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The Leader's Dilemma: How to Build an Empowered and Adaptive Organization Without Losing Control Hardcover – 12 Apr 2011
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From the Inside Flap
Drawing on their work within the Beyond Budgeting′ movement over the past twelve years including many interviews and case studies Jeremy Hope, Peter Bunce and Franz Röösli set out in this book an executive guide to building a more empowered and adaptive organization based on 12 management principles:
Principle #1 – Values: Bind people to a common cause, not a central plan
Principle #2 – Governance: Govern through shared values and sound judgment, not detailed rules and regulations
Principle #3 – Transparency: Make information open and transparent, don′t restrict and control it
Principle #4 – Teams: Organize around a network of accountable teams, not centralized functions
Principle #5 – Trust: Trust teams to regulate and improve their performance; don′t micro–manage them
Principle #6 – Accountability: Base accountability on holistic criteria and peer reviews, not on hierarchical relationships
Principle #7 – Goals: Set ambitious medium–term goals, not short–term negotiated targets
Principle #8 – Rewards: Base rewards on relative performance, not fixed targets
Principle #9 – Planning: Make planning a continuous and inclusive process, not a top–down annual event
Principle #10 – Coordination: Coordinate interactions dynamically, not through annual budgets
Principle #11– Resources: Make resources available just–in–time, not just–in–case
Principle #12 – Controls: Base controls on fast, frequent feedback, not on budget variances
These principles will enable and encourage a cultural climate change that will enable your organization to attract and keep the best people as well as drive continuous adaptation, innovation and growth. They define the new management model for the twenty–first century organization.
From the Back Cover
Many leaders realize that in today′s economy it will no longer be the smart highly paid people in the corporate center that drive success. Instead it will come from harnessing the knowledge and creativity of all their people, especially those that work at the interface between the organization and its customers. They also know that their budget–driven management processes are too slow, rigid and expensive and encourage the wrong behaviour. But business leaders are on the horns of a dilemma. How do they empower their people and adapt to change without losing control?
This book is about rethinking how we manage organizations in a post–industrial, post credit crunch world where innovative management models represent the only remaining source of sustainable competitive advantage. Above all The Leader′s Dilemma is about learning how to change business – based on best practice and innovation drawn from leaders world–wide who have built and managed successful organizations.
"Every executive will have already had to face the well–known dilemma between trust and control. Based on the principles described, the authors succeed in finding a way out of this dilemma. Supported by concrete practical examples, these twelve principles add up to an integral management model which encompasses employee engagement, efficiency and innovation intelligently."
Philippe Hertig, Managing Partner, Egon Zehnder International (Switzerland)
"As Albert Einstein once accurately stated, problems can never be solved using the same approach as that out of which they came. The management approach in The Leader′s Dilemma is not subject to this unconscious, but very frequent mistake. It shows an entirely new approach on leadership and management, which regards organizations as living systems."
Erich Harsch, CEO, dm drogerie–markt
"Executives are increasingly recognizing that the traditional model by which they manage their organizations is obsolete and counter–productive. In The Leader′s Dilemma, Hope, Bunce and Röösli radically re–define the core principles of management – including accountability, goals, rewards, planning and coordination – to bring management into the 21st century."
Dr Jules Goddard, Research Fellow, MLab, London Business School
"In a dozen clear principles, The Leader′s Dilemma codifies a rethink of the conventional management model. The book′s approach should be studied by any company aiming to survive and thrive in a transforming business landscape."
Vineet Nayar, CEO of HCL Technologies and author of Employees First, Customers Second
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Top customer reviews
It is divided into 12 chapters plus an introduction, which look at each facet of management change that must happen in a modern large scale concern. The introduction chapter spends a great deal of time justifying why a new approach is needed. Virtually every premise it gives I agree with. There is no doubt that the old command and control management system is no longer working in most sectors. Companies must adapt because, customers have more power within a global market place, they are not as loyal as they may once have been, there is more perfect information due to information proliferation, so consumers can make better more informed choices. This means that companies need faster ways to respond to these changes and that life cycles of products, strategies and business models are shrinking and that entry costs into markets have greatly reduced in a lot of different sectors. Therefore, management and businesses must be able to respond quickly to the ever changing demands of the consumer driven market.
The book therefore argues that the old top down command structure needs to change as it is too slow to adapt to changing market conditions. In essence companies need to employ an Adaptive Management structure, that has few layers, which empowers and listens to their employees and allows them to take the decisions, as they have the experience, scope and ability to respond quickly to changing market. Employees must become a part of the planning process and top down fixed planning, is changed to allow felxibilty and rolling forecasts.
I do believe that this system could have saved so much of the British industry that sadly closed and could have taken us away from UK Management's fixation with short termism, share price fixing, shareholder dividend maintenance. Changing the British disease of short term planning approach, to what the Germans and Japanese did and still do very well, long term planned growth, based upon a tripartite system of economic planning with empowerment at the lowest sector of a company. This is in essence what the book tries to explain.
This book puts forward ideas that have been around since the 1930's, but it does it well and in a coherent form. It is a bit long in places regarding the analysis to justify their propositions. Overall the ideas in this book are good and the model sound. The biggest problem with all these types of books, is how to get the ideas and structures implemented into old non adaptive management systems which are by their very nature closed to change.
Good ideas and a great read for managers.
However, the focus of the book (reflected in the title) is on how to maintain a form of control without losing the benefits of being adaptive. This is helpful because worries about 'losing control' are typical for people thinking about dumping the budgeting rigmarole. The authors provide plenty of specifics about where control comes from once budgets are gone, and how the companies have benefited.
The exposition has also been refreshed by many new case studies, with innumerable interesting details that should be a useful source of inspiration and solutions to problems.
The authors explore the root cause of unscrupulous business practices which they explain as being "systematic" given that for decades the business has been following the "classical economics" and "the command and control management styles", which are primarily based on maximising value for shareholders. In the light of the business culture being misguided by the elite generation from modern business schools, the book calls for a change in mindsets and actions.
A remarkable book that captures the essence of responsible business and promotes an integrated change in business practice in order to achieve longevity.
It shows how organizations can profit from a leadership style characterized by trust, respect, responsibility and individual involvement.
A book that combines organizational behaviour and business ethics to introduce new solutions to the leaders' dilemma.
Well-structured and easy to read. Informative. Hands-on and easy to implement.
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Most recent customer reviews
I found the first couple of chapters infuriatingly slow and I didn't buy the arguments the authors put forward.Read more