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Released: 2000-02-01

Turning Goals into Results: The Power of Catalytic Mechanisms (HBR OnPoint Enhanced Edition) by James C. Collins


This is an enhanced edition of HBR article 99401, originally published in July/August 1999. HBR OnPoint articles save you time by enhancing an original Harvard Business Review article with an overview that draws out the main points and an annotated bibliography that points you to related resources. This enables you to scan, absorb, and share the management insights with others. Most executives have a big, hairy, audacious goal. They write vision statements, formalize procedures, and develop complicated incentive programs–all in pursuit of that goal. In other words, with the best of intentions, they install layers of stultifying bureaucracy. But it doesn't have to be that way. In this article, Jim Collins introduces the catalytic mechanism, a simple yet powerful managerial tool that helps translate lofty aspirations into concrete reality. What's the difference between catalytic mechanisms and most traditional managerial controls? Catalytic mechanisms share five characteristics. First, they produce desired results in unpredictable ways. Second, they distribute power for the benefit of the overall system, often to the discomfort of those who traditionally hold power. Third, catalytic mechanisms have teeth. Fourth, they eject “viruses”–those people who don't share the company's core values. Finally, they produce an ongoing effect.

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Book Details

Author: James C. Collins Publisher: Harvard Business R.. Binding: Digital Language: English Pages: 15

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