The May OpenBI Forum is the third of a series. For the second time this year, I've changed the topic of a column at the 11th hour based on something I've recently read. This time, that something is a business book, The Halo Effect - and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers, by Phil Rosenzweig. The Halo Effect, an easy three-hour read, is destined to be one of the best business books of 2007 - or any year for that matter. And since much of the book's content challenges the validity and interpretation of popular business research, its concerns are quite similar to those of the OpenBI Forum's two latest columns on validity, design and BI.

Readers who derive their corporate opinions from Forbes, Fortune and Business Week, or who lionize the popular management tomes of the last 25 years like In Search of Excellence, Built to Last, What Really Works and Good to Great, should be a bit circumspect when they take on The Halo Effect. For without inflammation but with surgical precision, Rosenzweig debunks the feel-good findings and interpretations of this research, leaving readers with the near-certain conclusion the books are little more than nice stories of how the business world should work. Alas, as The Halo Effect demonstrates, real business isn't as tidy or conforming as we'd like.

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