Fake Work: Why People Are Working Harder than Ever but Accomplishing Less, and How to Fix the Problem

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How many countless working hours have you spent on projects, proposals, paperwork, and meetings that felt useless or were ignored or dismissed? Hard work is not the same as real work. Half of the work we do consumes valuable time without strengthening the short- or long-term survival of the organization. In a word, it's fake. Not only does fake work drain a company's resources without improving its bottom line, it steals conviction, care, and positive morale from employees, and adds the burden of high turnover, communication breakdowns, and cultural patterns of poor productivity.

But how can you turn fake work into real work? Internationally renowned business consultants Brent D. Peterson and Gaylan W. Nielson explain how to identify needlessly time-consuming and sometimes difficult tasks (which aren't always as easy to spot as they seem) and shift your focus toward rewarding work that will achieve results. With more than twenty years of experience, Peterson and Nielson have successfully helped corporations, government agencies, nonprofits, schools, and community groups increase their productivity and retain talented employees by understanding and using their skills on things that actually matter. They illustrate their advice with stories about real world employees who have been trapped by fake work.

Fake Work offers solutions that will change the way you view work, including how to recognize fake work and how to get out of it, how (and what) to communicate with your colleagues to eliminate fake work, how to recognize and counteract the personality traits that encourage fake work, and how to close the gap between your company's strategies and the work that needs to be done to reach the results critical to your and your company's survival.
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About the author

Brent D. Peterson, Ph.D. is a partner and co-founder of The Work Itself Group, Inc., an organization that provides learning interventions that help organizations and individuals align strategy with work. He serves as chairman of the board of two learning and change companies, Integrative Learning Corporation (headquartered in Singapore) and The Navigational Leadership Group (a U.S.-based learning company). He has spent 30 years at 5 universities as a professor of human resource development; is author or co-author of 20 books; is founder and owner of 3 consulting companies; has facilitated more than 3,000 corporate workshops; is a trusted business partner with many Fortune 500 Companies; and was a Senior Vice President for the FranklinCovey Company and directed their Center for Research Assessment.

Gaylan W. Nielson, M.A. is a partner and the co-founder of the Ascent Group. As a business consultant, he helps organizations focus on organizational results by developing strategies and aligning those strategies at the team and personal level. He has been a senior consultant for more than 20 years; an owner, director, and general manager for 14 years; a strategist, implementation consultant, and process designer for numerous clients; a trainer and facilitator for more than 1,500 corporate and federal agency programs; a trusted business partner with Fortune 500 Companies. He was also Vice president, director, and general manager for Custom Projects for Custom Learning Group for FranklinCovey Inc.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jan 6, 2009
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781416967750
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / General
Business & Economics / International / General
Business & Economics / Management
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Every general manager today—all the way up to the CEO—is expected by his or her stakeholders to achieve new breakthroughs in performance—and fast. Those who don't make visible progress toward that goal within the first year or two will likely find themselves looking for another job. It is precisely because of this growing breakthrough imperative that managers today, whether in corporations or nonprofits, need to get off to a fast start. They don't have time for mistakes or for going back and redoing what they should have done right in the first place.

But, despite the intensity of these pressures, despite the high expectations and short time frames, a number of CEOs and general managers turn in truly exceptional results. How do they meet and exceed the breakthrough imperative? To answer this question, consultants and former managers Mark Gottfredson and Steve Schaubert interviewed more than forty CEOs from both industry and the nonprofit sector, conducted an intensive study of what successful managers do right—and what some do wrong—and drew on their own combined fifty-plus years of experience at Bain & Company, where their insights have consistently been found in the pages of the Harvard Business Review. Together they came up with the four straightforward principles—deceptively simple yet remarkably powerful—that everyone must follow to succeed at achieving breakthrough results:

1. Costs and prices always decline
2. Competitive position determines options
3. Customers and profit pools don't stand still
4. Simplicity gets results

Although seemingly simplistic, mastering these four laws means mastering the basics of great management—a foundation on which to build the rest of one's management strategy. Whether you're managing a small work group or a multinational corporation, a single division or an entire nonprofit, The Breakthrough Imperative presents these core laws of business to help you determine where you are, just how far you can go, and how to get there with stellar results.

There is a competitive advantage out there, arguably more powerful than any other. Is it superior strategy? Faster innovation? Smarter employees? No, New York Times best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni, argues that the seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre ones has little to do with what they know and how smart they are and more to do with how healthy they are. In this book, Lencioni brings together his vast experience and many of the themes cultivated in his other best-selling books and delivers a first: a cohesive and comprehensive exploration of the unique advantage organizational health provides.

Simply put, an organization is healthy when it is whole, consistent and complete, when its management, operations and culture are unified.  Healthy organizations outperform their counterparts, are free of politics and confusion and provide an environment where star performers never want to leave. Lencioni’s first non-fiction book provides leaders with a groundbreaking, approachable model for achieving organizational health—complete with stories, tips and anecdotes from his experiences consulting to some of the nation’s leading organizations. In this age of informational ubiquity and nano-second change, it is no longer enough to build a competitive advantage based on intelligence alone. The Advantage provides a foundational construct for conducting business in a new way—one that maximizes human potential and aligns the organization around a common set of principles.

New York Times bestseller

THE BOOK THAT EXPLAINS WHY RUSSIANS WANTED TO MEET WITH THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN

“Part John Grisham-like thriller, part business and political memoir.” —The New York Times

“[Red Notice] does for investing in Russia and the former Soviet Union what Liar’s Poker did for our understanding of Salomon Brothers, Wall Street, and the mortgage-backed securities business in the 1980s. Browder’s business saga meshes well with the story of corruption and murder in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, making Red Notice an early candidate for any list of the year’s best books” (Fortune).

This is a story about an accidental activist. Bill Browder started out his adult life as the Wall Street maverick whose instincts led him to Russia just after the breakup of the Soviet Union, where he made his fortune.

Along the way he exposed corruption, and when he did, he barely escaped with his life. His Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky wasn’t so lucky: he ended up in jail, where he was tortured to death. That changed Browder forever. He saw the murderous heart of the Putin regime and has spent the last half decade on a campaign to expose it. Because of that, he became Putin’s number one enemy, especially after Browder succeeded in having a law passed in the United States—The Magnitsky Act—that punishes a list of Russians implicated in the lawyer’s murder. Putin famously retaliated with a law that bans Americans from adopting Russian orphans.

A financial caper, a crime thriller, and a political crusade, Red Notice is the story of one man taking on overpowering odds to change the world, and also the story of how, without intending to, he found meaning in his life.
Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine?

Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are?

Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how to explain why Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations, such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence?

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it). Korea, to take just one of their fascinating examples, is a remarkably homogeneous nation, yet the people of North Korea are among the poorest on earth while their brothers and sisters in South Korea are among the richest. The south forged a society that created incentives, rewarded innovation, and allowed everyone to participate in economic opportunities.

The economic success thus spurred was sustained because the government became accountable and responsive to citizens and the great mass of people. Sadly, the people of the north have endured decades of famine, political repression, and very different economic institutions—with no end in sight. The differences between the Koreas is due to the politics that created these completely different institutional trajectories.

Based on fifteen years of original research Acemoglu and Robinson marshall extraordinary historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, medieval Venice, the Soviet Union, Latin America, England, Europe, the United States, and Africa to build a new theory of political economy with great relevance for the big questions of today, including:

- China has built an authoritarian growth machine. Will it continue to grow at such high speed and overwhelm the West?

- Are America’s best days behind it? Are we moving from a virtuous circle in which efforts by elites to aggrandize power are resisted to a vicious one that enriches and empowers a small minority?

- What is the most effective way to help move billions of people from the rut of poverty to prosperity? More philanthropy from the wealthy nations of the West? Or learning the hard-won lessons of Acemoglu and Robinson’s breakthrough ideas on the interplay between inclusive political and economic institutions?

Why Nations Fail will change the way you look at—and understand—the world. 
#1 New York Times Bestseller • Los Angeles Times Bestseller

One of The Wall Street Journal's 10 Books to Read Now • One of Kirkus Reviews's Best Nonfiction Books of the Year • One of Publishers Weekly's Most Anticipated Books of the Year

Shortlisted for the OWL Business Book Award and Longlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

Version 2.0, Updated and Expanded, with a New Afterword

We all sense it—something big is going on. You feel it in your workplace. You feel it when you talk to your kids. You can’t miss it when you read the newspapers or watch the news. Our lives are being transformed in so many realms all at once—and it is dizzying.

In Thank You for Being Late, version 2.0, with a new afterword, Thomas L. Friedman exposes the tectonic movements that are reshaping the world today and explains how to get the most out of them and cushion their worst impacts. His thesis: to understand the twenty-first century, you need to understand that the planet’s three largest forces—Moore’s law (technology), the Market (globalization), and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss)—are accelerating all at once. These accelerations are transforming five key realms: the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and community. The year 2007 was the major inflection point: the release of the iPhone, together with advances in silicon chips, software, storage, sensors, and networking, created a new technology platform that is reshaping everything from how we hail a taxi to the fate of nations to our most intimate relationships. It is providing vast new opportunities for individuals and small groups to save the world—or to destroy it.

With his trademark vitality, wit, and optimism, Friedman shows that we can overcome the multiple stresses of an age of accelerations—if we slow down, if we dare to be late and use the time to reimagine work, politics, and community. Thank You for Being Late is an essential guide to the present and the future.

The New York Times bestseller, from leading innovation expert Alec Ross, a “fascinating vision” (Forbes) of what’s next for the world and how to navigate the changes the future will bring.

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Ross blends storytelling and economic analysis to show how sweeping global trends are affecting the ways we live. Sharing insights from global leaders—from the founders of Google and Twitter to defense experts like David Petraeus—Ross reveals the technologies and industries that will drive the next stage of globalization. The Industries of the Future is “a riveting and mind-bending book” (New York Journal of Books), a “must read” (Wendy Kopp, Founder of Teach for America) regardless of “whether you follow these fields closely or you still think of Honda as a car rather than a robotics company” (Forbes).
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