Book review: Beyond the Call

Emma De Vita reviews the new book by former Paralympian Marc Woods and writer Steve Coomber

Beyond the Call
Beyond the Call

If you manage a team of people, it can sometimes be puzzling, even frustrating, when some of them go the extra mile but others don't. Lack of commitment can be worrying when all hands are needed on deck; so why doesn't everyone want to give their all?

In their book, the former Paralympian Marc Woods and the writer Steve Coomber explain why this happens and how to tackle it. They argue that it should be possible to create the conditions in an organisation that mean people will of their own volition do more than they are asked to. "They do that little bit (or a lot) extra, without the overt promise of some organisational reward," they explain.

There are six main 'drivers' that have a powerful effect on "discretionary effort" that, if put into place, can improve performance. You must ask yourself: are your employees empowered to take their own decisions in the interests of your organisation? Do you bother to find out what makes your team members tick? And is there a sense of belonging?

Reflecting on the answers is a step in the right direction, but it is closing the gap between what exists now and what could exist in the future that is the real key to getting everyone to go beyond the call of duty.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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