Why Give a Hundred Percent? I Just Work Here

John Franklin Graham, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013, 110 pp., $12.95 (book).

Your job sucks, you can’t advance, you’re underappreciated and your boss wants more. So, why give 100%? Graham explains why in this pithy little motivational book. I call it pithy because Graham writes succinctly, using anecdotes, quotes, observations and personal experience to make his point. I say little because it’s 110 pages with a large font, and I easily read it in one afternoon.

There are numerous leadership, management and self-help books, but few books are written for employees. This book is written specifically for those slugging it out day after day on the shop floor.

So, why give 100%? The author argues that in the long run, it’s in your best interest to do so. Think long-term career versus short-term job. Graham’s point is that there’s no perfect job, or perfect marriage for that matter. They both require work. Both begin with the excitement of a honeymoon but quickly require you to learn, adapt and contribute. These are valuable and satisfying attributes.

However, over time, frustrations may creep in. If your frustrations diminish your performance, you could be headed for disengagement, and it may not be your choice. The author contends that you may not always receive 100% return for your efforts, but always giving 100% will ultimately pay off long term. The dues you pay today will produce dividends tomorrow.

This little book may not change the world, but it may change your perspective on work and even life—well worth an afternoon's investment.

James R. Kotterman
Plymouth, MI

The Process Improvement Handbook: A Blueprint for Managing Change and Increasing Organizational Performance

Tristan Boutros and Tim Purdie, McGraw-Hill Professional, 2013, 416 pp., $90 (book).

This book is the complete guide for process improvement. It is the perfect tool for all quality and continuous improvement professionals, from those just getting into the quality field to the most seasoned professionals. It covers the full spectrum of process development and improvement.

It begins with the basics of defining processes and procedures, then guides readers through developing their own process ecosystem, followed by the most important part—managing and improving their processes. The book gives multiple improvement methods including kaizen, lean Six Sigma and Rummler-Brache. With each of these methods, it gives examples of what to do at each stage of monitoring and improving the process. This book also provides a wonderful guide on the structure, roles and aptitudes for a successful process improvement organization.

This book is an excellent reference for all quality professionals and can enable lasting change within their organizations. The templates, case study examples, process deliverable lists and activities will help steer any process improvement organization to effective improvements.

Conor Leahy
Fairbanks Morse Engine
San Diego

Achieving a Safe and Reliable Product: A Guide to Liability Prevention

E. F. "Bud" Gookins, ASQ Quality Press, 2012, 144 pp., $31 member, $51 list (book).

Whether you call it product safety, product stewardship, product reliability or product liability prevention, making and selling goods or services brings obligation and accountability in our current society.

This book is an excellent upper-level overview covering all facets of liability prevention. Gookins starts with product design issues. He moves to the pre-production attributes that should be considered. Lastly, he reviews matters related to production and post-production.

The most suitable risk plan is a resolution between the financial resources the organization is willing to spend and the cost of doing nothing to minimize the risk. Therefore, evaluating the severity to require corrective action and reducing or eliminating risks is an ongoing necessity due to changes in the product, production methods, marketing, distribution, technology law and regulations. Liability doesn’t stop until the product or service no longer exists.

The most troubling issue with this book was the failure to include many definitions and explanations in the glossary when they were so excellently covered in the main body of the text. Regardless, this book will help your business develop a meaningful assessment of where you are exposed with your product or service risks.

Marc A. Feldman
Solvay Chemicals

Confronting Mistakes: Lessons From the Aviation Industry When Dealing With Error

Jan U. Hagen, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, 200 pp., $40 (book).

The foreword for the book is written by airline Captain Ralf Nagel, and the author uses the flight deck of a commercial aircraft for his management setting. In the book’s four parts, the theme of identifying, confronting and establishing a framework for error management is explored. Mistakes, situation reports and accidents are analyzed in ways that take insights relevant to operations far beyond aviation. The insights detailed are directed at error management and bringing forward successes from situations created by a mistake. The emphasis is on building successes—not placing blame—and establishing a preventive operation to avoid repeating the mistake.

By analyzing aviation accidents, Hagen presents an approach for the analysis and management of errors. Ideas revealing diagnostic and error-permissive behavior are used as a step toward turning mistakes into learning opportunities. The book presents exciting situations where mistakes happen, and there are significant consequences resulting from a lack of error management. Events described may be scary, but they are real and the realism leads to priorities as corrective actions are put in place.

Hagen is a pilot himself and he presents an approach to error management in business to revealing diagnostic and error permissive behavior as a first step to turning mistakes into learning opportunities. As a pilot, corrective action to current situations draws on understanding what is happening, why it is happening and alternative actions.

Dealing with errors and facilitating corrective action is as important to the aircraft pilot as error prevention. Confronting mistakes on the aircraft flight deck, in executive offices, on the factory floor, in the classroom and in medical practice and delivering corrective actions is a priority.

The emphasis on quality—and the successes of an enterprise—can be compared with actions on an aircraft’s flight deck. In this book, Hagen has presented ideas and insights of interest to leadership in the quality field. I recommend this book as a resource that can lead to many discussions.

Jerry Brong
Ellensburg, WA

Recent Release

Global Supply Chains: Evaluating Regions on an Epic Framework
Mandyam M. Srinivasan, Theodore P. Stank, Philippe-Pierr Dornier and Kenneth J. Peterson, McGraw-Hill Professional, 2014, 448 pp., $70 (book).

Global Innovation Science Handbook
Praveen Gupta and Brett E. Trusko, editors, McGraw-Hill Professional, 2014, 896 pp., $90 (book).

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