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More Than a Motorcycle: The Leadership Journey at Harley-Davidson Hardcover – August 1, 2000

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Based on seven years of reporting from over a dozen countries, writer Tom Wainwright takes you on an extraordinary journey into the business of being a drug lord. Learn more.

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"This honest, detailed, and compelling description of the transformation at Harley-Davidson is a must-read for anyone struggling to accomplish organizational change. Teerlink and Ozley provide valuable lessons on how to work cooperatively with employee representatives, and remind us all of the wisdom of the saying, 'technology makes it possible; people make it happen.'"
--Jeffrey Pfeffer, Thomas D. Dee Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Author of The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First

"Full of practical insights for management, union leadership, workers, and theorists, More Than a Motorcycle documents how Harley-Davidson recovered from a top-down, confrontational, almost bankrupt company to a more cooperative, people-driven industry leader. Teerlink and Ozley objectively present all the spurts, near disasters, wrinkles, and warts of a real turnaround, all the time linking the company's practical actions to many of the most advanced management theories of the time. This book is a rare gem that will stand the test of time, future practice, and theory."
--James Brian Quinn, Professor of Management, Emeritus, Amos Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College, and Author of Intelligent Enterprise and Innovation Explosion

"More Than a Motorcycle captures the essence of the paradox at the heart of leading change: you must motivate people to demand what, in their minds, they really don't want. A powerful insight very well delivered."
-Watts Wacker, Chairman, First Matter Inc., and Coauthor of The Visionary's Handbook

"A wonderfully educational and well-told story about the transformation of an American icon. More Than a Motorcycle is a must-read for anyone interested in effective organizational change."
-Edward E. Lawler III, Director, Center for Effective Organizations, University of Southern California

"This unique book is surely one of the best I have read on leadership and management. It is inspirational and authentic. Only those with a high view of competence and commitment and a genuine respect for people could have written this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it."
--Max De Pree, Author of Leadership Jazz and Leading without Power

"Finally, a book that tells the truth about organizational change! This rich saga relays the fears, the mistakes, the partnerships, and the successes that show how change really happens. What glistens through is the true journey and its demands on us: humility, learning, community, love, and inclusion of others. I thank Rich and Lee for writing this book and applaud their courage in doing so. They respected us enough to give us the straight story."
-Margaret J. Wheatley, Author of Leadership and the New Science, and Coauthor of A Simpler Way

About the Author

Rich Teerlink is the retired Chairman and CEO of Harley-Davidson, Inc., and speaks internationally to corporate and educational institutions. Lee Ozley is an organizational consultant and coach. Both are Corporate Fellows at Auburn University's Graduate School of Business.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1st edition (August 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880115203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875849508
  • ASIN: 0875849504
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #850,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I don't know how many people have written about, or talked about,or taken some credit for Harley-Davidson's success, or in some way jumped on the bandwagon to somehow be tied to the great successses that have happened at Harley Davidson. I can tell you that Ozley and Teerlink have the BEST view of them all!
They were there through the ups and downs and they are closer to this organization than anyone can understand, unless of course you read their book. Their book gives you (what this reader beleives) is the "real" story with no punches or marketing hype.
A must read for anyone in business and an honest straight forward dialogue of what it takes to build a collaborative and powerful organization such as Harley-Davidson.
What took you guys so long to get this story out?
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Format: Hardcover
The story (the ups and downs) behind the decade-long change process to move HD from a command-and-control organization to one where employees not only have their say but also their accountability in the overall success of the company.
If you are a consultant, you might learn a trick or two in what to do and not to do in a large change management engagement.
In addition, Lee's (consultant and co-author) move from consultant to Rich's (CEO and co-author) coach/partner in this journey is particularly interesting. Another interesting topic throughout the book is how to deal with unionized workers.
A GREAT BUY FOR ANY CONSULTANT (strategy, change management, operations, etc.). YOU'LL NEVER LOOK AT A HARLEY THE SAME WAY...
The reviewer, is currently a Senior Director of eBusiness Strategy at Xpedior and has worked at Gemini Consulting, IBM, and General Mills. He earned his MBA from York University and completed the Wharton School Multi-National Marketing and Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering from the University of Toronto.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book when I was looking for turnaround case studies to recommend to a client. Because the client was in the transportation industry, the success story at Harley seemed like a natural choice. I was grateful to find this book, but surprised by the fact that this is the only book on the topic, and that it is so comparatively new. When I read the book I understood why - these guys have been very busy!
More than a motorcycle concentrates on the struggles at Harley over the past decade and a half, and how the Company has transformed itself into a learning, and continually self-improving organization...at all levels. At the heart of this transformation are the co-authors, the now retired CEO, and the consultant/coach that together helped to find and pave the path from near ruin to heady success.
The story is presented without boasting, and in fact, spreads credit for the (continuing) tranformation to those who helped define it, from the leadership, to the unions, to the line employees. It is a good lesson in what happens when you ask those closest to the problem, whatever that may be, to help define and solve it. And then ask them what else can and should be solved, and how to do that. But it's about more than just problem solving, its about asking people simple questions like what should be communicated, rather than assuming that you (management) know the answer. In fact, the section of the book that describes communication is, in itself, a good case study.
The story seems to be a fair and introspective chronicle of what went right, where mistakes were made, and how it happened. This is not one of those turnaround books, written by the CEO, telling you what a smart guy he is and how he single-handedly lead the company away from ruin and certain failure.
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Format: Hardcover
The allure of the Harley Davidson Motorcycle is powerful as demonstrated by the 150,000 Harley enthusiasts who converged on Milwaukee, Wisconsin to commemorate the 95th anniversary of the legendary company in June of 1998. The Harley Davidson motorcycle has a special place in the American psyche. The most recent decade's successes with solid performing stock and market share hide from the uninformed the struggles Harley Davidson has faced as recently as fifteen years ago. Rich Teerlink, the former CFO of Harley Davidson and his consulting partner Lee Ozley, share some of their insights of Harley Davidson in their new book, More Than a Motorcycle. The duo share how the company transformed it's "command and control" hierarchy that was effective to overcome some of the market share pressures of the Japanese to a more employee-empowering structure. The book provides an interesting notion that could have appeal in many organizations and corporations across the globe.
The book is structured to provide the background on Harley Davidson and the call to action as foreign expansion created market share pressure.
In the chapter entitled, The Whole Package, Harley's compensation system is discussed. The authors realized that without looking at the compensation system in place and seeing how it did or didn't support the new models and/or behavioral change, the organizational change model would be incomplete. There were two primary goals 1) make a larger portion of the employee's compensation at-risk or variable and 2) to compensate all employees essentially the same way, i.e., create the same pay components that apply across the company. Harley's journey through motivational theory and best practices is shared. Harley realized that money doesn't equate to total compensation.
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