Archive for January, 2008

Growing Great Employees

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

I recently discovered a fine book that aims to provide managers with a simple and straightforward approach to all of the key phases of talent management. Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers by Erika Andersen, utilizes the metaphor of tending a garden to illustrate techniques for effective management and employee development. I found it to be extremely clear and spot-on in its approach, and recommend it very highly.

In addition to being an author, Ms. Andersen is speaker, OD consultant and co-founder of Proteus International, a company that specializes in products and services that help their clients “to build the organization they want”. She also writes an interesting blog called The Simplest Thing That Works. I encourage you to check both the blog and book out!

Built to Serve

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Built To Serve

I recently stumbled across the book Built To Serve: How to Drive the Bottom Line with People-First Practices by the CEO of United Supermarkets, Dan Sanders. United Supermarkets is a Texas-based, family-owned company with 46 stores under three distinct names and formats: United Supermarkets, Market Street, and Amigos United.

Sanders’ contend that it is not the financial economics (profits or ROI) that drive business success, but in fact that these financial returns are simply by-products of both success in the marketplace and the workplace. He defines success in the workplace as possessing “a sustainable, culture-driven, people-centered organization”.

Here’s a short passage from the book:

“Because they see human beings as assets, not expenses, culture-driven. people-centered organizations are different. They remain steadfast in their commitment, focusing foremost on people, not profits. In return, their people find ways to generate the necessary profits to ensure the organization’s sustainability. These are organizations deserving of a legacy worth remembering. this is the spirit worth cultivating because it embraces the truth: intangibles drive tangibles.”

From Built to Serve: How to Drive the Bottom Line with People-First Practices by Dan J. Sanders (2007: McGraw Hill, New York)