Excerpt: Whole Business Thinking

Sample Excerpt from the business book that will change how you run a business.

Following is an excerpt from Whole Business Thinking by Robert S. Block.

Whole Business Thinking Principles

Whole Business Thinking (WBT) provides a structure for optimizing the effectiveness of decisions and actions for the benefit of all company Stakeholders.  It provides the perspective, understanding, methods and means to guide effective implementation. The way problems are viewed (perspective), and defined (understood) has an enormous effect on problem solving.

The division of problems into their component parts, which are then attacked separately, is a popular technique taught in MBA programs.  While problem division is a useful and recommended approach, it is not sufficient.  The whole is often greater than the sum of its parts.  For example, a house is more than a pile of building materials and a home is more than a set of rooms.  Whole Business Thinking helps executives to see the whole…not just the parts.

The Whole Business Thinking (WBT) framework is used throughout this book to generate new perceptions, broader understanding and more effective implementation.  WBT is a:

  • Paradigm for problem definition and business solutions.
  • Systematic management approach that coordinates and integrates the strategic (big picture) “30,000 foot view” and the operational (detail) “in the trenches view”.
  • Set of shared organizational values to achieve optimum productivity performance.

Principle 1:  WBT is a way of looking at the changing business environment.

Whole Business Thinking systematically engages the real-world facts of accelerating change (pervasive and rapidly changing demands occurring within the company and in the market environment) – empowering the organization at every level to make better decisions, faster, resulting in a more agile, efficient and effective organization.

Principle 2:  WBT is a way of understanding the past, present and future cause and effect.

Whole Business Thinking uses both financial and non-financial metrics, including key performance indicators, trends and strategies to help management understand the past, identify & analyze alternatives, plan the future, execute plans, evaluate performance, and adjust plans based on real-world barriers and opportunities.

Principle 3:  WBT is a method of planning and analysis.

Whole Business Thinking encourages both executive (top-down) and manager (bottom-up) planning approaches.  It involves four types of planning (strategic, business, operational, and financial) – enabling executives and managers to analyze details, synthesize the whole, set objectives and assign priorities that unite and integrate the entire organization.

Principle 4:  WBT is a structure of information flow and decision authority sharing.

Whole Business Thinking creates a communication structure for information and decision authority sharing – enabling the establishment of teamwork interdependencies and multiple “owners” of shared business objectives to achieve outstanding performance.

Principle 5:  WBT recognizes the interdependencies among all Stakeholders.

Whole Business Thinking requires the identification, recognition, understanding and inclusion of the interdependencies among all Stakeholders when making plans and decisions and taking actions.  It is this fundamental system thinking approach that will prevent the establishment of isolated silos.

That’s the end of the sample. Want to read more? Click here to buy Whole Business Thinking in your ebook format.