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Know What You Don't Know: How Great Leaders Prevent Problems Before They Happen von [Roberto, Michael A.]

Know What You Don't Know: How Great Leaders Prevent Problems Before They Happen Kindle Edition

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Länge: 225 Seiten Word Wise: Aktiviert Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
PageFlip: Aktiviert Sprache: Englisch

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Problems remain hidden in organizations for a number of reasons, including fear, organizational complexity, gatekeepers who insulate leaders from problems that are coming up, and finally, an overemphasis on formal analysis in place of intuition and observation. This book lays out the key skills and capabilities required to ensure that problems do not remain hidden in your organization. It explains how leaders can become effective problem finders, unearthing problems before they destroy an organization. The book explains how leaders can become an anthropologist, going out and observe how employees, customers, and suppliers actually behave. It then goes on to present how they can circumvent the gatekeepers, so they can go directly to the source to see and hear the raw data; hunt for patterns, including refining your individual and collective pattern recognition capability; "connect the dots" among issues that may initially seem unrelated, but in fact, have a great deal in common; give front-line employees training in a communication technique; encourage useful mistakes, including create a "Red Pencil Award"; and watch the game film, where leaders reflect systematically on their own organization's conduct and performance, as well as on the behavior and performance of competitors.


Uncover Your Company's Emerging Problems--and Solve Them Before They Explode into Disaster * How to become a world-class problem-hunter...and why you must * "Connect the dots": Uncover the hidden patterns that could mean big trouble * By the best-selling author of Why Great Leaders Don't Take Yes for an Answer Tired of "fighting fires"? Start "detecting smoke"--so you can fix your company's problems before they erupt into crisis! Face it: Your most dangerous problems are the ones you don't even know about. Know What You Don't Know will help you hunt down those hidden, festering issues: the ones that could destroy your organization if you don't discover them soon. Michael A. Roberto teaches the seven skill sets you need to become a world-class "problem hunter." Roberto shows leaders how to get past dangerous information "filtering" how people behave, not just what they say...pick meaningful patterns out of raw data...encourage smarter risk-taking and "useful failures" a culture that welcomes challenges to conventional wisdom...draw crucial lessons from your organization's "game film"...and get your team to act on what you've learned.

There are plenty of books about problem solving. But you can't solve a problem until you know it exists. Read Know What You Don't Know, and you will.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1065 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 225 Seiten
  • Gleichzeitige Verwendung von Geräten: Bis zu 5 Geräte gleichzeitig, je nach vom Verlag festgelegter Grenze
  • Verlag: FT Press; Auflage: 1 (29. Januar 2009)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B001U5VJN6
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #622.827 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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HASH(0x8c1aab34) von 5 Sternen "It isn't that they can't see the solution. It's that they can't see the problem." 23. März 2009
Von Robert Morris - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Michael Roberto cites this especially relevant observation by G.K. Chesterton as a head note to the first chapter of this immensely informative book in which he stresses the importance of mastering seven sets of skills and capabilities that are essential to effective problem-finding. Roberto makes the same key point (among several) in his previously published book, asserting that the most effective leaders are those who "cultivate constructive conflict so as to enhance the level of critical and divergent thinking, while simultaneously building consensus so as to facilitate the timely and efficient implementation of the choices that they make." He goes on to assert that "effective leaders can and should spend time `deciding how to decide.' In short, creating high-quality decision-making processes necessitates a good deal of forethought." Throughout Roberto's lively narrative, there is a strong recurring theme: "leaders must strive for a delicate balance of assertiveness and restraint." In this book, he explains, "I argue that leaders must become hunters who venture out in search of the problems that might lead to disaster" for their organizations. Consider what Peter Drucker observed in an article that appeared in the Harvard Business Review in 1963: "There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all."

The title "Know What You Don't Know" has all manner of critically important implications. Here are three. First, it correctly suggests that identifying and then filling knowledge needs requires the same "level of critical and divergent thinking, while simultaneously building consensus" that the problem-solving process requires. And that consensus should be the result of rigorous scrutiny applied to a number of options even if (especially if) some seem counterintuitive and perhaps even contradictory. Only then will it be possible "to facilitate the timely and efficient implementation" of the choice(s) made. The title also correctly suggests that this process requires high-impact leadership, one that insists on both good will and principled disagreement throughout group discussion and consideration while maintaining "a delicate balance of assertiveness and restraint." High-impact leadership also serves as an example of seven critical skills and capabilities that are needed to ensure that problems do not remain hidden (more about them later), to discover "the bad news that typically does not surface until far too late." However, Roberto adds, becoming an effective problem-finder (a "detective") also requires a "different mindset," one that "begins with a certain level of intellectual curiosity, is based on systematic thinking, and meanwhile realize that "every organization, no matter how successful, has plenty of problems [and they] often lie beneath the surface, hidden from view." This is what Andrew Grove, former Intel chairman and CEO, had in mind when asserting that "only the paranoid survive."

With regard to the aforementioned seven critical skills and capabilities, Roberto devotes a separate chapter to each. Actually, I think that (only with minor revision) they could be viewed as strategies as well as skills and capabilities. The most effective problem finders must also be effective navigators and politicians, as the following correctly suggest:

1. Circumvent the "gatekeepers" (i.e. those who control filters and other barriers)
2. Become an ethnographer (observe carefully, ask questions, listen intently, etc.)
3. Hunt for patterns (e.g. identify verifiable causal relationships)
4. Connect the dots (
5. Encourage useful failures (i.e. those that are small, brief, inexpensive, and informative)
6. Teach how to talk and to listen (also when and why)
7. Watch the "game film" of past performance (make adjustments, practice deliberately)

Throughout his narrative, Roberto makes brilliant use of a reader-friendly device that consists of a check-list and brief discussion of key points. For example, reasons why problems remain hidden (Page 9), small problems and failures that can threaten an organization (Pages 19-20), why information filtering takes place (pages 31-34), how to circumvent the filters (Page 36), principles of effective observation (Page 64), seven key questions to use when testing assumptions (Page 85), types of leadership behavior that can encourage more effective treatment of information (Page 108), four ways suggested by Roger Martin (author of The Opposable Mind) to nurture and develop integrative thinking skills (Pages 113-114), how to assess a failure before, during, and after it occurs (Page 125-126), how to speak up more effectively (Page 154), and "Three Dimensions of a New Mindset" (Pages 189-193).

I wholeheartedly agree with Michael Roberto that organizations should commit at least as resources to encouraging, training, supporting, recognizing, and (yes) rewarding their Problem-Finders ("Detectives") as they do their Problem-Solvers ("Firefighters"). Of course both are needed. And both require leaders who demonstrate intellectual curiosity, adopt systematic thinking, and exhibit a healthy dose of paranoia. He goes on to point out, "They do not wait for problems to come to them. They behave much more proactively. They seek out problems. They embrace them...The very best leaders know that speed is critical. The earlier you discover a problem, the more likely you can contain the damage, and the more likely you can solve it readily. Most important of all, successful leaders do not see problems as threats. They see every problem as an opportunity to learn and improve."

Why must the "great leaders" to which this brilliant book's title refers be developed at all levels and in all areas of every organization, whatever its size and nature may be? Problems are equal-opportunity troublemakers. Just as minor scratches can become major infections if ignored or neglected, minor problems can become major disasters unless they are discovered and solved as quickly as possible.
11 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8bc84ec4) von 5 Sternen Constructive look at problem finding 14. Juni 2010
Von Rolf Dobelli - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Sir Winston Churchill, Great Britain's intrepid prime minister during World War II, was an amazingly perceptive leader. He was one of the first to warn of the military threat Germany posed prior to both world wars. How did he know? He routinely sought out rank-and-file members of the British military and low-level English government bureaucrats to find the truth. In the same way, you should dig deeply into your organization for unbiased, accurate information so you can detect problems before they turn into disasters. In his case-filled, albeit pretty much one-note, book, management professor Michael A. Roberto explains why finding problems is harder than solving them. He shows how danger hidden beneath the surface can present the greatest peril to your company. getAbstract recommends Roberto's engaging book to managers at all levels. Spot those icebergs before they sink your business.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8c7d2a68) von 5 Sternen How to become an effective problem finder 4. August 2011
Von John Gibbs - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Leaders need to become hunters who venture out in search of the problems that might lead to disaster for their firms; they cannot wait for the problems to come to them, according to Michael Roberts in this book. Unfortunately most business schools teach students how to solve pre-defined problems rather than how to search out the problems in the first place.

According to the author, there are seven critical skills which must be mastered in order to someone to become an effective problem finder:

* Circumvent the filters which prevent you from receiving accurate information, particularly bad news
* Observe how groups of people behave in their natural settings
* Search for and identify patterns
* Connect the dots amongst seemingly disparate bits of information
* Encourage people to take risks and learn from their mistakes
* Refine your communication skills
* Become adept at review and reflection

The book is based on almost 150 interviews with CEOs, business unit leaders and staff executives of small and large enterprises, relating to successes, failures and efforts to prevent failures from taking place. In my view there is nothing particularly surprising about the author's findings or the seven critical skills which he has identified, but perhaps that is because it is fundamentally impossible to reduce the skill of finding previously unidentified problems to a science.
11 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8bf80d50) von 5 Sternen Practical and provocative 21. Juni 2009
Von BSBAz - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Drawing on examples as varied as the 9-11 tragedy and Anne Mulcahy's leadership at Xerox, Roberto explains why leaders need to be not only great problem-solvers but also problem finders. He describes the common reasons why leaders often miss seeing problems until a crisis occurs. He then offers seven practical methods of problem finding that any leader, manager or business owner can apply. An easy, fast and interesting read that will pay real dividends.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8cd1f5b8) von 5 Sternen Not for the leader that is faint at heart, a dictator, or ego-maniac. 3. Januar 2011
Von Eric van der Meulen - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book explains why it is much smarter to be focused on problem-finding, than problem-solving. Implementing this approach means a cultural revolution in most companies I know. The idea is that if you can catch and address issues when they have just emerged, and not swiped under the rug yet, they are manageable. Illustrated with many examples and based on academic research, this is an engaging and refreshing presentation of seven critical skill sets that could make a life or death difference in your business. Much of this is applicable to project management as well. For example, there is a short list of key questions in the "Hunt for patterns" chapter that will help you scrutinize assumptions. Question 6: How would our conclusions change if each of our key assumptions proves incorrect? If you are ready to challenge your view of the reality around you, and think you can handle surprises, this book will be a delight.
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