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Management Rewired: Why Feedback Doesn't Work and Other Surprising Lessons fromthe Latest Brain Science Hardcover – May 14, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
The subtitle and publicity material make some very provocative claims. We're told that "feedback doesn't work" and that "setting measureable objectives often backfires on managers" to name two. I expected the book to support those assertions.
But this book doesn't do either of those things. Instead it's filled with selectively chosen research that is more from the last century than the latest brain research.
The author claims that "feedback doesn't work." The way he supports that assertion seems characteristic of the book.
To quote the book:"a landmark study at General Electric found that the company's performance appraisal system didn't work, it produced results that were virtually the opposite of what was intended."
First, it's not a "landmark study" within any common meaning of the term. The article is cited only six times in scholarly literature
The researchers did not study feedback. They studied the performance appraisal system in place at GE. Their comments on feedback were about feedback as delivered in an annual performance appraisal and a system where it was common that the annual appraisal was the only time a worker received feedback. GE has since changed this procedure in several ways.
The study (named "Split Roles in Performance Appraisal") was based on the analysis of less than one hundred questionnaires. Not a real big or broad sample.Read more ›
I am also reading Daniel Kahneman's latest book "Thinking, Fast & Slow". You will get a ton more insights about how to manage from Kahneman's book than this painful read by Jacobs.
1. The idea of everyone having a different mental model of the world and the need to try and understand others mental models
2. The power of stories and metaphors to influence and create a shared narrative.
The author oversold the idea of this being a new paradigm and the value of advances in neuroscience. People have been using story telling for thousands of years and the best leaders understand this. Still, it was worth reading about as a reminder.
I would like to have seen the author present more collaborating evidence of this approach being a paradigm shift. Also, I felt the book could have been better organized.
I love neuroscience, psychology, management, leadership, and marketing books. If you love these things then this is the book for you. This book sits on my small shelf of favorites.
The trend in business has been toward making data-driven decisions, but Charles Jacobs explains why using only the logical side of our brain would lead to myopic decisions. Fortunately, the prefrontal cortex is connected to the amygdala, the portion of the brain which deals with emotion and memory, and this helps us make judgments based on previous experience. This reminded me of what Jack Welch has written about managing from the gut, which Welch says is basically pattern recognition.
Most of the book is about managing people. Jacobs shows how extrinsic rewards can diminish intrinsic motivation. This is consistent with the writings of the late quality-guru W. Edwards Deming.
Rather than trying to manage behavior, it is more effective to "change the thinking that drives the behavior." Jacobs explains that stories are a much more effective way to shape thinking than a logical argument. "The most successful CEOs I've ever worked with... convey a narrative about what they're trying to do with their business that gets me as excited as they are."
Jacobs also has some interesting insights on conflict and dissonance. "We should think about actively seeking out dissonance. It is dissonance that teaches us and changes the way we think... [However,] we should also accept that no one ever wins an argument." He encourages the use of questions to resolve conflict.
On page 139 the author describes an experiment with a dolphin conducted by Gregory Bateson. On subsequent pages, the animal is sometimes referred to as a porpoise and other times a dolphin--a bit sloppy with the facts for a nonfiction book which claims to be based on science.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very well written,an "easy," yet profound read, Management Rewired makes the compelling argument that current business practices are, more frequently than not,at odds with all that... Read morePublished on September 12, 2012 by SR
WOW, a welcome and great new look or perspective to solve an old and vexing problem that everyone can understand and implement.Published on January 10, 2012 by thomas f. costello
I was disappointed in Management Rewired, while the Charles Jacobs offered a very good explanation of "The Prisoner dilemma" he added no great insights to the situation. Mr. Read morePublished on January 1, 2012 by RD
Don't let the hype over brain science fool you. These pages are an expansion of a 360-degree feedback trainer's manual explaining the common responses people use to negate feedback... Read morePublished on October 12, 2010 by James A. Penny
Very good book. Easy to apply, but some of the concepts do trick your mind. Liked very much how complete is the research made by Charles Jacobs to write the book, as seen in the... Read morePublished on September 18, 2010 by AndyRacer20
Interesting ideas and concepts of neuroscience applied to management and leadership. Lacks significant referenceing for further research.Published on June 12, 2010 by S. Moulton
I, as did several other reviewers, thought this book might be a little deeper in its discussion regarding management and its workings. Read morePublished on February 11, 2010 by Donald H. Sabathier