The Managerial Moment of Truth: The Essential Step in Helping People Improve Performance

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Simon and Schuster, May 2, 2006 - Business & Economics - 208 pages
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The Managerial Moment of Truth explains a powerful new concept that can dramatically improve performance and increase productivity, at no cost, in virtually any company or organization. Developed by organizational consultant and bestselling author Robert Fritz and proven in practice by coauthor Bruce Bodaken, the chairman, president, and CEO of Blue Shield of California, the book provides a dynamic technique to help people face up to reality and confront the truth in order to correct mistakes, learn from past performance, and adjust processes to build a more successful organization.

Given human nature, most managers, when faced with the harsh facts of substandard performance, tend to soften the truth with their direct reports, so as not to offend or upset them. They tend to avoid mentioning mistakes, missed dates, an incomplete project, unacceptable quality of work, and the like. Then, if the problem becomes egregious, the manager may suddenly overreact with a contentious confrontation that results in little long-term behavior change. Or else the manager will try to work around the substandard performance, shifting the workload to top performers on the team rather than addressing reality directly with the person concerned. Bodaken and Fritz provide a step-by-step approach for continuous improvement, in which managers deal with performance issues early on, to help employees face the truth without being made to feel denigrated, inept, or incompetent -- which would only defeat the desired goal of improvement. Moreover, this approach also greatly enhances the manager's own career success.

When managers understand and use this practice, they can produce more top performers and add from 25 to 40 percent more actual capacity to their organization. At Blue Shield of California, for example, more than one thousand managers have been trained in this approach, with impressive, measurable results, helping the company become one of the fastest-growing health care plans in the state. Other companies, all at the top of their industries, are now using MMOT with great success. As widely acclaimed author Peter Senge notes in his foreword, "This is not a book with just a bunch of 'good ideas.' It is a call to a simple but transformative practice, vital to building an organization truly worthy of people's highest achievement."
 

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Contents

Introducing the Managerial Moment of Truth Approach
1
How to Recognize and Change Performance Patterns
29
Working with a Team
44
The Positive Moment of Truth
81
Working Within the CrossFunctional Team
87
Exploring Reality
94
The Repeat Offender
111
Truth Within the Team
124
Managing the Mismatch
138
Working Within the Strategic Alliance
151
Rules of Thumb
157
A Final Word
171
Acknowledgments
177
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Bruce Bodaken is Chairman, President, and CEO of Blue Shield of California, a 3.3 million-member not-for-profit health plan that serves the commercial, individual, and government markets in California. During Mr. Bodaken's five-year tenure as CEO, Blue Shield's membership has more than doubled and company revenues have risen from $3 billion to nearly $7 billion. Before embarking on a career in health care, he taught philosophy at the college level. In addition to his work at Blue Shield, Mr. Bodaken serves on numerous professional and civic boards, including the board of directors of the California Business Roundtable; America's Health Insurance Plans; and the University of California, Berkeley's Health Services Management Program. He lives in Mill Valley, California.

Robert Fritz has for more than twenty years been developing the field of structural dynamics through his work, first in the area of the creative process, and then in the area of organizational, business, and management issues. At least eighty thousand people throughout the world have participated in courses Fritz has created. He is the author of several books, including the bestseller The Path of Least Resistance. As a consultant, Fritz has helped numerous organizations put the structural approach into practice, and his clients include Fortune 500 companies, many midsize firms, as well as governmental and nonprofit organizations. Fritz is also a composer and a filmmaker. He lives in Newfane, Vermont.

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