21ST Century Management: Leadership and Innovation in the Thought Economy: Making People Dance
Mats Lindgren, Palmgrave Mcmillan, 2012, 240 pp., $40 (book).
This book introduces a new leadership philosophy that shifts from micromanagement to macromanagement and from an internal to an external focus. There are two parts of the book—part one explains the author’s new paradigm for thinking about business, and part two provides the tips and tools necessary to motivate a team toward this major philosophical change.
Chapter one consists of 35 case studies on companies using this new business philosophy. The case studies provide many examples and lessons learned. The next few chapters study the balance between structure and the need for flexibility. Chapter six discusses innovation, defining it as "radical change linked to incremental steps."
In chapter seven, Lindgren concludes that the people driving business are committed and satisfied at work and are truly engaged. He writes that today’s world requires teaming and collaboration with these skilled and engaged people. A self-assessment is provided for your organization covering five factors: ambitious team, collaboration, positive culture, development opportunities and feedback. The last chapters of the book present ways to build an organization equipped for the 21st century.
This book is for leadership at all levels. It takes out the micromanagement approach that we are accustomed to and transforms thinking to be successful in the thought economy of the future. I like one of his quotes: "The future is like a stray dog. Whoever catches it gets it." Hang on, the ride will be bumpy.
Speed to Excellence
Santa Fe, NM
Talent, Transformation and the Triple Bottom Line: How Companies Can Leverage Human Resources to Achieve Sustainable Growth
Andrew Savitz, Karl Weber and Edward E. Lawler III, Jossey-Bass, 2013, 416 pp., $20.87 (book).
In this book, the authors concentrate their energies on the people part of the triple bottom line for a sustainably effective company to transform itself from a wealthcreating organization into a commonwelth-creating organization. The authors’ view is that HR leaders have the expertise that sustainability specialists generally lack. The authors present a comprehensive, detailed explanation of how HR leaders can make a company’s commitment to transforming into a sustainably effective organization successful.
Part one summarizes the foundation of a sustainable management organization (SMO). It provides excellent and pragmatic examples of how General Electric has been transforming itself into an SMO with important implications for HR professionals. The second part focuses on how HR processes and products can be modified or enhanced to support and lead the movement toward sustainability. Part three expands the traditional playing field for HR professionals by explaining their roles as internal change agents.
Lastly, part four explores how HR leaders can help their organizations achieve higher levels of employee involvement through sustainability, as well as improve productivity, customer satisfaction and profitability.
While the numerous suggestions for HR leaders are relevant in most any organization, the highly specialized focus of this work on HR leadership toward sustainability naturally results in a work more suited to executives who understand the movement toward a triple bottom line and long-term sustainability. I highly recommend it for all HR professionals, especially senior-level HR executives.
Accelerated Reliability and Durability Testing Technology
Lev M. Klyatis, John Wiley & Sons, 432 pp., $67.99 (book).
Perhaps you are frustrated with a product development process and the results obtained from traditional product testing and analysis that inaccurately predict product life and reliability. This is often reflected in such things as poor customer satisfaction, increased maintenance frequency, cost and recalls. Klyatis provides solutions that encompass accelerated reliability and durability (ART/ADT) testing to obtain accurate prediction of product life. This is accomplished by combining test conditions with associated discussions of process, technology and equipment.
The book introduces ART/ADT by discussing current practices in accelerated testing and the pitfalls of one-at-a-time testing. Separate chapters are devoted to basic concepts of ART/ADT, ART/ADT method, ART/ADT equipment and prediction method using ART/ADT results. There are many examples from the author’s extensive work and research to demonstrate application.
The book also includes exercises and questions that would make this an excellent resource in the classroom. A glossary of terms, index and reference material make this an excellent starting point for self-education in this technology arena.
The book is well written and follows a logical progression. Anyone interested in high-quality products, particularly in the areas of reliability and durability, will find this book a valuable resource. This book is an excellent resource for teachers and students.
The Handbook for Quality Management: A Complete Guide to Operational Excellence
Thomas Pyzdek and Paul Keller, McGraw-Hill, 2012, 512 pp., $55.98 (book, second edition).
This book addresses one of the major problems in studying the ASQ-certified manager of quality/organizational excellence (CMQ/OE) body of knowledge (BoK) and the exam preparation materials—that is, the BoK is presented in seven segments, and taught segment by segment, often with little effort to integrate the segments as a total process. The authors of this book have successfully presented most of the BoK segments in real-life time and place use. Preparing to pass the CMQ/OE exam is treated as secondary. Being an informed and capable quality practitioner is the paramount objective.
The book provides more on the how-to than many of the past and present texts on quality management practices. There is a strong emphasis on Six Sigma and the define, measure, analyze, improve and control model. Other quality principles, techniques and practices are detailed in understandable language. Anecdotes of numerous real-life situations and applications are strategically placed throughout the book.
The authors have adequately furnished explanations, definitions, charts, figures, tables and formulas to exemplify the principles, policies and practices within the areas of quality management. A minor caution is that the book does not directly address every topic in the CMQ/OE BoK. This book should be used to augment the CMQ/OE study materials. This book will help instructors to steer students in assimilating the BoK topics as an integrated system, and to provide background facts and information to enable the instructor to properly address detailed questions from participants.
That the authors have furnished so much in a relatively few number of pages is a tribute to the way they encapsulate such a broad field. This book is a must read.
R.T. Westcott and Associates
Old Saybrook, CT
A Framework for Making Decisions
John Roland Schultz, Productivity Press, 2013, 277 pp., $59.95 (book).
The ASQ Quality Improvement
Grace L. Duffy, ASQ Quality Press, 2013, 160 pp., $14 member, $24 list (book).