Build it : The Rebel Playbook for Employee Engagement

My first book, this was published by Wiley in June 2018. Much to the surprise of everyone, especially Wiley, it sold well becoming an Amazon HR Bestseller and has now been reprinted three times.

In Build It, I describe what employee engagement is, how it is valuable to an organisation and why we don’t generally get it. I outline a strategy for being better using a model we called The Engagement Bridge. My co-author Debra Corey showcases some great good-practice examples with mini-case studies (plays) from companies like Linked In, Adobe and Atlassian.

Praise for Build it

“Your all-things-necessary guide to employee engagement. Packed with some terrific case studies, Build it will help you transform your workplace.

Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of DRIVE and WHEN

“Every company in the world is trying to disrupt itself before it is disrupted by newcomers. Everyone knows why but most struggle with how. Here is a book bursting with great examples, concrete actions, real success. It’ll give you ideas, debates, great arguments and, most of all, hope.”

Margaret Heffernan, CEO and bestselling author, Willful Blindness

“Practical, thoughtful, logical advice and examples for building a high-performance culture. This is a terrific playbook by and for fellow rebels all over the world

Patty McCord, Former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix and bestselling author, Powerful


Build it is available as a hardback at Amazon or wherever you buy your books. Also available on Kindle, iBooks and as an audiobook (thankfully not read by me) on either Audible with Amazon or iBooks with Apple.

You can get a free download of the first two chapters from the book’s website which also hosts lots of additional content, video interviews with people in the book and dozens of additional case studies. More interviews and exclusive videos are on the book’s YouTube site.

If you’re pushed for time and in the US then someone wrote a “summary of Build It” which I’ve never read and can’t vouch for. Or there is an author-approved short summary available through Blinkist which you can read in just 22 minutes!

Coming soon(ish)

The Private Equity Playbook : A survival guide for Founders, CEO’s and Management Teams.

Every year in the UK about 100 companies become private equity backed for the first time. They’re embarking on a 4 to 5 year journey to grow their company quickly and treble shareholder value. By the time they finish they’ll have learned lots, made many mistakes, had a lot of fun and, hopefully, secured their own financial indepedence. But what do they wish they’d known at the start that no-one told them?

I’ve been PE backed myself twice and close friends have experience of another 15 or so UK based, PE backed management buyouts. We’ve all been CEO’s of these businesses many times and we’ve promoted dozens of people to our executive teams.

But rarely does anyone get the time to sit down and explain exactly what private equity is about :

  • How does it work, how does everyone make their money?
  • What are the opportunities, the pitfalls, the shortcuts to success?
  • What is the investor really thinking? What do they really want and what are they worried about?
  • What does everyone wish they’d known at the start but no-one told then?
  • Who is in control and who I can I really trust?

In the Private Equity Playbook, I’m going to lift the lift the lid on this secretive industry, de-mystify the jargon and share everything that I’ve learned over the past 9 years. Through interviews with dozens of other PE-backed CEO’s and executives, I’ll share experience of many PE deals and will expose the best, and worst, investor behaviours.