CTech's Book Review: A Valuable Case Study for Every Manager With Leadership Aspirations

Arie Maharshak, president of ORT Braude College of Engineering, on Giora Shalgi’s "The Organizational Compass: Leveraging Crisis Into Business Success"

Arie Maharshak 16:1006.04.20
Arie Maharshak is the president of the ORT Braude College of Engineering in northern Israel. This is his pick for the best technology book he has read recently.


Title: The Organizational Compass: Leveraging Crisis Into Business Success

Author: Giora Shalgi

Format: book

Where: at home

Right: The Organizational Compass: Leveraging Crisis Into Business Success. Left: Arie Maharshak. Photo: Braude College Right: The Organizational Compass: Leveraging Crisis Into Business Success. Left: Arie Maharshak. Photo: Braude College


Description: The book describes the ultimate managerial challenge of crisis and recovery of Israeli defense contractor Rafael, which is honestly and thoroughly examined by its CEO. The book includes sharp insights and offers strategic recommendations.


Summary: The book narrates a personal and unconventional story. It describes the complex organizational transition of a major Israeli company from crisis to growth. This did not happen overnight, it was a series of moves rather than a single step. These included: accepting the role of CEO at a time of slump and crisis; a realistic diagnosis of the situation; formulation of clear strategy while inspiring the employees to follow a dramatic change.


The brave leadership exhibited has generated a sense of confidence. The trust and enthusiasm engendered a change in perception, a willingness to move forward, and a sense of unity around the company's goals. 


Bottom line: The book provides many tips for growth, reaching success, and avoiding obstacles.


What I’ve learned:


It is all about having a brave and determined leadership towards the right strategy, in order to fit global competition and challenges in the era of change and crisis. This could be broken down to:


1. Profound understanding of the change.

2. Shaping missions, vision, and core values, and setting goals by conducting a candid dialog with the organization.

3. Aligning and orchestrating all inner parties to set a new paradigm to cope with the new challenge.

4. Paying attention in order to execute the strategy.


Critique: Israel, dubbed the Startup Nation, lacks a tradition of managing mature industries. Using this book to derive insights applicable to startups would provide interesting ideas.


Who should read this book: entrepreneurs, managers, and even students who seek managerial tips will find practical guidance to decision-making and leadership.