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Fundamentally Different Hardcover – June 17, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Infinity Publishing (June 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0741466805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0741466808
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,322,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Friedman is the former President of RSI, an award-winning employee benefits brokerage and consulting firm in the Philadelphia area. He is a frequent guest speaker and seminar leader on organizational culture, leadership, and values. A graduate of the College of William & Mary with a degree in Philosophy, Friedman currently lives in Moorestown, NJ with his wife and 2 college-age children.

More About the Author

How does a philosophy major with virtually no finance, marketing, or management education go on to become an award-winning business leader?

To understand that, you have to understand David Friedman's approach to life. While he's always been known for his discipline and his relentless work ethic, what sets David apart, more than anything, is his curiosity and his philosophical nature. He's a student of business, and of life. Quite simply, he's a thinker. And that thoughtfulness has influenced his entire career.

"I never felt my lack of formal business education was a limitation," says David. "I always thought of it as an asset. Not being saddled with traditional thinking, at every stage of my career I felt free to follow my instincts - even when it led to what some might consider to be unconventional approaches."

From the beginning, David saw RSI not as an insurance agency, but as a generic customer service business. He was curious to learn what made a service organization great and he was quick to apply what he was discovering. Under David's leadership, RSI became the standard by which not only other insurance agencies were measured, but service companies in other industries as well.

He also became fascinated by leadership and organizational development. From Open Book Management to The Collaborative Way, David developed a deep appreciation for the power of organizational culture. While he may have had an instinctual knack for leadership, it was his philosophical nature that prompted him to search for underlying principles he could more easily teach to those around him.

In fact, David is a natural teacher. He has a remarkable ability to explain even the most difficult concepts in ways that anyone can easily understand. Ever the philosopher, David not only sees the subtleties and nuances of complex issues, but he has a true gift for communicating his insights with amazing clarity. His recent book, Fundamentally Different, is perhaps the greatest testament to this gift. As you read it or listen to it, you'll no doubt see both the philosopher and the teacher at his best.

Customer Reviews

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The book contains many examples that demonstrate how the principles discussed have been applied in numerous businesses.
Monique Hodgkinson
The wisdom in this book truly applies to all life experiences and applying these fundamentals provides a way to enhance those life experiences.
Maria Esche
I highly recommend this book to all who are in leadership roles as well as anyone looking to become more personally effective.
Diane Allen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I learned of this book by listening to David Friedman speak. I am an accountant by trade, who is a member of a CEO group called Vistage. At the time I heard David speak, I was a new member, and when I learned of the topic at our upcoming meeting, my initial thought was "GREAT, another theoretical leadership guru, I will probably get some on-liners, but I do not like these "fuzzy" management concepts". Boy, was I wrong! Mr. Friedman's discussion about his Fundamentals, and his book pushed a "Fundamental" shift in the way I lead our business. Instead of grinding through the minutiae, and having staff learn by observing what others do, we began to tell them what we would do everyday, when they come to work, if they were going to be part of or Team.

Not only, was I able to identify with Mr. Friedman's words, but also in the manner of his writings. His no blasé style, allows the reader and listener to absorb the concepts, and identify with situations, most business leaders have experienced.

As an avid reader of "management and leadership guru books", I think this thought sums up the value proposition of reading this book, "I gained more business and personal value from Fundamentally Different, than any of Jim Collins, widely known books, it shifted my leadership"
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By Karl Sprague on September 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover
David Friedman’s book Fundamentally Different is a unique approach to intentionally creating, driving and reinforcing corporate culture. Many books on the subject are full of wonderful stories or give insights into the science behind organizational behavior. Interesting reads, but leaving executives perplexed at how to get their own employees to act the right way, consistently (and even when the boss isn’t watching). Friedman takes you through the behaviors (which he calls the Fundamentals) that drove how business was conducted and how people were treated, at his former company, RSI. Fundamentally Different outlines the system that helped make RSI a place where people wanted to work and where customers became fiercely loyal. I’ve watched companies implement the system that Friedman outlines in the book, and they’ve enjoyed remarkable results. Part of the brilliance of this book is the practical ways that Friedman deals with leadership ADD and ensuring that an initiative as important as corporate culture doesn’t run out of gas. It’s a great concept, effectively delivered, and proven out in companies I’m familiar with. I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really loved this book because it clearly described a process to bring the desired goal of a creating a high performance culture from a pipedream to reality! After reading this book I had a high degree of confidence in my ability to clearly describe the behaviors we want our people to have and then to implement the rituals that will allow us to get better and better at implementing these behaviors. Since company culture is so important being intentional about the culture that we want to have makes a lot of sense. The path to get that done is clearly described on this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was given the book by a colleague that I have a lot of respect for but I was quite skeptical about any culture change process with 30 rules. David lives up to the title in the first 30 pages. I was so engaged I essentially didn't put it down till I finished the book. It is the most logical and practical process I have seen for building a great culture. It works for Ritz-Carlton, it worked for David and it will soon be working for my organization.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dave's book has a great blend of strategy and tactics that apply to any type of business or organization. The book is easy to read, and gives real-world examples of applying the techniques in your organization. Read it, and start using his advice today!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great business book! Ranks up there (or above) with Jim Collins, John Maxwell, etc. "Fundamentally Different" will become my new "business bible"!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
David spoke to my Vistage group about his Fundamentals and the impact on his company. He made a great impression on us all.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the best book I have read in years! This is the first book On company culture that actually teaches you how to institutionalize a high performance culture inside your company step by step. We have seen an impact on employee behavior in the first month!
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