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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Business Best Sellers - Are They Really That Bad? many business best-sellers have YOU read?

The April issue of FastCompany has an article by Elizabeth Spears, Library of the Living Dead, in which she warns: "Embrace a business best seller at your brain's peril."

Sure, there's the typical diatribe about business books that feature overused/misplaced metaphors, jargon and so forth.

Then comes the stunner: the "well-intentioned hope that the books will provide a useful framework for solving problems"...and that "they create the illusion of progress simply by adding another layer of busyness."

Well, ideas for business performance improvement have to start somewhere, and business books are one such method. More important than the business book itself, however, is what action you take as a result of reading the best seller.

If you succumb to the widespread practice of MBBS (Management By Best Seller), causing you to continually change direction and focus, then yes, the worst is still ahead.

However, if you understand that books - in and of themselves - are not to be used as a replacement for consistent, repeatable action, then you've already won at least half the battle.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Six Disciplines for Excellence, and the soon-to-be-released Execution Revolution (both written by Six Disciplines founder and CEO Gary Harpst) are both examples of the business book category.

What makes these business books different is that they're not ends unto themselves - it's how these two books are being used by business leaders.

Execution Revolution sets the stage for business leaders to view their biggest problem (executing strategy) in a breakthrough way. It then reveals the first complete strategy execution program, which consists of a repeatable business-building methodology described in detail in Six Disciplines for Excellence. When combined with local accountability coaching and innovative software tools for real-time activity alignment, the complete program helps companies to build these ideas into performance-changing organizational habits on a daily basis.

"Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand."

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