This book, subtitled “Turn on the People in Any Organization”, is a really quick read, but it contains some pretty good ideas nevertheless.
The whole book is a a story of an iron plant in America, that’s in deep trouble. Profits are down, and the employees are hostile towards the new CEO that’s just been hired.
The CEO talks to an indian, and learns the spirit of the squirrel, the way of the beaver and the gift of the goose.
The spirit of the squirrel means that everybody should know why their work is imporant. Squirrels work hard collecting nuts, because their lives the next winter is on the line.
The way of the beaver means that employees should plan their own work. When beavers build a dam, there’s no beaver boss planning the whole thing, delegating work. Everybody knows what to do.
Lastly, the way of the goose, is about cheering each other on. When geese fly in formation, they are constantly honking, cheering each other on. Receiving feedback is vital for people – especially praise.
The book is cheerful, touching and easy to read at a mere 198 pages. There’s no accompanying theory – only the story, and that’s enough. Which in itself says a lot about the power of storytelling.