Robert J. Herbold The Fiefdom Syndrome

ISBN 13: 9781589269309

The Fiefdom Syndrome

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9781589269309: The Fiefdom Syndrome
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Examines the territorial impulses that undermine the efficiency and effectiveness of every organization--the tendency of people at all levels to assert their independence, importance, and control--and introduces the seven key disciplines that can eliminate them. Book available.

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Is your company threatened by turf battles, shut out of key data sources by territorial "lords," or ravaged by hundreds of "micro-companies?" If so, your organization may be suffering from a potentially crippling case of "Fiefdom Syndrome." Robert Herbold, former COO of Microsoft, presents a wealth of case studies from the usual (and always interesting) suspects--IBM, Proctor and Gamble, Microsoft, and Wal-Mart--to illustrate an affliction that affects for-profit and non-profit organizations alike.

Herbold identifies why fiefdoms are a problem, where they typically arise in companies--finance, HR, marketing, IT, virtually in most teams and departments--and offers solutions for preventing fiefdoms from cropping up and how to dissolve existing turf control. In an approachable manner, he demonstrates how discipline, creativity, and enforcement are keys to preventing the spread of fiefdoms: "The basic human tendency to want to control one's destiny or turf runs counter to discipline in an organization. If the CEO or the manager of a unit lets people act on their own, the company will soon fall into disarray."

Like headaches, fiefdoms can become a persistent problem and if left untreated, can send organizations into an endless loop of deteriorating health and repeated investigations into the cause. Prudent companies will take Herbold's advice and learn how to prevent and treat their little fiefdom problem. --E. Brooke Gilbert

From the Inside Flap:

"Turf wars and bureaucracy can undermine even the strongest corporate strategies. Drawing on lessons learned throughout his distinguished career, Bob describes innovative and practical ways to tackle this pervasive problem – and beat The Fiefdom Syndrome." --Bill Gates, Chairman and Chief Software Architect, Microsoft Corporation

"A vitally important business book. As Bob Herbold, longtime COO of Microsoft makes clear, the battles over territory and turf stem from basic human behavior. Uncontrolled, they can be incredibly destructive, yet they are inherent in every organization. In The Fiefdom Syndrome, Herbold shows how fiefdoms can hamstring a company's operations, and how to break through them. I strongly urge people of all organizations, large and small, profit and non-profit to read this book." --John Chambers, President and CEO, Cisco Systems

The turf battles and territorial "fiefdoms" that undermine so many companies—and how to break through them, by long-term Microsoft COO Robert J. Herbold

There is a potentially infectious condition inside virtually all organizations that can cause more damage than economic downturns, management upheavals, and global business shifts. Until now it has had no name. But it has impacted some of the world’s leading companies, including Procter & Gamble, IBM, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft.

Robert J. Herbold, the COO who brought corporate discipline to a young Microsoft organization and helped to transform it into a mature global giant, calls it the Fiefdom Syndrome. And it happens at organizations large and small, profit and nonprofit, at the individual level as well as the group and divisional level. It can undercut a company’s effectiveness, and in extreme cases it has shaken entire industries and taken down major corporations.

The problem begins when individuals, groups, or divisions—out of fear—seek to make themselves vital to their organizations and, unconsciously or sometimes deliberately, try to protect their turf and others’ perceptions of them. It is a natural human tendency, dating back to the origins of our species, but if it isn’t managed properly, the damage caused by these "fiefdoms" can spell the death knell of what should have been a strong and vital organization.

People who create fiefdoms can become dangerously insular, losing perspective on what is happening in the world outside their own control. They hoard resources. They are determined to do things in their own way, often duplicating or complicating what should be streamlined throughout the company, leading to runaway costs, increased bureaucracy, and a loss of agility and speed.

In The Fiefdom Syndrome, Bob Herbold exposes the myriad ways such fiefdoms can compromise a company’s effectiveness—as well as show what managers, companies, and individuals can do to break up fiefdoms and conquer the turf wars. Illustrated with countless examples from Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, IBM, and other corporations, The Fiefdom Syndrome is an essential tool in every manager’s toolkit.

"An important book for any leader who is responsible for sustained business growth." --A.G. Lafley, Chairman, Chief Executive and President, The Procter & Gamble Co.

"With... thorough analysis and practical insights, this book will help you recognize, eliminate and prevent the cancer of individual agendas." --Michael Dell, Chairman, Dell Inc.

"Identifies the causes, symptoms, and cures of one of the great diseases (scourges) that insidiously destroy large corporations in America." --Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, Bank One Corporation

"A must-read... All institutions need a clear, unified mission and Bob Herbold's new book will help managers achieve it." --Hank Paulson, Chairman & CEO, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

"The Fiefdom Syndrome tackles a pervasive and seldom discussed problem - namely, why organizations tend to become slow-footed, fragmented, and mediocre. " --John Doerr, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

"Takes on the bureaucracy and turf battles that... Sam Walton fought his whole life to overcome. I strongly recommend it." --Rob Walton, Chairman of the Board, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

" Identifies a critical business problem... few have been able to solve - until now... Should be required reading across corporate America." --James I. Cash, Jr., Ph.D., James E. Robison Professor of Business Administration, Harvard University Graduate School of Business

"The reader will highly value the powerful, useful learnings... told via great "war stories" by a very experienced practitioner." --Adrian Slywotzky, author of the acclaimed books Value Migration, The Profit Zone, and The Art of Profitability

"Provides valuable insights on how to... avoid the pitfalls of decentralization that goes too far (ie. fiefdoms)." --Dick Kovacevich, Chairman and CEO, Wells Fargo & Company

"Whether you are in business, government, education or...non-profits, I urge you to read this book, and... take its advice." --Jack Kemp, Co-founder of Empower America and former candidate for Vice President of the United States

"The book has an important message for all organizations and individuals... A must-read for everyone, not just business people." --Walter Hewlett, Independent Software Developer and Chairman, The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780385510684: The Fiefdom Syndrome: The Turf Battles That Undermine Careers and Companies - And How to Overcome Them

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0385510683 ISBN 13:  9780385510684
Publisher: Crown Business, 2005

9780385510677: The Fiefdom Syndrome: The Turf Battles That Undermine Careers and Companies - And How to Overcome Them

Double..., 2004

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Herbold, Robert J.
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