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Collaborate or Perish!: Reaching Across Boundaries in a Networked World Hardcover – January 17, 2012
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“Bratton and Tumin give example after vivid example of something I have long believed: that by creating a vision, aligning goals, breaking down barriers, and working together to innovate, we can achieve results that few thought possible.” ―Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, author of Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters.
“Collaborate or Perish! is a brilliant guide replete with sound practical insight into what it takes to successfully collaborate in today’s highly networked world. Bratton and Tumin skillfully use their own experiences and fascinating analyses of business, high-stakes national defense issues, and government to bring their ideas to life.” ―Professor Renée Mauborgne, INSEAD, coauthor of the international bestseller Blue Ocean Strategy
“Collaborate or Perish packs a powerful one-two punch: practical street-smart experience lashed up to a coherent intellectual framework for managing and fostering change. It’s a user’s down-to-earth guide for transforming a traditional hierarchy into an agile, self-sustaining network. I only wish I had such a guide in some of my former government positions.” —Gen Michael V. Hayden, USAF (ret.), and former Director, National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency
“The velocity of the things and events around us are accelerating faster than ever. Chief Bratton and Zach Tumin have insightfully captured that our individual effectiveness must be multiplied through people, platforms, and unparalleled passion.” ―Greg Brown, chairman and CEO of Motorola
“Bill Bratton and Zach Tumin reveal in this book a first-class understanding for organization and management in a variety of situations. Their theme is collaboration along with technology that provides critical information for evaluating the situation on the ground under a leadership that supplies direction and support. The lessons, based in part on Bill Bratton’s own record as police commissioner of both New York and Los Angeles, shine through the pages of this book to the point where it becomes inspirational for the reader . . . An extraordinary book for anyone interested in how ‘action leads to results,’ as Mr. Bratton puts it. —Mort Zuckerman, editor in chief of U.S. News & World Report and publisher of the New York Daily News
The joy of this book—yes, joy—is in seeing people run through walls: on the streets of a big city plagued by extortion rackets; submersed in a submarine that is not picking up danger signals; in a disease control center baffled by clues to the source of a bug that is hourly threatening thousands and ruining hundreds of angry farmers; in a customs shed unable to process goods fast and safely enough; in a convoy in Iraq and Afghanistan up against the diabolical permutations of the bomb-makers. Bratton and Tumin document scores of successful resolutions of apparently insuperable complexities. The magic key, from their own experiences and others, is collaboration. Technology counts but people talking to people counts for more. . . . The rich accumulation of the lessons is valuable but entertaining too. Every copy of the book should bear a sticker: Guaranteed not to bore. ―Sir Harold Evans, author of They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine, Two Centuries of Innovation
“Bill Bratton is the Vince Lombardi of the security game. And in Collaborate or Perish!, he and Zach Tumin explain the roots of this success: building a team, unifying a team, and then getting results through leadership and collaboration.” ―Graydon Carter, editor of Vanity Fair
“Becoming more effective and succeeding is a goal most of us share. Now William Bratton and Zachary Tumin focus on the power of effective collaboration, citing real-life examples as the key to real success. Their insight together with their extremely readable story clearly and convincingly explain why “going it alone” no longer works in our increasingly connected society.” —Leonard Stern, chairman and CEO of the Hartz Group
“Collaborate or Perish! is a refreshing kick in the pants—a wonderful collection of real-world, ‘power of the many’ examples. We all need to hear the rallying cry to take action together. Bill Bratton and Zach Tumin create excitement and a new desire to get involved. They not only motivate, they provide a playbook for how.” —Lt Gen Tad Oelstrom, USAF (ret.), and Director, National Security Program, Harvard Kennedy School
“The days of a Lone Ranger approach to problem-solving are over. In today’s interconnected world, the best ideas and most effective implementation come when collaboration is at the core. Collaborate or Perish! is chock-full of real-world examples and behind-the-scenes insights from across industries and sectors that illustrate how success comes when teams work together.” ―Eli Broad, founder of the Broad Foundations
“Like many New Yorkers, I love Bill Bratton. It may be that no single person had more of a role transforming New York City into the safe, welcoming city it became when he was police commissioner. Collaborate or Perish, written with Zachary Tumin, captures everything that makes Bratton so special. It’s built around a big vision—that true collaboration is the key to solving the world’s most complex problems—but it’s also grounded in incredibly specific, cool, disruptive strategies for how to make collaboration happen, and the sort of insider stories that only someone like Bratton is in a position to know. I savored every word of this book . . .” ―Tony Schwartz, author of The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working and The Power of Full Engagement
“In today’s world, collaboration across organizational boundaries is an imperative--not only within the public sector, but between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. In Collaborate or Perish!, Bill Bratton and Zach Tumin show us how it works, providing a series of lessons that spell the difference between success and failure. Not only that, they do so in entertaining fashion, with real-world stories that jump off the page. Read this book!” ―David Osborne, senior partner at the Public Strategies Group and coauthor of Reinventing Government, The Price of Government, and other books.
“No effective organization is an island. Whether you’re in the corporate world, the public sector, the military, or even a small business owner, Bill Bratton and Zach Tumin’s guide to institutional collaboration is a game changer.” —Cynthia Brown, publisher of American Police Beat
“In this networked, wired, ‘flat’ world of ours today, for some reason, America is losing its competitive edge. In Collaborate or Perish!, internationally renowned anti-crime expert Bill Bratton and Zach Tumin identify that reason and point the way to regaining our edge. In today’s world, our individualist culture won’t cut it. We’ve simply got to collaborate, if we are to survive, much less thrive. Wall Street, Main Street, and, especially, Washington, listen up!” ―Clark Ervin, director of the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Program
“Bratton and Tumin make a convincing case that collaboration benefits not only policing, but virtually every organizational process and decision. In settings from casinos to schools, Collaborate or Perish! demonstrates how systematic collaboration can transform an organization.” ―Thomas H. Davenport, President’s Distinguished Professor of IT and Management, Babson College
“Bill Bratton has proved that he knows how to get results. In New York City and Los Angeles, he brought crime down because he had a big new vision for the police—he said police must prevent crime, not just investigate after the harm has been done. And Bratton saw his job as changing the urban environment, so people would feel safe in the city and would once again trust their police. To achieve these sweeping changes, Bill looked beyond the police department and got other people and organizations involved in his mission. Zach Tumin has led the way in bringing this kind of collaborative thinking to corporate America. Together, Bill and Zach have written a book that’s a road map for any organization to succeed. They tell compelling stories of what is possible when you look for partners who can help you achieve your goals.” ―Chuck Wexler, Police Executive Research Forum
About the Author
ZACHARY TUMIN is special assistant to the director and faculty chair of Harvard Kennedy School’s Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, the most recent of a number of key posts that Mr. Tumin has held at the school. In addition to leading research programs and executive teaching at Harvard, Mr. Tumin served in senior executive roles for industry and government, including as head of public safety for the New York City public schools, on the executive staffs of the Brooklyn District Attorney and the New York State Organized Crime Task Force, and as director of the Financial Services Technology Consortium. A frequent lecturer, Mr. Tumin is also author of numerous teaching cases, working papers, reports, and essays.
Top Customer Reviews
"Collaborate or Perish!" is an interesting albeit uneven look at the essential role that collaboration plays in our networked world. Soon to be New York City Chief of Police (for a second time) William Bratton and Harvard educator Zachary Tumin provide many business and public policy case studies that illustrate how collaboration was vital behind the success of the examples provided. It fails to be the playbook that the authors promote because it lacks clear guidance on how best to collaborate. This uneven 352-page book includes the following ten chapters: 1. The Case for Collaboration, 2. Blue-Sky Vision, 3. Right-Size the Problem, 4. Make a Clearing, 5. Make it Pay, 6. Add People; Stir, 7. Performance, 8. Politics: The Glue and the Grease, 9. Leadership, and 10. Out of Egypt.
1. Interesting business cases. Accessible book for the masses.
2. Practical business topic, collaboration in this digital age.
3. Even-handed. The authors were careful to present positive examples from both political parties.
4. The eight tests of readiness before you start collaboration. Basically each chapter covers a test of readiness.
5. The best case studies involve Bill Bratton's experiences as a Chief of Police in New York, Boston and Los Angeles. There is a command of a the topic that is palpable and credible. "As New York City's police commissioner, I quickly set out to establish a new form of policing, one that required collaboration not only between all areas of the department, but also with other agencies and the public. My goal was to transform the city and the American police profession. It all starts with a vision, I told the department: as good as we are, we can do better. But we can't do it alone. The path forward--the new platform for policing New York--came to be known as CompStat."
6. The importance of metrics. "With the command staff and consultants collaborating we developed eight core strategies. Everyone would be headed in the same direction. Managers and cops were empowered to bring about the change they wanted, but within an agreed-upon framework. Every action had to align with the plan. We gave them latitude, but held them accountable. That was the mantra."
7. The need for platform to overcome boundaries. "They had plenty of sophisticated technology and were more than willing to share information. What they lacked was a true collaboration strategy, or a platform all could use to see and move data."
8. How collaboration helped Obama become President. "The campaign's analytics team measured every move, every ad, every piece of website traffic, every e-mail campaign. They knew what worked and tweaked it. And Obama raised money--lots and lots of money. He held traditional fund-raisers, to be sure. One with Oprah raised $2.3 million. But a week later the campaign did something online called "Dinner with Obama." For a $250 donation, your name went in a digital hat, out of which four winners were picked to have dinner with the candidate. Obama raised $2.1 million from that online raffle--and repeated it numerous times."
9. The importance of a clear vision. "Your vision needs to be broad enough to appeal to a variety of people and organizations. You can't be all things to all people. But you need to be something to enough people to come together and make their aspirations a reality."
10. The very interesting case study of US ports security.
11. The four tests of readiness for collaboration.
12. Successful international case studies like the repair of an educational platform in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro. "But having built a platform--a clearing where formerly disenfranchised teachers become valued collaborators--Costin has the entire system moving toward that blue-sky vision of schools with the power to change children's lives."
13. Many case studies that illustrate the value of digital platforms. "'What we did accomplish,' Miller said, `was to get all the systems running into one place--narcotics, organized crime, street crime, terrorism--and we got the people sitting next to each other.' With that clearing operational, the LA JRIC platform started pulling in new network partners."
14. Examples of failed collaboration.
15. The need to automate or perish as a business. Crisis as a motivator.
16. A casino case study. "Loveman knew he could deliver a satisfying experience to his core and other players at the casino level only through company-wide collaboration. All signs pointed then to a "same store" sales strategy--the retailer's classic move to increase loyalty and grab more of an existing customer's budget, whether for beauty, travel, or gambling."
17. Alcoa showcases a wonderful case study. "In his first days on the job, CEO Paul O'Neill did three things. He announced safety as Alcoa's supreme goal. He invited Alcoa's safety director in for an hour-long chat. And he signaled that nothing--and no one--would be spared in relentless pursuit of zero workdays lost to injury."
18. Collaboration in politics. "Politics is both the glue of collaboration, binding people to a shared future, and the grease of collaboration, making it run smoothly. Bungle the politics, and your collaboration may fail."
19. Leadership in the digital age. "In the age of the Internet, successful leadership of a collaboration relies on successfully navigating both the brick-and-mortar world of bureaucracy and the digital world that is in our pockets and on our desks."
20. The impact of the digital revolution. "We can say that the day of the great autocrats is imperiled--whether they are men and women in government, or in industry, or even in our communities and families. The networked world creates too much visibility for such tyrannies to go on without questioning."
1. The book fails to be the collaboration playbook that the authors espouse. Readers are required to search through the case studies to find strategies of collaboration. A synopsis or a final summary chapter would have added value.
2. The writing style is accessible but lacks panache. It doesn't engage the reader.
3. The book is uneven. Some cases flow better than others. Some cases contain much more insight than others.
4. The Kindle version did not take advantage of its ability to link.
5. How strong is the business consensus on some of the findings presented in the book? What do contrarians say?
6. Parts are better than the whole. The book overall is forgettable.
7. Below average editing. The book doesn't receive high-production value.
8. Repetitive sometimes necessary and other times to a fault or poor prose. The book lacks cohesion.
In summary, the authors succeed in providing a number of case studies that illustrate the importance of collaboration. A good number of cases studies of various fields and interest. The book however fails to be the playbook that is was championed to be. The authors did not provide a clear approach to collaboration. The case studies illustrate collaboration in practice but no so much in theory. It also fails to engage the reader. It's worth reading as part of a research paper on collaboration, otherwise it's forgettable. It's an average book.
Further recommendations: "Outliers: The Story of Success" and "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference" by Malcolm Gladwell, "Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future" by Leonard A. Schlesinger, "The Hidden Agenda: A Proven Way to Win Business and Create a Following" by Kevin Allen, "The ONE Thing" by Gary Keller, "Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard" by Chip and Dan Heath, "Get Lucky: How to Put Planned Serendipity to Work for You and Your Business" by Thor Muller and Lane Becker "inGenius" by Tina Seelig, "Work with Me: The 8 Blind Spots Between Men and Women in Business" by Barbara Annis and John Gray, "Power: Why Some People Have It and Others Don't" by Jeffrey Pfeffer, "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg, "Rebounders: How Winners Pivot from Setback to Success" by Rick Newman, and "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" by Daniel H. Pink.
Bratton and Tumin point out through magnificent multi-industry examples that in significant system wide problems that collaboration from within and outside are the only way to accomplish breakthrough solutions and implementations.
This should be considered the bible of this type of thinking about problems that permeates industry, science and society.
Filled with somewhat interesting case studies, the book is not extraordinarily easy to read or well laid out. Struggling to find actionable themes and ideas within the nearly 300 pages of text, the reader is left with the challenge of trying to piece together what the author is trying to say and what message should be conveyed.
Unlike many books of this type, where the reader is able to take away some useful tips or tricks - and those are well laid out and evident and supported by case studies, this book feels like a series of case studies where the point needs to be teased out and then there may be an "a-ha" moment when the point is realized.
There are better books out there. Not on the favorites list.
Send the book to Congress!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great outline and good stories.