on April 3, 2012
If you want to know more about culture change, this book is for you. All In is written by two of my favorite business authors. It is the best book I have read on culture change. And if you are in business you know how important is your company's culture and how difficult it is to change.
I especially like the four approaches to this book:
1. The research that backs it up is solid
2. The stories of culture change from multiple industries and companies is awesome
3. The three Es (engaged, enabled, energized) is a great idea. Granted they are not new ideas but putting them all together in one chapter helps the reader to see their power
4. The seven-steps to culture change is an easy to follow guideline to making a culture change that can be used in any business or organization.
I hope you enjoy and can use this book as much as I can.
on December 26, 2014
My company had me read this. Very interesting read. Only problem is, if all of management isn't "All in" your people wont by into the idea. Half my co-workers didn't read the book.This made it hard to execute the teachings from the book.
I left the company since everyone wasn't all in. Reading a book like this gets your hopes up about what could be.I bought a personal copy for myself.
on April 4, 2012
I have been a huge fan of both Chester and Adrian for years now. My business has worked closely with both of them and it has benefited my business culture and bottom line greatly. There isn't a book I have read in years that does a better job showcasing and explaining how to build a culture that not only creates a larger than life purpose but drives results. My favorite thing about their research and writing is that they dig deep into how positive culture and appreciation isn't just about feeling good but that it also drives results. For anyone interested in improving their life or businss this is a book you MUST read. After you read this book, go buy their other books as well. All the work they do is more than just a way to help your business, it's a way to help improve your life.
on May 20, 2012
Employee engagement is currently a hot topic in the business community today.
Gostich and Elton, however, make a strong case that engagement alone is not enough. They argue employers also need employees to feel energized and enabled. (thus the three E's)
I was originally attracted to the book by its cover reference to creating a culture of belief. Since organizational change is really nothing more than individual change and I believe addressing belief is a neglected area in discussion about the individual change process, I felt compelled to read this book. I was not disappointed.
My book is heavily marked up with notes and underlining relative to the passages I want to address or quote in my writings and presentations. From the initial section on Culture Works, to the second section on the 7 Steps Roadmap managers can use to create a culture that works, to the third section on Culture Tools, this book delivers.
If you are interested in organizational culture and how culture impacts both organizational and individual performance, this book should be on your must read list.
Those who have read any of Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton's previously published books (notably The Carrot Principle and The Orange Revolution) and share my high regard for them are no doubt as eager now as I was to read their latest, All In. Based on what they learned from a research study that involved more than 300,000 respondents, it is - in my opinion - their most important book...thus far. Why? Because I think the information, insights, and (especially) the wisdom they share in it will have much wider and much deeper impact than any previous provisions.
Gostick and Elton assert, and I emphatically agree, that it is culture that will differentiate a team or organization and drive initiatives that produce high-impact results. Moreover, they believe - and again I agree - that a "culture" can be any shared community in which there are direct contact and frequent interaction. The Pixar campus in Emeryville (CA), for example, but it could also be the animators within the Walt Disney Company who created classic films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio. In fact, it could be a team of only two or three persons who also have direct contact and frequent interaction while at work. Here's the key point: In a healthy culture (whatever its size and nature may be), those who share it are nourished by mutual respect and trust. It is no coincidence that most of the companies that are annually ranked among those that are the most admired and best to work for are also annually ranked among those that are most profitable and have the greatest cap value in their respective industries.
"For worse?" In Leading Change, James O'Toole suggests that most change initiatives fail or fall far short of expectations because of cultural resistance, the result of what he so aptly characterizes as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom." Who wants to be part of a culture with command and control leadership, departments that resemble silos and bunkers, and a workplace in which incivility is ignored and incompetence is tolerated? Such a culture will definitely drive real results....all bad and increasingly worse
The material in the book is divided within three Parts. First, Gostick and Elton create a context, a frame of reference, for "The Seven Step Road Map," explaining why the belief factor is "the secret sauce that makes a culture contagious." They assert that 100% all-in employee engagement is not enough. That caught my eye. Hence the importance of the E + E + E formula: Employees must be engaged, enabled, and energized. Gostick and Elton then devote a separate chapter to each of the steps in Part II. I especially appreciate the "Step Summary" section at the conclusion of these chapters, 4-10. This brief but substantial material facilitates, indeed expedites frequent review of key points later. Then in Part III, they provide what could be characterized as an "All-in Toolbox," accompanied by a detailed "operations manual" that includes an explanation of 52 different ways to get people all-in and productive. Also carefully check out the Appendix in which Gostick and Elton examine the "Culture Works Process" by which to build and sustain a high-performance culture.
With rare exception, the most valuable business books are research-driven and concentrate on explaining what works, what doesn't, and why. This book succeeds brilliantly on both counts. I consider it "must reading" for C-level executives and for those who aspire to become one; but it is also, in my opinion, "must reading" for business school instructors and their students because the material that Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton provide is relevant to all organizations (whatever their size and nature may be) and to all of those who comprise the workforce in those organizations (whatever the level and area of operations may be). If that doesn't convince you to buy it, read it, re-read it, and then refer to it frequently, I have no idea what will.
I recently changed jobs. I've gone to work for a small company that is in the midst of that painful stage of going from a "mom & pop" type business into a full fledged up-and-coming stalwart in our industry. Anyone who has ever been a part of this type of transition knows it can be painful at times and these companies often struggle with building their identity. As I have been tasked with building corporate structure and putting infrastructure in place, a huge and burning question I've had to ask is what type of culture do we wish to perpetuate and how do we get our people on board? So when I ran across the book, ALL IN: HOW THE BEST MANAGERS CREATE A CULTURE OF BELIEF AND DRIVE BIG RESULTS, by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, this was a book that immediately shot to the top of my "must read" list.
Planning a corporate culture is the easy part. I've already put together our company mission and vision statements and am working diligently on our new Standard Operating Procedures manual. At the corporate level it is clearly understood that if we are to survive, we must evolve as a company. We must change the way things are done to bring about consistency and continuity. We also realize we have a team of great employees put together that can take us to the next level, however reality gets in the way and warns us that not everyone is going to adapt easily to the changes we are about to implement, so getting employee buy-in is a major concern. That's where this book comes in.
All In builds upon the principle that employees must be engaged, empowered and energized; the E+E+E principle. Sounds simple, right? What so many companies may not realize is how important each component truly is. I love this example the authors used to illustrate the point. A hamster running in a wheel is definitely engaged in what he is doing and as the wheel turns faster and faster, the hamster is also energized, but he is not empowered. He can't take a stroll through the woods because his wheel is confined to his cage, so even though he is working diligently, because he lacks empowerment, he will never get anywhere.
To illustrate the many points of this book, the authors cite detailed research analysis and explain in detail the metrics used to compile the data. Then they profile one of more real world corporate examples to explain and drive the point home. For example, under the heading of "energized" the authors profile an Avis / Budget rental car center in Dallas / Ft Worth and the Cathy family empire of Chick-fil-A and what these companies have done and continue to do to keep their many employees energized.
The book is divided into three parts. Part One, Culture Works: The One Thing That Differentiates Your Team and Drives Big Results, is an introduction to the methodology used and the introduction of the E+E+E principle. Part Two, The Seven-Step Road Map: How Every Manager Can Create a Culture That Works, is the heart and soul of the book. As the section title suggests, here the reader studies the seven-step program outlined for building a culture that produces results. Each of the seven steps is its own chapter and each chapter contains a step summary at the end for quick review. I'm not going to go into the seven steps. For that, you just need to read the book. Part Three, Culture Tools: Dealing With Challenges; Ideas to Maintain Success, delves into what to do when you arrive. Take a look at all of the once great corporate empires that quickly fell apart once the culture became corrupted. Think Enron.
The book concludes with an Appendix and a Notes section for each chapter. I am going to tell you that for me, the book did drag a bit at times, but what I learned from the book was invaluable and after reading this, I do feel Engaged, Empowered and Energized to carry out the task of taking our company to the next level. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to help create a new culture, or get employees more involved with an existing culture, this book is for you.
on October 31, 2012
Cliff's Notes: Great read, solid data, actionable material.
Just so you know, I have worked with/for Chester and Adrian before. So look at my review as a unique insight into their knowledge, expertise, professionalism and general genuinosity-ness.
This book is the latest in their successful line of talent-focused publishing efforts. Their books (The Integrity Advantage, The Carrot Principle)and the speeches and training based upon them have always had a reputation for drilling straight to basic principles that enable leadership and their organizations succeed.
All In is, obviously, a culmination of their efforts and learning so far. The writing is solid as ever; wit and wisdom combine for quick reading, but the research and case studies provide a bedrock foundation of learning that's not just enjoyable, it works...at work. Actionable.
Very basically, the book details how to define what's REALLY important to your Culture (organization, division, store, location, team) and then how to get ALL of your people "All In." As in; on board, in the boat, on the train, bought in...to accomplishing your goals, mission and values.
One of my favorite bits; The research for this book (3 years, 300,000 people) suggests that Engagement is no longer the "holy grail" of talent development. Though it's still incredibly important, Engagement must be accompanied by Enabled and Energized people, or you're missing huge opportunity. This of course makes for a handy mnemonic in the form of E+E+E, but the research bears it out; organizations with high levels of Engagement are trounced by those with high levels of all three "E's."
Highly suggested reading for any leader who wants to build better teams and winning cultures.
on April 4, 2012
I just finished reading All In and in all honesty, it was the best book I have ever read regarding deliberately creating a positive, productive corporate culture. The balance of research, examples and practical application was refreshing, compelling and inspiring.
A must read for anyone wanting to lead people "the right way".
on January 1, 2014
Most of the lessons and advice were obvious, i.e., why it's important to form partnerships, recognize employees, and create open lines of communication. The Accountability chapter was by far the most useful and one that is worth reading and re-reading. A lack of accountability, impacts credibility, stifles growth, creates insecurity, and lowers morale.
on April 17, 2012
Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick's All In is a must read for company and business leaders that are looking to promote their vision and inspire others to action. This book offers invaluable techniques and strategies for improving productivity and performance among employees, with the ultimate goal of creating a positive work culture for all. To this end, they present effective principles in a memorable way, such as the 3 E's: ways to engage, enable, and energize employees and the 7 Step Road Map: Define Your Burning Platform, Create a Customer Focus, Develop Agility, Share everything, Partner with your talent, Root for Each Other, and Establish Clear Accountability. Nobody does it better than the Orange guys!