OVERRIDE

How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things

Breaking the 8 Hidden Barriers that Plague Even the Best Businesses

Neil Smith with Patricia O'Connell

Palgrave Macmillan Trade

Companies make headline news all the time for decisions that make many of us scratch our heads in wonder, even those companies that are smart and successful. Here, New York Times bestselling author Neil Smith, with more than 20 years of experience leading large-scale performance improvements, reveals the hidden barriers that cause excellent companies to do dumb things and cause smart people within companies to act in dumb ways. Drawing on his years of experience working with CEOs and helping transform top global businesses, and insights to CEOs around the world, Smith has identified eight barriers that prevent organizations from both achieving and maintaining sustainable success. Rich with anecdotes and case studies, Smith outlines a fast and proven process in which 12 principles of business transformation can break down the barriers holding companies back.

REVIEWS

Praise for How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things

"Neil Smith has helped create incalculable shareholder value and customer loyalty for companies across America and around the world with one 'radical' idea: Our own employees know where the barriers to success are, and they know how to break them down so the CEO and the management teams can drive the vision and strategy we set for our companies." - Brian T. Moynihan, chief executive officer, Bank of America Corporation

"This exciting book, How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things, provides an in-depth look at the structural and behavioral barriers that keep organizations from outstanding performance, and offers a clear set of principles to get on track. Neil Smith's brilliant insights into removing these barriers and empowering employees to produce creative ideas are a must-read for managers everywhere." - Bill George, professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School, former chairman & CEO of Medtronic, Inc. and author of True North

"Neil Smith makes 'A Promise' for transforming your organization, and I can attest from his work with us at NYSE Euronext that he delivers. In this book, he outlines the process by which any company can become more efficient and profitable while reducing complexity. It is a must-read for any company that wants to improve its performance and for any manager who is serious about adding value to their organization." - Duncan Niederauer, chief executive officer, NYSE Euronext

"This book provides a practical, common sense guide to the main stumbling blocks facing business leaders and how to deal with them." - John Quelch, dean of China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), Shanghai

"A top-notch consultant reveals his secret sauce! Crisply reasoned and crisply written, this book is a virtual how-to-do-it manual for improving your company. If it doesn't give you dozens of good ideas, you haven't read it." - Alan Blinder, Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and co-author of Economics: Principles and Policy

"This book is a great gift to leaders facing the 8 barriers because it underscores how critical it is to engage employees across the entire organization. Dumb things, goodbye! " - Frances Hesselbein, president and chief executive officer of Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute, former chief executive officer, Girl Scouts of the USA and author of My Life in Leadership

"A helpful reminder on how lack of oversight on even commonplace issues can interfere with an enterprise's productivity and success, this work will appeal to managers and leaders alike." - Publishers Weekly

"Neil Smith provides brilliant insights and great practical advice, based on his global expertise in helping excellent companies challenge the status quo and improve performance. Move this book to the top of your inbox." - Martin Sullivan, deputy chairman of Willis Group Holdings PLC and chairman and CEO of Willis Global Solutions

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Neil Smith with Patricia O'Connell

  • Neil Smith, CEO of Promontory Growth and Innovation (PGI), has for 20 years focused on helping corporations dramatically improve performance and profitability by growing revenues and innovatively reducing costs. Smith has led initiatives with companies including Mellon Bank, Willis, and North American Van Lines. He recently spearheaded the highly visable initiative across Bank of America.Patricia O’Connell, former Management Editor at BloombergBusinessweek.com, brings more than 20 years of writing and editing in a variety of subjects, including business, leadership, and strategy.  

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Available Formats and Book Details

How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things

Breaking the 8 Hidden Barriers that Plague Even the Best Businesses

Neil Smith with Patricia O'Connell

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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