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The boss/subordinate relationship is an age-old problem cited in almost every management book and on-the-job survey as an area rife with dishonesty and inefficiency. All too often, subordinates spin the truth for those above while bosses fail to establish the conditions required for subordinates to tell it to them straight. The end result is warped communication, corrupt internal politics, illusionary teamwork, pass-the-buck accountability, and personal dispiriting-and the company is always the big loser. Don't Kill the Bosses! reveals the "trap" created when people fail to differentiate between the positives of hierarchical structure and the negatives of hierarchical relationships. Far from being opposed to hierarchy, the authors believe strongly that an accurate and cleanly defined organization chart is vital. But they show how to implement an alternative model of hierarchy: two-sided accountability. Drawing on case studies from their consulting practice, Culbert and Ullmen show how this new model leads to a freer flow of information, more creative problem-solving, and quicker response to changing conditions. Unlike other books that acknowledge boss/subordinate relationships as a systematic, continuing problem and offer skill development suggestions for dealing with it, Don't Kill the Bosses! tells how to think about the problem in a way that will enable readers to understand the steps they need to take to change things. It diagnoses what's missing in boss/subordinate relationships, connects what's wrong with them to personal and organizational outcomes, and defines the whole new mentality required to make them work successfully.
Get Rid of the Performance Review!: How Companies Can Stop Intimidating, Start Managing-and Focus on What Really Mattersby Samuel A. Culbert Lawrence Rout
The performance review. It is one of the most insidious, most damaging, and yet most ubiquitous of corporate activities. We all hate it. And yet nobody does anything about it. Until now. . . Straight-talking Sam Culbert, management guru and UCLA professor, minces no words as he puts managers on notice that -- with the performance review as their weapon of choice -- they have built a corporate culture based on intimidation and fear. Teaming up with Wall Street Journal Senior Editor Lawrence Rout, he shows us why performance reviews are bogus and how they undermine both creativity and productivity. And he puts a good deal of the blame squarely on human resources professionals, who perpetuate the very practice that they should be trying to eliminate. But Culbert does more than merely tear down. He also offers a substitute -- the performance preview -- that will actually accomplish the tasks that performance reviews were supposed to, but never will: holding people accountable for their actions and their results, and giving managers and their employees the kind of feedback they need for improving their skills and to give the company more of what it needs. With passion, humor, and a rare insight into what motivates all of us to do our best, Culbert offers all of us a chance to be better managers, better employees and, indeed, better people. Culbert has long said his goal is to make the world of work fit for human consumption. "Get Rid of the Performance Review!" shows us how to do just that.
When newspapers across the country reported Capital Cities Communications' stunningly successful bid for ABC, The New York Times asked a senior official at another of Capital Cities' recent acquisitions, Institutional Investor, if it was true that Capital Cities left management in place when it took over a firm. "I was a little skeptical when the company was bought," he conceded. "But they create a sense of trust. It's a wonderful motivational device." This concept of trust as a key to organizational effectiveness lies at the heart of Radical Management, Samuel A. Culbert and John J. McDonough's challenging new book. For years, the authors point out, business has been enslaved to a "rational" model of management that asks only that executives meet narrow organizational goals, regardless of the needs and views of those they work with. But while this bottom-line mentality can produce satisfactory results on the balance sheet, in the workplace its effects are often disastrous -- breeding misunderstandings, hidden resentments, infighting, and even costly power struggles. Arguing that what many executives understand about the complex political forces at work in an organization "wouldn't fill the proverbial thimble," Culbert and McDonough propose a radical model of management: one that gives managers the insight they need into organizational politics to allow them to improve communication and share power. Generously illustrated with revealing case vignettes drawn from their extensive consulting experience, the authors' framework shows accomplished and prospective managers alike how to recognize and respect the inevitably differing talents, perspectives, and expectations that associates bring to their jobs. It reveals the enormously subjective influences at work in any organization and why they must be openly acknowledged and accommodated if managers are to promote cooperation and assure productivity. Radical Management decodes and demystifies the vast majority of organizational conflicts in which executives at all levels so often become embroiled. Adding a human dimension missing from the "rational" model's hard-nosed, coldly analytic approach to management, Culbert and McDonough demonstrate how to foster the trust that generates teamwork, cements support for corporate plans, and -- yes -- boosts profits as well. Above all, they prove that trusting relationships in business make for more than good office morale: They're nothing less than "the most efficient management tool ever invented."
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