by Theodore B. Kinni
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
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
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
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
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.
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