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The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customerThedore Lewitt

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Fit to Compete

Fit to Compete

Fostering free expression in business organizations reinforces their solidity and performance.

Author(s): Michael Beer

Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press

Date of publication: 2020

Buy this book [amazon.com]


An organization in which silence settles is a weakened organization. Its leaders perceive the problems too late, and they perceive their causes with more difficulty. Without honestly confronting the points of view, inertia gains ground and resources are no longer allocated in a dynamic manner. Finally, when the difficulties are touched upon in the coffee corner, but never openly, resentment and demobilization are likely to emerge.

The author of this book has chosen to attack silence, this “sly killer” that poisons organizations. He proposes a method to take the habit of addressing organizational issues in a direct and transparent manner. Several case studies from international business organizations are proposed. They illustrate the principles of the approach and testify to its effectiveness. The reader will also discover practical advice to set up fruitful collective debates: typical process, golden rules to open up discussion and set up an atmosphere of trust, logistical organization, etc. To conclude, the author shows how these internal debates can improve the quality of management. He underlines the interest of using them as a continuous improvement tool, and not only in a time of crisis.

A solid and convincing essay.