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Freedom, Inc.: Free Your Employees and Let Them Lead Your Business to Higher Productivity, Profits, and Growth Hardcover – October 13, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307409384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307409386
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #898,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The key to a successful business is affording your employees more breathing room, claim journalist Carney and management professor Getz. Using examples of worker-centric companies countrywide, they make the case that the more freedom employees are given, the more rewards the company will reap. Starting with the history of workplaces—Thomas Jefferson's theories figure prominently—and a plethora of stories of such successful companies as FAVI, USAA, Vertex and Harley, the authors concentrate heavily on the importance of running a why company—making sure employees know why they're doing what they're doing—rather than a how company, in which employers instruct their employees on how to do their jobs. Much space is given to the art of listening to employees, building an environment that allows them to grow and self-direct, breaking away from hierarchical and bureaucratic corporate structure, treating workers as equals and motivating them to self-motivation. Worthy prescriptions all, but without the backing of wide-reaching data or larger vision, repetition replaces argument—and the whole suffers. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Brian Carney and Isaac Getz have used their powerful concept of freedom to serve as a crucial foundation for their imaginatively framed ideas in the broader area of commerce. A most interesting and original work."
––James MacGregor Burns, author of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom, 1940—1945

"Human energy and creativity are key to any successful enterprise–yet most organization theories unwittingly suppress the power of employees. With dozens of vivid stories, Freedom, Inc. shows how successful firms tap into the human spirit, building a culture of accomplishment and human fulfillment. A must-read for every manager and entrepreneur."
––Philip K. Howard, author of Life Without Lawyers and The Death of Common Sense

"I've never thought that any of the things I've done were radical. They just seemed natural. . . . My total focus is on our work. . . . What can I do to keep making the work better and better and better and better."
––Stan Richards, founder and head of The Richards Group

"If the [work] environment is right, then we do the product right and we make a ton of money and have a blast. . . . In this culture there is zero tension and there is absolute trust."
––Bob Davids, founder of Sea Smoke Cellars

"I had to make the jobs more meaningful. . . . If you enrich the jobs you enrich the people."
––Robert McDermott, former CEO of USAA

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Yudi on November 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm just writing to tell you how much i enjoyed this book. The
blend of psychology, business smarts, and good old fashion common
sense not only makes for a wonderful read but also opens up a whole
new dimension to psychology and the study of human behavior, far
beyond the traditional "couch therapy".

The argument that people are intrinsically driven by their need to be
productive, creative, self expressing and free, as opposed to just
being motivated by money, profit, and the pleasures they afford, is
amazingly powerful, both in its broad practical application as well as
in its philosophical and spiritual insight.

As someone looking to begin studying psychology its an idea i hope to
follow closely.

Looking forward to reading much more
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael Yaeger on October 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just finished Freedom, Inc. and it was great -- both entertaining and substantive. It was especially fun to find a popular business book full of memorable vignettes (i.e., case studies) and the occasional social science finding that also addresses, without strain or pretension, Max Weber on bureaucracy and Thomas Aquinas on subsidiarity. (The latter being especially surprising.) It's hard to picture other recent business books tackling similar subjects .... "Herr Weber Stole My Cheese"? "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Thomists"? It's a welcome change.
Among other things the book argues that, however valuable salary and bonuses may be in recruiting employees, a business will not retain its best employees or inspire their best efforts with money alone. Money matters, but it is no substitute for workers who understand and agree with a company's mission, regardless of whether that mission is producing the best motorcycle or resolving a customer's insurance claim as quickly as possible. The job of a leader, say Carney and Getz, is to communicate that mission (again and again), and to create an environment that gives employees the freedom to achieve the mission as efficiently as possible. That environment is never reduced to a formula, but is summarized as one that respects the individual's needs for dignity (or "intrinsic equality"), professional growth, and relative autonomy. The point isn't to let the inmates run the asylum, but to convert the asylum to a cooperative effort among individuals who respect one another.
All in all, Freedom, Inc. is a serious yet straightforward discussion of practical leadership in the private sector. Its description of "ordered liberty" in the workplace is appealing and convincing.
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Format: Hardcover
What we have in this volume is a brilliant analysis by Brian Carney and Isaac Getz of how specific business leaders recognized and then responded to an ever-increasing "demand for freedom" among workers who felt "stifled, constrained, hemmed in, and tied down by bureaucracy and rules that have nothing to do with allowing them to do the best they can in their jobs. These constraints leave people feeling out of control of their work lives, which, in turn, leads to stress, fatigue, and disengagement from work." Re this last point, recent Gallup research indicates that only 29% of the U.S. workforce is positively engaged (i.e. loyal, enthusiastic, and productive) whereas 55% are passively disengaged. That is, they are going through the motions, doing only what they must, "mailing it in," coasting, etc. What about the other 16%? They are "actively disengaged" in that they are doing whatever they can to undermine their employer's efforts to succeed. Is it any wonder that, in the United States, 80% of the people surveyed believe that incivility is a problem? Moreover, 96% have experienced it at work, 80% believe they get no respect there, and 75% are dissatisfied with the way uncivil behavior is handled. As for the total cost of incivility in the workplace, the conservative estimate is at least $300-billion a year incurred by U.S. corporations but it could be twice that if it were possible to determine the value of customer dissatisfaction, attrition of valued workers, and toxic business development.

Especially during a period such as now when the global economy is so turbulent and disruptive, business executives must be even more effective as leaders and managers.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Waldorf Heinrichs on March 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic read for anyone who feels that their abilities are not being maximized. There are ramifications that go beyond private companies, profits, and bottom lines. If you work in ANY job where you feel your creative talents are not effectively utilized, you should read this book. Company culture has been shown in numerous studies to have a direct impact on individual performance. The book examines several case studies where companies "freed" their employees by creating an environment of trust and support, and the results were synergy, the growth and productive harvesting of individual talents, and organizational success. You will think differently about the organization that you work for
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