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Book Review

← Summary of "How to Lie with Statistics" by Darrell Huff

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Book Review

In our global world the unique capacity of any company to identify and uncover the secrets of success and to detect the reason of failure has become decisive in ensuring competitive advantage. The question is whether all secrets of success are still concealed in mystery. The management of any enterprise is concerned with the problem why there are not so many teams that can work efficiently for a long period of time to gain success and what any company should do to be highly successful. This is only a partial list of never-ending questions that may ever arise in large-scale organization with a huge amount of employees in a long term. That is a reason why so many thinkers and scholars of economy turned their attention to the team work and the issue how to make it better. The book When Teams Work Best by Frank LaFasto and Carl Larson captured my imagination as it gives a detailed, profound and comprehensive analysis with technical and psychological characteristics that make company operate sound and secure.

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Frank LaFasto and Carl Larson describe a highly successful team that consists of the employees who are technically competent and good at collaborating with other members of the team to reach their common objective in a large-scale organization. Success of any company depends on the efforts of every team member. The authors describe in details the working knowledge factors that include experience and problem-solving abilities of each member. Any employee is applied according to their personal qualities and ability to work in a team. Openness, personal style, supportiveness, and action orientation allow to prevent meaningful oversight in order to attain the major short-term and long-term objectives.

A favorable working environment encourages labor productivity. The team members can easily trust each other, thus, they become more relaxed in communication. The employees do not have to deal with the unpleasant situations as they are not obsessed with the idea to resolve the excess problems that may unexpectedly arise from nothing. In huge companies, where everyone is spiriually uplifted, when everyone trusts each other implicitly, any innovative technology or know-how is more plausible to appear due to the favorable working environment. This fact will inevitably make the company successful in achieving a goal and, ultimately, the enterprise will be ahead of its competitors (LaFasto & Larson, 2001).

When with the tribute of every team member, scientifically defined according to the formula, the desired effect in achieving the goal has not been obtained, the top managers in the organization should look afresh at the strategy of the organization in the items related to the shaping of favorable working environment. Then, they have to make the urgent amendments to this strategy or to develop a new strategy, which enables to improve working environment. The ideal candidates for a work in a well-knitted team should be able to use their intelligence, confidence, responsibility, have a tough mind, high level of personal integrity to deal with rapidly-changing and unpredictable situations that will test their resources to the limit.

The authors of the book also discuss crucial issue about how the top managers deal with conflicts and problems and how these conflicts are solved in the organization. Top managers should immediately react to the source of the conflict or the problem as they may transform into the ever-lasting vicious circle leading anyone down the blind alley to bump into never-ending amount of stumbling blocks. This comes into existence due to the wrong strategy to form appropriate working environment as all departments of any efficient big company should work in accord to achieve their long-lasting goal. People who are prone to collisions should be fired, as the ultimate effect of conflicts in a team may cause the permanent disaster for the whole company (LaFasto & Larson, 2001).

Therefore, non-stop education of stuff with a great number of modelling of all possible situations, which are likely to arise within the activity process of any team, are of the main importance. The ability to predict thee succeeding rapidly-changing trends in economy requires the employees to have new the skills and habits to meet new challenges in the global world market. Leaders of all departments in any organization should consolidate every effort to stimulate every team member to work better in order to obtain the common for the whole organization objectives and goals. That is the reason why the leaders of all departments should have a good financial package as they are responsible for the final result of the team and the whole organization.

Coherence of favorable working environment means safety. However, a real breakthrough in any big enterprise can come almost by attracting and retaining professionals who are endowed with the innate qualities to challenge traditional stereotypes and push their organizations to greater heights. High performers are always eager and enthusiastic to encounter any obstacles and develop their skills and habits. These people can create winning strategies to ensure dramatic growth of their company. Such people are supposed to get a good financial package.

Empowerment is a particularly important motivating force for the workers. Individuals feel good in an environment where they have a considerable administrative support for their personal development. When the administration fails to ensure the appropriate working environment for the employees, they become easily persuaded to go working to rival’s organizations. The company’s capacity to retain high performers is crucial. The force of their aspiration and their limitless energy to utilize the scientific research can dramatically change the situation in the market, and the company they work for will be unsurpassed for a long period of time in future.

The survey conducted by Frank LaFastoand Carl Larson supports the latest concepts and trends of our global economy. The key clues to be unbeatable in the market are also discussed in the investigation. Amazingly enough, these clues are similar to those which existed since the time immemorial.

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