Customer Reviews: Fixing the Game: Bubbles, Crashes, and What Capitalism Can Learn from the NFL
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Showing 1-5 of 5 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on May 9, 2011
If you are a business leader, policy maker or advisor to business, read this book! Roger Martin uses familiar NFL metaphors to highlight a critically imporant, but largerly overlooked, distinction in business. The big, disruptive idea is that it is just as counterproductive for business leaders (management and the board) to be motivated by the price of their company's shares, which he calls playing the "expectations game", as it is for the "real game" of football when NFL players bet on their own game.

He blames boards of directors and hedge funds for perpetuating the myth that shareholder value maximization is the primary purpose of business, and proposes an alternative. His aspirational goal is to elevate the role of directors to that of public service (analogous to judges), delink stock performance from executive compensation, and curtail the influence of momentum investors who make money on stock volatility rather than long-term value appreciation.

I believe Martin makes a compelling case for the need to revisit the foundations of capitalism and the forks in the road that have set its current evolutionary trajectory. Had the title of the book been "Aspiring to a Better Game", I would have given it a 5-star rating. However, since it stops short of proposing specific steps policy makers and business leaders can take to affect the aspirational transformations he proposes, I reserve my fifth star for the prospect of a part 2 (the solution) of what could be a landmark two set volume that also provides a blueprint for "Fixing The Game".
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on July 12, 2013
... with football. How the NFL polices the league has many parallels with how the market 'should' be policed and the author goes into these similarities in some detail, but his conclusions while thought provoking, depend too heavily on the good-will of business leaders. His serendipitous outlook on the altruism of corporate America is heartwarming, but naive. A good read to get a handle on how we got into the current financial crisis and at least one perspective on how it can be better managed.
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on April 3, 2016
Why you'll love it:
There are many times when business books come across as gaudy, pretensious, and overwhelmingly boring. Fixing the Game is not one of these. The book draws upon very interesting examples (NFL, 07-08 recession, etc.) to illustrate how far we've drifted when it comes to the broken American Dream and the overreaching authority of capitalism, money, and greed.

Why you won't like it:
My reasoning behind the four stars stems from the need for more. I felt that the text dances around the thesis without really going in for the kill. There are points where I felt certain scenarios or examples were weaker than others (hedge funds) and the ending felt rushed.
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Roger L. Martin, dean of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management and a life-long sports enthusiast, believes the 2008 mortgage meltdown was only the most recent crisis in the chronically ill US economy and that another setback is inevitable unless American business leaders change their approach. He traces the US economy's problems to the mid-1970s, when corporate philosophy shifted from serving consumers to placating shareholders. He calls for a return to the old business model of paying executives based on real achievement not on meeting or missing projections. He cites the US National Football League (pre-referee strike) as the perfect illustration of how well a real-rewards model can work if executives put their customers first. "It isn't about how profitable a company wants to be," Martin says, "It is about in what way the company becomes profitable." getAbstract believes that his playbook can help corporations get back in the game.
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on March 28, 2015
I like the book its very interesting and I did not have problems with receiving my order.
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