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The 2000 Percent Solution: Free Your Organization from "Stalled" Thinking to Achieve Exponential Success [Hardcover]

Donald Mitchell , Carol Coles , Robert Metz
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, Feb. 9 1999 --  
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Book Description

Feb. 9 1999
Organizations, like people, are creatures of habit. They tend to approach problems and practices in predictable ways. This revolutionary book argues that such ingrained habits, which often masquerade as efficient procedures, actually obstruct true growth. It's not easy to unblock "stalled" thinking - we resist at every turn - but the payoff is immense. Forget 100 percent improvement; the achievable goal is accelerated, breakthrough, 2,000 percent progress.

The 2,000 Percent Solution introduces "stallbusting," a process that shows how to recognize typical stalls and overcome them. It helps readers understand how companies habitually "think small" in order to feel comfortable and in control. However, only by learning to break certain patterns can we make great leaps forward, solve seemingly impossible problems, and arrive at the future.

Through unorthodox examples ranging from the Titanic to Leonardo da Vinci's bicycle, The 2,000 Percent Solution excavates our knee-jerk reactions, or stalls, and gets readers on the road to sustainable change. It examines such ubiquitous dodges as the Psychology-of-Disbelief Stall, the Tradition Stall, and the Bureaucratic Stall from the stallbusters' point of attack.

Packed with specific advice on performance management, process improvement, profit measurement, and best practices, it's an outside-the-box guide to removing the blinders at every level of business.


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Review

"THE 2,000 PERCENT SOLUTION is a brightly written, well organized, enjoyable and instructive book on how to revive companies that have 'stalled out' (not growing, with shrinking market share and profits). The title refers to the exponential improvement that can be gained by getting companies out of a stall . . . I strongly recommend the book. Any managerial, and many non-managerial, members of large companies will identify with much of the book. Their world will be mirrored in any number of its pages. I hope that reading the book will motivate such people in our too-many stalled companies 'to stop the slow leaks'. . . ." -- Donald Frey -former Chairman and CEO of Bell & Howell- in DIRECTORS & BOARDS, Volume 23 #2 Winter 1999

"THE 2,000 PERCENT SOLUTION is written to inspire executives to free themselves and their business organizations from their 'mind-forged manacles' to 'achieve exponential success' . . . Filling the book with true-life business stories, the authors ask executive readers to extract lessons from the problems and find solutions that can help them. How-to steps are included, along with calls to action, for setting objectives and plans that achieve more than today's best practices and that go for the 'maximum result that can be achieved' . . . Then, they introduce 'stallbusters,' namely ways to analyze and overcome your habits and those of your company... A series of questions guides readers on how to create the ability to 'soar like an eagle' . . . Curious about the title? It's the payoff for thinking big. 'Forget about 100 percent improvement; the achievable goal is expanded to breakthrough 2,000 percent progress' . . . ." -- William Mahoney -Editor- UPDATE, February 1999

"The authors tackle 'stalled' thinking . . . Tradition, Disbelief, Misconception, Unattractiveness, Bureaucratic, Communication and Procrastination. Any information technology manager is likely to recognize all of these. Chapters 9 through 16 identify 'stallbusters' -- seven steps for overcoming these problems. Chapter 9 is an excellent source for overcoming one's own 'stalls.' The book is enlivened with brief vignettes incorporating historical examples." -- ComputerWorld, February 1, 1999

"This book is nominated to be one of the 10 best business books of 1999. 'Stretch goals!' How many times have you either heard or spoken those words? The phrase is so often spoken that it has unfortunately become a clich. Along come three authors who obviously not only believe in stretch goals but have built a kind of science around them. They begin their book by suggesting that a great number of us are in "a stall," which is a polite way of saying 'stuck in the status quo.' No argument there, from perhaps just about all readers; few people believe their organizations are driving at 100% throttle, let alone 2000%! So, quickly, the authors assert that you, personally, can do something about this: 'Shoot for the Moon When It Counts' is their advice. Then they go, chapter by chapter, enumerating those myriad places where individuals (just like you) and teams (just like yours) get stuck: in traditions, in disbelief, in misconception, in communications, in bureaucracy, in procrastination. Less kind reviewers might say, "Yawn!" to such a list of basics; yet, taken as a whole, this book is verbal dynamite. The authors' repeated insistence that there isn't even one area of organizational life that can't be turbocharged by upping the gain on the goals' amplifier makes for a great book. Their last paragraph is worthy of framing; it says, in part: 'We must each evolve into self-actualized individuals, who can recognize stalls and the stall mind-set, both personal and corporate, and then guide companies and organizations to overcome specific stalls to become self-actualized. Mitchell, Coles, and Metz are now experts in stretch-goaling (or stall busting); their book is a testament to the fact that, with just a little effort, you can be an expert in this field as well." -- Thomas Brown -Editor-, Management General, August 1, 1999

BOOKNEWS "Argues that ingrained habits in organizations, often masquerading as efficient procedures, actually stall growth, and shows how to recognize typical stalls and overcome them. Uses unorthodox examples, ranging from the Titanic to da Vinci's bicycles, to examine common stalls, and gives direction for dealing with these causes of organizational inertia and inefficiency." -- BookNews

COMPUTERWORLD, February 1, 1999 "The authors tackle 'stalled' thinking . . . Tradition, Disbelief, Misconception, Unattractiveness, Bureaucratic, Communication and Procrastination. Any information technology manager is likely to

recognize all of these. Chapters 9 through 16 identify 'stallbusters' -- seven steps for overcoming these problems. Chapter 9 is an excellent source for overcoming one's own 'stalls.' The book is enlivened with brief vignettes incorporating historical examples." -- ComputerWorld, February 1, 1999

Donald Frey (former Chairman and CEO of Bell & Howell) in DIRECTORS & BOARDS, Volume 23 #2 Winter 1999 "THE 2,000 PERCENT SOLUTION is a brightly written, well organized, enjoyable and instructive book on how to revive companies that have 'stalled out' (not growing, with shrinking market share and profits). The title refers to the exponential improvement that can be gained by getting companies out of a stall . . . I strongly recommend the book. Any managerial, and many non-managerial, members of large companies will identify with much of the book. Their world will be mirrored in any number of its pages. I hope that reading the book will motivate such people in our too-many stalled companies 'to stop the slow leaks'. . . ." -- Donald Frey

THE WASHINGTON TIMES, March 29, 1999 "Are you procrastinating? . . . The authors . . . have a handle on the issue of complacency . . . [The authors] provide a clear and concise look at the many road blocks that good ideas must overcome in most companies. By identifying and offering other directions, they show how companies can avoid these blocks and find some other roads to travel." -- The Washington Times, March 29, 1999

Thomas Brown (Editor) MANAGEMENT GENERAL, August 1, 1999 "This book is nominated to be one of the 10 best business books of 1999. 'Stretch goals!' How many times have you either heard or spoken those words? The phrase is so often spoken that it has unfortunately become a clich. Along come three authors who obviously not only believe in stretch goals but have built a kind of science around them. They begin their book by suggesting that a great number of us are in "a stall," which is a polite way of saying 'stuck in the status quo.' No argument there, from perhaps just about all readers; few people believe their organizations are driving at 100% throttle, let alone 2000%! So, quickly, the authors assert that you, personally, can do something about this: 'Shoot for the Moon When It Counts' is their advice. Then they go, chapter by chapter, enumerating those myriad places where individuals (just like you) and teams (just like yours) get stuck: in traditions, in disbelief, in misconception, in communications, in bureaucracy, in procrastination. Less kind reviewers might say, "Yawn!" to such a list of basics; yet, taken as a whole, this book is verbal dynamite. The authors' repeated insistence that there isn't even one area of organizational life that can't be turbocharged by upping the gain on the goals' amplifier makes for a great book. Their last paragraph is worthy of framing; it says, in part: 'We must each evolve into self-actualized individuals, who can recognize stalls and the stall mind-set, both personal and corporate, and then guide companies and organizations to overcome specific stalls to become self-actualized. Mitchell, Coles, and Metz are now experts in stretch-goaling (or stall busting); their book is a testament to the fact that, with just a little effort, you can be an expert in this field as well." -- Thomas Brown

William Mahoney (Editor) UPDATE, February 1999 " THE 2,000 PERCENT SOLUTION is written to inspire executives to free themselves and their business organizations from their 'mind-forged manacles' to 'achieve exponential success' . . . Filling the book with true-life business stories, the authors ask executive readers to extract lessons from the problems and find solutions that can help them. How-to steps are included, along with calls to action, for setting objectives and plans that achieve more than today's best practices and that go for the 'maximum result that can be achieved' . . . Then, they introduce 'stallbusters,' namely ways to analyze and overcome your habits and those of your company... A series of questions guides readers on how to create the ability to 'soar like an eagle' . . . Curious about the title? It's the payoff for thinking big. 'Forget about 100 percent improvement; the achievable goal is expanded to breakthrough 2,000 percent progress' . . . ." -- William Mahoney

From the Back Cover

"An exciting book that rightly focuses on the enormous benefits that can stem from truly radical thinking about any business. Its greatest strength is the hundreds of engaging, real-life stories that illustrate the authors' principles." -- C. Michael Armstrong, Chairman and CEO, AT&T Corporation

"In calling attention to the basic breakdowns or 'stalls' that can, and have, afflicted so many organizations, THE 2,000 PERCENT SOLUTION offers a visionary yet commonsense way to be a victor rather than a victim in today's rapidly evolving world." -- Norman R. Augustine, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Lockheed Martin Corporation.

"Organizations fall behind when they stand still. Many achieve perpetual motion only to find that they've been running in circles. THE 2,000 PERCENT SOLUTION is a blueprint for managers seeking to harness the energy of the organization and transform it into forward progress with growth momentum. It offers clear thinking that can help make your organization a bigger winner." -- James M. Kilts, President and CEO, Nabisco

"Drawing on a wealth of examples from history, business, sports, and entertainment, THE 2,000 PERCENT SOLUTION applies rigorous thinking to important issues that impede the growth and progress of organizations. The result is a series of practical recommendations of ways leaders can accomplish much more and improve the success of their organizations dramatically." -- Robert C. Clark, Dean, Harvard Law School

"A much-needed paradigm for unlocking hidden potential. The organization that demonstrates an unswerving commitment to THE 2,000 PERCENT SOLUTION will be well-positioned to consistently deliver exponential success rather than small, insignificant change." -- Charles A. Phillips, President and CEO, United Distillers & Vintners, North America. "If you ask yourself and your company just half of the questions suggested in this book, maybe just one-quarter of them, you will be vastly better prepared for the 21st century." -- Walter Kiechel III, FormerManaging Editor, Fortune Magazine. "A colorful look at how we can be our own worst enemy, and best friend, in business." -- Dr. Kenneth L. Lay, Chairman and CEO, ENRON Corporation

"At last a practical way to focus the organization on being a winner and individuals on doing what's right for the business the first time . . . rather than waiting around to be asked, basking in the past." -- Orin R. Smith, Chairman and CEO, Engelhard Corporation

"Buy and read THE 2,000 PERCENT SOLUTION, and you'll have the winner's edge for your organization and your career." -- Glenn Schaeffer, President, Mandalay Resort Group (formerly known as Circus Circus) "It's easy for individuals to get caught up in the grind of daily business, and for organizations to find themselves trapped by ineffective practices. But 'business as usual' assumes that the way things are is the way they must be. THE 2,000 PERCENT SOLUTION provides a valuable service, demonstrating the importance of outside-the-box thinking as well as providing practical suggestions that can make a difference in both personal and organizational effectiveness." -- Robert B. Catell, Chairman and CEO, KeySpan Energy. "Ever since the early days of DIRECTORS & BOARDS, we have drawn on Don Mitchell's wisdom for enhancing the knowledge and wealth of our audience. Readers of THE 2,000 PERCENT SOLUTION can count on a quantum jump in their business and personal effectiveness." -- Dr. Robert Rock, Chairman and Publisher, Directors & Boards


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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A mind-set is simply the way we organize our thinking, consciously or unconsciously. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Save your money, buy something else Sept. 1 2010
By Ben
Format:Hardcover
I purchased this book recently and started reading it. After dragging myself through the first quarter of this book, I had to stop reading because it was just so poorly written and frankly, boring.

If you're looking for a fantastic alternative to this book, do yourself a favor and buy Good To Great by Jim Collins. The premise of both books is similar, but Good To Great actually delivers and is based on years of solid research of companies that have turned themselves around.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Practical help for leaders April 9 2004
Format:Hardcover
I have often recommended this book to my organizational clients who are frustrated with their inability to get their organizations to "go." This book provides practical, common sense tools to handling complacency in organizations. It isn't enough to want change to happen, or to "say it to happen;" you must DO some things. This book gives great examples and explanations that anyone in an organization can use.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Evolution vs. Radical Mutation Oct. 30 2003
Format:Hardcover
The nautre of organizational behavior (really individual behavior within the constraints imposed by organizational culture) is to seek incrementalist changes at the margins. Rarely do the well-entrenched want to leave those trenches to risk what they have in the fluidity of the uncretain. This is natural, since safety is something innately sought by most organisms most of the time. Short-term safety can be a good predictor of impending decline and death, as the old adage says: "Whom the Gods Would Destroy, They First Give 40 Years of Success."
The authors propose that aiming for incremental, marginalist change is a "stall," a way of refusing to face or accept the need for real change. (Sometimes, the need for change can be misread or mismeasured, with New Coke being an example they give.) The authors offer a number of vingettes designed to illustrate "stallbuster" tactics that will impel the desired-for change. These vingettes are bite-sized case studies of how real-world organizations approached (or failed to approach) problems, and the results of their actions. These are compared, in terms of implicit values, with the formal values each company had adopted. The actioning of these values provides insight into where disconnects between policy and performance occur, with McDonalds' response to the infamous hot-coffee lawsuit and Odwalla's in dealing with food-poisoning problems being one example. Each company's colture at least partly pre-determines the range of responses that their leaders can imagine, with a corresponding range of predictable results.
In the tradition of Dr.
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Format:Hardcover
This psychologically astute how-to business book is more than a compendium of clever, useful, well-grounded methods to reverse unprofitable people situations (stalls). It is also a beautifully-written book that is a delight to read. It is a cross between "A Kick in the Seat of the Pants" and anything by Peter Drucker. Peppered with Rorschach-like drawings to jump-start a manager's creative problem-solving juices and expand her/his decision-making perspective, the book presents diverse, innovative, on-point, in-depth examples of proven methods to reverse stalls (stallbusters). What do "Tinkers to Evers to Chance," Tiger Woods, stand-up desks, and Grey Poupon have in common? Find out. But you don't have to be a manager to benefit from this book. The extra added bonus is that its principles and methods are universally applicable to our interactions with others in all aspects of our lives. But if you are a bottom-line conscious business person, The 2,000 Percent Solution is an absolute must-read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The 2000 percent Solution - why settle for less? Aug. 23 2003
Format:Hardcover
This is a compelling treatise on achieving exponential results using a variety of "stall-busters". Why settle for a 15% improvement when a 25% improvement is not only possible but perhaps easier to achieve? In some cases a twenty-fold improvement is possible, hence the title.
"In fact, stalls, those habitual actions based on ways of thinking that impede progress, keep individuals, organizations, businesses, and even civilizations from realizing their full potential."
The book is organized into two parts:
Part one examines some of the most common stalls that plague individuals and organizations with ways of identifying if that stall is being used and ways to bust them.
Part two presents 8 steps, to "learn the universal process of uncovering and capturing maximum opportunity by asking new questions". These steps necessarily require new ways of looking at things and perhaps a great deal of careful thought and effort, but the results can be dramatic.
One of the key themes is to use a variety of means to discover future new best practices as they apply to your field and implement them before your competition does. Then continue with the processes of discovery and implementation because new challenges to your market position will invariably appear - not necessarily just from the companies in direct competition with you now, but perhaps from obsolescence of your product or service (as was the plight of buggy whip manufactures a century ago who did not transition to providing accessories for automobiles).
Another key theme is to identify the key measurements needed for the performance desired. These measurements may need to be refined and changed over time. There are typically a number of measurements which must be tracked.

It is important to maintain the continual edge of innovation and not rest on your laurels, thus the authors, in their 7-step Afterward conclude with:
7. Reread this book annually.
Good advice!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The 2000 percent Solution � why settle for less?
This is a compelling treatise on achieving exponential results using a variety of "stall-busters". Why settle for a 15% improvement when a 25% improvement is not only possible but... Read more
Published on Aug. 23 2003 by Rick Sline
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Fluff.
Inspiring, but it offers no "real world" guidance. Get copies of books by Kotter, Schein, Beitler, Collins, and use what these authors offer for "real world"... Read more
Published on Aug. 3 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Reexamining Your Future Best Practice
A book with Don Mitchell and Carol Coles listed as two of the three authors grabs my attention automatically, since I gave high marks to their fine volume, The Ultimate Competitive... Read more
Published on July 30 2003 by Bill Lampton, Ph.D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Aim for the Stars
A preacher friend of mine told me his mother once counseled him to "aim for the stars." He said she added parenthetically, "that way you may make it over the back fence. Read more
Published on July 11 2003 by Craig L. Howe
4.0 out of 5 stars Book for creating change
The crux of "The 2,000 Percent Solution" is exposing and resolving situations where the company is stalled. Read more
Published on July 1 2003 by Harold McFarland
2.0 out of 5 stars I found this to be so much eloquently worded, rehashed stuff
"Obstacles are things people see when they lose sight of their goals." Sorry, but I can't wrap myself around this one. Read more
Published on June 9 2003 by Bruce Cote
5.0 out of 5 stars REFINED, VERSATILE, AND DOWN-TO-EARTH
"The 2,000 Percent Solution" is one book whose problem-solving setting was designed to ensure better corporate management. The theme of this book is efficiency. Read more
Published on May 11 2003 by reviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars common sense at an uncommon degree = wisdom
There are too many review already on this exellent book and i do not want to say more on the same things than what you can read from various previous reviewers. Read more
Published on May 9 2003 by T SANTOSO
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