Business Finance
Harvard University Sacred Cow Book and The Meaning of The Cow PPT

Harvard University

Question Description

Need help with my Business question - I’m studying for my class.

Choose one sacred cow of your choosing from the book, tell us the meaning of the cow, why you selected it and how if will impact you in the future. Your presentation should last between 4-5 minutes.

"Sacred Cows Make the Best Burgers: Developing Change-Ready People and Organizations"

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Sacred Cows Make The Best Burgers Developing Change-Ready People and Organizations Author: Robert Kriegel & David Brandt Publisher: Warner Brothers, Inc. Date of Publication: 1997 ISBN: 0-4466-7260-2 Number of Pages: 336 pages About the Author Robert Kriegel Robert Kriegel PhD is one of the most in demand business speakers today, teaching bold, innovative, 'out of the box' strategies for keeping ahead of the changes, challenges and competition in today's dynamic marketplace. Author of the national bestseller: If it ain't broke...BREAK IT!, Dr. Kriegel has been called by U.S. News & World Report one of this country's leading authorities in the field of change and human performance. His latest book is How to Succeed in Business Without Working so Damn Hard. His last book, Sacred Cows Make The Best Burgers, made Business Week's bestseller list in its first month! A commentator on National Public Radio's Marketplace program, Kriegel recently made two specials for PBS. David Brandt David Brandt offers over 27 years of experience in organizational and personal psychology. Acknowledged as a "leading authority" by U.S. News and World Report, he coaches executives and companies in maximizing individual performance, effective communication, conflict resolution, team construction, stress reduction, and change management. David is author of four acclaimed books. His Sacred Cows Make the Best Burgers (Warner) made Business Week's national bestseller list in its first month. He has appeared on national television programs including The CBS Evening New, CNN, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. The Big Idea In the new economy driven by change and spurred by opportunities coming from all directions, where competition is tough and customers are more sophisticated and demanding, it is imminent that companies and organizations take the step to remove its sacred cows. In business parlance, sacred cows refer to an outmoded belief, an assumption, practice, system or strategy that generally inhibits change and prevents responsiveness to new opportunities. Sacred cows are those who are afraid to abandon what once made them successful. Today's organizations must make room for creative ideas and new thinking in order to grow. Innovativeness is crucial. The authors Robert Kriegel and David Brandt relate that removing sacred cows requires preparing an organization and its people for change. The change-ready process include five stages: rounding up sacred cows, developing a change-ready environment, turning resistance into readiness, motivating people to change and developing the seven personal change-ready traits. Published by BusinessSummaries, Building 3005 Unit 258, 4440 NW 73rd Ave, Miami, Florida 33166 ©2003 BusinessSummaries All rights reserved. No part of this summary may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, photocopying, or otherwise, without prior notice of Sacred Cows Make the Best Burgers By Robert Kriegel and David Brandt 1. The Five Steps to Developing Change-Ready People and Organizations The First Step: Rounding Up Sacred Cows The sacred cow hunt includes challenging well-worn beliefs, assumptions and practices as well as identifying those that have outlived their usefulness. Critical to the step is seeking and ensuring the involvement of people in hunting down sacred cows and implementing change. Who Hunts The Sacred Cows The effective and successful cow hunter possesses the challenge everything attitude. This individual can be a high-level executive or rank-and-file worker or new employee not yet fully indoctrinated in the workplace culture thus bringing a fresh perspective. How To Hunt Begin the sacred cow hunt. The cow hunt is a first step to preparing employees to start accepting change. It is a technique to get employees psychologically ready for change and possible major organizational transformations. Create an event around the sacred cow hunt. Every time an employee of Tractor Supply Stores identifies a sacred cow, bells get rung and cow hunters are heralded and toasted. Awards and cowbells are given to the best hunters. Cow images and accessories are openly displayed around the office. Merck Pharmaceutical conducts monthly sacred cow barbecues. Petroleum company William Pipe Line from Tulsa, Oklahoma provides a free hamburger lunch to the cow hunter along with a $10 gift certificate if the idea is “irresistabull” or a $50 certificate if it is “udderly” wonderful. Create an organization of hunters. A company where people do their jobs while keeping an eye on outmoded ideas and practices is likely to become a powerful and creative change-ready organization able to reinvent itself before the need becomes pressing. The best hunters are people closest to the customer and value chain process. They know best about redundant, counterproductive and unnecessary work processes that deter serving the needs of the customers immediately. · · · · · Sacred cow hunting in teams is more fun and productive. Bringing together a diverse group of cross-functional sacred cow hunters results in newer and fresher perspectives. Make customers your sacred cow hunters. Customers are especially invaluable in tracking sacred cows. After all, they bring the reality check and are the ultimate end-users of the organization's products and services. Prime the pump. Give employees the opportunity to complain and criticize. Channel the energy surrounding these complaints towards a sacred cow hunting spirit. Complaints are often the medium for spotting sacred cows that are in disguise or invisible. When several people agree that something is a waste of time, is redundant or does not work, the complaint is likely to have some merit and is ground for listening. Challenge assumptions. Do a reality check. Validate with end users whether assumptions remain relevant. Review all daily tasks and activities. Brand them as bulls or sacred cows. [2] Sacred Cows Make the Best Burgers By Robert Kriegel and David Brandt · · · · · · Bull activities help one respond quickly and effectively to change and new opportunities. Sacred cow activities are those that can be eliminated without making any difference to the organization's effectiveness. Motivate and give special rewards to hunters who have spotted cows in their own areas. Capitalize on cross-functional teams to identify and spot duplicating, repetitive and costly processes and tasks in an organization. Do archaeology: Dig up the whys and wherefores of a particular process or practice. Certain workplace practices may be relevant in the past but with the passage of time and changes in the environment, may no longer be meaningful or reasonable. Asking how a practice originated may reveal a sacred cow. Check your inheritance. Determine the reason and relevance of practices, processes or procedures that may have been handed to you as you assume a new role or job. Determine whether another person, department or subsidiary company can take on a particular job effectively, along with other tasks, or if the company should do the job at all. A reality check may reveal that a task output can be done effectively by fewer individuals, teams or even by outside expert specialists. Make sacred cow hunts fun hunts. Keep the spirit of cow hunts alive with light irreverence, teamwork, camaraderie, humor, creativity and motivation. Hunt The Paper Cow This refers to a paper avalanche of printed and filed e-mails, reports, proposals and print-outs that do not contribute to the following: · · · Adding value to the customer in terms of improving quality or service Increasing productivity or cutting costs Improving morale or encouraging action Hunt The Meeting Cow Marathon meetings and conferences are held to suit the conventional wisdom that meetings are meant to obtain consensus and the more information obtained, the better can one arrive at an agreement. Unfortunately, in the new economy, time is the currency and consensus takes forever. Trying to get everyone on board is a time consuming luxury. Options to putting this sacred cow to practice include restricting meetings to forty five minutes, holding vertical meetings without chairs and applying a meeting meter technology that measures the actual cost of a meeting based on a participant's salaries, room and equipment rental as well as miscellaneous expenses, or using a technographer to type notes on a computer attached to the big screen. By regularly making sure that participants agree with the notes onscreen, the technographer keeps everyone focused and a consensus emerges. Hunt The Speed Cow The conventional mindset in the new economy is to walk fast, talk fast, think fast and execute fast. Ironically, this sacred cow has far-reaching costs related to workers' health and wellness, workplace productivity and quality nosedives. Speed kills quality, service and innovation. In sports, the rule holds that a passionate 90 percent [3] Sacred Cows Make the Best Burgers By Robert Kriegel and David Brandt effort is more effective than a panicked 110 percent. And a passionate 90 percent effort will yield 110 percent results. Putting this sacred cow to pasture means keeping open, unstructured time in the day to relax, reflect or meditate; having more time to sharpen intuition, self-discovery and self-awareness; and allowing time for fun and joy breaks. Hunt The Expert Cow Traditional thinking relates that experience is the foundation of wisdom and that experts who have seen and done it all have the special knowledge to lead a company into the future. Ironically, experts with a conventional mindset are experts in the old paradigm. Most of the time they operate with antiquated ways and charts. In 1950, Haloid, a small research firm offered IBM the right to sell their 914 paper copier. IBM retained major consulting firm, Arthur D. Little to evaluate the product's potential. After three months of evaluation, Arthur D. Little recommended against the acquisition estimating that worldwide potential for paper copiers was less than 5,000 units largely due to the popularity and cheap price of carbon paper. Ten years later, Haloid, now known as Xerox generated $1 billion in sales annually from copiers. In the mid-1970s, Sony engineering executives and market researchers told Sony chairman Akio Morita that Walkmans are not likely to sell 10,000 units and be accepted by the market because it did not have recording capability. Morita, a champion of change-readiness, ignored the advice and offered to resign if the product was not successful. Within ten years, Sony had sold 20 million Walkman units. Key to keeping ahead of a changing environment is to think not like an expert but more like a beginner. While experts tell you why something cannot work, beginners see only the possibilities. Putting expert cows to pasture include: · · · · · · · Hiring outsiders to bring a fresh perspective to the organization Identifying ineffective operating practices and traditions Assigning rookies who are optimistic, open-minded and wide-ranging in their interests to design new products and services Changing employee assignments and jobs regularly Creating an environment that encourages asking stupid questions Looking for solutions in related or unrelated areas Thinking like a beginner Hunt The Cash Cow Success blinds many organizations. Relying entirely on their cash cows, most businesses run them dry or into the ground. In a fast changing environment, one cannot rest on one's laurels. Complacency breeds failure. On the other hand, conventional wisdom states that success comes to those who are able to find a niche and own the market. But in a fast changing environment, businessmen must learn to avoid pigeonholing brought about by too narrow a vision. Putting cash cows to pasture means that organizations must learn to: · Broaden their niches to keep cash cows producing sweet milk [4] Sacred Cows Make the Best Burgers By Robert Kriegel and David Brandt · · · Use success as a springboard for even greater accomplishments while making it harder for other players to compete with the successful company Eat one's own lunch before someone else does. This means cannibalizing one's own products to stay ahead. Also, redefining one's identity based on customer perception. Never become satisfied. Hunt The Competitive Cow Out-competing the competition in a level playing field is a sacred cow. Putting the competitive cow to pasture and taking a real lead requires a contrarian strategy. Change the level playing field and tilt it to one's favor. This demands rethinking the old rules of the game and doing business the opposite way. For example, Domino's Pizza built its business by bringing pizza to the customer's doorstep in less than thirty minutes while most pizza parlors did conventional marketing attracting customers to their place. Gary Tharaldson, the largest U.S. motel developer succeeded by changing the rules of the game. Conventional wisdom in the motel business discouraged small motels. Tharaldson did the opposite by building small, familyoriented motels in small towns where no other motelier dares to go. Hunt The Customer Cow In the new economy, satisfying the customer is a sacred cow. Satisfying is simply the beginning of a relationship with the customer and not the end. Herding the customer cow to pasture means: · · · · Taking customers to a new level by surprising and delighting them. For example, offer customers value-added services they do not expect. Walk the walk of customers by experiencing first hand what it is to be the customer. Hang around with customers and encourage dialogues with them Provide out of the box solutions to long-standing problems and concerns. Hunt The Low Price Cow Conventional wisdom states that customers always want a low price. Hence, a loss leader strategy is always a comfortable solution. Today, consumers want more than low price. They want greater value, not exactly a low price point. California Pizza Kitchen, not a low price pizza restaurant, believes customers equate getting your money's worth with huge serving portions. Hunt The Quick Reactor Cow Quick response to change is a sacred cow belief. This no longer works. Even if quick reactors manage to pull even, the competition is already on the next level playing field and the quick reactor is left struggling to catch up. The key is to be proactive, not reactive. Change-ready organizations and employees do not just listen to customers, they lead the customers. They use the customer's imagination to “pre-view” the future along with understanding the demographic, socio-graphic and psycho-graphic trends of customers; and tracking the emerging social and cultural directions and new advances in technology. Examples of “pre-viewing” the future are: · Future banks-banking from the home, loan approvals in minutes, customized [5] Sacred Cows Make the Best Burgers By Robert Kriegel and David Brandt insurance · Future home shopping Videos of grocery aisles, smell-o-vision that allows the customer to get a whiff of the product onscreen or touch-o-vision that allows the customer to squeeze the fruit onscreen Hunt The No Mistakes Cow Get it right the first time, no mistakes rules are a sacred cow ethic. This credo, while originally designed to improve work practices, products and services, fosters an atmosphere of extreme caution that makes people afraid to take risks or gamble on brilliant ideas. When people become too cautious, innovation, creativity and originality disappears and the possibility of gaining a competitive advantage is lost. Taking the No Mistakes Cow to pasture means: · Encourage experiments. Recognize that mistakes are natural by products. · Reward good tries; avoid penalizing mistakes. When failure is not penalized, people are more willing to experiment and look for innovative new solutions, products, processes and ways to surprise the customer. · Learn from failure. While mistakes are not penalized, it must be seen as part of the learning process that can help one to re-think, re-conceptualize and restrategize. Failure is not a sin but failure to learn from failure is. · Realize that the mistakes essential for success are not the sloppy, careless, insensible mistakes that come from lack of preparation or confusion. They are the kind of mistakes that come from trying something new, from moving into uncharted territory or taking calculated risks. Hunt The Downsizing Cow The sacred cow belief is that downsizing can help create a leaner, meaner, profitable organization. Likewise, ruthlessness is a virtue, a sign of true leadership that demonstrates one is not afraid to make hard choices. Today, downsizing is a wornout and inexpedient policy for solving corporate financial woes with major costs that include morale, motivation and innovation. Reinvention is the alternative strategy. Businesses need to move from bottom-line solutions to top-line approaches that emphasize growth and expansion. These approaches include: · Focus on developing and offering new and superior products and services. The Japanese might consider downsizing but never at the expense of business units that feed innovation and sales. Gillette lives by the rule: Increase spending in growth drivers like R&D, plant equipment and marketing at least as fast as the revenues go up. · Focus on anticipating customer needs. Most companies cut the muscle, which is the people, and leave the fat, often the outdated processes. · Focus on finding more efficient and cheaper ways to provide goods and services. · Focus on reinventing the company and re-envisioning company goals. Hunt The Technocow Techno-solution is the new sacred cow. With new technology, people can stay in touch from anywhere, anytime. While technology appears to bring people closer [6] Sacred Cows Make the Best Burgers By Robert Kriegel and David Brandt together, it can also separate people from each other. Technology can never replace the up close and personal experience that comes with direct contact. High tech communication like videoconferencing or e-mail is great for bringing people up to speed but may not be the best option for brainstorming or developing innovation strategies, products or services. High-tech must be combined with high-touch and this means not totally eliminating conferences, meetings and conventions that also serve as networking sessions. Hunt The Team Cow Conventional wisdom believes that putting a group of people in a room makes a team and teams are the most effective solutions to organizational problems. However, teams are sacred cows that need not be pasteurized but must be simply managed well to turn it into effective lead bulls. Managing teams includes: · Recognizing that not every organizational task requires a team. Some questions to consider before forming a team include: 1. Does the job require a high level of employee interaction? 2. Will teams be too costly or take too long to get the task completed? 3. Will teams unduly complicate rather than simplify the job? 4. Is it overkill to use a team for this project? Can individuals do the job more easily and effectively? · Forming the right team for the right task. The following are the five types of teams: 1. Problem solving team - Addresses a specific problem and then disbands. 2. Work team - Does the actual labor. 3. Virtual team - Accomplishes assigned tasks and responsibilities by communicating via telephone and computers. 4. Quality circle - Meets intermittently to air problems and upgrade procedures. 5. Management teams - Coordinates management functions such as sales and R&D. · · · · Choosing the right individual/s to be part of the team. Not everyone is suited to team play. Forming people into groups can negate their productivity as well as that of the team. Defining clear-cut and attainab ...
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Final Answer



• The concept of the sacred cow in business refers to assumptions,
beliefs, strategies or systems that prevent change within the
• The sacred cows concept also reduces the firm’s responsiveness to new
opportunities in the market.
• The sacred cows are meant to inhibit change within the organization
thus, retaining the factors that made them successful in the first place
(Kriegel, 2008).
• Removing these sacred cows in a firm requires the management to
prepare its employees for change and other huge organizational

Meaning of the meeting cow
• The sacred cows of a business include the paper cow, speed cow, meeting cow, cash cow,
expert cow, low price cow, competitive cow, reactor cow, and customer cow.

• I chose the meeting cow since I believe its among the most crucial elements of a business
that needs to be exploited for its continuity.
• The meeting cow refers to conferences and marathon meetings of a business meant to
reach a consensus on the business’s burgeoning issues.

• Ideally, the meeting cow hinges on the wisdom, that meetings provide consensus through
the sharing of information and agreements which lead to ...

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