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Beyond Buzzwords: The New Agenda for Directors, CEOs & Executives

Friant, Ray

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ISBN 10: 142570462X / ISBN 13: 9781425704629
Published by Advanced Management Press, 2006
Used Condition: Very Good
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Title: Beyond Buzzwords: The New Agenda for ...

Publisher: Advanced Management Press

Publication Date: 2006

Book Condition:Very Good

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Synopsis:

Ray Friant has examined more than a hundred businesses to learn why they were seriously underperforming. His findings are universal and apply to all organizations with more than a few hundred employees. In a new book, Beyond Buzzwords: The New Agenda for Directors, CEOs, and Executives (Advanced Management Press, May 2006), Friant explains why no organization is immune to the pull of mediocrity. He goes on to detail what causes organizational deterioration and undistinguished performance, and then presents a comprehensive set of concrete solutions.

Today, it is crucial that Directors, CEOs, and Executives of businesses and government understand his findings in depth in order to manage their organizations toward excellence, and to stay away from failure.

From the Publisher:

Is Your Organization Drifting toward Mediocrity? New book shows executives how to spot the symptoms, identify the culprits, and revitalize their organizations. Every day, in every organization, people are doing hundreds of small, counterproductive things that collectively drag down excellence. Meanwhile, their senior managers are so focused on perfecting today’s operations that they don’t intuit important future trends that lie just around the corner. Organizational turnaround expert RAY FRIANT says these two forces—"drag" and "present-bound leadership"—are the key culprits behind organizations’ inevitable drift toward mediocrity, a "silent" drift that works unnoticed and can ravage any organization within a few years. In a new book, Beyond Buzzwords: the New Agenda for Directors, CEOS, and Executives (Advanced Management Press, May 2006), Friant explains why no organization is immune to the pull of mediocrity. He goes on to detail what causes organizational deterioration and undistinguished performance, and then presents a comprehensive set of concrete solutions. Friant says most CEOs don’t perceive when their organization is in trouble and are incapable of analyzing its woes. The people who can stop mediocrity in its tracks before it’s too late are corporate directors, senior executives, and financial advisors whose current roles position them to influence CEOs. These "influence leaders" are people who have a vested interest—as well as a fiduciary responsibility—to act, and they will benefit most from Friant’s recommendations. Readers learn: · Why individuals, management careers, organization structure, and management processes can all be agents of mediocrity · Why CEOs must manage through fog · Why directors are vulnerable to being sued · Why good executives cause mediocrity · Why all organizations should have a Total Organization Analysis (TOA) every four to six years Once readers grasp the concepts and recognize the symptoms and causes of mediocrity in their organizations, Friant devotes the second half of the book to practical solutions. His fixes include: · An in-depth tutorial on how to evaluate an organization’s failures, and to develop an effective revitalization program · A roadmap for forward-thinking managers to enact fundamental change in the organization · A detailed guide to Total Organization Analysis (TOA), including top dos and don’ts and how to find the right TOA analyst · A step-by-step way to determine if managers are making sound decisions based on correct interpretations of financial data This single volume is an indispensable executive reference, consultant’s compendium, management treatise, and MBA handbook. The problem

As today’s products and services have grown to incorporate myriad levels of technology, and the complexity of organizations has grown exponentially, the practice of management has stayed somewhat static. Yes, sophisticated computer programs and very detailed reports abound. But this hasn’t eliminated the implosions in business and government, such as Enron and FEMA; over half of all organizations miss their mandated performance. Friant’s analysis shows that the major problems are at the top, and of the whole. Beyond Buzzwords clearly illustrates that: · All organizations are prone to a "long wave cycle" in which they deteriorate and morph toward mediocrity over a five- to ten-year period unless they are pro-actively managed to avoid decay, which isn’t easy. · There are two major reasons: first, while focusing on quarterly results, CEOs and their management teams fail to change the organization to survive the long haul, · Second, career-oriented managers do many things to enhance their careers that are counter-productive to organization success. · In addition, the biggest problems are of the "whole," i.e., the whole strategy, tactics, products, services, suppliers, customers, employees, management team, and etc. Current management philosophy does not properly recognize this. · CEOs have been free to examine at their whims their organizations’ sub-element problems without considering the whole. · In addition, CEOs have neither the time nor ability to know problem details more than one or two levels below themselves, as predicted by Harvard’s Professor Galbraith. · Further, for many reasons detailed in Beyond Buzzwords, CEOs cannot effectively analyze their own organizations. The solution

The solution won’t come by waving a wand. Hard work is required. Fortunately, Peter Drucker has done the world a favor by observing that the cult of the superhuman CEO has been disproved, and Ram Charan has written about the CEO succession crisis. These influence leaders have cracked open the door that leads to a modified role for the CEO. While twenty-first century organizations will continue to be managed by strong CEOs, the modifications recommended in Beyond Buzzwords will stem the explosion of failing organizations. This will be done by: · Changing the duties of the CEO to insist that a Total Organization Analysis (TOASM) be done every four to six years, · Requiring the CEO to establish and empower a futurist(s) to be the "loyal opposition" that challenges the status quo through a systematic, in-depth analysis of all trends affecting the organization that call for change, and · Requiring the CEO to use an independent, high-level coach who co-reports to the Board of Directors. This is especially critical for failing organizations as history shows that an external analyst/coach, periodically employed, can lead management teams to break their spiral of decline and decay.

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