In a new book, bestselling author Michael Hammer and Lisa W. Hershman provide a framework for teaching businesses how to focus on their customers, “how to take their head out of their task,” and how to survive and thrive even during a global economic disaster.
FASTER CHEAPER BETTER
The 9 Levers for Transforming How Work Gets Done
By Michael Hammer and Lisa W. Hershman
“Faster Cheaper Better offers a compelling prescription for abolishing unnecessary work and useless process. With powerful examples from a host of companies, Michael Hammer and Lisa Hershman demonstrate how applying the right expertise, culture, leadership, and governance can slash delays, drive out costs, and transform the enterprise.” — Michael Useem, professor of management and director of the Center for Leadership at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; author of The Leadership Moment
“Easy to read, down-to-earth, and filled with nuggets of practical business wisdom, this eye-opening work is imminently applicable for business owners, leaders, and managers at all levels.”— Publishers Weekly
In the immortal words of Pogo: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
What if the primary source of woes for many companies is not the litany of usual suspects—from Chinese imports to the recession—but simply the way we do things around here?
In Faster Cheaper Better: The 9 Levers for Transforming How Work Gets Done (Crown Business; December 2010), Michael Hammer, and his successor Lisa W. Hershman, focus on the nuts and bolts of how work actually gets done, showing people how to transform their business by improving the way they run it—no matter the industry (whether factory or software developer, hospital or oil refinery).
In the early 1990s, Michael Hammer introduced the world to business transformation with his work on reengineering, most notably Reengineering the Corporation—arguably, the most influential and controversial business book of the decade. In the years following its publication, Hammer continued his work on how to rethink the “nuts and bolts” of business. When executives from companies sought his counsel he offered no opinions on what they should, but instead his role was to tell them how to do it best. And that meant how to do it differently by transforming how work actually gets done.
What he found more often than not was companies governed by the “snafu” factor, in other words, companies not able to perform at the levels they need to because they operate in silos—keeping the left hand separate from the right. The solution is then for companies to look at “work” from one end to the other, rethinking it, and getting their people, at every level, aligned toward a common goal. Hammer and Hershman label this transformation moving from the worm’s-eye view to the bird’s-eye view.
In Faster Cheaper Better Hammer and Hershman study both the successes and the failures of many companies—both what they had done and not done—to identify where they had run aground or what had made their efforts bear fruit. These in-depth case studies of Hammer and Company clients who used process methods include:
* Tetra Pak: When the world’s leading food processing and packaging solutions company faced competitive challenges, it rethought how it managed its supply chain and was able to cut inventory in half and increase “perfect orders” by 50 percent.
* Gamesa-Quaker: When PepsiCo acquired Mexico’s leading biscuit maker, it had to radically realign a corporate structure that had existed for decades to meet the performance demands of its new owner.
* US Air Force: In a classic example of excessive bureaucracy, individuals trying to access necessary training faced a wait of nearly 6 weeks to complete the registration and approval process. By focusing on process design and metrics, they were able to slash the time to one day.
* Clorox: This household name is known for quick cleanups, but internally the company was struggling with product delivery issues. The company cleaned up its act with a shift in design and process leadership and saw perfect orders increase 300% while costs went down.
* Fidelity Investments: A global leader in financial services and investment resources, the company made an investment in process by giving customer service representatives more responsibility and better measures of customer service. The payoff? Higher profits and happier customers.
Both authors believe that the issue of how work gets done is central to success in a world undergoing a sea of change—consider the unique economic and competitive challenges of our time. When Hammer passed away in 2008, his legacy was carried on by Lisa W. Hershman, now the CEO of Hammer and Company, who he mentored for many years. Extraordinarily well versed in Hammer’s revolutionary way of thinking, Hershman brings a unique perspective as a leader who has actually successfully implemented Hammer’s principles at a major global corporation, giving her invaluable insights and lessons learned in practical implementation. Hershman not only carries the torch at Hammer and Company, but completed the remaining material and did subsequent work leading to the release of this—her first and his final—book, Faster Cheaper Better.
In this economic downturn, which analysts predict will continue, survival in business is going to come from eating the competition’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s trench warfare out there and it means doing things faster, cheaper, and better to get the right product, at the right time, at the right price and quality. Together, Hammer and Hershman provide the tools for bolstering a company against adversity—whether from the economy, competition, or problems within—by improving the way it runs.
MICHAEL HAMMER was a bold and revolutionary thinker, the coauthor of Reengineering the Corporation, the most important business book of the 1990s. Named to Time magazine’s first list of the twenty-five most influential Americans, the business world lost one of its rare geniuses when he passed away in September of 2008. Dr. Hammer was also the author of The Agenda as well as articles in Harvard Business Review, the Economist, MIT Sloan Management and other publications.
LISA W. HERSHMAN is the CEO of Hammer and Company, the global leader in business education process methods and process. She is an inspirational and sought-after speaker who has served as the Chairwoman of Avnet’s Executive Women’s Forum, as National Secretary of the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, and has served on the Indiana Commission for Women. Hershman previously served as corporate senior vice president of operational excellence at Avnet, Inc., where she was honored with the 2008 Avnet corporate Chairman’s Award. Hershman, whose career experience includes GE Aerospace, is a contributing columnist for BusinessWeek.
FASTER CHEAPER BETTER by Michael Hammer and Lisa W. Hershman
On-sale: December 28, 2010; Hardcover; 320 pages; ISBN: 978-0-307-45379-2; Price: $27.50
Also available as an eBook
For more information, please contact Dennelle Catlett at 212-782-9486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.