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The Orange Revolution: How One Great Team Can Transform an Entire Organization Hardcover – September 21, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Why doesn’t every corporate leader actively listen to employees and to veteran consultants like Gostick and Elton (authors of the Carrot Principle books)? Though the answer to that question isn’t the subject of this book, adopting the how-to’s for realizing dreams could indeed provide the solution to staid, stagnant, and unrewarding work in America. As with most human resources type of business books, the authors present ideas in a many-stepped process, with principles to follow, often too many to remember. Yet if readers and executives just stick to their rule of three (wow, no surprises, and cheer), the rewards of an engaged workforce will probably ensue. Examples of great teams, believe it or not, proliferate here; in addition to the well-known cultures of a Zappos, for instance, there are also stories from Medical City Dallas Hospital, Pepsi Bottling Group, the Blue Angels, and Nash Finch, all about the power of teams to transform. And lest you think that the authors simply collected anecdotes, their philosophy is based on valid and overwhelming statistics, thanks to the Best Places to Work database (350,000 employees from 28 industries): 63 percent of workers surveyed found productivity to be positively affected when coworkers are friends outside of work (to cite just one finding). Take a letter to the C-suite: it’s all about work that matters. --Barbara Jacobs


“This book can change your business as it teaches you how you can create great teams to WOW your customers, employees and vendors.”

—Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos, and Author of Delivering Happiness

“Truly groundbreaking. Gostick and Elton take us to new heights in cultivating great teams. This book will bring you world-class results!”

—Marshall Goldsmith, Executive Coach and Author of MOJO and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

“From the first story to the last, The Orange Revolution captivated me. Chock full of solid research, inspiring stories and practical tips on how to turn your group into a breakthrough team. Their 100 ways to bring your team together is alone worth the price of the book.

—Jim Kouzes, coauthor, The Leadership Challenge and The Truth about Leadership.

"This book captures the true essence of leadership and how leaders develop teams that make a difference and truly work.”

—GJ Hart, President & CEO, Texas Roadhouse, Inc.

“The book is a blueprint for revolutionary team performance. It is a neo-classic.”

—Dave Ulrich, Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan and Partner, The RBL Group

“A rare and extraordinary business book, The Orange Revolution contains everything you need to cultivate a breakthrough team.”

—Matt Davis, CEO, Pets at Home (UK’s largest pet store chain)

"The Orange Revolution should be required reading for all people leaders wishing to unleash the power of their workforce and create an ongoing fountain of high performance.”
—David Kasiarz, Senior VP of Global Compensation and Benefits, American Express

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (September 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439182451
  • ASIN: 1439182450
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Those who have read any of Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton's previous collaborations, notably Managing with Carrots: Using Recognition to Attract and Retain the Best People (2001) and The Carrot Principle: How Great Managers Use Employee Recognition (2007), already know that they have exceptional reasoning and writing skills, their observations and recommendations are research/evidence-driven, and they are world-class pragmatists, determined to know what works in the business world, what doesn't, and why so that they can share what they have learned with as many people as possible.

In The Orange Revolution, they share the results of a 350, 000 person survey (involving participants from 28 different industries) to identify the characteristics of the most effective teams. By now, we know a great deal about great non-athletic teams such the Disney animators who created so many film classics (e.g. Snow White, Pinocchio, Bambi, and Dumbo), the Manhattan Project, Lockheed's "Skunk Works," and Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). In fact, some of the most important business books written in recent years have focused on teamwork and they include several written by these authors: Chip and Dan Heath (Switch), Jon Katzenbach (The Wisdom of Teams and Managing Outside the Lines), John Kotter (A Sense of Urgency and Buy-In), Patrick Lencioni (The Five Dysfunctions of a Team), and James O'Toole (Leading Change). All are worthy of careful consideration as primary sources for teams involved in change initiatives.

So, why another book on change? No other book of which I am aware, on the subject of breakthrough teams, is driven by research/evidence to the extent this one is.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jay Walker of Kelowna on April 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Orange Revolution: How One Great Team Can Transform an Entire Organization. I feel like I'm swimming against the five star tide here, but I am only assigning this four stars.

On the positive side, this is a well-researched book with its analysis from 350,000 people involved in "Best Company" surveys. The book examines the factors that engaged those folks and produced the highest employee rankings. They are the "Basic 4 + Recognition" as the book calls it:

1. Good goal setting (goals appropriate to team strengths; realistic; uplifting)
2. Good communication (problem identification; ideas shared freely; useful info passed on; took time to listen to team members)
3. Trust in what the company/department/team says
4. Accountability (everyone holds everyone else accountable)
+ Recognition (The most powerful of all of these factors; includes, especially, peer-to-peer recognition)

The authors provide deep research around these points, and companies that excel on all of these factors generally have highly engaged workforces.

The book further moves onto "The Rule of 3: Cultivating a Team", which are "Wow" (how can we be excellent), "No Surprises" (open, forthright, positive communication), and "Cheer" (root for each other). More helpful information.

They then move deeper into "Wow", with "Six Secret Ingredients to World Class Results"; deeper into "No Surprises" with eight topics, and "Cheer" with five tips and many stories.

If you are following the numbers here, that's a lot of material covered here - perhaps too much. On the other hand, focussing on the eight key ideas (Basics + Recognition & The Rule of 3) can probably advance your team or company a great deal.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nick McCormick on January 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Carrying forth the successful theme created in their best seller, "The Carrot Principle," the co-authors set out to identify the characteristics and rules that govern great teams. They gathered data from over 350,000 surveys and captured their findings in what they call the "Orange Revolution Model." As expected, there is a healthy dose of recognition mixed in, but there is also much more. You'll learn about the importance of purpose or common cause, the foundational characteristics of great teams encapsulated in "The Basic 4," and how to weave in "The Rule of 3." The authors also apply the same principles as a guide for living our lives.

It's a refreshing, easy, and entertaining read with a lot of good pointers and helpful examples. One important take-away is that the characteristics of great teams are not flashy. They are incredibly fundamental. Too many managers try to leap frog the fundamentals in search of breakthroughs when it's the fundamentals that are required if one has any hope of achieving the coveted breakthrough.

--Nick McCormick, Author, "Acting Up Brings Everyone Down" and "Lead Well and Prosper"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By muradsshah on March 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
To call a `management' book a page-turner seems contradictory but that is precisely what this book is: Each page makes you want to read more.

While there is no shortage on books on "management" in general and "teams" in particular, what makes this book different are the first hand examples, the organizations cited, the mindset change that occurs when high-performing real teams are formed, their characteristics, how they function, their strengths, and the optimistic and uplifting message in how one great team can transform an entire organization.

Since the findings and conclusions are supported by detailed statistical analysis of over 350,000 participants from 28 industries, it is very likely that the industry that your company belongs to is most likely represented in this book.

Here is a small sampling of quotes that await you:
- Every person in the company has a voice in deciding the overarching cause.
- They thought creatively to solve a problem.
- They functioned as a support for each other, keeping cool when things looked bad.
- Each member of the crew was extremely proficient at his job, and each trusted the others implicitly, and each was ready to sacrifice for the whole.

There are very specific steps for you as a leader (of any portion of your company) that you can use to form great teams - regardless of the size of the team.

Here are two of the attributes of companies where high performing teams can form:
- I feel I can trust what this organization tells me
- Leaders of this organization are open to input from employees

As with some books in this genre, there is information about free resources awaiting those that buy the book, tools you can use for your own company. These resources augment steps senior leadership in any organization can take to truly transform their own organization from the grounds up.
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