Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Book Review: Fundamentally Different by David Friedman

David Friedman is the former President of RSI, an award-winning employee benefits brokerage and consulting firm in the Philadelphia area. In his debut book, Fundamentally Different, Friedman shares what he has learned through nearly three decades in the business world.

These are questions posed on the inside jacket:

"Is organizational culture just a New Age obsession that distracts us from the real work of business? What role do values play in organizational success? How can we create greater consistency between the values we say are important and the ones that actually show up in the routine behavior of our people? What’s the most important common denominator found in all dysfunctional organizations, and how can we avoid it?"

Within the 300 pages of this book, Friedman answers these questions and more. His conversational style engages the reader. And who is that reader? Definitely business leaders, but you'll be happy to know even the average person can gain a wealth of knowledge by reading Fundamentally Different. That's because it's not merely a business book. Many of the 30 Fundamentals featured can be applied to daily life:

  • Fundamental #2 - Check the ego at the door,
  • Fundamental #4 - Take the extra time to do things right the first time (I say this to my kids all the time when referring to their homework),
  • Fundamental #7 - Make decisions that reflect a reverence for long-term relationships,
  • Fundamental #13 - Communicate to be understood,
  • Fundamental #18 - Listen generously.
These are just a few of the Fundamentals that can be used every day in your personal and professional life.

Friedman discusses each Fundamental at length, relaying how they applied to his years in business. There are also blurbs throughout the book from others who discuss their experiences. Fundamentally Different also includes several Appendices, which include the Original Fundamentals Card, emails to employees, and a survey that RSI sent each year to clients, vendors/suppliers, and employees.

While Fundamentally Different is Friedman's first book, it shouldn't be his last.

Title: Fundamentally Different: Building a Culture of Success through Organizational Values
Author: David Friedman
Publisher: Infinity Publishing
ISBN-10: 0741466805
ISBN-13: 978-0741466808
SRP: $28.95 (Hardcover)
Also available as a paperback, Kindle book, and Audio CD

I received a copy of this book from the author's representative in exchange for my honest opinions. While I was paid to coordinate a virtual book tour for the author, that fee did not include a review.

No comments: