TRANSFORMATION: RoadMap: how to understand, diagnose, and fix your organization (second edition). 1998.
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I recently finished reading (and reviewing) Nicholas Carr's insightful book titled, "Does IT Matter? Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage" (ISBN 1591394449). In that book Carr accurately identified common problems with IT, but offered no real solutions. I next read this book and, much to my surprise, it set forth a clear, straightforward roadmap for rectifying nearly all of the problems Carr cited in his book.
Meyer makes a clear distinction between leadership and management, and this distinction is one of the keys to understanding how to go about transforming an organization into one that meets the needs of its internal customers. The 'internal economy' paradigm proposed in Chapter 12 is clearly explained; however, I recommend augmenting this chapter with another of Meyer's books titled, "The Internal Economy: How to Apply Market Principles within Organizations" (ISBN 1892606186) because that book goes much deeper into details.
Throughout the book I encountered ideas, definitions and advice that changed my views on a number of topics. For example, I am an advocate of benchmarking. After reading some of the reasons why this can work against you I modified my views. The same with metrics. I am a strong proponent of metrics, but realized after reading Chapter 14 (Metrics and Rewards) that in many cases I was using the wrong metrics - or the right metrics for the wrong reasons. This information alone made this book valuable to me.
Other features I like about this book is the way Meyer uses realistic stories and scenarios as a lead-in to concepts and methods. I especially liked the way he drills down into common problems in Chapter 15, using a pattern that cites the problem, then discusses dimensions (culture, structure, internal economy, methods & tools, and metrics and rewards). This approach provides a multi-dimensional template for approaching any problem in a consistent manner and ensures that you are looking at all relevant facets of a problem. His approach to identifying root causes is equally powerful.
In 141 pages that comprise this excellent book Meyer provides a sensible prescription for curing problems that I've encountered in one consulting engagement after another. While this prescription is straightforward, it is not easy to implement unless two key elements are present - leadership and management commitment to perform. If you have those, get this book.
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