Latest Review

Seven Life Lessons of Chaos

The Impulse Factor
Nick Tasler

Other Book Reviews

The End of Certainty
Moonwalking with Einstein
Wind, Sand and Stars
At Home in the Universe
What's Mine is Yours
Organize with Chaos
We Are What We Think
The Impulse Factor
The Perfect Swarm
A Guide for the Perplexed
Understanding Comics
Dead Poets Society
Bad Science
Motionless Journey
The Five Day Course in Thinking
Small is Beutiful
The Quantum and the Lotus
Into the Wild
Man on Wire
Never Have a Bad Day Ever Again
Turning to One Another
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
The Little Prince
Bradbury Stories
For One More Day
Finding Our Way
Leadership and the New Science
Secrets of the People Whisperer
Mind Set
The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Boost Your Creative Intelligence
A Simpler Way
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Run Lola Run
Snow Cake
Design and Layout
Creativity Today
Graphic Design School
The Explorer's Eye
The Pig that Wants to be Eaten
The Empty Raincoat
Business the Richard Branson Way
Exercises in Style
A Short History of Nearly Everything
How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci
Oulipo Compendium
POD People
Flash Fiction
Review of How to Change Your Life in 7 Steps
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
Screw it, Let's do it
How to Get Ideas
The Art of Travel
Introducing Chaos
Deep Simplicity
Introducing Quantum Theory
Introducing Fractal Geometry
Review of Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth
Nature's Chaos
Zen in the Art of Writing
The Art of Possibility
Experimental Tarvel
The Art of Looking Sideways
The Power of Now
The Alchemist
The monk who sold his Ferrari
Review of Man's Search for Meaning
Review of Einstein's Dreams
Review of The Ultimate Book of Business Thinking
Review of What Do You Care What Other People Think?
Review of The Tipping Point
Review of Who Moved My Cheese?
Review of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Review of Zeno and the Tortoise
Review of Chicken Soup for the Soul
Review of Emergence
Review of Pooh and the Philosophers
Review of Business The Ultimate Resource
Review of Shackleton's Way
Review of Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work
Review of Reckoning with Risk
Review of Field of Dreams
Review of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway
Review of 101 Philosophy Problems
Review of The Spirited Business
Review of Genius
Books available in association with
The Spirited Business

The Spirited Business.
Georgeanne LamontView The Spirited Business on Amazon

When a friend first recommended this book to me, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The sub-title ‘Success stories from soul-friendly companies’ should have provided the clue, but I still felt a little uncomfortable with the word ‘spirited’. Fortunately Georgeanne very quickly explains her definition of spirituality.

‘Spirituality is not religion; it is not about beliefs, creeds or dogmas. It is about being fully alive, relationships and that which gives meaning and purpose to life.’
Georgeanne Lamont and Sally Burns

Given this definition, this is an enthralling book which examines in detail a number of organisations and particularly how they give meaning to the lives of their people, clients, customers and other stakeholders. What is crucially important is that these organisations aren’t simply successful and good places to be, they are successful because they are good places to be.

‘I think many people assume, wrongly, that a company exists simply to make money. While this is an important result of a company’s existence, we have to go deeper and find the real reasons for our being.’
David Packard, founder Hewlett - Packard

If you agree with Dave Packard, this is a book you will enjoy and value. It is packed with the ideas and approaches these companies apply, and tips and pointers to how they can be adopted. What I particularly like is the feeling of experiencing these organisations first-hand that Georgeanne describes in her accounts. I’ve always believed that you can feel a good organisation, and a bad one, right from the moment you approach the front door, and from Georgeanne’s description you can sense the quality of these organisations being projected, not simply to those they work with, but even to passers by.

The first part of the book identifies a number of principles found in spiritual organisations. I liked the fact that these were not described as things an organisation must do to be spiritual, rather things that allow the spirituality of an organisation to shine through. It’s clear that soul-friendly companies aren’t ones that have simply chosen to add soul-friendliness to their action plan. This is something much deeper and more powerful.

This is not to suggest that the book is short on how to create soul-friendliness, indeed the opposite is the case. The major part of the book is devoted to detailed case studies of seven organisations, Peach Personnel, Happy Computers, Microsoft, IMG, NatWest, Scott Bader and Bayer UK.

There is more to us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less.’
Happy Computers

Each case study follows the same format. A short introduction sets out ‘the company description of its approach. This provides a useful introduction for the description of the everyday experience which describes the reality of life in the organisation, which has some real nuggets. The case study concludes with advice on how to put the ideas into practice in your own organisation. Throughout there are ‘reflections’ which bring in experience and insights from other perspectives to highlight the points made.

The book also includes a description of the characteristics of soul-friendly companies and exercises and a survey to with which you can measure the soul-friendliness of your workplace.

This book takes a fresh and insightful look at business and provides inspiring evidence that creating a good place to work makes good business sense. It will provide inspiration and ideas to help transform your workplace.

Many thanks to Paddy Nugent and friends at The National Blood Service who recommended this book to me.
Steve Unwin
August 26 2004.

View or buy from View The Spirited Business on Amazon