Flick and Click – Latest book reviews

by 21 Jul 2009

Engaging Leadership Didier Marlier, Chris Parker et al Palgrave Macmillan, $55.00

Need a recipe book on how to engage large numbers of employees in order to move an organisation in a new direction and while em bracing large scale change? Particularly con sidering the current economic climate, En gaging Leadership, may just be the answer.

Using their experience with leading firms such as LEGO, Nokia, Oracle and Pearson, Marlier and Parker provide practical insight on how to change behaviour and thinking in order to accelerate implementation of change by bridging intellectual and emotional en gagement.

It’s an entertaining read, politically incor rect and not only provides narratives from business life and global events but mythical heroes which help to lighten the text. This book also demonstrates that a company is highly dependent on its people, their motiva tion and “can do” attitude. Engendering high performance during organisational change and difficult negotiations is a role that HR per sonnel should be involved in, it counsels, then advises on how to do it.

If any company was considering a signifi cant change journey, this is the book to teach how to link strategy, leadership and engage ment of employees to a new and shared vision.

Think one team, Graham Winter, Wiley $24.95

Australian author, business consultant and trained psychologist Graham Winter uses a business fable about a jelly bean company to demonstrate how a practical model can unlock teamwork and benefit an organisation. Business is not so sweet for the jeally bean makers - with communication breakdowns, staff turnover and the dreaded "silo" syndrome meaning that morale is at an all time low. Really, it could be an example of many companies operating out there.

For HR personnel, this book can offer insight into how to bridge boundaries, share the bigger picture with the team, encourage open communication and ensure there is equal investment and incentives for a common goal in order to empower an organisation to operate at its best.

A company is only as good as the people who work for it and Winter shows that if employees "Think one team" then crisis can be overcome and a company's full potential realised.

<[stk -1]>There is also an online profile tool (www.thinkoneteam.com) to show how an organisation can benefit from the five principles recommended.

The Trophy Kids Grow Up, Ron Alsop, Jossey-Bass $32.95

The rogue "millennial generation" - those born between 1980 and 2001 - has started to enter the workforce and the resulting ramifications are explored by Wall Street Journal columnist Ron Alsop. More commonly known as generation Y, the millennial workforce is a force to be reckoned with in the workplace, with often paradoxical values and motivations.

Many an HR professional may feel enlightened by the book's help with understanding a generation that has a high sense of entitlement and self worth, yet is community-minded. Gen Y members are notorious job-hoppers but place a high premium on career success. In short, they want it all and they want it now!

According to studies, the millennials have been coddled more than any other generation and parents are described as "helicopters" - ie those who are willing to drop in on any situation and resolve problems

The book shines the spotlight on the generation's strengths, preferences and challenges. Also uses studies and interviews with recruiters, management and banking and investment firms to create a picture of what the millennials expect and how companies can meet their demands.

The book is essential reading for HR personnel responsible for hiring and retention of this upcoming generation.

Leadership Lessons of the White House Fellows, Charles P Garcia

McGraw Hill $42.95

The importance of leadership and guiding a team seems to have heightened through these turbulent times.

Enter Charles P Garcia, a former Fellow, who takes the reader into the trenches to share valuable leadership lessons learnt from helping to solve significant national issues under direct supervision of the US President and mentorship from senior government leaders.

The White House Fellowship program is considered one of the most competitive and prestigious fellowships in the US, where a select group spends an entire year working alongside some of the top and most influential decision-makers in the world.

Garcia includes interviews with more than 200 former fellows, with advice from the likes of former US secretary of state Colin Powell, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin and Stanford Business School Dean Robert Joss - those who have proven their merit in a situation that could best be described as a pressure-cooker.

The practical advice offered is for all levels within an organisation - including HR professionals who have a role to play in leading their staff and the company through the current uncertainty. Apply the lessons and instil the same inspiration in staff as the book places in the reader.