Jeremy Hope and Steve Player provide a crystal clear explanation of why they wrote this book: Its purpose is "to critically review a wide range of management tools and provide a number of guidelines that will help leaders select the right ones, implement them in the right way, and gain maximum value for their use," More specifically, their focus is on "forty tools and practices - those that typically represent a major change initiative and significant capital investment. We will examine these tools and practices through five perspectives of what is often known as `performance management': strategic planning, shareholder and customer value, lean cost management, performance measurement, and performance evaluation." Hope and Player devote a separate Section to each of the five. Also, they devised a generic format that is used within each of the 40 chapters:
o What is this practice and how effective is it?
o What is the performance potential of this practice?
o What actions do you need to take or avoid maximizing the potential of this practice?
o Conclusions (i.e. summary points)
o Further reading (excellent suggestions to those who "want to know more" about the given subject
To what does the word "Beyond" refer in this book's title? Although Hope and Player do not provide a specific explanation, my inference is that whatever is effective management today may not (indeed, will probably not be) adequate to meet tomorrow's challenges. Especially in today's global business world, change is the only constant. Moreover, the challenge to change management is exacerbated by the ever-increasing speed, complexity, and impact of the changes that occur.
Therefore, all of the information, insights, and counsel that Hope and Player provide in abundance will directly or indirectly help business leaders to establish and then sustain continuous improvement of the management at all levels and in all areas of operation throughout their enterprise.
As I re-read this book while preparing to review it, I realized that it would be an excellent gift to those who are preparing for or have only recently embarked on a career in business. That said, I think this is not only a "must read" but also a "must have available to consult" source for all business leaders who recognize the need to understand why, when, and how to master and then use essential tools and best practices to help achieve superior business performance, not only as individuals but with their associates.
Before I conclude this review, please allow a personal digression. I became friends with Jeremy Hope years ago. I read and reviewed his previous books and was eager to read this one, his last. Tragically, he did not live to see it published. He died much too young and left a loving family and countless friends. Jeremy's heart was even bigger than his brain. He will be missed but never forgotten.