Do Lunch or Be Lunch

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 1997-09-01
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Pr

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Here is a refreshing antidote to the change manifestos and reinvention tracts that currently crowd the business bookshelves. Do Lunch or Be Lunch is a provocative argument for predictability as the most powerful of management tools.People join organizations to bring about a desired future. But to succeed, they must be able to predict the behavior of those around them. By the same token, they must make themselves predictable. It's mutual predictability that makes for successful organizations and helps people (and organizations) eat-not get eaten!In a fresh and engaging style, Stevenson sounds the alarm on behalf of predictability. He shows how the deep need to predict and shape the future drives most of human behavior. Now, he argues, predictability is imperiled. This is true especially in business organizations, which undermine predictability when they arbitrarily dismiss employees or use self-interest as the basis for all decision-making. In fact, the organization that embraces predictability enhances its own effectiveness; by contrast, the company that thrives on unpredictability is not only inhumane, but also incompetent. Explaining that predictability and change are not mutually exclusive, Stevenson analyzes popular change programs like reengineering, continuous improvement, and restructuring as he makes a powerful case for understanding and preparing for the consequences of change before setting it in motion.The book presents tools to hone predictive powers, make decisions, and measure risk, as well as to understand conflict and improve human interactions. It is as much a useful lens for individuals as they interpret their own lives as for corporations as they predict and improve on their own futures.Passionate, down-to-earth, and highly readable, Do Lunch or Be Lunch will entertain you, make you think, and prompt you to action-to become a leader in helping people cope with change and in ensuring a successful (and profitable) future.

Table of Contents

Preface ix(3)
Introduction xii
1 Predictability: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
2 Predictability Important? Says Who?
3 Where Prediction and Predictability Live
4 Variety versus Predictability
5 Predictability in the Past
6 How Hard Is Prediction?
7 Acting to Make the Future Happen
8 You, Me, and Agreement
9 The Technology of Agreement
10 Society and Unpredictability
11 Lone Wolves and Team Players
12 The Question
Acknowledgments 229(6)
Notes 235(45)
Select Bibliography 280(5)
Index 285(9)
About the Authors 294

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