Patterns of Excellence, 1st edition

  • Danny Samson
  • David Challis

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Lets face it for many of us, our organisations are not as well organised as we would like...It's time for a rethink


Patterns of Excellence presents a blueprint for success which can be adapted to any organization. Based on extensive analysis of worldwide excellence in performance, this highly accessible book reinforces theory with practical examples.

Samson and Challis reveal the patterns of excellence which connect the operations of the world's best organizations, and demonstrate how to mould these defining principles into a structures framework and management approach. The book's case studies provide illuminating analysis and practiocal guidance on implementing managment structures..


The Authors

Danny Samson is currently both Professor of Management at Melbourne Business School and Director of the Centre for Manufacturing Management. He began his career working as a chemical engineer for ICI, after which he attained a PhD in Management and subsequent appointments at the universities of Illinois and New South Wales. He has written five books and published over fifty articles on management.

Danny regularly consults business across a variety of industries in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the USA on strategy, operations improvement and realization of the business principles outlined in Patterns of Excellence. In addition he conducts regular executive education programs for companies wishing to restructure themselves within this framework. He has worked on numerous high-level government inquiries in fields ranging from technology management, manufacturing management and leadership to industry competitiveness, market policy and restructuring.


David Challis has spent the last 20 years consulting to organizations in Europe, USA, Australia and Asia in the area of stretegic organizational change. He has worked at all organizational levels: board through middle management through shop floor and has an outstanding track record as an effective change agent. David is an Assiciate of Melbourne Degrees in Engineering and a PhD in Management.

Table of contents



1. Patterns of excellence—beyond organizational “mid-life” crisis.
Introduction. How and what you manage. The present state of play—organized chaos. How good could it (or should it) be?

2. Towards world-class management and leadership.
Company 'New'—what would it look like and what wouldn't it look like?


3. Management by principles.
Introduction. How management by principles works.

4. Principle 1: Alignment.
Introduction. Evaluation of alignment. Benefits of alignment improving a company's alignment. Summary.

5. Principle 2: Distributed leadership.
Introduction. Evaluation of distributed leadership. Benefits of distributed leadership. Improving distributed leadership. Summary.

6. Principle 3: Integration.
Introduction. Evaluation of integration. Benefits of integration. Improving integration. Summary.

7. Principle 4: Being out front.
Introduction. Evaluation of out front. Benefits of out front. Improving out-front status. Summary.

8. Principle 5: Being up front.
Introduction. Evaluation of up front. Benefits of the up-front principle. Improving up-front status. Summary.

9. Principle 6: Resourcing the medium term.
Introduction. Evaluation of resourcing the medium term. Benefits of resourcing the medium term. Improving on resourcing the medium term. Summary.

10. Principle 7: Being time focused.
Introduction. Evaluation of time focus. Benefits of the time-focus principle. Improving time focus. Summary.

11. Principle 8: Embracing change.
Introduction. Evaluation of the embracing-change principle. Benefits of embracing change. Improving on the embracing-change principle. Summary.

12. Principle 9: Learning focus.
Introduction. Evaluation of the learning principle. Benefits of learning. Improving on the learning-focus principle. Summary.

13. Principle 10: Being disciplined.
Introduction. Evaluation of the principle of discipline. Benefits of discipline. Improving and sustaining discipline. Summary.

14. Principle 11: Measurement and reporting.
Introduction. Evaluation of measuring and reporting. Benefits of measurement and reporting. Improving the organization's measurement and reporting. Summary.

15. Principle 12: Customer value.
Introduction. Evaluation of the customer-value principle. Benefits of customer-value creation and focus. Improving and sustaining customer value. Summary.

16. Principle 13: Capabilities.
Introduction. Evaluation of capabilities. Benefits of the capabilities principle. Improving capabilities. Summary.

17. Principle 14: Micro to macro.
Introduction. Evaluation of micro to macro. Benefits of micro to macro. Improving micro to macro. Summary.


18. Implementation steps.
Introduction. Step 1: Building awareness and executive buy-in. Step 2: Strategic focussing- business/organizational direction. Step 3: Performance assessment- business/organizational. Step 4: Diagnosis and development of the change case (gap analysis). Step 5: Project planning Step 6: Implementation and review. Summary.

19. Key Success Factors—the system of management.
Introduction. KSF 1: Understanding the changing nature of business strategy: from plan to process. KSF 2: Integrated management of business strategy and organizational development systems. KSF 3: Know the magnitude of the gap, know how long there is and know the culture. KSF 4: Know the limits of restructuring and the business growth breakpoint: is the organization at risk of becoming anorexic? KSF 5: Develop an exceptional sense of reality. KSF 6: The ability to avoid 'fad-surfing'. KSF 7: Keep it relevant and keep it simple. KSF 8: Getting into specifics: managing the detail, not the concept. KSF 9: Leadership of the change process. KSF 10: Stakeholder engagement. Summary.

Conclusion and epilogue.

Published by FT Press (August 19th 1999) - Copyright © 2000