The Representor, Summer 2011 – Business Book Review
A book review and recommendation by Dan Beaulieu
Dan Beaulieu is the president and founder of D.B. Management L.L.C., a consulting firm specializing in all aspects of sales, marketing and branding with a focus on rep-principal relationships. His latest book is The PCB 101 Handbook which can be purchased on-line by e-mailing email@example.com. Dan is also the author of “It’s Only Common Sense,” a weekly sales column appearing at www.pcb007.com. Dan can be reached at 207-649-0879.
Change Your Dam Thinking
by Gray McQuarrie
Copyright 2010 by Bound Publishing and Gray McQuarrie
Price: $29.95 • 210 pages with index
Yes, it’s all about people. What is refreshing about Gray McQuarrie’s book is that he gets right to the point that business is all about people and how they think. I love that. After years of reading about programs that, yes, sorry to say, make people incidental to the systems, be it lean or pull or just in time, this book hits it right on the head. No, it’s not about those things at all. What it’s really about are the people and how they make those systems work. And the way they make those systems or any systems work is by opening up their minds by stopping their “Dam” thinking. That’s “Dam” as in a dam, a wall that controls the flow of water … or, in this case, a Dam in our minds that stops the flow of free and positive thinking. By changing our “Dam thinking,” we can open our minds to new and innovative ideas, new and exciting ways of viewing things.
By using vivid examples from his own career, McQuarrie describes the four Dams that affect the way we do things. They are: the Trust Dam which affects our communications; the Ego Dam which affects our productivity; My Precious Dam which affects our territory which, in turn, affects our Discovery; and The Feelings Dam which affects our purpose. If one can overcome these Dams … if we can get our work forces to overcome these Dams, to “know” them down … then and only then can we achieve “flow thinking” which gives us the freedom to clearly recognize our problems and solve them.
This book is all about mind set. It is all about how we look at things and how we observe them. Think about this. If you are running a department, a company or a sales force, how do you look at them? Do you really observe what is going on in your area? Do you observe things objectively, or do you look at them with the jaundiced eye of someone who feels that he/she has been there and done that and there is nothing new to come up with to make things better. This is Dam thinking. This is restricting, and it is keeping you from being creative and solving your problems.
In this book, McQuarrie gives a number of clear examples of companies whose thinking was “dammed” and what they had to do before they could break down that Dam thinking in order to solve their problems and make their departments, companies and/or sales forces better.
I believe that we should view this book as an introduction to a new kind of thinking and a new way of looking at things. As McQuarrie states, all business is social; all business (and all things for that matter) are about people first and foremost; and this is something that all of our great business thinkers – those guys who developed manufacturing productivity systems – had forgotten.
If you are a key part of any organization (and who isn’t?), and you want to make it better, then pick up this book. “Know” down your Dams, and start your thoughts flowing.