Amazon now offers 16,075 titles), they believe that "no other work offers what we are trying to provide. Our approach combines two views. The first view is of a `stable equilibrium' state of organizational excellence in which high performance can be sustained; the second is of the dynamics of the transition required to reach that state...by combining static and dynamic views of organizations, we aim to arrive at a fuller understanding of their fundamental nature. To that end, we aim to shift the `installed base' of management thinking'...Our central message is focusing on organizational health - which we define as the ability of your organization to align, execute, and renew itself faster that your competitors can - is just important as focusing on the traditional drivers of business performance."

With all that clarified up front, Keller and Price then carefully guide their reader through a five-stage process (appropriately identified as the "5 As") for developing capabilities beyond their current potentialities for performance in order to achieve and then sustain "ultimate competitive advantage." Frankly, I am astonished by the fact that so many C-level executives still do not fully understand that their organization's #1 competitor tomorrow will be what it offers today. Today's performance is measured in terms of specific results. By nature, results occur at the conclusion of a process of effort. The challenge is to become so "healthy" as an organization that the capabilities are there to align, execute, and renew faster than the competition so that the organization can sustain exceptional performance over time.

Keller and Price identify and then discuss what they characterize as the "Nine Elements of Organizational Health." Let's take a brief look at the first five practices that underpin organizational health:

1. Direction: Shared vision, strategic clarity, and employee involvement/engagement
Question: What is the ultimate destination

2. Leadership: Authoritative, consultative, supportive, and challenging
Question: Who will take us there?

3. Culture and climate: Open and trusting, internally competitive, operationally disciplined, and creative and entrepreneurial
Question: Do we really believe in the power of first-person plural pronouns?

4. Accountability: Role clarity, performance contracts, consequence management, and personal ownership
Question: Do we have almost total buy-in on who we are, what we do, how we do it, and why?

5. Coordination and control: People performance review, operational management, and financial management
Question: Do we do what is most important, constantly improve what we do, and measure it?

The other four elements are Capabilities, Motivation, External Orientation, and Innovation and learning. Keller and Price rigorously examine within five frames (i.e. the "5 As"): Aspire ("Where do we want to go?"), Assess, ("How ready are we to go there?") Architect ("What do we need to do to get there?"), Act ("How do we manage the journey?), and Advance (""How do we keep moving forward?"). In Part II, Keller and Price devote a separate chapter to each and then in Part III, help their reader to pull it all together. More specifically, they examine the senior leader's role, how the five separate but interconnected frames can help to make an organization even "healthier," and finally, which specific challenges their reader will probably encounter and how the information, insights, and counsel in the book can help the reader to respond effectively to those challenges.

Some readers will accept Keller and Price's challenge to prepare for the future, others won't. Some will then succeed, others won't. If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the road to failure in business is paved with "nice tries." I agree with the Jedi Master, Yoda: "Do or do not. There is no try."
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2011
A must read for anyone who wants to truly transform their organisation. Based on in-depth research and evidence, this book offers practical guidance on the key drivers an organisation needs to attend to in order to create a successful and sustainable business. Simple yet provocative, this book is for leaders who want to create healthy organisations that perform not just for today or the next quarter, but for the long term.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2011
Inspriational,well researched, easy to read, very clear useful structure brought to life with great examples
This will be the bible for those who want to create great organisations that prosper over the longer term
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2011
Finally a book that draws together what most of us have known for sometime; to perform well and over a long duration you have to be healthy! Like trying to run a marathon without training, your lack of health would ultimately result in failure. This book draws on both the performance and health of the organisation. Keller and Price offer practical guidance supported by hard facts and in-depth research. This is a great read for those who are striving for a sustainable business which will be here tomorrow!
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 4 July 2011
Disillusioned about the ability of organizations to achieve sustainable change? If so, read this book.
Finally, an evidence-based guide to sustainable change that recognizes and emphasizes the importance of organizational health as an essential factor in company performance.
Beyond Performance is a 'must-read' for anyone who wants to achieve sustained health and performance in their organization.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2014
This book has something new and important to say to those responsible for businesses; and says it in a way that is clear, compelling and credible.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 6 July 2011
This book provides the evidence for what many of us have intuitively known makes the difference to drive transformational change in organisations. It is easy to read with lots of wonderful examples of what organisations have achieved using this approach. It is also packed with new models and tools to help along the way. For anyone who is questioning their ability to make a difference helping organisations change, reading this book will give you the confidence and renewed energy to try again and keep going!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "The first wealth is health." This holds true for businesses as well as people. In this comprehensive report, McKinsey & Company consultants Scott Keller and Colin Price draw on their extensive research to explain how companies can achieve superior business performance in the long run while maintaining their organizational health. This clear set of instructions offers a new spin on maintaining commercial success in the medium to long term; however applying the book's program requires a dedicated time commitment. getAbstract recommends this impressive manual to leaders who want to achieve top performance, institute constructive transformational change, inspire their employees and invest in their organizations' long-term well-being.
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