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5.0 out of 5 stars How to thrive in the global economy, August 30, 2010
This review is from: Business Intelligence Success Factors: Tools for Aligning Your Business in the Global Economy (Hardcover)
In collaboration with 21 contributors, Olivia Parr Rud provides a wealth of information, observations, and recommendations that share a single purpose: To prepare those who read this book to respond effectively both to the perils and to the opportunities associated with Business Intelligence (BI). More specifically, to help them get their organization in proper alignment in the global economy.

The material is carefully organized within four Parts: Sensibly, the first provides an overview of a business "landscape" that seems to become less comprehensible and more perilous each day; next, five "essential competencies" that an organization needs to leverage new opportunities (i.e. communication, collaboration, innovation, adaptability, and leadership) are examined; then in Part Three, new models for viewing BI are introduced, with special attention paid to systems thinking; then in the final part, Chapter 10, the focus is on "some possibilities beyond corporate borders, given the mastery of the essential competencies." The reader is also provided with I formation about the potential of Holacracy, the role of the visionary, and profiles of five exceptional leaders (e.g. Ben Freeman, Antanas Vainius, John Castagnini, Julie Roberts, and Jim Riordan) who "are working to make a difference" in the increasingly more "volatile" business world. These leaders are among the 13 contributors.

Rud and her colleagues share their thoughts and experiences when suggesting how to

Navigate of the "uncharted waters" of the global economy
Capture value
Devise an appropriate business model
Communicate effectively
Establish and nourish a culture of collaboration
Embracing the new paradigm for adaptability
Develop leadership for/within a dynamic organization

I was especially interested in material about "the seven realities that jeopardize business survival" in Chapter 1" provided by Jim Davis, Gloria J. Miller, and Allan Russell in the book they co-authored, Information Revolution: Using the Information Evolution Model to Grow Your Business. They are:

1. Business cycles are shrinking.
2. You can only squeeze so much juice out of an orange.
3. The rules have changed; there is no more "business as usual."
4. The only constant is permanent volatility
5. Globalization both helps and hurts.
6. The penalties of not knowing are harder than ever.
7. Information is not a by-product of business; it is the lifeblood of business

The co-authors are senior-level executives with SAS and propose what they are convinced is the most appropriate business model to accommodate the seven realities: The Information Evolution Model. For more information about it, read the book and/or please visit [...]

I was also interested in the material on leadership, in Chapter 7, including Rud's observation about "Paradox of Empowerment" -- "True power is the ability to relinquish control" -- and her discussion of "10 Principles for Leading a Dynamic Organization" (Pages 134-146), principles that "tackle the central issues of corporate management in the areas of strategy, organization, and execution. However, the focus is on the dynamics involved." Judi Neal makes an especially valuable contribution in this same chapter, describing Edgewalkers who "have the ability to tap into the energy of an organization, its inherent wisdom (or perhaps its quantum field), to reveal what is invisible to others." Edgewalkers have visionary consciousness, multicultural responsiveness, intuitive sensitivity, risk-taking confidence, and self-awareness. The challenge for them, obviously, is to avoid falling off the "edge"...or to be pushed.

Perhaps at least a few people who note the title of this book will incorrectly conclude that it is primarily (if not exclusively) about competitive intelligence. In fact, the scope and depth of coverage include but are by no means limited to that important subject. As Rud and her colleagues correctly point out, business information is most valuable when it is properly organized to ensure expeditious processing of the information needed (obtaining it, evaluating it, prioritizing it, disseminating it, updating it, etc.) so that appropriate strategies can be formulated and executed (and on occasion, modified) to achieve strategic objectives. BI worthy of the name requires a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effective system. Here in a single volume is just about everything anyone needs to devise such a system.
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