In 1999, Paul C. Light embarked on an ambitious project which, if successful, would provide business organizations with a powerful new tool for navigating the turbulent sea of change that is today's global business environment. A guide to achieving and maintaining superlative performance in a highly unpredictable world, this book is the fruit of that endeavour. In it you will learn proven methods for hardening your organization against the surprises and risks of an uncertain future. And you will learn how to maintain a competitive edge in an increasingly competitive global economy by being the first to identify and capitalize on the most promising opportunities for growth. In researching "The Four Pillars of High Performance" Dr. Light had unprecedented access to the vast information resources of The RAND Corporation - an international leader in the study of organizational performance for nearly six decades. He also surveyed more than 125 senior RAND researchers about their experiences with organizations of all types and sizes, and spent four years gathering information about what RAND has learned about creating and sustaining high performance. What gradually emerged was a portrait of the 'robust organization' - that rare organization which possesses both the agility to adjust to changes in the business environment, at a moment's notice, and the compass needed to maintain a steady fix on its strategic horizons. With the help of many fascinating and instructive case studies and vignettes, Paul Light takes us inside a number of robust organizations across a range of business sectors, as well as in government, the military, and more. From the examples set by Volvo, Intel, Marriot, DuPont and many other world-class performers, he extracts the four key traits common to all robust organizations: Alertness - Spotting fluctuations as they emerge, not after their effects have already been felt; Agility - Empowering employees with the authority to make routine decisions, reducing barriers between units, encouraging participatory management, and fostering open communications; Adaptability - Changing with circumstances and taking advantage of new opportunities as they arise; and, Alignment - Saturating the organization with information and providing effective information technology. Combining the wisdom of a leading national expert on organizational performance with more than five decades of research conducted by one of the world's oldest and most revered think tanks, "The Four Pillars of High Performance" is an indispensable and unprecedented blueprint for transforming any company into a robust organization. Paul C. Light is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at the The Wagner School of Public Service at New York University, and he holds the Dillon Chair at the Brookings Institution where he established the Center for Public Service, in 1999. The author of 19 books on business, public service, and education, he is a familiar voice on NPR's 'Morning Edition' and a well-known public speaker on organizational life.