Great leaders are in control and ought to be.
The best organizations have the best people.
Financial incentives drive company performance.
Great pearls of business wisdom? Absolutely not, state Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton. They say too much common management “wisdom” isn’t wise at all, but instead is based on flawed knowledge of best practices that are poor, incomplete, or outright wrong — not to mention hazardous to an organization’s health.
In Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-Based Management, Pfeffer and Sutton show how companies can bolster performance and trump the competition through evidence-based management, an approach to decision making and action that is driven by hard facts rather than half-truths or hype.
Unfortunately, managers often base their actions not on evidence or deep knowledge, but on blind faith — mindlessly copying what others have done, letting too much ride on gut instinct or intuition, and acting without questioning the myths, beliefs, ideologies, and popular fashions of management practices. Pfeffer and Sutton say enough is enough — and advocate the use of evidence-based management. In addition to outlining its financial and organizational impact on business, the authors help leaders to overcome barriers to evidence-based management in their own organizations, emphasizing how to manage in light of the most dangerous half-truths that bedevil organizations, which include:
- Work is fundamentally different than the rest of life
- The best organizations have the best people
- Financial incentives drive company performance
- Strategy is destiny
- Change or die
- Great leaders are in control of their companies
Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense is a candid book that challenges executives to commit to evidence-based management as a way of organizational life. And it shows executives how to turn this commonsense approach into common practice.
Selected by The Globe and Mail as the best book of 2006.