Who's in the Room by Bob Frisch
How Great Leaders Structure and Manage the Teams Around Them

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Is your company run by a team with no name?

At the top of every organization chart lies a myth—that a Senior Management Team makes a company's critical decisions. The reality is that critical decisions are typically made by the boss and a small group of confidants—a "team with no name"—outside of formal processes. Meanwhile, other members of the management team wonder why they weren't in the room or even consulted ahead of time. The dysfunction that results from this gap between myth and reality has led to years of unproductive team building exercises. The problems, Frisch shows, are ones of process and structure, not psychology.

In Who's in the Room? Bob Frisch provides a unique perspective to this widely misunderstood issue. Flying in the face of decades of organizational psychology, he argues that the solution lies not in addressing behaviors, but in unseating the senior management team as the epicenter of decision making. Using a broad portfolio of teams—large and small, permanent and temporary, formal and informal—great leaders match each decision to the appropriate team in a fluid, flexible approach that you won't find described in management textbooks.

Who's in the Room? is based on interviews with CEOs at organizations ranging from MasterCard to Ticketmaster to The Red Cross.

Understand and embrace the way decision-making actually happens in their organizationsUse these "teams with no names" to best advantageEngage the Senior Management Team in the three critical tasks for which it is ideally suited 

Organizations will get better decisions and superior results by unleashing the full potential of their Senior Management Teams. And bosses will see a dramatic drop-off in people coming into their offices asking, "Why wasn't I in the room?"


About Bob Frisch

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Bob Frisch, managing partner of The Strategic Offsites Group, has worked with organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to German mittelstand family businesses to the U.S. Department of State. Bob's work has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Fortune.
Published December 6, 2011 by Jossey-Bass. 209 pages
Genres: Business & Economics. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Who's in the Room

New York Journal of Books

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“Mr. Frisch’s advice is to stop pretending that Senior Management Teams are the organization’s ultimate decision makers, and instead to charge them with analyzing the decisions that have already been made and determining how they can best be implemented. By focusing on available resources and how...

Jan 24 2012 | Read Full Review of Who's in the Room: How Great ...

Management Today

The second part of the book, 'The Senior Management Team Unbound', addresses the obvious follow-up question: given that the senior management team doesn't actually make the big decisions, what does it do?

Feb 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Who's in the Room: How Great ...

Executive Book Summaries

Each team has its place and the balance between the two creates a revitalized decision-making process, one in which no team member should ever ask why he or she wasn’t in the room.

Jul 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Who's in the Room: How Great ...

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