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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Book Review: Rapid Realignment
June 10, 2012 Leave a comment
Alignment is one of those intuitive things that is easy to write about but much harder to practice. Of course HR, Finance, Communications, Operations, and Sales should be aligned towards the same goals/directions. No one is going to argue they should not be. But many organizations are full of silo-ed departments that are not aligned, and that creates numerous difficulties for them as these departments pull the organization in varied directions simultaneously. George Labovitz and Victor Rosansky recently published a book specifically on the subject of realignment. In Rapid Realignment: How to Quickly Integrate People, Processes, and Strategy for Unbeatable Performance, Labovitz and Rosansky build on their previous best-selling work and provide many practical ways for leaders to realign their organizations.
The book is broad in scope, and touches on numerous organizational issues such as social media, continuous quality improvement, culture, employee engagement, strategic planning and many more. Each of the aforementioned topics could be a book in themselves, and that broad scope dilutes its usefulness a bit. The authors do cite a number of case study stories, and I loved those. These short anecdotal stories bolster their thoughts and research by providing pragmatic examples of continuous alignment. I just wish they would have expanded those more as we could have learned much from the alignment efforts of the companies they researched.
I especially enjoyed the social media chapter and their thoughts on how companies can bolster their vertical and horizontal alignment by harnessing the power of social media. It was a thought-provoking, engaging, and well-written chapter on the subject. They did not just rehash what we already know about social media and provided some depth to the ongoing conversation of what organizations should actually do with these advancing social technologies. A leader can't simply decree "Thou shalt align" to his organization and expect it to magically align. Rather, leaders must engage in continuous conversations throughout the organization. Social media has given leaders powerful tools to do that more effectively, but t has also made organizational communication more slippery to understand. The examples they cite from WalMart and PWC really help readers understand how some companies are using social media technology to align their organizations.
Overall, I did enjoy the book, and it is an extremely useful tool for a leader to align his or her strategies. Advanced leaders may read this and then look for more detailed or deeper information on specific topics to further bolster those strategies. That is fine, since we have to start from somewhere. Labovitz and Rosansky provide that starting point and definitely provide a useful contribution to the literature on alignment.
Note: I have no affiliation with the authors and purchased this book myself.
Labovitz, G. & Rosansky, V. (2012). Rapid Realignment: How to Quickly Integrate People, Processes, and Strategy for Unbeatable Performance. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Rapid Realignment: How to Quickly Integrate People, Processes, and Strategy for Unbeatable Performance
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
New Leadership Book Review: Rapid Realignment

Spend some quality time with the new book, Rapid Realignment, and you'll learn how to ensure that your strategy, customers, processes and people work seamlessly together in the service of customers and that those four elements continually realign in the face of constant change.

The authors, Dr. George H. Labovitz and Victor Rosansky, share throughout the book a series of case studies from Federal Express, Quest Diagnostics, Navy Hospital at Camp Pendleton, Farmington Savings Bank and a host of other organizations who have stepped up to the challenge of rapid realignment.

Key takeaways from the book include:
*Vertical alignment describes a condition in which every employee can articulate the enterprise's strategy and explain how his or her daily work activities support that strategy.
*Each organization must have a Main Thing. That Main Thing as a whole must be a common and unifying concept to which every unit can contribute. Each department and team must be able to see a direct relationship between what it does and this overarching goal. And, the Main Thing must be clear, easy to understand, consistent with the strategy of the organization, and actionable.
*Growth and profits are surely the ultimate aim of every business organization, but they are outcomes of succeeding with the Main Thing.
*Good bosses understand the value of giving subordinates a long leash. In addition, best bosses listen, back up their employees, trust and respect their employees and provide feedback to employees.
*Leaders foster engagement when they listen to their employees, create a common purpose, and give people greater ownership of their work.
*Corporate culture is the product of four dynamically related components: attitudes, beliefs, values, and behavior.
*The fastest and most effective way to change attitudes and beliefs is to change people's behavior and show them the beneficial results of the new behavior.
*Organizational culture is revealed in artifacts and symbols, the stories people tell, relationships, and the rituals and rules that guide behavior.

You'll appreciate the Key Points summaries and the Things To Do suggestions from the authors at the end of each of the nine chapters in the book.

And, particularly timely are the book sections where the authors teach readers how to:
*bring the customer voice inside your company through social media
*use social media and digital technology to quickly identify points of misalignment

Labovitz is the founder and CEO of IDI, an international management training and consulting company, and professor of management and organizational behavior at the Boston University Graduate School of Management.

Rosansky is co-founder and president of LHR International, Inc. He has more than 25 years of experience as a consultant, helping Fortune 500 clients to drive rapid strategy deployment and alignment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
Managers concerned with business strategy-and which ones are not?-know that strategy is not something you do once or even every few years, you do it all the time. A commonly used misleading phrase is, "A mediocre strategy well executed is better than a great strategy poorly executed". The duality of strategy development and strategy execution is axiomatic. Richard Rumelt, author of Good Strategy, Bad Strategy describes the kernel of good strategy as being Diagnosis-Guiding Policy-Coherent Action. Rapid Realignment: How to Quickly Integrate People, Processes, and Strategy for Unbeatable Performance is the book you need to insure effective coherent action.

As a strategy teacher, I try to instill in the minds of my students that strategy is a state of mind, a process, rather than an act. As a state of mind, it's inevitable that implementation will lead to strategy readjustment in real time. Results will inform strategy and those readjustments to guiding policy. This book provides the means by which managers can progress 'The Main Thing' and the integration of strategy with the delivery of customer value, through the processes of the company by the people who work in it.

I have to declare that I worked with the authors over many years and am acknowledged by them in the book. This may lead you to suppose that I am partial. Of course I am, but the advantage of my close knowledge of their work is that I have seen it work time after time in many business situations. My privileged position means that when I say that this stuff works, I know it does.

So often the company's capabilities are exceeded by customer requirements. Rapid Realignment gives harassed managers the ways to break that opportunity gap and get all the 'iron filings' or behaviors pointing toward the magnet or The Main Thing, rather than battling among themselves for resources, attention of senior management or customer satisfaction. It is an intensely practical book that companies might well issue to all managers as a way of rapidly realigning corporate energy in a productive direction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This is a book about the basics of business strategy and the need for alignment, or, "re-alignment."
I would recommend this for anyone in management, especially non-MBA's.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
An excellent follow-up to the original "The Power of Alignment". Many very good practical examples of the principles and application of the concept. A must read for folks involved in Change Management and Organizational Development.
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on March 19, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This was an excellent book. Thoroughly provides insights to how various organizations adapted to businesses and society based changes. A recommended read to any size business owner.
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