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What the CEO Wants You to Know: How Your Company Really Works

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2006

    A solid lesson on basic business concepts

    An expert can deconstruct a business down to its basic driving forces to diagnose how it is working. Now, you can do the same - with this concise guide from author Ram Charan, who refers to the ability to work with operational essentials as 'business acumen.' He bases his initial ideas on his family¿s shoe business in India. This family-owned business fought hard for every sale, and each night the relatives discussed what had happened during the day, which goods customers bought and what the store¿s competitors were doing. When he left home to study and, eventually, to become an author and consultant to global companies, Charan remembered those hardscrabble lessons. Here, he distills the core similarities between street vendors and global corporations in what amounts to a narrated business dictionary. We believe this book will help you more deeply understand the vocabulary and ideas at the heart of business, and recommends its clear explanations of essential business concepts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2001

    The Inside Pooper Scoop!

    A shock at every turn! I've worked for Microsoft and IBM and this book sheds light onto the inner workings of both. It seems that every company has a secret plan, one that can be discovered if you know where to look. I discovered how to 'read between the lines' as it were and 'look into my crystal ball'. All metaphores aside, my current employers really got the jiggs for a squishy, placenta we call the financial giant of America. After a meeting in the board room last winter I pulled the fire alarm and quickly made my way into the recesses of the building. Security was busy stuffing sandwiches into the air conditioning vents and as I snuck past, I noticed a green glow from beneath the storage chamber of the CEO himself. Sure enough, there he was, naked and floating in a status beam. Protected from any danger. As I reached up to switch off the power grid, several associate producers and a cheif financial officer burst forth and injected me with a special syrum they later reffered to as 'smart juice'. When I awoke, I rememberd none of what I have just told you. I will never reaveal the true nature of the industry and I will never suggest reading 'What the CEO Wants You To Know'. My lips are sealed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2001

    Business Basics in Simple Concepts and Metaphors

    , February 26, 2001 Dr. Charan has used his decades of experience with top CEOs to write a book that explains the overall concepts and focus of a successful business using simple metaphors. 'The best CEOs . . . are able to take the complexity and mystery out of business by focusing on the fundamentals.' 'And they make sure everone in the company . . . understands these fundamentals.' If you work in a small part of a large organization and don't understand how what you do contributes to the whole, this book will be a revelation to you. If you do not understand how business people think and would like to learn, this book will help you more than any five courses you could take. The book is organized into four parts. In part one, you learn the universal language of business though concepts like inventory, product mix, merchandising, pricing, return on assets, customer focus, product quality, cash generation, growth, and finding out what you need to change from customers. The primary metaphor used here is that of a street vendor who is selling fruit in India and cannot afford to have a bad day. Dr. Charan fleshes out the examples by referring to his family's shoe business, and to decisions taken by leading executives he has worked with (like Jack Welch of General Electric, Jac Nassar of Ford, and Dick Brown at EDS). In part two, he talks about how to use these concepts in the real world. His key point is to take the measurements and create a focus on 3 or 4 key activities that will make the most difference. He also relates this work to expanding the value of the company's share price. In part three, he turns his attention to getting key tasks done. This involves putting the right people in the right jobs, improving group effectiveness (usually by putting in place activities that provide more timely focus), and how to lead change. Dick Brown is the key example in this last area. In part four, you pay attention to what you need to do to aply these concepts to your own situation so you 'become a businessperson first' in your approach to everything. This part gives you help with assessing the whole business, cutting through complexity, providing focus, helping others expand their abilities and synchronize with their colleagues to be more effective, and being a leader (regardless of your role now). You are left then with this challenge: 'What are you going to do to help your company's money making in the next sixty to ninety days? The book is quite simple and can be read fairly quickly. I think that few will be confused by it. If you have questions, ask someone who has some business education to help you. The book's great strength is its simplicity. It takes business concepts and approaches down to the lowest common denominator. For many people, this will provide a great advance over doing what is best for the way you are measured in your part of the organization. But you will have to get those measurements changed if you want focus and behavior to improve in a lasting way. The book's weaknesses are in four areas. First, the street vendor and shoe company examples won't work for everyone. I suspect that a

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2011

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