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Fundamentally Different Hardcover – June 17, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Friedman is the former President of RSI, an award-winning employee benefits brokerage and consulting firm in the Philadelphia area. He is a frequent guest speaker and seminar leader on organizational culture, leadership, and values. A graduate of the College of William & Mary with a degree in Philosophy, Friedman currently lives in Moorestown, NJ with his wife and 2 college-age children.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Infinity Publishing (June 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0741466805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0741466808
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #974,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I appreciated the value of corporate culture prior to reading David Friedman's book, Fundamentally Different. I struggled however, with the challenges of defining and reinforcing the behaviors that make up the culture of my company. This book provided my team the tools necessary to create a sustainable culture that has made my company more successful--a better place to work and more desirable to do business with.

After reading the book, I worked with David to develop and roll out a list of Fundamentals that fit my business. We have been practicing these fundamentals for almost a year and a half. Our employees are motivated and encouraged by the process and we've had great feedback from our customers and vendors.

This is not a "flavor of the month" business book. The ideas put forth in this book--when implemented properly--can transform the way your company goes about it's mission. My experience has been that if you choose to be intentional about defining and developing a culture that will lead to success; you will be successful.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Friedman cites over and over again, Stephen Covey (Author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) as an inspiration for his Fundamentals. Covey doesn't hide his belief that God is the source of his advice and principles in 7 Habits. Covey was a Mormon, and placed Mormon concepts such as being Gods in embryo stage into his book by rewriting it as "limitless potential".

Friedman uses the word Rituals to describe his process for ingraining the Fundamentals into a business. The top 5 definitions of the word "Ritual" are religious in nature.

At one point he cites the success Ritz Carlton had in ingraining desired customer service via their 20 Basics. But in Ritz Carlton's case, it was tangible, measurable things directly related to job duties such as "Escort the customer to an area of the Hotel rather than just pointing the way".

Friedman's version of the 20 Ritz Carlton Basics are not tangible, measurable things directly related to specific jobs, but instead are more generalized personal betterment and philosophical ideas such as "People are good, fair and Honest". I felt the book veered into general self-help rather than anything that can and should be implemented into offices.

He advocates starting every meeting with a Ritual, such as contemplating a Fundamental. This is eerily like a prayer and reflecting upon Holy Scripture. Considering Freidman is a big fan of Covey's pseudoreligious writing and teachings, it starts to make sense why the book feels like I am being indoctrinated into a faith, rather than being given solid business advice.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a terrific book that offers a road map to an improved business culture and the lessons apply outside of work as well. After I read the book I hired David to assist us in developing fundamentals for our company. It's a year later and I can tell you it's really working. We intend to keep at it always. Great stuff.
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Format: Hardcover
David Friedman’s book Fundamentally Different is a unique approach to intentionally creating, driving and reinforcing corporate culture. Many books on the subject are full of wonderful stories or give insights into the science behind organizational behavior. Interesting reads, but leaving executives perplexed at how to get their own employees to act the right way, consistently (and even when the boss isn’t watching). Friedman takes you through the behaviors (which he calls the Fundamentals) that drove how business was conducted and how people were treated, at his former company, RSI. Fundamentally Different outlines the system that helped make RSI a place where people wanted to work and where customers became fiercely loyal. I’ve watched companies implement the system that Friedman outlines in the book, and they’ve enjoyed remarkable results. Part of the brilliance of this book is the practical ways that Friedman deals with leadership ADD and ensuring that an initiative as important as corporate culture doesn’t run out of gas. It’s a great concept, effectively delivered, and proven out in companies I’m familiar with. I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the best book I have read in years! This is the first book On company culture that actually teaches you how to institutionalize a high performance culture inside your company step by step. We have seen an impact on employee behavior in the first month!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really loved this book because it clearly described a process to bring the desired goal of a creating a high performance culture from a pipedream to reality! After reading this book I had a high degree of confidence in my ability to clearly describe the behaviors we want our people to have and then to implement the rituals that will allow us to get better and better at implementing these behaviors. Since company culture is so important being intentional about the culture that we want to have makes a lot of sense. The path to get that done is clearly described on this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Author: David J. Friedman

ISBN10:0-7414-6680-5: ISBN13: 978-0-7414-6680-5

Publisher: Infinity Publishing

One of the most striking features that jumps off the page of David J. Freedman's Fundamentally Different is his talent in driving home meaningful points by having his readers see them, feel then, smell them, and hear them and this is realized with his down-to-earth language and numerous practical illustrations. This is something that many business authors seem to shy away from for fear that they will sound unoriginal or perhaps even unprofessional. The result is that what they are trying to convey becomes cold and in the end fails to influence readers. Put it another way, values have little meaning without stories and examples to bring them to life and engage us on a personal level. We have an easier time understanding the principles forming the basis of these values when we can relate them to our own experiences. To exemplify, as I was reading Fundamentally Different, I experienced two situations where I began evaluating the kind of service I was receiving from two different companies, one of which involved an insurance claim and the other subscribing to a new cable service. The latter should run to the nearest book store and purchase a copy of Friedman's book, as it failed miserably with a culture that seemed to say that I am doing you a favor by taking your order. How many times have we unfortunately encountered this attitude?

Friedman is the former President of RSI, an award-winning employee benefits brokerage and consulting firm. Over a period of twenty-seven years he implemented a winning culture that garnered over a dozen awards for such disciplines as leadership, workplace culture, quality, growth, business success and best work-place.
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