A Katzenbach Reader

The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization

(with Douglas K. Smith; Harvard Business School Press, 1993)


A management classic. Forget team-building exercises: The best teams form around demanding performance challenges. The exhaustive study relies on now-dated evidence from Eastman Kodak, Motorola, and other faded giants, but it’s still a worthy primer on what makes real teams tick.

Real Change Leaders: How You Can Create Growth and High Performance at Your Company

(with team; Times Business, 1995)

A team of McKinsey consultants (including KPL cofounder Marc A. Feigen) identified a new breed of manager — the “real change leader” adept at taking organizations through major change. Here’s how 120 leaders did just that — by committing themselves to a better way, challenging existing norms, and taking risks.

Peak Performance: Aligning the Hearts and Minds of Your Employees

(Harvard Business School Press, 2000)

Why are workers at Southwest Airlines and Home Depot so fired up? It comes down to five distinct paths that balance performance with fulfillment: mission, values, and pride; process and metrics; entrepreneurial spirit; individual achievement; and recognition and celebration.

Why Pride Matters More Than Money: The Power of the World’s Greatest Motivational Force

(Crown Business, 2003)

Money talks — but not as loudly as you’d think. When it comes to energizing employees, cultivating pride — in their products and services, in their organization and its impact — yields high returns at far lower costs than most incentive strategies.