Summary of How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things

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How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things book summary


7 Overall

8 Applicability

6 Innovation

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Leaders of even successful companies unwittingly make bad decisions and costly mistakes. Consultant Neil Smith identifies “eight hidden barriers” that keep companies from reaching their full potential and explains how to shatter them. Recognizing barriers is the first step, but, to create lasting change, companies must reshape their corporate culture from the top down and employees must take ownership of their ideas. Smith identifies both obvious and subtle obstacles, though he can get bogged down in details. getAbstract recommends Smith’s diagnosis to executives seeking to increase their companies’ efficiency and profits.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to identify “eight hidden barriers” that inhibit your company’s performance and
  • How to overcome these barriers to achieve success.

About the Authors

Neil Smith is CEO of Promontory Growth and Innovation, a corporate consultancy. Patricia O’Connell is a business writer and former editor at



The Eight Barriers
Regardless of their size or industry, all companies inadvertently erect hidden barriers that keep them from doing their best work. These obstacles may be structural or behavioral, and they may appear across all levels of an organization. There are eight main barriers...

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    Porshae Rivers 6 years ago
    You really do have to recognize your barriers,and identify them.when doing so,they lose their power. For me,It's people,places,and things.

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