Alec Hogg - BizNews

alec hogg
More than 10 000 new business books are published annually. Most are like movie re-runs, shameless regurgitations of old ideas. But hidden among them is a handful with exciting new insights. Sadly, these originals are often lost in the library of mediocrity. But every now and then one breaks through the clutter. You have one in your hands.

 Tracey Swanepoel’s contribution is a business book actually worth reading. Partly because it adopts a fresh line of inquiry into one of the corporate sector’s most pressing problems. But mostly because she touches us by sharing of herself while leveraging experiences and an ever fertile mind through a talent for storytelling. The result is a page-turner which kept me riveted through to the last page. Another rarity in a world where 80% of readers don’t get past the first 20% of any book.

From a personal perspective, I’m delighted Tracey accepted the challenge to write down her thoughts on overcoming the widespread cancer of disengaged employees. She has had plenty of practice – unable to restrain herself to her inner circle of friends who, quite rationally, encouraged her to share them with the widest possible audience.

I was first introduced to the concept of staff engagement two decades back by my former colleague, Jerry Schuitema, a broadcaster who sermonized about changing the corporate mindset about deployable ‘bags of kilojoules’. That sparked an interest, which has grown over the years.

Tracey breaks new ground in this critical area, sharing practical examples of how supposedly unteachable people have absorbed seemingly complex concepts, reinforcing my long-held belief that one should never underestimate the intelligence of the common man, but overestimate his knowledge.

Her efforts will assist in narrowing the chasm between managers and those they lead; between the formally educated and those still learning.

As an editor, Tracey’s contributions to have always been warmly received. Word perfect, error-free yet highly readable, they reflect a consummate perfectionist. She has weaved those skills into this wonderful contribution in an overcrowded field. It deserves to be read by everyone entrusted with any responsibility for serving their fellows."

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