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Seduced by Success: How the Best Companies Survive the 9 Traps of Winning (9780071481830): Robert J. Herbold: Books. Conversations about companies' best practices and whodunitgood have a flaw. There is more than a 50-50 chance that those companies cited as best-in-class won't make the list two years later. Herbold, former COO of Microsoft, is guilty not only of that issue but also of an overreliance on secondary research and an overfamiliarity with Microsoft and Procter & Gamble. Certainly, the latter is to be commended; P&G is a paragon of innovation, although Microsoft, insist a number of industry pundits, needs to overcome its 800-pound gorilla attitude. In essence, Herbold itemizes the nine deadliest sins of success, from neglect to confusion, and then evaluates antidotes and keys to sustainability. He points to Toyota and Fidelity, for instance, as leaders in reapplying what works, and to Southwest Airlines and GE as the masters of clarity, simplicity, and repetition. Other than some outdated examples, there's one more hitch: the author doesn't listen to his own advice to keep it simple. Barbara JacobsCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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