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Take the quiz that’s helped 50,000 people better understand their organizations at www.OrgDNA.com

Results : Keep What's Good, Fix What's Wrong, and Unlock Great Performance

Gary L. Neilson and Bruce A. Pasternack

Retail Price: $27.50
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Format: Hardcover, 320pp.
ISBN: 9781400098392
Publisher: Crown Business
Pub. Date: October 18, 2005

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

Every company has a personality. Does yours help or hinder your results? Does it make you fit for growth? Find out by taking the quiz that’s helped 50,000 people better understand their organizations at www.OrgDNA.comhbr breakthrough ideas

Organizational DNA is a metaphor for the underlying factors that together define an organization’s “personality” and help explain its performance. Just as you can understand an individual’s personality, so too can you understand a company’s type—what makes it tick, what’s good and bad about it. Results explains why some organizations bob and weave and roll with the punches to consistently deliver on commitments and produce great results, while others can’t leave their corner of the ring without tripping on their own shoelaces. Gary Neilson and Bruce Pasternack help you identify which of the seven company types you work for—and how to keep what’s good and fix what’s wrong. You’ll feel the shock of recognition (“That’s me, that’s my company”) as you find out whether your organization is:
  • Passive-Aggressive (“everyone agrees, smiles, and nods, but nothing changes”): entrenched underground resistance makes getting anything done like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall
  • Fits-and-Starts (“let 1,000 flowers bloom”): filled with smart people pulling in different directions
  • Outgrown (“the good old days meet a brave new world”): reacts slowly to market developments, since it’s too hard to run new ideas up the flagpole
  • Overmanaged (“we’re from corporate and we’re here to help”): more reporting than working, as managers check on their subordinates’ work so they can in turn report to their bosses
  • Just-in-Time (“succeeding, but by the skin of our teeth”): can turn on a dime and create real breakthroughs but also tends to burn out its best and brightest
  • Military Precision (“flying in formation”): executes brilliant strategies but usually does not deal well with events not in the playbook
  • Resilient (“as good as it gets”): flexible, forward-looking, and fun; bounces back when it hits a bump in the road and never, ever rests on its laurels

For anyone who’s ever said, “Wow, that’s a great idea, but it’ll never happen here” or “Whew, we pulled it off again, but I’m tired of all this sprinting,” Results provides robust, practical ideas for becoming and remaining a resilient business.


“Highly readable and right on target, Results will help readers at all leadership levels understand why their organizations fall short, frustrate talented people, and deny even the most obvious needs for change. In the hands of committed leaders, Results will get results.”
—Hank McKinnell, chairman and CEO of Pfizer, Inc., and author of A Call to Action: Taking Back Healthcare for Future Generations

“I highly recommend this practical book on how to organize and deliver the optimal results you always wanted but never achieved.”
—Dick Kovacevich, chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo Bank

“Results makes a solid case for organization types and the four building blocks that make up a company’s DNA. Neilson and Pasternack show how business leaders can use these tools to diagnose problems and modify their DNA to create sustainable solutions and a healthy company.”
—Chad Holliday, chairman and CEO of DuPont

“Results is critical for any executive. You’ll learn how to figure out the DNA of your organization and then act on that knowledge. With readable tales and enlightening examples, it shows how to build on what’s good and discard what’s bad.”
—Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute and author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

“Results identifies a number of all-too-common organizational pathologies that get in the way of business performance. More than that, Neilson and Pasternack provide explicit, example-filled advice on how to fix the problems and take your organization to the next level.”
—Jeffrey Pfeffer, professor of organizational behavior, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and coauthor of The Knowing-Doing Gap

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About the Author

Gary L. Neilson is a senior vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton and has been with the firm since 1980. Located in Chicago, he is a member of the firm’s board of directors and leads the global team that developed the OrgDNA ideas and the related Organizing for Results service offering.

Bruce A. Pasternack is president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.–based Special Olympics. He was a senior vice president for almost thirty years at Booz Allen Hamilton, served on its board of directors, and was a founding partner of its organization and strategic leadership practice.

Table of Contents
ONE:A Tale of Two Managers1
TWO:The Four Building Blocks: Laying the Foundation for Results15
THREE:The Passive-Aggressive Organization: Everyone Agrees but Nothing Changes43
FOUR:The Fits-and-Starts Organization: Let 1,000 Flowers Bloom71
FIVE:The Outgrown Organization: The Good Old Days Meet a Brave New World97
SIX:The Overmanaged Organization: “We’re from Corporate and We’re Here to Help”129
SEVEN:The Just-in-Time Organization: Succeeding by the Skin of Our Teeth153
EIGHT:The Military Precision Organization: Flying in Formation185
NINE:The Resilient Organization: As Good as It Gets211
TEN:Caterpillar’s Journey to Resilience: The Cat That Came Back237
The Research Behind the Book265

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