Webcast with Tim Sanders, Author of “Saving the World at Work”

On Friday, January 23 at 12:00 PM Eastern Time, I hosted a 30 minute webcast with Tim Sanders, Author of the newly released book Saving the World at Work. Tim also wrote two other outstanding books entitled The Likability Factor and Love is the Killer App. Tim has deep experience in cutting-edge businesses and marketing. He was the Chief Solutions Officer at Yahoo! and later their Leadership Coach. Prior to his senior positions at Yahoo!, Tim created and led the Yahoo! ValueLab, an in-house “think tank” which delivered futuristic insight to the company’s partners and clients. To hear the webcast click here.

Book Review: The Age of Heretics

I thoroughly enjoyed Art Kleiner’s The Age of Heretics.  It’s the best book I’ve read on the evolution of corporate culture. I highly recommend it to anyone with a serious interest in organizational development and leadership.

Here’s why I enjoyed the book so much.

Prophet of Postmodern Corporate Values

Every age has its prophets who observe the movement of social, political and economic forces then project what the future might hold. Tim Sanders’ new book, Saving the World at Work, represents the projections of a knowledgeable and thoughtful prognosticator. Sanders has observed the effect of recent events on the psyche of individuals. Events such as September 11, CEO scandals, and the environmental crisis are traumas that have shocked most individuals into re-examining the values they once embraced. Although the recent financial and economic shocks came post-publication, they bolster Sanders’ case.

Book Review: Why is Everyone Smiling?

Paul Spiegelman, CEO of the Beryl Companies, has written a wonderful book about Beryl Companies and its extraordinary culture.  Rather than write a review of Paul’s book, I’m posting the review written by the business maven and book reviewer extraordinaire Robert Morris (see below).  On Monday at 11:00 AM Eastern, I will be hosting a webcast with Paul Spiegelman and you can sign up for it by clicking on employee engagement.

Robert Morris review of Why Is Everyone Smiling?

Book Review: Identity is Destiny

 identity-is-destiny-cover.jpg Laurence Ackerman wrote a brilliant book entitled Identity is Destiny.  The book is about the importance of identity to organizations.  I highly recommend that C suite leaders and those who aspire to be read this insightful book.

Identity is critical to employee engagement and the Connection Cultures my colleagues and I at
E Pluribus Partners write and speak about. It is the first element in a Connection Culture which we describe as “Inspiring Identity” (or “Vision” for short).

Identity reflects the things that make a person or organization unique.  As brand experts know, relevant differentiation determines brand effectiveness and value.  Being unique or differentiated in a way that’s relevant to employees and customers is essential to an organization’s long term success.  I know of no other book that describes this force of identity as well as Ackerman’s.  Every organization should answer the questions Ackerman poses:

Who are we?

What do we stand for?

How are we different?

Where do I fit in?

In Ackerman’s book you will learn about his experiences as an identity consultant at Siegel & Gale, one of the world’s leading corporate identity consultants, where Ackerman helped organizations such as Korn Ferry, Fidelity and Alcoa discover their identities. Today, Ackerman is an independent consultant at
The Identity Circle.   He is also the author of a book about personal identity entitled The Identity Code.  I’ll have more to say about The Identity Code in future writings.

Buzz: Marshall Goldsmith Endorsement, Second Printing, Now in Vietnamese, Speaking Engagements

Fired Up or Burned Out continues selling well even though we don’t have a radio, tv or periodical “platform,” as publishing industry people call it. The book has spread mostly by word of mouth. Good things keep happening.  Here are a few.  Next week the second English language printing arrives.  The book was just published in Vietnamese.   Best-selling author and executive coach Marshall Goldsmith recently wrote an endorsement of it.  

I’m also receiving a growing number of invitations to speak, write and do interviews. In the coming months I will speak at several companies as well as at the
American Management Association, the Wharton Alumni Club, the University of Pennsylvania Club,  the Marketing Executives Networking Group, the Advanced Learning Institute,  AthenaOnline and the Society for Human Resource Management.  Articles I authored or about our work were recently published in Chief Learning Officer magazine, The Economic Times, Moving Ahead, and Live Mint.  Upcoming articles about our work will be published in M World: The Journal of the American Management Association and Rotman.

What does it all mean?  In addition to the growing word of mouth buzz about Fired Up or Burned Out, the interest in employee engagement is rapidly increasing as companies find it difficult to recruit and retain people in certain areas such as technology, healthcare, retail and oil and gas.  Companies have also told me they find it difficult to recruit and retain Generation Y workers. Interest in increasing employee engagement is just beginning. Increasing labor shortages and the competitive effects of globalization make this inevitable.   

Robert Morris: Business Book Reviewer Extraordinaire

robert-morris.jpg Last year I had the good fortune to meet Robert Morris. He is known for being among the very best reviewers of business books so I was naturally delighted when I read his favorable review of Fired Up or Burned Out.  Later on I met Robert while visiting Dallas.  He interviewed me for Knowledge Leadership at Thomas Group (the text of the interview follows this post).

Many readers have come to trust Robert’s book reviews for their clarity and insight.  If you’re interested in books on business and leadership, you would benefit from reading Robert’s reviews. You can find them in various places online. I prefer to read them on
Robert’s profile page at Amazon.com.  

I personally enjoy reading and writing book reviews that I believe will benefit leaders, especially those in business.  Unfortunately, my time does not allow me to write reviews for many books.   As a means to expand my capacity to recommend books to leaders, I decided to post some of Robert Morris’ book reviews on my blog. Not all of his reviews but merely reviews that he has written of books I’ve read and feel his review is consistent with my own thinking. 

Many people know the name Robert Morris, but not the man.  Here’s more about him.  

Connection Culture, Hawaii Style

rosas-book-cover.jpgManaging Aloha by Rosa Say is an excellent book that I’m adding to my recommended reading list for managers.  Rosa Say is a Hawaii-based leadership and executive coach who formerly worked as a manager at various premier luxury hotels and resorts in Hawaii.  In reading about her journey and experiences as a manager, we learn the values and practices that Rosa has identified as critical to success and happiness at work and in life.  They are also the values that Rosa aspires to live out and to pass on to her children. 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  What was especially fascinating to me were the rich descriptions of the values Rosa identifies.  While readers will recognize many as being the universal values identified by positive psychology research, Rosa expresses them in Hawaiian words and in an Hawaiian context.   In doing so, the values are more resonnant, i.e. they connect more with Hawaiians.  This greater emotional connection is in part due to the fact that expressing universal values in native terms and stories gives Hawaiians a  “sense of place” and pride that Rosa writes about in the book.  After reading Managing with Aloha, I now look for ways to contextualize values for those I’m teaching and training.

I appreciated the way in which Rosa introduced new values while connecting them to those introduced  earlier in the book.   This building approach helps readers see the inter-connections among the values and how they play out in real life rather than viewing them as discrete concepts that are unrelated to one another.

Rosa’s values provide the optimal mix of task excellence and relationship excellence that is required to achieve sustainable superior performance.  In the stories she tells, we see a manager who expects excellence, and works hard to achieve it herself while caring about the people she is responsible for leading.  

Another benefit that comes from reading this book is that you learn about the practices that Rosa has developed.  One in particular is called “take five.”  When a manager asks an employee to “take five” it is an invitation to meet briefly together so the manager can hear what is on the employee’s mind.   This simple practice gives every employee an opportunity to express his ideas and opinions and it motivates him to be continuously thinking so that he will be prepared when it is his time to “take five.”   This practice increases the elements of Value and Voice that I write and speak about in my work.

In addition to Managing with Aloha,  I encourage you to check out  several websites that Rosa maintains.  Here are links to them:


Why Change Programs Fail to Gain Traction

Mike Kanazawa has written a terrific new manifesto for changethis.com entitled People Don’t Hate Change, They Hate How You’re Trying to Change Them.  In it he explains why change programs fail to gain traction.  Mike is the CEO of Dissero Partners.  He is also the co-author with Robert Miles of the excellent book entitled Big Ideas to Big Results.   Mike understands the importance of focus, of connecting with people and being inclusive by keeping people informed and giving them a voice in the change process.  After you check out Mike’s free, downloadable manifesto, I’m sure you’ll want to go deeper by reading his book.