How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things by Neil Smith
Breaking the 8 Hidden Barriers that Plague Even the Best Businesses

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Every day, seemingly intelligent and successful companies make headline news for poor decisions that can cause their business to stumble and make many of us scratch our heads in wonder. Why would such a successful business make "that" strategic decision? Neil Smith, with more than 20 years of experience leading large-scale performance improvements, reveals the hidden barriers that limit excellent companies from reaching their potential, and cause even the smartest managers and leaders to falter. During his experience transforming some of the top global businesses, Smith has identified 8 barriers that exist in every organization and prevent them from implementing literally thousands of ideas to improve the way they work:

Avoiding Controversy

Poor Use of Time

Reluctance to Change

Organizational Silos

Management Blockers

Incorrect Information and Bad Assumptions

Size Matters

Existing Processes

Rich with anecdotes and case studies, Smith identifies the ways in each of these barriers interrupt your own business. He then outlines a fast and proven process in which 12 principles of business transformation can break down the processes that hold companies back. What Smith offers his readers is the same thing he offers every day to the major companies he works with, A PROMISE that by following his insights, the company will be able to increase communication, simplicity, and profit to levels never before attainable.

Throughout the book, Dr. Richard Levak has contributed personality and organizational insights that shed light on why an individual or an organization behaves in contrary ways giving you a better sense of why these internal walls exist and how to be aware of your actions in your day to day life.


About Neil Smith

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Neil Smith, CEO of Promontory  Growth and Innovation (PGI), has for the last 20 years focused on helping large corporations dramatically improve performance and profitability by growing revenues and innovatively reducing costs. Smith has led initiatives across a number of industries with some of the strongest companies in the U.S. including, Mellon Bank, Willis, and North American Van Lines. He recently spearheaded the highly visable initiative across Bank of America, and a firm he co-founded was responsible for projects at Heinz, Detroit Edison and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee. His efforts have helped increase profits at top companies by 20 percent or more.Patricia O’Connell, former Management Editor at, brings more than 20 years of writing and editing in a variety of subjects, including business, leadership, and strategy.  With contributions from Dr. Richard Levak, a nationally recognized personality expert who has been in private practice for over thirty years and has a growing practice in organizational consulting, assisting businesses with executive hiring, development and teambuilding. 
Published June 5, 2012 by Palgrave Macmillan Trade. 241 pages
Genres: Business & Economics. Non-fiction

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Exposing the identified barriers and changing the burden of proof in internal discussions are among the ingredients that go into the preparation of the “secret sauce.” Smith illustrates his ideas with a variety of interesting examples—e.g., a candy company saved money by reducing the types of cho...

Apr 04 2012 | Read Full Review of How Excellent Companies Avoid...

Publishers Weekly

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Drawing on 20-plus years of consulting to top international companies, Smith pinpoints eight of the most common barriers that hold businesses back, including familiar concepts like poor time management, which can seem innocuous on a small scale but can cripple productivity if allowed to permeate ...

Feb 27 2012 | Read Full Review of How Excellent Companies Avoid...

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