Fit To Compete: Why Honest Conversations About Your Company’s Capabilities Are the Key to a Winning Strategy

Harvard Business. Jan. 2020. 256p. ISBN 9781633692305. $32. BUS
Beer (Harvard Business Sch.; Higher Ambition) addresses corporate transformation from the perspective of human resources and shows how this links to corporate strategy. He begins by saying that the type of transformation at the core of this book is based on Douglas McGregor’s (The Human Side of Enterprise) Theory Y, and may not be viable for all types of leadership. That said, at its core, this work advocates for senior management to listen to employees. Beer finds that many corporate boards do not adequately address human resources and how it fits into their overall strategy. Even when executives and boards are aware that their strategic objectives are not being met, they often fail to understand the root cause. So, Beer asks: Are employees to blame, or is it the situation they find themselves in? Through his consulting practice, Beer identifies what helps and prevents strategic corporate transformation. To his credit, the examples cited reflect goals that were met and goals that failed—and he explains why.
VERDICT Great practical business advice from a teacher with real-world experience.

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