The Right Fight

The Right Fight : How Great Leaders Use Healthy Conflict to Drive Performance, Innovation, and Value

3.23 (26 ratings by Goodreads)
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The Right Fight, the new management guide from noted business strategists Saj-nicole Joni and Damon Beyer, turns management thinking on its head and shows why, in the fast-moving, hyper-competitive marketplaces of the 21st century, leaders need to both foster alignment and orchestrate thoughtful controversy in their organizations to get the best out of them. The authors' groundbreaking research-including examples as diverse as Unilever, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Dell, the Clinton Administration, and the Houston Independent School System-shows that happy workers can become bored or complacent and thus less productive than workers who are subjected to a little properly managed tension. Readers of Good to Great and Winning, as well as the Harvard Business Review and Strategy + Business, will find much to ponder in The Right Fight.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 23mm | 417g
  • HarperBusiness
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0061717169
  • 9780061717161
  • 1,121,061

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Back cover copy

Organizational harmony and strategic alignment aren't enough to drive success.

Until now, management wisdom would have you believe that the single most important thing leaders have to get right is alignment. To accomplish anything, employees must agree about the mission, strategy, and goals of an organization. Aligned employees are happy employees, and happy employees are productive employees. Simple, right?

Well, in a word, no. Counter to conventional wisdom, the dirty little secret of leadership--what they don't tell you in business school--is that a leader's time is not always best spent trying to help his or her teams make nice and get along. In contrast, the authors' groundbreaking research shows that fostering productive dissent is essential for achieving peak efficiency--what Joni and Beyer call "right fights."

Right fights need to be well designed and subject to certain rules to be effective. Alignment cannot be ignored; without it, organizations can be plagued with bitter, energy-draining wrong fights. But a certain amount of healthy struggle is good for organizations. Right fights unleash the creative, productive potential of teams, organizations, and communities.

The Right Fight turns management thinking on its head and shows why leaders--in the fast-moving, hyper-competitive marketplaces of the twenty-first century--need to foster alignment and orchestrate thoughtful controversy in their organizations to get the best results. Drawing from examples as diverse as Unilever, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Dell, the Clinton administration, and the Katy Independent School System, here is your playbook for picking the right battles and fighting the right fights well.
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Review quote

"A convincing and counterintuitive argument that instigating dissent, if done selectively, can produce big results." -- -Publishers Weekly "Joni and Beyer...present valuable, thought-provoking ideas" -- -Booklist "Anybody in any organization who has any responsibility must read this book." -- -Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business, University of Southern California and author of On Becoming a Leader "Provocative and unique...The Right Fight illustrates how a healthy dose of tension energized some of the world's most respected companies. It worked at Campbell." -- -Douglas R. Conant, President and CEO, Campbell Soup Company "Managing tension and conflicting ideas is but part of the equation. Using them to steer the organization toward success is the other part, which is often overlooked. In The Right Fight, Saj-Nicole Joni and Damon Beyer show us how to use conflict the right way!" -- -Marshall Goldsmith is the NYT bestselling author of Succession: Are You Ready? and What Got You Here Won't Get You There "Tensions are the road to competitiveness, while consensus often leads to mediocrity. Saj-nicole, the nicest person on earth got it right - encouraging the right fight is the hallmark of true leadership. Great ideas are born from competition, and thrive when subjected to survival of the fittest." -- -Rolf Classon, Chairman, Hill-Rom, and former CEO, Bayer Healthcare "If you care about how well organizations work, you need to buy this book, get out a highlighter, and mark up the pages. It will change the way you think about teams and how they're run. And it will raise your collective performance and sense of satisfaction." -- -Bridgette Heller, Global President, Johnson and Johnson Consumer Companies "The authors have absolutely nailed one of the critical unspoken tools in the leadership tool kit. The book helped me reflect on the right and wrong fights of the past and begin planning my next one!" -- -Gaurdie E. Banister Jr., President and CEO, Aera Energy LLC "If you're a leader at any level, The Right Fight will inspire you to embrace organizational tensions, and in so doing, release the energies needed to solve your most complex problems. This is one of the most practical business books I've read and I recommend it highly." -- -Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO, Acumen Fund, and author, The Blue Sweater "The wisdom runs deep and the stories jump off the page. Joni and Beyer show us why alignment is not enough. Fighting the right fights right can be the difference between survival and extinction. This book should be at the top of any leaders reading list." -- -Doug Stone, coauthor of NYT bestseller Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss what Matters Most
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About Saj-Nicole A. Joni

Saj-Nicole Joni, Ph.D., is an internationally known business strategist and advisor to CEOs and top executives across the globe. Dr. Joni works with leaders to develop and execute their best strategic options, viewing all sides of a challenge and testing multiple possibilities, even those at the boundaries of convention. A frequent speaker with a regular column, Joni has appeared on NPR Marketplace, has been published in The Harvard Business Review and Fast Company, and is the author of The Third Opinion.

Dr. Joni has filled executive positions at Microsoft and CSC Index, and she has taught at MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, and Wellesley College. She is the founder and CEO of Cambridge International Group Ltd. and holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego.

Damon Beyer is a senior executive advisor with Booz and Company and a founding member of the Katzenbach Center for organizational innovation, where he consults to senior executives in both the public and private sectors. He is a former partner with McKinsey and company and his work has been published in the Harvard Business Review, the McKinsey Quarterly, and the Oil and Gas Journal. He lives in Houston, Texas, and on Deer Isle, Maine.
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Rating details

26 ratings
3.23 out of 5 stars
5 12% (3)
4 27% (7)
3 38% (10)
2 19% (5)
1 4% (1)
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