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Are you making the right decisions?

Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense - Book Review:

Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-Based Management

Are you making the right decisions?

Or are you copying what seems to work for other companies, acting on ingrained beliefs rather than hard evidence, and doing what you’ve always done?

The best organizations have the best talent … Financial incentives drive company performance… Firms must change or die… Popular axioms like these drive companies’ everyday actions. Yet too many business adages are built on flimsy information, “miracle cure”, hype, and flawed thinking about “best practices”.

When leaders make choices based on dubious knowledge, they put their organisation at risk.

But it doesn’t have to be that way . Jeffery Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton present a better path: evidence-based management, an approach has taken hold in medicine and is spreading to education and public policy. The authors show managers how to find and use better evidence in business and why this approach generates superior results.

Through evidence-based management, business leaders face the hard fact and act on the best evidence – trumping the competition. They also view common beliefs about effective management with healthy skepticism. To demonstrate the dangers lurking in such beliefs, the authors dismantle six widely held – but ultimately flawed – half-truths in core management areas including leadership, strategy, change, talent, incentives, and the connections between work and the rest of life. Pfeffer and Sutton describe how to identify and apply practices that are best for their companies, rather than blindly embrace what seems to have worked elsewhere. Guidelines include:

· Watch for old ideas clothed in new labels. These labels are often designed to appeal to executives enchanted by novelty.

· Develop a healthy skepticism toward ”the big next thing.” Most purported breakthroughs are flawed ideas hawked by purveyors pretending to offer overburdened managers a miracle cure.

· Adopt an attitude of wisdom. Be confident enough to act on the best knowledge you have now, humble enough to doubt what you know, and wise enough to face the hard facts when new – and better – evidence comes along.

The candid book challenges leaders to commit to evidence-based ,management as a way of organizational life. And it shows executives how to turn this commonsense approach into common practice.

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