Business leaders the world over are hardwired to focus on success. But what if understanding failure is the real secret behind enduring performance?
In Too Good To Fail?, Jan Filochowski turns his twenty years’ experience as a CEO and turnaround specialist into practical advice for business managers.
About the author
PART ONE: UNDERSTANDING FAILURE
Chapter 1 – Mentioning the Unmentionable
- What failure looks like
- The omnipresence of failure
- Measuring success and failure
- Misrepresenting success and failure
- The infectiousness of failure
Chapter 2 – The Pattern of Failure: The Yosemite Curve
- Phase 1: Struggle
- Phase 2: Denial
- Phase 3: Freefall
- Phase 4: Rock Bottom
- Phase 5: Recovery
- Phase 6: Consolidation
Chapter 3 – Other Types of Failure
- Total failure – the Niagara drop
- Shallow failure: the frying pan
- Broadening failure: the Grand Canyon
PART TWO: AVOIDING FAILURE
Chapter 4 – Passive Warning Signs
Chapter 5 – Active Alarm bells
Chapter 6 – The cultural litmus test
- A reckless culture?
- A culture of false reassurance?
- A culture of gaming?
- A culture of control?
PART THREE: CURING FAILURE
Chapter 7 – Regaining confidence
- Talking to staff
- Reaching outside
- Retaining Momentum
- Trumpeting success
Chapter 8 – Getting back in control
- Digging till you find the cause
- Tackling immediate problems
- Rebuilding the mechanisms for managing
- Unlocking the organisation
PART FOUR: SUCCEEDING
Chapter 9 – The opposite of failure
- Giving and getting feedback
- Managing relentlessly
Chapter 10 – The importance of being honest
- The unbreakable triangle
- Passivity and fatalism
- Risk management and failure
- Understanding process
- Redesigning to solve
Chapter 11 – Mining the data
- The devil is in the detail
- Finding the kernel of truth
- Using information for performance management
- Turning the world upside down
Chapter 12 – Fault tolerance, randomness and pattern
- Living with imperfection
- Managing the unknown
- Randomness and pattern
- Talent or luck?
Chapter 13 – Gauging the environment
- Horizon scanning
- Rule changes
- Togetherness and partnership
Chapter 14 – The attentive manager
- Dividing to grasp
- Being attentive
- Restricting your priorities
- Understanding what is important
- Is success down to the individual or the approach?
- Management or leadership?
- Managing to lead
- Good at being imperfect
Appendix: A Personal Account