How to create a great workplace

What scope does an ordinary employee have to make a difference within a workplace? Quite a bit, according to John Miller in his book Outstanding! 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional. Chapter 1 advises you to “Be Fast”, something that has become an increasingly critical competitive factor for businesses, and more good advice follows in subsequent chapters, including “Be Humble”, “Forgive Mistakes”, “Do What You Promise”, “Be Coachable”, and “Seek No Culprits”.

The longest chapter, and the one which reveals the author’s greatest expertise, is entitled simply “Train”. Outstanding organisations use formal training processes to help their employees grow. If people are to stay competent and confident in a continually changing world, they need continuous learning. The author uses the acrostic PROCESS to describe the seven key characteristics of effective training: Practical content, Repetition, Ownership by management, Consistent message, Easily customised, Support tools and Specific plan.

The short chapters and interesting anecdotes contained within each chapter made this an easy and enjoyable book to read. I normally prefer reading a book which deals in depth with a single topic, but I found it a refreshing change to read a book which deals succinctly with a large number of different topics. This is a helpful book for leaders, but also for all who want to see their organisations become more outstanding.

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