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Great Boss Dead Boss Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart Philip International (September 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974036919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974036915
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #743,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ray Immelman is a certified management consultant. He shares new insights in organizational behavior from his personal involvement in close to two hundred companies worldwide.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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It's a book which is very applicable to the agile software community.
David J. Anderson
Just finished reading this book and I am overwhelmed by both the simplicity and the depth of the story and the message.
amznuzr
This is a very good book if you are looking at ways to build a better team within as a group or company.
Eric Bergland

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By David J. Anderson on February 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you only read one book this year, it has to be this one! I saw Ray Immelman speak at the TOC ICO Word Conference in Miami last October. His work came highly recommend from a mutual friend. So I thought there had to be something in it worth learning.

What I didn't expect was that this book would change the way I thought about organization and communication down, across and up. If management is about two things then organizational structure and communication are perhaps the two most basic. Great Boss, Dead Boss has made me rethink both of those. I'm deliberately not telling you what the book is about because that would spoil it for you. What I can say is that it takes the form of a novel similar to Eli Goldratt's The Goal. However, despite the fact that Ray Immelman is part of the TOC community and works for Realization Software. This is not a TOC book. It's a book about people, about relationships, about affiliation, motivation, loyalty and leadership. It's a book which is very applicable to the agile software community. If agile's unique contribution to software development was the inclusion of people related factors then Great Boss, Dead Boss offers us that same contribution for management.

And finally, if you are going through a merger or acquisition then this story of the merger of two leading silicon chip manufacturers is required reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
The logic and deep understanding of this book is incontestable, and it has implications well beyond the limits of the business world. Yet will those who read this dare to implement its iconoclastic observations? This is the most credible formula I have ever seen for creating the conditions necessary to extract the very best performance, individually and collectively, from any group of individuals. Let us hope, at this time when we drastically need to re-appraise the way that we interact with each other in business and other environments, that books as important as Immelman's are given the widespread respect and utilisation that they deserve...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eric Bergland on March 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Great Boss Dead Boss is a great novel that follows a new fictional manager through his trials in trying to change an organization. Through the novel you are introduced to various concepts (call dimensions and attributes) and dynamics that make a strong team or organization. As the character works with the dysfunctional organization he struggles to identify and apply various concepts to get them back on track, bond as a team, and overcome the common challenges they face. This is a very good book if you are looking at ways to build a better team within as a group or company.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David V Hodes on November 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
Ray has done every organisational leader a great service by providing a framework for understanding the riddle wrapped in an enigma that is leadership. His insights into our tribal behaviour and how the dynamic of individual and collective security and value can not only be understood, but practically applied to the betterment of all, raises the bar for all interested in the field of group dynamics. His decision to use the form of a novel as the vehichle for the explanation of his insights makes them accessible and easily understood, whilst not diluting the power of the ideas themselves. I have always wondered how you can get a group of people with different and varied affiliations to not only work for the common good, but actually want to excel at doing so. In Great Boss Dead Boss, Ray shows the reader some high leverage answers to the question. The book, written in a captivating prose style, follows the protagonist Greg's journey of discovery, mentored by the crusty, wise Butch. In the storyline are countless nuggets of wisdom and insight which would serve well anyone who aspires to a position of leadership.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By gacleader1 on January 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has excellent materials, and some very good common sense ideas which seem to be not so common.

I would say however that the story line did not seem very realistic given the time line. When a company has significant cultural issues, it seems that a realistic turn-around could easily take two to three years, not weeks. Certainly after several weeks, a certain percentage of employees might start to recognize a change; however it is my experience that the vast majority will take a wait and see attitude.

Another aspect of the book which seemed a bit misleading was how smoothly the physical transformation of the facility seemed to go. The success of the organization was based on everything going smoothly with the physical transformation, yet the problems were minimal; this is not typical of this kind of transformation.

Finally, the author seemed to downplay other business tools like Six Sigma, Lean Enterprise, TQM and more, suggesting that they all lowered employee morale. I would disagree and say instead that all of these programs, including the ideas presented in this book are nothing more than tools. A good Change Agent should learn as many tools as possible and use the appropriate tool for the problem at hand. If none of the tools in his or her box fit the problem, he or she should seek out another tool. When various initiatives fail, it is often the result of someone trying to force his tools to fit the situation, rather than determining which tool will work best for the organization.

In spite of my comments, I still recommend this book. Read it and learn the tools, then combine what you have learned from this book together with the other tools in you box.
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