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Hoover’s vision: original thinking for business success – review


Title: Hoover’s Vision: original thinking for business success
Author: Gary Hoover
Publisher: Texere
ISBN: 1587990598
Price: £17.99

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Have you noticed that the label on the door of creative management workshops always seems to be decorated with brightly coloured lines and squiggly bits of ribbon? Presumably this is to enable us punters to distinguish them from those other, less creative, creative management workshops. But is there any way to choose between books on business success? Do you just put them all on a table and choose the one that seizes the opportunity to open a bookstall? Maybe Michael Wolff, author of Burn Rate, can help with his words of wisdom on the back cover:

"There’s no part of the business building process that Gary Hoover hasn’t experienced and, more than not, turned on its head. In his work, Hoover, one of the great entrepreneurs of our time, provides us with profound insights into the fundamental conundrums of what makes one person fail and another succeed."

What’s it all about then? There are 32 chapters - each one finishing with a TRY THIS collection of hints, tips and tasks to perform - in three sections: Exploration: The foundation for finding your own path to success; Essence: The power of vision; and Execution: Enterprises at work. Prior to these there is an introduction, which reveals the three keys to business success:

1. Observing and understanding other people and how their needs, desires, interests, values and tastes change over time.

2. Serving other people by making their lives better.

3. Developing a business style that expresses your own dreams and passions even as it serves the needs of others.

Now, it’s tempting to dismiss the above as the equivalent of the football wisdom: "The key to success is to score more goals than the other team." There are worthwhile and interesting ideas expressed here, but you have to search for them a bit, like the importance of learning new ways of thinking, avoiding "pushing the peanut" as Jack Welch would call it. But mostly we seem to be trying to score more goals than the other team: "...successful leaders see things that others do not see. They seize opportunities where others see only chaos."

I was starting to feel that I was missing some of Michael Wolff’s enthusiasm for the book so, just in case I was missing the point I checked out the website for the book at Here you can find a list of Gary’s speaking engagements. As of June 6, 2002 no engagements are scheduled. There is also a bulletin board to explore and debate any issues raised as well as contribute ideas for other books. Two messages so far. I assume those fundamental conundrums remain unscathed.

Jon Kendall
[email protected]
Castleton Partners Limited


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