1Cracks in the Foundation

First, master the fundamentals.


Setting out to write a book about outstanding organizations and how to become one is a daunting task. Ask 10 people what an outstanding organization is, and you are likely to get 10 different answers. Even worse, if you had asked the same 10 people to name the top five outstanding organizations 10 years ago, they likely would no longer list the same five today. “Outstandingness” is all too fluid and fleeting.

Nonetheless, I have to begin with my own definition of what characterizes an outstanding organization. My definition isn’t mechanistic, as some definitions of excellence are. This is in part by necessity, because I believe that the designation of outstanding organization ...

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