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34 Reviews
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34 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable vision for enduring success
This book reminded me in some way of The Tipping Point and The World is Flat, a terrifically readable and entertaining take on what makes the world tick. HOW is full of surprising insights, thoughtful analysis, and compelling anecdotes that paint a surprising picture of the world today.

Seidman sees in the way technology connects and reveals us a new need to...
Published on June 6, 2007 by LA reader

versus
33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 3 books in one adds up to confusion
I was drawn to this book through various points of exposure to Seidamn's thinking. Having just completed, I admit to being disappointed more than anything else. The structure of the book and its ultimate point is lost as the book attempts to be both a contemplation on personal ethics, a case study in modern management, and a theoretical work in organizational development...
Published on September 1, 2007 by J. M. Raimondo


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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 3 books in one adds up to confusion, September 1, 2007
This review is from: How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything...in Business (and in Life) (Hardcover)
I was drawn to this book through various points of exposure to Seidamn's thinking. Having just completed, I admit to being disappointed more than anything else. The structure of the book and its ultimate point is lost as the book attempts to be both a contemplation on personal ethics, a case study in modern management, and a theoretical work in organizational development. It doesn't succeed at any of these.
I think the core notion of Seidman's work is sound, but the execution of translating it into a book really fell apart. The book comes across as a confusing amalgam of business case studies and self-help. the beginning of the book sets the stage for an overarching architecture of "how" that never really materializes. Seidman returns to the grand unification theory of how from time to time, but the overall impact is too diffuse. I'm surprised the editors weren't able to gauge how ultimately confusing and unsatisfying this book is.
As an author, Dov Seidman is a good lawyer.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good start, not so good end, November 28, 2008
This review is from: How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything...in Business (and in Life) (Hardcover)
I bought this book after reading Thomas Friedman's article "Why How Matters".

I found the first few chapters interesting, and some metaphors (e.g.making waves) and acronyms (e.g TRIP) are definitely inspirational. However after a while the book begins to taste your regular leadership book.

Also the book could be much shorter: the last few chapters touch ground covered previously, and start to rely too much on personal "war stories" exclusively.
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34 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable vision for enduring success, June 6, 2007
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This review is from: How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything...in Business (and in Life) (Hardcover)
This book reminded me in some way of The Tipping Point and The World is Flat, a terrifically readable and entertaining take on what makes the world tick. HOW is full of surprising insights, thoughtful analysis, and compelling anecdotes that paint a surprising picture of the world today.

Seidman sees in the way technology connects and reveals us a new need to focus on both who we are and how we relate to others, and further posits that, given these conditions, it's the best way to win in the new economy. At it's heart, it's a clear and simple vision with huge ramifications: in an connected world, he says, those who connect best gain an advantage. From this central idea, Seidman branches out to identify and articulate the forces at play in every group activity from a PTA meeting to a corporate boardroom, and his conclusions resonate.

I have read few books that so clearly assay a useful world view that almost anyone can understand and put to immediate use. I've already seen the results in my dealings with others. There's nothing here to "study," no tips, rules, or techniques to learn, but reading the book gives you a different way of seeing everything around you. I found myself making different choices based on this new understanding and reaping immediate and powerful results. It suddenly got easier to get things done with others.

HOW is an easy read for such a thoughtful book, and it will stay with you long after you put it down. Almost everyone will gain something useful from it, and I highly recommend you try.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In the Information Age successful entrepreneurs will outbehave their competitors!, October 7, 2007
This review is from: How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything...in Business (and in Life) (Hardcover)
What I got from this book after struggling with it is that it's great to systematize your business so it is lean and efficient, but the real secret to winning in business TODAY is to have employees that work the system really well. It's awsome employees that will differentiate your company from the competitors and have customers come your way. The book tells us that to be successful an entrepreneur's company must OUTBEHAVE the competition.

This book is about "Process Management." It explains (sort of) that businesses can tinker with what they do, and how they do it, in order to win customers and grow revenues. It tells us that most things today are commodities and that it is very difficult to tinker with WHAT we do in order to stand out. And that means we pretty much have no choice but to differentiate HOW we do what we do in order to stand out.

The book is divided into four parts:

1. Today businesses operate in an Information Age
2. Successful companies appear to be sincere and helpful
3. Successful companies act with integrity and exude positive values
4. Successful companies value their culture and collaboration

So how do companies stand out in their market? This book says they can do it by having a work culture that is collaborative. It says that companies with employees that do their jobs so the customer sees a company that has good values and integrity will rise above. In sum, a company that develops trust and a stellar reputation in the eyes of its customers will retain those customers and get new ones.

The reason I hit this book with a 3-star rating is that as I read it I felt as though I was reading a first draft of a poorly outlined manuscript. The section headings were not very helpful to me in understanding what the book was about. And the chapter titles were even less helpful. Interestingly, I couldn't even read the book reviews posted for this book and get very far in understanding what the book was actually about. I disliked the layout of this book so much I'd really like to give it a 2-star rating, but I haven't done that yet to any book. And I'm not ready to do it with this one. 3 stars!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Change the way you think and approach things in life, November 18, 2007
This review is from: How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything...in Business (and in Life) (Hardcover)
Don't expect "how to" type of advice from Dov Seidman's How. The "how to" doesn't help you get ahead of competitors. You could lower prices, do things faster, and customize the product to the customer's exact specifications. The competition can easily turn around and lower prices, do things faster, and customize more. It turns into a cycle that focuses on time and cost. The real value comes in building relationships with people.

GE's CEO Jack Welch response to a question about why GE would disclose its secrets for competitors to copy -- the "whats" -- best sums the book. Welch said, "There's no secret to the what; the secret is in how. They can know our model, but they cannot do it. They can't copy our hows." Businesses that stand out pay great attention to the "way" to reach their business goals. The journey is how a business can differentiate itself from the competition.

High quality still matters even with a great "how" in place. Companies who succeed in the "how" already know that must produce or provide high quality products and services. That's a given. Seidman explains "how" vs. "what" with the following questions:

How

* How can I best delight my client?
* How can I bring the company greater repute?
* How can I make the meeting more successful?

What

* What does the manual say to do?
* What is my job description?
* What is on the agenda?

Notice the difference? "How" focuses on values and taking a proactive stance in building relationships with others. "What" is more about compliance and passive interactions. This means changing the thinking from "can" to "should." Sure, you "can" work to make a meeting more successful, but you don't have to as no rule says you must. But someone with high values and interest in building relationships thinks this "should" happen.

For example, a customer asks an employee in bakery that sells sandwiches to cut a roll in half and butter it. A knife sits on the counter near the rolls. The employee's reply? They can't do that and hands the customer a plastic knife and butter. This example of dissonance shows how a bakery takes action that doesn't support its goal to provide high quality customer service.

Many companies have a disconnect between their business goals and how they run their businesses. Seidman explains dissonance and how to move toward consonance. This example is what the book is about -- covering the problems and how to address them for different facets divided into three parts: HOW we think, HOW we behave, and HOW we govern.

The book isn't a fast and easy read. But it isn't as complicated as a college textbook. Thankfully, it contains many examples to help readers comprehend the HOW concepts and apply them.

Unlike other business books, How isn't a manual with step-by-step instructions, rules, processes or anything to study. Rather, it changes the way you think and that affects how you approach anything in business and even in life. Instead of being like the bakery that won't cut bread, become the bakery that goes the extra mile to cut bread AND add a surprise cookie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, March 28, 2008
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This review is from: How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything...in Business (and in Life) (Hardcover)
Even if you have a "meaningless" job, the ideas in this book will help you make it a meaningful one. Also highly recommended for employees in highly commoditized industries.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breakthrough concept where the means justifies the ends!, February 16, 2009
This review is from: How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything...in Business (and in Life) (Hardcover)
So much of what poses for business today seems more like smoke and mirrors than actual innovation and progress. Some corporate critics cite the hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year by Coca-Cola and Pepsi to build wide separation between each brand when they're actually parsing hairs over which company makes the best carbonated sugar water. The problem in today's business environment is that things are becoming more alike, with less opportunity for true differentiation. In his latest book, business writer Dov Seidman postulates that the true opportunity for differentiation exists not in WHAT a company does, but rather in HOW a company does it. Seidman's book is aptly titled How and it shows that every "WHAT" is commoditized once an educated consumer begins to compare it to other products regarding attributes such as quality, price, service and features. HOWever, the author believes that near infinite variety lies in the arena of human behavior - and that can't be predicted or systemized - so it offers the last bastion of hope for true differentiation for an organization. Seidman states that the winners of tomorrow, both organizations and individuals alike, are those that effectively develop and execute how things get done versus what gets done. Soundview recommends this book because it supports a refreshing view that the means justify the ends. Simply put, if how you train and run is better than others in the race, you will win the race. This is a novel approach to business whose time has come, but it's up to you to decide HOW you'll respond to this landmark book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Important topic. Disappointing book., May 1, 2008
By 
Andrew Everett (Santa Monica, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything...in Business (and in Life) (Hardcover)
This book would have much more impact if it was distilled down from 300 to 100 pages. An important message is buried by painfully verbose writing.

The book is about ethics and reputation, value-based cultures vs. rule-based cultures, and as the author likes to say, "getting your hows right." There are some valuable messages in the book.

For example, the University of Michigan Hospital and Health System experienced a 50% reduction in malpractice lawsuits after encouraging doctors to apologize to patients and admit when mistakes are made.

The author also cites an academic study which found "the least trusted buyer incurred procurement costs six times higher than the most trusted."

These examples are powerful evidence that behaving responsibly is good for the bottom line.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dov hits a home run, September 16, 2011
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This review is from: How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything...in Business (and in Life) (Hardcover)
Its one of the best books I have ever read. My only initial concern was that I was thinking about writing a book with these concepts in mind so he beat me to it. But after reading the book I must say there is no way I could have hit the target like Dov did. My hat is off to him. I only wish our "statesmen" in Washington, D.C. would read and follow it. More philosophy and values are needed in business and politics. I sent him an email as per his website congratulating him but no response. So I wrote this review.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging read that is much more than a "business book", June 14, 2007
By 
Bookreporter (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything...in Business (and in Life) (Hardcover)
Today many of us work so hard to accomplish our next goal that we fail to take notice of how we actually go about achieving our success, whether it's on the home front, in the boardroom or elsewhere in our lives. Yet how we do what we do is often more important than what we do --- and can bring greater success.

We all treasure the experiences where how goes right. We remember the evenings out where the service was memorable, the hotels where it felt like home (but better) and the moment someone acknowledged us in a special way that made us pause and reflect on how good we felt.

In his new book, HOW, Dov Seidman shares his philosophy that what we do in life is not nearly as important as how we do what we do. Seidman has helped some of the world's most respected companies build "do it right" winning cultures.

Much more than a "business book" HOW provides a framework that can be applied directly to our daily lives regardless of our professional or personal goals. Seidman shows us that how we interact with everyone we come in contact with --- our family members, our neighbors, our co-workers --- will have an impact on our lives.
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