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The Fiefdom Syndrome

August 26, 2005

Filed under: review — Terry Wohlers @ 08:20

In his 250-page book titled The Fiefdom Syndrome (ISBN 0-385-51067-5), Robert Herbold describes a fiefdom as a problem that begins when individuals, groups, or divisions—out of fear—seek to make themselves vital to their organizations. He goes on to say that they unconsciously or sometimes deliberately try to protect their turf or reshape their environment to gain as much control as possible over what goes on.

Herbold gives example after example of organizations that have been plagued by fiefdoms and discusses how to deal with them. Herbold is a former Procter & Gamble employee of 26 years and served his last five years at the company as senior vice president of marketing. He went on to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer at Microsoft for seven years, working closely with Bill Gates. 

Ever experienced a fiefdom? Most people have. If fiefdoms are slowing growth and progress at your company, read this book. You will be glad you did. Herbold did a marvelous job and I recommend it highly.