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High Commitment High Performance: How to Build A Resilient Organization for Sustained Advantage

ISBN: 978-0-470-48688-7
283 pages
July 2009, Jossey-Bass
High Commitment High Performance: How to Build A Resilient Organization for Sustained Advantage (0470486880) cover image


"In these economic times this book is more important than ever. A must-read for the leaders of today and tomorrow."

Douglas R. Conant, president and chief executive officer, Campbell Soup Company

Praise for High Commitment, High Performance

"It is seldom that I read a book about leadership and get excited; this one did that to me. The author has found values and aspects of leadership that have worked well for long term execution of strategies. For Boards and CEOs, this is a great book."
—Leif Johansson, president and chief executive officer, Volvo Group

"Resilience promises to be the distinguishing characteristic of companies that will prosper from the current economic crisis. Mike Beer's new book is a compelling manual for success in this new economy."
—Ravi Venkatesan, chairman, Microsoft India

"A must read for leaders who want to develop an edge by building a resilient organization for competitive advantage. Beer's views and recommendations are based on extensive research."
—Ram Charan, Ram Charan Associates and co-author of the bestselling book, Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

"With decades of teaching and research and close engagement with companies, Michael Beer has written a book that not only makes the case for building a high commitment organization, but also provides practical advice for doing it."
—Jeffrey Pfeffer, professor, Stanford Business School and author, The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First

"Beer brings a multi-disciplinary perspective from his extensive experience in industry and academia to reveal how leaders of HCHP organizations break through internal barriers and manage multiple tensions in their quest for sustainable value-creation."
—Robert Kaplan, professor, Harvard Business School and co-author, The Execution Premium and The Balanced Score Card

"Mike Beer brings his wealth of research and experience to provide fresh insights to the enduring question of what makes companies succeed over the long run. I have utilized many of the principles successfully and recommend them to any corporate leader committed to building an outstanding organization."
—Ed Ludwig, chairman and chief executive officer, Becton Dickinson

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Table of Contents


1. Introduction.

Part I: The High Commitment, High Performance Organization.

2. Pillars of High Commitment and Performance Organizations.

3. Principled Choice and Discipline Are Essential.

4. Building the High Commitment, High Performance System.

Part II: What Stands in the Way.

5. Hidden Barriers to Sustained High Commitment and High Performance.

Part III: Leadership and Learning Change Levers.

6. Change Lever 1: Lead a Collective Learning Process.

7. Change Lever 2: Enable Truth to Speak to Power.

Part IV: Organization Design Change Levers.

8. Change Lever 3: Manage Organizational Performance Strategically.

9. Change Lever 4: Organize for Performance and Commitment.

10. Change Lever 5: Develop Human and Social Capital.

Part V: Transforming the Organization.

11. Embrace E and O Change Strategies.

12. Epilogue.



The Author.

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Author Information

Michael Beer is Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus at Harvard Business School and chairman of TruePoint, a research-based consultancy. Beer is the author or coauthor of nine books including Managing Human Assets and the award-winning The Critical Path to Corporate Renewal.

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"Beer, author of High Commitment, High Performance, a book on business ethics recently published by Josey-Bass, posited three core reasons why Wall Street failed so badly in the fall of 2008: The firms lacked a higher purpose, lacked a clear strategy, and mismanaged their risk." (Business Week, August 17, 2009)
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