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The Fiefdom Syndrome

Our Price $ 22.10  
Retail Value $ 26.00  
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Item Number 430286  
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Item Specifications...

Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 5.5" Height: 4.75"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  CD
Release Date   Feb 15, 2005
Publisher   Oasis Audio
ISBN  1589269306  
EAN  9781589269309  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Is your company threatened by turf battles, shut out of key data sources by territorial "lords," or ravaged by hundreds of "micro-companies?" It so, your organization may be suffering from a potentially crippling case of "Fiefdom Syndrome."

Buy The Fiefdom Syndrome by Robert J. Herbold from our Audio Book store - isbn: 9781589269309 & 1589269306

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More About Robert J. Herbold

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! ROBERT J. HERBOLD is an authority on business operations, marketing, and the dynamic relation between the two. During his eight years as the COO of Microsoft, the company experienced a fivefold increase in revenue and a ninefold increase in profits. Previously, he spent twenty-six years at Procter & Gamble, where he revolutionized product distribution. He recently launched Herbold Group LLC, which consults with CEOs on strategy and profitability issues.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Confronting corporate turf battles  Jun 4, 2008
The chosen subtitle for this work indicates that Herbold's goal was to discuss "the turf battles that undermine careers and companies, and how to overcome them", but the author actually concentrates on how the "fiefdom syndrome" undermines corporate entities rather than individuals. What Herbold deems a "fiefdom" is typically a unit of a company often controlled by a small group of people who has decided that it will act as a separate entity, frequently to the detriment of the rest of the firm. The book offers numerous examples of such fiefdoms, some of which consist of single individuals. Providing examples can have a positive effect when trying to explain a concept, but in my opinion the number of examples is a bit excessive here. However, Herbold's numerous examples have the positive effect of showing readers that they are not alone in this arena in much the same way that Edward Yourdon's "Death March" (see my review for that book) brings to light experiences of professionals that are often common within the technology services industry. Because Herbold was the former COO of Microsoft, his discussion on more than several occasions reverts back to his experiences at Microsoft, but he also delves into his experiences at other firms. Interestingly enough, Herbold defends fiefdom behavior to some extent within the first part of the book, not by condoning it but by recognizing that in some sense it is part of human nature to act in such a manner. The second and third parts of the book discuss what the author views as effective corporate disciplines to help avert the behavior that stifles the creativity especially vital to such areas as marketing, sales, and R&D. The fourth and last part of the book focuses on how fiefdoms can negatively affect firms at a corporate rather than departmental level, such as during mergers and acquisitions. Unfortunately, the benefits to individuals of conquering fiefdoms is limited to the last four pages of the book. My recommendation to the author is that his next book concentrate on an elaboration of these pages.
Fiefdom  Feb 14, 2008
Herbold is a genius for describing problems with a growing organization: whether a for profit or non-profit. I assigned this book to all my top managers to help fight the bureaurcratic instinct to just "hire your own people" and "do things the way they're done around here." If you manage multiple work sites then Herbold's book is a "must" read.
What's wrong with corporate America?  Aug 2, 2007
Herbold is correct in his assertion that fiefdom behavior impares the profitability of corporate America. However, I think his methods may be worse than the fiefdoms. After reading this book, I get a picture of Mr. Herbold's consulting path through major corporations, slashing staff and dismantling existing structures wherever he goes. As an experienced professional who has lived through the pain and chaos of layoffs, I believe that it is immoral for corporate executives to regard staff as throw-away cost generators. I was brought up to believe employment involved a certain amount of loyalty on both sides. That's not the case in Herbbold's world.
Pretty good, especially good for stories, but won't change your life  Jun 12, 2006
"The Fiefdom Syndrom" is a good book on bad work habits, organized by different kinds of "fiefdoms," which are political cadres that fight change to retain control. There are some good stories from the author's days at Microsoft and P&G, but this book doesn't hold big insights and it will likely not change your thinking about business. The bad behaviors demonstrated are obviously bad, easy to spot, and fought the same way whether you understand the author's classification of fiefdoms or not.

The author's steps to fight fiefdoms are useful, but I think Larry Bossidy's model in "Confronting Reality" is more universal and a better way to focus business decisions. This book is definitely a cut above John C. Maxwell's stuff, and may be just the thing for some readers. Definitely worth reading, but is too pedestrian to be the keystone of your operational business strategy.
Fiefdoms are an organizational disease afflicting all types of organizations at all levels; fiefdoms can even be found withing fiefdoms. It's a human tendency. Herbold shows how to fight fiefdoms using process, behavior and people disciplines balanced with fostering creativity and innovation to better serve customers (a chapter is devoted to how to foster creativity).

Leadership is highlighted as a central factor for success. Herbold also provides guidelines and illustrations of how to make the process, behavior and people disciplines a reality. Additionally, he discusses how fiefdoms affect strategy and execution and hinder mergers and acquisitions. A solid chapter is devoted to communication as a tool to fight fiefdoms. The book wraps up with a summary of the advantages of a fiefdomless organization and the benefits to individuals.

This book is loaded with specific actions and guidelines. It is deep but not dense. It is written in a to-the-point style, using interesting-to-read cases woven into the text to make and enrich the message. This is a practical and well written book. Very highly recommended!

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