Peter Mills latest book "Don't Fix Me Fix the Workplace" is an important guide for managers who need to deliver high performance in their workplaceand felt disappointed with the distracting plethora of books offering ways to improve culture by focussing on improving individuals.
Mills makes complex principles simple to understand as he explains fundamental conditions necessary to enable employees to get their work done. This book focuses on the design of the organization's structure and its systems of work as critical factors necessary to establish aproductive and trusting work environment. It artfully blends clearly articulated organizational principles with practical guides, tips and traps on how to start implementing improvements. It can be scaled up or down to suit the organization's current situation. For those who want to probe deeply in the 'how to' of implementation, Mills invites further exploration and support through access to a website.
What makes this book different to many others on offer is that it avoids the quick fixin managing people, and consequently the quick failure. Importantly it emphasises that we build sustainable businesses by understanding that people will naturally and consistently align themselves with trust-inducing and fair practices at work. It places much value on a holistic, integrated set of principles to underpin these practices.The work of managers is unequivocal in this process and carefully outlined throughout the book.
The manager who takes some time to read and reflect on the guidance in 'Don't Fix Me Fix the Workplace' will find themselves taken on a journey that clearly, gently and logically explains what to do to enable people to perform, and how to do it.
Sheila Deane, Advisor and past Board member, Global Organization Design Society
Mills' book, could be just one more 'How To' guide. But its straightforward, practical content and style are supported by profound theoretical underpinnings. It provides a veritable 'tick list' for managerial work.
Mills works to persuade the reader that organizing and managing employees in a truly productive way, requires a well-founded understanding of human work and what work, or the true nature of motivation, really means to people. His book sets out the building blocks for productive workplaces where employees' capability is released and the organization's business objectives are delivered. Importantly, he promises a framework that helps managers diagnose the organization and leadership problems they face every day, thus building managers' confidence in clear and consistent decision making.
The chapters are set out to be used as independent modules for discussion, with a summary of the principles at the end of each chapter and a link to a website for hands-on tools, checklists and exercises. This is smart and pragmatic, as it is likely to keep the reader connected over time with others interested in probing the field in more depth.
Mills' personal experience in working with practicing managers, together with his own experience as a manager, clearly point him to address the pain points experienced by managers. Managers new to the field, and experienced managers needing a whole system approach to making sense of their environment, will find this a useful ready reckoner and guide in their everyday work.
I recommend Leading People to all managers seriously interested in building sustainable workplaces where their employees are free to experience the joy of work.
Sheila Deane, Board member, Global Organization Design Society
The book contained a lot of easy to understand information with the principles all building in a logical sequence. Leadership is all about the people and this systematic approach, if followed, makes sure you do the must dos!
George Lagos, Senior General Manager, Canon Finance Australia Pty Ltd
The simplicity of this book reflects an understanding based on experience and in deep knowledge of the dynamics of organizations and the factors that affect its business performance, health and results. The framework that integrates "lead the organization," "lead people" and "lead oneself" is an excellent organizer of the inherent complexity of managerial work.
Mills uses 10 principles to unfold, one by one, the requirements and steps leading to successful execution. Each of them is supported by clearly described concepts with tips for implementation that facilitate action.
He emphasizes the importance of recognizing the individual's contribution within a team and the importance of working productively and collaboratively with other roles in the organization to ensure the quality of "delivery".
Azucena Gorbarán, Managing Director of AMG Consulting, Buenos Aires
There have been numerous leadership books written but none as practical as Mills' book. It's clearly structured and takes you on a step by step journey on the most important principles about leading people. The summary pages and quick tips are great and I have found it particularly good for helping managers by photocopying relevant sections and giving it to managers to read and use when dealing with particular people issues.
An easy read that I can see myself referring to over and over with the added bonus of a website to gain additional materials from.
Therese Harris, HR Business Partner Corporate and Enabling, Sydney Water
The clear language, excellent summaries of key concepts, and tips for getting started make this a must read.
Cynsie Kraines, Chief Operating Officer, Levinson and Co. (previously known as The Levinson Institute)
I have read the book and can see why it has been recommended by Global Organisational Design Society board members. I like the approach Mills has taken and see the gap he is trying to fill left by other leadership approaches.
Elke Rintel, HR Manager, Pearson Australia Group