Never Mind the Bosses: Hastening the Death of Deference for Business Success

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Over the last few decades, power, information and resources have moved from being concentrated in the hands of a few, to being disbursed across many. We need look no further than events on the world stage to see the heat signature of this – from the arrival of Wikileaks, the Arab Spring of 2011 and the Occupy movements, to the social media revolution and flashpoints such as the British Members of Parliament expenses scandal.  All are examples of deep change occurring.

This book is about what this means for the workplace and for management.  The proposition offered here is that our organisations need to catch up, and that the “death of deference” that we are seeing elsewhere in society needs to be accelerated in the workplace.

Systems of deference slow down organisational performance.  Deference prevents organisations from learning.  It stops them from being agile, innovative and ethical.  Deference is the enemy of organisational success and it needs to be dismantled so that in its place we can build modern organisations with a new breed of managers and leaders.  This book offers a solution to a problem that belongs in the last century, and a game plan for nothing short of a workplace revolution.

"If deference is dead, this book is about the resurrection of the effective manager in a world where nothing is quite the way it used to be. Powerful and thought-provoking from start to finish." 

-          Jeremy Vine, BBC Presenter and Author

Never Mind the Bosses is a refreshing type of management book, it advocates that deference to authority figures needs to go if we are to have engaged workforces.”

-          Cary L. Cooper, CBE, Distinguished Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University Management School

"An engaging and entertaining romp through the post punk world. By going beyond the boundaries of most business books, Ryde gives us all food for thought about how organisations are, or are not, dealing with a rapidly changing society and workforce."

-          Jo Owen, bestselling author of ‘How to Manage’ and 'How to Lead'

“If you are looking for a book that will shake up your thinking about how to improve your organization’s performance – or worried that your competitors will find it first! – try this one.”

-          Professor Dutch Leonard, Harvard Business School & Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government

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About the author

Robin Ryde is a business author, inspiring speaker and an original thinker in the world of organisation and leadership development. As a former CEO, HR Director and Board-level executive, Robin has worked broadly across the commercial and public sector. Robin currently supports organisations big and small through his roles as the Head of Leadership with the Oxford Group, Academic Director with the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), Visiting Fellow of Ashridge Business School and Director of Robin Ryde Consulting Ltd. For more information about Robin Ryde Consulting visit
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Additional Information

John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
Sep 24, 2012
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Business & Economics / Management
Business & Economics / Organizational Behavior
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This content is DRM protected.
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With a new Afterword by the author
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The Wall Street Journal • Financial Times
“Sharp, provocative, and useful.”—Jim Collins
“Few [books] become essential manuals for business and living. The Power of Habit is an exception. Charles Duhigg not only explains how habits are formed but how to kick bad ones and hang on to the good.”—Financial Times
“A flat-out great read.”—David Allen, bestselling author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
“You’ll never look at yourself, your organization, or your world quite the same way.”—Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind
“Entertaining . . . enjoyable . . . fascinating . . . a serious look at the science of habit formation and change.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Cue: see cover. Routine: read book. Reward: fully comprehend the art of manipulation.”—Bloomberg Businessweek
“Absolutely fascinating.”—Wired

“A fresh examination of how routine behaviors take hold and whether they are susceptible to change . . . The stories that Duhigg has knitted together are all fascinating in their own right, but take on an added dimension when wedded to his examination of habits.”— Associated Press
“There’s been a lot of research over the past several years about how our habits shape us, and this work is beautifully described in the new book The Power of Habit.”—David Brooks, The New York Times
“A first-rate book—based on an impressive mass of research, written in a lively style and providing just the right balance of intellectual seriousness with practical advice on how to break our bad habits.”—The Economist
“I have been spinning like a top since reading The Power of Habit, New York Times journalist Charles Duhigg’s fascinating best-seller about how people, businesses and organizations develop the positive routines that make them productive—and happy.”—The Washington Post

From the Trade Paperback edition.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Power of Habit comes a fascinating book that explores the science of productivity, and why managing how you think is more important than what you think—with an appendix of real-world lessons to apply to your life.

At the core of Smarter Faster Better are eight key productivity concepts—from motivation and goal setting to focus and decision making—that explain why some people and companies get so much done. Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics—as well as the experiences of CEOs, educational reformers, four-star generals, FBI agents, airplane pilots, and Broadway songwriters—this painstakingly researched book explains that the most productive people, companies, and organizations don’t merely act differently.
They view the world, and their choices, in profoundly different ways.

A young woman drops out of a PhD program and starts playing poker. By training herself to envision contradictory futures, she learns to anticipate her opponents’ missteps—and becomes one of the most successful players in the world.

A group of data scientists at Google embark on a four-year study of how the best teams function, and find that how a group interacts is more important than who is in the group—a principle, it turns out, that also helps explain why Saturday Night Live became a hit.

A Marine Corps general, faced with low morale among recruits, reimagines boot camp—and discovers that instilling a “bias toward action” can turn even the most directionless teenagers into self-motivating achievers.

The filmmakers behind Disney’s Frozen are nearly out of time and on the brink of catastrophe—until they shake up their team in just the right way, spurring a creative breakthrough that leads to one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.

What do these people have in common?

They know that productivity relies on making certain choices. The way we frame our daily decisions; the big ambitions we embrace and the easy goals we ignore; the cultures we establish as leaders to drive innovation; the way we interact with data: These are the things that separate the merely busy from the genuinely productive.

In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Charles Duhigg explained why we do what we do. In Smarter Faster Better, he applies the same relentless curiosity, deep reporting, and rich storytelling to explain how we can improve at the things we do. It’s a groundbreaking exploration of the science of productivity, one that can help anyone learn to succeed with less stress and struggle, and to get more done without sacrificing what we care about most—to become smarter, faster, and better at everything we do.

Praise for Smarter Faster Better

“A pleasure to read . . . Duhigg’s skill as a storyteller makes his book so engaging to read.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Not only will Smarter Faster Better make you more efficient if you heed its tips, it will also save you the effort of reading many productivity books dedicated to the ideas inside.”—Bloomberg Businessweek

“Duhigg pairs relatable anecdotes with the research behind why some people and businesses are not as efficient as others.”—Chicago Tribune

“The book covers a lot of ground through meticulous reporting and deft analysis, presenting a wide range of case studies . . . with insights that apply to the rest of us.”—The Wall Street Journal
In the years following her role as the lead author of the international bestseller, Limits to Growth—the first book to show the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet— Donella Meadows remained a pioneer of environmental and social analysis until her untimely death in 2001.

Thinking in Systems, is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. Edited by the Sustainability Institute’s Diana Wright, this essential primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing readers how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21st-century life.

Some of the biggest problems facing the world—war, hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation—are essentially system failures. They cannot be solved by fixing one piece in isolation from the others, because even seemingly minor details have enormous power to undermine the best efforts of too-narrow thinking.

While readers will learn the conceptual tools and methods of systems thinking, the heart of the book is grander than methodology. Donella Meadows was known as much for nurturing positive outcomes as she was for delving into the science behind global dilemmas. She reminds readers to pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable, to stay humble, and to stay a learner.

In a world growing ever more complicated, crowded, and interdependent, Thinking in Systems helps readers avoid confusion and helplessness, the first step toward finding proactive and effective solutions.

The international bestseller—now with a new preface by author John Kotter.

Millions worldwide have read and embraced John Kotter’s ideas on change management and leadership.
From the ill-fated dot-com bubble to unprecedented M&A activity to scandal, greed, and ultimately, recession—we’ve learned that widespread and difficult change is no longer the exception. It’s the rule. Now with a new preface, this refreshed edition of the global bestseller Leading Change is more relevant than ever.

John Kotter’s now-legendary eight-step process for managing change with positive results has become the foundation for leaders and organizations across the globe. By outlining the process every organization must go through to achieve its goals, and by identifying where and how even top performers derail during the change process, Kotter provides a practical resource for leaders and managers charged with making change initiatives work. Leading Change is widely recognized as his seminal work and is an important precursor to his newer ideas on acceleration published in Harvard Business Review.

Needed more today than at any time in the past, this bestselling business book serves as both visionary guide and practical toolkit on how to approach the difficult yet crucial work of leading change in any type of organization. Reading this highly personal book is like spending a day with the world’s foremost expert on business leadership. You’re sure to walk away inspired—and armed with the tools you need to inspire others.

Published by Harvard Business Review Press.
This is A.G. Lafley’s guidebook. Shouldn’t it be yours as well?

Winning CEO A.G. Lafley is now back at the helm of consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble. If you want to know the strategy he’ll use to restore P&G to its former dominance—read this book.

Playing to Win, a noted Wall Street Journal and Washington Post bestseller, outlines the strategic approach Lafley, in close partnership with strategic adviser Roger Martin, used to double P&G’s sales, quadruple its profits, and increase its market value by more than $100 billion when Lafley was first CEO (he led the company from 2000 to 2009). The book shows leaders in any type of organization how to guide everyday actions with larger strategic goals built around the clear, essential elements that determine business success—where to play and how to win.

Lafley and Martin have created a set of five essential strategic choices that, when addressed in an integrated way, will move you ahead of your competitors. They are: (1) What is our winning aspiration? (2) Where will we play? (3) How will we win? (4) What capabilities must we have in place to win? and (5) What management systems are required to support our choices? The result is a playbook for winning.

The stories of how P&G repeatedly won by applying this method to iconic brands such as Olay, Bounty, Gillette, Swiffer, and Febreze clearly illustrate how deciding on a strategic approach—and then making the right choices to support it—makes the difference between just playing the game and actually winning.

Playing to Win outlines a proven method that has worked for some of today’s most celebrated brands and products. Let this book serve as your new guide to winning, as well.
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