Friday, September 23, 2005

Contagious Success

I finished reading the book Contagious Success written by Susan Lucia Annunzio the other day. I though this was a pretty good book as far as business books go. It has a philosophy of how to improve a company that I can agree with (some of which is mentioned on a previous post). What I like the most about this book is that it's not another parable. Don't get me wrong. I love reading everything that Ken Blanchard has written. His books are all easy to read, quick, and fun. But they are all parables and there are never any real world examples. With as much fun as it is to talk about moving cheese, it's hard to get the real hurt that can go along with a large change that can happen such as being forced to change positions or even careers.

Contagious Success on the other hand is an actual study. It was performed by the Richard Day Research group in Illinois. The findings basically state that employees need to be treated well. Companies need to do things that will keep their employees happy. More specifically the leaders of the high performing group needs to shield the group from the company to keep it high performing.

In my post Thoughts on how to improve a company I wrote their suggestions for overall company improvement.

The other very intersting thing that they point out is that when they did the study they only selected the people who met the basic category of being high performers. Then they analyzed whether or not they actually were high performers. They found that only 10% of the high performer group actually appeared as high performers. They list a lot of technical data to help support this finding, but the biggest part of it is that the high performing groups are actually generating new revenue streams for their company where as the other groups are just working. There's a huge difference here. I think that this study shows quite effectively that there are too many people who are just working and trying to make the old process more efficient rather than analyzing it to see if they can find an entirely new way to solve the same problem.