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Fundamentally Different Hardcover – June 17, 2011
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About the Author
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
Friedman uses the word Rituals to describe his process for ingraining the Fundamentals into a business. The top 5 definitions of the word "Ritual" are religious in nature.
At one point he cites the success Ritz Carlton had in ingraining desired customer service via their 20 Basics. But in Ritz Carlton's case, it was tangible, measurable things directly related to job duties such as "Escort the customer to an area of the Hotel rather than just pointing the way".
Friedman's version of the 20 Ritz Carlton Basics are not tangible, measurable things directly related to specific jobs, but instead are more generalized personal betterment and philosophical ideas such as "People are good, fair and Honest". I felt the book veered into general self-help rather than anything that can and should be implemented into offices.
He advocates starting every meeting with a Ritual, such as contemplating a Fundamental. This is eerily like a prayer and reflecting upon Holy Scripture. Considering Freidman is a big fan of Covey's pseudoreligious writing and teachings, it starts to make sense why the book feels like I am being indoctrinated into a faith, rather than being given solid business advice.
ISBN10:0-7414-6680-5: ISBN13: 978-0-7414-6680-5
Publisher: Infinity Publishing
One of the most striking features that jumps off the page of David J. Freedman's Fundamentally Different is his talent in driving home meaningful points by having his readers see them, feel then, smell them, and hear them and this is realized with his down-to-earth language and numerous practical illustrations. This is something that many business authors seem to shy away from for fear that they will sound unoriginal or perhaps even unprofessional. The result is that what they are trying to convey becomes cold and in the end fails to influence readers. Put it another way, values have little meaning without stories and examples to bring them to life and engage us on a personal level. We have an easier time understanding the principles forming the basis of these values when we can relate them to our own experiences. To exemplify, as I was reading Fundamentally Different, I experienced two situations where I began evaluating the kind of service I was receiving from two different companies, one of which involved an insurance claim and the other subscribing to a new cable service. The latter should run to the nearest book store and purchase a copy of Friedman's book, as it failed miserably with a culture that seemed to say that I am doing you a favor by taking your order. How many times have we unfortunately encountered this attitude?
Friedman is the former President of RSI, an award-winning employee benefits brokerage and consulting firm. Over a period of twenty-seven years he implemented a winning culture that garnered over a dozen awards for such disciplines as leadership, workplace culture, quality, growth, business success and best work-place.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent practical approach to build the behaviors into your organization in a sustainable way that will reach every level in your organization to create world class results.Published 6 months ago by Doug Peterson
I appreciated the value of corporate culture prior to reading David Friedman's book, Fundamentally Different. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Jeff
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. Read morePublished 17 months ago by laurie y rives
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! Read morePublished 17 months ago by S. Izzo
This is a terrific book that offers a road map to an improved business culture and the lessons apply outside of work as well. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Michael Fanger
A great book! We're using it to help reinforce our Core Values. It's written in such a clear and methodical way that it's easy for our team to "get it"... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Daniel Kohl
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. Read morePublished 17 months ago by J Timothy Smith