Paul Holmes 27 May 2001 // 11:00PM GMT
David H. Maister, a specialist in the management of professional service firms, surveyed 29 firms in 15 countries to determine whether positive employee attitudes really correlate to corporate success. In his consultancy and previous books, he has suggested they do, and in Practice hat You Preach he is able to show that in many companies it truly is "attitudes that drive financial results, and not (predominantly) the other way round."
On a pragmatic level, this allows him to demonstrate how a energized workforce will provide top-quality client service--the key component in any service-oriented business.
Overall, Maister recommends managers instill trust and respect, develop a high morale, and serve as "coaches" rather than "most valuable players." He offers detailed case studies of survey respondents, and amalgamates their replies into an explicit Path to Performance as well as four chapters with specific lessons that should be transferable to other enterprises.