Book Review: The Work Revolution

I just finished reading Julie Clow’s new book ‘The Work Revolution.’ Like the title implies, it has a range of ideas that can revolutionize the way an organization treats its employees and how employees look at work.

What it’s All About

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

Here is the Work Revolution Manifesto from the author (click to enlarge):

work revolution manifesto

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. Those are handy references to have when you are inspired to make a change to how you work.

At the core, I really like what the book is all about. Rather than trying to fit a round peg (you) into a square hole (a job), Julie advocates adapting yourself and working with your organization to make the peg and hole the same shape. It is about ending wasted time, creating better results, and finding a value proposition that is a win-win for you and your company.

Things I Didn’t Like So Much

I felt like I was on a rollercoaster while reading this book. Some parts left me a little uninspired, while other sections left me with a drive to change the world. I think it would have been a little more useful if the book had been broken up into sections with tips for employees and tips for managers.

That said, I liked the overall message, so this didn’t bother me too much.

Win a Free Copy!

The publishers of The Work Revolution were awesome enough to give me a free copy of the book to give away to one lucky reader. Is that reader going to be you? Follow the steps below to enter to win:

  1. Comment in this post telling me the best change you have ever made in your work that has made your life less stressful and/or more productive.
  2. Subscribe to the email list and post below to let me know you did with a unique comment (I will check to make sure you actually subscribed if you win).
  3. Like Narrow Bridge Finance on Facebook and comment below letting me know you did with a unique comment (I will check to make sure you actually subscribed if you win).

If you don’t win, you can buy a copy from any online or local bookstore. I am a big fan of supporting local, independent bookstores. Find yours here.

Contest rules: I can only ship to US addresses (sorry Canadian friends and readers around the world). You must be 18 or older to win. Entries must be submitted by May 25th.

1 thought on “Book Review: The Work Revolution”

  1. Changing where I work is very much in progress, but I’m working towards a Results-Only Work Environment. We no longer have to log our time for project hours, but there’s tons of maintenance work, so I’ve been working on a “maintenance request life cycle” that identifies the billable value of a project at the management level, and clearly communicates the desired result and deadline to the production team. This removes the need to bill hours, assuming you take on the belief that the employer/employee relationship can be built on mutual trust.

    For now, we still pretty much work 8-5 with an hour lunch break, but with the right communication and measurement tools in place to base what we do on results instead of time, I think we can move towards a much better work environment for the whole team.

    On the bright side, I am wearing shorts and sneakers!

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