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Animals, Inc.: A Business Parable for the 21st Century Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Business Plus; First Edition edition (February 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446530492
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446530491
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #636,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Managers and small business owners who are overwhelmed by the number of business books on the shelves today should turn to this humorous business parable, which is delightfully dramatized by Ward. When Farmer Good decides to retire, his animals take on the business themselves. This proves to be no easy task, however, even for a seasoned pig like Moe. Moe makes his biggest mistake early on-he values the knowledge he gleans from business books over common sense. Moe sets up training classes, believing that any animal can fill any role with suitable education. Thus, the Scarecrow is promoted to egg production, and Chucky the crow fills the Scarecrow's old security position, which proves to be disastrous. All the while, one power-hungry land developer watches and waits for the farm to fail. The authors' message-use your common sense-is simplistic, but their characterizations are as memorable as Ward's performance. Ward has the uncanny ability to make listeners feel right at home with the animals on the farm, and he does an exceptional job of drawing out the humor in the text (his rendition of Piggy Banks's rap number is especially side-splitting). Enhanced by animal sound effects and snippets of folk music, this spunky farm fable will charm both adults and children.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Kenneth A. Tucker is a seminar leader and managing consultant with The Gallup Organization. Drawing on vivid stories, real-life examples, and data-driven research, he consults with the world's leading organizations on how to develop strategies for improving individual performance. Vandana Allman is The Gallup Organization's global practice leader for talent-based hiring. She consults with Fortune 500 companies on how to build strengths-based organizations by improving their selection and retention strategies.

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Customer Reviews

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It was a great book, and a very quick, easy read.
Joel R Carter
Yes we all know that the right person is needed in the right job but how profound is that as a business lesson.
Mark F. Vincent
If anything this book is mildly entertaining, but could have been half as long.
Joseph Valentine Dworak

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Joel R Carter on February 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Tucker and Allman do a masterful job in highlighting what is wrong with corporate America today. We have all watched countless companies jump from fad to fad in search of the next great competitive advantage, only to get lost in a sea of buzzwords which eventually causes them to lose their identity. Animals, Inc. presents this scenario in a humorous way that kept me laughing and, ultimately, will keep me from blindly accepting the next "revolutionary" business idea that consultants try to sell to my business. It was a great book, and a very quick, easy read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mark F. Vincent on June 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Any blurb that says "humorous" has to be treated with caution. This book is mildly clever in places but one is left wondering what really is the 'takeaway'. Yes we all know that the right person is needed in the right job but how profound is that as a business lesson. Even "Who moved my cheese?" had more to offer than this somewhat trite attempt at a business parable. Give me books like "The obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive" and "Death by Meeting" any day.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Chief Exec on October 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The title and description got my attention, and had me thinking that this could be a great illustration of the absurdity of various management techniques, and how common business problems might be overcome. But this book is nothing more than corny puns, silly cliches, and ridiculous animal jokes. When the animals take over the farm, they proceed to act like, well, animals, not demonstrating any real human behavior from which we might learn. I do not know what the point was of this book.

The book spends the first 98% of its content trying to be funny but illustrating nothing about mistakes that businesses make. The mistakes that this particular business makes have no correlation whatsoever with real businesses. The only thing that we can say for certain about this business is that it is run by inept managers and populated by inept workers. It just spends too much time trying to be cute, and never really incorporates real-life business issues or makes a point about what the business should be doing differently.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Becky D on September 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
On the surface, the story emphasizes that people should be assigned to tasks that use their talents. But below the surface I found a dark theme biased against personal and professional development. Throughout the story, management tries to improve worker morale (360 reviews for all animals), does extensive employee training (computer training for a horse), makes adaptations for employee limitations (installs extensions so a mouse can operate a tractor), but the attempts only end up hurting the company. This is because the farm animals' strengths and weaknesses are obvious, easily categorized, and unchanging (e.g. chickens lay eggs and scarecrows do not). I defy anyone to make the same kinds of fatalistic judgements about human beings in a professional setting. On second thought, I would strongly caution you not to do so! (e.g. "Why do you want to train for *that* job? You're [a woman/blue collar/in a wheelchair/<insert other category>] -- you're just not suited for that type of work.")

I found this story an ugly, cynical message masquerading as light-hearted business advice. In order to like this one, you'll either need to refrain from analyzing the themes or you'll *really* need to enjoy animal puns.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
How excruciating. This book would appeal only to HR-types with enough influence to make this required reading in a dysfunctional organization. A functional organization would send it back for a refund. With hundreds of really useful books out there, why waste time with this one?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Valentine Dworak on December 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am a big fan of almost all the books Gallup and their people have put out. This book was a total miss. The humor was painful, and the management lessons were forced onto a weak story.

I read the reviews of this book, and thought - it can't be that bad - but, they were right - this was pretty weak. I do not give out many 1 star reviews, but this book actually deserves it. If anything this book is mildly entertaining, but could have been half as long. Better luck next time....

JVD
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kanokvalee on August 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
When I read this book ,Animals, Inc., firstly I though it was very funny. The authors used the same words that have differrent meanings. It is a good idea. It made me laugh loudly. Some jokes are very nonsense but I like it. ^J^

Later, I was serious about management, business, operation, etc. I didn't have knowledge about these. I though I studied about the process of running Goode Farm with other animals. I can apply to use it for managing in my life.

I will say about the plot of this story. I think it was a very good plot.

The authors brought many kinds of animals, which have their own styles and different charateristics, to present and run this story very well.

They can write the talking scene between animal and human smoothly, but some scenes didn't tell any ideas that wasn't important to know.

Finally, I will say the book is very interesting concept. It can draw me to follow. I 'd like to know the next thing that will be happen.

It is for people who want to learn about the basic of business with smile.
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