|Book Review: 8 performance killers & how to beat them|
Guide lays out 100-day plan for improvement
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How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things falls into this second category. For bankers to stay current, it is suggested that they read extensively in both areas.
Ours is a rapidly changing industry and it is important to remain current. Because of the incredible changes and the numerous burdens in banking, it is equally vital that we frequently return to the "lodestone" to re-learn and reinforce good basic business practices that sometimes suffer because of these distractions.
Smith identifies eight barriers which can inhibit performance. He uses the clever acronym "A PROMISE" to suggest that if these barriers are breached, there is the promise of better performance.
The categories are:
1. Avoiding Controversy
2. Poor Use of Time
3. Reluctance to Change
4. Organizational Silos
5. Management Blockers
6. Incorrect Information and Bad Assumptions
7. Size Matters
8. Existing Processes
Do not be put off by the simple nature of each of these steps.
For each of the eight areas, Smith provided the reader with real-life stories of businesses stumbling over these obstacles.
As you read his book, you may find, as did I, that some of the stories hit uncomfortably close to home.
For each barrier, common-sense steps are offered on how the barrier can be broken. Each of the chapters on the barriers ends with a brief summary, which will be helpful for future reference.
Smith then introduces 12 principles which, if adopted, would go far in permanently breaking these barriers. He then points out that success depends on creating a psychology that encourages the company to move beyond the barriers, and that recognizes that they can be surmounted.
The book concludes with a step-by-step approach to overcoming the barriers through a 100-day process. Nothing like a roadmap to assure the success of the program! The book ends with an enticing view of the potential results which could be realized by following the process.
It is often said today that what we really need in order to be successful is a return to "the basics."
Neil Smith's book shows us the path.
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Senseless Panic: How Washington Failed America
Like this? You can also read other ABA BJ book reviews here.
[This article was posted on September 24, 2012, on the website of ABA Banking Journal, www.ababj.com, and is copyright 2012 by the American Bankers Association.]
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