BOOKS: The book that shook

BOOKS: The book that shook - 'I am not an avid reader of business books and it's rare to find one that changes my approach to management. The Visionary's Handbook by Watts Wacker, Jim Taylor and Howard Means is the exception.

by DAVID FORD, chief executive, Sodexho
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

'I am not an avid reader of business books and it's rare to find one that changes my approach to management. The Visionary's Handbook by Watts Wacker, Jim Taylor and Howard Means is the exception.

The authors take a philosophical approach to management by examining nine paradoxes facing businesses. These include themes such as size, leadership, time and competition, supported by concrete examples. The authors argue that, although business leaders can try to shape their business future, they should be aware that nobody knows what the future holds.

Titles with the word 'visionary' often disappoint. However, this book challenges us to look beyond the short term and see the road to long-term success. Exercises encourage us to play an interactive rather than passive role.

'Good judgment comes from experience, and experience only comes from bad judgment.' This quote has become integral to my approach and, I hope, to my senior management, who are all equipped with their own Visionary's Handbook.'

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