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- Christa Heibel
- 31 July 2015
My passion is happiness in the workplace. I have long believed that there is a correlation between happy workers and productivity. So I was thrilled when I saw Happywork: A Business Parable about the Journey to Teamwork, Profit and Purpose by Chris Reimer.
Here’s Amazon’s description:
Chris Reimer introduces an ambitious, professional consultant named Sam, who specializes in company turnarounds. Sam succeeds by “compartmentalizing people, streamlining processes, and creating systems of control.” He wastes no energy worrying about human emotions—he gets results. Drawn into an urgent assignment at Vunorri, Inc., a manufacturing company facing foreclosure, Sam’s confident spirit is suddenly shaken. A career quiz from an unlikely source, impossible employees, and scandalous dealings at Vunorri cast doubt on Sam’s qualifications and test his ability to perform. Against the suspense-building backdrop of a 30-day bank deadline, Reimer reveals a truth many people ignore—unhappiness at work hurts employees and employers. The colorful characters and practical advice comprise a thought-provoking piece of revolutionary motivation for corporate America. Delivered with wit and packed with profound sentiment, Happywork offers you truth—the way we work is broken, our priorities are out of order, and now is the time for colossal change. Apply these simple methods immediately, and experience a better work environment and life today.
I have to admit, the book blurb is more exciting than the book itself, but then Reimer is considered a marketing guru. I found the characters cliché. Sam confides in a long-term mailroom employee but, while I understand the purpose of this employee is to move the story forward, I couldn’t help but be appalled that Sam was revealing confidential information to what appears to be an entry-level employee. I tried to concentrate on the content of the story as Reimer delivered his lessons with the finesse of a child doling out candies with a Pez dispenser.
Halfway through the book I had figured out what was going on and grew weary of Sam’s self-centered approach to help Vunorri. The writing was pedestrian and lacked emotion and pacing. This is a very entry-level book and maybe more appealing to the first-time manager who hasn’t been exposed to the complexities of human management.
I wanted to see statistics and some real-life situations, rather than the over-stated situational responses offered. I must say, Reimer doesn’t put consultants in a very good light, considering Sam was more concerned with is paycheck and reputation than saving Vunorri from bankruptcy. Despite the predictable happy ending, I struggled to complete this book.
If you are looking for value, content and real-life examples, you may be disappointed. I know I was.
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