Jan Gillett talks about his book: 'Making Your Work, Work'

In this interview, Jan talks about why he wrote Making Your Work, Work – everyday performance revolution and what it offers to managers and leaders alike.

Jan, who is this book aimed at?

This book is ideal for any manager that wants to improve how their operation works and generate better results. I’ve tried to make it both accessible and thought provoking.

How does this book differ from other improvement books?

I have focused on providing readers with simple actions and behaviours to help them understand what’s going on, what should be happening, and how to do something disciplined to improve. It focuses on practical approaches to management and improvement that are based upon the four key foundations detailed in Dr. W.Edwards Deming’s ‘System of Profound Knowledge’.

What’s special about these ‘simple actions’?

Whilst they are simple to execute the activities are based upon the same principles that underlie the performance of leading global companies. Hence the attitudes and behaviours will scale to the most ambitious challenges a manager will ever encounter.

Why did you decide to open the book with some Epiphanies?

Managing and improving is hard. There are often three steps back for every three steps forward, you can get dispirited.

But, every now and then something wonderful happens, where you can see that when you did something right, in fact a whole sequence of things right, that benefits keep on coming.

It has been those experiences over many years that have kept me going in the more challenging times – such as when you have to get on an early plane to go and deal with a set of disillusioned people who don’t see why they need to change. I hope these Epiphanies inspire people to keep going!

Who is Ann and why use her?

Throughout the book I’ve used a character called ‘Ann’ as a vehicle to tell some real life stories. I was drawn to tell her story because I felt it would help to make the tasks achievable.

Ann is, in fact, many people. Several of the incidents I describe have roughly happened to me, and possibly some will recognise themselves. Others are extended from client stories.

How do you want people to feel at the end of the book?

Most of all a sense of optimism that this different way is do-able! It’s important to me that, no what their role, people can try these activities out. I certainly want them to have an appetite for giving it a try.

If this happens it would be only natural that they should also feel curious and seek to discover more, both about the inspiring achievements we’ve witnessed throughout industry over the last 50+ years and more, and about why so many attempts have failed. I hope they desire to learn how to develop the range of skills and demeanours that are right for them.

And finally, what’s next for Jan Gllett?

Right now I have dates booked through this year to speak to conferences about this topic, and I would like to do justice to that before getting diverted by future plans!

Do you have a question for Jan?

If you have any questions you’d liek to ask Jan about the book, why not get in contact with us? Jan would be more than happy to answer any of your book related questions.