Curious and concerned about strategy and its implementation, or worried about managing performance and aligning your organization or unit to the overall strategy? Looking for a quick understanding of the sort of things involved, and too busy to read and digest a detailed book?
Read our business novel, Aligning Ferret: How an Organization Meets Extraordinary Challenges, where we use a realistic (but fictional) setting to present concepts related to strategy and performance management.
The fictional format allows quick reading while introducing relevant situations and discussions and depicting realistic characters and situations centered around concepts of strategy, alignment, and performance management.
The Kindle eBook version is available from Amazon.com and Amazon.in.
You can also view a book trailer below:
More information on the book:
- Some common questions
- Concepts covered in the book
- Book reviews by readers
- Book reviews in the media
- Related resources: books and websites
What is a business novel?
A business novel is a teaching story. It uses a business setting, complete with characters, conflicts, and plot elements, to explore relevant concepts. The readers grasp the concepts as they get involved with people who struggle to resolve/ avert problems, at times succeeding, and at times failing.
The use of stories to teach is as old as epics and mythological stories; Aesop’s fables and Panchatantra are examples of using fiction to make lessons fun. A business novel extends this concept in a contemporary organizational context.
Examples of well-known business novels are: The Goal, Necessary But Not Sufficient, The Critical Chain (all by Goldratt) and The One Minute Manager (Blanchard and Johnson).
Where is this ‘story’ set?
Aligning Ferret is set in a Bangalore-based 400-people software firm. Ferret is jolted into action when its new owners, PTI, have extraordinary expectations and threaten to close Ferret if these are not met.
The reader experiences six months of Ferret’s struggle through the first-hand account of Sunny Chinnappa, a senior project manager supporting the CEO in rescuing Ferret. As Sunny and colleagues orient themselves to meet the challenges, readers get drawn into practical and conceptual aspects of aligning an organization to a strategy. They focus on defining and cascading goals, managing performance, motivating individuals, setting up competency frameworks, and ensuring employee involvement at all levels. All this has to be achieved while business is running as usual. Readers see the ongoing organizational conflicts, attrition, sudden arrival of projects, shortage of people, and creaky infrastructure. Characters have their own quirks and personal problems.
Read sample or buy the ebook at Amazon.com
What are the concepts covered in the book?
As Ferret works to meet its challenges, it considers different domains, models and frameworks like strategy maps, Balanced Scorecard (BSC), Malcolm Baldrige (MBNQA), and people management to define strategy and improve its alignment. Performance management systems and competency frameworks are refined to ensure high degrees of alignment to strategy. Measurement systems are set up and metrics are used to monitor progress and take corrective action. Other concepts woven into the story include effective organizational communication and employee involvement.
Will I be able to implement the concepts after reading the book?
Aligning Ferret provides an introduction to the concepts, and a setting to experience some implementation issues. The book also includes questions to make you ponder, and lists resources (books, papers, websites) to learn more.
To implement the concepts in your situation, you need to study them in more detail, and understand their relevance and applicability for your specific role and organization. Here are some links to related resources.
I am not a policy maker or senior manager. Is this book relevant for me?
Yes. Every member of an organization, regardless of role and position, is affected by the alignment and misalignment that exists in an organization. Aligning Ferret will help you observe and understand the behavior of your bosses, colleagues and juniors. You will become more alert about misalignments in your own team. You can improve your team’s focus on its goals through better measurement systems while operating in the strategy framework of your organization. Team motivation and involvement shall improve as everyone understands how their work contributes to the organizational goals. You will be confident and effective while participating in organizational initiatives, and respond to opportunities for improvement and growth.
Why did you write the book?
We’ve written many serious books, so this time, to introduce the concepts we wanted to cover, we used a fun approach. We created a fictitious company, filled it with fictitious people, and plunged our ‘hero’, Sunny, in an unenviable situation where he has to implement concepts he has never heard of. He learns as he goes along, and with him, so does the reader. We had fun writing it; let’s hope you enjoy reading it.