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Stop Decorating the Fish by Kristen Cox and Yishai Ashlag

The full title of this book by Kristen Cox and Yishai Ashlag is

Stop Decorating the Fish: Which problems to ignore and which problems really matter

In my review posted to Amazon.co.uk, I gave it 2 Stars.

Here is my review.

Nice idea, disappointing delivery

I thought this was a very good idea but, as soon as I opened the kindle book, I realised there is a problem. It’s not in the normal kindle format but instead, a two page pdf style book in landscape format. This has the advantage of presenting the diagrams and images fairly well but the disadvantage that the text was a little too small to read easily and I couldn’t highlight sentences of interest.

What follows is a short parable whee a performance improvement team tries various ideas to help a fish swim upstream to its breeding waters. I won’t spoil it but you will be struck by the irony of what works.

Its seems there are a Seductive 7 remedies which people use to try to improve matters when they don’t try to find the underlying problem:

1 – more money
2 – more technology
3 – more reorganisation
4 – more training and communication
5 – more data
6 – more accountability and assigning blame
7 – more strategic planning.

Inevitably they normally waste time, energy and money, only giving minor improvements at best.

The book goes on to look at six short case studies where capacity or policy constraints represent the core problems. Unfortunately i didn’t find these very helpful.

Then the book ends without any guidance on how to diagnose the core problem.

I’m disappointed with the book. It was a nice idea which falls down in the execution of the book. My rating is 3 stars for the content minus one star for the kindle formatting issues. I can’t recommend it.

There are many thousand of business books, you can see the full list of my reviews at Business Books Reviews by Paul Simister. I've also narrowed these down to a list of the 12 Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs.

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