Read I'm Sorry I Broke Your Company: When Management Consultants Are the Problem, Not the Solution by Karen Phelan Free Online
Book Title: I'm Sorry I Broke Your Company: When Management Consultants Are the Problem, Not the Solution|
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Reader ratings: 6.8
The author of the book: Karen Phelan
Edition: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Date of issue: December 5th 2012
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 544 KB
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It’s the People, Stupid!
Karen Phelan is sorry. She really is. She tried to do business by the numbers—the management consultant way—developing measures, optimizing processes, and quantifying performance. The only problem is that businesses are run by people. And people can’t be plugged into formulas or summed up in scorecards.
Phelan dissects a whole range of consulting treatments for unhealthy companies and shows why they’re essentially fad diets: superficial would-be fixes that don’t result in lasting improvements and can cause serious damage. With a mix of clear-eyed business analysis, heart-wrenching stories, and hard-won lessons for both consultants and the people who hire them, this book is impossible to put down and impossible to ignore. Karen Phelan and other consultants may have “broken” your company, but she’s eager to make amends.
“Finally, an author challenging our broken management models who has credibility—she has been there. Karen Phelan not only explains why the emperor—our sacred ways of managing—has no clothes but provides us with insightful alternatives that promise to add real value to our organizations and the people that make them function.”
—Dean Schroeder, award-winning coauthor of Ideas Are Free
“Funny, irreverent, and outrageous, this book is making a deeply serious point: talking to actual people and figuring out how to help them work together better is what’s going to make organizations stronger, not another PowerPoint presentation.”
—Rosina L. Racioppi, President and CEO, Women Unlimited, Inc.
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Read information about the authorKaren Phelan was born the daughter of poor, Southern sharecroppers and, as a child, educated herself by reading Pilgrim’s Progress by candlelight in her family’s log cabin. Oops, that’s totally not true. Karen’s parents were middle-class, Irish immigrants who resided in a Cape Cod home on the outskirts of New York City. As a child, she strongly suspected that she was adopted. However, as a grown woman, she finds herself doing all the things her mother did that drove her crazy, and the shared gene pool has become evident. This turns out to be advantageous as the sheer amount of her Irish relatives could put this book on the best seller list.
Karen suffered through twelve years of parochial school, and despite the good nuns’ best efforts, they were not able to beat the sass out of her. However, they did successfully beat good grammar and spelling into her, which proved quite useful in later years. Afterwards, Karen went to MIT where she studied materials science and engineering and learned how to manipulate metals and ceramics at the atomic level. At MIT, she made the most important discovery of her career – she was, indeed, a nerd. As part of an MIT masters program (did she mention she went to MIT?), she worked in a military research facility in Los Angeles. While there, she did not get caught in a mantrap door or get her head stuck in the security gate like many of her colleagues, and thus she concluded that she wasn’t cut out for government work.
Instead, Karen decided to pursue a lifelong ambition to travel, so she joined the management consulting practice of Deloitte Haskins & Sells (now Deloitte & Touche). There she specialized in supply chain and manufacturing and traveled to all the glamorous hotbeds of American industry. Eventually, she joined Gemini Consulting where she switched her career focus to process reengineering, change management, and training, but continued to travel to scenic manufacturing sites. She learned many useful lessons during this time, first and foremost that her college degrees had no practical applications outside her field. However, other lessons stayed with her for life, and to this day she knows her way around most US airports, the big hotel chains, and fast-food menus.
Seeking a more stable and settled lifestyle after starting a family, Karen joined Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. First, she managed a training group, but then she took on an international IT management role and found herself traveling again. (So much for settled!) While at Pfizer, she also worked on acquisitions and divestitures, including her own, when her division was bought by Johnson & Johnson. (So much for stability!) Next, she took an online marketing position at the J&J division that was later investigated by the FDA. She realized she was poorly suited to marketing when she pondered daily why anyone would need so many personal care products or want to have a relationship with a brand.
In 2008, she left J&J to help start a US office for an Australian software company that was relying on venture capital for its expansion. Several months later, the US financial crisis hit, funding was denied, and she decided that she didn’t want to work for free. Now Karen has found her passion and is back working as a management consultant, this time as a cofounder of Operating Principals. Operating Principals is on a mission to help companies replace onerous human resource practices and systems with better dialogue, better relationships, and better employee job fit. Its operating principle is that simple acts often have the most profound results, and many workplaces are rife with needless complexity and bureaucracy.
Karen has been married to Tom Hennigan for twenty-two years and has learned that the secret to a long-lasting marriage is neither love nor commitment, but rather inertia. She is mom to two teenage boys, Aidan and Alex, who currently wish they were adopted. (Sorry boys!) They reside in an idyllic lake community