Why I Wrote Basic to Brilliant

This spring is an especially exciting time with the launch of my new book Basic to Brilliant: The Definite Guide to Transforming Your People Practices. As a playbook for the small to mid-size enterprise, the book provides the roadmap leaders need to take their organizations to the next level through workplace innovation. Bringing a book to market is a monumental feat, as I’ve found out, so why go the distance with such a pursuit?

As an advisor and consultant to SME’s (small to mid-market companies) and non-profits, I see every day how challenging it is for all of them to find, attract, grow, manage, and retain the right people. The very success of these organizations is either propelled by strong people practices, or significantly hindered by the lack of talent strategies that are both contemporary in approach and meet the needs of today’s workforce.

This issue is really significant, particularly here in British Columbia, where small businesses employ 93% of all workers. Across Canada SME’s represents 90% of the labour force, the majority of those companies employing fewer than 100 people. In an era of a strong provincial and national economies and near record levels of unemployment, how these organizations manage and deploy talent has a significant impact on economic growth and productivity, and the experience in the US and abroad is similar.

After twenty years deep in this work, it appeared there wasn’t a comprehensive, yet accessible resource to show leaders the way in this complex environment. My goal in writing the book was to provide the framework and chart the course – through eight touchpoints across the talent lifecycle – describing a realistic and doable path from basic approaches based on traditional thinking and process, to those that are brilliant, on the leading edge in philosophy and practice. Some of the more “brilliant” of the strategies may not seem so innovative on the surface, but from my experience, if every business owner or leader adopted these approaches, they’d see exponential improvement in their organization’s performance.

Beyond the framework, I also wanted to show how these strategies, tactics, whatever we call them, unfold in the everyday work of a shining group of companies who are exemplars in their brilliant approach. I wanted to show how their leaders employ practical strategies and mind-sets that allow them to accelerate business performance through their people. What they do is accessible to organizations everywhere. Hearing their stories was not only inspirational, it was proof that the more brilliant approaches lead to transformational results.

The core content of the book was seeded through my regular blog posts on these topics over the last few years and recast into the context of the basic to brilliant framework. My intent now is that the book is a starting point – a big one at that – as additional resources, tools, and learning events will be developed in the coming months and years.

Small to mid-market enterprises, non-profits, the public sector – for many, it’s time to consider transforming their approach to talent and embrace a new level of success. May Basic to Brilliant be their playbook for the journey.

Basic to Brilliant is now available through the FriesenPress book store at the link below. Over the next few weeks it will be more broadly available on other online retailers Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play.