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The Good Farm

  • Jan 4, 2000
This is a terrific book. Insightful, practical, wtitten with a crisp prose style. Beginning with Chapter 2 through Chapter 8, the authors provide a detailed summary of key points at the end of each chapter. These summaries offer excellent checklists which could, perhaps, be discussed individually during a staff or department meeting called to focus on a specific topic such as "speed.". All by themselves, the summaries are well worth the price of the book...and then some.

It is no mere coincidence that the same companies which the editors of Fortune annually rate as the "most admired" also have the greatest cap value. For the co-authors of Good Company, the term "good" refers to character as well as to competence, to decency as well as to dedication. In their book, they examine their "peers from the top 100" (Rosenbluth International is one of them), explaining why the best companies to work for are the best companies to work with.

One of the most valuable points in Good Company is that almost any company (regardless of size or nature) can learn a great deal from the family farm model. Obviously, there will be significant differences between and among companies in terms of how they define terms such as "farm land", "seeds", "crops", "harvest, "going to market", "town", etc. Fair enough. However, each farm is an organization which requires teamwork as well as hard work, careful planning and constant attention, and a healthy respect for natural forces.

Good Company examines two models: the Rosenbluth "farm" as well as the generic "family farm." In process, Rosenbluth and Peters take a close look at fifteen other companies which vary widely in terms of size and nature. "What do all of these companies share in common?" Good Company answers that question. "Why are these same companies rated the most highly respected?" Same answer. An abundant harvest awaits those who care as fiercely as they compete.

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Robert Morris ()
Ranked #169
Professionally, I am an independent management consultant who specializes in accelerated executive development and breakthrough high-impact organizational performance. I also review mostly business books … more
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About this book


In this sequel to their first book, The Customer Comes Second (Morrow, 1992), the authors present the ongoing metamorphosis of their company, Rosenbluth Travel, while surveying other innovative companies identified in Robert Levening and Milton Moskowitz's The 100 Best Companies To Work for in America (Plume, 1993). The result is an internal examination of corporate culture that challenges the notion that corporations must be heartlessly competitive to succeed. The authors explain how Rosenbluth Travel reinvented itself based on an agrarian model, and though their discussion recalls work already done by Stephen Covey (e.g., The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Fireside, 1990), this book is valuable in admitting to the warts, wrinkles, and scars that can arise with the effort to institute change. If a flaw is to be found here, it is in the treatment of diversity-while organizations today are willing to go out of their way to promote cultural, racial, and gender diversity, they are still uncomfortable with diversity in thought, and the authors do not explore this problem sufficiently. An acceptable addition to a general library's business collection.ASteven Silkunas, SEPTA, Philadelphia
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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ISBN-10: 020133982X
ISBN-13: 978-0201339826
Author: Hal F. Rosenbluth
Publisher: Basic Books

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