Earl Gray's Reviews > The Work Revolution: Freedom and Excellence for All

The Work Revolution by Julie Clow
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's review
Jul 28, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: coaching, organizational-development, artfully-living-life
Read in July, 2012

"Freedom and excellence for all." A bold subtitle, and Julie Clow delivers. Many authors can point out the brokenness of dysfunctional, or semi-functional, limping along organizations. What sets her apart is that she accurately spots what's broken and has actually lived/worked in a real organization - in addition to referring to others - that is passionate about continually being great at getting it right.

She has a very fresh voice in her writing, and she uses it engagingly.

She mixes assessment and response effectively. She gives suggestions for approaching the key points that are keeping an organization from being truly free and excellent, and does so in a step by step manner. For some, knowing how to spot the flaws is everything; for others, knowing how to effectively respond to the flaws is key. She does both, in a graceful, highly readable manner - and does it all with genuine hope and purpose.

She does an exceptional job of communicating the big necessities of a true Work Revolution:

- Impact, not activities
- Energy, not schedules
- Strengths, not job slots
- The right things, not everything
- Grassroots, not top-down

The revolution is empowered by those keys: impact, energy, strengths, the right thing, and grassroots. The failed/failing status quo is empowered by the opposite: activities, schedules, job slots, everything and top-down.

Read this book with a highlighter and a pen. You will want to come back again and go deeper, and you will want to share this with others who still have hope for doing great work.

There is a conclusion chapter, in which she talks about the biggest fears that organizations and individuals can have that will keep this from happening in them, and through them.

In the epilogue, she delineates each of the keys through the process she lived out in writing this book.

She even writes the most thorough and helpful appendix I've come across. Every key is laid out in note form, the key charts are reproduced, and the resources - books and articles that go with each chapter's keys - are all there.

There are things that I am putting into play immediately. There are other things that I have already put into play, and this book provided some affirmation to me that I had gone without for a very long time.

My final thoughts on this book, in three words: This. Will. Work. (And three more, for free: Viva la revolucion!)


When I first bought it: I picked this up on my wife's recommendation, after she heard the author being interviewed on the radio. I have flipped through it, and I'm looking forward to reading it and seeing how much I can put into play!

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Reading Progress

13.0% ""Each of us, as individuals, can do things now, in our current roles, in whatever workplace we happen to be in, to make changes that will result in our own personal happiness.""
61.0% ""As more people create information, our bodies don't start requiring any less sleep, and the days don't get any longer. So we have to rely on content curation, trust building, our own picking and choosing, and optimization of our own content consumption habits.""
07/21/2012 page 61
24.0% ""As more people create information, our bodies don't start requiring any less sleep, and the days don't get any longer. So we have to rely on content curation, trust building, our own picking and choosing, and optimization of our own content consumption habits.""
07/22/2012 page 93
37.0% ""The Work Revolution requires making a shift from static business models and rules to dynamic problem solving and guiding principles. The role of the leader becomes that of a support person, while individuals take action to find answers to the why question.""
07/25/2012 page 118
46.0% ""What we fail to acknowledge is the power of our brain to pick up on thousands of subtle clues - so subtle as to be beneath our consciousness. If we learn to pay attention to our energy level, we can fast-track the process of discovering the greatest sources of value in our work.""
07/25/2012 page 125
49.0% ""Energy Sucker 1: Bureaucracy. It requires vigilance and an organizational culture that abhors stupid rules and processes to keep bureaucracy at bay. Flushing out bureaucracy at regular intervals has the added effect of saving small little pockets of energy each and every day for every single employee, which translates to cumulative energy gains of enormous proportions." Amen to that, Julie."
07/26/2012 page 157
62.0% ""Starting a Work Revolution means finding every opportunity to do work that is perfectly suited to our strengths. When this happens, time flies; we actually *gain* energy from working. If we could create a world in which everyone was doing their life's work, there would be energy explosions every day, on every corner of the planet.""
07/27/2012 page 190
75.0% ""Embrace Mistakes and Failure - Rather than trying to avoid failure by picking only the best ideas, embrace failure as part of the process. As the artist and architect Jim Blake says, :If you aren't getting rejected at least once a day, you aren't trying hard enough." As a corollary, mistakes and sloppiness are, by definition, part of the process.""

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