Helping people Win at Work: A Business Philosophy called ‘Don’t Mark My Paper, Help Me Get an A’, is the first book in a series by Ken Blanchard on ‘Leading at a higher level.’ Co-written by Garry Ridge, the CEO of WD-40 Co., it offers insight for managers preparing to implement a performance management system. In the first part of this book, Ridge outlines his leadership philosophy, ‘don’t mark my paper, help me get an A’, a performance review system he implemented at WD-40.
Ridge’s passionate approach grew from his reflection on a learning moment he describes in chapter one. Ridge then challenges readers to reflect on their own experiences, thus sharing his learning moment with a wider audience. Subsequent chapters include ‘Building the Right Culture’ and ‘Leadership Point of View’, both of which offer the reader further opportunity to reflect on his philosophy in practice.
In the second part, Blanchard adds background and depth to this philosophy, drawing on his years of experience in management research and consulting. Blanchard’s persuasive writing style, supported by references to previous publications, provides the reader with a further opportunity to reflect on the philosophy and its business implications.
Helping People Win at Work is a concisely packaged collection of many of the insights that Blanchard has described in his previous publications, but it would benefit from more detailed practical advice to guide the manager implementing this philosophy.
Overall, this book is congruent with Blanchard’s style of providing information, evidence and resources. However, it did not offer anything new for a HR professional already familiar with Blanchard’s work. Furthermore, it lacked the detail necessary for a novice manager or early career HR professional unfamiliar with the management strategies and practices discussed. For this reason, the Cairns PD Network found it difficult to identify a suitable target group for this book. That said, the compact book would appeal to a manager looking for an overview of this philosophy, and if it prompts an ‘ah-ha’ moment then it will be worth the read.
Helping People Win at Work is reviewed by the AHRI Cairns Professional Development Network. The network is a small-group facilitated discussion forum that meets bi-monthly. Now in its second year, this interactive forum provides an opportunity for personal and professional development as well as professional networking through drawing on key messages from a pre-selected book.
AHRI members receive 10% off books from the AHRI bookshop.