If you go looking for this book on Amazon be sure you don't confuse it with the other There's No Place Like Work written by Brian Robertson which is how government, business, and our obsession with work have driven parents away from home.
It's not just the similar titles that caught my attention. It was the reader reviews. Both of these books got 5 STARS. To put that in perspective, Tom Peter's Classic In Search of Excellence has only 4 STARS.
The Amazon star system of course comes from citizen reviewers and in the case of business books, the reviewers are often close friends and associates. This of course makes it tough to trust citizen reviewers. For the record I would give this 1 1/2 STARS. Book reviews are not my genre. However, the publisher's pitch letter did intrigue.
...you will learn how to analyze and manager your company's culture and create a workplace that fits who you are and what you want your company to be.
It's not that there isn't good information in this book. It's not that the book didn't get me thinking. It's just that the delivery was painfully sophomoric. In what I can only guess is an attempt to make a business book palatable to women, the authors --both PhD’s -- decide to retell the Wizard of Oz as a modern day fairy tale metaphor of a business owner "DOT”, who goes on a journey to a meaningful workplace for her business --Three Click Express (can someone just gag me with a pair of red shoes).
"I know someone who might be able to help," Mr. Mayor suggested. His name is Mr. Insite, and he lives near Reflection City. He has successfully advised other companies with similar issues. He's practically a wizard!"
"If Mr.Insite knows how to get Three Click back on track, I'd sure like to meet him," Dot said.
"Well, he's somewhat of a recluse. He primarily conducts research, but sometimes he'll meet with visitors at his private lodge," Mr. Mayor explained. "He doesn't accept phone calls. My understanding is that you just have to go there, and if it's a good time for him, he will meet with you."
"That's odd," Dot remarked. "It is, Mr. Mayor agreed with a chuckle,” but that may be his intention. Sometimes we learn the most of ourselves when we try something that's no so comfortable, when we take a strange or different path, even one that may appear to be a mistake."
What was not so comfortable was sloshing through this dribble. I couldn't decide whether I was reading a book written for 4 year -olds or just reading a bad skit on Saturday Night Live.
Which is unfortunate because their seven insights to creating a workplace that feels like home are solid. One of my key takeaways was on the importance of not hiring people just because of their ability to do the job. The authors stress that the health of a business depends on having a workforce with shared values and that it is very important in the hiring process to make sure that candidates values are aligned with the business.
This book is divided into two parts --the first is The Wizard of BIZ story which drones on for 80 pages. Part II, from pages 83-134, are written for serious business people who are interested in understanding their concepts and putting them into practice. The back fifty has case studies, charts, and advice on how to implement a work culture that feels like home.
While I would not recommend paying full price for this book, you can get a used copy for $.93 on Amazon. This is cross-posted at Blogher.