Shows real insight into the turmoil of the contemporary workplace; business leaders should take note.



A debut guide offers advice on navigating the chaotic world of work.

As a “workplace culture architect,” Swora believes “the key to the future success of companies is how well networks of teams operate together.” But the challenges faced by groups and their leaders, according to the author, are daunting; they center on volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, identified in this well-crafted manual with the acronym “VUCA.” The book begins with an exploration of the manner in which the workplace is affected by VUCA and how it impacts people and organizations. A somewhat bleak but realistic picture is painted—“people are drowning,” the office is filled with “chaos and unpredictability,” and managers “are just scrambling to keep up.” The solution, writes Swora, is to create a “Purposeful Workplace Experience,” a term she has trademarked. The second part of the book examines the attributes of this experience, referring to Abraham Maslow’s frequently cited hierarchy of needs, which identifies requirements necessary for human well-being. Here, Swora concludes that “performance happens at the intersection of purpose and belonging.” The author perceptively points out that both customers and employees “experience” a company. The worker experience revolves around the organization’s culture—“the shared beliefs, values, understandings and perspectives held by all the employees in your company.” The elements of this culture must be “fully aligned” for there to be trust between individuals and the organization. According to Swora, if these facets are skewed, the Purposeful Workplace Experience can help restore the alignment. Part 3 of the guide concentrates on four “rules” that make up that experience; each of them is explained in detail. The smart, sensible manual puts a novel spin on corporate culture, is well-thought-out, and has a good mix of theory and workplace examples. One example, which threads throughout the book, adds a very personal angle. It is the author’s own heart-wrenching experience facing a crisis in her personal life as she tries to balance it against her work responsibilities.

Shows real insight into the turmoil of the contemporary workplace; business leaders should take note.

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-988179-35-3

Page Count: 226

Publisher: BrightFlame Books

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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