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on 10 August 2014
The book has many good tips for entrepreneurs and business owners, with easy to follow action steps, visuals and strategies. However, the use of Rockefeller's name in the title is clearly what causes this book to sell. Besides the introduction available in the free sample, Rockefeller is seldom mentioned or how the strategies in this book were used by him. When they are, it is usually just in the form of one or two sentence anecdotes. I would still recommend this book, as it is an easy read with plenty of useful material.
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In this bestseller, Verne Harnish shares the business lessons to be learned from case studies of ten remarkably different organizations: Castek Software Factory, Express-Med, HRF Exploration and Production, The Lawrence Group, Logical Choice Technologies, Marlo Furniture, McKinney Lumber, Mostly Muffins, Orion International, and The Scooter Store. In fact, Harnish acknowledges that he learned three even more important lessons from Titan, Ron Chernow's brilliant biography of John D. Rockefeller, framed as questions:

1. "Does the organization have objective Top 5 priorities for the year and the quarter and a clear Top 1 priority along with an appropriate theme?"

2. "Does the organization have sufficient data on a daily and weekly basis to provide insight into how the organization is running and what the market is demanding?"

3. "Doers the organization have an effective rhythm of daily, weekly, quarterly, and annual meetings to maintain alignment and drive accountability?"

These three questions suggest issues that leaders in any organization (regardless of size or nature) should regularly address with sufficient rigor and candor. Leaders in the ten exemplar organizations do so to ensure that (a) everything they do and are planning to do is of great importance to their current and prospective customers, and (b) everything they do or are planning to do will differentiate their organization from its competitors.

In my opinion, this is one of the most practical business books written in recent years, offering material based on a wealth of real-world situations and filled with insights and suggestions that almost any leader can put to immediate use. Yes, it can help to increase the value of a growing firm as its subtitle suggests; it can also help those leading start-ups to avoid most (if not all) of the mistakes that doom most new enterprises. I also highly recommend it to those now preparing for a career in business or who have only recently embarked on one.
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on 12 December 2009
In this book, Harnish has created a book that's easy for the typically short on attention span entrepreneur to identify the core needs in his business. I recommend this to pretty much every business owner, but it's best if you enjoy a slightly intellectual style.

While brief, each chapter dives into a lot of detail and gives enough background to back up the concepts to make it real and practical to apply in your business.

The one criticism I would have is about the detail. For example, the one page strategic plan is a brilliant concept. However, the actual template in Excel has so many fields to fill out, many with subtle overlaps, that it can be overwhelming and intimidating for somebody coming to it the first time. On the free downloads on Harnish's website, some of his customers have clearly had the same problem, as example one page plans have been cut right down to bare bones with maybe half a dozen key sections and text that's big enough to read!

This is a very minor criticism though - and one that the very detail-oriented would undoubtedly disagree with me about. If you want to build a strong and healthy, growing business, this book will definitely help you on your journey. In particular the emphasis on a small number of clear common goals, well defined and appropriate measurements and effective communication throughout the organisation will stand you in very good stead.
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on 18 July 2010
I just want to tell everyone who wants to know anything about how to organise their business to make money to read this book. It is straight forward and interesting. I started to read it and couldn't put it down. It was informative and helped me to reorganise my business method to improve efficiency.

If you are starting up in business or you are in a mess take the time to read it.
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on 31 October 2007
By far the best business book I have ever read. I have bought four copies for our top team, I have bought probably ten copies for others / for me and given them away.

It is effectively ten "essays" on the key topics for growing a business - each comes with a formula that you can use tomorrow morning - with an explanation of why so you can tweak it.

I learnt almost nothing that I did not already know at some level or have seen elsewhere. So what! I am yet to find a simpler, more usable set of tools.

Completely agree with the other reviewer that it's not revolutionary (although very few people DO this stuff) or academic. As a simple, handbook for entrepreneurs with established businesses, I cannot rate it highly enough.
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on 19 July 2015
I don't write many reviews. But Verne is a guru and his book is Excellent. This is literally both inspiration and an applied manual of how to run a company or a team. Must read for ceo, aspiring startups, and big company managers!!
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on 15 September 2007
Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Fast-Growth Firm by Verne Harnish is aimed at those entrepreneurs who have successfully built a small business but that are now struggling with the management of that business as it continues to grow rapdily.

The book ultimately achieves its objective a provides a number of useful tools that are simple, easy to implment, clearly described and I'm sure will be of great use to many SMEs throughout the world. That said however, the book spent time talking through what are already very well established practices in the areas of organisation, management and delegation meaning that a large part of the text is not so relevant for those people who already have some knowledge and experience of these areas (MBAs, executives, etc.).

The main thing that I took away from the book were some of the techniques aimed at aligning a organisation around a set of core values and a clearly defined mission. Although this is something that I have always had clear as vital part of growing a successful business, it is always useful to be able to draw on new and creative ways of achieving this.
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on 7 April 2014
Gives a solid overview of what you should be focussing on, so many people focus on the wrong things in business but this book helps to point you in the right direction.
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on 11 March 2013
Delivers exactly as promised; well presented whether you want to dive in at various points or read all the way through for maximum detail.
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on 5 July 2014
Good concise read to understand the core principles
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