Katzenbach, Jon R. 1932-

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KATZENBACH, Jon R. 1932-

PERSONAL: Born August 26, 1932, in Billings, MT; son of R. H. (a banker) and Della (a homemaker; maiden name, Bischoff) Katzenbach; married Linda Gilbert, November 28, 1970; children: Douglas, Ray, Samuel, Daniel, Michael. Education: Stanford University, B.A., 1954; Harvard University, M.B.A., 1959. Hobbies and other interests: Golf, boating.

ADDRESSES: Offıce—Katzenbach Partners LLC, 381 Park Ave., New York, NY 10016. Agent—Rafael Sagalyn, The Sagalyn Agency, 4825 Bethesda Ave., Suite 302, Bethesda, MD 20814.

CAREER: McKinsey & Company, New York, NY, director, 1959-98; Katzenbach Partners LLC, New York, NY, senior partner, 1998—. Military service: U.S. Navy, 1954-57.


(With Douglas Smith) The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization, Harvard Business School Press (Cambridge, MA), 1993.

Teams at the Top: Unleashing the Potential of Both Teams and Individual Leaders, Harvard Business School Press (Cambridge, MA), 1996.

(With others) Real Change Leaders: How You Can Create Growth and High Performance at Your Company, Random House (New York, NY), 1997.

(Editor) The Work of Teams, Harvard Business School Press (Cambridge, MA), 1998.

Peak Performance: Aligning the Hearts and Minds of Your Employees, Harvard Business School Press (Cambridge, MA), 2000.

(With Douglas Smith) The Discipline of Teams: A Mindbook-Workbook for Delivering Small Group Performance, John Wiley & Sons (New York, NY), 2001.

Why Pride Matters More: The Power of the World's Greatest Motivational Force, Crown Publishers (New York, NY), 2003.

SIDELIGHTS: Jon R. Katzenbach is a business writer who has drawn on his own experiences as an executive to produce a series of books on team-building and effective management within organizations. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of seven books.

In The Wisdom of Teams Katzenbach and coauthor Douglas Smith define a team as "a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves accountable." Karen L. Spencer noted in a review of that book for Academy of Management Executive that "despite the culture of individualism in most organizations, the stories the authors relate clearly support the assertion that teams outperform individuals acting alone or in larger organizational groupings, especially when their performance requires multiple skills, judgments, and experiences." She summarized her review by calling The Wisdom of Teams a "superb book" and a "required addition to the library of anyone who wishes to support the development of teams in his or her organization." The authors, according to Montgomery van Wart in Public Administration Review, "argue that team learning is the most important kind, and that 'the same team dynamics that promote performance also support learning and behavioral change.'" The authors analyze "what makes some teams productive and others not," noted von Wart, and stress that top executives need to "consider whether they are willing to undergo the requisite discipline to become a real or high-performing team."

Sue Gibson observed in Industry Week that Smith and Katzenbach in The Wisdom of Teams "provide . . . specific recommendations for establishing teams, overcoming obstacles, leading with wisdom, and responding to the inevitable changes engendered by successful teams." In the Columbia Journal of World Business, William M. Moore wrote that The Wisdom of Teams is "well written, undoubtedly timely, and maintains it focus, choosing to concentrate on teams within American organizations and their impact upon performance."

John Turner in Personnel Psychology commented that "peak performance" is defined in Katzenbach's book of the same name as "achieving performance that is '. . . better than the norm, better than expected, better than competition, better than similar workforces, uniquely and constantly.'" In writing Peak Performance, Katzenbach studied organizations such as Home Depot, Avon, First USA, the U.S. Marine Corps, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration. "Katzenbach's conclusion is that these organizations are able to sustain high performance levels because they achieve the emotional commitment of their workforces," observed Turner. The book is largely dedicated to describing the actions these organizations take to achieve such commitment. Katzenbach breaks down these actions into five approaches: mission, values and pride path; process and metrics path; entrepreneurial spirit path; individual achievement path; and recognition and celebration path. John Hodge in HRMagazine called Peak Performance "an excellent overview of strategies organizations may follow to enhance employee motivation and productivity." Both Turner and Hodge identified the greatest strength of Peak Performance to be its emphasis on discipline.

Discipline is a concept Katzenbach stresses in most of his books. Mary Whaley observed in a review of Teams at the Top for Booklist, "The author advises discipline to energize rather than stifle initiative and performance among top executives." The Discipline of Teams, remarked a reviewer in the Houston Business Journal, "provides . . . guidance that will help any team in any organization set and achieve performance goals." In order to initiate change within an organization, Katzenbach believes "change leaders" must be employed. Katzenbach explained in an interview with Stratford Sherman for Forbes that change leaders are middle managers who tend to be more diverse in gender and race than ordinary middle managers, as well as "in the 25 to 40 age range," "more flexible than ordinary general managers, and much more people oriented. You need them when you are going for dramatic performance increases in speed, productivity, or profits."

Polly LaBarre praised Katzenbach's Real Change Leaders in Industry Week as a "compelling study of an emerging breed of movers and shakers." LaBarre noted that "real experiences, insights, and dilemmas of managers" are utilized through case histories of such companies as Mobil, Compaq Computer, the New York City Transit Authority, and AT&T. A Publishers Weekly reviewer concluded, "This book is highly recommended to all corporate executives who want to learn about effective leadership in large organizations."



Academy of Management Executive, August, 1993, Karen L. Spencer, review of The Wisdom of Teams, p. 100.

Booklist, January 1, 1996, Barbara Jacobs, review of Real Change Leaders, p. 765; January 1, 1998, Mary Whaley, review of Teams at the Top, p. 755.

Chemistry and Industry, July 19, 1999, Mike Woods, review of Teams at the Top, p. 556.

Columbia Journal of World Business, fall, 1993, William M. Moore, review of The Wisdom of Teams, p. 104.

Electronic Business, January, 1999, Susan Mulcahy, "On the March to Interdependence," p. 81.

Financial Times, April 12, 1996, Peter Herriot, review of Real Change Leaders, p. 10.

Fortune, December 11, 1995, Stratford Sherman, "Wanted: Company Change Agents," p. 197.

Houston Business Journal, June 1, 2001, review of The Discipline of Teams, p. 21.

HRMagazine, August, 2000, John Hodge, review of Peak Performance, p. 163.

Industry Week, January 22, 1996, Polly LaBarre, review of Real Change Leaders, p. 17; March 15, 1993, Sue Gibson, review of The Wisdom of Teams, p. 21.

Personnel Psychology, spring, 2001, John Turner, review of Peak Performance, p. 206.

Public Administration Review, November-December, 1994, Montgomery von Wart, review of The Wisdom of Teams, pp. 577-579.

Publishers Weekly, December 4, 1995, review of Real Change Leaders, p. 49.

Tampa Tribune (Tampa, FL), March 15, 1999, "When Building a Team, Take It from the Top," p. 12.