A guidebook for business leaders who want their organizations to be guided by more than just financial gains.
In his first book, former General Motors executive and current consultant Garcia encourages companies to look beyond short-term earnings and other financial measures in order to pave the way for long-term growth and success based on employee engagement and individual sense of purpose. The book draws on both hypothetical examples and real companies, from often cited organizations like Zappos and Whole Foods to less-familiar ones including Semco and New Belgium Brewing. At the heart of Garcia’s prescription for building a driven organization is a committed workforce, one able to make decisions without management involvement and not driven primarily by money. To establish a theoretical base for his argument, Garcia draws on decades of research in psychology, from Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to studies in reward-influenced behavior. The book’s broad ideas and recommendations for making them work are reasonable, useful and well-explained, making the guide a valuable tool for business leaders willing to overlook the book’s shortcomings, including its questionable formatting. For instance, frequent gray callout boxes tend to repeat parts of the narrative rather than add to it, and QR codes at the end of each chapter are presented without context or information about where they point. Minor inaccuracies (Jane Addams was not the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize) and overgeneralizations (“At least in the United States, these folks grew up in a world in which everyone had a house, a couple of cars, a few TVs, and at least one video game console”; “Having a lot of money isn’t that unusual anymore”) also mar the text. But on the whole, most readers will be won over by Garcia’s enthusiasm for a world of companies in which employees are passionate about their jobs, compensation is distributed fairly, the long-term effects of business decisions are deciding factors, and great things are accomplished.
A compelling road map for creating workplaces driven by engagement rather than earnings, with happier workers and more sustainable outcomes.