The Right Fight: How Great Leaders Use Healthy Conflict to Drive Performance, Innovation, and Value (Google eBook)

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HarperCollins, Feb 2, 2010 - Business & Economics - 256 pages
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Organizational harmony and strategic alignment aren't enough to drive success.

Until now, management wisdom would have you believe that the single most important thing leaders have to get right is alignment. To accomplish anything, employees must agree about the mission, strategy, and goals of an organization. Aligned employees are happy employees, and happy employees are productive employees. Simple, right?

Well, in a word, no. Counter to conventional wisdom, the dirty little secret of leadership—what they don't tell you in business school—is that a leader's time is not always best spent trying to help his or her teams make nice and get along. In contrast, the authors' groundbreaking research shows that fostering productive dissent is essential for achieving peak efficiency—what Joni and Beyer call "right fights."

Right fights need to be well designed and subject to certain rules to be effective. Alignment cannot be ignored; without it, organizations can be plagued with bitter, energy-draining wrong fights. But a certain amount of healthy struggle is good for organizations. Right fights unleash the creative, productive potential of teams, organizations, and communities.

The Right Fight turns management thinking on its head and shows why leaders—in the fast-moving, hyper-competitive marketplaces of the twenty-first century—need to foster alignment and orchestrate thoughtful controversy in their organizations to get the best results. Drawing from examples as diverse as Unilever, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Dell, the Clinton administration, and the Katy Independent School System, here is your playbook for picking the right battles and fighting the right fights well.

  

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Contents

two three Kinds of Fights not Worth Fighting
21
three jack Sparr takes on a Right Fight
45
Focus on the Future
87
Pursue a noble Purpose
107
Structure Formally
147
turn Pain
171
ten conclusion
193
teStS FoR iDentiFying
201
Acknowledgments
225
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Saj-Nicole Joni, Ph.D., is an internationally known business strategist and advisor to CEOs and top executives across the globe. Dr. Joni works with leaders to develop and execute their best strategic options, viewing all sides of a challenge and testing multiple possibilities, even those at the boundaries of convention. A frequent speaker with a regular Forbes.com column, Joni has appeared on NPR Marketplace, has been published in The Harvard Business Review and Fast Company, and is the author of The Third Opinion.

Dr. Joni has filled executive positions at Microsoft and CSC Index, and she has taught at MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, and Wellesley College. She is the founder and CEO of Cambridge International Group Ltd. and holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego.

Damon Beyer is a senior executive advisor with Booz and Company and a founding member of the Katzenbach Center for organizational innovation, where he consults to senior executives in both the public and private sectors. He is a former partner with McKinsey and company and his work has been published in the Harvard Business Review, the McKinsey Quarterly, and the Oil and Gas Journal. He lives in Houston, Texas, and on Deer Isle, Maine.

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