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Winning Through Innovation: A Practical Guide to Leading Organizational Change and Renewal Hardcover – 1 Apr 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press; 2 edition (1 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578518210
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578518210
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 714,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Michael L. Tushman is a Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Charles A. O'Reilly III is the Frank E. Buck Professor of Human Resources Management and Organizational Behavior at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a superb book, which covers the basis of executive education delivered at Harvard Business School. The model carefully outlined in this highly readable book shows clearly how alignment between the hardware of an organisation: its critical tasks or objectives, and its formal organisation or structure must align with each other and with the software of an organisation, in other words its people and culture, if the organisation is to excel. Of these perhaps the most important, and the most focused upon here, is culture.

Drawing on numerous examples of organisations around the world the authors also show how becoming expert, even the market leader, is no defence against true innovation. The decline of the Swiss watch industry, when faced with quartz, is one example of many given which clearly show that organisations must work on making what they do better still whilst being open to new ideas and outright innovation. This is hard - different skills, cultures, structures, and often people are required. This books shows very effectively how to manage that dichotomy - and this model has formed the basis of the methods used to create transformation in numerous organisations from IBM to Continental Airlines across the last 100 years and across national border and cultures.

Superb, well written, and transformational. A remarkable book, conveying ideas which truly work.

Highly recommended
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Format: Hardcover
Many successful companies continue to live onto their past success stories and forget the drastic changes taking place in the market. This symptom ultimately makes their successes short-lived and their market positioning easily challenged,and overtaken, by other not-so-famous competitors. To evade such perils, this book explains lucidly the idea of discontinuous innovations through which "culture of innovation" can be obtained and finally reach to an ambidextrous organization. Without innovation no organization can ever think of surviving in this cut-throat competitive market. The concepts in the books are easy to understand via appropriate examples and related explanation.
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Format: Hardcover
I found this book readable in style and captivating in content. The examples may be a little dated but since the issue at hand is as old as time that doesn't matter. The themes are general and timeless. The last chapter pulls together the main takeaways, but I would advise to read the whole book. There is just so much to assimilate.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x99c617ec) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a14c9f0) out of 5 stars The message is reasonable but overhyped. 21 Jan. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book exemplifies the business of the Harvard Business School. It draws snippets from many case studies (available for purchase separately), it ties into seminars and tailored sessions sold at fancy prices to industry, and it presents one of several competing but overlapping theories of what divides successful and unsuccessful companies. It is often compared with Clayton Christensen's book "The Innovator's Dilemma" (obliquely referenced in the preface, but not appearing in the index or bibliography), and indeed both deal with the question of how established companies deal with technologies (in the loosest sense) that change markets. Of the two, I vastly prefer Christensen's book because he tells coherent stories that reach conclusions. This book introduces situations without enough detail to get a true feel for what is going on. In one extreme case ("... John Torrance at Medtek ...", p. 61), a reference is introduced that has no antecedent. The authors of books in this genre like to name drop to show you how broad and deep is their knowledge; therefore you should regard their version of gospel as more credible than their rivals. (How about a case sometime on business school professors?) There are "figures" and "tables" which I suspect are PowerPoint pastes from their lectures. Some of them are referenced (weakly) in the text -- most of them have no direct connection to the exposition. In short, the book gives the impression of being slapped together in haste. For the most part, it is well edited -- a few punctuation lapses notwithstanding. But it needed more editing for content. The table on page 13 says that the "Winchester" company fell victim to its success in disk drives, but the term "Winchester disk" refers not to a company but the code name of a very succesful product prior to its announcement. (Cf. [...] among other similar web references.) On page 163 they say that IBM lost key control to Intel and Microsoft by betting on the wrong PC design. The conclusion is true, but has nothing whatever to do with the false premise. Now these are all throwaway lines in the book, but they undermine the credibility of the main argument. As an earlier reviewer here put it, the book is about five chapters too long, again, I suspect, because it was produced in haste in order to sell to HBS program participants and in order to get on to the next piece of work. For those who haven't been exposed to the basic ideas (e.g., culture matters), it may well be invaluable, but it ain't the one, true gospel.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9af5533c) out of 5 stars United States managers recognized the importance of designing workplaces that stimulate creativity and new ideas 22 July 2008
By Golden Lion - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Inertia and status quo will undermine, need innovation.

2. Organization crisis often triggers substantial innovation and change.

3. Companies proactively generate crises and opportunities by creating and solving problems.

4. Excellent managers are those whose unit have no performance gaps today but are able to define future opportunities to energize the organization now.

5. Managers must be clear about products, markets, technology, and timing and define objectives or standards to access performance.

6. A vision people can believe in can add passion and enthusiasm to an organization. A vision people do not understand or believe in undermines management's credibility and is a source of great cynicism.

7. When vision helps create the core values of an organization, it can provide the foundation for the culture or social control system essential in rapidly changing environments.

8. The essence of a vision company is the translation of ideology into goals, strategy, tactics, and policies, processes, and every thing that the company does.

9. Vision must be accessed against actual performance.

10. Managers prioritize performance gaps and make clear the most critical problems.

11. Managers can create opportunities gaps by raising performance standards.

12. Organizational learning is about finding good-enough solutions to important problems.

13. If strategy or vision is wrong, no amount of diagnosis and root cause analysis will help.

14. If a diagnosis reveals in congruencies between one or two organizational building blocks, incremental change is possible.

15. Norms are widely shared and strong held social expectations. Compliance to the norm is considered right. Noncompliance is punishable. Variance exist across an organization and its subunits.

16. Organizations with widely shared norms and values often show great consistency of attitudes and behavior. When core values are diffuse, operating norms are apt to be diffuse.

17. It is difficult to actively shape core values and culture without a clearly articulated competitive vision.

18. Finding the right strategy, vision, and purpose are essential for long-term success and have important motivational properties.

19. Without credible strategy and profit, people won't pay much attention to any so-called noble purpose.

20. Widely shared norms can be powerful determinants for attitudes and behavior.

21. Control comes from the knowledge that someone who matters to us is paying close attention to what we are doing and will tell us how we are doing.

22. A social control system's effectiveness is measure against whether is supports or hinders managers in accomplishing their critical tasks.

23. Providing clear and consistent signals about what is important and should be attended to and what is inappropriate and should not be tolerated is how managers help people focus.

24. People want to contribute their talents at work. "What America does right"

25. In a study of 2,000 managers from Asia, Europe, Africa, and the United States managers recognized the importance of designing workplaces that stimulate creativity and implementation of new ideas. Groups that had comparatively strong norms were rated as most innovative.

26. Managers recognized to stimulate creativity, one had to be prepared to encourage risk taking and accepting failures.

27. The managerial challenge is to design rewards consistent with underlying values of the employees.

28. In 1991, FedX 5,000 employees generated 7,500 suggestions for improvement.

29. A companies future success depends on its ability to develop new technology and improve substantially the reliability of the product line and customer service.

30. Employees need to give the help customers wants, not the help a policy or procedure dictates.

31. Systems of participation and involvement lead people to feel responsible.

32. Behavior leads to attitudes. A series of small commitments progressively builds into larger commitment patterns.

33. Getting people involved and excited about their jobs increases productivity. People see their ideas count and they feel important, a sense of dignity prevails. Jack Welch, "If you're not thinking all the time about making every person more valuable, you don't have a chance."
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a5489fc) out of 5 stars Discontinuinity To Remain Competitive 20 April 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Many successful companies continue to live onto their past success stories and forget the drastic changes taking place in the market. This symptom ultimately makes their successes short-lived and their market positioning easily challenged,and overtaken, by other not-so-famous competitors. To evade such perils, this book explains lucidly the idea of discontinuous innovations through which "culture of innovation" can be obtained and finally reach to an ambidextrous organization. Without innovation no organization can ever think of surviving in this cut-throat competitive market. The concepts in the books are easy to understand via appropriate examples and related explanation.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b6de618) out of 5 stars Explains a lot about why success breeds failure 11 Nov. 2008
By Andrew Binns - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
When I first read this book in 2000, I thought it was a penetrating analysis of the dynamics of large organizations and the tendency they have to be very good at doing the same thing; but then get stuck in the past and can't change. As we live through the credit crisis and the fall of once great names like Lehman Brothers I've come back to it for explanations of what's been going on. How can it be that the more successful you are the less likely it is that you will see the causes of your own downfall?

Another reviewer says this book compares poorly with Christansen's Innovator's Dilemma. But unlike Christansen, Tushman and O'Reilly offer a broader explanation for the phenomenon that gets at the guts of modern organizations. This book may lack the intellectual gratification that Christansen provides but is stacked with common sense.

The authors go beyond business school authodoxy and offer practical guidance on how to avoid the traps that they describe so vividly. Tushman first proposed the idea of 'organization alignment' or 'congruence' in the late 80s. Here he and O'Reilly bring that idea alive in several case studies based on their own research. They also advance the notion of the 'ambidextrous organization' as a way of managing a business through the innovators dilemma. The sections on culture may be too long for some, I didn't think so. What I find useful is the specific nature of the cases and definitions used; culture as something real and tangible. If only a few more banking CEOs had taken the time to understand the threat their own culture was creating for them.
HASH(0x9ab60fd8) out of 5 stars Good business book 23 Jan. 2012
By James Leer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is very insightful and a good book to read for business. It draws the in's and out's of this business in a concise format.
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