Michael Martin Hammer

Michael Martin Hammer was an American engineer, management author, and a former professor of computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, known as one of the founders of the management theory of Business process reengineering.
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A bold and revolutionary thinker’s legacy for how business can meet the greatest economic challenge in decades...
 
It’s no secret: everyone knows that the way most companies do things is screwed up. Surprisingly, though, herein lays the biggest opportunity for improving growth and profitability in a world in which consumers are tapped out and competition is coming from the devastating combination of low-wage countries with high skills.
 
For more than a decade, following his landmark Reengineering the Corporation, Michael Hammer did “deep dives” into the processes of companies in every imaginable business—from oil refineries to software developers, factories, retailers, and hospitals—to understand the nuts and bolts of how they do their work, and then to advise them how to do it differently to become faster, cheaper, better. The results were the right product, at the right time, with the right price and quality—businesses that not only ate the competitions’ lunch but their breakfast and dinner, too.
 
The research and passion Dr. Hammer brought to this book have been ably carried on, following his tragic and unexpected death in 2008, by his colleague, Lisa Hershman, now the CEO of Hammer and Company. Looking at a company's operations not in terms of piecemeal fragments of work performed in a slew of isolated functional departments but as large-scale holistic work units transformed many companies, enabling them to meet the unique challenges of our time.
 
The late DR. MICHAEL HAMMER was the coauthor of Reengineering the Corporation and the author of The Agenda. LISA W. HERSHMAN is the CEO of Hammer and Company.


From the Hardcover edition.
The agenda: nine powerful and practical business ideas for today’s world of fierce competitors and even fiercer customers.

These are tough times for business. Pressures from all sides are greater than ever. The old solutions don’t work anymore, and the silver bullets of the late 1990s have proven to be hollow. Serious businesspeople know there is no simple solution, no single answer. They need a whole tool kit of new ideas and new techniques. That’s what The Agenda delivers.

Michael Hammer, author of Reengineering the Corporation, the defining business book of the 1990s, has uncovered the secrets of today’s best companies. He has worked long and hard to identify how these companies consistently out-execute their competitors, and he reveals what he has learned in The Agenda. This breakthrough book spells out an action plan for the twenty-first century. Here’s a sampling:

* Make life easy for your customers. Your customers’ biggest gripe is not that your products are bad, but that it is too tough to order, receive, and pay for them. In short, you are a royal pain to do business with. You need to take a hard look at how you operate from your customers’ point of view and redesign how you work to save them time, money, and frustration. In other words, run your business for their convenience, not yours.

* Become a process fanatic. Process is the Clark Kent of business ideas. Seemingly mild and unassuming, process is a revolutionary way of thinking about work in customer terms. It blows away overhead and cost, confusion and delay. It is the discipline that makes outstanding performance a matter of design rather than luck. Process is the way to make both customers and shareholders happy and to keep them that way on a sustained basis.

* Measure like you mean it. Most business measurements are worthless. They tell you what happened in the past (sort of), but offer few if any clues about how to make things better in the future. To come up with useful measurements, you need to create a model of your business that ties overall goals to the things you actually control. You need to measure these (and only these) things carefully and base your actions on what you learn. Measure to improve, not just to measure.

* Don’t just talk teamwork–live it. You expect teamwork and cooperation from the front lines, and you need to demand the same from yourself and your colleagues. The days of the proudly independent business manager running a sharply defined unit are over.

* Link companies together through the Internet. Break down the walls that separate you from other companies, walls that create huge amounts of inefficiency and overhead. Change your distribution channel from a series of resellers into a community that works together to serve the final customer. Redesign your operations in tandem with those of your suppliers and customers. Stop seeing yourself as a self-contained unit that creates a product on its own, and get used to the idea of virtually integrating with others.

The Agenda will forever change the way you think about business.


From the Hardcover edition.
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