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Book Review: Creating We by Judith E. Glaser

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Author Judith E. Glaser has helped numerous organizations, large and small, to change and deal with challenges. She tells stories about real organizations and managers and how they worked through their challenges. While the stories inCreating We provide a learning tool, changing organizational beliefs and attitudes isn’t quick and easy. Therefore, Glaser — even with her background — can’t provide fast solutions to convert an organization from I to WE. Instead, the author shows the difference between I-thinking and WE-thinking and provides tools for leaders to use while working toward WE-thinking and changing the organization’s culture. It takes time, patience, and practice to make a change.

Judith E. Glaser’s life turned upside down when she fought and won a battle with cancer. Her husband, president of a pharmaceutical company working on a cure for cancer, worked with the idea of reminding cells how to be normal, which in turn makes them healthy. Her battle, her work, and her husband’s work led her to discover that cancer cells and toxic organizations have much in common. “Healthy cells” and “healthy organizations” succeed when they work together as a whole instead of separately.

Creating We consists of three elements for changing organizations from I-thinking to WE-thinking. “Believing WE” is about changing attitudes and beliefs in organizations and how employees should behave. “Learning WE” is about getting rid of old beliefs (like the manager is in charge, that employees shouldn’t speak up, and adapting a healthy exchange of ideas between managers and employees). “Becoming WE” means changing the thinking and responding from I to WE.

The book provides many questions for managers to ask and explore as they go through their “I to WE” journey. Don’t expect a speedy and painless adventure as the book covers a lot of material. Adopting “WE” means changing your way of thinking, conversing, and behaving. Companies that transform their cultures from “I” to “WE” experience side effects of innovation, cooperation, open conversations, and overall good health.

Executives and managers who study and reference the book’s concepts, questions, and adopt the “WE-centric” thinking and philosophy will help their companies get the most out of every employee and enjoy success.

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About Meryl K Evans

Meryl K. Evans, Content Maven, is the author of "Brilliant Outlook Pocketbook" and the co-author of "Adapting to Web Standards: CSS and Ajax for Big Sites." She has written and edited for a bunch of places online and off. A native Texan, she lives a heartbeat north of Dallas in Plano, Texas with her husband and three kiddos.