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The Management Mythbuster

  • ID: 2219899
  • Book
  • 368 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Are you brave enough?

"We′ve finally lost it! All sense of perspective has disappeared from the practice of management, buried under the overwhelming weight of methodologies, theories, best practices, models, tools, systems, processes, benchmarks, scorecards, competencies, mission statements, and value propositions. Common sense has been subjugated by nonsense!" David Axson, from The Management Mythbuster

As the world was rocked by the near collapse of the global financial system in 2008, the time had arrived to take a closer look at many of the practices and processes that govern much of modern management behavior, practices that promised to revolutionize corporate operations and turbocharge the bottom line, yet had been found wanting.

Enter The Management Mythbuster, a humorous review of current management practice. Author and management thought leader David Axson:

  • Reveals and refutes the fallacies of conventional management wisdom

  • Exposes the myths of standard management thinking

  • Untangles the maze of management myths with short chapters on popular, management practices, theories, tools, and behaviors

  • Proposes a "new normal" in doing business, set to the world we actually live in, with unpredictability, turbulence, and volatility as part of the daily scenery

This book is for you if you are among those who have found the traditional rules and processes in planning, forecasting, budgeting, reporting, accounting, and risk management to have become obsolete, and if you long for a more relevant way to navigate today′s business world.

Become part of the new generation of informed, skeptical, risk–aware, decisive and yes, brave managers, with the commonsense perspective found in The Management Mythbuster.

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About the Author.


About this Book.


Strategic Plans Are of Little Use in Times of Great Uncertainty and Volatility.

Operating Plans and Budgets Provide a False Sense of Security.

Management Reporting Is Driven by an Obsolete View of the World.

Incentive Compensation Rewards Poor Performance and Penalizes Outstanding Performance.

Investments in Staff Education Have Been Inadequate and Misdirected.

Technology Has Failed to Improve and in Many Cases Has Reduced the Effectiveness of Management.

What I Really Think!


Chapter 1: Missions, Visions, and Other Expensive Pastimes.

Fiction: Meeting Room at an Exclusive Country Club, Northern New Jersey February 2007.

Facts: "We Are on a Mission from God".

So What?


Chapter 2: Strategy and Other Confusing Stuff.

Fiction: The Four Seasons Hotel, Nevis Early May 2007.

Facts: Yes, We Are Very Strategic.

Fatally Flawed.

So What?


Chapter 3: Gurus, Consultants, and Other Snake Oil Salesman.

Fiction: Henry s Office October 2008.

Facts: Are You Renting Bodies or Brains?

Objectivity and Independence No, Not Really!

So What?


Chapter 4: Forget Success, Focus on Failure.

Fiction: Sustained High Growth in Revenues and Earnings.

Facts: Accept Failure, Fear Success.

Success Can Be Dangerous for Your Health.

The Perils of Being Number One.

Forget "In Search of Excellence," How About Excellence Lost?

Preparing to Fail.

New Coke A Lesson in Management Excellence Honestly.

IBM From Survival to Leadership.

So What?


Chapter 5: Budgeting A Modern Vision of Hell (Well, Purgatory at Least).

Fiction: Henry Pritchett s Office Early September 2007.

Facts: Not Just a Waste of Time.

Detail Does Not Equal Accuracy.

Why Do We Plan the Wrong Stuff?

Are You on the Road to Hell?

Learn to Love the Budget.

So What?


Chapter 6: The Futility of Forecasting.

Fiction: September 2007.

Facts: Forecasts The Only Certainty Is That They Will Be Wrong.

The Extraordinary Is Now Ordinary.

Not One Size Fits All.

Are Long–Term Forecasts an Oxymoron?

Restoring Credibility.

So What?


Chapter 7: Total Quality, Six Sigma, Process Re–Engineering and Other Management Fads.

Fiction: Quality Is Job 1 April 2006.

Facts: The Scourge of Management Communism.

Cheap Is Not Always Good.

Too Much Process, Not Enough Product.

So What?


Chapter 8: New Risks for a New World.

Fiction: The Boardroom April 2007.

Facts: Risk Is a Four–Letter Word.

Learn from Tiger, Phil, and the Rest.

They Were Going to Change the World.

Beware Irrelevance.

Different Customers, Different Connections.

Beware the Noncompetitive Threat.

Remember Stuff Happens.

Revenue Volatility Means Down as Well as Up.

Reputation Is Everything.

So What?


Chapter 9: Pay for Performance? Failure Pays Very Well These Days.

Fiction: January 2010.

Facts: The Great Incentive Scam.

So What?


Chapter 10: Lies, Damn Lies, and Performance Metrics.

Fiction: Strategic Alignment May 2007.

Facts: Measurement Mania.

Metric of the Month.

Single Version of the Truth.

The Balanced Scorecard Yet Another Illusion.

Reporting What or Why.

Windshield or Rear View Mirror.

Beware EBITDA.

Traffic Light Syndrome Should I Stop or Should I Go?

So What?


Chapter 11: Leveraging Technology for Competitive Advantage.

Fiction: On Time, On Budget But Irrelevant February 2008.

Facts: Automating Inefficiency Just Gets You Bad Data Faster.

Death by Spreadsheet.

IT ROI An Oxymoron.

Hype Versus Reality.

Cool but Pointless.

Whatever Happened to Real–Time Processing?

Breaking Down the Barriers.

Why Do We Fix Costs in a Variable Revenue World?

Centralized or Decentralized? What a Dumb Question!

Outsourcing the Myth and the Reality.

So What?


Chapter 12: Why Accountants Rule the World.

Fiction: Closing the Books, October 11, 2007.

Facts: Death by Accounting and Other Fatal Diseases.

Accounting An Alternative Reality.

Accounting Irrelevance.

The Myth of Cost Allocations.

Making the Numbers or Making The Numbers Up?

An Accounting Conspiracy Theory.

So What?


Chapter 13: The Synergies Will Be Massive!

Fiction: The Myth of Synergy August 2006.

Facts: Synergy Much Touted, Rarely Realized.

Private Equity It s Really Just a Corporate Enema!

So What?


Chapter 14: Talent Matters.

Fiction: A Corner Office on the 15th Floor of Cruciant s Headquarters April 2008.

Facts: Talent Factories.

All GE Managers Are Gods.

Retaining Talent Not Always a Good Thing.

The Illusion of Competence.

Fool Me Once, Shame on You; Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me.

The MBA Myth.

What Makes a Successful Leader?

So What?


Chapter 15: Ask The Dumb Questions.

Fiction: May 2007.

Facts: Keep It Simple.

Isolating Management Stupidity.

Follow the Herd.

The Parable of the Leaky Valve.

So What?


Chapter 16: The Business of Spin.

Fiction: Steve Borden s Office January 2008.

Facts: The Business of Spin.

What Planet Were They On?

Spin Cycle: Citigroup 2006 2009.

Southwest Airlines: Succeeding Despite the Market.

Tall Poppy Syndrome.

Nice Work If You Can Get It.

Beyond Spin: Sometimes It Is All Smoke and Mirrors.

Spot the Crook.

So What?



Cruciant From Good to Great? January 2010.


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David A. J. Axson
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