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Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done Paperback – 3 Feb. 2011
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- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781847940681
- ISBN-13 : 978-1847940681
- Product Dimensions : 23.11 x 15.24 x 2.54 cm
- Publisher : Random House Business; Revised Edition (3 Feb. 2011)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 1847940684
- Best Sellers Rank: 20,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
A how-to book for the can-do boss., BusinessWeek
About the Author
Larry Bossidy is the retired chairman and CEO of Honeywell International and has served on the boards of GE, Merck, and JPMorgan Chase. He is coauthor, with Ram Charan, of Confronting Reality.
Ram Charan is an award-winning teacher and highly sought-after advisor to CEOs and senior executives, as well as a director of Tyco Electronics, Austin Industries, and Emaar MGF. He is a distinguished Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources and the author of What the CEO Wants You to Know, Know-How, Owning Up, and The Talent Masters.
Larry Bossidy, former Chairman and CEO of Honeywell International, has become a media and lecture circuit mainstay.
'One of the world's most renowned management consultants and authors.' Fast Company
Widely acclaimed as one of our greatest business strategists, Ram Charan is the author of over a dozen books, including the perennial bestseller Execution. Formerly an award-winning professor at Harvard Business School, he has advised the CEOs of some of the world's most successful companies - including Coca-Cola, Bank of America, Tata, 3M, GE and Verizon.
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Ironically this is also one of the best books on relationships too - the principles have made a profound impact on my family life too.
Strategy focuses firmly on the company's environment and competitor actions with the core being very open (non-political) decision making with clearly defined actions and a timetable with sharply defined personal responsibilities. I'm not a great fan of management books in general but I can recommend this one and it has similarities to one of my longtime favourites, Sam Walton's "Made in America" (bad title) and like him, they emphasise the personal touch and high level of personal involvement.
A downside is the strange neo-liberal economic environment that these systems are designed to exploit (not really their fault but they are an important part of it). For example the idea that outsourcing may damage US industry/ skills and employment is completely absent as is concern with the influence of special interest (of which they are certainly one). Line workers also don't get a single mention. Try the following quotes from the book:
P196 "Do we have people who know how to source? Do we have people who can run a supply chain that extends worldwide?"
P197 "The short and medium term milestones were to develop programs to move to low-cost manufacturing locations ."
P247 "We also had a program to promote sales of high tech globally, using China as a low cost supply base."
P223 "You must continue to involve our lobbyist group to show congressional leaders the advantages of the product and dispel some of the current misconceptions."
P250 "Or maybe you wanted to shut down a plant this year and transfer production to a lower cost country."
Etc. etc. It's all in line with Jack Welch's 70/70/70 rule (70% of research and development should be outsourced, 70% of that should be outsourced offshore, 70% should be outsourced overseas and sent to India) = A tragedy of the commons, where the Commons is the non-shareholder/non-top executive part of the U.S.A.
In Part I - Why Execution Is Needed, the authors explain the discipline of execution. "Execution is a specific set of behaviors and techniques that companies need to master in order to have competitive advantage. It is a discipline of its own." This discipline is based on a set of building blocks that every leader must use to design, install, and operate the three core processes of execution.
These building blocks are described in Part II - The Building Blocks of Execution. I believe that Chapter 3, which describes the leader's seven essential behaviors, is the best of the book. This chapter is followed by Building Block Two - Creating the Framework for Cultural Change. "To change a business's culture, you need a set of processes - social operating mechanisms - that will change the beliefs and behaviors of people ..." The final chapter in this part discusses human resources management, or having the right people in the right place. A large part of this chapter is based on Bossidy's experience within General Electric (under the leadership of the legendary Jack Welch).
In Part III - The Three Core Processes of Execution, the authors introduce the three core processes required to fulfill the building blocks of Part II. The three processes are the people process, strategy process, and operations process, which are each explained in an individual chapter. "Leaders need to master the individual processes and the way they work together as a whole. They are the foundation for the discipline of execution, at the center of conceiving and executing a strategy."
Contrary to the hype when this book was published I am disappointed with this book. I will explain why. First, I think that the title of the book is wrong and I warn potential readers that this book is no self-help book. I believe that this book is aimed at processes at senior executive-level and is almost pointless for middle managers. Second, most of the examples and points in this book have already been published and explained in other books (from Ram Charan, Jack Welch, and Noel M. Tichy) and business magazines (Business Week, Fortune, etc.). In all honesty, I struggled to finish the book. Yes, there are some good chapters, but that is not worth the 270 pages. The book is written in simple US-English.