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Make Work Great: Super Charge Your Team, Reinvent the Culture, and Gain Influence One Person at a Time Hardcover – June 7, 2010
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About the Author
Edward G. Muzio is the author of the award-winning book Four Secrets to Liking Your Work: You May Not Need to Quit to Get the Job You Want (FT Press, 2008), and of numerous other articles and refereed papers regarding business effectiveness. An expert in workplace improvement and its relationship to individual enjoyment, Muzio has been featured on "Fox Business News," BNET, "The Michael Dresser Show," and other national media; he has been cited in many publications including The New York Post, SHRM Consultants Forum and Maxim magazine.
Mr. Muzio is President and CEO of Group Harmonics, a seasoned speaker and instructor, and a leader in the application of analytical models to the improvement of human performance. With clients ranging from single life coaches to Fortune 500 giants, he educates and advises workers and leaders at all levels. Prior to founding Group Harmonics, Mr. Muzio was President and Executive Director of a human services organization, and a trainer and developer of leaders at Intel Corporation and the Sematech technology consortium. His accomplishments include leadership of a worldwide technology infrastructure program, a nationally-recognized engineering development organization, and a local community outreach startup program.
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Unfortunately for you, this is not one of those great reviews. Just a quick 5 star rating to say that I learned a lot from it, but have not applied much of it. Maybe you're more disciplined than me and will have more success with the application part. Isn't that how it is with most knowledge? Great to know.. hard to apply.
Well, if you're complaining that the place you work is rotten, awful, and mind-numbing, Ed has a question for you: "Whose fault is that?"
Actually, he doesn't ask that question, but Part 1 of the book is titled "It starts with you." And the first chapter is "You ... as the seed."
Make Work Great: Super Charge Your Team, Reinvent the Culture, and Gain Influence One Person at a Time is the book that will show you how you can be the seed of change that transforms your working environment. Big promise, eh?
The book will deliver on the promise, but you have to do your part. One important part is that you must start at the beginning and go through the book from front to back.
Do the exercises. Yes, I mean it. They're easy to do and they will help you get value from the book. They're also cumulative. The exercises in chapter 2 build on the exercises in chapter 1, for example.
Here's what you'll find when you work your way through this book. It's designed as a Prologue, followed by three sections of three chapters each.
The Prologue bears the subtitle, "Choose to Choose" and sets the stage for the book. It makes that case that you and I are often driven by things besides considered choice. We also make some common mental errors that most other people also make.
That's why as Ed Muzio says on page 6: "You must start by making a conscious choice to drive the culture around you, rather than be driven by it." If you're not willing to make the choice, don't buy the book. You'll be wasting your money.
If you're willing to do what very few people choose to do, then prepare to do a little work. I suggest setting aside some time every day to read the book and work the exercises. I suggest a debriefing session each day.
Here's what the book has in store for you.
Part 1, "It starts with you," begins with chapter 1: "You ... as the Seed." It gives you a basic framework for understanding the working environment and your place in it.
Chapter 2 is: "Overtness about Task." Muzio tells you to be "overt," by which he means "transparent and obvious" about six aspects of work. They are purpose, impact, incentives, progress, resources, and capability.
The workplace is a web of relationships, except by now you won't be thinking of it as a web. Muzio's metaphor is a crystal. That's a powerful choice. Webs are two dimensional. Crystals are three dimensional.
Filling in what that means for you is what happens in Chapter 3: "Clarity within Relationships." Muzio wants you to seek clarity on three aspects of workplace interaction. They are purpose, approach (how to interact most effectively) and a clear definition of the minimum requirement for success.
This brings you to the end of the first part of the book. If you only get this far, you will have dramatically improved your ability to understand what's going on at work.
You won't have made any changes, though. That's what the second part of the book is about.
Part 2 begins the "doing." It's titled "Growing Your Crystal." There are three chapters: "Beginning Your Crystal;" "Organic Growth;" and, "When Growth is Difficult."
In Part 3, the advice shifts to "Leading Your Crystal." The chapters are "From Contributor to Advisor," "Mobilizing Groups," and "You ... as the Definer." Note that this does not assume that you will become or already are the boss.
That's a powerful message. It puts flesh on concepts like "you can lead from anywhere" and "leadership without position."
That's a strength for most readers. But it's a problem for those who are bosses.
Bosses start out in a different place. They are shapers of the culture and work environment whether they choose to be or not.
Muzio has included some specific advice for bosses. It's in the chapter on "Beginning Your Crystal." The advice is good, but there's not enough of it. If you're a boss, that means you will learn a lot, but you have to adapt a lot as you move through Parts 2 and 3.
I've talked to Ed Muzio about it. I'll be interviewing him for a special post on my Three Star Leadership blog about how to use Make Work Great if you're the boss.
If you're an individual contributor who's willing to do your part, Make Work Great will help you transform your own working environment.
If you simply want to understand how work cultures operate, it will help you do that, as well.
If you're a boss of any kind, you'll get value from Make Work Great, but you may have to do some extra work to adapt the recommendations to your specific situation.
I'm a big fan of Ed's work (writings, videos, and presentations), because he's one of the few thinkers out there who is trying help individuals build a bridge between great tools and productive relationships.
Also, because he's a great guy who happens to be a friend. Full disclosure: I acted as one of the 'peer reviewers' for "Make Work Great" last summer. I'm also the instructional designer for the companion one-day workshop.
Ed's 'Overtness' framework - which combines overtness of task (purpose, impact, incentive, progress, resources, and capability) with overtness of relationships (clarity, questions, approach, and agreement) - is a powerful tool. This framework helped me look at what I do and how I interact in a new light.
I've seen multiple groups (in my company and outside) react to this material with appreciation for the usefullness of the tools and appliations.
Ed's goal is to increase output - while reducing stress - in the workplace. This book points us in the right direction. I highly recommend you check it out.
The book itself is a quick read with high ROI - learn how you can become a culture builder from any role in any organization. I wish I'd had this book earlier in my career.
Roy White, Director of Operations
Semiconductor Capital Equipment Company
OD & Training Manager
MemPro Ceramics, Inc.