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May 2009

Exciting Developments

I am writing this blog a little later than I usually do and apologise for the delay. This is due to the additional demands made upon my time as a result of publishing my new books. However, it is with great delight that I announce:

  1. The publication of the 3rd Edition of "Lean Organisations Need FAT People: How to Grow Your Human Assets." With three additional chapters it is no longer just the provocative work of the previous editions, but now reinforces the original ideas with a depiction of what valuing people as human assets would look like in practice, and an even stronger case for the benefits this would create. 

  2. The publication of my new book, "A Feeling of Worth: A Manifesto for Mending Our Broken World." This book should have been my first book, as the ideas in "Lean Organisations Need FAT People" originally had their roots in these ideas, but I was afraid of being seen as a prophet of doom. However, the collapse of the financial markets and the onslaught of the credit crunch and the economic downturn proved the validity of my thinking and thus the justification for the solutions I was proposing.

So, if you are concerned about the economic situation and the state of the world, and would like to get a different perspective with some innovative ideas as to how things might be improved, you can be amongst the first to purchase a copy by simply going to "A Feeling of Worth" now. Alternatively if you were intrigued by the earlier editions but were unable to envisage how the concepts would work in practice, or even thought they were too idealististic, you might want to purchase this new edition of "Lean Organisations Need FAT People" now. You might even want to acquire both. I hope so, because I really would love to hear your thoughts. 

Who knows, together we might even make a difference and help change the world.

A Special (Limited Time) Offer

For the next 7 days my publisher is giving away a free ebook if you purchase my new book “A Feeling of Worth: A Manifesto for Mending Our Broken World.” This gives you an ideal opportunity to get the new, updated edition of “Lean Organisations Need FAT People” for free.  

You’ll find most of these books available in print format on Amazon too, but if you want to get my topical book now and take advantage of this offer, I urge you to follow these quick instructions.

1. Visit This will take you directly to my new book, “A Feeling of Worth”
2. Click on the “Add to Cart” button in the top right hand corner above the book image.
3. Follow the instructions to complete your order.
4. Send my publisher an email using this form
5. Include your Bookshaker order number to get your free updated copy of “Lean Organisations Need FAT People” or, if you prefer, any other book of your choice. (I don’t mind if you would rather order a print copy separately, directly from Amazon!)

I do hope you will take advantage of this opportunity and that you enjoy your reading.

How to SAve Jobs - Ask Your People

Have companies that have laid off employees missed a trick?

Top Consultant's latest newsletter quotes the findings of a survey of 2,500 people conducted by the independent Keep Britain Working campaign, which indicates that there is more altruism in the workplace than had been previously suspected. The report indicates that, if it would help colleagues keep their jobs:

  • 96% of workers would accept changes in working conditions
  • 38% would accept a pay cut - 29% without reducing hours
  • 53% would accept a reduction in hours
  • 60% would take on extra responsibilities
  • 48% would change their role entirely.

What I find surprising about this report, is the tone that suggests that these findings are unexpected. I would have expected most people to be prepared to make some sacrifices to help their colleagues. The caveat to this is, of course, the expectation of a management lead - their setting an example. Not surprisingly this was also borne out by the survey which showed less of an inclination to do so if there was no management sacrifice. Then 10% would be prepared to take direct action with 3% ready to consider strike action.

In its first month the Keep Britain Working website received more than 400 innovative and effective ideas to help employers cope with the downturn other than by simply cutting jobs.

Redundancy programmes:

  • Cost the organisation in severance pay (at least in Europe);
  • Mean dispensing with past investment made in people;
  • Undermine the organisation's ability to snap back when the economy improves;
  • Result in additional costs when people discarded do need to be replaced.

They also have a major impact on morale, and one of the main contributory reasons for that is the atmosphere of fear they create, through the secrecy with which they are conducted. This, however, may be a two-edge sword, for it means that there is an almost total disregard for the contribution that their workers could make.

400 effective solutions in a month gives a hint as to what opportunities businesses may be missing by laying off people, which, added to the long-term consequences of redundancy, makes the whole approach even more dubious. 

A Powerful New Message

"Stick to the knitting!" Tom Peters.   

If memory serves me correctly, this was one of the key messages of "In Search of Excellence." Anyway, whatever the source, it certainly has some relevance for me, for I have learned over the past few years that it is not easy for someone with a financial background like me to become an expert marketer.

Despite my absolute conviction that I have the solution to one of the major business issues of the age, I have not had much success getting people to beat a path to my door. Needless to say I recognised that this was because my marketing and communication was not all it should be, but my efforts to rectify this made little or no difference. I realised, however, just how bad things were when someone I have networked with for a number of years admitted recently, "I am still not clear what you do!"

Those words were a real jolt and prompted me to immediate action. As a result I have:
1. Rewritten my website.
2. Clarified my product/service offering.
3. Rewritten the free download available from my website so that it is more customer focused and less academic. 

Of course the proof of the pudding is in the eating, but I invite all my readers to revisit my website and - even if you have already downloaded it - to download a fresh copy of my starter guide. I am sure you will see that the message is much more powerful and hopefully it clearly shows what you have to gain by implementing my ideas. After all, it's not every day you hear a claim that you can improve bottom line results by at least 20% - a big claim, but one I am confident I can help you meet.

So, please checkout the offering and let me have your feedback. While it is still not my knitting, I would like confirmation I am getting better.

Even better, if you are looking for bottom line improvement on that scale, or if you know anyone else who is, please contact me to explore further how I can help. That would be even more convincing, and assure me that, in this instance, Peters was wrong!