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Profit Beyond Measure: Extraordinary Results Through Attention to Work and People Hardcover – November 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

Review

David S. Cochran, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering MIT Superbly written...Johnson provides tremendous insight regarding the re-direction that is needed in business management thinking. The effect of the approach on the design and engineering of manufacturing systems is profound. -- Review

About the Author

H. Thomas Johnson is the Retzlaff Professor of Quality Management at Portland State University. He co-authored Relevance Lost: The Rise and Fall of Management Accounting, which is considered one of the most influential management books of the twentieth century by the Harvard Business Review, and authored its controversial sequel, Relevance Regained: From Top-Down Control to Bottom-Up Empowerment.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Productivity Press (November 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068483667X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684836676
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,663,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Thomas A. Coens on January 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Since the day Amazon delivered my copy of Johnson and Broms' Profit Beyond Measure,I have taken delight with every page. This book is a wonderfully brilliant, masterful book that may be the serious business book of this decade in the way Senge's Fifth Discipline was for the 1990's. Insightful writers such as Margeret Wheatley and Danah Zohar have artfully open our eyes to the potential of viewing organizations as naturally evolving living systems. Notwithstanding their powerful insights, the actual application of these ideas left a lot to the imagination as to how they would actually be applied. Johnson and Broms, however, provide the substance and put the meat on the bones of the many complexity and chaos theory books available today. Johnson and Broms tell us with precision and in entaintaining detail the stories of Toyota and Scania Truck and how, respectively, they have gone forty and sixty-sixty years without losing money---how, they manage by means, as part of living systems, not trying to orchestrate management by the results (a notion of believing that you can fix future events to happen within a management plan) as America's Big 3 auto companies have over the past century. Johnson and Broms take us inside of the Toyota and Scania plants and board rooms, helping us see how they produce only according to actual orders, how they design and set up assembly and modulated processes to avoid waste (not eliminate it, avoid it in the first place!), how they treat their employees, how they see customers and market and more.Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Flinchbaugh on October 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tom Johnson's new book could be just as impactful as Relevance Lost. His close study of perhaps the most powerful and robust company on the planet, Toyota, exposes what others don't see. Toyota is perhaps the most studied and imitated company, and not just by the other autos. Many people look for that one missing link that others don't see. Others have seen it, but few have articulated it as well as Johnson.
If you resort to curtailing travel and eliminating donuts to try and make budget, or think lean is a material control system, or simply feel that their current patterns of management will never get you where you need to go, you should read this book. Through the attention and cultivation of the work and relationships of the business and not just the measurement results you will find many disconnects in how you are serving your customers. The work of the organization carries all of the information you need with it, and while output measures are important for reporting reasons, they are not helping you to design a system that connects workers to customers. This can help.
I predict this book and not Relevance Lost will be considered Johnson greatest contribution. Enjoy!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. Jones on November 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
For manufacturers the 20th century was the story of Ford and Toyota. The story of the transition from mass production to lean production has been told many times, but often focusing on the techniques, not the strategy. Professor Johnson has developed a profound insight into the strategy behind Toyota's approach, framed as management by means, rather than management by results.
This is the most important insight into the Toyota Production System which has come my way in the last ten years. Johnson demonstrates why the Toyota Management by Means approach gives superior long term value to customers, shareholders and employees.
Profit without Measure is essential reading for any manufacturer building a strategy for World Class Manufacturing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roger Stace on November 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've always found the notion that businesses should 'maximise profit' to be naive, but to come up with a better business rationale seems to get real messy, quickly.
This book uses some concepts that moved me when I read Fritjof Capra's 'The Web of Life', and applies them to effectively and realistically running a business in a competitive environment.
In integrating living systems concepts with management control issues, this is the most philosophically thoughtful book I've seen written by someone who understands accounting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Gibbs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
History demonstrates that companies pay a high price for putting the pursuit of quantitative financial goals ahead of genuine learning, according to Thomas Johnson and Anders Bröms in this book. Rather than destructively trying to squeeze higher profits out of the system, management's main job should be to learn exactly what people do in their jobs and how they can be helped to improve the system's capability to serve the needs of customers.

The authors describe in detail two examples which illustrate their thesis. Toyota delivered superior results in its vehicle manufacturing year after year because of its management approach which focused on creating an efficient system with minimised waste and downtime when its less successful competitors were focusing on numbers and results instead of optimising the system. Scania adopted a design process which allowed individual trucks to be tailored to meet customers' needs while ensuring low costs, never sacrificing design principles to achieve short-term financial targets.

Management accounting is roundly criticised in the book; instead the authors advocate order-line profitability analysis. Typical profit-driven management is described by the authors as "management by results", and in its place they advocate "management by means", which involves treating the organisation like a living system of interdependent parts rather than as a machine in which the separate parts can be analysed mechanistically.

The book is more a passionately worded manifesto than a detailed research project. Nonetheless there is a ring of truth to much of what the authors assert.
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