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The Fiefdom Syndrome: The Turf Battles That…

The Fiefdom Syndrome: The Turf Battles That Undermine Careers and…

by Robert Herbold

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Ed, Best Regards. Bob Herbold
  efeulner | Mar 28, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385510675, Hardcover)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:21 -0400)

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It happens at organizations large and small, profit and nonprofit, at the individual level as well as the group and divisional level. 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. People who create fiefdoms 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. It is a natural human tendency, but if it isn't managed properly, the damage they cause can spell the death knell of what should have been a strong and vital organization.… (more)

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