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Follow This Path: How the World's Greatest Organizations Drive Growth by Unleashing Human Potential Audio CD – Bargain Price, October 1, 2002

21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Rejecting conventional "rational actor" theories, this dense volume of management theory argues that emotions deeply impact economics. Customer loyalty comes from a non-rational, even addictive "passion" (such that customers "can actually suffer from withdrawal" if "deprived of a specific brand") based on personal "emotional bonds" to a company's employees. Workers, in turn, must feel emotionally connected to managers who value their contributions and give talent its head. The authors, management consultants for the Gallup Organization, deploy a complicated theoretical apparatus-drawing on cognitive neuroscience and elaborate statistical analyses of mountains of survey data-to prove that companies profit when workers and customers feel appreciated and listened to. This is a welcome message, enlivened by anecdotes illustrating good employee relations, salesmanship and customer service, but in extolling "a management style that doesn't try to 'tell people what to do,'" the author's disparagement of training and organization in favor of "innate talent" and "emotional engagement" sometimes seems excessive. Worse, the passages celebrating "The Gallup Path" and the Gallup Organization's proprietary methodologies for assessing "talent themes" and emotional states read like excerpts from a brochure for the company's consulting services.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

CURT COFFMAN is the coauthor of the New York Times business bestseller First, Break All the Rules and The Gallup Organization's Global Practice Leader for Q12 Management Consulting. GABRIEL GONZALEZ-MOLINA is The Gallup Organization's Global Practice Leader for Gallup Path Management. He holds a Ph.D. in social sciences.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio; Abridged edition (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586214543
  • ASIN: B007F86NRE
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,344,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Coffman and Gonzalez-Molina not only challenge but indeed obliterate much conventional wisdom about organizational growth and individual development. Those inclined to challenge them would be well-advised to consider the basis of their assertions: "Ten million customers and over two hundred thousand managers were surveyed. More than three million employees were interviewed from 1995 through 2001. Additionally, more than two million talent-fit/role-success reviews were tallied. More than 300, 000 business units, in hundreds of organizations worldwide, took part in the study....All major industries, from fast-food chains to physicians' groups, were represented. A wide variety of job types was included, as were all kinds of customers. Industry and organizations of all sizes were integrated....Employees from different types of organizations were measured in terms of their talent, engagement, and outcomes."
What about customers? "Similarly, customer data included purchase information: Volume, dollar amounts spent, repurchase intentions and behavior, brand ratings, product evaluations, opinions, and other complementary patterns of attitudes and behavior were all covered in detail." Who wants to step forward to challenge the validity of Coffman and Gonzalez-Molina's assertions? Not I.
The subtitle of this book, "How the World's Greatest Organizations Drive Growth by Unleashing Human Potential," is somewhat misleading. In fact, according to Coffman and Gonzalez-Molina, cultures -- not organizations -- unleash human potential which, in turn, drives organizations. More specifically, emotion-driven, highly engaged employees ("associates" at Wal-Mart and J.C.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Don Blohowiak, PhD on August 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Review of "Follow This Path"
The central thesis of this valuable and highly readable work can be summed up in three words: Feelings drive actions.
This book from The Gallup Organization focuses on applying that briefest but most fundamental truth to business success. The authors' conclusion can be simply stated: The feelings of your employees influence the feelings of your customers, and that drives their buying behavior and your profits.
It works like this: Understand your employees so that they are assigned to do work for which they're really best suited at the deepest personal level ('cuz they'll do that work better than any other). And treat your employees in ways that encourage them to be fully engaged in their work ('cuz that gets you more loyalty and productivity at no extra cost). And then, in turn, your employees will treat your customers in a way that makes your customers feel good about your company ('cuz that leads them to spend more with your firm for a longer time). And, voila!, your company makes more money with less effort.
At this point you might feel compelled to release a loud exclamation of, "Well, duh!"
But hold on.
The premise of "Follow This Path" seems deceptively simple for two reasons:
1) It contrasts markedly with the "rational" model that still shapes most interactions with both employees and customers in most organizations; and
2) It stands in direct opposition to the assumptions underlying most business initiatives that are supposed to improve quality, productivity, or even customer satisfaction. Most, if not all, of those projects are aimed at mechanistically tweaking operational processes.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert Wynkoop on August 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I really didn't want to like this book. It just sounded too much like some new age, pop psychology dribble on how to feel good. I couldn't have been further from the truth. Although this isn't a great book, it is a very valuable book, not only for the businessman, but for leaders of nonprofits as well.
The premise of the book is simple. In an age where prices have been cut to razor thin margins, and businesses have become commodities, the only way to profitably survive is to unleash the human potential among your employees and customers. The authors ask this simple, but profound question: Why would a customer drive past your competition and pay a higher price to purchase your product? The answer: You have an emotionally engaged customer.
The authors demonstrate the world's greatest organizations connect with their customers on an emotional level. When this happens customers return because of the way they feel- they become emotional engaged. The businesses manta for the last century has been based on reason- if you build a better mousetrap, offer it at the lowest price, people will buy. Studies have shown that people are more driven by their emotions when it comes to purchase and repurchase than they are by reason. The same holds true for employees. The Gallop organization also has shown that emotionally engaged employees produce more, stay longer, have less accidents, etc.
Any problems? Maybe one. When hiring, the authors tell us again and again to commit to talent above education, experience, willingness to work hard, and the usual resume items. Inborn talent produces engaged employees; but what they did not address was the integrity issue.
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