As a consultant and entrepreneur who has worked with thousands of business owners, managers, and their employees to help them achieve corporate and personal growth, I was captivated by the opening exercise in the engaging book. By asking a simple question, the authors demonstrate the book's premise, that nothing is more important to the organization or the individual than engagement with their work.
It's easy for the business owner to accept this concept. They know that productivity increases and profits grow in direct relationship to the devotion of the workforce to performance. Given the demise of job security in today's economy,however, it's a lot more difficult for the employee to recognize the value of engagement to them. Karsan and Kruse spend most of the book making that case to employees and showing employers how to change their organizations so that they can reinforce it in daily operations.
Their premise is based on findings from millions of worker surveys done on behalf of their clients. Most of the case studies and anecdotal material comes from the same source. While this could have turned the book into a thinly-veiled ad for their businesses, it doesn't read that way at all. The concepts and research are presented openly, as are actionable items that could easily have been hidden behind "hire me and I'll tell you."
I was particularly intrigued by the way the book is integrated into a website full of bonus material like videos, activities, exercises, and other value-added features. Each chapter ends with a one-page summary of key takeaways for both managers and employees that can be printed as a pdf from the website for future reference. Bonus material includes videos by the authors and others that expand on the concepts presented in each chapter. The website provides a great deal of extra value for the reader.
Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, hiring, firing, and motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.