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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Book Review - The New How

Book Review
The New How: Creating Business Solutions through Collaborative Strategy

As a recently retired Professor of Management at at AACSB accredited University business school, my first reaction to this book was: Oh-no, another would-be business guru consultant writing a book on business strategy!

With that background, let me give the negatives and positives as I see them. First, a positive: the word Collaborative in the sub-title is encouraging, and it seems to have been carried throughout the book, including in the neat cartoons used to make the reading easier. There must be ongoing collaboration among and between managers at various levels and different departments in order to either effectively plan or execute strategies.

The "Air Sandwich" metaphor that seems to permeate Merchant's consulting approach does not do anything for me, but if she has found it effective in working with her clients than I will object - because, the premise behind the metaphor is valid. Top executives must bridge that gap to front line managers and front line workers. Note the recent interest in the CBS television show, "Undercover Boss!"

The book may seem too big/long to some, but it is actually pretty normal in the business book publishing business. It is an easy read, with useful graphics and examples to break up the theory and procedural details.

It is certainly not a management text, and really offers nothing new (as the title would suggest), but I would recommend it to readers who have not had a lot of exposure to recent management classes or consultants. It does represent most of what is now seen as good practice, and I believe it is easy to follow and understand for the average manager.

Note: This review first written as a Early Reviewer review.

[Included in Cym's April 7 Book Review Party Wednesday]

Happy Reading! ;-)

Dr. Bill

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