Monday, November 02, 2009

Getting Results: Five Absolutes for High Performance

I recently read Getting Results: Five Absolutes for High Performance by Clinton O. Longenecker and Jack L. Simonetti.

Everyone of course is interested in getting results, so although the book does have a short chapter on why we need results, I don't think we need to be sold.

The book comes up with five absolutes to get results:

1. Get everyone on the same page - Focus on the purpose of your organization.

2. Prepare for battle - Equip your operation with tools, talent and technology.

3. Stoke the fire of performance - Create a climate for results.

4. Build bridges on the road to results - Nurture relationships with people.

5. Keep the piano in tune - Practice continual renewal. This one is one that definitely resonates. My version is "be a constant learner - always study and prepare".

It had one interesting section on 8 common planning mistakes to avoid:

1. Being too busy or too undisciplined to plan.

2. Doing the wrong kinds of planning for your level in the organization.

3. Planning with inadequate information and input from your boss.

4. Planning in a vacuum without input from those who have to implement the plan.

5. Develop plans that are unrealistic or too sophisticated to get off the ground.

6. Failing to implement plans

7. Planning without accurate data.

8. Planning without a clear direction or real purpose. (I would have put this one first - know your goals)

It also had a chapter summary that dealt with habits:

"It has been said that "bad habits develop a day at a time and are broken a year at a time," which is undoubtedly true for most people. If an organization and its members do not break bad or dysfunctional organizational habits and practices they will quickly go out of tune. Managers must make renewal and development a way of life if they are truly desirous of better performance.

Developing and improving processes and people is essential for long term success. Developing yourself as a manager just might be the key to every other management practice that we have discussed in this book."

Lastly, a quote from the book: "90% of failures are the result of bad management".

Good book - I enjoyed it and it reinforced what needs to be done for high performance.

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