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Flavor of the Month: A Leadership Fable about management mantras, methodologies, processes, & practices

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:     Flavor of the Month: A Leadership Fable about management mantras, methodologies, processes, & practices

Author:           Martin VanDerSchouw

Publisher:      LGd Press

List Price:       US$24.95

Format:           Hard cover, 98 pages

Publication Date:   2010

ISBN:              9780982185629

Reviewer:      Joyce Jones

Review Date:              August 2012
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Introduction to the Book

Though presented as a short fable, this book, as with so many fables, mirrors reality.  Its setting could be any large or small business as it struggles through growing pains and potential failure.  The situations are realistic.

Highly successful leader Jim Calvin has been brought in as President and CEO of struggling JenMar to lead the organization during a challenging time.  Upon arriving he is confronted with significant challenges and he quickly introduces a multitude of improvement tools.  How he deals with the people and processes unfolds in this telling story.

Overview of Book’s Structure

A fast read which can be completed in a few hours, the book is organized into succinct chapters focusing on specific topics of change management, task management, performance metrics, time management and strategy.

The style of the book includes continuous dialogue during formal and information meetings of the management leadership team with new CEO Jim Calvin.  They have also hired consultant Ken Collier for his unbiased expertise to provide insights into the things that are working and those which need special attention.

Common ‘flavor of the month’ management tools for providing structure, process improvement, performance measurement and controls are introduced throughout the book.  These include Six Sigma, Agile, Lean Thinking, and structured project management through Project Management Office (PMO).  Throughout the fable, the author reveals concepts necessary to excel and succeed.

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About the Reviewer

Joyce E. Jones

Joyce Jones has been managing technical development and implementation projects in the financial industry for over twenty-five years.  She has spent over forty years working in the information technology field in various roles: developer, system analyst, business analyst, consultant, customer support and as project lead and project manager for implementation and support projects for core banking solutions at many large U.S. banks.  She currently manages a team of developers, testers and implementation specialists.  Joyce is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), member of Project Management Institute (PMI) and member of Dallas PMI Chapter, several PM Communities of Practice and serves as secretary of Dallas PMI Toastmasters.  She can be contacted at [email protected]on.net.

Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of cooperation between the publisher, PM World Inc and the Dallas Chapter of the Project Management Institute (www.pmidallas.org). Publishers provide books to PM World, books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter where they are given to chapter members who commit to providing a book review in a standard format; the reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  Since PMI Dallas Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, they represent the intended audience for most PM books.  If you are an author or publisher of a book related to program or project management, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].