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High Performance with High Integrity (Memo to the CEO)

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1422122952
ISBN-10: 1422122956
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ben W. Heineman Jr., is Distinguished Senior Fellow at Harvard Law School's Program on the Legal Profession and a Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He was GE's Senior Vice President-General Counsel from 1987 to 2003 and Senior Vice President for Law and Public Affairs from 2004 until his retirement at the end of 2005.
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Product Details

  • Series: Memo to the CEO
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (May 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422122956
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422122952
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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I would have given this book a 5 but a lot of it is full of corporate speak which may be the language of choice in mega corporations like GE but does litle to help the rest of us. When the book drills down to the mechanics of infusing performance with integrity it excels. Some of the excellent ideas: have employees report the more palatable(to them) "concerns", not illegal conduct and you will get more information on what may be going wrong in the corporation; ID employees at risk of corruption of ethics violations(such as those in overseas assignments or in purchasing etc) and focus customized training on them; explain to employees not only what to do but give them "red flag" examples of dangerous situations so they know if they are cruising off course; use case studies because a story teaches more than a lecture. One other insight: when a company confronts a crisis, one thing needs to be said asap to the corporate crisis team: we will be judged by what we do from this moment on.
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Format: Hardcover
"I am certain this will become a classic. It is central message is important, new, crystal clear, compelling and I think inspiring. It is a mature and forceful book. The key points are driven home by understandable examples (which are sometimes themselves a wake up call e.g. the reference to "side letters" as "red flags" in financial deals). The recommendations are practical and actionable. Somehow it manages to be a theoretical treatise on the need for change and a practical, and reasonably short, handbook for how to change. I can not recall a recent book which was able to accomplish so much in such a compelling way in such a short space. No one can read this book and not come away with a list of "to do's" that will improve their lives. That said the capability of GE as revealed in the text can, or will soon be, matched by only a few. The issue is enormously complex and there are very few Ben Heineman's around who can grasp the issues and clearly understand how to approach them pragmatically.

The messages here are important not only for business but for governments (and universities, particularly the scientific and medical research departments) as well. The problems in some corners of the world can only be solved through the Heineman methods. I hope they see it, hear it and read it."
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Format: Hardcover
Integrity is not something that has to be sacrificed for success. "High Performance with High Integrity" is a guide for business owners who want to be successful, but don't want to be a cutthroat at the same time. Advice on structuring a business to meet this level of morality while maintaining success, and how to keep one's employees going with the same beliefs and values, makes "High Performance with High Integrity" a seminal guide to the honest businessman. A must for any community library business collection.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the titles in the "Memo to the CEO" series published by Harvard Business Press, each less than 200 pages in length and superbly produced. In fact, none is a "memo" nor were any of them written solely for a CEO. In this volume, Ben W. Heineman Jr. affirms the need to combine high performance with high integrity for a number of reasons. For example, that will "protect the corporation and its stakeholders from catastrophic train wrecks." However, Heineman adds, such a combination "isn't just about avoiding evils. It also has strong, affirmative benefits for the company: internally, in the marketplace, and in the broader society. Ultimately, it creates the fundamental trust of shareholders, creditors, employees, recruits, customers, suppliers, regulators, communities, and the pubic at large." I am curious to know why Heineman did not also include competitors, especially now when so many former competitors are forging strategic alliance. Surely none would be consummated without trust as well as respect.

He urges C-level executives (including but not limited to CEOs) to "drive a robust performance-with-integrity culture deep into the company: through powerful leadership that voices the vision and the values and through effective management that builds the integrity principles and practices [at all levels and in all areas of] business operations." It is no coincidence that on Fortune's annual lists, year after year, many of those ranked among the most valuable are also ranked among the most highly admired.

Some of the most valuable material in this book is provided in Part II as Heineman examines a series of core principles and practices that must serve as the foundation of the culture he envisions.
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Format: Hardcover
High Performance with High Integrity is not only a vital subject for modern corporations--and for life--but also a description of this comfortably-sized book by Mr. Heineman, former Chief Counsel of GE. I am writing these comments both as a layman and as a former executive in a biotech venture capital firm, and I can vouch for the accuracy of the description of the problem, and the usefulness and clarity of the solutions the author offers. It's rare to have anyone be so concise and yet thorough, and what makes it come alive is the author's writing so elegantly about his own experience, not only with GE but with other areas of business, both in American and internationally. I found the trans-national/cultural analysis especially interesting. Heineman seems to have been everywhere and done everything. His concise points about both performance and integrity, and the nexus of them, are quite brilliant and extremely helpful to anyone who wants to move his or her company toward that integrated (and integrative) goal. Given the business climate in this country, everyone should want that! And it is of a size to fit into one's pocket. Bravo.
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