cover image The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age

The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age

Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh. Harvard Business Review (Perseus, dist.), $25 (224p) ISBN 978-1-62527-577-6

Fresh off the success of 2012’s The Start-Up of You, LinkedIn cofounder Hoffman and entrepreneurs Casnocha and Yeh return with an extended version of Hoffman’s Harvard Business Review article “Tours of Duty.” This packed book focuses on “rebuilding trust and loyalty through an alliance” between employees and employer; the old model is “based on a dishonest conversation,” which promises loyal employees guaranteed lifetime employment. Downsizing and layoffs have ended that model. Employees are now expected to think more like entrepreneurs, and companies and their staffs must find new models to build trusting, mutually productive relationships. Hoffman and his coauthors suggest that companies create “tours of duty” to foster employee growth and development. The three tours are “rotational,” during which entry-level employees can learn the business and find their place; “transformational,” during which the mid-career employee can do something substantive; and “foundational,” for long-term employees who serve as stewards of the mission. This approach is heavily based on fast-paced, competitive world of Silicon Valley, and, at times, the emphasis on LinkedIn makes the book feel like an ad campaign. Nonetheless, the specifics on helping employees network and aligning employee and company goals and values will help all employers create an engaged and self-actualized workforce. [em]Agent: Lisa DiMona, Writer’s House. (July) [/em]