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No Excuses: How You Can Turn Any Workplace into a Great One

ISBN: 978-1-118-35242-7
240 pages
September 2013, Jossey-Bass
No Excuses: How You Can Turn Any Workplace into a Great One (1118352424) cover image
The business leader's guide to creating a great workplace from the Great Place to Work Institute

In this follow-up guide to The Great Workplace, experts from Great Place to Work Institute, Inc. reveal the most common excuses managers use for why they can't create a great workplace. Authors Jennifer Robin and Michael Burchell poke holes in every single excuse. Whether the reasons involve the organization's leadership, employees, environment, or any other factor, the authors explain that if managers lead people properly, they can create a great workplace. The authors explore how managers can interrupt their own negative thought patterns and instead create lasting change, and they describe how great workplaces have surmounted very real difficulties with aplomb.

  • Includes case studies, stories, tips, and tools for managers who want to transform their organizations
  • From the experts at the Great Place to Work, a global research, consulting, and training firm that operates in nearly 50 countries
  • Proves that any and every organization can change for the better when managers have the right tools and mindset

Creating a place where people want to work and want to succeed is the primary key to success for every manager. No Excuses shows that managers in any organization can transform their workplace—if they'll only get out of their own way first.

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Foreword by Amy Lyman ix

Introduction: Creating a Great Workplace 1

1 The Anatomy of an Excuse 9

2 I Think [Like a Great Workplace Leader], Therefore I Am [a Great Workplace Leader] 25

3 We Are What We Repeatedly Do 45

4 I Didn’t Have Enough Time to Do It Right 65

5 That’s Just Not My Job 85

6 My Industry Is Different 105

7 It’s Just Not the Right Time 127

8 I’d Be a Great People Manager if It Weren’t for All the People 149

9 My Boss Ate My Homework 169

10 The “One Rule” for Excuses 187

Notes 195

Acknowledgments 201

About the Authors 205

Index 207

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Jennifer Robin, Ph.D., is a research fellow at Great Place to Work Institute. A former consultant with the Institute, she led the Advisory Practice, helping senior leaders integrate their organization's culture with its strategy and aligning efforts to be a great workplace. Currently, Jennifer teaches in undergraduate, MBA, and professional programs in the Foster College of Business at Bradley University. She lives in Peoria, Illinois.

Michael Burchell, Ed.D., is vice president, International Operations at Great Place to Work Institute, Inc. A member of the corporate management team, Michael oversees affiliate operations, global expansion efforts, and the business development of multinational clients across the Great Place to Work network. Previously, Michael led consulting services for the Institute in the United States. He also co-owns and is a director for Great Place to Work Institute in the United Arab Emirates, in Dubai. He is based in Washington, D.C.

Great Place to Work Institute is a global research, consulting, and training firm with thirty-eight affiliates operating in nearly fifty countries. Great Place to Work produces the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For Annual List and the Best Small & Medium Companies to Work For in America lists, in addition to several dozen best companies lists internationally.

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September 09, 2013
NO EXCUSES: How You can Turn Any Workplace Into a Great One

NO EXCUSES

HOW YOU CAN TURN ANY WORKPLACE INTO A GREAT ONE 

By Jennifer Robin and Michael Burchell of the Great Place to Work® Institute

"If you've ever thought, 'I'd love to create a great place to work, but I'm just not sure I, or we, can,' then Jennifer Robin and Michael Burchell will convince you that the answer is yes. No Excuses motivated, refocused, and energized me, and it will fire up that same attitude in you."
Dan Mulhern, distinguished practitioner of law & business, University of California, Berkeley

You’re a manager or leader. How good are you? What if you could be even better? How do you get people to bring their very best to their work and go above and beyond? The answer: you create a great workplace, argue Jennifer Robin and Michael Burchell of the Great Place to Work® Institute which compiles FORTUNE Magazine’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work” list. And to create great workplaces, sometimes managers need to get out of their own way!

In their new book, NO EXCUSES: How You can Turn Any Workplace Into a Great One (Jossey-Bass; 978-1-118-35242-7; September 2013; $26.99; e-book available), the follow-up to their 2011 book The Great Workplace, Robin and Burchell expose the self-defeating mindset that lead managers to believe a great workplace is out of their reach and offer a clear path for change.

Even managers who yearn to create a successful workplace are often deterred by an ingrained idea that their organization is not the kind that can be transformed into a great workplace. While many managers agree that creating a great workplace is inspiring and interesting, many come up with the excuse that their type of work environment does not lend itself to greatness.

These managers say their company is too big, or too small; it has an introverted CEO, is too new in the market, etc… the reasons they proffer are many. But these excuses are what keep managers and their workplaces locked on its same trajectory—less successful and not as great as they could be.

NO EXCUSES illustrates over and over through case studies, stories, tips and tools every manager across a diversity of backgrounds in terms of nationality, gender, age, tenure, work history, ethnicity and education level can create a great workplace.

Filled with real-life case studies and inspiring stories from a wide range of major organizations, including Coca-Cola, Whole Foods, Zappos, and Accenture,NO EXCUSES describes how leaders of great workplaces have surmounted very real difficulties with aplomb. Whether an obstacle involves the organization's leadership, employees, environment, or any other factor, a great workplace is always possible if managers interrupt their own negative thought patterns and lead people properly.

The release of NO EXCUSES corresponds with the release of the Great Place to Work® Institute’s Top 25 Multinational Companies to Work for List on October 22, 2013.

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