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All Hat and No Cattle: Tales of a Corporate Outlaw Shaking up the System…
by Chris Turner
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0738200964, Hardcover)Your company is not a machine. It may make machines, or it may service them, but it is not, in itself, a machine. It's a living entity in an unpredictable world. This makes it nearly impossible to run a business organization effectively with a hierarchical, top-down management style. And yet, posits Chris Turner in All Hat and No Cattle, that's the way most companies try to do it. They may give lip service to other management styles, to open chains of communication and all that, but in reality these managers are "all hat and no cattle": they talk a good game, but in the end don't really have anything to back it up.
Turner is a veteran of Xerox. She was there when its corporate name was synonymous with photocopying, and when it had huge markets to itself, and she was still there when the Japanese turned the copying world upside down by being able to sell machines for less money than it took Xerox to manufacture them. So she's seen how a corporation's assumption about how the world works can get turned on its ear, and she thinks the lessons she learned at Xerox are applicable to any large company that's set in its ways. For example, she notes that very few people actually learn how to do anything by reading the instructions--only about 15 percent, according to a study she cites. Far more--61 percent--learn by trial and error, or through social interaction, or a combination of those two methods. And yet, most managers try to teach people to do things by showing them the instructions. "I wondered who learns from PowerPoint slide presentations," she writes. "The answer is nobody!" This is a book that nearly anyone who trains, teaches, or manages a staff can learn from. Some managers reading this book will see themselves reproduced in unflattering shades of black and white, but, hey, sometimes you have to look at yourself as others see you, unpleasant as that may be. --Lou Schuler
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:30 -0400)
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