Recommended Resource – The Pivot Point

The Pivot Point: Success in Organizational Change

by Victoria M. Grady
and James D. Grady

About the Book

The Pivot Point by Drs. Victoria and James Grady is a business novel presenting a unique perspective on effectively implementing organizational change based on group and individual psychodynamics. Within their book, Victoria and James examine decades of research into the ways individuals cope with loss and then relate these principles to the business environment. They conclude by providing methods for identifying and dealing with group and individual loss factors and reactions such that the desired organizational change can be implemented with a minimal loss of organizational effectiveness and productivity.

Benefits of Using This Book

StrategyDriven Contributors like The Pivot Point for its unique perspective on the group and individual psychology associated with organizational change. Victoria and James’s point of view is deeply rooted in decades of sound academic research and refined by real world experiences. Not only did we find their assertions compelling, they matched our decades of group and individual observations and experiences.

The Pivot Point also provides methods for better dealing with these psychological challenges of change. The book prescribes implementable methods to address both the group and individual resistance factor in a constructive manner that is respectful of organizational personnel while at the same time progressive of the needed change. In some instances, however, change tools such as change readiness surveys appeared to lack the detail necessary to be immediately implementable and instead would require the services of Drs. Grady’s organization to complete. We would have preferred to have had the book be more complete in these areas.

The Pivot Point provides a refreshingly new perspective on making effective organizational change that is well aligned with the philosophies espoused by StrategyDriven. For this reason, The Pivot Point is a StrategyDriven recommended read.

Recommended Resource – Building Team Power

Building Team Power: How to Unleash the Collaborative Genius of Teams for Increased Engagement, Productivity, and Results

by Thomas Kayser

About the Book

Building Team Power by Thomas Kayser examines the structural mechanisms and behavioral traits that combined to create highly collaborative teams. Thomas provides practical, detailed methods for leaders at every level of the organization to foster and enhance the collaboration between team members in six critical areas:

  • Mutual Trust
  • Decision-Making
  • Consensus Building
  • Conflict Management
  • Delegation Effectiveness
  • Team Problem Solving (two scenarios)

Benefits of Using this Book

StrategyDriven Contributors like Building Team Power for its immediately actionable insights into enhancing team collaboration at any level within an organization. We found Thomas’s methods to be deeply insightful, originating from sound academic principle and refined with real world experience during his thirty years at Xerox. Building Team Power is highly prescriptive, complete with process flows and charts that convey to the reader how to implement the team building methods.

If we had one critisism of Building Team Power, it would be that the procedure-like formatting of the methods provided would be impractical to implement in a team setting. That said, we believe the book would make an excellent tool to create management training courses and teamwork checklists and guides.

Building Team Power embodies many of the principles StrategyDriven recommends in building highly aligned and accountable organizations. Additionally, it mirrors many of our decision-making best practices. For these reasons, its academic foundation and real world refinement, and its implementability, Building Team Power is a StrategyDriven recommended read.

Recommended Resource – Act Like a Sales Pro

Act Like a Sales Pro: How to Command the Business Stage and Dramatically Increase Your Sales with Proven Acting Techniques

written by Julie Hansen
and published by Career Press

About the Reference

Act Like a Sales Pro by Julie Hansen reveals the behaviors exhibited by effective salespersons that create a memorable buying experience. Julie teaches readers the art of selling through easy-to-follow exercises then enable them to more effectively prepare and execute on all types of sales engagements. By reading her book, one learns how to:

  • Gain an appointment using audition techniques
  • Draw interest from reluctant prospects using secrets of the performer
  • Deliver memorable presentations
  • React to the unexpected and control the sale using the rules of improvisation

Benefits of Using This Reference

StrategyDriven Contributors like Act Like a Sales Pro for its fresh approach to effective selling. Julie’s book engages the reader and translates for them the insights she’s gained from the acting world into that of the sales call. And her step-by-step exercises make these ‘acting behaviors’ immediately implementable by even those who don’t consider themselves to be good salespersons.

What makes Act Like a Sales Pro truly different from other books on selling is its focus on personal behaviors. Other quality books focus on the process of selling whereas Julie’s book teaches readers the physical and verbal behaviors they should exhibit while executing the selling process. We put some of Julie’s recommendations to the test and found they did help secure a positive outcome.

Act Like a Sales Pro effectively fills what is often a void in other sales books and training programs. Filled with immediately implementable recommendations and real world examples, Act Like a Sales Pro is a StrategyDriven recommended read.

Additional Resources

Complimenting Act Like a Sales Pro, StrategyDriven provides an abundance of information on the consultative selling process within the StrategyDriven Consultative Selling Knowledge Center.

The Transformative CEO

The Transformative CEO: Impact Lessons from Industry Game Changes

by Jeffrey J. Fox and Robert Reiss

About the Reference

The Transformative CEO by Jeffrey J. Fox and Robert Reiss identifies a number of common personal qualities and approaches taken by celebrity CEOs in building or turning around their companies. Jeffrey and Robert then breakdown these items into supporting subparts and provides a series of quotes from notable CEOs in support of each subpart.

Specific topics covered by The Transformative CEO include:

  • Turning around a company
  • Building superior customer service
  • Thinking big and going global
  • Performing while transforming
  • Having a higher purpose
  • Innovating and making everything better

Why You Should Not Buy This Book

StrategyDriven Contributors found The Transformative CEO to be shallow and largely uninsightful. While the book does provide some overarching characteristics and approaches of successful chief executives, we found many of these items to be common sense truisms, philosophies most junior managers and graduate level business students would stipulate. That renown CEOs agree with these premises serves to give them credibility but does little to suggest how the reader should implement the recommended approaches.

The book suggests actions to improve the management decision-making process. Surprisingly, these actions – the most valuable and explicit points made in the book – are largely unsupported by CEO comments.

Alternative Recommendation

StrategyDriven Contributors believe there are certain qualities, characteristics, and approaches common among successful CEOs. Furthermore, we believe CEOs set the tone and tenor of the organization over which they preside and so embodying these traits is important.

We recommend The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter F. Drucker as a superior resource for learning about the admirable qualities of an executive. Through his book, Dr. Drucker provides readers with the specific actionable steps necessary to become more effective as leaders through improved decision-making and action.

Click here to read our review of The Effective Executive.

Recommended Resource – Secrets of Power Problem Solving

Secrets of Power Problem Solving

by Roger Dawson

About the Reference

Secrets of Power Problem Solving by Roger Dawson provides an insightful examination of the theories and practices associated with decision-making. Throughout his book, Roger challenges commonly held beliefs about the decision-making process and provides actionable methods to effectively address problems of all types… of which he indicates there are only two, people and money issues.

In Secrets of Power Problem Solving, Roger presents methods for answering several key decision-making questions:

  • Does the Problem Deserve a Solution?
  • Is the Problem Real or Imagined?
  • How Quickly Should You Choose?
  • Intuition or Rapid Reasoning?
  • What Makes You a Great Problem Solver?

Benefits of Using this Reference

StrategyDriven Contributors like Secrets of Power Problem Solving because of its logical, well-structured approach to everyday decision-making that will be of value to new and seasoned professionals. Roger provides immediately implementable methods for effectively dealing with both people and money challenges. Furthermore, each chapter is summarized by a “Key points from this chapter” list that makes periodic review of his book for principles reinforcement easy and fast.

If we had one suggestion to offer it would be that the flow of the book and its recommendations would be more easily synthesized by the reader if an overview of the decision-making process was presented in the beginning of the book. This is a very minor point as a moderately experienced decision-maker can easily follow Roger’s line of thinking throughout the book.

Effective decision-making is both a role and challenge for today’s professionals. Secrets of Power Problem Solving’s methods provide new and seasoned professionals with a collection of decision-making practices that will help them become better decision-makers. Additionally, the recommendations Roger presents throughout his book are very well aligned with StrategyDriven’s decision-making best practices; making Secrets of Power Problem Solving a StrategyDriven recommended read.