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Ruthless Execution: What Business Leaders Do When Their Companies Hit the Wall

Book Description

Today's business leaders need a radically different skill from their recent predecessors: they must know how to know how to manage through adversity while preparing their companies for a new rebirth of success. In Ruthless Execution, Amir Hartman, author of the bestselling NETREADY, identifies the central ingredients that help certain companies to get beyond the wall and thrive--and show how to instill these ingredients in your organization. You will learn when and how to recalibrate the balance between performance and growth; how to define a coherent, tightly-drawn business philosophy that maps to specific actions; new ways to promote accountability and business alignment; and how to use performance metrics without burying people in meaningless trivia. Also discover how to promote real discipline: the ability to get the job done quickly, efficiently, and effortlessly--without bureaucracy. Next, you learn how to develop stronger "critical capabilities" for understanding and managing complexity. Along the way, the authors present case studies of world-class enterprises that have used these strategies to achieve breakthrough success. Watch John Chambers maneuver Cisco through the telecom collapse; Lou Gerstner impose powerful new discipline at IBM; Harry Kraemer realign Baxter with transformed markets; Dan Vasella transform Novartis through mergers; and many more...all unified by one central factor: ruthless execution.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Praise for Ruthless Execution
  3. Financial Times Prentice Hall
  4. Financial Times Prentice Hall Books
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Foreword
  7. I. Managing Through Tough Times
    1. 1. Introduction
      1. Hitting the Wall
      2. Fewer Worries
        1. Conventional Wisdom
        2. Ruthless Execution
        3. Leadership
        4. Governance
        5. Critical Capabilities
  8. II. Leadership: Dealing with Rude Awakenings
    1. 2. Leadership: Strategic Recalibration and the Business Philosophy
      1. The Ruthless Execution Checklist
      2. Strategic Recalibration
      3. Revitalizing the Core
      4. Reading the Environment
      5. Portfolio Management Discipline
      6. Using the Performance Portfolio Framework
      7. Guidelines for Strategic Recalibration
      8. The Art and Science of Portfolio Management
      9. The Business Philosophy
      10. Communicating Consistently
    2. 3. The Competitor: Jack Welch’s Burning Platform
      1. Number 1, Number 2
      2. Unique and High-Spirited
      3. Quantum Leap
      4. Feet on the Street
      5. Work Out
      6. Six Sigma
    3. 4. The Recalibrator: John Chambers Maneuvers the Cisco Growth Engine Through Stormy Times
      1. Most Valuable Company
      2. Healthy Paranoia
      3. Primed for Growth
      4. The Crescendo Success
      5. A Weakened Economy
      6. Sign of Recovery
  9. III. How to Play the Game
    1. 5. Governance: Tough Rules for Tough Times
      1. The Ruthless Execution Checklist
      2. Accountability
      3. Performance Management System
      4. All Measures Are Not Created Equal
      5. Discipline
      6. The Discipline of Capital Investment
      7. Striving for Consistency
    2. 6. The Executioner: Lou Gerstner Imposes a New Discipline at IBM
      1. Leading Computer Company
      2. Heading for Trouble
      3. Keeping IBM Together
      4. Falling Asleep on the Job
      5. Constructive Impatience
      6. No Over-Promising
      7. Stressing the Services Side
      8. A Desk Is a Dangerous Place
    3. 7. The Importance of Consistency: Harry Kraemer Aligning the New Baxter
      1. Don’t Fixate on Expectations
      2. Strategic Bywords
      3. Short Term and Long Term
  10. IV. Breaking Through the Wall
    1. 8. Critical Capabilities: Actions That Make a Difference
      1. The Ruthless Execution Checklist
      2. Vigilant Productivity Management
        1. Cost Management
        2. Working Capital Management
        3. Technology-Driven Productivity Improvement
        4. Talent Management
        5. Bringing on the Best
      3. Focused Corporate Transactions
        1. An Aggressive Acquirer
    2. 9. The Acquisitive Man: The Steve Kaufman Case
      1. New Growth Strategy
      2. Largest Distributor
    3. 10. The Merger Man: Dan Vasella Brings Novartis to Great Success
      1. Badly Beaten
      2. U.S.-Style Capitalism
      3. Speeding Up Development
      4. Winning FDA Approval
      5. Physician Turned Businessman
    4. 11. Mr. Productivity: Larry Bossidy Uses Information Technology to Mold a New Honeywell
      1. Driving Out Costs
      2. The Push for Six Sigma and Digitization
  11. V. What It All Means
    1. 12. Final Thoughts
      1. Ruthless Execution Index