Sunday, September 14, 2008

Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow

Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow

Review from

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Despite using the word mojo in the subtitle and citing inspiration he received from 1960s counterculture icon Timothy Leary, this guide to better management isn't for hippies. Yes, Conley started the California boutique hotel chain Joie de Vivre Hospitality with the Phoenix Hotel, once a haven for faded rock stars. And yes, he quotes liberally from rebel CEOs who surf. But Conley's book is packed with thoughtful, instructional stories and advice for entrepreneurs as well as Fortune 500 managers, gleaned from his own experience as well as other business books. At the center of this confessional how-to is psychologist Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a pyramid that ranks human needs from base to self-actualizing. Used as the basis for employee, customer and stakeholder satisfaction, Conley contends, it can transform a business and its people. Though Stephen Covey and Peter Drucker have looked to Maslow before, Conley describes how using the pyramid saved his company from bankruptcy when the dot-com bubble burst. Conley is most successful when he expresses his ideas in numbered lists rather than the wordy passages that slow down the beginning. On the whole, though, his advice is inspiring and accessible. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

When Hotelier Conley was profiled by USA Today as one of its People to watch in 2001, he seemingly could do no wrong. His company, Joie de Vivre Hospitality, which operates a chain of boutique hotels in the San Francisco Bay area, was riding high on the dot-com boom. But then the bubble burst, followed by 9/11 and an industry-wide crisis that hit his upscale business hard. As his world crumbled around him, Conley turned to the writings of psychologist Abraham Moslow for inspiration. In contrast to the darker premises behind Freud's psychoanalysis and B. F. Skinner's behaviorism, Maslow took a more positive approach, seeking to study the best and brightest that human nature has to offer, encouraging an environment of self-actualization that encourages peak experiences. Conley understood that personal transformation and corporate transformation are not all that different, and this story shows not only how Maslow's ideas brought about a resurrection in Conley's business but also how similar mind-sets continue to create growth and a positive work environment at companies such as Google, Netflix, Harley-Davidson, and Apple. Siegfried, David

Reference from other review from Amazon:

4.0 out of 5 stars Add Human Sigma to Your Diagnostic Toolkit, February 24, 2008
By Mark C. Howell (Southern California) - See all my reviews
Human Sigma: Managing the Employee-Customer Encounter is a great addition to the growing collection of books about improving employee or customer engagement. While much of the writing on this topic is based on the edgy experiences or best practices of an innovative company, this is a book based on extensive survey work. These findings provide some of the missing foundational understandings that will help you explain why this is the path to take.

While it is packed with "ah ha" insights, it is best read carefully and with full attention. This is not a quick read. While some of the concepts leap off the page and find easy application, others will take a little bit more digging to really understand. Because each chapter builds on the foundation, there's no skimming.

With that, I found it a great companion to last year's Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow. The two taken together will provide the science and the practical application needed to build an organization that encourages employees to engage and customers to become passionate advocates.


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