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Fundamentally Different Reviewed By Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com
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Norm Goldman


Reviewer & Author Interviewer, Norm Goldman. Norm is the Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com.

He has been reviewing books for the past fifteen years when he retired from the legal profession.

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By Norm Goldman
Published on October 27, 2011
 

Author: David J. Friedman

ISBN10:0-7414-6680-5: ISBN13: 978-0-7414-6680-5

Publisher: Infinity Publishing



Click Here To Purchase Fundamentally Different

Author: David J. Friedman

ISBN10:0-7414-6680-5: ISBN13: 978-0-7414-6680-5

Publisher: Infinity Publishing


One of the most striking features that jumps off the page of David J. Freedman’s Fundamentally Different is his talent in driving home meaningful points by having his readers see them, feel then, smell them, and hear them and this is realized with his down-to-earth language and numerous practical illustrations. This is something that many business authors seem to shy away from for fear that they will sound unoriginal or perhaps even unprofessional. The result is that what they are trying to convey becomes cold and in the end fails to influence readers. Put it another way, values have little meaning without stories and examples to bring them to life and engage us on a personal level. We have an easier time understanding the principles forming the basis of these values when we can relate them to our own experiences. To exemplify, as I was reading Fundamentally Different, I experienced two situations where I began evaluating the kind of service I was receiving from two different companies, one of which involved an insurance claim and the other subscribing to a new cable service. The latter should run to the nearest book store and purchase a copy of Friedman's book, as it failed miserably with a culture that seemed to say that I am doing you a favor by taking your order. How many times have we unfortunately encountered this attitude?

Friedman is the former President of RSI, an award-winning employee benefits brokerage and consulting firm. Over a period of twenty-seven years he implemented a winning culture that garnered over a dozen awards for such disciplines as leadership, workplace culture, quality, growth, business success and best work-place. He is a frequent guest speaker and seminar leader on organizational culture, leadership, and values.

According to Friedman, one of the main reasons for the success of RSI was its organizational culture. He maintains that “the culture of an organization is the one factor that most directly correlates to its effectiveness and, ultimately, its success, and “how people perform their everyday tasks is what really determines success.”

Friedman goes on to define culture as “the commonly-held set of values and principles that shows up in the everyday behavior of its people.” When we ask why one organization is more effective than another, we discover that there is a very high degree of uniformity between values followed by leadership and those demonstrated by the behavior of the people or as Friedman asserts, the values become part of their very DNA.

Using his vast amount of leadership experience and knowledge, Friedman shares and explores with his readers eight keys to institutionalizing any set of organizational values. He elaborates how to implement each of the eight keys, furnishes an in-depth discussion of his thirty Fundamentals or values, behaviors, and practices that were adopted at FSI, and he employs stories to demonstrate how these Fundamentals influenced and impacted people both professionally and personally. All of this is covered within the book's two hundred and seventy-nine pages that are divided into four sections that is preceded by an introduction and a chapter on steps to institutionalizing values where Friedman examines each one dealing with defining, selecting, integrating, making visible, usual ritual, coaching, leading by example and creating accountability. The subsequent four sections analyze core values, focusing on service, adopting the collaborative way and personal effectiveness.

Friedman fills his book with persuasive and sincere passages about what it really means to know how to behave, which, according to him, are not what we write on our walls, post around the office or discuss with our co-workers. It really all boils down to our behavior that shows up on a daily basis-the behaviors that clients, carriers, co-workers, friends, and family actually observe. “We are how we behave.” One such pattern of behavior that he emphasizes is thinking from others' perspectives and going beyond our own personal perspective or learning from another point of view. To accomplish this, it is necessary to leave our egos at the door and do what is best for the client, to communicate to be understood and to listen generously.

When we compare Fundamentally Different with other business texts dealing with the same subject matter, what we have here is an enjoyable reading experience rather than a book that we have to plug away to grasp its principles. Moreover, Friedman writes from the viewpoint of someone who really is a passionate observer and his enthusiasm is very contagious. And even if you only apply some of the strategies enunciated in the book, it will be well worth its cost, as it is a timeless vision of powerful business organizational culture and that can even have a profound impact on your daily life.

Click Here To Read Norm's Interview With David J. Friedman


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