Albrecht, who paired with Training's Ron Zemke on the best-selling Service America!, has another hit. This one takes a tenet of Albrecht's Law that "intelligent people, when assembled into an organization, will tend toward collective stupidity" and tells us it doesn't need to be this way. And then he tells us how to prevent it.
Who among us has not suffered in some way through a destructive and maddening cycle of decisions by a senior management "team" that was about as functional as a room full of orangutans on LSD? In Albrecht terms, this general behavior is called "ballistic podiatry," commonly known as shooting ourselves in our collective foot. I look back on my brief tenure in a dot-com comedy of horrors with similar thoughts.
Of special interest in this entertaining book is the section of Chapter 2, "Learned Incapacity," in which the author delivers a list of the 17 basic syndromes of organizational dysfunction, based on a tool psychiatrists use called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. My guess is that King Karl's version of DSM is a lot more fun to read, however, as any of us can easily find one or two disorders in the list. My favorites are anemia (only the deadwood survives), malorganization (structural arthritis), and the rat race (they keep moving the cheese).
Albrecht offers a number of fine diagnoses for organizational illnesses with cases studies and examples to back them up.
Another must-read section covers how firms have learned to motivate and de-motivate people through various means. Here, the author cites the seminal work of one of the great thinkers about management and organizations, professor Frederick Herzberg. Put this book on your desk today.