Cover image for The seven deadly sins of business : freeing the corporate mind from doom-loop thinking
The seven deadly sins of business : freeing the corporate mind from doom-loop thinking
Shapiro, Eileen C.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oxford : Capstone, 1998.
Physical Description:
292 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HD30.23 .S53 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This text sets out to help readers gain greater control of their decisions by giving them the tools for seeing, testing and changing their key beliefs. The author explores each of the eight most fundamental beliefs that drive the business decisions which determine our corporate future.

Author Notes

Eileen C. Shapiro is President of The Hillcrest Group, Inc in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the author of Fad Surfing in the Boardroom. The Internet address for more information is, which also features two games, 'Fad Surfer' and 'Beat the Devil'. The publisher wishes to note that though Eileen is not terribly fond of horses, we like this photo the best, and that's why it's on the jacket.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Things change and people really are your most important asset. These are the two common themes in Shapiro's engaging book, designed to get managers to think differently. The first three sins that Shapiro (Fad Surfing in the Boardroom) discusses all involve failures in strategy. "Trusting in your terrific plan"; concentrating on "outstanding products"; "playing to win": these all have in common a failure to recognize that the market can change quickly, so that blindly following an initial strategy may led to serious problems, as companies such as Western Union, Litton and Digital Equipment Corp. learned the hard way. In the second half of the book, Shapiro, who has her own consulting firm, lists scores of examples of companies that failed to turn their workforce into a competitive advantage. Relying heavily on second-hand sources, Shapiro does not break any new ground here, but that isn't her intention. She wants managers, especially when times are good, to be aware of traps that can lead to failure, and she argues that drawing on the resources of employees may be the best way to stay ahead of the competition. The writing is breezy, and the British colloquialismsÄthe book was published in the U.K. last yearÄare not distracting. The "Devil's Companion to the Fad Surfer's Dictionary" is genuinely entertaining and helps underscore the author's points. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

Shapiro (president, Hillrest Group, Inc.) cleverly challenges the tenets of traditional organizational theory. In this work she explores the successes and failures of contemporary corporate decision making, suggesting that conventional standards of organizational behavior--the sins, which she aptly categories as "sins of strategy," "sins of organization," and "sins of information"--frequently become intrinsic components of a company's culture. Excellent use of examples from well-known businesses combined with a generous dose of humor encourages the reader to probe the dogmatic assertions of strategic planning and prevailing decision theory. Even those who disagree with Shapiro's analysis will be fascinated by her unique approach. This North American revision of the original British edition is enhanced with changes to the text and the addition of "The Devil's Companion to the Fad Surfer's Dictionary." Though oriented toward the business executive, business neophytes and upper-level students will find the book of interest. S. R. Kahn; University of Cincinnati

Table of Contents

Introduction: Take, Shake, or Breakp. 1
Section 1 The Sins of Strategyp. 11
Sin #1 'Terrific Plans'p. 13
Sin #2 'Outstanding Products'p. 43
Sin #3 'Play to Win'p. 71
Section 2 The Sins of Organizationp. 105
Sin #4 'Turbo-Charged Employees'p. 107
Sin #5 'Workplace Sizzle'p. 137
Section 3 The Sins of Informationp. 169
Sin #6 'Learning Organization'p. 171
Sin #7 'Forward Intelligence System'p. 199
Conclusion: Beat the Devilp. 227
Last Wordp. 241
The Devil's Companion to the Fad Surfer's Dictionaryp. 243
Appendix: Summary of the Acid Testsp. 259
Acknowledgmentsp. 263
Bibliographyp. 267
Indexp. 283