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Corporate Canaries : Avoid Business Disasters with a Coal Miner's Secrets

Gary Sutton

Retail Price: $19.99
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Format: Hardcover, 160pp.
ISBN: 9780785212997
Publisher: Nelson Business
Pub. Date: October 18, 2005

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

When your business hits trouble, can you recognize the warning signs?

A century ago, coal miners brought canaries into the mines for danger warnings. At the first hint of poisonous methane gas, the little birds stopped chirping . . . and many miners were saved.

Your business faces invisible threats too. With equal doses of insight from Gary Sutton's experience as a hands-on, corporate turnaround CEO, and wisdom from his coal miner grandfather, this delightful volume helps you recognize trouble-before it's too late. In Corporate Canaries, Sutton reveals the five "canary warnings" that are a sure sign of trouble.

Sutton's successes are measured not in millions but in billions of dollars. He's breathed life into many flatlining organizations. The secret, he reveals, is recognizing the warning signs-and recognizing them early! Once you empower everyone in your organization to become a "canary watcher," the success can be limitless.

With the wit of a storyteller and the credibility of a Wall Street hero, Gary Sutton spins that rare breed of business book: the kind you won't want to put down.


Using his grandfather's folksy coalmining lore, business turnaround expert Sutton shows how the basics of sound business practices apply to any successful enterprise, from coalmining to aerospace to cell phone service to retail. In five short chapters, the former CEO of several companies opens with one of his grandfather's stories, then mines it for nuggets of wisdom to apply to today's business environment. Sutton builds his book on the simple premise that "ducking catastrophe is the key to success." Claiming to be "the first book showing managers how to detect potential disasters," like the canaries coalminers used to detect poisonous gases in their mines, Sutton warns against taking on too much debt, confusing sales with profits, being indecisive and neglecting to keep a close eye on your market. He offers practical steps to avoid hazards and backs them up with his or other businesses' experiences and solutions, making for a book that's both breezy and informative.
—Publishers Weekly, Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

It's only 140 undersize pages long. And it only takes an hour or so to read cover-to-cover. But the point is actually in the re-reading, as I see it. Maybe once a month? At least!
—Tom Peters

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About the Author

Gary Sutton is an author, top-rated speaker, and veteran business turnaround expert. Over his acclaimed twenty-year career, Sutton has taken over and revitalized troubled businesses, turning these money-losing companies into cash generators. Sutton sits on twelve boards today, and he has been a highly rated speaker at the MIT Forum for fifteen years. He also has appeared on MSNBC, CNNfn, CBS News, and NPR. He's been covered by or written for the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, and Fortune, and cover stories on him have appeared in Fast Company and Directors & Boards.

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