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Sacred Cows Make the Best Burgers: Developing Change-Driving People and Organizations Paperback – April 1, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An iconoclastic blend of wit and psychology makes this a canny manual for business leaders focused on the biggest challenge of this and the 21st century?forging ahead of change. Keeping abreast is no longer good enough, according to Kriegel (If It Ain't Broke, Break It) and Brandt, a psychologist. Some of the sacred cows they barbecue are reports no one reads, mind-numbing conferences, an obsolete knowledge base (no one's talking about automation anymore, dummy), profitable product lines on their way out of style and sales pitches customers aren't hearing anymore. With businesses in the fast lane, formerly sound practices turned sacred cows could force them off the highway. Staying ahead of change means getting rid of sacred cows, even if that calls for risk and standing up to fear. The authors tell how to reenergize a sluggish business by turning fear to caution and providing incentives for employees to expose outmoded practices even when those cows are their jobs. Author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Kriegel (If It Ain't Broke, Break It, LJ 4/15/91) and Brandt, a clinical psychologist specializing in change and transition, have written a guide to managing corporate change. They describe business's most common "sacred cows" and why they should be changed. These include "paper cows" (the more communication the better) and the "downsizing cow" (to cut costs, cut people). The authors also detail ways to build the change-ready environment and motivate people to change. A personality inventory and exercises for personnel are also included. Although other recent titles take on corporate change (e.g., Harry Woodward's Navigating Through Change, Irwin Professional Pub., 1994), none focuses on the need for change within traditional paradigms. Easy to read, with humorous illustrations, this book is recommended for public libraries.?Kathy Shimpock-Vieweg, Muchmore & Wallwork Lib., Phoenix
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books, Inc.; 1st edition (April 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446672602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446672603
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Blaine Greenfield on March 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
Robert J. Kriegel is rapidly becoming one of my favorite
business authors . . . I've previously enjoyed two of
his other books, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS
WITHOUT WORKING SO HARD and IF IT AIN'T BROKE,
BREAK IT . . . so I figured it was time to get hold of
one of his earlier efforts, SACRED COWS MAKE THE BEST
BURGERS--written with David Brandt.
I was definitely not disappointed!
Kriegel and Brandt examine why people cling to outmoded
beliefs, practices and processes as if their lives depended
on them . . . but more importantly, they present ways to
inspire a desire to bring in the new.
I particularly liked the use of real-life examples . . . although the book was written in 1996, it is still amazingly current; i.e., most of the ideas the authors present still make sense today . . . also, they can be applied to virtually any size or type of organization.
There were many memorable passages; among them:
* But you'll actually do more and better by learning to slow down when everything around you is speeding up. John Wooden, the great UCLA basketball coach who won an unprecedented 10 national championships, offers this advice: "Be quick, but don't hurry. If you hurry you make mistakes."
* You may not be a beginner, but you can learn how to think like one. Take real estate agent Michael Young, for instance. He was his company's most successful agent in northern California but he couldn't make the leap from
selling houses in [one price range] range to those[in a higher price range]and up.
"I don't get it, " he said. "I'm using the same prospecting strategies, making calls in the evening to people at home, giving them advice and telling them about the market, and I'm in the same marketplace. But it's not working.
Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
The authors illustrate ways in which remaining "stuck" in a given mode of thinking about your business, your mission, and your customers can lead to missed opportunities for growth and success. The book won't tell you where to find "stuck thinking" in your organization, but it gives an interesting array of anecdotes which are helpful in expaning one's thinking about the normal, everyday processes we take for granted. An excellent resource for managers and others who feel their organization is "stuck."
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11, 1997
Format: Paperback
This book is a must-have book for every person in todays
changing world. Most books on change tell you how to lead
change but this is the only book that tells you how to handle
change in your professional and personal life whether you are
in charge or not. It doesn't just spout off trendy terms,
like "team management" and "reengineering". It shows you
when and how to apply these processes. I believe in this book
so much that I bought one for every member of my staff.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Williamson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 23, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don't let this book's title through you off. Give it a chance, because it does a great job of detailing how an organization can change and make business processes work better.
Kriegel and Brandt show ways in which remaining caught up in a given mode of thinking about one's business can often lead to missed opportunities for growth and success. It offers an interesting array of anecdotes that can assist in expanding one's thinking about the everyday processes we take for granted. An excellent resource for managers and others who feel their organization is caught in a rut and going nowhere.
This book can guide managers in the steps needed to eliminate outdated business practices and routines that drain time and money. It offers ways to redesign the rules of an organization and instill a capacity for change in their management teams and employees. A good resource that shouldn't be overlooked by anyone involved in change control or project management.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daro Crandall on April 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was put onto this book by a supervisor a couple levels above me about 9 years and didn't read it initially but when I did, WOW! It really got me in the right frame to make necessary changes when I was acting manager and helped me to sell my team on the process and tagging sacred cows. A good companion we tied in to make it more fun was "the Simpsons" episode about Bovine University. It really promotes making change in a positive manner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hugh G. Rhine on May 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
It was the title of this book that initially drew my attention, in fact I purchased it without ever opening its cover.

The book deals with change and though originally published in 1996 remains a valuable read today. Real world examples support reasoning and are most interesting.

Systems, rules, tradition and simple laziness lead many to misapprehend the need for change. It seems that these persons actually find comfort in their efforts to avoid the chaos of change. Certainly, it is true that change will happen whether or not we embrace it. This book offers a message designed to put leaders in charge of change and, from my way of thinking, offers reminders of traits necessary for all workers in our economy who must have the skills to cope with what seems to be an increasing rate of change.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Foster on April 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent tool to get people thinking again. Businesses that realize that by embracing change, they can differentiate themselves from their competitors have a distinct advantage. Those that don't or are slow to come around are in deep trouble.
One of the tools in the book that I found very insightful was the Change-Ready Assessment. The Change-Ready Assessment is a survey that every organization should use to evaluate new and old employees' ability to adapt to a culture of change.
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