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In a fresh and engaging style, Stevenson sounds the alarm on behalf of predictability. He shows how the deep need to predict and shape the future drives most of human behavior. Now, he argues, predictability is imperiled. This is true especially in business organizations, which undermine predictability when they arbitrarily dismiss employees and use self-interest as the basis for all decision making. In fact, the organization that embraces predictability enhances its own effectiveness; by contrast, the company that thrives on unpredictability is not only inhumane, but also incompetent. Explaining that predictability and change are not mutually exclusive, Stevenson analyzes popular change programs like reengineering, continuous improvement, and restructuring as he makes a powerful case for understanding and preparing for the consequences of change before setting it in motion.
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Everything we do is aimed at the future. Like our ancestors who millions of years ago took it upon themselves to do lunch instead of be lunch, the better we are at evaluating all possible futures, the better our future will be. Harvard Business School professor Howard Stevenson argues that predictability is a core human need and the more predictable we can make ourselves, the better we'll be able to predict our future and the futures of those around us.
Do Lunch or Be Lunch is a counterweight to the management trends that have swept business in the last few years. Trends such as reengineering, downsizing, and maximizing shareholder value will in most cases not be successful because they are fundamentally unpredictable for employees and employers alike. On the other hand, the more predictable a company can make itself, the more effective it will be. Stevenson peppers the book with his observations that come from his experience as an entrepreneur and founder of several businesses as well as his tenure on the board of directors for over 25 companies.From the Back Cover:
I'm pretty sure that business books that are this stimulating and fun are illegal. This book is spectacular, a true gem. --Eileen Shapiro, author of Fad Surfing in the Boardroom
A thoughtful and pathbreaking book, written by that very rare person who is both thinker and doer. In the midst of lots of fluff written about business, this is a reflective book of great substance. --Stan Davis, author of Future Perfect
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