Dealing With Dilemmas: Where Business Analytics Fall Short
Frank Buytendijk, John Wiley & Sons, 2010
Once again, Frank has produced a work with a very high content-to-pages ratio: there is a lot of stuff in here! And as he did in Performance Leadership: The Next Practices to Motivate Your People, Align Stakeholders, and Lead Your Industry, he manages to combine the philosophical and practical through theories and Real-world examples and case studies.
It's hard to classify "Dealing with Dilemmas," since it cover so many areas:
- strategy & decision making
- scenarios & resource allocation
- risk, ambiguity, constraints, assumptions
- morality & ethics
- alignment & culture
First of all, this is a really good overview of strategy - it's like a Strategy Safari: A Guided Tour Through The Wilds of Strategic Management crash-course.
And he does a solid job of identifying 6 dilemmas that exist in every business:
- value vs. profit
- long term vs. short term
- top down vs. bottom up
- listen vs. lead
- inside out vs. outside in
- optimize vs. innovate
Then he neatly classifies those into "you versus me" and "now versus later," which both require different approaches.
Given Frank's pedigree, he ties the message of the book neatly into Enterprise Performance Management/Business Intelligence concepts and practices - like the Balanced Scorecard, Resource Planning, Finance, and Analytics.
There are plenty of interesting subjects - I was going to say tangents - in this book (like synthesis, the art of creating options, all the way to time-space dimension swapping, and the bit about meta-synthesis in the end), but Frank brings it all together so none of it feels tangential. And, being a big fan of closed-loop management systems, you'll enjoy Franks "donut vs. the pretzel" treatment.
At it's heart, I think this is a Change Management book: changing our own context & behaviors - dealing with our own dilemmas - to help improve organization change for the better. And I'll bet you'll never read another business book that asks "do you want sex, or do you want a cookie?"