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Confronting Reality: Doing What Matters to Get Things Right Hardcover – October 19, 2004
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The Amazon Book Review
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In their 2002 bestseller, Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan identify why people dont get results: they dont execute. Bossidy and Charan are back with another stellar study on organizational behavior that shows how companies can succeed if they return to reality and examine every part of their business. Confronting Reality is based on a simple concept, but many companies approach strategy and execution in a surprisingly unreal manner and even the simplest of measurement methods, like the business model, are not applied correctly.
Cisco, 3M, KLM, Home Depot, and the Thomson Corporation are just a few of the companies that Bossidy and Charan examine. To demonstrate how to examine a business using the business model, Bossidy and Charan map out external variables, financial targets, internal activities, and an iteration stage (defined as a time to "make tradeoffs, apply and develop business savvy") to prove how a dynamically evolving business model will help improve performance.
"The version of the business model we have developed is a robust, reality-based process for thinking about the specifics of your business in a holistic way. It shows you how to tie together the financial targets you must meet, the external realities of your business and internal activities such as strategy development, operating tactics, and selection and development of people."
Larry Bossidy, retired chairman and CEO of Honeywell International and Ram Charan, author of What the CEO Wants You to Know and Profitable Growth Is Everyone's Business, have once again shed industrial-strength light on how to run a successful business. --E. Brooke Gilbert
Amazon.com Exclusive Content
Amazon.com Interview: Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan
Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan are back with Confronting Reality to show how companies can succeed if they get back to reality and examine every part of their business. Amazon.com senior editor E. Brooke Gilbert interviewed Bossidy and Charan to discuss the current business climate, their new book, and future projections.
Read the interview.
Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan Discuss the Airline Industry
From Publishers Weekly
On the heels of their business bestseller Execution, retired Honeywell chairman and CEO Bossidy and corporate guru Charan take a step back and focus on the more fundamental issue of figuring out what to execute in the first place. The message is simple ("relentless realism"), and their solution is a return to the "ancient analytical tool" of a three-part business model that includes external realities (such as customer demand and industry conditions), financial targets (such as cash flow and revenue growth) and internal realities (such as operational and workforce capabilities). Bossidy and Charan use that model to analyze how companies such as EMC, Cisco and Sun reacted to the meltdown of the high-tech sector, and how Home Depot built efficiency, 3M reignited growth through innovation and Thomson Corp. restructured its focus. The book loses steam in the final quarter, getting repetitious but still managing to make a few familiar points feel fresh, some as simple as developing one's own "business savvy" and "need to know." The authors use the same winning formula as in their first book. The concepts are basic, the tone is conversational and the content is not unique, but sales of the previous book (600,000 in the U.S.; 1.5 million worldwide) and the authors' personal platforms virtually guarantee widespread attention in the business media and corporate sales.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Top Customer Reviews
I have reviewed Charan and Bossidy's book on EXECUTION as well as Charan's book on PROFITABLE GROWTH. Both were great readings that asked us to confront reality in order to do what matters to get things right.
I've just read CONFRONTING REALITY. And I cannot help asking myself, why it was published at all? It doesn't add any new material compared to their marvellous bestseller; Execution. Instead this book spends most of its time telling case stories on the subject. I find too many of them too long and too boring.
The authors' new focus on the vague concept of the business model is still a mystery to me. Why not build on strong concepts such as McKinsey's business system or Porter's value chain with proven track records. Please, confront reality!
My advice is that you buy Execution instead. It's much better. It has a clear concept, a stronger structure - and exactly the same highly important messages.
If you're a hardcore fan - like I am - of Charan and Bossidy's execution concept, you may just want to have this as an audio book for a long highway trip... that's how I managed to get through it.
MSc in International Business (Marketing & Management) and Graduate Diploma in E-business
The issue is that the book is full of case studies (too many from ex-GE execs - I wonder how wide these guys travel outside their "GE Club") but one idea. The illustrations at the end of every case study are always the same - they don't even go to the trouble of customizing the three factor model to show how Sun is different then Cisco for example - and the point is always the same. This should not have been a book, but instead limited to an HBR article or something like that.
The best part is Bossidy's style of how he interacts with teams and asks good questions....but "Execution" is much better at this.
The title was catchy and Bossidy is a pro at this topic of facing reality and turning around businesses...but he should have either invested more to fill it out or skipped it all together.