by Theodore B. Kinni

QS-9000 Pioneers
by Subir Chowdhury and Ken Zimmer

Co-authors and editors Chowdhury and Zimmer have compiled one of the most useful guides to QS-9000 yet published. The combination of a generic implementation methodology, an overview of the automotive standards and a series of case studies add up to create a valuable book, even for this pricey hardcover.

The book's core consists of first-hand case studies that are written by managers and which describe the implementation efforts at 13 different automotive-industry suppliers. The studies are presented one to a chapter, offering an insightful look at each company's registration drive. The studies represent an excellent range of company sizes, number of employees and products. The writing and content is of high quality.

In addition, the authors comb the case studies for common lessons and offer the reader a simple, 10-step framework for designing registration drives. It closely follows similar ISO 9000 methodologies. The book also contains a detailed overview of QS-9000 that is intended to be a supplement to the standards themselves (which are not included).

QS-9000 Pioneers (Irwin, $50) is a valuable addition to the small shelf of QS-9000 books currently available. The case studies offer an inside look at the registration process from a wide variety of business perspectives. And they effectively illustrate the common lessons of QS-9000 implementation, as well as the specific considerations unique to various companies.

Managers as Mentors
by Chip R. Bell

At first glance, customer-service expert Chip Bell seems to be wandering somewhat far afield with this practical working guide to mentoring. But, if you subscribe to the idea that a manager's customers include his or her employees, this tome on becoming a world-class mentor is a good fit with Bell's previous work.

Bell uses the acronym SAGE to define the four behaviors exhibited by effective mentors. They are: surrendering, accepting, gifting and extending. Surrendering involves accepting the learning process and attempting not to dominate that process. Accepting involves a nonjudgmental, embracing approach to employees. Gifting involves giving without expecting anything in return. And extending is a mentor's willingness to let protégés grow beyond the mentoring relationship.

Bell devotes one section to each mentoring behavior. The sections are comprised of several short chapters that explore the characteristics and techniques of each behavior. In the section on extending, for instance, three chapters explain the use of role-playing, how to help employees learn by doing and how to use the end of the mentoring relationship to facilitate continued growth.

The clarity and simplicity of Bell's previous books carry through to this one. The tone and style of the writing, and the presentation of the material make this a book that is easily understood. Bell has a gift for explaining even complicated concepts clearly.

The advice in Managers as Mentors (Berrett-Koehler, $24.95) can be applied far beyond formal mentoring relationships. Managers can use these ideas to improve communication and establish positive working relationships with their employees.

Leading Change
by John P. Kotter

There are many books about organizational change, and while the need for yet another could be easily contested, Harvard Business School Professor John Kotter has written an easy-to-read addition to the change-management bookshelf. Kotter leaves behind the usual dry academic style, writing the book in the first person.

Expanded from a popular 1994 Harvard Business Review article, this book presents a change framework that the author seems to have taken directly from his own observations of change-effort failures. Kotter's eight stages of change creation are: establishing a sense of urgency, creating a guiding coalition, developing a vision and strategy, communicating the change vision, empowering broad-based action, generating short-term wins, consolidating gains and producing more change, and institutionalizing new approaches in the culture.

Kotter's change process doesn't break new ground. If you've read other books on this subject, you've probably heard many of these ideas before. The main difference between other books about organizational change and this one is Kotter's presentation. He is clear and concise. He doesn't leave the reader feeling that change leadership is as complex as brain surgery. Rather, he emphasizes the rigorous practice of the relatively simple steps for making a change process successful.

The problem with change processes, suggests Kotter, is that no matter how many times managers hear sound change theory, they still don't practice it. If that's the case, Leading Change (Harvard Business School Press, $24.95) may not be much help after all.

by Joseph Jaworski

With Synchronicity, Joseph Jaworski joins a select group of authors whose members have successfully used personal accounts of their lives and careers to illustrate business lessons. In this case, after devoting many years to achieving traditional goals, the shock of an unexpected divorce led the author to reappraise and, ultimately, dramatically restructure his life. The experiences of that journey form the basis of this book.

Jaworski spent several years trying to uncover the proper direction for his new life, disentangling himself from his old one. During that period, a series of seemingly coincidental episodes occurred that moved Jaworski further along his new path. These episodes are examples of synchronicity (as defined by Carl Jung) and, according to the author, being open to the opportunities they represent sets the stage for "predictable miracles." Since finding his new direction in life, Jaworski has founded and run the American Leadership Forum, headed Global Scenario Planning for Royal Dutch/Shell and currently is a member of MIT's Center for Organizational Learning.

There is no doubting the validity of Jaworski's journey. But readers of Synchronicity (Berrett-Koehler, $24.95) may have trouble following the author's example in their own search for purpose and meaning. The author obviously has the financial resources to follow his feelings and dreams freely-a luxury many readers may not be able to afford. Further, Jaworski's journey is a unique one. Whether his personal experiences are translatable at either individual or organizational levels is a topic to be debated.


by Theodore B. Kinni

Total Quality Service
by Sheila Kessler
(ASQC, 161 pages, $20)

Kessler uses the Baldrige criteria as the basis for this road map to quality for service companies. The seven major elements, described in the main body of the book, are leadership, measurement, customer focus, strategic planning, human resource management, process orientation and business results.

From the Ground Up
by Edward E. Lawler III
(Jossey-Bass, 299 pages, $27)

Lawler, an organizational-design expert, proposes a "new logic" corporation based on six key principles. The principles are based on the belief that organization-a company's management system, processes and structure-is the greatest competitive advantage.

Beyond Reengineering
by Michael Hammer
(Harper Business, 320 pages, $25)

Hammer, co-author of Reengineering the Corporation, looks at corporate life after reengineering and finds that it must be process-centered. Hammer's version of process-focus has four key elements: process identification, awareness, measurement and management.

How to Design and Implement a
Results-Oriented Pay System

by John Belcher Jr.
(Amacom, 248 pages, $55)

Compensation systems can be the fundamental support of an organization's strategic goals, according to Belcher. In this handbook, he provides a practical guide for creating compensation systems and offers a generic 19-step methodology for creating gain-, profit- and goal-sharing plans.

Strategic Environmental Management
by Grace Wever
(John Wiley & Sons, 300 pages, $54.95)

This book is a hands-on guide for creating a total quality environmental management system that uses the Baldrige, Deming and ISO 14001 criteria as a foundation. The volume includes a Windows-based disk containing an original TQEM matrix and a detailed self-assessment instrument.

The Baldrige Workbook for Healthcare
by Donald Fisher and Bryan Simmons
(Quality Resources, 271 pages, $28)

This manual is designed to help health-care organizations assess and score their quality efforts using the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria for Healthcare. Each criterion is described in separate sections that include guidelines on areas to address, an assessment range and an improvement-opportunities questionnaire.