ForeWord Reviews

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Fundamentally Different

Building a Culture of Success through Organizational Values

Foreword Review

In the news today are far too many failures of ethics and behavior that most of us take for granted in business, education, and government. Around the world, the information age reverberates with sickening examples of Ponzi schemes, insider trading, incredibly bad decisions, violations of trust, and unsustainable behaviors that threaten the existence of individuals, institutions, families, businesses, and government that we all depend upon to grow and succeed.

Surely someone out there can make sense of the mess and offer a set of simple, contemporary guidelines for success? David J. Friedman is a philosopher and business executive who has been in the driver’s seat of corporate leadership. In this book, he thoughtfully, succinctly and effectively answers the call.

Whether you lead an organization, lead a family, or simply lead a life, it’s my hope that some of these Fundamentals will find their way into your daily routines and that this book will inspire you to live your life in a way that’s consistent with the values that are most important to you.

Drawing upon personal experience as leader of a family insurance business that grew into one of the largest and most successful independent employee benefits firms, Friedman correctly observes that culture drives behavior. His book offers eight keys to institutionalizing any set of organizational values, examples of how to implement them, thirty clear fundamentals that every organization needs, and personal stories of how these fundamentals impact people.

His fundamentals are divided into four sections—Core Values, Service Values, The Collaborative Way, and Personal Effectiveness—that include, but are not limited to: Doing what’s best for the client, Checking ego at the door, Practicing A+ness (Friedman’s highly effective and contagious personal philosophy), Taking extra time to do things right the first time, Seeking to create win/win solutions, and Practicing blameless problem solving. It’s a book well worth buying, reading, and giving to those who will appreciate the wisdom of this successful businessman.

Pamela Harris Kaiser