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Peak Performance: Aligning the Hearts and Minds of Your Employees Hardcover – March 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews Review

There was a time, not too long ago, when employees were encouraged to check their emotions at the corporate door. The workplace was considered a strictly professional environment, in which personal emotions had no place. Management theorists finally woke up to the realization that this practice didn't, in the long run, actually benefit the company. In Peak Performance, Jon Katzenbach expands on this realization. He asserts that today's companies will get the best work from their employees and beat the competition only when they actively seek out, cultivate, and sustain the energy generated by their employees' emotional commitment to work.

Though many companies pay lip service to the notion of employee fulfillment, most do not actually focus critical attention on this vital component of corporate success. Those that do, Katzenbach contends, consistently attain higher levels of workforce performance than their competitors. While these companies share some characteristics in their employee management ideals, they do not follow identical methods of achieving and sustaining the emotional commitment of their employees. In the course of conducting extensive research into the high-performing workforces of more than 20 companies, Katzenbach has identified five distinct paths that, he believes, achieve a balance between enterprise performance and employee fulfillment: Mission, Values, and Pride; Process and Metrics; Entrepreneurial Spirit; Individual Achievement; and Recognition and Celebration.

To define the leadership philosophy and illustrate the defining characteristics of each path, Katzenbach uses case studies and extensive interviews with the employees of such enterprises as The Home Depot, Southwest Airlines, the U.S. Marine Corps, Avon, the Silicon Valley underwriter Hambrecht & Quist, McKinsey & Co., and Marriott International. He explores the different ways of aligning the workforce energy that is generated and demonstrates the necessity of enforcing disciplined behavior. The result is a book of evidence for company leaders interested in getting the best and the most from their workforce; it is not an altruistic plug in support of the happy worker but rather a pragmatic exposition of the best conditions for achieving peak performance. --S. Ketchum

From the Back Cover

"If your challenge is to harness the energy and spirit of your workforce to deliver sustainable performance, read this book. Jon Katzenbach tells it all."
-John S. Reed, Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Citigroup

"Peak Performance explores how to unlock the power of people in ways that will propel your organization forward. It came at just the right time for me, a newly appointed CEO in a turnaround, and reinforced my belief in what matters most: people."
-Christina Gold, CEO, Excel Communications, Inc.

"Katzenbach makes a compelling case for the importance of emotionally committed employees in achieving superior business performance. Original and a pleasure to read, Peak Performance has something of value for every business leader."
-L. A. Noto, Vice Chairman, Exxon Mobil Corporation

"An insightful and enjoyable book. Katzenbach captures the essence of what it takes to achieve peak performance. The five paths, illustrated by rich and informative examples, enable readers to draw lessons for their own companies."
-Peter A. Bassi, President, Tricon Restaurants International

"Forget those cookie-cutter management advisers who have the same solution for every problem. Katzenbach helps you find the right approach to energize your organization. His strategy makes sense, and it works."
-John W. Rowe, M.D., President and CEO, Mount Sinai NYU Health

"A must read for all service industry employers. Katzenbach does a wonderful job of examining the souls of the leaders of some of America's most successful corporations. The differences in core values and management styles make for an interesting, introspective study."
-Brian Gamache, President of the Resort and Luxury Divisions, Wyndham International

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; First Edition edition (March 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875849369
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875849362
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,086,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jon R. Katzenbach is a Senior Partner with Booz & Company where he launched and now leads the Katzenbach Center at Booz. The Center is focused on taking innovative ideas in organization beyond best practice. With over 45 years of consulting experience, Jon is a recognized expert in organizational performance, collaboration, corporate governance, culture change and employee motivation. Prior to joining Booz & Company, Jon was a Founder of Katzenbach Partners LLC, a firm specializing in organization, leadership, governance and strategy. Before founding Katzenbach Partners LLC, Jon was a Director with McKinsey.

Jon has personally done work for George and John Paul Getty (Founder of Getty Oil), Edgar Kaiser (CEO of Kaiser Industries), John Reed (CEO of CitiGroup), David Rockefeller (Chairman and Chief Executive of Chase Manhattan Bank), Jack Rowe (CEO of Aetna), Larry Spitzer (CEO of Memorex), Charles Williamson (CEO at Unocal) and others.

Jon has authored several articles and books, including Why Pride Matters More Than Money, Peak Performance, Teams at the Top, Real Change Leaders, The Myth of the Top Management Team, and Firing Up the Front Line. He also co-authored (with Douglas Smith) The Discipline of Teams and the bestseller The Wisdom of Teams. Jon and Zia Khan's new book, Leading Outside the Lines, discusses how leading enterprises can accelerate behavior change and performance by mobilizing the informal elements of their organization to complement the formal.

Jon attended Brigham Young University and graduated with distinction from Stanford University in 1954 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He obtained his MBA from Harvard University in 1959 where he was a Baker Scholar. Jon also served in the Navy during the Korean War as a Lt (jg) in the Pacific on the USS Whetstone (LSD 27) and on the USS Nicholas (DDE 449).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Turgay BUGDACIGIL on June 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"This book is concerned with energizing people for performance and the different successful paths to that end". Jon R. Katzenbach writes, "It describes how each path concentrates management attention on worker fulfillment to harness the emotions of many people in sustaining a higher-performing workforce. This is a different challenge than simply motivating people to meet demanding financial performance objectives. The latter is what most companies do, and it implies setting unambiguous goals, establishing clear measures, and holding people individually accountable for results (consequence management). Logical, rational motivation is certainly a good thing, but it is no match for engaged, emotional commitment...Energizing people for performance elevates the game significantly, to the point that many employees go well beyond leaders' expectations, individual accountabilities, financial resuts, and short-term market objectives. This book describes how to unleash the full individual and collectve potential of people to achieve and sustain higher levels of performance than the workers themselves thought possible, than management or customers expected, and than competitors can realistically achieve. Unleashing the full potential of people is undeniably a tall order; few institutions have managed to do it consistently. This book explores the approaches of those who apparently have gone far beyond any conventional notions of managing solely to meet ambitious financial objectives. It looks at how such institutions tap into worker fulfillment to develop the extra quotient of emotional commitment that deeply energizes many people to perform well beyond conventional norms".
In this context, Jon R.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In the Preface, Katzenbach explains that "The central topic of this book -- energized workforces that deliver higher (peak) performance -- can be defined as any group of employees whose emotional commitment enables them to make or deliver products or services that constitute a sustainable competitive advantage for their employer. By peak performance [italics] we mean the norm, better than expected, better than the competition, and better than similar workforces in other places." These clarifications are important, especially the reference to "sustainable", because Katzenbach is not talking about the "hot groups" which Lipmen-Blumen and Leavitt analyze nor the types of groups which Bennis examines in Organizing Genius [italics].
In Chapter 1, Katzenbach suggests four criteria by which to identify "higher-performing workforces. They are: More than one-third of the workers consistently exceed the expectations of their leaders and customers, the average worker outperforms the average competitive worker, a strong emotional commitment to higher standards and aspirations is manifest throughout the entire workforce, and finally, the collective performance of that workforce or of critical segments (typically at the front line) creates the core of the organization's competitive advantage...and is extremely difficult to copy.
Katzenbach organizes his material within three Parts: Maintaining the Critical Balance, Exploring the Five Balanced Paths [Mission, Values, and Pride; Process and Metrics; Entrepreneurial Spirit; Individual Achivement; and Recognition and Celebration], and Applying the Lessons Learned.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jay Schuster, Co-Author, Pay People Right! and The New Pay on April 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Using exciting companies such as The Home Depot, Southwest Airlines and Marriott, Dr. Katzenbach weaves a strong case balancing care of the workforce with top-notch organizational performance. His formula includes a number of possible tracks to follow. Any one, or a combination of the alternatives, can surely add value to your organization.
The book is a primer for line leaders and human resource executives showing how companies can have their cake and eat it to. He builds a powerful argument suggesting that strong companies can be built on a compelling story that satisfies both the workforce and the bottom line.
I strongly recommend this book to those seeking the "secret sauce" of workforce alignment. It is clearly another Jon Katzenbach winner!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anil Joshi on November 28, 2008
Format: Digital
I was going to buy this hardcover book and then I saw the "Also Available in Digital" link below the book. I bought it in digital thinking it is the full book. It is NOT. It is only sales pitch for the book. Now why would I want to buy that ?

I think Amazon is clearly wrong here in not indicating that the digital book is NOT the complete book. I want the money I spent on this to be given as credit when I buy this book. Amazon folks, if you are reading this, let me know how I can get that done.
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