Most Valuable Business Insights: 16-20

After having read and reviewed so many business books, I now share brief comments about what I consider to be the 25 most valuable business insights and the books in which they are either introduced or (one man’s opinion) best explained. Here are the fourth five:

16. PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT: First, determine which tasks are most important. Then, make performance expectations crystal clear to each of those whose performance will be measured.  Next, co-determine with them what the metrics for measurement will be. Third and finally, review measurement data after 45-60 days and revise (if necessary) (a) performance expectations and/or (b) the criteria by which performance is measured.

Best Sources:

Transforming Performance Measurement
Dean Spitzer

Analytics at Work
Thomas-H.-Davenport, Jeanne-G.-Harris, and Robert Morison

17. PERSUASION: This is the art and science of convincing another person or persons to agree with what they are asked to think, believe, or so. he basic requirements include eloquence, conviction, logic, and clarity as well as sufficient information to justify the given proposition or action. The most persuasive people respond effectively to a question that may not be stated: “What’s in it for me?”

Best Sources:

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler

18. POWER: This is probably one of the most difficult terms to define because it has both positive and negative connotations and can be experienced in so many different dimensions (i.e. mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual). As Thoreau, Ghandi, and then Martin Luther King, Jr. suggest, non-violent resistance can have great power; we also know what other forms of power can do in response to that resistance.

Best Sources:

Power: Why Some People Have It and Others Don’t
Jeffrey Pfeffer

The Elements of Power: Lessons on Leadership and Influence
Terry R. Bacon

19. PRODUCTIVITY: Get the most and best results from the least consumption resources (e.g. time, energy, materials). It is imperative to know what those desired results are, first. Otherwise, Peter Drucker’s observation applies: “There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.” Experts recommend that, in meetings and conversations, focus on discussion of what must be done, not on what to discuss.

Best Sources:

Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm
Verne Harnish

Now…Build a Great Business! 7 Ways to Maximize Your Profits in Any Market
Mark Thompson and Brian Tracy

20. SELLING usually requires these components: a seller, a buyer, and a product and/or service of some kind. The term is also used with regard to convincing one or more people as during change initiatives (to obtain “buy-in”) or to gain agreement during a negotiation (“I’ll buy that”). Selling thus has multiple meanings but, whatever the situation, the challenge is to possess the right information and present it effectively (i.e. convincingly).

Best Sources:

SPIN Selling
Neil Rackham’s

Selling to the C-Suite: What Every Executive Wants You to Know About Successfully Selling to the Top
Nicholas A.C. Read and Stephen J. Bistritz


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