I'm Sorry I Broke Your Company

When Management Consultants Are the Problem, Not the Solution

Karen Phelan (Author)

Publication date: 12/05/2012

Bestseller over 50,000+ copies sold

I'm Sorry I Broke Your Company
If management theories and systems (think: "Management by Objectives" and "Process Optimization") are the religion, consultants are the high-priests. With years as a top Fortune 100 executive and, yes, management consultant, Karen Phelan exposes the whole game. Takeaway: consultants have forgotten that business are made up of real people, not numbers. Empathy, not MBA's, is the real future of management.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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Book Details
Overview
If management theories and systems (think: "Management by Objectives" and "Process Optimization") are the religion, consultants are the high-priests. With years as a top Fortune 100 executive and, yes, management consultant, Karen Phelan exposes the whole game. Takeaway: consultants have forgotten that business are made up of real people, not numbers. Empathy, not MBA's, is the real future of management.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.
About the Author
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Excerpt

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