The Rebel Playbook for World Class Employee Engagement

Following reading & commenting on @WildFigSolns    review of this book, @glennelliott    kindly offered to send me a pre-launch copy of his and @debracoreyRebel    new book to read and review.
I wanted to offer a more detailed review of this book after just completing it as I feel, honestly, it is so on point, but at the same time I did not want to give away all of its interest in advance so here goes:
  • This book is to the point, direct and uses helpful language which makes this book deeply engaging in itself and a ‘must read’ for anything interested in future ways of designing engagement/experience strategies


  • I do not feel, however, that readers should limit themselves to being in HR. The messages and solutions are applicable for all so anybody in any walk of life can learn a lot and challenge their own thinking/workplace to improve


  • As the world becomes more transparent, genuine and authentic, the importance of values and fairness to everything an organisation does, should be high on the leadership agenda and this is a theme that shouts off the page throughout


  • A huge takeaway for me personally was the consistent messages and rally cry for more freedom at work which resonates closely with the democratic principles of Accountability, Choice, Integrity, Purpose & Vision, Decentralisation, Transparency and Individual & Collective, which came up consistently in the book


  • I see their ‘engagement bridge’ approach as a modern, supercharged Maslows hierarchy of needs with purpose, with emphasis in each level of the engagement bridge being in the right place I feel


  • Much of the theory, ideas and future ways of working discussed is current and on point, ably supported by the diverse nature of the plays from a range of companies of varying sizes and sector, really bringing that theory and future ways of working to life superbly and in a comprehensive, easy to follow way


  • I can see elements and reinforcement of many of my favourite business and humanistic thinkers such as Dan Pink, Simon Sinek, Patrick Lencioni (Org Health & 5 Dysfunctions of a team) & Carol Dwecks (Growth) Mindset throughout the book, making this a really diverse and impactful read


  • A common theme that I particularly enjoyed, was the regular reference to allowing people to bring “their whole self to work” – this is so important and something I bark on about a lot, yet it is so easily and regularly overlooked


  • I love the Iceberg of Ignorance and can see its links to David Marquets intent based leadership


  • Looking to accelerate employee growth as this will directly impact org growth is a key theme and one I fully subscribe too – performance through and not in spite of people


  • 3/4 of employees are not as effective as they ‘could be’ – this is a criminal statisitic and shows how much of an overhang we have from the more fear-based, command and control org design


  • Build in innovation and thinking time into job design ‘as standard’ – this is critical for flexible and agile working going forward


  • Make sure jobs are designed around mission and purpose – seeing the recent news of BlackRocks CEO calling for a shift in the investor community to more social purpose is a huge thing and could be a trigger a more widespread push towards B Corps and more focussed efforts towards achieving the global goals
  • I personally took away an awful lot around both the forward view & plays around job design, learning, recognition and pay&reward, with actionable ideas that I will promote to be experimented, especially in those areas that I have had less personal exposure to date
Of particular interest to me in terms of plays were the following (this is a very small selection of the diverse plays contained within the book)
  • MVF play is interesting around sales academy idea (could work for both sales & IPMs as first focus, followed by replicating transferable bits to wider business)
  • based on unpicking “what makes our salespeople great”?
  • 6-step process became foundation of the 3 month sales academy (60% academy / 40% practical application)
  • I LOVE the Venables play around life sized glass boot plus $1000 to spend on others, not themselves at 5 yrs service
  • 7/7 intervention where no non urgent comms occur between 7pm and 7am
  • ‘How to work with me guide’ – like the baseball card of fors and watch out fors, these focus on
  • Basecamp. Transparency in pay and benefits is been as an untapped competitive advantage
In summary, I found this book interesting, positive and challenging of the current world of work (in a good way), but through the use of evidenced plays, solutions and opportunity is offered, something that is rarely so easily accessible, if one is open minded to the possibilities.
This book acts as book number 1 of my #6in6club contribution for H1 2018.
Exponential change will continue, thus the insights offered within this book are very helpful to help keep your organisational culture and team close together as the ride speeds up.


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