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Innovation and Best Practice
for Business Success

Established 1967



Insider Accounts into the World's Top High-performance Organizations

Brian MacNeice, James Bowen


A provocative and inspiring insight into how the best institutions in the world lead their fields - explaining why they are the best and how any organisation can follow their example to deliver long-lasting, outstanding performance.

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About the book

Why are the New Zealand All Blacks the best rugby team in the world? How does the Kirov Ballet produce generation after generation of exceptional ballerinas? How did Southwest Airlines evolve from being an idiosyncratic Texan airline to become one of the most successful businesses internationally? How does the Finnish School Education System deliver great results by breaking conventions? Powerhouse uncovers the performance secrets of some of the most impressive organizations around the world and reveals the key principles they have in common to enable any business to raise their own bar.

To understand what makes these organizations great, MacNeice and Bowen have conducted immersive and personal research; investigating their culture, interviewing their leaders and observing their everyday practice. Despite this diverse range of seemingly contrasting industries - business, sport, technology, finance, the arts - each of these successful institutions share a common bond: they are world-class industry leaders and have repeatedly outperformed their competition. Powerhouse explores what lessons can be learnt from these organizations to provide a unique and in-depth analysis of how enduring high performance can be developed.

Table Of Contents

  • Section - 01: Introduction;
  • Section - 02: Grameen Bank;
  • Section - 03: Médecins Sans Frontières;
  • Section - 04: Southwest Airlines;
  • Section - 05: US Marine Corps;
  • Section - 06: Curtis Institute of Music;
  • Section - 07: The Finnish state school education system;
  • Section - 08: Tata Group;
  • Section - 09: St Louis Cardinals;
  • Section - 10: Inside the Mariinsky – the Kirov;
  • Section - 11: New Zealand rugby;
  • Section - 12: Mayo Clinic;
  • Section - 13: Toyota Motor Corporation;
  • Section - 14: Conclusion;


A fascinating study into some of the world's most awe-inspiring organizations. From insightful interviews and research, MacNeice and Bowen have distilled the essential qualities that lead to high performance down into an actionable and enjoyable read for all business leaders
Sir Clive Woodward, English 2003 World Cup Winning Head Coach and Team GB Director of Sport, London 2012

Powerhouse challenges our thinking about high performance by examining essential qualities in a wide range of leading institutions. The Powerhouse model - emphasizing Plan, Priorities, People, and Process - is a highly useful way to think about the alignment of key elements for any institution. Practical and sure to be of great value for managers from all fields
Phil Rosenzweig, Professor of Strategy and International Business, IMD Switzerland

Thomas Edison once said, 'If we did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.' This could be the credo of Powerhouse written by Brian MacNeice and James Bowen. Using twelve remarkable case studies of world-renowned organizations, they make quite clear that 'high performance is by definition a collective endeavour.' In illustrating what differentiates these captivating organizations from the more humdrum ones, they make the reader familiar with the 'powerhouse approach to performance transformation.' Anybody interested in the DNA of what makes for sustainable high performance would do well to carefully study this book
Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries, Distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development and Organizational Change, INSEAD

The stories of a dozen great organizations from around the world - and what we can learn from their decency and vision, as well as their success. Recommended reading for any business leader
Hamish McRae, Chief Economics Commentator, The Independent

The best analysis of successful organizations since Good to Great and Built to Last. Powerhouse offers amazing insights into the world's best organizations and the 12 principles that drive organizational performance. This is a must read for any executive who wants to create lasting success
Kevin Kruse, New York Times bestselling author of ‘Employee Engagement 2.0’

It's hard to read a book when you are constantly stopping to take notes. The introduction and first chapter alone provoked my thinking about the ambitions of my own company and the strategies needed for success. I love this book. Each chapter is a true story about an organization and the practices and differentiators that led to its success. The organizations are highly diverse and while each is unique - most of us don't instruct our customers to build and use pit latrines - there are commonalities that can be practiced by all of us. Read this book. You will be inspired and compelled to take action
Susan Scott, founder, Fierce, Inc.

Twelve very diverse institutions and yet a common thread on what it takes to succeed, brilliantly captured by the authors. A must read for those who are passionate about succeeding
Ajit Shriram, Joint Managing Director, DCM Shriram

Powerhouse is a compelling and provocative compendium of how some of the world's leading organizations have reached the pinnacle in their respective fields. This book is well researched and clearly written; a must read for leaders who aspire to transform their organization into a world-class, high performing institution that is built to last
Tom Massey, author of ‘The ABC’s of Effective Leadership’ and ‘Ten Commitments for Building High Performance Teams’

Every now and again a new book comes along which really does add something new to our understanding of high performance organisations. This is one of those books. A highly readable book offering real insight into how organisations become leaders in their respective fields
Jeff Grout, business consultant, coach, speaker and author

Book Details

  • EAN: 9780749478315
  • Edition: 1
  • Published: 3rd October 2016
  • Paperback
  • Dimensions: 234x156
  • 280 pages

About the Author

Brian MacNeice is an expert in high performance and is a regular speaker on the topic at business conferences and seminars. Brian regularly runs High Performance workshops for organisations, leadership teams and senior executives. He has advised many blue chip companies in a career spanning almost 20 years across a diverse range of industry sectors. Brian is Managing Director of Kotinos Partners, which is a consultancy that focuses on helping CEOs and Leadership teams deliver sustained high performance.

James Bowen is an expert in strategy and organisational design and a performance consultant with over 15 years of advisory experience. Over the course of his career, James has worked with executive teams of blue-chip companies on a range of engagements with the achievement of step-change performance improvement as their common goal. James is also Managing Director of Kotinos Partners, which is a consultancy that focuses on helping CEOs and Leadership teams deliver sustained high performance.

Brian MacNeice

James Bowen

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