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Management Rewired: Why Feedback Doesn't Work and Other Surprising Lessons fromthe Latest Brain Science Paperback – April 27, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; Reprint edition (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591843375
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591843375
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,452,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Jacobs, founder of the Amherst Consulting Group and managing partner of One Eighty Partners, debunks management myths in this provocative, counterintuitive volume, demonstrating how relying on emotions—rather than logic—leads to better business decisions. Jacobs draws on the latest research showing that positive and negative reinforcement don't improve performance, quantifiable objectives cause workers to fixate on the short term and sacrifice long-term focus and certain common management practices produce the opposite of the intended effect. He examines the limitations of current organizational strategy in light of brain science, using layman's language to map out how the brain interprets experience and responds to feedback, reward and punishment. He asserts that organizations that are able to apply brain science to their businesses will have a decided advantage over the competition, and he shows how his findings can enhance performance at every level of a company. Well argued and substantiated, this book turns prevalent management theory on its head and will have lasting impact on how it is taught in business schools and implemented in organizations. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Jacobs suggests that the latest developments in brain science transform our understanding of the way people think and behave, contending that emotions rather than logic lead to better business decisions. Each of us sees the world differently, with a wide range of views about everything, and hence direct actions do not create the desired results sought from employees. We learn “the management revolution is about no longer forcing people to do things but encouraging them.” Stories affect change and the transformational leader creates a story about the kind of change necessary to align the needs of employees with those of the organization. With that story, individuals understand that the changes are necessary to meet their personal desire to be part of something bigger than themselves and realize their fullest potential. Not everyone will agree with Jacobs, but he presents thought-provoking insight from new developments in brain research combined with his broad experience as a consultant to major corporations. It is a must-read for managers and aspiring managers. --Mary Whaley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

This book just didn't speak to me.
Travis
The book takes the reader through the current science and makes the information understandable.
Jan
This book applies neuroscience research to the field of management.
Andrew Everett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

130 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Walter H. Bock on July 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
When I first saw heard about the book, Management Rewired: Why Feedback Doesn't Work and Other Surprising Lessons from the Latest Brain Science, I got excited. There's been a lot of research in the last decade about how we perceive the world and how our sensory systems and brains work. I expected the book to be about what we've learned.

The subtitle and publicity material make some very provocative claims. We're told that "feedback doesn't work" and that "setting measureable objectives often backfires on managers" to name two. I expected the book to support those assertions.

But this book doesn't do either of those things. Instead it's filled with selectively chosen research that is more from the last century than the latest brain research.

The author claims that "feedback doesn't work." The way he supports that assertion seems characteristic of the book.

To quote the book:"a landmark study at General Electric found that the company's performance appraisal system didn't work, it produced results that were virtually the opposite of what was intended."

First, it's not a "landmark study" within any common meaning of the term. The article is cited only six times in scholarly literature

The researchers did not study feedback. They studied the performance appraisal system in place at GE. Their comments on feedback were about feedback as delivered in an annual performance appraisal and a system where it was common that the annual appraisal was the only time a worker received feedback. GE has since changed this procedure in several ways.

The study (named "Split Roles in Performance Appraisal") was based on the analysis of less than one hundred questionnaires. Not a real big or broad sample.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By djreason on August 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read several books by some of the authors that Jacobs cites (Dawkins, Dennett, Cialdini). I do applaud Jacobs for being well-read. And I do congratulate him on writing a book...to which many of us aspire to do. Beyond that, Jacobs as a consultant does a poor job as Jacobs as a scientist. The title and subtitle of this book make bold claims; the body of the book doesn't reveal any surprising lessons as most of the data/knowledge is stuff we have already learned. The sub-headings in each of the chapters were distracting and didn't necessarily tie into cohesive agruments of the chapter. The linking of brain science to Jacobs' claims and examples were weak, at best. I'm not a big fan of linking fiction to science. Jacobs consistently talks about Odysseus and Shakespearean characters like Henry V. To Jacobs credit, he does acknowledge that fiction isn't scientific, yet he continues to use fictional characters throughout his book as examples.

I am also reading Daniel Kahneman's latest book "Thinking, Fast & Slow". You will get a ton more insights about how to manage from Kahneman's book than this painful read by Jacobs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Moulton on June 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting ideas and concepts of neuroscience applied to management and leadership. Lacks significant referenceing for further research.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donald H. Sabathier on February 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I, as did several other reviewers, thought this book might be a little deeper in its discussion regarding management and its workings. It can be a little tough to read in some sections. At first I was disappointed with what was presented. However, after I finished the book I began to realize that I actually had started to think defferently about management and how it was to be practiced. It did not give me many case studies and examples as I might have liked, but it does sow enough seeds to get you thinking. The Author even said near the end that these seeds were planted and now it was time for the Reader to find the best way to water and nuture the seeds. It also reinforces that idea that there is no one best way to manage, but there is a preferred methodology of thinking about how to manage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book provided a good connection between:
1. The idea of everyone having a different mental model of the world and the need to try and understand others mental models
2. The power of stories and metaphors to influence and create a shared narrative.

The author oversold the idea of this being a new paradigm and the value of advances in neuroscience. People have been using story telling for thousands of years and the best leaders understand this. Still, it was worth reading about as a reminder.

I would like to have seen the author present more collaborating evidence of this approach being a paradigm shift. Also, I felt the book could have been better organized.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James E. King on May 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A refreshing look at an alternative to the current management techniques employed by most organizations especially those that are publically held. There always seems to be amazement on the part of management when things don't go as planned and equal amazement on the part of those closest to the action that there was ever the expectation that things would go anywhere near as planned given the disconnect between the assumptions behind the plan and reality. Although the new proposed approach is rooted in science, upon reading one is prompted to say "of course - it is common sense". I hope more companies read and adopt the thinking put forward in this book.
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Management Rewired: Why Feedback Doesn't Work and Other Surprising Lessons fromthe Latest Brain Science
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