All Business Is Show Business
Scott McKain, Rutledge Hill Press, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214, 2002, 256 pp., $21.99 (book).
McKain's book is a hip, glib approach to building customer and employee loyalty through a three-step plan. These steps include creating a high concept (mission statement) to sharpen a focus on unique strengths, using the power of stories to create emotional connections with customers and employees and designing the ultimate customer experience.
The hyped language and frequent clichés are balanced by ample real-life examples of the efforts of employees in diverse companies to integrate these principles in their line of work. These examples help keep this grandiosely titled book grounded.
With the emphasis on performance vs. substance, and the field of customer service already overfilled, this book is recommended only for those not yet grounded in the many concepts of excellence in customer service established in such standard bearers as The Customer-Centered Enterprise, Customers for Life, Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service, Service America in the New Economy or At America's Service.
Best Practices in Organization Development and Change
Louis Carter, David Giber and Marshall Goldsmith, eds., Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, 989 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94103-1741, 2001, 551 pp., $79.95 (book).
There are five sections in the main part of the book, each dedicated to one topic: organization development and change, leadership development, recruitment and retention, performance management, and coaching and mentoring. Within each of these sections, each chapter describes the best practices from a single company.
All chapters are clearly written and include useful tools. For example, the chapter on leadership development at Johnson & Johnson contains the complete questionnaire used to survey employees about the performance of company leaders.
The CD companion to the book contains several of the forms and templates from the case studies. Although these may be helpful, there are only a few, making this a slightly disappointing feature.
As with any set of case studies, there is a trade-off. Despite its size, this is not a complete book on organizational development and change. What you are getting is a large set of systems and processes that have been used with reasonable success in blue-chip companies.
If you are looking for a book on how to manage change projects, this is not it.
Effective Compliance Systems
David B. Crawford, Charles G. Chaffin and Scott Scarborough, Institute of Internal Auditor Research Foundations, 249 Maitland Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32701-4201, 2001, 195 pp., $75 (book).
This book is a testament to the fact that in recent years, a great deal of effort has been made to establish a compliance system at institutions of higher education. It describes the steps taken by the University of Texas System in initiating and implementing a comprehensive and effective compliance system.
Chapter eight is the heart of the book. It discusses the managing of critical risk. It covers the designation of a responsible party and the development of a monitoring plan, a specialized training plan and an effective reporting plan.
Although one might think this book has a limited applicability to higher education systems, the concept of a compliance system and its building blocks could be used by many organizations.
The book also covers various examples of steps an organization embarking on a compliance program should avoid.
As stated in the executive summary section, this is a "how to" book intended to take the interested reader step by step through the implementation of a comprehensive institutional compliance program. After reading the book, I felt this objective was achieved.
ABS QE Inc.
Handbook of Applied Econometrics And Statistical Inference
Aman Ullah, Alan Wan and Anoop Chaturvedi, eds., Marcel Dekker Inc., 270 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016, 2002, 718 pp., $195 (book).
The Handbook of Applied Econometrics and Statistical Inference is a collection of articles by 31 contributors on various aspects of applied econometrics and statistical inference. The contributors are all prominent international experts, who share a wealth of knowledge on these topics.
The word "handbook" in the title may be somewhat misleading because this book is not a handbook in the traditional sense of the word. It is an extremely specialized and detailed book. Readers will need to be well-versed in advanced math and advanced calculus to understand much of the context and its applications.
The concluding comments do not clarify the statistics; however, they may have a tendency to summarize too much.
R. P. Anjard
How To Establish a Unique Brand in The Consulting Profession
Alan Weiss, Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, 989 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94103-1741, 2002, 210 pp., $39.95 (book).
In this book, interesting vignettes touch on all areas of establishing your brand as a consultant. The foundation lies in the author's diagram of the three essentials that must converge to establish a brand: a passion for what you do, a high level of competency and a market need.
The introductory chapter gives many real world examples of branding techniques and a brief lesson learned from each. Included are Coca-Cola, Cadillac, Disney, Miss Piggy and many other clearly identifiable brands.
The book is written for any type of consultant, and the language is not too technical. Each chapter focuses on a different area in which branding can be established and ends with a section on new lessons.
Perhaps the most interesting parts of the book relate to the myths consumers believe about brands. The author debunks these myths with counterexamples. He covers simple techniques and exercises for the new consultant establishing his or her own brand and more complex strategies for established consultants to promote client retention and a broader clientele.
The book's coverage is broad enough, and its ideas important enough that you can return to it again and again while building a brand for your business.
I. Elaine Allen
The Six Sigma Handbook
Thomas Pyzdek, Quality America Publishing, 7650 E. Broadway, #208, Tucson, AZ 85710, 2001, 711 pp., $89.95 (book).
The Six Sigma Handbook: A Complete Guide for Green Belts, Black Belts and Managers at All Levels is one of the most extensive books in the Six Sigma area so far. The goal is to provide the guidance and direction necessary to realize Six Sigma's promise, while avoiding traps and pitfalls commonly encountered. The book includes a complete overview of the management and organization of Six Sigma, its philosophy and the problem solving techniques and statistical tools it uses.
The techniques and tools needed include process control and capability, design of experiments, basic reliability concepts, statistical distributions, the seven quality control tools and the seven management tools. The book is written with a sound balance between explanations and formulas.
Also included in the book are some team and project related issues and a discussion of leadership and quality management.
I think it is a pity the author, in a traditional way, uses and discusses the concept of "cost of quality" instead of the better worded "cost of poor quality." Above all, I am not satisfied with the book's complete overview of the management and organization of Six Sigma. It lacks discussion about Six Sigma implementation, and nothing is written (in spite of the title) about Black Belts. The content could have been more thorough.
The Ten Tasks of Change
Jeff Evans and Chuck Schaefer, Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, 350 Sansome St., 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104-1342, 2001, 270 pp., $29.95 (book).
"Change is what organizations do, not what you do for them. Changing is the continuous process of an organization attempting to align itself with shifts in its marketplace and with the realities of its external financial, physical, social, political and technological environment."
This quote from the opening chapter illustrates the premise of this book: Organizations need to change, not be changed. The Ten Tasks of Change: Demystifying Changing Organizations is about participative change. Management provides a goal, and the organization participates in creating the new vision for itself.
The book provides an approach, based on the authors' experience, for bringing to fruition large-scale participative change. Ten tasks, which the authors believe are necessary to effect change across an organization, are described. A chapter is devoted to each task, along with a detailed description of how to accomplish that task.
The authors believe the checklist approach to making change happen is doomed to failure. The book is set up to allow readers to assess what part of each of the 10 tasks is appropriate to their organization. This approach does require readers to actively assess a number of characteristics of their organizations. If readers are not willing to put that effort in, then this book is not for them.
Roger E. Olson
System Quality Consulting
Alta Loma, CA
What Every Employee Needs To Know About ISO 9001:2000
Harold J. Steudel and Terry Mann, H.J. Steudel and Associates Inc., 6417 Normandy Lane, Suite 205, Madison, WI 53719, 2001, 64 pp., $5.99 (book).
What Every Employee Needs To Know About ISO 9001:2000: A Pocket Guide to the Basics, second edition, is a handy guide for employees needing information regarding ISO 9001:2000.
The book makes it easy to distinguish the ISO 9001:2000 requirements from the previous requirements thanks to the use of blue text to reflect the changes and additions. Though compact in size, the book covers the content area adequately.
The initial section has definitions of the four essential primary process categories that should be addressed for ISO 9001:2000:
- Product realization and production.
- Measurement, analysis and improvement.
The book also covers the eight principles that have an impact on the success of a quality management system.
The section on documentation systems will be useful to readers who are new to implementing ISO 9001:2000 requirements. Quality professionals who have already registered ISO 9000 quality systems may not find this section useful.
Advanced Quality Function Deployment, Fiorenzo Franceschini, CRC Press, 2000 N.W. Corporate Blvd., Boca Raton, FL 33431, 2002, 187pp., $59.95 (book).
Benchmarking, American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC), 123 N. Post Oak Lane, Houston, TX 77024, 2001, 91 pp., $19.95 (book).
Clean, Green and Read All Over: Ten Rules for Effective Corporate Environmental and Sustainability Reporting, J. Emil Morhardt, ASQ Quality Press, 600 Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2002, 316 pp., $36 members, $45 list (book).
Fundamentals of Project Management, second edition, James P. Lewis, Amacom, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, 2002, 148 pp., $14.95 (book).
Handbook of Image Quality, Brian W. Keelan, Marcel Dekker Inc., 270 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016, 2002, 516 pp., $195 (book).
Implementing ISO 9001:2000, Tom Taormina with Keith A. Brewer, Prentice Hall PTR, One Lake St., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458, 2002, 323 pp., $55 (book).
Introduction to ISO 9001:2000 Self-Study Course, Tom Taormina and Maria Franco, ABS Consulting, 4 Research Pl., Rockville, MD 20850, 2001, 282 pp., $395 (book).
ISO 9000 Quality Systems Handbook, fourth edition, David Hoyle, Butterworth-Heinemann, 225 Wildwood Ave., Woburn, MA 01801-2041, 2001, 672 pp., $49.95 (book).
ISO 14001 Environmental Certification: Step by Step, A.J. Edwards, Butterworth-Heinemann, 225 Wildwood Ave., Woburn, MA 01801-2041, 2001, 242 pp., $47.95 (book with CD-ROM).
Kanban for the Shopfloor, Productivity Press Development Team, Productivity Press, PO Box 13390, Portland, OR 97213-0390, 2002, 120 pp., $25 (book).
New Directions in Supply Chain Management, Tonya Boone and Ram Ganeshan, eds., Amacom, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, 2002, 387 pp., $99.95 (book).