A professional educator and mentor offers advice on keeping employees engaged in the workplace.
In this business book, Couillard uses a stool as a metaphor for the elements of worker engagement that employers should understand and strive to improve. The stool’s three legs are control, competence, and connection while its base represents the uniting force of purpose. In the author’s formulation, frustration is the main hurdle workers face, leading to disengagement and low performance, so managers can achieve success through developing a shared sense of purpose and keeping employees motivated. The guide often relies on extended metaphors, like a World War II battleship (staffed by a crew united by a common goal) and the first man labeled “Public Enemy Number One” (less notorious than Al Capone or Bonnie and Clyde but extremely dangerous), that vividly depict common workplace problems and solutions. In addition, Couillard’s taste for dramatic language (“That is the first sign of engagement, the first spark from the fire that burns beneath the surface”) keeps the text from becoming a dry read as it delves into the facets of employee performance. The manual delivers both specific action items, such as surveying workers to find out what they think the organization’s purpose is, as well as more general platitudes on leadership and management. Quotes from several of the author’s corporate clients provide real-world context for many of the concepts presented in the volume. The text is concise and well organized, making it easy to digest in a single sitting or to focus on a discrete section. While many of the notions will be familiar to frequent readers of books on management, less advanced bibliophiles will find plenty in the guide to learn from and implement in their own workplaces. The information is presented effectively and with clarity, and Couillard writes with the tone of an enthusiastic mentor. Additional materials are available on the author’s website (rippledynamics.com), as he reminds readers throughout the manual.
An easy-to-follow introduction to motivating employees and maximizing performance.
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").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)