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Get It Done!: A Blueprint for Business Execution Hardcover – December 23, 2005
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
From the Inside Flap
Much noise and ink has already been devoted to executing better so that your organization can more effectively manage new business opportunities that arise and adapt to new realities. So why another book, why more ink, why more lessons and insight devoted to it?
Because, for all the efforts and monies spent on becoming more performance-based and better at execution, most organizations continue to struggle to get done what they need to get done.
In Get It Done!, top business advisors Ralph Welborn and Vince Kasten cut through the noise and isolate what they call the "DNA for business execution." They show you how to manipulate this DNA to get done what needs to get done-through many real-world examples of great (and sometimes not so great) execution in action.
In far too many organizations, disconnects exist between what executives want to do and what really gets done-leading to personal and professional frustration, finger pointing, higher costs, and lost time. Knowing the underlying cusses of these disconnects is the first critical step to overcoming them-and it is this key insight that Welborn and Kasten use to identify and then manipulate t5he DNA to bridge the gaps between what executives demand and what really happens.
Welborn and Kasten also examine the issues, problems, and constraints that confound business leaders trying to build a culture of execution. As with an y business objective, they illustrate that significant gaps exist between demands for a culture of execution and making it happen pragmatically, consistently, and effectively. They show how to bring such a culture to life helping you get it done with a wealth of practical tools, techniques, and methods.
You'll get a big-picture view of the art of execution, as well as the vital building blocks and tools you need to keep your projects moving forward. As one of their clients put it:
"Finally a book that says something useful. Too many business books are dry, based on jargon, and not tied to the operational reality of how to get things done and how to work with different parts of an organization to get them done. Welborn and Kasten provocatively and humorously point out he underlying causes of misunderstandings, miscommunications, and misalignment-the 'gaps'-between management and operations, between business folks and technology folks, between staff folks and line folks, between strategic direction and operational reality. They then realistically point out a consistent way to tackle and bridge theses gaps. Parts of this book are challenging and frustrating. Much of it is engaging. All of it is compelling and useful. Finally! A book for action."
From the Back Cover
Praise for Get IT Done!
"A challenge businesses always face is how to get more value out of their IT organization. Another is how to infuse business with technology so that both the business and the technology people appreciate their differences as they deliver on their commitments-to each other. Get It Done! is a superb book that shows businesses how to tackle, and meet, both challenges."
—Dave Sanders, Chairman, Information Technology Association of America, and President, Commercial Solutions of Perot Systems
"Welborn and Kasten have again hit the mark by providing significant thought leadership on the aspects of effective organizational execution...[Get It Done!]addresses this issue by providing the reader with knowledge on how to make sense of and take action on what the organization has to get done and how to do so-a must-read book for senior executives!"
—Dr. Kenneth E. Nidiffer, Fellow, Systems and Software Consortium
"A gap often exists between what executives require and reality on the ground. Welborn and Kasten demonstrate how to bridge this gap in a surprisingly nonthreatening and effective way. While many books have talked about the need to create a culture of execution, Get It Done! Shows pragmatically how to make such a culture real."
—Pat Schambach, former CIO, Transportation Security Administration
"[Welborn and Kasten] tackle the issue of execution for differently than do many others-in a powerful way that cuts through so much of the noise around execution, providing insight on why it's so hard to get stuff done and usable steps of doing so. Get It Done! is as provocative to read as it is necessary to use."
—Dominick Cavuoto, President, Global Financial Services, Unisys Corporation
"This book is extremely useful to anyone who has to get things done-management and line people, technologists and project managers, and yes, executives and other corporate staff. Simply put, read this book!"
—Trevor Davis, Chief Implementation Officer, UISL, a Business Process Utility
"[Welborn and Kasten's] pragmatic focus cuts through the high-level boilerplate discussion and provides tangible insights, lessons, tools, and methods for 'getting done what needs to et done' and, by doing so, helps to strengthen your capabilities to meet the uncertainty we all face."
—Dan Wollenberg, Senior Vice President, Huntington Bank
"If you think execution and results are what it's all about, this book is a must-read!"
—Joseph Plumeri, Chairman and CEO, Willis Group Holdings Ltd.
Top customer reviews
Most business and process-type books tell you what is wrong with business, but this one will tell you what is wrong and how to correct the problem. I've worked in and around corporate America for almost 20 years - the recommendations by Welborn & Kasten are spot-on.
I mark pages of interest with colored tabs, the red tabs representing "key concepts." If a book receives 5 red tabs, I would rate it a very good book. I have used over 20 red tabs on this book on the first reading and am certain will add a few more on the second. This book is that good ...
Of special interest to me, this book included:
* Effective execution - businesses know what they want to do but don't know how to do it.
* Semantic disconnect - every process analyst seems to miss this most important fact. People in different organizations have different languages. If you don't recognize this key before starting a process improvement initiative, you will not achieve the results you are expecting. Great recommendations on how to get everyone in the improvement effort "on the same page."
* The enterprise model examples were great - understandable and well-documented - and clearly ProVison models!
* The business blueprint - the example of different levels of map details really drive the point of the need for process modeling home.
* Customer value - many of us in process improvement get caught up in optimizing processes for the company with little regard for the customer - we assume that improving the company will be "ripple" to the customer. But as the book points out "Customers just want the value delivered by the process; they don't care how that value is created."
I could go on and on with this review, but it might be longer than the book!
And don't plan on reading this book quickly - it is a slow read. Not because it is boring, but quite the opposite - it is interesting, very well written and so full of useful information that it requires a lot of attention and re-reading.
Get it Done! is written in a relaxed style, much like having a chat about business strategy over a beer. Welborn and Kasten present a consistent case for the importance of understanding how an organisation works and taking focused and consistent steps to realise change. In their words how to "make sense" and "take action".
Welborn and Kasten present case studies that demonstrate the value of modelling or blueprinting - rather than concentrating on the quality or method of producing such models. This addresses a significant gap in business literature where the focus has been on the quality and attributes of a specific model, rather that the insight it can provide into an organisation. Here lies the "making sense" part of their argument. In building models with enough detail to provide insight, an organisation can build a common language, understanding and visible connections between the "t-shirts, turtlenecks and suits" - or technology, corporate functions and management.
And so to taking action, once we have a shared understanding of what happens, we can then navigate the models to understand the impact of specific decisions. In this way, management of change can be completed more successfully and with less risk and less disruption to customer services. The importance of these executional frameworks is essential for being able to deliver not once, but again and again.
Chapter 6 is both a primer and a crystal ball gaze into Business Process Outsourcing. Welborn and Kasten outline the imperative to change the nature of BPO agreements from one where success is measured through aggressive SLAs and achieving cost efficiencies to one where client and outsourcing service provider focus on what value is to be achieved through BPO. This new relationship requires visibility of process (making sense) and a common language between client and outsourcing service provider to ensure that specific practices will deliver value and be robust in the face of increasing customer demand (for privacy and security) or compliance.
Don't be fooled by the conversational tone and references to popular culture, the simplicity and clarity of the authors' argument belies the extensive thought and rigour that has been put into making sense and taking action with their own strategic and operational experience.
Who should read Get it Done!?:
* Analysts struggling to make modelling techniques and insights relevant and valuable
* Anyone contemplating or holding a BPO contract
* Those wishing to bring some operational nous and reality to business strategy
* Managers trying to make sense of complex and swift change
I am looking forward to the next beer with Welborn and Kasten...