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What the CEO Wants You to Know : How Your Company Really Works Hardcover – February 13, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is organized into four parts.
In part one, you learn the universal language of business though concepts like inventory, product mix, merchandising, pricing, return on assets, customer focus, product quality, cash generation, growth, and finding out what you need to change from customers. The primary metaphor used here is that of a street vendor who is selling fruit in India and cannot afford to have a bad day. Dr. Charan fleshes out the examples by referring to his family's shoe business, and to decisions taken by leading executives he has worked with (like Jack Welch of General Electric, Jac Nassar of Ford, and Dick Brown at EDS).
In part two, he talks about how to use these concepts in the real world. His key point is to take the measurements and create a focus on 3 or 4 key activities that will make the most difference. He also relates this work to expanding the value of the company's share price.
In part three, he turns his attention to getting key tasks done.Read more ›
One problem is the book is most applicable to retail or manufacturing. The central insight of the book deals with inventory turnover. That may be fine for Dell Computers, but CEOs of companies that develop software don't care about inventory, because there is none. The entire service/information economy is more or less ignored.
Overall I found the book interesting and worthwhile. But if you strip away the folksy tales about fruit vendors in the third world and anecdotes about the CEO of Ford, what you have left is a short pamphlet.
I would guess this book contains information my CEO would probably would want me to know. But I am pretty sure my CEO would want me to know a whole lot more than whats in this book.
It's nothing we haven't learned in business school or during our MBA studies-basic business fundamentals. Ram, however, pulls all these concepts together, quite elegantly, and reminds us that these fundamental concepts should be our focus if we want a strong viable company. I throughly enjoyed it. An easy 2-Hour read.
How simple is Charan's exposition on building business acumen?
-Finance and operations management are boiled down to one equation (R=M*V). As basic as it gets.
-And marketing gets covered just as simply: "Do they like my fruit? If customers cleared me out of bananas but I have apples left, should I abandon apples and specialize in bananas?"
- Leadership is getting people to focus on the important drivers of wealth generation: cash, velocity, and margins. The best leaders cut through the complexity of their businesses, and get their employees entirely focused on these fundamentals.
But do not be fooled by the brevity. This book is actually quite rigorous. Of course, you will still need spreadsheets and inventory management software and SAS to mine data in this increasingly complex world. Charan does not deny this, but cuts through the complexity so you can see how it all fits together. And that is business acumen, the knowledge and understanding of which will enrich any job you do.
I personally have a degree in accounting, an MBA in finance and I worked in corporate strategy. I found this book definitely worth the while and ranks up in the top 2 of overall general business books I have read. I am just now starting to put my reviews online.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So much time has passed since this booklet was published, was not really worth the money. The basics are endlessly repeated for someone that could benefit from a lesson on per unit... Read morePublished 1 month ago by vimish
This book offers keen insight into how success in the business world, regardless of size or form, is achieved. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Avery
For me this is a perfect book for persons who want to be a leader inside an organization it will teach you how to solve and specify problems depending on the situation and how to... Read morePublished 2 months ago
This quick primer on business fundamentals simplifies the concept of profitable growth to its base elements: cash, margin, velocity, growth and customers. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Gordon H. Parry
Excellent book! This book changed my outlook while at work. I have taught the concepts to my team, and I let the principles in this book guide a lot of my decision making. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Rhonda Garrett
The simplicity of how to develop business acumen for anyone.
Well written book, I recommend it to anyone who is interested in management!