Neil Smith helps Fortune 750 companies dramatically improve performance by increasing profitability.


“Neil Smith has helped create incalculable shareholder value and customer loyalty for companies across America and around the world with one ‘radical’ idea:  Our own employees know where the barriers to success are, and they know how to break them down so the CEO and the management teams can drive the vision and strategy we set for our companies.”

Brian T. Moynihan, Chief Executive Officer, Bank of America Corporation

“Neil Smith makes “A Promise” for transforming your organization, and I can attest from his work with us at NYSE Euronext that he delivers. In this book, he outlines the process by which any company can become more efficient and profitable while reducing complexity. It is a must-read for any company that wants to improve its performance and for any manager who is serious about adding value to their organization.”

Duncan Niederauer, Chief Executive Officer, NYSE Euronext

“Neil Smith provides brilliant insights and great practical advice, based on his global expertise in helping excellent companies challenge the status quo and improve performance. Move this book to the top of your inbox.”

Martin Sullivan, deputy chairman of Willis Group Holdings PLC and chairman and CEO of Willis Global Solutions

“This exciting new book, How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things, provides an in-depth look at the structural and behavioral barriers that keep organizations from outstanding performance, and offers a clear set of principles to get on track. Neil Smith’s brilliant insights into removing these barriers and empowering employees to produce creative ideas are a must-read for managers everywhere.”

Bill George, Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School, former Chairman & CEO of Medtronic, Inc. and author of True North

“A top-notch consultant reveals his secret sauce! Crisply reasoned and crisply written, this book is a virtual how-to-do-it manual for improving your company. If it doesn’t give you dozens of good ideas, you haven’t read it.”

Professor Alan Blinder, Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and co-author of Economics: Principles and Policy

“This book provides a practical, common sense guide to the main stumbling blocks facing business leaders and how to deal with them.”

Professor John Quelch, Dean of China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), Shanghai

“This book is a great gift to leaders facing the 8 barriers because it underscores how critical it is to engage employees across the entire organization.  Dumb things, goodbye!”

Frances Hesselbein, President and CEO, Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute, former CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA and author of My Life in Leadership

“How many times have we read about a company’s decline or demise and the problem seemed so obvious that we wonder how management could have missed the signs? In his first book, consultant Smith, CEO of Promontory Growth and Innovation, suggests that many companies get derailed by “dumb things” because management fails to recognize obstacles or confront basic issues. Drawing on 20-plus years of consulting to top international companies, Smith pinpoints eight of the most common barriers that hold businesses back, including familiar concepts like poor time management, which can seem innocuous on a small scale but can cripple productivity if allowed to permeate the culture. Similarly, organizational silos, which plague many companies, prevent growth or productivity through competing priorities. Smith illustrates his points with examples from companies he’s worked with, as well as anecdotes from major corporations. A helpful reminder on how lack of oversight on even commonplace issues can interfere with an enterprise’s productivity and success, this work will appeal to managers and leaders alike.”

Publishers Weekly