The Velvet Revolution at Work and The CEO: Chief Engagement Officer: 2-Volume Set  book cover
1st Edition

The Velvet Revolution at Work and The CEO: Chief Engagement Officer: 2-Volume Set

ISBN 9781472429117
Published November 14, 2013 by Routledge
538 Pages

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Book Description

John Smythe's two book collection offers a complete perspective of ideas, insights and advice from this award-winning author, one of the pioneers of pragmatic employee engagement. You may be a senior executive wondering how to engage hundreds or thousands of employees in your vision, strategy or the transformation of the business; or a specialist in HR, communication and change, tasked with the challenge of 'aligning and mobilising' your people. In either case, you no longer want compliant people, you want individuals who will engage their creativity at work. For their part, engaged employees want a say in their work and in how the business changes. The Chief Engagement Officer explores a management philosophy which recognises the value of opening up decision making to the right groups to improve the quality of decisions and change, accelerate execution and broaden ownership. In The Velvet Revolution at Work, John Smythe follows up his earlier book to explain that the essential ingredient of the right conditions is a culture of distributed leadership which enables people at work to liberate their creativity to deliver surprisingly good results for their institution and themselves. Using models, examples and anecdotes from his client research he goes on to demonstrate exactly how to design an engagement process; one that is integrated with your business strategy and that is sustainable.



John Smythe, a founding partner of the Engage for Change consultancy, specialises in organisational communication and engagement. He was an organisational fellow with McKinsey, undertaking research into employee engagement, and has held senior public affairs posts for three American corporations: Occidental Oil, Bechtel Corporation and Marathon Oil. After leaving SmytheDorwardLambert in 2003, a consultancy acknowledged to be the thought leader in organisational communication, McKinsey and Company invited him to take a visiting organisational fellow role, undertaking research among sixty corporations and institutions in Europe and North America into current approaches in engaging leaders and employees in driving strategy and change. The research is available from Engage for Change. Earlier John was behind a start up in the same field called Wolff Olins/Smythe (1985-1989).


Prizes for The CEO: Prize: Winner of the Book Award in the Best Learning category, IVCA (The International Visual Communication Association), 2007 Clarion Awards Reviews for The Velvet Revolution at Work: ’No one knows more about building and fixing employee relationships than John Smythe. Here is a practical modern manual of how to deal with the problems every business experiences - and the occasional crisis for which every business must prepare. Smythe’s assessment of changing circumstances deserves attention in every boardroom.’ Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors ’A must-read for anyone trying to increase employee engagement to deliver better business results. It blows apart myths but also gives tangible ways to improve. It clearly illustrates a better way of leadership that is needed if companies are to survive and thrive. It left me personally motivated and inspired to tackle a difficult topic with renewed vigour.’ Jane Reed-Thomas Head of Communications, General Insurance Group Communications, Zurich Insurance Company Ltd ’A convincing and well-researched case for the merits of staff-engagement. I have benefited from John and Jerome's expertise in maximising the effectiveness of engagement as a catalyst for implementing radical corporate change. A powerful concept indeed to be sustained by strong leadership - from the top and all around - and by placing internal communications at the heart of corporate strategy.’ Didier Harel, former Managing Director, Total UK Ltd Reviews for The CEO: 'In this superb book, Smythe asks what the concept of engagement means for employer and employee; looks at whether and how it is different from internal communication, and provides a practical framework for those who want to engage colleagues but need advice based on real-world experience. Thoroughly researched and well written, Smythe provides a thoughtful and compelling book on a vital business issue that all too often is ove