- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (October 3, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0787966045
- ISBN-13: 978-0787966041
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,591,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Value Leadership: The 7 Principles that Drive Corporate Value in Any Economy 1st Edition
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There is at least one truth in business: once a year, a consultant will draw a new road map to success. Now it's the turn of Cohan (The Technology Leaders ), who has developed a formula called Value Leadership, based on seven humane principles from treating people with respect to giving to the community. Eight companies meeting these criteria are used as examples, with specific deeds singled out: Goldman Sachs for its insistence on the importance of teamwork, starting with pre-MBA recruitment; Microsoft, for its struggle to control the spread of AIDS in Botswana (in tandem with Merck); and 3M, for devoting 15 percent to research and development. In arguing that all corporate good deeds and values are rewarded, Cohan links his research to financial performance. Who says common sense doesn't pay? Barbara Jacobs
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"Value Leadership is unusually well-constructed and perceptive, and its precepts seem eminently sensible for companies aiming for long-term." (Financial Executive)
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Peter Cohan, in his book Value Leadership, brings together the numbers people and the culture people with a rationale and clear treatise. He then offers an effective tool to measure the results of this balanced and effective leadership stance. He takes the traditional business analyst's quantitative factors (market share, revenues and profit, balance sheet strength and more) and combines them with critical qualitative factors (quality of communications, employee satisfaction, customer service and more) to create a numeric score which can be used to assess current business functioning and to plan for strategic and tactical improvements. This measure alone is a great tool for business leaders and their managers, but it is what is measured that defines this books common sense standard. Mr. Cohan has created a way for business leaders to understand and measure their business' value. For anyone who has bought, sold or merged a business, or who invests in stocks, knows that the most elusive question is "what is the value of this business?" Mr. Cohan's "Value Quotient" is the most complete answer to the value question that I have seen. It works well for active business managers and for investors.
It is my belief that "value' will emerge over the next ten years as the most important factor in determining a business leader's success. Value encompasses the quantitative and qualitative factors that often appear to be at war with each other. How do you run a highly profitable business while also maintaining an effective culture? Short-sighted business leaders who are under performance pressures often boost their numbers at the expense of their people, while the great business leaders can effectively manage both their numbers and their people. In my new book Corporate MVPs I had the opportunity to talk with many great business people who spoke of the importance of building and conserving their most valuable performers. These business leaders focus on building value as their prime responsibility. Peter Cohan's Value Leadership is the book that will help all business leaders build the value of their businesses and of themselves.
Value Leadership is a robust and practical framework that can be fruitfully utilized by investors who want to look beyond financial measures to find Value Leaders and by managers who want to create them. Cohan's Value Quotient provides a useful way to quantify and compare companies on the level of their Value Leadership.
As with his earlier books, Cohan has written a well-organized, insightful and highly readable book. He uses numerous vivid examples from the 8 value leaders (such as Wal-Mart and Microsoft) as well as from other companies in order to bring the Value Leadership concept to life.
As Cohan notes, value emerges from how well a company manages relationships with its customers, employees and communities. His book provides a practical guide for managing those relationships effectively. A manager can drill down from the 7 key principles which define Value Leadership to the specific, nitty-gritty activities and tactics that can create value. This book can help managers create Value Leaders.
Peter Cohan's new book is a Value Leader itself and is definitely worth owning!
Here is the core concept in Peter Cohan's book: "Value leadership focuses on the essence of what makes American capitalism work, the persistent struggle to create ever higher levels of value for a company's stakeholders, in order to inspire the executives to reemerge from postboom economic gloom." Cohan identifies and then discusses with rigor and eloquence what he views as "The Seven Principles of Value Leadership": value human relationships, foster teamwork, experiment frugally, fulfill your commitments, fight complacency, win through multiple means, and give to your community.
He identifies five qualitative factors and six quantitative factors of "Value Leaders" and examines several companies that exemplify the concept and principles. They include Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, J.M. Smucker, MBNA, Microsoft, Southwest Airlines, Synopsys, and Wal-Mart. Agreeing that "what you cannot measure, you cannot manage," Cohan offers a way to quantify and manage "the amorphous topic of values": what he calls the Value Quotient (VQ) "which is predicated on a set of four or five activities that companies can perform within each of the seven Value Leadership principles."
It is important to note that although all of the exemplary companies are large, the same principles are directly relevant- and can be of substantial benefit - to all organizations, regardless of size or nature. Moreover, the VQ of a given company - based on four levels of analysis: concept, principles, activities, and tactics -- is determined by the VQ of those within it. Cohan devotes a separate chapter to each of the seven principles, none of which is a head-snapper...nor does he make such a claim. The great value to be derived from his book is found within the context he creates for each of the principles, and, from his brilliant analysis of correlations between and among them.
Readers will especially appreciate Cohan's skillful use of various reader-friendly devices. For example, he provides the first portion of a declarative sentence such as "To understand the customer, executives may use the following tactics:" and then completes it with a list (e.g. "Ask the customers to list and rank the criteria they use to consider purchases among competing products" and "Ask them to articulate how well the [given] company's products satisfy the customer purchase criteria relative to competitors). I need to add that Cohan does not marinate his readers with naked lists; to his credit, he comments on each of the action steps recommended.
I also want to comment briefly on the Appendix within which Cohan provides a brief but remarkably specific "Criteria Performance" analysis of each of eight exemplary companies previously discussed, followed by a brief but (also) remarkably specific "Value Quotient Analysis" of each. Although their assigned total scores may change in the future, it makes sense for a reader to review periodically the criteria for both analyses, then apply them to her or his own organization to ensure that it remains committed to treating all people with respect, getting people to work well together, harnessing accidental discoveries to create greater value for customers, meeting all commitments, weeding out complacency and arrogance, using strategy to sustain market leadership, and continuing an active and generous involvement in society.
One final point: Many of the companies on Fortune magazine's annual list of those most highly regarded consistently appear on its list of those most profitable. Does Cohan view that as a coincidence? No, and neither do I.
Those who share my high regard for this volume are urged to check out any of Warren Bennis' books (notably Geeks & Geezers and the more recently published Leading for a Lifetime, both co-authored with Robert Thomas) as well as Bill George's Authentic Leadership and the more recently published True North, James O'Toole's Leading Change and The Executive's Compass, Martin Linsky and Ronald Heifetz'Leadership on the Line, Heifetz's Leadership Without Easy Answers, and Winning co-authored by Jack Welch and Suzy Welch.
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and easily understood model to determine how well your company, a company you wish to invest in or a competitor...Read more