Outstanding! By John G. Miller

Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy

Synopsis of Content:

Using great illustrations John G. Miller presents 47 ways to make your organization great in his latest book. You are not likely to discover a lot of truly innovative ideas here. But that is OK. Miller concisely presents tried and true ideas that separate the great from the mediocre organizations. He does so in a way that can be used for most anyone in any organization, no matter where you are in the hierarchy.

Miller eschews the trendy and buzz word ideas and concentrates on the fundamentals. It is, after all, getting the fundamental right that make the difference between great and not so great.

Some of the 47 ways focus on how you should or should not conduct yourself, such as Being Fast, Being Humble, Speaking Up and Do What You Promise. On further reflection these same traits are as important for an organization as they are for an individual.

He teaches you how to treat all your “customers” in “360 degree” accountability – treating suppliers, employees, bosses and those below you in the organization all as customers. He also explains why this is good for business.

If every employee, manager and CEO would work seriously to implement these 47 ideas their organization would become great. This is a great yet simple blueprint for the attributes of a great organization. It is directed however at what we can influence – ourselves – and how we function in that organization.

Miller urges the reader to resist the temptation to put this book on a shelf and forget it. Rather, to get the most out of it, in fact to get anything of value out of it he urges the reader to go back to it repeatedly, selecting the chapter or idea that seems to be most useful today and implement it. He is right. A quick read through will be informative – study and application of the 47 ways to make your organization exceptional will be transformational and will make this book far more valuable.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

This book is very readable. The chapters are very short, most not exceeding 5 pages, and concisely illustrating the point to be made. The entire book is a gold mine and each chapter stands alone in its value.

Notes on Author:

John G. Miller, founder of QBQ, Inc., and author of QBQ, the Question Behind the Question, has worked with hundreds of organizations in business and the nonprofit sectors training, speaking and consulting.


Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. Dedicate your efforts to continuous improvement, not just in slogans, but in daily practice. Do it, follow up and continue the practice.
  1. See everyone as a customer – including your colleagues, bosses, and vendors – it takes all these people to make an organization run well and all should be treated well.
  1. Focus on what matters, whether that be proper management, being coachable, speaking clearly, and many more important practices that make a difference. Do this instead of wasting time on vision statements that everyone ignores and platitudes that mean nothing to the people who matter.

Publication Information:  

Outstanding! 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional by John G. Miller

Copyright 2010 by John G. Miller

Hardcover published by Penguin Group. 206 pages. No index.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.