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Free, Perfect, and Now: Connecting to the Three Insatiable Customer Demands: A CEO's True Story Kindle Edition
As the dynamic CEO of electronics distributor Marshall Industries who trained with the worldfamous W. Edwards Deming, Rob Rodin engineered the astounding reinvention of his company, turning a conventionally successful $500 million business into a $2 billion competitive powerhouse, a high-speed, high-profit junction box wired to today's imperatives.
Rodin isn't a consultant, pretending change is a matter of five steps and a pep talk. He's lived inside its gut-wrenching turmoil. Six years ago Rodin and his colleagues bet their company on a radical experiment, tearing a healthy business down to bedrock. They threw out all the old tools, taking 1,100 managers off MBOs and incentives and abolishing commissions for 600 salespeople. They threw out all the old technology, too, changing every operating system in a single tense night. Then they set out to reinvent themselves, finding new ways to help people and technology work together -- creating a dynamic pioneer for our new electronic era, a company twice named as the #1 business-to-business Web site in the world by Advertising Age magazine.
Free, Perfect, and Now tells the dramatic story of that transformation from the inside. Detailing the hard lessons learned in competitive battle, it offers a compelling new perspective on the most pressing issue facing businesspeople today: how to prepare a customer-focused corporation for a future you can't predict. But Free, Perfect, and Now is a book of solutions, too, a guide to help every manager turn ideas into concrete results. Each chapter explains, step by step, how to design a different element of a company, from how to anticipate customers' shifting demands to how to make a Web site profitable. And each chapter ends with a Manager's Workbook, containing detailed advice managers can use to make their business more competitive today.
George Gendron Editor, Inc. magazine Free, Perfect, and Now is the perfect business book for our times, one of the few authentic accounts I've read about how companies really manage to transform themselves.
Warren Bennis author of On Becoming a Leader For anyone who wants understand the 'on the ground' narrative of how entrepreneurs work, how innovation leverages intellectual capital, and how ideas -- business ideas -- can improve the quality of life, this is the book for you. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B000FC0OU4
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster; Revised ed. edition (6 August 1999)
- Language : English
- File size : 1220 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 254 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0684850222
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from other countries
But, the internet case study is actually a downstream result of a tough and on-going transformational change process that Marshall has been going through since 1992. Back then, Marshall's business environment was changing faster than their top-down by the numbers and incentive plan culture could handle. So, instead of trying harder in out-dated ways the company decided to try to become a learning organization that would transform itself - an enormously tough and risky under-taking. Because so many other companies are currently in the same learn, die or sell-out situation, they need prescriptive help, and this book has an effective delivery style for the medicine.
The book is written in a first person, narrative style, which makes it an enjoyable, read, but more importantly Rodin has distilled good management theories down to a basic, comprehensible level grounded in a real story. Readers will, as a result, find particular problems described in ways that will strongly connect to their own similar problems. They will go on to borrow many of Rodin's analogies for getting the same messages across to their employees. I expect that a lot of managers will buy extra copies of this book for entire management teams to read.
A final reason for buying the book with eyes open are all of the other reviews posted here at Amazon.com - both the positive AND the negative! The positive ones support the good read, good theories, good grounded case example elements, and the bad ones from ex-employees illustrate the pain that learning companies doing transformations have to go through. Just because the top guy(s) have the right vision and work hard to implement it, doesn't mean that all of the managers really believe it or will do it even as they nod in agreement. Russia and China's attempts to go to free market economies are bigger current examples of how lots of people that are personally happy with the old order fight change.
One negative comment talks about how Marshall's stock has tanked, but so have all of the other publicly traded semiconductor stocks due to their tough environment. Marshall's 5 year average return on equity has been a little less than Arrow's and little more than Avnet's. The two larger firms have had better franchise lines to ride and have bought much more sales and earnings via acquisitions while Marshall has been forward investing in and expensing their transformational efforts and internet capability. Time will tell how this horse race will finally turn out. In summary, if your company is a top-down firm that plays "beat last year for bonus bucks" starring incremental, financial, tactical changes in the face of too much business environmental change. If you seem to be working harder and harder to get less results. If your customers want lots more value, customization and speed of response, then you need to start reading as many case studies on corporate change as you can find starting with this one.