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The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  2,385 ratings  ·  187 reviews
A New York Times Bestseller

Introducing the new, realistic loyalty pact between employer and employee.

The employer-employee relationship is broken, and managers face a seemingly impossible dilemma: the old model of guaranteed long-term employment no longer works in a business environment defined by continuous change, but neither does a system in which every employee acts li
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published July 8th 2014 by Harvard Business Review Press
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Kristin Actually, the first page of the book explicitly says companies aren't families. According to the authors, to say so is to be dishonest about the true …moreActually, the first page of the book explicitly says companies aren't families. According to the authors, to say so is to be dishonest about the true nature of the employer/employee relationship and it's why so many of those relationships end in hard feelings.(less)

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 ·  2,385 ratings  ·  187 reviews

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Brad Feld
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh have written an outstanding and important book called The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age. I encourage you to get a copy right now and read it this weekend. If you are a CEO of a company Foundry Group has invested in, there’s no need to buy it – I just ordered 100 of them and they will be in your hands soon.

Reid and Ben previously wrote a book called The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career. I
Risto Kärkkäinen
Jul 20, 2014 rated it liked it
It's mainly content marketing of Linkedin wrapped in a book form. However, there is quite relevant information on human resource management. It helps understand how big corporations should manage entrepreneurial employees. This could have been great HBR article ...more
Joseph Idziorek
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: product, career
Chapter 1: Employment in the Networked Age
• The fundamental disconnect of modern employment: the employer-employee relationship is based on a dishonest conversation
• The goal of The Alliance is to provide a framework for moving from a transactional to a relation approach. Think of employment as an alliance: a mutually beneficial deal, with explicit terms, between independent players.
• Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix: "We're a team, not a family" "Which of my people, if they me they were leaving
Rick Wilson
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Yes! It’s always satisfying to read a book from somebody who gets it. This book isn’t full of fluff or self aggrandizing stories to fill pages. I’m definitely overly deferential to the ideas presented because of who Reid is and what he has accomplished. But I figure if you’re going to cut corners on intellectual rigor somewhere I’m OK with it being on the Halo-Effect. I think it’s more likely than not he knows what he’s talking about.

Anyways this book basically describes how white-collar work i
May 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Uneven, stilted writing style. At times it sounds as if it was transcribed from a conversation verbatim. I don't trust companies to have the gumption to even approach this framework until a saturation point is hit and there is no choice but to find a mechanism to promote employee retention. Given the results-oriented nature of management and companies, having the foresight and courage to actively do career development and care about employee values seems bizarre and naive...and that is a good th ...more
Jose Papo
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Required reading for all "Human Resources"/Talent Acquisition professionals and for companies who really wants to have a 21st Century workplace. The book is very practical and I believe should be required on any HR training. ...more
Mike Lewis
Jul 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Really liked this book especially given that i'm doing a lot of hiring and managing of people. A good framework for how to set career and employee goals. ...more
Tõnu Vahtra
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was afraid that this book is too short to convey a deep message and it managed to say even less than I expected, also the focus on is a bit too much on LinkedIn (feels like content marketing article). The alliance approach only works with specific type of employees (entrepreneur-minded) and is not suited for mainstream organization (i.e. employee network intelligence, corporate alumni networks). Several concepts were inspired by the employee development philosophy of Jack Welch (General Electr ...more
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think the concept of “tours of duty” is really interesting and provides mutual benefits for employee and employer.
Phillip Klien
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great read on relationships with key employees!
Shaima D.
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
A realistic outlook into today's employer-employee relationship, emphasizing the end of life-time employment and introducing "life-time alliance" instead, creating a win-win solution for both parties. ...more
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In The Alliance, Hoffman et al make a convincing case for updating hiring best practices to reflect the ever-changing reality of the modern world. Hoffman explains that the current generation of workers no longer expects to spend their careers tied to a single employer or industry. Instead of pensions the current generation is focused on personal development. The Alliance suggests that employers and employees enter into mutually agreed upon "tours of duty" designed to accomplish very specific go ...more
Wayne McCoy
Apr 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
'The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age' by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh is a fresh look at what it looks like to be employed in the 21st century, where there is no guaranteed employment and employees want to act like free agents. What is a company to do?

The book creates a framework for employment in this age by looking at how some companies are doing this, primarily, LinkedIn. Discussed are tours of duty, where an employee and company decide on frameworks that hopefully
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
I heard Ben Casnocha give a keynote speech at a conference and was intrigued by his idea on creating employment alliances. Basically, it seems like he is calling for greater transparency and authenticity of relationships in the working world.

I enjoyed the book and think the concept has merit. My criticism is that I don't think it can apply well outside the business world and white collar jobs (which It might not be meant to.) I also think the book itself was trying to stretch a pretty straightf
Christina Jain
Oct 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
This book reads like a TedTalk painfully stretched out into 155-pages of spacious lettering. It could've been half as long and just as effective. In addition, the authors weave in spotless success stories which lack emotional strength, of folks who've moved up and around the ladder at Linkedin. The thought process of someone working through struggle or a tough decision would have been far more interesting and potentially more powerful as a teaching tool.

That aside, the book is a great intro to
Jared Peterson
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: leadership
Overall, this is a really good read. As a manager I feel like this book has given me really great tools for conversations with people on my team. It has also given me a vision for what I'd like for conversations with my leadership to look like.

All too often companies are stuck in old "lifetime employment" ways of thinking. They don't realize that the world has changed dramatically. If they did, and they adopt ideas like the ones presented here then they should be more able to attract and retain
Todd Webb
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
These days the idea of "lifelong employment" seems quaint and antiquated. Employment relationships simply don't work that way anymore. "The Alliance" starts from this point of view and provides a clear, focused, and practical strategy to build mutually beneficial employee employer relationships. The strategy has three parts: a "Tour of Duty" approach to career planning, a focus on leveraging the mutual benefit of "Network Intelligence", and evolving from a "lifelong employment" view to "lifelong ...more
Ryan Riggin
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I saw Hoffman on Charlie Rose the other night talking about this book and decided to read it. This book is a really great perspective on the paradigm shift that is happening with employee/company relationships. Hoffman describes these new relationships as 'Alliances,' and discusses how LinkedIn thinks of 'Jobs' as 'Tours of Duty' where employees spend shorter periods of time working in roles to hone one skill set or another that helps them develop along their desired career path. I would highly ...more
Wil Reynolds
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book, will change the prism by which you look at employer-employee relations. As a business owner and manager I find that getting in groups and talking about how people "don't stay long these days" does nothing to change that reality. This book, helps you to embrace that reality and actually gives you wants to prep for it, and ultimately empower employees. It also gives tons of examples of how to put that new reality to work for you, get on it, whether you are an employee, a manager, or an ...more
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, adult
I read this book for a management course and found it to be very insightful. This is a good read for managers who are dealing with turnover as well as trying to cultivate talent. We are no longer working in fields that offer lifelong employment opportunities- and that's alright. Whether you are being managed or managing someone else- make sure you make the most of your time together, ask or take the training offered to get you that next job, create a network of individuates you can count on, kee ...more
Garret Macko
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, business
This book is very snacky—it was clearly designed that way. Oftentimes books like this spend too much time fleshing out valuable concepts in a vacuum, and in doing so they eat away at the value that they bring to the table. But here, the authors avoid this common misstep; each idea corresponds to a tangible story of its implementation. Good stuff.

I give it 3 stars in accordance with the rating scale suggestion, "liked it." The Alliance is definitely not exhilarating, but if you're interested in
Ryan Seamons
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: networking
Another great forward thinking book about the way networking, branding, and work are changing in our world. A must read for any manager or employer who wants to remain competitive in any real way. Companies that create an alliance with employees (and many companies already do in some way) will easily win over companies that don't. ...more
Josh Maher
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Really impressed with the concepts in this book. I hadn't quite thought about careers with this specific framework. It is instructive though in helping to think through both staffing and career planning. The tour of duty concept and the focus on outcomes for the company and the employee are great places to spend time thinking about. ...more
Miglen Evlogiev
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Practical guide for new work models that encourages companies and individuals to invest in each other realizing that the lifetime employment of the Industrial Age is over. I would summarize that the book has 3 main ideas - Tours of duty, Network Intelligence and Corporate Alumni and it comes a bit watered with examples from LinkedIn.
Russ Mathers
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good book, interesting take on how employment has changed from staying with one company for a lifetime career to now how people change companies several times, and sometimes "boomerang" back to a company for a repeat. ...more
Arash Narchi
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The concepts in this book is not new, but it has been revamped LinkedIn style to address the changes in modern employement. An engaging page turner for all.

My blog on this book:
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great little book; Deloitte used to exemplify this back in my early days with the firm. Really good ideas for anyone leading an organization or involved in professional development, talent, or HR.
Corina Anghel
Apr 05, 2021 rated it liked it
There’s no wonder that a LinkedIn co-founder will promote the benefits of a network and the advantage of hiring a well-networked talent so expect a lot on this topic. The book focuses on two main ideas:
- build networks around the organisation by leveraging the networks of your employees;
- have an honest and open relationship with your employees about their career journey so that the relationship survives even after their employment status ends.

What I liked about the book is the proposal to tre
Ashik Uzzaman
Dec 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: leadership
I finished reading "The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age" by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, Chris Yeh. I read this book after I heard a speech from LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman. In this book, the authors suggest that the old model of a lifelong job will no more work in the modern world of the competitive labor market. Free agents are no good either and instead, a third model is proposed called the alliance. In this model employer allies with the employee to transform the company's fu ...more
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it

Business & Networks:
-Stay open to new ideas even if outside main business (AWS)
-Send people on Tours of Duty: different jobs that someone takes to get to where they see themselves in a few years time (2-4 yrs)
—If you take a Tour if Duty (2-4 yrs) and make an impactful contribution to some part of the business then we’ll help you advance your career, preferably in the form of another Tour of Duty
-Give people access to alumni database and encourage them to reach out to past team members
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Reid Hoffman is a Partner at Greylock, and Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at LinkedIn.

Reid joined Greylock Partners in 2009. His areas of focus include consumer Internet, enterprise 2.0, mobile, social gaming, online marketplaces, payments, and social networks. Reid likes to work with products that can reach hundreds of millions of participants and businesses that have network effects.

An accomp

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“Theodore Roosevelt’s famous dictum, “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” 1 likes
“Ideally, most of the top executives of a company should be on Foundational tours.” 1 likes
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