on November 16, 2003
This little book is another of those tales where the CEO is visited and advised by an unlikely character. We've seen a number of books in this genre, probably inspired by Charles Dickens and his ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future. In this case, our CEO is visited by a cleaning lady who, with a flick of her feather-duster, takes him on journeys through his computer screen-a take-off on Alice in Wonderland's looking glass.
Stay with me. It gets better. After the unseen CEO observes some money-wasting behavior on the part of his employees, a rabbit appears with one of those old cash registers that made noise when its keys were pressed. This is a "five foot white rabbit wearing bright red gloves...This was one cool bunny!" OK, we're stretching this a bit far, but remember this book has risen from the ilk of bedtime stories.
The bunny calculates the cost of the errant employee behavior and, with a dramatic "ca-ching," informs the CEO how much money has been lost-through waste or missed opportunities in the scenario. This pattern is played out each night for a week as our beleaguered CEO gets a wake-up call about how inadequate communication and training is flushing company profits down the drain.
A cute tale, though one requiring some open imagination. Points are made and well-summarized at the back of the book. Most executives would benefit from the reminders. The $19.95 price tag seems a bit high for such a small book, but that money could be recovered quickly as the book's lessons are applied. I found that it was easy to anticipate what was coming next and the magic fairy and imagination-stretching bunny were a bit bothersome, the design kept the story light so the messages could be received.
This book has some value as a training tool for corporate executives. I could see getting copies for all members of a management team and asking them to read a chapter a night and discuss it over coffee and donuts in the morning. Results would be achieved.
on June 1, 2003
A fable for our time, this gem of a book shows how quickly and easily a business can be damaged - even destroyed - by poor communication. We've all been there: meetings where nothing is decided, presentations where no one caters for the customer's needs, precious time wasted deciphering a badly written memo ... From niggling misunderstandings that chip away at staff motivation to executive-level muddle that can turn clients off and lose profits, Wilkie alerts us to the dangers we court when we neglect communication skills.
More than that, though, she offers practical and achievable solutions. This book speaks to everyone who wants to minimise problems and maximise profits. I recommend it highly.
on March 20, 2003
Helen Wilkie has written a book for our times. Whether you are starting a business or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, no matter how you communicate or how often, you will learn one major lesson from this gentle but mighty fable: communication does pay. How much? That depends on whether you pay lip service to communication or if you dare make communication part and parcel of your business philosphy, from the CEO's office right down to the oder desk in the plant. Obvious, you say? Read the book before you answer that question.