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In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies (Collins Business Essentials)

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The "Greatest Business Book of All Time" (Bloomsbury UK), In Search of Excellence has long been a must-have for the boardroom, business school, and bedside table. Based on a study of forty-three of America's best-run companies from a diverse array of business sectors, In Search of Excellence describes eight basic principles of management -- action-stimulating, people-orient The "Greatest Business Book of All Time" (Bloomsbury UK), In Search of Excellence has long been a must-have for the boardroom, business school, and bedside table. Based on a study of forty-three of America's best-run companies from a diverse array of business sectors, In Search of Excellence describes eight basic principles of management -- action-stimulating, people-oriented, profit-maximizing practices -- that made these organizations successful.

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The "Greatest Business Book of All Time" (Bloomsbury UK), In Search of Excellence has long been a must-have for the boardroom, business school, and bedside table. Based on a study of forty-three of America's best-run companies from a diverse array of business sectors, In Search of Excellence describes eight basic principles of management -- action-stimulating, people-orient The "Greatest Business Book of All Time" (Bloomsbury UK), In Search of Excellence has long been a must-have for the boardroom, business school, and bedside table. Based on a study of forty-three of America's best-run companies from a diverse array of business sectors, In Search of Excellence describes eight basic principles of management -- action-stimulating, people-oriented, profit-maximizing practices -- that made these organizations successful.

30 review for In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies (Collins Business Essentials)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Scott Dinsmore

    Why I Read this Book: I was interested to know what it is that makes companies excellent. If I plan to do any type of work at all, be it start a business or work for one, it is fundamental to understand how the great companies of the world have done it. Review: Most of you have probably heard of McKinsey & Company, Inc. For those of you who have not, let me quickly note that McKinsey & Company is the most prestigious top tier management and strategic consulting firm in this world. The majo Why I Read this Book: I was interested to know what it is that makes companies excellent. If I plan to do any type of work at all, be it start a business or work for one, it is fundamental to understand how the great companies of the world have done it. Review: Most of you have probably heard of McKinsey & Company, Inc. For those of you who have not, let me quickly note that McKinsey & Company is the most prestigious top tier management and strategic consulting firm in this world. The majority of its clients are of similar rank and stature. Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman, the two authors of this book, have many years of combined experience working at McKinsey & Company. This experience led them to decide to go out and find the most successful companies in existence and understand what values, principles and techniques made them this way. This was their “search of excellence”. I had the pleasure of growing up around my father who spent the first part of his career after business school at McKinsey & Company while Waterman and Peters were in their tenure. Many of the stories he has shared over the years relate back to what he learned being around what he describes as “the sharpest and brightest people in the world”. As far as I’m concerned, the road to McKinsey & Company lead him to a rarely-traveled place in the world that he may not have seen otherwise. Tom Peters and Bob Waterman are amazing. As you read through the often dense, but intriguing chapters full of examples and stories from the best run companies in the world, you will begin to notice that only a very small bit of their findings are really groundbreaking. You might say “sure, that obviously makes sense” and “I would do that if I ran a company”. As we should all know by now, common sense is not common practice. My guess is that most companies, both large and small, know these fundamentals and best practices. The key difference between being good and being excellent is that few companies have been able to take that knowledge and transform it into reality and in turn into excellence. This is the true story of the ones that did. What is most valuable about this read is that it is the type of book that can relate to any business situation that you encounter whether you are the employee or the boss and owner. This book was written over 20 years ago and it is still 100% relevant and applicable to business as we know it today. It is to every single person’s advantage to understand what it takes to be excellent. You may not be in charge of a big company, you may not be in charge of a big division, and you may not even be in charge of a small company or division. What is important to remember is that at any and every point in your life, you are in charge of the success of something. I can assure you that you will always be in charge of something in your career. And we all know that we are the presidents and CEO’s of our own success. It is up to us to create and find the excellence in every part of our life. This book provides a perfect modelfor excellence. Read it, understand it, and allow it to live in your business and personal life. I wish you well with your search for excellence. May it never end. -Reading for Your Success

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jen Feldmann

    After leaving my position as CEO of a small IT company after its new owner, an arrogant Wharton MBA, made my life hell, I decided to spend some time revisiting the old time business classics. While "In Search of Excellence, Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies" is truly an oldie, with several of the cited companies no longer in existence, and most no longer "great" companies, I think many of the concepts hold true: Be close to the customer, treat employees like adults, small is beautiful, t After leaving my position as CEO of a small IT company after its new owner, an arrogant Wharton MBA, made my life hell, I decided to spend some time revisiting the old time business classics. While "In Search of Excellence, Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies" is truly an oldie, with several of the cited companies no longer in existence, and most no longer "great" companies, I think many of the concepts hold true: Be close to the customer, treat employees like adults, small is beautiful, try new things...good reminders for people who have been in business a long time, and good basic precepts for newbies.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ramy Khodeir

    A must read for every business executive

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rohan Monteiro

    Read this during my MBA days. I'm going to quote from another book (Standard Deviations by Gary Smith) which I highly recommend and which might provide some perspective here "McKinsey, one of the world’s top consulting firms, asked two obscure consultants, Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, to take a look at several successful companies. Peters and Waterman talked to other McKinsey consultants and came up with a list of forty-three companies with good reputations and strong financials. They then talk Read this during my MBA days. I'm going to quote from another book (Standard Deviations by Gary Smith) which I highly recommend and which might provide some perspective here "McKinsey, one of the world’s top consulting firms, asked two obscure consultants, Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, to take a look at several successful companies. Peters and Waterman talked to other McKinsey consultants and came up with a list of forty-three companies with good reputations and strong financials. They then talked to managers and read magazine stories, looking for common themes. This rather casual study was the basis for their wildly influential and successful book, In Search of Excellence, which identified eight common factors that Peters and Waterman found in these forty-three excellent companies—for example, a bias for action and being close to the consumer. This, was a backward-looking study. There is no way of knowing whether companies with a “bias for action,” whatever that means, were more successful than other companies, or whether companies that had been excellent in the past would be excellent in the future. Thirty-five of these forty-three companies have publicly traded stock. Since the book was published, fifteen have done better than the overall stock market, twenty worse. Collins, Peters, and Waterman do not provide any evidence that the characteristics they describe were responsible for these companies’ past success. To do that, they would have had to provide a theoretical justification for these characteristics. There is inherent survivor bias. If we think we know any secrets for success, a valid way to test our theory would be to identify businesses or people with these traits and see how they do over the next ten or twenty or fifty years. Otherwise, we are just staring at the past instead of predicting the future." **************End verbatim from Standard deviations********** Another way to put this - You can't look at just a bunch of successful companies and identify commonalities. You'll see pattern even in random number tables. You need to say "Does this hypothesis hold good" i.e instead of selecting successful companies and looking at what is common between them, look at a larger list including unsuccessful companies and see if those factors of success exist there as well. If they exist there, then maybe , those factors don't make that much of a difference after all. That is what tells you how good or bad your model is.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Víctor R. Ramos

    In Search of Excellence was one of the 1980's best-selling books. The authors analyzed some successful companies attempting to identify the eight attributes they had in common. Since then, more than half of those "excellent" companies disappeared, got acquired and disassembled, or went through extreme difficulties, indicating that the eight attributes were just simply things the companies did well at the time, but were not the answer to long term success. However, this book is still a good read for In Search of Excellence was one of the 1980's best-selling books. The authors analyzed some successful companies attempting to identify the eight attributes they had in common. Since then, more than half of those "excellent" companies disappeared, got acquired and disassembled, or went through extreme difficulties, indicating that the eight attributes were just simply things the companies did well at the time, but were not the answer to long term success. However, this book is still a good read for those wishing to track the evolution of management to present days.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Boring. I listened to the audio version of the book and it was slow and painful. Their ideas are good, but the prolong examples were more matter than meat. This is a book that is better skimmed than read. I read the book in Dec 2008 and some of the companies mentioned either don't exist or have been bought up by others. I would really like to see a follow up to the book and see how the companies are doing and if the priciples Peters extols have worked.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Sheil

    I've read this book before. It was called every business book ever written ever. I realize this was one of the first and was ground breaking in its day but now its been reduced to a cliche. The books that followed are more detailed and more relevant for today's world. If you're interested in history fine but if you want practical advice for today don't waste your time with this one.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ghostsmith

    must read for every Entrepreneur/Business owner

  9. 5 out of 5

    David McClendon, Sr

    Way back in the 1980s few people in business gave much thought to what makes an excellent business. Peters and Waterman conducted research on companies they identified as excellent. What they found were some common threads among the truly excellent companies. Being counted as an excellent company today is no guarantee that the company will be excellent in the future. The bar of excellence is constantly being raised and, in today’s economy, lowered. If you are a business student, this is among the Way back in the 1980s few people in business gave much thought to what makes an excellent business. Peters and Waterman conducted research on companies they identified as excellent. What they found were some common threads among the truly excellent companies. Being counted as an excellent company today is no guarantee that the company will be excellent in the future. The bar of excellence is constantly being raised and, in today’s economy, lowered. If you are a business student, this is among the books you should read. Also, if you are looking for business research, with a little business history thrown in, you should read Built to Last by James C. Collins and Jerry Porras and Good to Great by Jim Collins. In Search of Excellence explains how Peters and Waterman conducted their research and then what they found. They give us some insight into the excellent companies and what makes them tick. The book is a business classic. If you were in management back in the 1980s, you were probably compelled to read this book. The Fast Track Management program I was in made this required reading. This book has been a part of my business library for years. I don’t remember where I bought it. http://www.mcclendonenterprises.com

  10. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    The timing for having read this book, In Search of Excellence I was on my own search for it somewhere between shoulder pads for women's suits and a dresser drawer I had popping full of panty hose. Curiously it was also about the same time my mom wanted me to write a personal request to Lee Iacocca of Chrysler and ask him for a personal scholarship to help pay my college semester after my family moved yet again. She had just bought a LeBaron covertible. She was almost fully convinced this would b The timing for having read this book, In Search of Excellence I was on my own search for it somewhere between shoulder pads for women's suits and a dresser drawer I had popping full of panty hose. Curiously it was also about the same time my mom wanted me to write a personal request to Lee Iacocca of Chrysler and ask him for a personal scholarship to help pay my college semester after my family moved yet again. She had just bought a LeBaron covertible. She was almost fully convinced this would be effective. I wrote the letter. He was supposedly sponsoring a specific program from a different book on his business acumen with Chrysler and was offering hope to college students. I did not get a response to my letter of request to Mr. Iacocca. This book, In Search of Excellence was in the vein of the virtue of giants and was extolling their business practices. It was a copy pulled from my family bookshelf and I read it. It had paper quality like that of newsprint. And since the new house was short of tp, when i had enough of its excellence i...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cyril Danthi

    Book : In Search of Excellence Author: Tom Peters & Robert H Waterman In search of Excellence is a book on research using 7S (Strategy & Structure (hardware), Style, systems, Staff, Skills, and shared Values (software)) framework of McKinsey as the authors were working with McKinsey. The book was first published in 1982 and thought that was striking the mind is after 22 years is it makes relevant to today’s competitive and technology companies. To identify the rational of the excellence co Book : In Search of Excellence Author: Tom Peters & Robert H Waterman In search of Excellence is a book on research using 7S (Strategy & Structure (hardware), Style, systems, Staff, Skills, and shared Values (software)) framework of McKinsey as the authors were working with McKinsey. The book was first published in 1982 and thought that was striking the mind is after 22 years is it makes relevant to today’s competitive and technology companies. To identify the rational of the excellence companies the author had chosen over 43 companies out of the Fortune 500 and held them up as defenders of excellence, measured by six financial yardsticks such as Compound asset growth, Compound equity growth, Ratio of market value to book value, Return on capital, Return on equity and Return on sales to validate the secrete behind driving excellence. The best part is even today these companies are doing well and there are case studies shard in the book. However one drawback is the analysis and comparison of these shortlisted companies are not been reported. My key insights from the book are • Quality and Service are invariable hallmarks. The excellent companies require and demand extraordinary performance from average man. Service, Quality, Reliability are the strategies aimed at loyalty and long term revenue stream growth. Three themes in an effective service orientation 1. Intensive, active involvement on the part of senior Management 2. A remarkable people orientation 3. High intensity of measurement and feedback • Excellent companies has the ability to manage ambiguity and paradox. Excellence companies had gotten to be the way they are because of a unique set of cultural attributes that distinguish them from the rest. The excellent companies have developed cultures that incorporated the values and practices of the great leaders. • Tools are biased towards measurement and analysis. Paralysis through analysis syndrome. Tools didn’t substitute for thinking. Intellect didn’t overpower wisdom. Analysis didn’t impede action. Rather these companies work hard to keep things simple in a complex world. • Eight attributes of excellent, innovative companies are 1. Bias for action, for getting on with it 2. Close to customer 3. Autonomy and entrepreneurship 4. Productivity through people 5. Hands-on, value driven. 6. Stick to the knitting 7. Simple form, lean Staff 8. Simultaneous loose tight properties • Good mangers make meanings for people, as well as money. Treating people – not money, machine, or minds as the key natural resource. Majority of businessmen are incapable of original thought because they are unable to escape from the tyranny of reason. Gamesmanship replaces pragmatic action. Mangers job is decision making. Make the right calls. Make the touch calls. Managers job is to keep things tidy and under control. Get the incentives right and productivity will follow. Three items – inventories, profits and sales – form a crucible for managers. • The exclusively analytic approach run wild leads to an abstract, heartless philosophy. To be narrowly rational is often to be negative. Today’s version of rationality does not value experimentation and abhors mistakes. The excellent company response to complexity is fluidity. The rational model causes us to denigrate the importance of values. Fluidity, chunking and experimenting are interestingly abetted by the character of the excellent companies’ formal system. • Managing process is an interactive flow of three variables; Path-finding, decision making and implementation. • Our control systems are designed under the apparent assumption that 90 percent of the people are lazy. Association with past personal success apparently leads to more persistence, higher motivation, or something that makes us to do better. • Negative reinforcement will produce behavioural change, but often in strange, unpredictable, and undesirable ways. Positive reinforcement causes behavioural changes too, but usually in the intended direction. Two ways to accomplish shift – First we attempt through positive reinforcement to lead people gently over the time to pay attention to new activities. Secondly the reinforcement should have immediacy. Third system of feedback mechanisms should be account to achievability. Listening carefully, frequently speaking with encouragement and reinforcing words with believable action. • Excellent companies tap the inherent worth of the task as a source of intrinsic motivation for their employees. Excellent companies know to manage Paradox. Excellent companies are learning organisations. Human needs in the organiatisation are 1. People need for meaning 2. People need for modicum of control 3. People need positive reinforcement to think of themselves as winners in some sense 4. Degree to which actions and behaviours shape attitudes and beliefs. • Small group is the most visible of the chunking devices. Small groups are quite simply the basic organisational building blocks of excellent companies. The true power of the small group lies in the flexibility. • Five fundamental attributes of companies close to the customer 1. Astute technology manipulations 2. Pricing skill 3. Better segmenting 4. A problem solving orientation 5. Willingness to spend in order to discriminate. • Excellent companies have 5 attributes of communication system that seems to foster innovation 1. Communication systems are informal 2. Communication intensity is extraordinary 3. Communication is given physical supports 4. Forcing devices 5. The intense, informal communication system act as remarkable tight control system. • Excellent companies do acquire; but they acquire and diversify in an experimental fashion.

  12. 5 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is a timeless self-improvement book. I read this more than a couple of decades ago but I can still remember Bias for Action and Be Close to the Customer. I was just starting my career then and I consider myself fortunate to having read a nice book that I could apply in my corporate life. I can also recall the story about Disney where regular office employees assume a cartoon character role (wearing costume and mask) once in a while just to interact with their customers. I was thinking about This is a timeless self-improvement book. I read this more than a couple of decades ago but I can still remember Bias for Action and Be Close to the Customer. I was just starting my career then and I consider myself fortunate to having read a nice book that I could apply in my corporate life. I can also recall the story about Disney where regular office employees assume a cartoon character role (wearing costume and mask) once in a while just to interact with their customers. I was thinking about this when for the first time last year, I went to Disneyland Hong Kong and interacted with Snow White, Buzz and Pluto. BTW, they did not sound like office employees to me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    يوسف زهدى

    A very nice management book! the book is newer version of same title published twice before discussing what are the factors which make some companies excellent and discuss 8 basic factors which assume to be so and I agree with them to large extent. The book discuss each idea with tons and tons of detailed examples (to the boring extent) yet present the ideas clearly and in very simple convincing way. I really recommend the book for people working at different managerial levels in different industr A very nice management book! the book is newer version of same title published twice before discussing what are the factors which make some companies excellent and discuss 8 basic factors which assume to be so and I agree with them to large extent. The book discuss each idea with tons and tons of detailed examples (to the boring extent) yet present the ideas clearly and in very simple convincing way. I really recommend the book for people working at different managerial levels in different industries. and I request the authors to issue summarized version for executives with less examples.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    One of the better business books out there. Still relevant 30 years after it was written, providing me much insight and wisdoem on how to motivate and lead by Dr. Peters study of excellent companies and why they succeed. More or less and I'm finding this to be a common theme, its the people in the organization and how they are managed that creates long-term success. A company is short-sighted if they think it is any one product alone because in this age with exponential competition, we must rely One of the better business books out there. Still relevant 30 years after it was written, providing me much insight and wisdoem on how to motivate and lead by Dr. Peters study of excellent companies and why they succeed. More or less and I'm finding this to be a common theme, its the people in the organization and how they are managed that creates long-term success. A company is short-sighted if they think it is any one product alone because in this age with exponential competition, we must rely on the human capital to innovate, create and motivate a company's long-term success.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lone Wong

    It is ambivalent for me to rate this book, 3.5 stars at max. I intend to rate it 4 stars, but the book is written in a very technical and ambiguous way for reader very hard to assimilate the idea of the book. It seems the author reiterates the idea through out the whole books trying to fit in his 8 principles of managing a company. It's biased to compare the excellent company with the rest and speculate the conclusion. But, the book remains a classic management business book for 35 years (publish It is ambivalent for me to rate this book, 3.5 stars at max. I intend to rate it 4 stars, but the book is written in a very technical and ambiguous way for reader very hard to assimilate the idea of the book. It seems the author reiterates the idea through out the whole books trying to fit in his 8 principles of managing a company. It's biased to compare the excellent company with the rest and speculate the conclusion. But, the book remains a classic management business book for 35 years (published at 1982), there must be a reason behind this. I rather recommend people who are interested in entrepreneurship or management to read Tony Hsieh, "Delivering Happiness". The book is full of Tony personal touch and business philosophy about his Zappos, and how he empowers his employee fully in charge for customer service line. At first, the author describes the "Rational Model" of people and organization are not "rational" in the ways of strategy. It's dangerous to try to force a simplistic and misguided rationality on the way to manage. The organization cannot just manage by numbers. People are wonderfully different and complex. Leaders need to set people free to help, not harness them. And the hardest thing to manage is the intangible stuff, the company culture. The author will elaborate more in chapter 3 & 4 as in "managing ambiguity and paradox", "Man waiting for motivation". The author articulated a wonderful way of explaining imbalance of managing ambiguity. Stanford's Harold Leavitt views the managing process as an interactive flow of three variables: path-finder, decision making, and implementation. The problem of the modern organization is that it addresses only the middle element, decision making. Obviously, the three process are interconnected, and emphasis on any one trait to the execution of the other is dangerous. The business ranks are full of would-be path finders, artists who can't get anything done. Likewise, implementers abound-compromising salesman who have no vision. And the pitfalls of those who overemphasize decision making on the tangible numbers. Anyhow, I still think I should give the credit to the author who did a wonderful research and meticulous interview with all the excellent companies. In this book, he describes, all the excellent companies share a common trait to success. 1. Bias for action. The company is action oriented, a bias for getting things done. The excellent companies get quick action just because their organizations are fluid. They start with a remarkably high degree of informal communication, which is the key. 2. Close to the customer. Service, quality, reliabilities are strategies aimed at loyalty and long-term revenue stream growth. The excellent companies are wonderful customer oriented. "They believe the sale really begins after the sale, not before. Most of their renovation comes from the market by embracing the feedback from the lead user of the market and experimenting their protocol products. (Minimum Viable Products). 3. Autonomy and entrepreneurship. They encourage the entrepreneurial spirit among their people because they push autonomy remarkably to the downline. They also leave enough maneuvering room for an ambitious researcher to engage in any project to develop the company growth. 4. Productivity through people. Treat people as adults. Treat them as partners, treat them with dignity, respect, and trust. The excellent company treats their people as one of the important assets. They tend to decentralized the management authority to smallness organizations. The point is that even in a huge organization like Church, very few layers are needed to make things work. Excessive layering maybe the biggest problem of slow moving, rigid bureaucracy. 5. Hands-on, value driven. I wouldn't take the example from the book but I believe everyone aware that excellent company is the visionary leader with clear objectives and goal. For instance, Zappos advocating employee to delivering happiness to the doorstep of the customer. 6. Stick to the knitting. In the book, the author basically describes the typical diversification dilutes the company value and goal. The company who know their game and objective clear enough outperform all others. 7. Simple form, lean staff. Keeping things simple. Clarity on company values is also an important part of the underlying touchstone for stability and simplicity as well. The company are adaptive and flexible enough in responding to fast-changing conditions in the environment, 8. Simultaneous loose-tight properties. In the book, Art of war by Sun Tzu. He describes at war, an army needs to be adaptive to the external conditions in order to survive in any environment, he calls it "Emptiness and Fullness". Chinese would like to refer as " Yin & Yang". Management needs to be disciple enough to cultivate a disciplined culture in the company. It is perhaps the most stringent means of self-discipline in every employee. All these basic principles are a pleasant surprise. It is simple and clear. But the excellent companies were, above all, are brilliant in the basics. Rather, these companies worked hard to keep things simple in a complex world. they persisted.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Wainwright Yu

    5 stars largely because this was the very first Business & Investing book I read -- way back in early high school -- and I enjoyed it enough to keep on reading in the genre. So thank you, Tom Peters, for giving me a nice first introduction to the exciting world of business.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hugh Evans

    Would have had 5 stars had this been 1990.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mark Oppenlander

    In the early 1980's, Tom Peters and Robert Waterman were consultants at McKinsey and Company who were given the task of looking at a number of successful US companies and seeing if they could find commonalities. They chose about 43 firms, based on financial performance and general reputation and then did a series of interviews with executives at those firms as well as a survey of articles written about those firms (what those of us in academia would call a literature review.) The results of thos In the early 1980's, Tom Peters and Robert Waterman were consultants at McKinsey and Company who were given the task of looking at a number of successful US companies and seeing if they could find commonalities. They chose about 43 firms, based on financial performance and general reputation and then did a series of interviews with executives at those firms as well as a survey of articles written about those firms (what those of us in academia would call a literature review.) The results of those research efforts was this book. Peters and Waterman identified about eight themes that seemed to be constant in the "excellent" companies. 35 years later on, some of those ideas are now so common place that it's hard to imagine a time when they were not. For example, how could any company survive without being "close to the customer?" Many large corporations spend half of their marketing budgets on collecting consumer insights. And the idea of treating your employees like human beings? That's called I/O Psychology these days. Or failing early and often? Try "minimum viable product" or "rapid prototyping." Nonetheless, I am sure that much of this was groundbreaking at the time and the fact that these concepts are now largely fundamental in modern business shows how influential all of this really was or is. After a lengthy introduction, Peters and Waterman approach the book through the lenses of their eight themes, chapter by chapter. They provide anecdotes and stories from their interviews to back their themes up. The approach feels a little abstract and it meanders at times. There isn't a lot of quantitative data. Still, the stories are entertaining and even enlightening, and some of the concepts (e.g. "management by walking around") are now legendary. The trouble as a reader is of course that much of this has now been done quite a bit better by other writers and researchers. If you like the concept of this book, you'll probably like Built to Last or Good to Great even better. Jim Collins approached similar ideas with a great deal more rigor and a (seemingly) more disciplined and quantitative approach. This book is considered a business classic and it's not a bad read at all. It's certainly not unreadable and many of the ideas still ring true. Just know if you tackle it that it's old enough now to be a historical text and one that has been superseded by other more contemporary studies.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nigel Street

    Interesting if somewhat dated assessment of the ingredients of an excellent company. The authors clearly draw heavily on their network of contacts from work in the field with the biggest name in consulting: McKinsey. It provides a valuable summary of the essential ingredients to success, in their opinion, by stating 8 key areas and how they apply to the McKinsey 7s. Easier to read than some it provides a good combination of theory supported by examples. My biggest criticism is that the examples Interesting if somewhat dated assessment of the ingredients of an excellent company. The authors clearly draw heavily on their network of contacts from work in the field with the biggest name in consulting: McKinsey. It provides a valuable summary of the essential ingredients to success, in their opinion, by stating 8 key areas and how they apply to the McKinsey 7s. Easier to read than some it provides a good combination of theory supported by examples. My biggest criticism is that the examples are often drawn from a handful of companies - which are particularly today not that relevant and sometimes came across as contrived to suit the example they were drawn on to illustrate. Nonetheless the language is largely clear and jargon free - more so than many of it's successors and still makes for an interesting read of an important study of its time.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ionut Ciobotaru

    It's incredible how many (all?) of the concepts in this book are still applicable today (although the companies mentioned are no longer amongst the top). Highly recommended but only after some hands-on entrepreneurship/exec/management experience and reading a few other "bibles" from the business books library.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    The most important things to remember: treat your employees like adults, have a teachable value system, and be simple enough to remember the customer. It would also be easy to do away with bureaucracy, but we have to learn what goes into business today. For Weick and March, I salute you, Captains. (Heh heh!)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Juan Gonzalez

    Quite insightful and all base on good research A must read. The research done for this book makes it quite practical. The entrepreneurship chapter is quite valuable and easy to implement.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alex Morariu

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Keep it simple: create a simple but encompassing set of rules and values and then treat people like adults. Give them freedom and support. Values should revolve around client, transparency, quality, respect, commitment. The 8 areas treated are summarized in the first pages of the book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Peter Timson

    I was convinced at the time. Now I'm not so sure that it wasn't a trick. The apparent message is great but not so sure whether it was just a ruse. Sad. One of those seminal books along the way I guess.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Pham

    the first part overly emphasize on literature review, mentioned about various theories in the part about management. It's not too bad and perhaps can be interesting to certain audiences. However I felt it's too dragging and the connection is not truly directed.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nate May

    The examples are a little out dated, but its principles are good.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Peter Mancini

    Great business book that explains what the greats do!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Paul Szydlowski

    A more cluttered, less scholarly look than Michael Collins "Good to Great" into what makes organizations succeed.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Adam Ashton

    A great book that provides 8 principles for a company to be excellent. It’s a shame that this book is almost four decades old, yet all of the problems of big organisations still remain...

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The book is written by

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