Book Review: Scaling Up Excellence By Bob Sutton And Huggy Rao

February 3, 2014

scalineupexcellenceI’m a huge fan of Bob Sutton’s evidence-based management body of work. I think his new book with Huggy Rao might be his best book yet. I certainly believe that Scaling Up Excellence: Getting To More Without Settling For Less is one of the best evidence-based management books I’ve ever read. I got my review copy from the publisher, but I also purchased an additional hard copy.

Huggy Rao spoke at our TEDxUniversityofNevada last week. Huggy is an extremely kind and generous man, and everyone that met him during his visit appreciated him. I would strongly encourage you to watch the above recording of his short talk. In it, he defines organizational excellence as “when people do the right thing, even when no one is watching over their shoulder.” He goes on to say “the problem with excellence is it is always in short supply.” I strongly concur.

Another fascinating thing he says is “as our organizations grows bigger, sadly, the smart people inside them grow dumber.” By dumber, he does not mean that smart people become stupid, but they often become silent, and silence is the enemy of excellence. He goes on to say that “excellence is about spreading and sustaining a mindset, not just a footprint.”

This book is so very important because it presents the evidence for what it takes to spread the mindset where people do the right thing. I’m going to teach an evidence-based class in managing change next semester and this book will be one of the required readings.

This book earns my highest recommendation. After you watch Huggy’s short video, please let me know what you think by sharing your thoughts in the comment section below.

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