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The Work Revolution: Freedom and Excellence for All Hardcover – April 10, 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

We live in a new age of global companies, hyper-access to information, and accessibility to tools that enable us to bring any idea to life. Strangely, our workplaces are lagging behind the promise of this open and collaborative world. Most organizations are rule-based, top-down, dreary environments optimized for conformity and little else. The Work Revolution creates a compelling portrait of a different kind of work.

Julie Clow articulates the rules we follow today in our workforce, the reasons they no longer work, and what we can do instead. The Work Revolution deconstructs the magic behind thriving, liberated organizations (such as Google) into clear principles that any individual, leader, and organization can adopt to create sustainable and engaging lives. This book covers:

  • How to completely rethink the way we work, everywhere

  • How to religiously seek ways to makechange easy

  • Concrete tactics for influencing existing organizations to change

  • Tangible changes leaders can make in their teams to enable greater autonomy and impact

  • Organizational culture principles that support and nurture high performance and healthy environments, providing clear options for instituting cultural change based on specific organizational challenges

Rejecting productivity Band-Aids and quick fixes, The Work Revolution conceptualizes a completely new workplace that embraces the always-connected reality to create organizations in which high achievers can sustainably thrive.

From the Back Cover


"Dr. Clow makes a good case for why we must revolutionize work. Some will resist it (and she shows why) but those who embrace it (and she shows how) will be the ones who win in a world where things are turning upside down. Her book provides an inside look at Google's culture as an example of a positively designed workplace that has created phenomenal business success. She draws on her work there to show that companies managed by old-school work systems cannot compete with those that understand the power of a grassroots culture where empowerment is bottom-up rather than top-down. I am convinced that she accurately describes the future state of the successful organization."—Aubrey Daniels, PhD, bestselling author of OOPS!: 13 Management Practices That Waste Time and Money (and what to do instead)

"Don't fight for work-life balance; fight for a work revolution! Julie Clow's new book, The Work Revolution, lays out the new rules for success. Packed with self-assessments, case studies, and expert contributions, this book shows all of us the new way to work—and live—for greater productivity and less stress. I've never had so much fun reading a book about work." —kevin kruse, coauthor of the New York Times bestseller We: How to Increase Performanceand Profits Through Full Engagement

"Looking to massively change your workplace? Julie Clow wants to change all organizations and shows how the power to do so is in your hands. Do your part by following the practical strategies and examples in this book. Your current and future employees will be deeply engaged, results-driven, and happy—and so will you!" —TONY BINGHAM, President and CEO, American Society for Training & Development

"We can do it! Julie tackles today's biggest challenge—remaking our organizations for the knowledge economy—with pragmatic optimism. Filled with ideas and examples, The Work Revolution is a book that will inspire individuals and guide corporations on the critical journey ahead." —TAMARA J. ERICKSON, author of What's Next, Gen X?: Keeping Up, Moving Ahead,and Getting the Career You Want


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118172051
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118172056
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have to admit I'm obsessed with this book. It's one of those I will keep on my bookshelf for future reference and to re-read for years and years. It's not just a book you read and forget about, it makes you perform self-assessments, complete case studies and challenges the normalcy of the work force. Of all the books I've read this year, this one is by far my favorite. I kept gushing about it to my friends, to the point they want to buy it now too! Each chapter was full of many enlightening moments and I even experienced several epiphanies of my own.

I felt that every chapter was just teaser for greater topics and books to come (I hope Julie publishes more). I was sad the book ended because I felt it only scratched the surface and I didn't want to stop learning.

My favorite ideas I've formed from reading this book:
- It's not about finding the perfect job, it's about creating the perfect fit in the job you already have
- Creativity should be embraced in the workplace, not crushed
- Some people work in creative ways, don't judge them for "not working" the same way you do
- Results are more important and far more valuable than hours logged
- Don't feel guilty to quit something you dislike, to give to someone who loves it
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not every company can be like Google, nor should they try to be. But what they CAN do is create a thriving, creative, insanely productive environment that honors their employees' gifts rather than treating them like children. Clow takes an incredibly sharp, funny, well-reseearched approach to revolutionizing the office environment.

Clow is not afraid to tell it like it is: "Leadership classes are chockfull of information so fluffy it might as well be coming from horoscopes." Rather than settle for mediocrity, even in a large organization that may be resistant to change, Clow suggests instead that, "Even if you can't knock down the inflexible pillars of organizational bureaucracy, you can stake tiny little tents of initiative and plant grassroots ideas throughout the organization."

With a background in organizational development, a Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis, and extensive experience in Learning & Development at Google, Clow articulates the following compelling new rules for the work place:

1. Impact, Not Activities
2. Energy, Not Schedules
3. Strengths, Not Job Slots
4. The Right Things, Not Everything
5. Grassroots, Not Top Down

This book is a must-read for people at all levels of all organizations, and it's language will surely provide a new way for us to talk about what really matters -- whether you run a company of 1, 100 or 100,000.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a bugle call and answers the big questions right on the heels of Greg Smith's GS walkout- Culture in the workplace matters and what's at the root of culture isn't just perks, it's a real generosity of spirit that Julie is demanding of all of us. That demand in my opinion is profoundly American in its hope and ideals. Julie writes in a completely accessible way cloaking some profound truths. i keep stopping to reflect mid sentence. the pages are earmarked like crazy! and she offers the reader an enticing bibliography worth of related resources. i'm walking away with a new reading list as well!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had the unique experience of having read Ms. Clow's book and then watching her present her principles, anecdotes and -- more importantly -- her wisdom to a capacity-filled room of learning, training and development professionals. Don't take my word for it, but rather take-in the actions of those participating in what could have been an unenviable 12:30 pm time slot. Time slot be damned...the audience was rapt with attention; taking notes; vigorously participating in the small-group discussions and exercises; and creating the buzz of mini-revolutions.

I had the opportunity to talk with several participants and ask them what they took away from the book and presentation. Out of the legions of books, presentations, methods, and perspectives, I honestly wanted to know. I certainly had my opinion. When I read the book, I thought to myself, "Finally! Something that's sensible."

Well, I wasn't alone in my thoughts. To a person, "practical," "approachable," and "simple elegance" (dare I say "revolutionary"?) were the modifiers. But why?

It's simple -- Julie has a knack for turning kernels of organizational theory into edible bites of delicious utility. And, indeed people were hungry for more.

What's evident in her book and her presentations is that she has a passion for learning. What's refreshing is that her ideas are imminently doable. This isn't an arm-chair advice manual or some ethereal research project summarized between the bindings; but, a guide for thinking -- and acting -- differently, which is steeped in experience, knowledge, and a love for getting things done.
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Format: Hardcover
As the title implies, the book is about revolutionizing the way employees interact with their organization to be happier and more productive. The author makes sure to emphasize that this is not a win-lose situation. Both the employee and organization can gain from a better view on human resources.

The book is broken into 9 chapters, and five of those focus on changing one aspect of work. Some of those chapters resonated with me more than others. I really like that each one can be implemented independently and they are not locked together. Reading through the chapter on "energy, not schedules" I felt like certain aspects could be implemented in my work life, while reading about "strengths, not job slots" I didn't think my organization would be as accepting.

Here are the major ideas that you read about:

Impact, Not Activities
Energy, Not Schedules
Strengths, Not Job Slots
The Right Things, Not Everything
Grassroots, Not Top-Down

Things I Really Liked

While the start was a little slow for my taste, once I jumped into the chapters on what is broken and how to fix it, I found concrete advice on things I can do to change how I work and change my organization.

I like that the book breaks down five areas where you can change your work or your organization. Some of the tips are only good for managers, others are good for the average worker. As an individual contributor at my company, I took some of the chapters to heart and was able to skim through others.

I also appreciated that the book is laid out like a reference book once you get through the first few chapters. You can easily flip through and find charts and tips that apply to your situation.
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