Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Book Teaches Business Executives and Anyone Struggling with Dilemmas How to Turn an Unknown into an Advantage

My latest book has just come out, I've been writing about it before in this blog. Here's my best short description of it...

Every day, the news reports on difficult dilemmas in business and public sector:
• In difficult economic times, the government needs to stimulate the economy, yet save costs. Should the government invest in infrastructural projects leading to new jobs, or cut deep in expenditures?
• A banking regulator sees problems at a small bank. If the regulator moves quickly, her actions become a self-fulfilling prophecy, harming the business. However, if the regulator moves too slow, the risk increases. What should the regulator do?
• A bank is confronted with professionals demanding high bonuses. Should it risk public outcry, or defecting professionals?
• How far can you go in interrogating a criminal suspect in order to prevent more crimes or an imminent attack?

Executive decision-making is fraught with dilemmas, trying to reconcile long-term and short-term needs, and the requirements of multiple stakeholders. Unfortunately, we don't know how to solve dilemmas.
Based on years of research, an international survey and in-depth interviews with executives from global companies such as Cox Communications, Novozymes and Polycom, as well as Dr. Edmund Stoiber, former minister-president of the largest state in Germany and General (ret.) D.L. Berlijn, former commander of the Dutch Armed Forces, I have concluded that avoiding dilemmas is not a good strategy, and that there are perfectly feasible ways of dealing with dilemmas. 

All we learn in our business education and best practices is analysis. However, analysis only confirms and strengthens dilemmas. A different toolkit is needed for strategic decision-making: not analysis, but the opposite, synthesis. By bringing together opposite positions, you fundamentally solve business problems, and you raise your organization to a new level of insight.

While almost 60% of respondents world-wide report that they cannot effectively solve any of the standard dilemmas that businesses face, I use many practical examples to describe how the ability to solve dilemmas leads to tangible business benefits. In the book, I describesthe six dilemmas all businesses face, and how to effectively tackle them. Dr. David P. Norton, one of the creators of the Balanced Scorecard, called the book "excellent" and "an important work that will enhance organizational effectiveness."

For answers on how to solve these and more, contact me here.

Dealing with Dilemmas: When Business Analytics Fall Short

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; $49.95; 240 pages
Available Now; ISBN 978-0470630310
About the Author
Frank Buytendijk is a former Gartner Research VP and currently Vice President and Fellow at Oracle Corp. He is an exceptional speaker at conferences all over the world, and is known for his out-of-the-box thinking and provocative style. His professional background gives him a unique perspective on business strategy, performance management and organizational behavior. His work was awarded the "thought leadership award", the "cultural icon award" and "most innovative presentation award". For more information, go to www.frankbuytendijk.com.

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