A handbook for creating a responsive company culture that offers employees a chance to shine.
In this work, Sanford (The Responsible Entrepreneur, 2014) encourages business leaders to move away from top-down authoritarian decision-making to a more collaborative process that incorporates the needs of all stakeholders. Drawing on organizational theory and her own consulting work with a number of large companies, such as the bottled-water company Deer Park, Sanford offers examples of successful organizational change and the logic underlying such corporate evolution. The book also addresses what she calls “toxic” elements (hierarchical decision-making, performance reviews and feedback, restructuring) in many traditional workplaces. These, she says, must be eradicated before one can implement the titular “regenerative” process successfully—a sort of whole-lifestyle makeover. In the book’s third section, Sanford guides readers through the process of applying her regenerative principles to their businesses, dividing the process into five thematic sections, or “phases,” such as “Evolve into Strategic Disruption” and “Evolve a Courageous Culture.” Several chapters conclude with questions designed to drive discussion and generate ideas (“What principles should guide the way we redesign our systems so that their original purposes are fulfilled, even as we make them more workable and developmental?”). Although the more theoretical portions of the book do indulge in jargon, Sanford’s prose is mostly unambiguous: “bad work design relegates human beings to activities that are repetitive, uncreative, unrewarding, and spirit killing.” The author makes a compelling case for adopting a new approach to structuring work, with solid examples of successful practices and guidance for business leaders who are just starting their evaluations of their own workplaces. Business-book connoisseurs will find plenty of new material in this text along with a cogent, persuasive argument.
A straightforward overview of organizational theory and practice.