David Bowles and Cary Cooper to Team Up Again on 2011 Macmillan Book Project

Macmillan has given the green light to a new book project from Professor Cary Cooper and myself, with research, interviews and writing to begin in January and publication slated before year end 2011.  In a follow-up to our late 2009 book for Macmillan which focused on employee morale/engagement and performance, Cary and I will look at how businesses and other organizations can create sustainable high employee and customer-engagement cultures, and we will explore the new paradigms which are needed after the near-death experience of the 2008-10 Great Recession.  As James Gorman, CEO of Morgan Stanley, recently said, Wall Street in particular needs to “change the perception that it’s the individual that is the hero”.

We have some important questions to ask and try to answer: 

Can we afford to be brought to the brink every 20 years or so by people whose perspectives are both short term and ego-centric in the extreme?

Have we gone too far with golden parachutes and outsize pay packages for leaders while others in the same organization toil under strict pay for performance plans? 

Can the US sustain a CEO to average worker pay ratio of 300-400:1 while the rest of the world rarely goes above 25:1?  

Doesn’t all this make nonsense of the mantra heard during bad times, the rallying cry from above: “we’re all this this together”? 

Isn’t there a better way of doing things which, instead of pretending, truly does emphasize “we” instead of “me”, while still fully embracing and benefiting from the capitalist system which has been the source of so much increase in peoples’ living standards worldwide?

Are some of these things the reasons why worker engagement levels are so very average…or below average… on a worldwide basis in major western economies like the US, UK and most of Europe? 

Is it not imperative that in this time of global competition and emerging giants like India and China, we leverage all the advantages which we can, especially our management knowledge, to compete in this new world?

Cary and I will tap the minds of thought-leaders in business and consulting around the world, bringing in some of the best research and material from online communities, blogs, etc. as well as our own perspectives on this complex but crucial subject.  This is no idle speculation, how we do in this area…managing our organizations, our workforces…may end up deciding whether we can sustain our standard of living…or pass on something far less to future generations.

I am so happy to once again team up with my friend and colleague Cary Cooper on such an important book, a relationship which began for me 40 years ago as a student in his social psychology class at Southampton University (UK).  For those of you who do not know him, Cary was recently named one of the three most influential thinkers in industrial/organizational psychology worldwide, and has over 150 books and 400+ articles to his credit.  To learn more about him, please visit his blog here.  

I will keep you posted with more information on this book as it becomes available.

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