Mariotti Featured In New Book On Risk Management

The Missing Metrics: Managing the Cost and Risk of Complexity

John Mariotti's essay entitled The Missing Metrics: Managing the Cost and Risk of Complexity is the leadoff article in this new compendium on the topic of Risk, published by Bloomsbury, the leading London, UK publisher. The Kindle version of the book is available on

Mariotti & Lukas' 2012 Book Is "Filled with Insights for Obama's 2nd Term"

What others have said about HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY: Leadership Lessons from the Obama Presidency:

HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY: Leadership Lessons from the Obama Presidency

HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY: Leadership Lessons from the Obama Presidency

Written with co-author D. M. Lukas, this is an easy to read book full of thirty leadership lessons, each of which draws its "case study" from a mistake, a failure or a leadership lapse during the past three years of the Obama presidency.

The lessons are applicable to business, career, personal (or political) situations. A full recap of the book can be seen in the Books section of this site and more information is available at the book's website.

The book is available in paperback or Kindle e-book at and in other e-book formats at Smashwords.

Improve Profitability And Reduce Risk

Now you CAN "have your cake and eat it too"--improving profitability and reducing risk--both at the same time.

  1. Read THE COMPLEXITY CRISIS and follow the principles outlined in it. That is a great start; simple, low cost, and easy to do.
  2. Visit the Ontonix site, (or simply try it yourself--click on the Rate A Business icon below) and take the next steps.
Ontonix Rate a Business Service

Ontonix has developed a simple, effective and very economical on-line tool to evaluate the level of complexity and risk in any business. Using their on-line self-rating service, any business can clearly see where complexity exists and how to begin managing it, and reducing risk at the same time.

Simply click on the "Rate a Business" logo and follow the easy steps. You can analyze your Balance Sheet, your Income Statement, and nearly any other aspect of your business that can be expresses in columns and rows of data showing results, status, etc. Then use the output to direct your action, to manage and reduce complexity, to reduce risk and finally, to improve your overall profitability. Try it. It really works.

Critically Acclaimed! Get It Now: "The Chinese Conspiracy"

You can get it at

"The book starts off strong and never stops. This is a techno thriller with action that spans two continents. There are over 100 short chapters in the book which should provide the reader a convenient place to stop reading. With a suspenseful end to each chapter, the reader is drawn to the next. This was a very difficult book to put down. John Mariotti's easy to read writing style combined with excellent plot, colorful characters, and realistic technology make The Chinese Conspiracy a book that lovers of action thrillers will really enjoy." -- James Hutchings of The Book Review

"John, what a masterpiece! A real wake up call for those around the world. You put much thought in to this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it... " Cy Hilterman, (Reviewer)

Read more reviews...

The Complexity Crisis

Why Too Many Products, Markets & Customers Are Crippling Your Company—And What To Do About it
By John L. Mariotti

Chosen as one of 2008's Best Business Books!

Order signed copies of THE COMPLEXITY CRISIS by email ( ) at $9.99 per copy plus $4 shipping and handling. Or buy from

The Complexity Crisis

The Problem: Where have all the profits gone?
Businesses must compete in more complex markets than ever before. Companies are seeking growth at double-digit rates in markets that are growing at single-digit rates, or not at all. This quest for growth has led to runaway complexity and proliferation in products, customers, markets, suppliers, services, locations and more. All of these add costs, which go untracked by the best of modern cost systems. All of these fragment management focus, waste time and money and reduce shareholder value. And all of this goes on under the radar of management or board attention. The Complexity Crisis is arguably the most insidious profit drain in modern business.

The Challenge: What can we do about it?
First, recognize that rampant proliferation adds to costs in a manner that goes untracked. Then track it down. Where it adds value, alter processes to accommodate it. Where it doesn't, which is most places, stop it. Reduce or eliminate it. And institute safeguards—systems and metrics—to prevent its unnoticed return. Most of all, find quick and easy ways to describe The Complexity Crisis so it is recognized as a potential profit drain, and managed like the critical business consideration it has become.

The Premise: What Gets Measured, Gets Managed.
To understand the success factors in business is critical. To understand the obstacles that get in the way is equally important. This is the purpose, indeed, the job of management. The tools used that allow management to do this job are metrics and then the actions that result when the metrics expose an area for management attention. The good news—many of the necessary tools already exist, and may be in use. The bad news—complexity is, by its very nature—"complex" and thus it defies many existing measurement techniques.

The Approach: Find it; Fix it; "Use It or Lose It" (and Keep It Simple)
First, recognize what constitutes complexity and the hidden costs it creates; the places it siphons off profit into blind alleys and hidden corners of the business. Next, find it in your business and decide if it creates or destroys value for customers. Then, decide to either " Use It"—change structure and processes to accommodate value-added complexity for competitive advantage, or "Lose It" and reduce or eliminate non-value added complexity wherever it has crept into your business. Finally, institute new metrics and modifications to existing cost and management control systems to choose when to keep it out, and when to capitalize on complexity. Last, and most important: Keep the management of The Complexity Crisis as SIMPLE as possible, so whether you "use it or lose it" you solve the problem and keep it solved.

The Author:
Experienced executive—15 years—President, Huffy Bicycles & Rubbermaid Office Product Group
Accomplished author—8 books and hundreds of columns/articles in leading publications, web sites
Director on six corporate boards, and an advisor to several others
Consultant & keynote speaker: Titleist, Colgate Scotts, Southern Co., Emerson, Deere, etc.
Guest lecturer for several major universities business schools
Contributor, Business—the Ultimate Resource, Encyclopedia of Health Care Management
M. S., M. E. University of Wisconsin, B. S. M. E. Bradley University

John Mariotti's newest book The Complexity Crisis-Why Too Many Products, Markets & Customers Are Crippling Your Company-And What To Do About It IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR ORDERING from (click on your choice), Barnes & Noble, Books A Million and other leading booksellers or in larger quantities from 800 CEO Read. You can also request the book at leading bookstores nationally, which should be getting it shortly.

The Complexity Crisis, TABLE OF CONTENTS

Mariotti Speaks to OSU Marketing Class

John Mariotti spoke to a senior marketing class at the Ohio State University recently. The class had been studying the Newell-Rubbermaid acquisition case study, and Mariotti provided an "on the scene" perspective of both companies and how this acquisition came about, and why it didn't work out well.

Mariotti mentioned in Search Consult: Executive Search News

John Mariotti's speech to Cook Associates was covered in the trade news media recently.

Mariotti Appears On MSNBC's "Your Business"

John Mariotti was one of the guest panelists on MSNBC's Your Business recently. The show airs at 7:30AM Sunday and again at 5:30AM on Saturday (this show is scheduled to air on Feb. 8 and Feb. 14). The topic of the show was how a small business who got the "big order" (from Starbucks during its growth era) found it crippling--and what might have been done to prevent--or remedy--that kind of outcome.

Mariotti Addresses Cook & Associates Annual Management Meeting

John Mariotti joined Nat Stoddard as the featured speakers at Cook & Associates Annual Management Meeting in Chicago on Feb. 3. Mariotti's presentation discussed "Leading in an Era of Uncertainly and Complexity," while Stoddard talked about his new book The Right Leader--Selecting Executives Who Fit. Cook is a premier Executive Search firm and also provides M & A Services to a wide range of well-known clients.

Mariotti Aligns With Harris Consulting

In the continuing quest to spread the reach and influence of sound management practices, and make them available to a larger client base, John Mariotti announced that he has become affiliated with Harris Consulting, as one of the firms resource team. The firm was founded by Michael Harris, a long time associate of John's, and is positioned to provide a wide range of services and solutions through the use of a diverse and highly skilled team of consultants, that can be assembled to meet the specific needs of clients.

Mariotti's Web Post on Social Networking Recognized

John Mariotti's "opinion" article titled "Ten Reasons I Won't Use Social Media Sites" which was posted on Small Business Trends web site. was picked as one of the Top 50 Best Posts on Social Media in 2008 by Atul Kumar-Social Media & Blogging News. It drew a large number of responses, about equally split between those agreeing and those disagreeing. Many good points were exposed--and everyone learned from the multiple opinions.

Mariotti cited in article "How To Manage With Fewer People"

John Mariotti was one of the experts cited in the article "How To Manage With Fewer People" about coping with downsizing during an economic downturn.

John Mariotti speaks to Presidents & CEOs at the American Management Association Course

Mariotti, the featured luncheon speaker on the middle day of the program, shared insights from The Complexity Crisis. He also addressed a series of business-specific issues raised by the diverse class of executives, who traveled from 15 different states and 2 foreign countries. The class was held in Naples, FL. on Dec. 3, 2008.

Mariotti Keynotes Joint Session for Supply Chain Leaders at Georgia Tech University

Program included Don Bowersox & John Langley, plus others.

John Mariotti's presentation on his book, "THE COMPLEXITY CRISIS," was the opening keynote for a joint meeting of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and the Georgia Tech Supply Chain Executive Forum. The closing session of the day was addressed by legendary supply chain professor and CSCMP Founder Dr. Donald Bowersox, Dean Emeritus of Michigan State University who was introducing his latest book, "Start Pulling Your Chain:Leading Responsive Supply Chain Transformation," coauthored with former Limited executive Nick Lahowchic. The program was hosted by Dr. John Langley, of Georgia Tech, who is also one of the world's leading supply chain authorities.

The group attending the keynote in the Global Learning Center at Georgia Tech, numbered about 100, and was made up of managers from the Atlanta chapter of CSCMP, and executives who are members of the Supply Chain Forum members and guests from companies such as Coke, UPS, Intel, CAT, Georgia Pacific, Philips, Dell, Milliken, GM, Sterling Commerce, Manhattan Assoc. Home Depot, Williams Sonoma, SAP, Spencer Stuart, Canadian Tire, Ryder Logistics, Booz-Allen-Hamilton, Carter's, and more.

Mariotti Addresses SRO Audience In Bentonville, AR

John Mariotti spoke to a crowd of about 200 people that filled the auditorium of the Shewmaker Center at Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville, AR. , and his presentation received a standing ovation at its conclusion.

The program was part of the Jack Shewmaker Business Leader Lecture Series which includes the NWACC Chapter of SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise). Mariotti spoke about his new book, The Complexity Crisis, to a diverse audience of community business people, NWACC faculty, SIFE members, and students, including some from that evening's vocational training classes.

Jack Shewmaker, former President of Wal-Mart, and series sponsor, introduced John, and commented on the importance of his book's topic.

Back to Top

Time To Keep It Simple

Investors Business Daily
Cord Cooper
Fri Dec 14, 2007, 5:52 PM ET

Outsourcing and expanding markets have vaulted profit and sales for many companies. Yet for other firms, they've eaten away at profit due to exploding expenses -- the costs of doing business worldwide.

The biggest problem?

Many costs are needless, says exec John Mariotti, author of the forthcoming book "The Complexity Crisis."

To simplify and cut costs:

Plan it. When some companies first outsource, they don't reduce costs at domestic plants.

"The overhead cost of the facility and its staff seldom goes down as fast as the volume of work," Mariotti said.

As long as budgets support domestic plants, the money is used. "The remaining work (in the U.S.) becomes more costly as that overhead is spread over a lower volume."

Result? Some of the benefits of outsourcing are lost.

Grab the tape. "What gets measured gets managed," said Mariotti, head of the Enterprise Group consultancy and former president of Rubbermaid Office Products Group. By measuring across all units, "managers (can) understand the likely consequences of their decisions before they take action."

They then have a choice: Proceed with the decision or choose a simpler, less costly path.

Measurements should range from sales per customer to revenue per worker.

Such metrics reveal high-cost hot spots worldwide.

Untangle. In foreign markets as at home, simplicity is often the key to strong sales and profit.

If systems get too complicated -- sapped by redundancy -- the top line may be up, but the bottom line is gone, Mariotti notes.

Once you're saddled with too much of everything -- suppliers, products, subcontractors, employees -- your business "can become very troubled very fast," he said.

Trim it. Some firms compulsively "create new products, processes, facilities and systems, but no one's designated to kill off the old, obsolete or unproductive ones," said Mariotti.

Another problem? Unprofitable clients. "Customers that cost more to keep than to lose (are encouraged) to hang around. No one wants to fire them."

Yet that's exactly what should be done, he says.

Think long term. Mergers and acquisitions often fail because of needless complexity.

"There's a short-term benefit as (certain) redundancies are eliminated," but then other complexities arise, said Mariotti.

Workers from the merged firms -- including redundant salespeople -- engage in turf wars.

Battles over process and strategy lead to more complexity, not needed simplification, says leadership strategist Clay Christensen.

Simplify sales. Redundant sales staffs aren't problems only in merged firms.

Global firms across the board deal with them.

The best companies streamline.

Case in point? Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG - News). "Each division, brand or business unit wanted its products presented in the best possible way, with strong personal relationships and an effective support system," Mariotti recalled. "The answer was to form selling teams that share support services and office facilities."

Mariotti Connects with BTM to Advance Management and Technology-and Conquer Complexity

John Mariotti has a history of being on the leading edge of business and management development, and his recent involvement with BTM is another instance of Mariotti's foresight in this area. John comments, "Faisal Hoque and his colleagues at BTM are setting new standards for the integration of business and technology, in a framework that virtually every company needs, but that few have. I look forward to a growing collaborative relationship with Faisal and BTM."

Founded in 1999, the BTM Corporation (Business Technology Management Corporation) is a management solutions provider that innovates new business models, enhances financial performance, and improves operational efficiency at leading global corporations, government agencies, and social businesses by converging business and technology with its unique products and intellectual property (IP).

See John's latest book's premise on the BTM Institute web site.

Mariotti Joins Experts At Small Business Trends

John Mariotti's latest work outlines Ten Challenges and Tips on employment issues, specifically aimed at the needs of small business owners and managers. This useful information is now available on the web at Small Business Trends.

The fastest growing area of new job creation is small business. This growth creates issues and challenges for the founders and managers, which are different than the ones faced by larger companies. Small Business Trends web site and Internet radio broadcast specifically aims at helping these small business founders and managers.

Mariotti's Marketing Books Go Global

The latest edition of Smart Marketing by John Mariotti is now available in four languages with a fifth coming soon. The English edition is available from or Barnes & Noble on line.

Last year the Chinese edition was released. This year translations into Indonesian and Lithuanian are coming on the market. Later in the year, a Korean translation will be launched.

Mariotti's earlier book Smart Things to Know about Brands and Branding was also translated into Spanish.

The new edition of his book Marketing Express is also available (in English only) but on a global basis via

Mariotti's Most Recent Marketing Book Released in New 2nd Edition

A new, updated edition of Marketing Express by John Mariotti is now available for purchase direct from the publisher, Wiley in the US, UK, France, Germany and Singapore.

This quick, efficient read on the subject of Marketing is also available on or from Barnes & Noble on-line. It is a perfect book for anyone from novice to executive and also for non-marketing managers and professionals who want to learn the important elements of marketing.

Mariotti Keynotes New York State Ag Conference

John Mariotti's keynote presentation on "The Power of Partnerships--How partnership and collaboration makes business successful and fun" was the highlight of the 174th Annual New York State Agricultural Society's Annual Forum.

In its 174th year, this largest ever Ag Society Forum was attended by almost 400 people and covered a wide range of topics illustrating the important role of partnerships as a key element in building and sustaining the strong agricultural economy of the state of New York.

John Mariotti a Co-Presenter for Webinar sponsored by PRNews

A multi-media Web seminar entitled From Wall Street to Main Street: Driving Communications in High Profile Litigation & Crisis, co-featured John Mariotti presenting with two senior members of the Washington firm, Levick Strategic Communications on how to deal with looming or actual crises and high-profile litigations. Founder Richard Levick's firm has provided communications counsel in many high-profile cases, involving celebrities like Rosie O'Donnell, organizations such as the Catholic Church, and public health issues like Chi-Chi's "green onions" case. Co-presenter Michael Robinson, also part of the Levick firm was previously a communications executive with NASDAQ and the SEC. Mariotti's role was to bring the perspective of a Director, Corporate Executive and Board Chairman to the audience. The webinar aired on Sept. 21, 2004. For more details, click here.

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