The Halo Effect: ... and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers - Download Free Ebook Now
Hot Best Seller

The Halo Effect: ... and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers

Availability: Ready to download

Much of our business thinking is shaped by delusions -- errors of logic and flawed judgments that distort our understanding of the real reasons for a company's performance. In a brilliant and unconventional book, Phil Rosenzweig unmasks the delusions that are commonly found in the corporate world. These delusions affect the business press and academic research, as well as Much of our business thinking is shaped by delusions -- errors of logic and flawed judgments that distort our understanding of the real reasons for a company's performance. In a brilliant and unconventional book, Phil Rosenzweig unmasks the delusions that are commonly found in the corporate world. These delusions affect the business press and academic research, as well as many bestselling books that promise to reveal the secrets of success or the path to greatness. Such books claim to be based on rigorous thinking, but operate mainly at the level of storytelling. They provide comfort and inspiration, but deceive managers about the true nature of business success.The most pervasive delusion is the Halo Effect. When a company's sales and profits are up, people often conclude that it has a brilliant strategy, a visionary leader, capable employees, and a superb corporate culture. When performance falters, they conclude that the strategy was wrong, the leader became arrogant, the people were complacent, and the culture was stagnant. In fact, little may have changed -- company performance creates a Halo that shapes the way we perceive strategy, leadership, people, culture, and more. Drawing on examples from leading companies including Cisco Systems, IBM, Nokia, and ABB, Rosenzweig shows how the Halo Effect is widespread, undermining the usefulness of business bestsellers from "In Search of Excellence" to "Built to Last" and "Good to Great." Rosenzweig identifies nine popular business delusions. Among them: "The Delusion of Absolute Performance: " Company performance is relative to competition, not absolute, which is why following a formula can never guarantee results. Success comes from doing things better than rivals, which means that managers have to take risks. "The Delusion of Rigorous Research: " Many bestselling authors praise themselves for the vast amount of data they have gathered, but forget that if the data aren't valid, it doesn't matter how much was gathered or how sophisticated the research methods appear to be. They trick the reader by substituting sizzle for substance. "The Delusion of Single Explanations: " Many studies show that a particular factor, such as corporate culture or social responsibility or customer focus, leads to improved performance. But since many of these factors are highly correlated, the effect of each one is usually less than suggested. In what promises to be a landmark book, "The Halo Effect" replaces mistaken thinking with a sharper understanding of what drives business success and failure. "The Halo Effect" is a guide for the thinking manager, a way to detect errors in business research and to reach a clearer understanding of what drives business success and failure. Skeptical, brilliant, iconoclastic, and mercifully free of business jargon, Rosenzweig's book is nevertheless dead serious, making his arguments about important issues in an unsparing and direct way that will appeal to a broad business audience. For managers who want to separate fact from fiction in the world of business, "The Halo Effect" is essential reading -- witty, often funny, and sharply argued, it's an antidote to so much of the conventional thinking that clutters business bookshelves.


Compare

Much of our business thinking is shaped by delusions -- errors of logic and flawed judgments that distort our understanding of the real reasons for a company's performance. In a brilliant and unconventional book, Phil Rosenzweig unmasks the delusions that are commonly found in the corporate world. These delusions affect the business press and academic research, as well as Much of our business thinking is shaped by delusions -- errors of logic and flawed judgments that distort our understanding of the real reasons for a company's performance. In a brilliant and unconventional book, Phil Rosenzweig unmasks the delusions that are commonly found in the corporate world. These delusions affect the business press and academic research, as well as many bestselling books that promise to reveal the secrets of success or the path to greatness. Such books claim to be based on rigorous thinking, but operate mainly at the level of storytelling. They provide comfort and inspiration, but deceive managers about the true nature of business success.The most pervasive delusion is the Halo Effect. When a company's sales and profits are up, people often conclude that it has a brilliant strategy, a visionary leader, capable employees, and a superb corporate culture. When performance falters, they conclude that the strategy was wrong, the leader became arrogant, the people were complacent, and the culture was stagnant. In fact, little may have changed -- company performance creates a Halo that shapes the way we perceive strategy, leadership, people, culture, and more. Drawing on examples from leading companies including Cisco Systems, IBM, Nokia, and ABB, Rosenzweig shows how the Halo Effect is widespread, undermining the usefulness of business bestsellers from "In Search of Excellence" to "Built to Last" and "Good to Great." Rosenzweig identifies nine popular business delusions. Among them: "The Delusion of Absolute Performance: " Company performance is relative to competition, not absolute, which is why following a formula can never guarantee results. Success comes from doing things better than rivals, which means that managers have to take risks. "The Delusion of Rigorous Research: " Many bestselling authors praise themselves for the vast amount of data they have gathered, but forget that if the data aren't valid, it doesn't matter how much was gathered or how sophisticated the research methods appear to be. They trick the reader by substituting sizzle for substance. "The Delusion of Single Explanations: " Many studies show that a particular factor, such as corporate culture or social responsibility or customer focus, leads to improved performance. But since many of these factors are highly correlated, the effect of each one is usually less than suggested. In what promises to be a landmark book, "The Halo Effect" replaces mistaken thinking with a sharper understanding of what drives business success and failure. "The Halo Effect" is a guide for the thinking manager, a way to detect errors in business research and to reach a clearer understanding of what drives business success and failure. Skeptical, brilliant, iconoclastic, and mercifully free of business jargon, Rosenzweig's book is nevertheless dead serious, making his arguments about important issues in an unsparing and direct way that will appeal to a broad business audience. For managers who want to separate fact from fiction in the world of business, "The Halo Effect" is essential reading -- witty, often funny, and sharply argued, it's an antidote to so much of the conventional thinking that clutters business bookshelves.

30 review for The Halo Effect: ... and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael Greenwell

    I read The Halo Effect because I was unsettled by, among other business books, Jim Collins' Good to Great and Built to Last, and I was interested in reading a critique to see if the criticism matched my own misgivings. Phil Rosenzweig's book provided more than I bargained for by both tearing down Built to Last and Good to Great, and then acknowledging that they are still intriguing and potentially valuable works despite their flaws. Specifically, Rosenzweig criticizes the kind of research practis I read The Halo Effect because I was unsettled by, among other business books, Jim Collins' Good to Great and Built to Last, and I was interested in reading a critique to see if the criticism matched my own misgivings. Phil Rosenzweig's book provided more than I bargained for by both tearing down Built to Last and Good to Great, and then acknowledging that they are still intriguing and potentially valuable works despite their flaws. Specifically, Rosenzweig criticizes the kind of research practised in business novels, and notes that this lack of rigour can only be addressed by changing the kind of information being collected, rather than the volume, as is common practice among popular business books. His criticism identifies a number of logical fallacies, and then he proceeds to link those fallacies directly to both anecdotal cases and popular business books. However, the thing I loved most about this book was not the criticism I came looking for, but rather the acknowledgement of the remaining value in the leading business books that were criticized. This acknowledgement, coupled with a intriguing conclusion regarding strategy, made this book a delightful and illuminating experience.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    From HBR: If a company is making a lot of money and you ask its employees to rate its performance on other dimensions – talent management, customer orientation, innovation, and so forth – they will give it high marks across the board. If a company is struggling financially, the ratings will be low across the board. This is due to the “halo effect,” a term coined decades ago by psychologist Edward Thorndike to describe people’s tendency, having already formed a conclusion about something’s merit, From HBR: If a company is making a lot of money and you ask its employees to rate its performance on other dimensions – talent management, customer orientation, innovation, and so forth – they will give it high marks across the board. If a company is struggling financially, the ratings will be low across the board. This is due to the “halo effect,” a term coined decades ago by psychologist Edward Thorndike to describe people’s tendency, having already formed a conclusion about something’s merit, to attribute other qualities to it that are in line with that assessment. With regard to organizational performance, it isn’t just the workforce that falls into this trap. The halo effect also distorts the judgments of analysts and journalists – and, in turn, the findings of management researchers. Phil Rosenzweig, a professor of strategy and international management at IMD in Switzerland, explains this problem and others in The Halo Effect…and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers and shows how these biases have undermined efforts to answer the “mother of all business questions”: What leads to high performance? That’s what Jim Collins famously examines in Good to Great and William Joyce and coauthors ponder in What Really Works. Rosenzweig shows, for instance, why we can’t trust John Kotter and James Heskett on the matter of how culture drives performance. They surveyed employees and found that successful companies have strong cultures. That, says Rosenzweig, is a classic halo finding, as well as a probable muddling of cause and effect. Since people love being on winning teams, it may be that it’s the great financial results that are creating positive vibes in hallways, rather than the reverse. The Halo Effect is immensely readable and will find an audience among management practitioners – no small feat for a text on research method. Rosenzweig crafts his narrative well, getting readers on board with his argument before putting their most beloved gurus in his crosshairs. By the end of the book, he’s getting away with borderline snarky comments he couldn’t have made in chapter one. He’s become a friend who rants but is right. To say that this is a book for managers, though, is stretching it. The author says his goal is “to help managers become…less vulnerable to simplistic formulas and quick-fix remedies.” That’s noble, but managers are plenty skeptical about such claims. Indeed, when Rosenzweig decries the harm done by delusional research, he doesn’t put much heart into it. “Pursuing a dream of enduring greatness may divert attention from the pressing need to win immediate battles,” he notes. And “believing that performance is absolute can cause us to take our eye off rivals.” It’s all theoretically true – but just as clearly not happening. The people who are really being saved here are management scholars. For the ones who want to do rigorous research but don’t know how, this is as concise and memorable a text as they’ll get. For those who’d like to get away with less, it’s fair warning. Enough of us will have read Rosenzweig to call them on it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Craig a.k.a Meatstack

    I have to admit, I have a bit of a soft spot for business books. I've read through all the greats. However this book has opened made me reconsider them from a whole new light. The basic premise, the "Halo", is that when a company does well, it's reflected in the soft aspects of the company. When it does poorly the opposite is true. So, Intel dumping it's memory chip line to focus on processors was a bold stroke and demonstrated visionary leadership because it worked. Had it not worked, business bo I have to admit, I have a bit of a soft spot for business books. I've read through all the greats. However this book has opened made me reconsider them from a whole new light. The basic premise, the "Halo", is that when a company does well, it's reflected in the soft aspects of the company. When it does poorly the opposite is true. So, Intel dumping it's memory chip line to focus on processors was a bold stroke and demonstrated visionary leadership because it worked. Had it not worked, business books would have said that Intel strayed from it's core, or lost focus. Thinking about all those books I've read, I have to agree on this. This book is a great reality check to cut some of the sweet from the genre. If you've read "Good to Great" "Built to Last" etc, then you ought to check this one out too.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jurgen Appelo

    Every management consultant, speaker and writer should read this.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Preston Kutney

    Foundational for anyone who reads business books. The "Halo Effect" in social psychology is the tendency for competence or success in one area to spill into evaluations of other areas that are not necessarily related. In management research this manifests itself as the tendency to positively evaluate characteristics of companies that are successful, and negatively evaluate characteristics of companies that are unsuccessful, even if those characteristics in isolation are identical. As an example Foundational for anyone who reads business books. The "Halo Effect" in social psychology is the tendency for competence or success in one area to spill into evaluations of other areas that are not necessarily related. In management research this manifests itself as the tendency to positively evaluate characteristics of companies that are successful, and negatively evaluate characteristics of companies that are unsuccessful, even if those characteristics in isolation are identical. As an example of how this works, take the statement: "Winners are confident, losers are arrogant". The exact same manager could be evaluated completely differently depending on the outcome. And the problem with most management research is that it is conducted retrospectively - we know whether the company succeeded or failed, meaning that our evaluation of the characteristics, behaviors, components of the company that led to that outcome are colored by our knowledge of the outcome. This becomes a chicken-and-egg problem where the process of success cannot be untangled from the success, because our evaluation of the process is affected by the outcome. "Do these practices lead to high performance? Or do high-performing companies tend to be described in these terms? The latter explanation is at least as likely as the former. " Lessons: Culture or leadership factors probably lead to business success, but it is hard to separate them from the outcome - you get positive attribution from positive outcomes and vice versa. So then...what's left? Rosenzweig gives his conclusion: "We're left with two broad categories: strategic choice and execution. The former is inherently risky since it's based on our best guesses about customers, about competitors, and technology, as well as about our internal capabilities. The latter is uncertain because practices that work well in one company may not have the same effect in another. In spite of our desire for simple steps, the reality of management is much more uncertain than we would often like to admit -- and much more so than our comforting stories would have us believe. Wise managers know that business is about finding ways to improve the odds of success -- but never imagine that success is certain....If a company makes strategic choices that are shrewd, works hard to operate effectively, and is favored by Lady Luck, it may put some distance between itself and its rivals, at least for a time." Not a reassuring takeaway for someone about to study management, but a sober look at a subject whose claims often reach delusion.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Danial Kalbasi

    This shouldn't be a book with 200 pages, it should be just an article. Maybe a long one. Full of repetitive sections which totally ruin the reading experience. Not the book has nothing good, but it has a little. The most part of the chapters spends to criticize the other writers and their books. This is fine at some point, but only if it comes with lots of other suggestions.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Leonardo

    It's a good book in general and draws our attention to the biases of many of the books I had read in the past - such as "Good to great". However it is repetitive and I feel the ideas could have been conveyed in half the amount of pages.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Prakriti

    Perhaps the best management book of all time. It is not inspiring (which is why the four stars) because it is critical. Needs to be read by anyone who is exposed to management writing of any kind, and that includes journalism's coverage of business. Very highly recommended.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Herve

    When I read that Nassim Nicholas Taleb said this is “one of the most important management books of all time”, I was intrigued. Usually I do not like general business books. But here, not only is it a great book, but fun to read! What is the halo effect? A tendency to make inferences about specific traits on the basis of a general impression [Page 50]. The author has a major question: Is management a science? Pages 12-17 cover that sensitive topic: “In other fields, from medicine to chemistry to ae When I read that Nassim Nicholas Taleb said this is “one of the most important management books of all time”, I was intrigued. Usually I do not like general business books. But here, not only is it a great book, but fun to read! What is the halo effect? A tendency to make inferences about specific traits on the basis of a general impression [Page 50]. The author has a major question: Is management a science? Pages 12-17 cover that sensitive topic: “In other fields, from medicine to chemistry to aeronautical engineering, knowledge seems to march ahead relentlessly. What do these fields have in common? In a word, these fields move forward thanks to a form of inquiry we call science. Richard Feynman once defined science as “a method for trying to answer questions which can be put into the form: If I do this, what will happen?” Science isn’t about beauty or truth or justice or wisdom or ethics. It’s eminently practical. It asks, If I do something over here, what will happen over there? If I apply this much force, or that much heat, or if I mix these chemicals, what will happen? By this definition, What leads to sustained profitable growth? is a scientific question. It asks, If a company does this or that, what will happen to its revenues or profits or share price?” [Page 12] “Our inability to capture the full complexity of the business world through scientific experiments has provided fodder for some critics of business schools. Management gurus Warren Bennis and James O’Toole, in 2005 Harvard Business Review article, criticized business schools for their reliance on the scientific method. They wrote: “This scientific model is predicated on the faulty assumption that business is an academic discipline like chemistry or geology when, in fact, business is a profession and business schools are professional schools – or should be”. The notion seems to be that since business will never be understood with the precision of the natural sciences, it’s best understood as a sort of humanity, a realm where the logic of scientific inquiry doesn’t apply. Well, yes and no.” [Page 14] Rozenzweig concludes this 1st chapter with a beautiful story (page 16), again from Richard Feynman: In the South Seas, there is a cult of people. During the war they saw airplanes land with lots of materials, and they want the same thing to happen now. So they’ve arranged to make things like runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head like headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas – he’s the controller. And they wait for the airplanes to land. They’re doing everything right. The form is perfect. But it doesn’t work. No airplanes land. So I call these things Cargo Cult Science, because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they’re missing something essential, because the planes don’t land. He called that last section Science, Pseudoscience and Coconut Headsets. Storytelling and science His criticism in chapter 6 of famous bestsellers In Search of Excellence by Peters and Waterman [page 83] and then of Built to Last by Collins and Porras [page 94] are particularly striking. Stories and science are different and the author explains many delusions created by approximate science: #1: The Hallo Effect #2: The delusion of Correlation and Causality #3: The Delusion of Single Explanations #4: The Delusion of Connecting the Winning Dots #5: The Delusion of Rigorous Research #6: The Delusion of Lasting Success #7: The Delusion of Absolute Performance #8: The Delusion of the Wrong End of the Stick #9: The Delusion of Organizational Physics. (if you are too lazy to read this great book, have at least a look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hal...) Rosenzweig tries to explain the complexity of measuring company performance. What are the key elements that managers should take into account for excellence? And Rosenzweig shows that storytelling has been as important as research in that quest. He further claims that authors of bestsellers such as In Search of Excellence, Built to Last or From Good to Great who claim their results were based on research, indeed were more excellent story tellers than rigorous researchers. “It’s not that the important elements are not right. In Search of Excellence gives eight best practice: a bias for action; staying close to the customer; autonomy and entrepreneurship; productivity through people; hands-on, value-driven; stick to the knitting; simple form, lean staff; and simultaneous loose-tight properties.” [Page 85] “Whereas in Built to Last, Collins and Porras give their 5 timeless principles: having a strong core ideology; building a strong corporate culture; setting audacious goals; developing and promoting people; creating a spirit of experimentation and risk-taking; driving for excellence”. [Page 96] “Several researchers have studied the rate at which company performance changes over time. Pankaj Ghemawat at Harvard Business School examined the return on investments (ROI) of a sample of 692 American companies over a ten-year period from 1971 to 1980. He put together one group of top performers, with an average ROI of 39 percent, and one group of low performers, with an average ROI of just 3 percent. Then he tracked the two groups over time. What would happen to their ROIS? Would the gap persist, would it grow, or would it diminish? After nine years, both groups converged together toward the middle, the top performers falling from 39 percent to 21 percent and the low performers rising from 3 percent to 18 percent.” [Page 104] “These studies, and others like them, all point to the basic nature of competition in a market economy. Competitive advantage is hard to sustain. Sure, if you want to, you can look back over seventy years of business history and pick out a handful of companies that have endured, but that’s selection based on outcomes.” [Page 105] “Interviews with managers, asking them to look back over the ten-year period and recount their experiences (…) these sort of retrospective interviews are likely to be full of halos, as people take cues from performance and make attributions accordingly.” [Page 108] Again Rosenzwieg has nothing against interviews, he just warns the reader that they have to be meticulously prepared to avoid any bias and answers based on outcomes. “Another famous study, the Evergreen project, identified eight practices: strategy; execution; culture; structure; talent; leadership; innovation; and mergers and partnerships (Page 110). Yet once we see that performance is relative, it becomes obvious that companies can never achieve success simply by following a given set of steps, no matter how well intended; their success will always be affected by what rivals do” [Page 116]. “Perhaps the most interesting factor in Big Winners and Big Losers is mentioned as a brief aside but not examined closely: Marcus points out that large companies show up more frequently among the Big Losers, while almost all the Big Winners are small or midsize companies. This observation ought to spark one’s curiosity, because large companies got that way in the first place by doing things well – they didn’t grow by being Losers – yet something seemed to prevent them from maintaining that high performance. Extremer performance, for better and for worse, is more common among small companies”. [Page 132] But a 10 percent difference in performance doesn’t say anything about what will happen at my company – the impact could be more or less or nothing at all. There’s no guarantee, no promise that inspires me to take action. Books, which provide simple and definitive advice and studies of organizational performance, stand in two very different worlds. The first world speaks to practicing managers and rewards speculations about how to improve performance. The second world demands and rewards adherence to rigorous standards of scholarship. Here science is paramount, storytelling less so. The result is a schizophrenic tour de force in which the demands of the roles of the consultant and teacher are disassociated form the demands of the researcher”. [Page 135] “According to the Economist, Tom Peters can charge corporate clients up to $85,000 for a single appearance, and Jim Collins commands a fee of $150,000. There’s a lucrative market for spinning stories of corporate success. Will anyone hire (a researcher) at $85,000 or $150,000 a pop to talk about a statistically significant 4 percent difference in performance? Somehow it seems doubtful [page 136]. The test of a good story is not whether it is entirely, fully, scientifically accurate – by definition it won’t be. Rather, the test of a good story is whether it leads us toward valuable insights, if it is inspires towards helpful action, at least most of the time. [Page 137] Strategy and execution “Here’s how I like to think about company performance. According to Michael Porter of Harvard Business School, company performance is driven by two things: Strategy and execution.” [Page 144] But both are full of uncertainties: “Strategy always involves risk because we don’t know for sure how our choices will turn out. […] A first reason has to do with customers. […] Sam Philips, the legendary Sun records producer, once cautioned, “Anytime we think you know what the public’s going to want that’s when you know you’re looking at a damn fool when you’re looking in the mirror”. Market reaction is always uncertain, and smart strategists know it. [Page 146] “A second source of risk has to do with competitors. […] An entire branch of economics, game theory, has grown up around a simple form of competitive intelligence. […] A third source of risk comes from technological change. […] In his groundbreaking research Clayton Christensens at Harvard Business School showed that in a wide range of industries, from earth-moving equipment to disk drives to steel, successful companies were repeatedly dislodged by new technologies. [Page 147] Jim Collins expressed surprised that [his] eleven Great companies came from ordinary, unspectacular industries. […] I suspect a different interpretation. These industries can be described as dowdy, but a better word might be stable. They were less subject to radical changes in technology, were less susceptible to shifts in customer demand, and may have had less intense competition. [Page 147] As James March of Stanford and Zur Shapira of New York University explained, “Posthoc reconstruction permits history to be told in such a way that “chance”, either in the sense of genuinely probabilistic phenomena or in the senses of unexplained variation, is minimized as an explanation.” But chance does play a role, and the difference between a brilliant visionary and a foolish gambler is usually inferred after the fact, an attribution based on outcomes. [Page 150] There are fewer unknowns […], yet execution still involves a number of uncertainties. [Page 151] And that brings us to the best answer I can provide to the question, What leads to high performance? If we set the usual suspects of leadership and culture and focus and so on – which are perhaps causes of performance – we’re left with two broad categories: strategic choice and execution. The former is inherently risky since it’s based on our best guesses about customers, about competitors, and technology, as well as about our internal capabilities. The latter is uncertain because best practices that work well on one company may not have the same effect in another. […] Wise managers know that business is about finding ways to improve the odds of success – but never imagine that success is certain. If a company makes strategic choices which are shrewd, works hard to operate effectively, and is favored by Lady Luck, it may put some distance between itself and its rivals, at least for a time. But even those profits will tend to erode over time. [Page 156] The answer to the question what really works? is simple: Nothing really works. At least not all the time. […] So what can be done? A first step is to set aside the delusions that color so much of our thinking about business performance. To accept that few companies achieve lasting success. To admit that the margin between success and failure is often very narrow, and never quite as distinct or as enduring as it appears at a distance. And finally, to acknowledge that luck often plays a role in company success. [Page 158] Rosenzweig finishes his book with examples of bold decisions from leaders at Goldman Sachs, Intel, BP, Logitech. Entrepreneurship inherently involves risks, but not doing anything would be much riskier.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Fraser Kinnear

    I liked this in that it's a business book that tells you not to trust business books. This book discusses the halo effect as it applies to businesses and business leaders. The book points out how difficult it is to identify what factors cause a business or business leader to be successful. Like any business book, I think I would have preferred to get this as a short article - not really worth reading in its entirety.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne

    Why didn't I learn about The Halo Effect until the end of my MBA? This book will help you apply critical thinking to the masses of business books out there. Quite simply, there are no easy steps and no guarantees. Take the good ideas from the business literature, STUDY YOUR COMPETITION, and respond to their moves appropriately. Then cross your fingers. **** Update: I’m employee #1 in a startup now, which motivates me to revisit some B school faves. I’m not only looking for refreshers on strategy, Why didn't I learn about The Halo Effect until the end of my MBA? This book will help you apply critical thinking to the masses of business books out there. Quite simply, there are no easy steps and no guarantees. Take the good ideas from the business literature, STUDY YOUR COMPETITION, and respond to their moves appropriately. Then cross your fingers. **** Update: I’m employee #1 in a startup now, which motivates me to revisit some B school faves. I’m not only looking for refreshers on strategy, but also for help in framing the product. Here are some of my notes from this second read: * A scientific question: “What leads to sustained profitable growth?” * What is a halo? Attributions based on performance. A halo doesn’t contribute to performance, but rather is based on it. * Our desire to tell stories, to provide coherent direction to events, may also cause us to see trends that do not exist or infer causes incorrectly. * According to Michael Porter (HBS), company performance is driven by STRATEGY and EXECUTION. Strategy is about performing different activities from those of rival companies, or performing similar activities in different ways. Execution is all about carrying out those choices: - Building high quality products - Providing customer service - Managing working capital - Developing and deploying talent * Strategic choice is hugely consequential for a company’s performance, yet also inherently risky. The key is to ask: “For OUR company, at THIS time, competing against OUR rivals, which of the many dimensions of execution are MOST important? * Tom Peters observed, “To be excellent, you have to be consistent. When you’re consistent, you’re vulnerable to attack. Yes, it’s a paradox. Now deal with it.” * A decision process should include information gathering, assumptions, calculations (if applicable), and possible outcomes with impacts estimated. (Then you can compare with actual results.) * Continuously scan the environment to learn of changes in technology and competitors and customers, gathering info the whole time. * Improve your chances of success by looking clearly and carefully at the odds, at your own capabilities, at the motives and abilities of your rivals, and make the best judgment you can. - THEN follow disciplined execution. - MEASURE performance every step of the way. - ADAPT to new information.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Geoff Noble

    I will the first to admit I read a lot of business "how to" books, stories about bubbles and crashes etc. This book made me rethink everything I have read in the past and made me realise how I am as guilty as anyone for letting the Halo effect cloud my decision making. The Halo Effect is essentially about our very human desire to find meaning in everything by ascribing causes to certain outcomes. In other words, we tend to judge our decisions by the outcomes they produce. Unfortunately (or some w I will the first to admit I read a lot of business "how to" books, stories about bubbles and crashes etc. This book made me rethink everything I have read in the past and made me realise how I am as guilty as anyone for letting the Halo effect cloud my decision making. The Halo Effect is essentially about our very human desire to find meaning in everything by ascribing causes to certain outcomes. In other words, we tend to judge our decisions by the outcomes they produce. Unfortunately (or some would counter fortunately), we live in an uncertain complex world where the outcome of most decisions cannot not be predicted. This resonates with me due to the fact I work as a fund manager. We are judged by the performance of the funds we manage (and more often than not over the short term). Sometimes you follow a sound process and end up with a poor investment result and on other occasions your process is flawed and you end up with a good result (if we honest we should call the outcome luck!). The point is investment professionals should be judged by how they came about a decision rather than merely the outcome. This of course is unrealistic as it completely against the outcomes obsessed nature of humans. This book is also about thinking in probabilistic terms. We should make decisions based on probabilities. This acknowledges that we will not always get the outcome desired but if we consistently follow probabilities then we should more often than not end up with a satisfactory result. A great book that I will read over and over again.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chris Rock

    I didn't think I'd ever give 5 stars to a business book, but this is no ordinary business book. This book points out the logical errors that are made by most other business books--mainly, that when you examine success (or failure) in a business, their practices are influenced by your initial impression of the company. A successful company that tries something new is "innovate", "creative", "risk-taking". A company that tried something new and failed is "overextended", "unfocused", and "risky". Ad I didn't think I'd ever give 5 stars to a business book, but this is no ordinary business book. This book points out the logical errors that are made by most other business books--mainly, that when you examine success (or failure) in a business, their practices are influenced by your initial impression of the company. A successful company that tries something new is "innovate", "creative", "risk-taking". A company that tried something new and failed is "overextended", "unfocused", and "risky". Add in difference between correlation and causation, the cumulative effect of positive traits, and the human bias for storytelling and explanation and you've got all the reasons I've disliked almost every other business book I've read (especially "research"-based ones). The book lays out why it's difficult to find "silver bullet solutions" to business practices and just from that it's a refreshing change from almost every other business book out there.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    This book makes you look at very popular management books from a different vantage point. Not so much that they are wrong, but in the sense that there is not just a simple fix that will make your company run better. Instead there are always different variables for each and every situation and you need to look at the surrounding data for that specific circumstance to make the best decisions. The book also makes you remember that simple truth that history is written by the winners and that sometim This book makes you look at very popular management books from a different vantage point. Not so much that they are wrong, but in the sense that there is not just a simple fix that will make your company run better. Instead there are always different variables for each and every situation and you need to look at the surrounding data for that specific circumstance to make the best decisions. The book also makes you remember that simple truth that history is written by the winners and that sometimes not everything written in a retrospective light is better or worse in a comparison. I found it insightful even though several of the books and ideas are things I fundamentally believe in, which is great as it gave me new ways to evaluate those ideas.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jonas Heide

    You can search all you want for recipes for success in business. But analysts and journalists are incapable of keeping the variables separate and even the most celebrated descriptions of the road to excellence fall short when they meet, oh you know, reality. Do read Rosenzweig's scathing criticism. It is slightly repetitive, not carefully edited, but it is in fact profound and says many important things that apply beyond the world of business.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Riccardo Bua

    How someone should look at scientific approach to case studies and scenarios.... and every day life events

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alexey Vyskubov

    Water, water, and more water. The short summary of the book: blah, blah, blah, one trivial idea, blah, blah, blah, wow! popular "business" books are not science! blah, blah, blah.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mugizi Rwebangira

    This is perhaps the most important business book EVER! Not because of any flashy insights or profound truths revealed - but for how it calls out the VAST majority of popular business books AND articles in the business press which are VERY guilty of the halo effect. Essentially these articles and books tend to imply that if a company is doing well it is because it is doing everything right: great culture, great employee engagement, great customer focus. In reality the arrow of causation may be the This is perhaps the most important business book EVER! Not because of any flashy insights or profound truths revealed - but for how it calls out the VAST majority of popular business books AND articles in the business press which are VERY guilty of the halo effect. Essentially these articles and books tend to imply that if a company is doing well it is because it is doing everything right: great culture, great employee engagement, great customer focus. In reality the arrow of causation may be the opposite. If a company becomes very succesful it can attract great employees who will feel engaged and feel good about the culture and management of the company. The second thing is the implication that since these companies are so great, they will inevitably continue to perform well year after year after year. After all, they're "winners" right? And winners just keep on winning! Well the harsh reality is that in a competitive market place no company is going to stay on top forever - even with the same "great" management! Competitors will copy succesful strategies, new products will emerge and customer tastes will shift. There is no corporate magician who can guarantee perpetual profits. Bottomline: there does not appear to be any secret formulas or guaranteed steps to winning in business and we should be wary of people who tell us otherwise because they know that's what we want to hear.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    This book provides a lot to ponder. Rosenzweig attempts the expose fallacies commonly seen in most business books, particularly the “Halo effect.†The halo effect refers to attributing positive traits based on another trait that may or may not have anything to do with the one another. Over and over again, Rosenweig shows how popular authors in their search for clues on success, look at performance and then inferred other positive traits. If a company is profitable (or if it’s stock value is This book provides a lot to ponder. Rosenzweig attempts the expose fallacies commonly seen in most business books, particularly the “Halo effect.” The halo effect refers to attributing positive traits based on another trait that may or may not have anything to do with the one another. Over and over again, Rosenweig shows how popular authors in their search for clues on success, look at performance and then inferred other positive traits. If a company is profitable (or if it’s stock value is rising), Rosenzweig discovered those attempting to explain the company’s performance will infer a number of positive attributes that may or may not be true. To illustrate his theory, Rosenzweig explores a number of companies (Cisco, Lego, ABB, etc) that grew fast and were praised for their positive attributes and then, after the company peaked and its value declined, showed how the same attributes were often blamed for their failure. While the companies were seen as profitable, they were also seen to have a number of good traits such as being seen as a good place to work, listening to their customers, having top-notch leadership and expanding their base. When declining, they are seen as not being a good place to work, not listening to their customers, having poor leadership and losing their focus. In many cases, Rosenzweig points out, nothing had changed but the companies’ stock value (and this shift had more to do with the marketplace than with how the company was managed). Many of the other delusions (or fallacies) also involve an aspect of the halo effect. The other eight (followed by the page number where he begins to discuss each) are: 1. The Delusion of Correlation and Causality (72) 2. The Delusion of Single Explanations (75) 3. The Delusion of Connecting the Winning Dots (92) 4. The Delusion of Rigorous Research (100) 5. The Delusion of Lasting Success (101) 6. The Delusion of Absolute Performance (111) 7. The Delusion of the Wrong End of the Stick (121) 8. The Delusion of Organizational Physics (124) Rosenzweig is critical of the plethora of business books that promise to show the successful habits of business leaders, but in doing so are clouded by the Halo Effect. Going back to Peters and Waterman’s In Search of Excellence, which came out in the early 80s and gave rise to this new genre to more recent books, such as those by Jim Collins (Built to Last and Good to Great), Rosenzweig notes that most of the companies highlighted in these books have not continued having the success they once enjoyed. This shouldn’t be surprising, according to an understanding of economic theory of markets. Those who are on the top face more difficulty maintaining their position because everyone else is taking what they do and finding new and better ways to do it. So it’s “predictable and normal” for companies to lose their luster after periods of good performance. This can be shown in a survey of the S&P 500. In the fifty years prior to this book (1957 to 2007), 426 of the 500 companies have changed! Furthermore, performance is relative to the market. One can be doing very good things (which should lead to a strong performance), yet be killed in the marketplace because other companies are better. Examples would include General Motors (whose products today are far superior to their product in the 70s, yet their competition has also improved) and K-mart (who has improved, but still has fallen behind Walmart and Target. See pages 111-115). Although critical of findings in many business books like In Search of Excellence and Good to Great, Rosenzweig does have some praise for them. He credit’s the authors for being good at telling a story and suggest that there is a lot we can learn from such books. Stories help us to make sense of our world and illustrate value insights (136-137). However, we can’t just take the “truths” shown in the stories about one organization and apply it to another and expect the same or similar results. The market is too complex for such simplistic thinking. Success, according to Rosenweig, is achieved by two things: strategy and execution. Strategy helps set one apart from rivals and execution refers to how the strategy is carried out (144). Yet, success is not eternal. Once finds a successful formula, others will copy. “Success is not random,” Rosenzweig notes, “but it is fleeting.” (103) Although this book doesn’t discuss investment or historical theory, Rosenzweig’s thesis has something to say to each discipline. His data supports the idea that one needs to regularly rebalance a portfolio in order to “capture” profits. If a company is soaring, sooner or later its value will decline. One can never “time” the market (Rosenweig notes that markets don’t respond to research!), so taking the contrarian position and selling while everyone else is buying is the way to add value to a portfolio. Also, looking at the life cycle of companies and how fleeting success is a reminder of the need for diversification (see page 122). As for the study of history, Rosenzweig’s findings challenge the “great man” theory of history (he’s not the first to debunk this theory). He points out how leadership is often credited for success, but in the overall scheme of things, leadership has been shown to add only a small increase to a company’s success (a 4 to 10% gain, see pages 133-134). If you want to be seen as a good leader, it’s far more important to be at the right place at that right time than it is to have good leadership skills! It’s not that leadership skills are not important, they are! But other factors are more important. Rosenzweig may not be as easy to read as other business books. Although he tells a good story, his thesis depends on drawing from a variety of studies which tends to break the flow of the stories he tells. But this isn’t a story book; the book has valuable insights and raises many questions for one to ponder about the stories one hears. I recommend this book to anyone interested in business and leadership. Rosenzweig is a professor at IMD in Lausane, Switzerland and earned his Ph.D. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dmitry Kuriakov

    Одна из немногих книг купленная по рекомендации ЖЖ-юзера и блога, посвящённому вопросам маркетинга. Что ж, книга действительно, как они и уверяли, в каком-то смысле уникальная. Основной посыл книги: почему компании, которые упоминаются в таких знаменитых книгах как «В поисках совершенства», «Построено навечно», «От хорошего к великому» - не проходят испытание временем и рушатся? Вот что написано по этому поводу на обложке книги: «Когда агентство Рейтер обратилось к Тому Питерсу, Джерри Порррасу Одна из немногих книг купленная по рекомендации ЖЖ-юзера и блога, посвящённому вопросам маркетинга. Что ж, книга действительно, как они и уверяли, в каком-то смысле уникальная. Основной посыл книги: почему компании, которые упоминаются в таких знаменитых книгах как «В поисках совершенства», «Построено навечно», «От хорошего к великому» - не проходят испытание временем и рушатся? Вот что написано по этому поводу на обложке книги: «Когда агентство Рейтер обратилось к Тому Питерсу, Джерри Порррасу и Джиму Коллинзу за комментариями к «Эффекту ореола», Питерс признал, что его книга «В поисках совершенства» не является предписанием и рецептом единственного способа создания «великой компании», Поррас, соавтор «Построенных навечно», отрицал, что предложил «путь» к продолжительному успеху, и сказал, что предупреждал читателей «относительно выводов о причинах и следствиях представленных примеров». Джим Коллинз – автор «От хорошего к великому» от комментариев отказался». Что ж, на мой взгляд, это лучшая рецензия, которую я видел на бизнес-книгу. Кстати, на обложке также написано, что это «лучшая бизнес-книга 2007 в рейтингах». Всё ли дело в личностных качествах CEO? Автор анализирует истории успеха и последующего такого же громкого провала, к примеру, таких компаний как Cisco, ABB, Lego и т.д. Все эти компании объединяет то, что как пишет Розенцвейг «нелегко противостоять искушению связывать успехи компании с конкретной личностью.…В центре самых интересных историй часто стоят конкретные люди. Когда дела хороши, мы расточаем похвалы и назначаем их героями. Когда дела плохи – делаем из них стрелочников. Такие истории помогают установить, где чёрное, а где белое, и возложить моральную ответственность». Автор имеет в виду все те восхваления в СМИ в отношении CEO компаний, когда эти самые компании идут в гору. Сразу появляются статьи, объясняющие, какими свойствами личности CEO этих компаний обязаны этим самые финансовые результаты. Тут и харизма и особый метод управления. Но когда финансовые показатели летят вниз, сразу все в один голос начинают говорить ровно противоположное. Поэтому успех компаний очень редко зависит от лидерских качеств CEO. Скорей речь идёт о решениях CEO (а также его окружения), а не об его моральном облике, харизме или особом стиле руководства. Социальная психология на службе бизнеса В общем, мы имеем дело с эффектом ореола. Автор для объяснения приводит следующий интересный эксперимент: «В годы Первой мировой войны американский психолог Эдвард Торндайк исследовал проблемы восприятия начальниками своих подчинённых. Он просил офицеров оценить своих солдат по ряду параметров: уму, физическим данным, лидерским способностям и т.д. Результаты поразили его. Солдаты, бывшие «на хорошем счету», получили высокие оценки по всем показателям, в то время как другие по всем статьям оказались в отстающих. То есть, если солдат красив и статен, то и на гармошке играет лихо. Торндайк назвал это эффектом ореола». Этот же вывод мы можем найти у социального психолога Майерса в его книге «Социальная психология» и в книге других психологов под названием «Психология красоты и привлекательности», а также в ряде похожих книг по психологии. Люди, которых природа наделила привлекательной внешностью, имеют больше шансов почти во всём: от приёма на работу до получения меньшего срока за правонарушения. Розенцвейг прибавил к этому списку теперь и компании и соответственно и их товары. Вот что он пишет на этот счёт: «Например, мы не знаем, хорош ли новый товар, но если он произведён известной компанией с безупречной репутацией, мы резонно полагаем, что и товар ей под стать. В этом вся суть брэндинга: создать ореол, чтобы потребители больше доверяли товару или услуге». Этот же вывод можно найти и в работах Джека Траута. Замкнутый круг эффекта ореола Главной причиной ошибочности книг по типу «Построено навечно» по мнению Розенцвейга, является то, что «данные, собранные из статей в прессе, материалов бизнес-школ и ретроспективных интервью, подвержены влиянию эффекта ореола», а именно этими данными пользовались все выше перечисленные авторы, из-за чего многие компании оказались совсем не вечными. Каков итог? Также Розенцвейг приводит данные экспериментов, согласно которым «влияние персонального стиля руководителя на работу компании составляет 4%». И далее: «Исследование показало, что специфика управления действительно влияет на итоги работы и объясняет около 10% различий в них. То есть если компания применяет самые передовые методы по всем направлениям, будь то производство, обслуживание, управление персоналом, финансы, то она обойдёт отстающих примерно на 10%. Это тоже статистически значимый и небесполезный вывод, но он не обещает успеха компании, если она внедрит в управление определённый набор методов…Эти и многие другие исследования вполне отвечают научным требованиям, но в качестве историй не слишком завлекательны». Как я понял, Розенцвейг имеет в виду то, что в определённый момент стали популярны истории успеха различных компаний и в частности, особенно когда на американский рынок хлынули японские производители. Тогда стали искать метод или методы, которые позволили бы победить Японцев. В тот момент и стали появляться все эти книги. Майкл Портер В заключение Розенцвейг делиться своим мнением по поводу успеха компаний, точнее ответ на вопрос «что ведёт к высоким результатам?». Розенцвейг пишет следующее: «Если мы оставим в покое обычных подозреваемых – лидерство, культуру, фокус и т.д. – которые правильней было бы рассматривать как атрибуты результатов, а не их причины, всё сведётся к двум главным категориям: стратегии и её реализации. Первая сопряжена с рисками, поскольку строится на гипотезах потребительского спроса, конкурентов и технологий, так же как и на собственных возможностях. Вторая полна неопределённости, так как методы, хорошо работающие в одной компании, могут не произвести такой же эффект в другой». Стратегия – это то, о чём писал ещё Майкл Портер в своей книге «Конкурентная стратегия» и о чём писали практически все маркетологи после него. Что ж с того времени мало что изменилось. В общем, одна из лучших бизнес-книг по менеджменту. Отрезвляет.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    This is a must read for anyone who is also reading management and business advice books. The entire point of this book is to train the reader on how to identify good data in the context of business analysis. It gives lots of great real life examples of how companies and analysts have failed to understand the principles that can skew results and led well-meaning management teams astray. A good example from the book is when analyzing the common traits between all successful companies you might con This is a must read for anyone who is also reading management and business advice books. The entire point of this book is to train the reader on how to identify good data in the context of business analysis. It gives lots of great real life examples of how companies and analysts have failed to understand the principles that can skew results and led well-meaning management teams astray. A good example from the book is when analyzing the common traits between all successful companies you might conclude that all successful companies are based out of buildings, so if you can base your company out of a building then you will be successful. This is obviously a rather comical example but the principle is true. I'd say the one shortcoming of the book as that it doesn't follow-up on the lessons of how to spot bad data with some analysis based principles that are supported by good data. It does give a few examples of good studies and what can be learned from them, but it is very spotty. A more comprehensive analysis would have fit this book very well.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Omar Halabieh

    As best summarized by the author: "The central idea in this book is that our thinking about business is shaped by a number of delusions...More recently, cognitive psychologists have identified biases that affect the way individuals make decisions under uncertainty. this book is about a different set of delusions, the ones that distort our understanding of company performance, that make it difficult to know why one company succeeds and another fails. These errors of thinking pervade much that we As best summarized by the author: "The central idea in this book is that our thinking about business is shaped by a number of delusions...More recently, cognitive psychologists have identified biases that affect the way individuals make decisions under uncertainty. this book is about a different set of delusions, the ones that distort our understanding of company performance, that make it difficult to know why one company succeeds and another fails. These errors of thinking pervade much that we read about business, whether in leading magazines or scholarly journals or management bestsellers. They cloud our ability to think clearly and critically about the nature of success in business." The book then goes on to present the nine delusions excerpted below: "Delusion One: The Halo Effect - The tendency to look at a company's overall performance and make attributions about its culture, leadership, values, and more. In fact, many things we commonly claim drive performance are simply attributions based on prior performance. Delusion Two: The Delusion of Correlation and Causality - Two things may be correlated, but we may not know which one causes which. Does employee satisfaction lead to high performance? The evidence suggests it's mainly the other way around - company success has a stronger impact on employee satisfaction. Delusion Three: The Delusion of Single Explanation - Many studies show that a particular factor - strong company culture of customer focus or great leadership - leads to improved performance. But since many of these factors are highly correlated, the effect of each one is usually less than suggested. Delusion Four: The Delusion of Connecting the Winning Dots - If we pick a number of successful companies and search for what they have in common, we'll never isolate the reasons for their success, because we have no way of comparing them with less successful companies. Delusion Five: The Delusion of Rigorous Research - If the data aren't good quality, it doesn't matter how much we have gathered or how sophisticated our research methods appears to be. Delusion Six: The Delusion of Lasting Success - Almost all high performing companies regress over time. The promise of a blueprint for lasting success is attractive but not realistic. Delusion Seven: The Delusion of Absolute Performance - Company performance is relative, not absolute. A company can improve and fall further behind its rivals at the same time. Delusion Eight: The Delusion of the Wrong End of the Stick - It may be true that successful companies often pursued a highly focused strategy, but that doesn't mean highly focused strategies often lead to success. Delusion Nine: The Delusion of Organizational Physics - Company performance doesn't obey immutable laws of nature and can't be predicted with the accuracy of science - despite our desire for certainty and order." Every now and then one comes across a book, that makes its reader take a step back and re-assess his views, experiences and readings. The Halo Effect is one of these books. It delivers both on account of the content and also of the numerous corporate examples and references to leading work in the leadership/management space to illustrate the concepts presented. A very refreshing and highly recommended read! Below are excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful: 1- "In fact, for all the secrets and formulas, for all the self-proclaimed thought leadership, success in business is as elusive as ever." 2- "...There was talk, over and over, about customer orientation and leadership and organizational efficiency, but these things are hard to measure objectively, so we tend to make attributions about them based on things we do feel certain about - revenues and profits and share price. We may not really know what leads to high performance, so we reach for simple phrases to make sense of what happened." 3- "If we start with the full data set and look objectively at many years of company performance, we find the dominant pattern is not one of enduring performance at all, but one of rise and fall, of growth and decline. Foster and Kaplan conclude: "...Managing for survival, even among the best and most revered corporations does not guarantee strong long term performance for shareholders. In fact, just the opposite is true. In the long run, the markets always win"." 4- "March and Sutton explain: "In its efforts to satisfy these often conflicting demands, the organizational research community sometimes responds by saying that inferences about the causes of performance cannot be made from the data available, and simultaneously goes ahead to make such inference."" 5- "We can't turn back the clock, change one variable, and then run the experiment again...It's easy to blame one man for a company woe's, but these sorts of attributions, while appealing for their simplicity, may not provide the best basis on which to manage a company." 6- "...An organization isn't a system of mechanical parts, interchangeable and replaceable. It's better understood as a sociotechnical system, a combination of mean and machines, of people and things, of hardware and software, but also of ideas and attitudes. Some technical elements can often be copied and applied with predictable results...but when we begin to examine how those technical systems interact with social systems, with people and values and attitudes and expectations, the results are harder to predict." 7- "Managers quite naturally find it easier to keep the attention on execution, which everyone will always agree can be done better." 8- "What leads to high performance?...we're left with two broad categories: strategic choice and execution...In spite of our desire for simple steps, the reality of management is much more uncertain that we would often like to admit - and much more so that our comforting stories would have us believe." 9- "As Tom Peters observed: "To be excellent, you have to be consistent. When you're consistent, you're vulnerable to attach. Yes, it's a paradox. Now deal with it.""

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    This book takes a serious look at a lot of the so-called research around the success of companies. I enjoyed the way it showed various general flaws in typical management books by examining very specific cases. I would recommend this book to people who read a lot of books around the "secrets of management". To people with a scientific background or who have given some thought to scepticism or biases, this book may just appear to be stating just the obvious. A lot of the fallacies explained in th This book takes a serious look at a lot of the so-called research around the success of companies. I enjoyed the way it showed various general flaws in typical management books by examining very specific cases. I would recommend this book to people who read a lot of books around the "secrets of management". To people with a scientific background or who have given some thought to scepticism or biases, this book may just appear to be stating just the obvious. A lot of the fallacies explained in this book are just an application of all the usual fallacies to a business setting.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anna Gunn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book shatters a lot of illusions and challenges you to critical thinking of modern day strategies of best business practices. Ultimately reminding you that nothing lives in a vacum and that even the best of businesses live and thrive due to the market conditions at the time of their progression/failure. An enlightening way to re-view how businesses are successful - or at least what we are lead to believe based only on case studies with hear-say.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shane Orr

    Great book. When businesses are successful, the CEO is a genius, the company culture is highly rated, and they have the best strategy. When companies are doing poorly, it's just the reverse. But often it's the same company and they haven't changed anything. It's just a flaw in thinking. There are no magic steps that always work for success since there are too many variables at play.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Khoa

    He points out how the media is delusional in describing companies. When companies are successful, the media says it’s because of this thing that the CEO did. When company is failing, companies say it’s because the CEO did this and that. How about: their business is bad and there’s no way for a CEO to turn it around?

  27. 4 out of 5

    Colle Owino

    The book is very approachable and well put together. I admired how the story starts by showing how companies were rated highly, detailing all the things they did to get there and how after they faltered the same qualities were now seen as the contributing factors.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Adel Algbawi

    Superb book, make you aware of delusions that's most Business books contains. And how the authors of bestselling did their research and work.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    My favorite business book

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gaurav Bhati

    A light read. Insightful, makes you question the wisdom of management 'gurus' and business consultants

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.