Author: Alan J. McCarthy, Author

Publisher: 4th Edition Publishing
ISBN:  978-9847238-0-5

Alan McCarthy, author of Beyond Genius, Innovation & Luck, holds a Master’s degree from Golden Gate University, is mediation-certified, and provides his services pro-bono to the non-profit community as often as he can. (2012, inside back cover) Mr. McCarthy has penned numerous other books and hopes that all readers of his works will friend him on Facebook and/or peruse his website. He welcomes speaking engagements or consulting in his area of expertise.

Business Management and especially management as it pertains to high-performing organizations is of special interest to me because of my degrees. I found this book sensationally important to businesses who are striving for how to attain such status and very easy to read. It unfolds almost as a blueprint from an architect to the general contractor or project manager.

The Preface (2012) states that “Today’s organizations are horribly complex…when an organization operates even slightly out of focus bad things happen---loss of productivity, loss of profits, and possibly even catastrophic failure…due to the inability to efficiently mobilize ideas and create and sustain traction in the market.” I do not disagree.

McCArthy terms managements’ inability to properly address these misalignments as “management disability.” (2012, p.1) Each chapter of this spellbinding book hinges on criteria that can help organizations achieve more.

Chapter one reveals the three dimensions that require management simultaneously. (2012, p.11) Those are: strategic, cross- functional, and functional. “…leaders of modern organizations must have the capability to manage multi-dimensionally complex systems---able to think in three dimensions concurrently, not just one.” (2012, p.15) “This promotes effective decision making and the implementation of actions that are most impactful for the organization.” (p.16)

The following chapters invite the leaders/managers to work toward refinement of their missions and vision, getting everyone moving in the same direction and on the same page, allocating the right resources (people, time, etc.) for the right job, and in creation of measureable and achievable objectives that can ensure success. There are also hints along the way that allow leaders and managers to see where things are falling off track and not producing the desired or hoped for results. Each step reads like a recipe. If the chef/cook (leaders/managers) follow these, relatively simple, steps they can learn to see where misalignments can, and do, occur, they (managers/leaders) can find ways to overcome or mitigate these misalignments without allowing them to spiral out of control and destroy their organizations. Concentrating on the whole three-dimensional picture allows leaders and managers to begin to reap the rewards of a high-performing organization by focusing on the measurable output/actions, balancing resources and talent with timing such that functions are driving planning.

Most students of business know that organizations undergo a variety of changes as the move from start-up to plateau and into maturity. McCarthy states that “…functional areas shift over time as an organization develops and grows.” (2012, p.169) Therefore, the better leaders and managers understand the functional areas of a business the more opportunity there is to negotiate change and plan for what their future should look like.

Toward the end of this book there are charts and dialogue that can help determine the value of each function (value proposition). (2012, p.171) While McCarthy says he is not a proponent of such factors he does admit that there is no short-cut for “…objective, through analysis...”. I concur.

Personally, I would recommend this book to each and every business leader, now more than ever. Times have changed: businesses and leaders need to be nimble and receptive to those changes if they want to succeed. If leaders do not keep abreast of those changes they may find their businesses destined for failure. Alan J. McCarthy makes a strong argument for how to become a solid high-performing organization. I say listen and heed his advice.

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