Phil Rosenzweig was one of my favorite grad school professors at my alma mater, IMD. His book, The Halo Effect, explores the ways that studying business success stories can produce misleading ideas. Rather, to gain a more full understanding of what causes success, we must compare them with failures to see where the differences lie. Business literature exists in abundance, around the media darlings such as Google and Facebook, Microsoft and Apple, General Electric and Westinghouse… but if we’re reading these stories in the hope of learning how to become more successful ourselves, then it would be in our interests to also study failures – hopefully to discern between which habits caused the successes, rather than others which may have been coincidence or even impediments that were overcome.
The idea, and even the name “halo effect,” originated roughly one hundred years ago [citation], but Phil’s modern business interpretation was a major inspiration to my own book, Lemonade Heroes®. As of this writing, Phil has tentatively agreed to write a foreword for the book.