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November 23, 2001

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - Winning in FastTime

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 8:02 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Winning in FastTime: Harness the Competitive Advantage of Prometheus in Business and Life by John A. Warden III & Leland A. Russell, Venturist Publishing, 220 Pages, $24.95 Hardcover, ISBN 0971159149
Im always thrilled to discover books other people have missed or have been overlooked. This book qualifies as one of these rewarding discoveries. John Warden participated in the successful strategies of the Desert Storm Air Campaign. In his new book, he transfers these strategies and his experiences to the business world. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book was not filled with all kinds of technical military jargon, but that it was easy to read, aided by graphs and tables throughout.
The core concept of the book is what Warden calls The Prometheus Process. A combination of forethought and fire (or passion), the process acknowledges that all things happen in systems which contain different components that all affect each other. A bit like dominos. However, each system has Centers of Gravity which has the greatest influence on the system. These Centers of Gravity are what make or break the system, so when planning a strategy, the Centers are what you really try to change to achieve your goals. Makes sense.
Keeping the whole system concept in mind, Warden tells us how to create a winning business strategy. The steps are simple and direct and always have the future goal in sight. Warden uses examples from history to illustrate his points, which makes the reading interesting as well as understandable and informative. For example, one of his Cardinal rules is Stay out of the Balkans which is a metaphor for activities and projects that dont help you achieve your Future Picture. He uses the synopsis at the end of each chapter which he calls Chapter Debrief especially well. When you get to a chapter that you arent sure speaks to you and your issues, you can cheat and check out the chapter debrief for the essence of the chapter and go back and study the points in detail or move on to the next chapter.
This book has the potential to become a strategy classic. Warden is an expert in that field. With people like H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Colin Powell and James Kouzes singing his praises, its a good idea to check into what Warden has to say and find out how you can apply his ideas to better your organization.