Robert M. Tomasko
Bob Tomasko is an author, management consultant, and speaker.
His specialty is organization effectiveness.
He helps companies structure themselves in ways that make the best use of the talents of the people who work within them. He also helps match this structure with the requirements of the strategy the organization is pursuing.
He has advised companies throughout the world, including Coca-Cola, Exxon, Marriott, Mitsubishi, and four of the "Baby Bell" regional telephone companies. Almost half of his consulting has been with organizations based outside the U.S., providing Bob with a unique perspective on both the challenges and opportunities of globalization.
Bob was a member of the consulting team that advised Toyota to begin to manufacture cars in the U.S. He studied the impact of new jobs provided by the pharmaceutical industry on Puerto Rico's socio-economic development For seven years he was involved in evaluating the efforts of American companies operating in South Africa to help bring about a peaceful end to apartheid. Several years later, his ideas were used to guide the restructuring of several major South African firms as that country rejoined the world economy.
He has helped businesses in Brazil and Venezuela become more competitive in anticipation of new free trade agreements, and national oil companies in Peru and Thailand redesign their organization structures. In Asia, Bob has assisted a Japanese company downsize - in true Japanese fashion: without laying any people off. He helped several other Japanese manufacturers benchmark their management practices against some of the world's most competitive businesses, so they could improve performance and avoid downsizing.
He has researched and written about when to and when not to outsource critical business functions. He also had an opportunity to examine off-shoring from the Bangalore provider's perspective when he assisted Infosys develop its next generation of growth leaders. He surveyed, and then helped India's leading software-maker assimilate, worldwide best practices in executive education and leadership development as a basis for Infosys to create its own system for leadership development.
In the public sector, he has worked with the Auditor General of Canada, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, UNICEF and the U.S. Navy.
Now an independent advisor based in Washington DC, his experience in management consulting includes 15 years with Arthur D. Little, Inc., and a partnership at another major international consulting firm, now part of Mercer Management Consulting. He has been an external advisor to Bain & Company.
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In addition to his consulting, he has been an outside director of two corporations. One of these, Right Management Consultants, Inc., in the human resource services industry, grew from $20 million to $120 million in revenues during his seven years on its board.
Bob was active in its drive to diversify and led its Succession Planning and Compensation and Finance committees. This company, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Manpower Inc., was named by Forbes "one of the best small companies in America" for four years in a row during his tenure on its board.
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Bob's latest book is Bigger Isn't Always Better , published by the American Management Association. This book redefines what growth is all about. It demonstrates that real and lasting business growth is more concerned with progress than bigness, and is about reaching full potential, not maximum size.
The Washington Post calls the book: "A powerful antidote to Wall Street's poisonous fixation with gigantism and growth. The book is chock full of good tips and sound advice for managers of any sized operation." A Harvard Business School book review says Bigger Isn't Always Better is "a useful counterpoint to those who favor the steroids approach to business."
He is also the author of three other management books. Over 100,000 copies of them have been sold, and they have been translated into Chinese, Dutch, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.
His first book is the one he hopes his clients will never need - Downsizing: Reshaping the Corporation for the Future.
Published in 1987, it anticipated the global wave of cost cutting and restructuring that is still underway in many parts of the economy. It offers a humane alternative to the seemingly mindless waves of job cuts that have plagued many industries.
Several years later he wrote Rethinking the Corporation, a guide to building - not destroying - an organization. Using the metaphor of architecture, he shows managers how to be creators and designers of their organizations - not just operators and cutters.
This book, a best-seller of the American Management Association, was named by Library Journal as "one of the best business books of the year." A USA Today reviewer wrote: "Reengineering is a popular buzz word right now ... but when I went looking for the real nitty-gritty on this subject, I found better answers in another 're' book: Rethinking the Corporation."
Bob's third book, Go For Growth, makes a strong case for growth over cost-cutting. Harvard Business School calls it "the latest thinking on growth." Sam Felton, of the Strategic Leadership Forum, noted: "At a time when so many pundits advocate their pet silver bullet to growth, Tomasko refreshingly shuns the 'one size fits all' panacea by setting forth five sensible paths to profitable growth."
Published by John Wiley & Sons, Go For Growth offers alternative ways a business may grow, and describes the kinds of people and organizations best for each. Robert Lee, President of the Center for Creative Leadership commented: "Tomasko's best line is: 'Growth only happens when people grow.' That's a line I'd put on the wall of every executive's office!"
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Bob Tomasko's articles have appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other business periodicals. He has been quoted in Business Week, Fortune, Forbes and many newspapers. He wrote Moving Forward When There Is No Visibility for the Inaugural Issue of M World, The Journal of the American Management Association.
His most recent article The End of Growth: Why it always ends and what you can do about it discusses the new rules for growth in the post-Enron era. It warns against confusing the kinds of growth accountants create with the real thing. This essay is part of Business: The Ultimate Resource, a 2000-page reference to leading business ideas, thinkers and best practices published by Perseus.
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He is frequently asked to speak about the ideas in his books and articles to business audiences around the world.
He has talked about the organization changes needed to compete in an era of intense global competition to business groups in both Canada and Mexico - as well as in Brazil, Chile, and Japan - and has also reviewed the challenges of globalization for Belgium's INSEAD Alumni, Singapore's Institute of Management and South Africa's Institute of Personnel Management.
Bob has discussed ways to deal with deregulation, new competition, and stalled growth at events sponsored by the American Management Association, Edison Electric Institute, Food Marketing Institute, Grocery Manufacturers of America, Institute for Management Studies, Management Centre Europe, National Rural Electric Cooperatives, and the Strategic Leadership Forum.
Coca-Cola, Hewlett Packard, IBM and Sun Microsystems have invited him to speak at their customer conferences, and companies such as Daimler Benz, General Motors, Infosys, Marriott, Mitsubishi, and Portugal Telecom have used Bob to conduct internal briefings for their managers and executives. One of his recent speeches was to an audience of Japanese executives in Tokyo. Like many managers outside the U.S., they were puzzled by the wave of accounting scandals and CEO-departures that have become almost endemic in America and Europe. They wondered if the problem is greed ... dysfunctional corporate governance ... or a flawed idea of what growth is really all about? These were the issues Bob addressed in a presentation called "Greed, Growth and Governance."
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Earlier in his career, he has worked in the organization development group of TRW, Inc, was assistant to the chief financial officer of Case Western Reserve University, and a writer for the American Psychological Association.
He holds a masters degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education where he studied organizational behavior, and a bachelor of science from Case Institute of Technology. Bob is a member of the Academy of Management and the Association for Psychological Science.
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