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The Power of Alignment: How Great Companies Stay Centered and Accomplish Extraordinary Things Hardcover – June 2, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0471177906 ISBN-10: 0471177903 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (June 2, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471177903
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471177906
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #506,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Presents a breakthrough concept in clear and applicable terms, with an abundance of perspectives and examples from the field. The authors detail how to use alignment to simultaneously link the elements core to your business in a much more focused way and revitalize your organization's strategy, operations, and results. ODI has identified 5 key elements that exist in every company and provides a specific framework for refining and linking these elements for organizational growth and sustained success. Enables managers and their reports to understand their role in the organization on a personal level, because the strength of this approach lies with the individual and the ability to create a single voice within the organization.

From the Inside Flap

The Power of Alignment Misaligned companies, like cars out of alignment, can develop serious problems if not corrected quickly. They are hard to steer and don't respond well to changes in direction. This groundbreaking book shows you how to get-and keep-all the vital elements of your organization aligned and headed in the same direction at the same time. Managers must now keep their people centered in the midst of change, deemphasize hierarchy, and distribute leadership by distributing authority, information, knowledge, and customer data throughout their organization. Alignment is a response to the new business reality where customer requirements are in flux, where competitive forces are turbulent, and where the bond of loyalty between an organization and its people has been weakened. The old linear approach to management has given way to one of simultaneity-to alignment. As pioneers of the alignment concept, the authors have developed this unique approach based on their work with leading companies throughout the world. The Power of Alignment is packed with war stories and the firsthand perspectives of industry leaders. You'll learn how world-class organizations, including Federal Express, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Columbia/HCA Healthcare, Citizens Utilities, AirTouch, and UNUM achieved extraordinary business results. Now, through the authors' expertise, you'll see how alignment can work for your organization. In essence, alignment links the five key elements of an organization-people, process, customers, business strategies, and, of course, leadership-to obtain breakthrough results, chief among them, sustained growth and profit, loyal customers, and a high-performing work force. The Power of Alignment:
* Offers a clear framework for aligning and linking the crucial elements that build and sustain a company's success
* Provides self-assessment tools as well as bench-marking measures for evaluating an organization's critical competencies
* Enables managers to create a work force where each employee can relate his or her activities to the goals and strategic objectives of the company
* Helps a company determine when and where it is out of alignment, and gives descriptions of such common company pathologies as "The Phantom Limb Syndrome," "Strategy Interruptus," and "Dead Man Walking"
* Prescribes specific steps for getting an organization back on track toward a single, shared vision of its goals
Essential reading for all managers and executives, The Power of Alignment offers a new way to reestablish focus and sustained energy, and is a dynamic approach for staying balanced and achieving extraordinary levels of performance.

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Customer Reviews

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This is one of the only books I have read multiple times.
FXWatkins
So if you feel lost in the world of ever growing management practices, this book will make you more comfortable!
Rune Antonsen
I found the information immediately usefull and am presently integrating much of the material into my company.
Richard G. Ayala

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The Power of Alignment: How Great Companies Stay Centered and Accomplish Extraordinary Things by George Labovitz and Victor Rosansky, ***** What follows is an excerpt of an article written by Steve Gibbons of The Principal Financial Group for the National AQP periodical: "The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing!" We've heard it before and it makes sense. But, in today's busy world where the leader's job looks more like a juggling act - it's hard enough identifying the main thing, let alone keeping it the main thing. Well, help is out there in form of an insightful, well-written book by George Labovitz and Victor Rosansky - The Power of Alignment: How Great Companies Stay Centered and Accomplish Extraordinary Things. This book cuts through the consultantese and helps the reader understand alignment and why it is critical to organizational success in a straightforward easy to understand manner. The first things I discovered in reading the book was how freely the authors share good usable information. The book is full of best practices you can read one day and put to use the next. For every concept they share - there's an anecdote to illustrate it and specific practices or tools to effectively implement the concept. The book's premise is based on the belief that for a business to be successful it must, "align the four essential elements that together create growth and profits: strategy, customers, people, and processes." It is only through an approach that aligns all four elements that organizations achieve long term success. The authors lay out the fundamentals of alignment, how it's created and maintained, and creating a self-aligning organization.Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rune Antonsen on January 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
After reading this book you will a have a greater understanding of how you s-h-o-u-l-d run your business. It does not go into proper detail on how to do this (they only supply you with a limited framework - the rest you have buy directly from them. Their theory is a framework in which you can put all other management theories and practices. So if you feel lost in the world of ever growing management practices, this book will make you more comfortable!
They use a pilot's cockpit view as a metaphor for describing their theory and practice. Once in balance, the plane is aligned vertically and horizontally with the runway during approach. It is in center. The center is the main thing. Your focus. There are four elements in this model: Strategy, customers, people and processes. You must strive for aligning the strategy with your people (vertical), and your internal processes with your customers (horizontal). In other words, the people that work for you must understand what they are about to encounter so that they can make the product that customers want, thus altering processes along the way. Using this model you can easily see what elements are misaligned. The authors gives you several pathologies on misalignments. The model can also be used separately in each department, division, project, and so on.
They also let you in a little bit on the secrets of how to do this by telling you about critical success indicator and stretch goals, and how you must plan actions, etc. In my opinion, not to adequate for businesses in the high turbulence area.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dr. David E. Deviney on January 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As a university professor and consultant, I have read a lot of material on strategic planning. This book is one of the best. It is all about getting focused and centered as an organization. It goes beyond the theory and gives practical advice on just how to do that. I am considering making it required reading for my graduate students.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By tenserv on July 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I found this book easy reading, concise, and presented it's basic premise well with specific examples and good suggestions for creation and implementation.
Working as a Director in Managed Care for several pharmaceutical companies, it creates a focus for any organization and a roadmap for the future(physician, health plan, pharmaceutical company) to avoid many of the mistakes and pitfalls that have already been experienced in an attempt to align with the ever changing healthcare landscape.
For those who do account management, it provides a construct and roadmap to use to optimize alignment with internal customers and maximize resources to create value and return with the external customers (....and their customers.) As the authors point, alignment is a continuing process, not a single event in time. Many companies become quickly aligned with the past, and misaligned with the present & future, and can not sustain the competitive edge because they forget this basic premise that the authors reinforce.
The concepts are basic and fundamental, but usually overlooked and forgotten in the day to day business of rapidly growing companies and changing environments.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roger Peter Marec on May 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Great book! The basic premise is that once a business has a raison d'etre, or a 'main thing', that profits are maximized by the alignment of four key business areas: Strategy, Processes, People, and Customers. Built on this premise are actionalbe ways to build a self-aligning organization. I got the sense of discovering truth while I read this book. Leadership isn't really about power, it is about responsibility. This book shows a manager at any level how to align his area to the overall strategy of the company and to the end products of the company. It shows how processes should be designed and what factors should be used to reward, recognize and evaluate employees. Great food for thought and realistic to implement.

Five Stars
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