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The Power of LEO: The Revolutionary Process for Achieving Extraordinary Results Hardcover – October 14, 2011
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About the Author
Subir Chowdhury is the author of 13 books, including the international bestsellers The Power of Six Sigma and The Ice Cream Maker. As chairman and CEO of ASI Consulting Group (www.asiusa.com), he advises CEOs and senior leaders of Fortune 100 companies and in private and public sectors all over the world, helping them make “quality” a part of their business culture. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security presented him with the Outstanding American by Choice Award. Chowdhury’s works are cited frequently in the national and international media.
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Subir Chowdhury, the author, has written and interesting and informative introduction to LEO - the process which stands for Listen - observe and understand the what is happening currently; Enrich - explore and discover new and better solutions; and Optimize - improve and perfect.
The book is well written and easy to read. The layout, format of the book is extremely reader friendly, making it possible to read the entire book in a couple of hours.
Mr. Chowdhury shows how LEO can be used to put out fires - solve problems which are causing immediate problems, to fixing the flow - improving the process, to defining the future - creating new products. He then goes into detail using case studies to show each separate function of the LEO model. He shows how to Listen hard, how to enrich the product/process and finally how to optimize.
Finally he walks the reader through an all-out process where one company engaged in an 18 month implementation of the LEO method and gives a good overview of how the work was carried out.
As with any change process, he stresses that without buy-in and continual support from the CEO, the process will be doomed to fail. He takes great care to talk about the natural dissenters to any change process and how to effectively deal with them.
While this process will work for any business, this book is not a how-to manual. This book gives you a good understanding of the power of LEO - what it can do. You will learn some skills and techniques that make LEO work. But if you wish to implement LEO in your organization, you are going to need some outside help. There is a standard LEO program which Mr. Chowdhury's company starts with and then modifies for each specific assignment.
The final chapter of the book talks about how LEO - the quest for continual improvement can and should be adopt by individuals. "We have a choice. We can simply accept what's happening and spend our energy groaning and criticizing, or we can, as individuals, try to make a difference.
I believe we would all do a better job if we were to listen more carefully, look for better ways to do things and constantly optimize whatever we are doing in our lives - either work or personal.
The book offers lots of examples of how LEO has been applied to a very wide range of companies and problems. If your company is operating at less than peak, you certainly should consider using The Power of LEO to improve your results.
I do not damn Chowdhury with faint praise when suggesting that his latest book has much to commend it. He has highly developed reasoning and writing skills, he organizes his material with meticulous care, and all of his recommendations are eminently sensible. He seasons his narrative with somewhat obscure but nonetheless interesting historical tidbits such as solving a "jelly bean production problem" in the 1930s, why the number of coffeehouses in England increased from the first (in Oxford in 1650) to more than 3,000 in 1675, and the Kids F.A.C.E. (Kids for a Clean Environment) that nine-year-old Melissa Pope founded in 1989. I really mean that. However, and yes there is a "however," it is important to keep in mind that however simple and applicable the basic ideas behind LEO may be, they serve only as a template, a set of guidelines by which to make better decisions about what to do and how to do it.
These are among passages that caught my eye:
o LEO: Listen (observe and understand) Enrich (explore and discover), and Optimize (improve and perfect), Pages 3-6
o The Four Cornerstones: Quality Is My Responsibility, All the People, All the Time, An I-Can-Do-It Mindset, and No One Size Fits All (Pages 8-14)
o Three basic conditions that help to explain why processes tend to run amok (55-56)
o Reviews: Listen (114), Enrich (138-139), and Optimize (163)
According to Chowdhury, ""The test of a LEO deployment's lasting power, its sustainability, takes place over years...For a LEO project to succeed, it must have the support of the company's leaders and of the managers and of the frontline people who are directly involved in the effort." Also, and of equal importance, "It requires that the individual people within the company, leaders and frontline people alike, acquire a high-quality mindset." The details of that mindset as well as how to develop it are best revealed within the narrative. However, the fact remains that the efforts of one individual can ensure the success of a LEO project, nor can the collaborative efforts of a project team's members.
What is needed is nothing less than a culture within which everyone at all levels and in all areas are committed to observing and listening, exploring and discovering, and improving and perfecting. These individual and collective initiatives must be based on a foundation whose cornerstones are - or are comparable with - those that Subir Chowdhury proposes. I really like the quotation with which he concludes, provided by Dr. Seuss:
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not."
Most recent customer reviews
"L is for Listen. Observe and Understand - To obtain a deep understanding of the issue at hand,...Read more