Praise for Fixing Work

A delightful read that depicts with stunning accuracy the real life struggles, perils, and commons pitfalls of today’s workplace dynamics and the associated impact on leaders and teams. Equal parts helpful, illustrative, and therapeutic, Fixing Work provides a looking glass into how work can be: fun, engaging, dynamic, and autonomous, across various settings, particularly within large scale organizations filled with legacy systems, complex processes, and the best of intentions but endless competing priorities. An important and breezy read for the future of work.

Lisha Davis

Founder, Arable Ventures

Fixing Work is a corporate page-turner that draws you in immediately by capturing anyone who has ever worked in a business system. The authors highlight the typical dynamics at play that challenge even the most motivated employees to stay engaged.

They also spotlight what can happen when one leader is curious enough to seek help from an outside confidant and courageous enough to challenge the way things are, to trust their colleagues to find the answers and to ultimately to get out of their way so they can own their work.

The result is an easy-to-read and highly entertaining roadmap for change that anyone can follow to drive results by unleashing the human potential within their own team or organization. Bravo David and Thomas, thanks for giving workers hope and a way to create jobs they love.

George Brewster

Founder, Gimbal Systems

WORK will never again be a four letter word thanks to this book!

Ed Wallace

Managing Director, Achieve Next

Thanks to April for joining to help with Fixing Work!! Yay for you!!

April L. Sampleton

Tax Research Analyst at Vertex Inc.

Fixing Work is a gift for leaders looking for a practical road map to improve employee engagement, productivity, and customer centricity. Read this book—you’ll be glad you did.

Faisal Hoque

founder of Shadoka, Next Chapter; #1 WSJ and USA Today bestselling author of LIFT, Everything Connects, REINVENT

Creating work for employees to thrive in has never been more important! Fixing Work offers a powerful and practical approach to designing jobs that keep your star performers engaged and productive, and your company on the path to success. Beautifully written and thoughtfully researched, David and Thomas will help you start creating the work your team will love today.

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith

Thinkers50 #1 Executive Coach; New York Times bestselling author of The Earned Life, Triggers, and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

The power of storytelling comes to life in Fixing Work, with a front row seat into what many managers and employees go through every day across corporate offices. Leaders will readily relate to the spot-on depiction of the highs and lows, ambitions and obstacles facing the future of work, where efficiency gains and cost savings are intermingled with the quest for top talent, productivity and high employee engagement. Fixing Work narrates what to do – and not do – through a delightful read that is as entertaining as it is helpful.

Lisha Davis

Principal CEO, Arable Ventures; Founder, Pave; Former Head of Innovation Studio at Vanguard; Adjunct Professor, Fox School of Business at Temple University

I worked in HR for more than thirty-five years in the United States, Europe and Asia, starting in an entry level position and ending my career as the EVP of a Fortune 20 company.  This book, simply put, is wonderful. It is a great story with real life situations…makes me want to go back to work and hand it out to every manager.

Paul Kirincic

EVP HR, McKesson (retired)

Fixing Work is a great read for any leader interested in making his or her organization both more productive and a better place to work. Henkin and Bertels have captured the secrets of effective work design and made them highly accessible through a story readers will identify with immediately. I often wonder why all workplaces haven’t adopted these principles that have been around since the 80s and proven time and time again to work. The answer may be that the information hasn’t been communicated in an easily digestible form. With Fixing Work, there’s no excuse for continuing to waste the precious gifts that employees can offer through creating win-win solutions with their employers. The road to improvement couldn’t be made clearer.

William Pasmore

Professor of Practice of Social Organizational Psychology, Columbia University, Teachers College

Fixing Work is an easy-to-read, engaging story about a fictional company and a manager facing major problems. Henkin and Bertels weave together ideas, suggestions, and proven tactics to help the manager improve motivation, and productivity, and, in short, show both the manager and the readers how to make work better. Highly recommend this book for its practical and engaging approach.

Kevin Wheeler

Founder and President, The Future of Talent Institute

You want a story? You want a business story? Well, here it is. Get a cup of coffee, or a glass of wine, and prepare to learn in ways you’ve never experienced before. As they say, Fixing Work is a must read, but not for the reasons you think: fixing work doesn’t have to be grueling, just follow the story. But prepare for a surprise ending.

Stephen J. Andriole

Thomas G, Labrecque Professor of Business Technology at the Villanova School of Business; CEO, TechVestCo, LLC; former SVP and CTO of Cigna, Safeguard Scientifics

In today’s hybrid work world, engaged employees will define the winners and losers of tomorrow. Fixing Work is a must-read for every leader who embraces that reality and needs a plan to make it happen.

We all know culture matters. Finally, leaders have a case study which provides the action steps and metrics to enable a differentiated culture. Employees will love it, and more importantly will deliver better results in it.

David DeStefano

President, CEO and Chairperson of the Board, Vertex, Inc. (VERX)

Fixing Work is the perfect book for helping leaders at all levels drive customer centricity through employee engagement. The book addresses how to manage the complex process of team building, rapid improvement and maximizing the diverse skills within a typical team. The authors understand the whole system in today’s workplace – from the value of executive sponsorship to perfecting processes at the operating level. Their step-by-step analysis is spot-on and a rarity in business books. This is an important business primer at a time when workplace dynamics are screaming out for change.

Christopher N. DiSipio

CEO of Global Benefits Group (GBG)

Fixing Work reminds us of our daily challenges and opportunities in our organizations. This a valuable and practical approach to telling a story around challenges we all have encountered. Organizations are seeking ideas on how to win, and it may be right in front of us – improving employee engagement and motivating our employees is connected to productivity and customer satisfaction.

Robin M. Allen

Senior Digital Technology Executive; Global Talent Acquisition

In Fixing Work, Henkin and Bertel’s dare to demystify the dark art of becoming strategic in your role. Read this if you intend to break out of the darkness.

Ed Wallace

#1 Bestselling author of The Relationship Engine; Managing Director, Human Capital Practice, AchieveNEXT

Henkin and Bertels offer a masterful conversational dialog about the design of work that matters with a human-first mindset. Fixing Work offers timely perspective to organizations on the critical topic of designing work to attract, motivate, and retain a digital native workforce.

Brian Nejmeh

Senior Operating Partner, PeakEquity Partners; President of INSTEP

Is an engaging tale a great alternative to a corpspeak-laden business book on the meaning of work? Is the meaning revolution at work an unexpected pretext to write an engaging tale? Yes, and yes! Dave and Thomas are the Shakespeare of management and the workplace. Leveraging a parable format, Fixing Work takes us on an actionable meditation with compelling situations where complicatedness is the wrong answer to complexity. They remind us about a powerful truth – that turning the corporate nonsense into a motivating, purposeful, discerning adventure for everyone is the noble quest of modern leaders.

Laurent Choaim

Chief Leadership, Education & Culture, Mazars

Fixing Work could not have come at a better time. It’s a must read for executives struggling to redefine the employee experience, engender loyalty and create an engaged workforce. Kudos to Henkin & Bertels

John Marcante

Founder of Technology Leadership Solutions, LLC and the CIO in Residence for Deloitte. Award-winning C-suite Technology and Business Executive.

It’s no secret that organizations are more productive and successful when workers can see how their efforts directly impact the company’s results, and when they feel part of a team that is empowered to improve the way work is done. Making this happen however is not easy. But if you want a compelling story of how to design a joyful, high-performance workplace, then Fixing Work is the book for you. Authors Henkin and Bertels, long-time experts in the field of work redesign, provide an easy-to-read, dramatic rendition of one manager’s journey from overwhelmed supervisor to transformation leader. If that’s a path that you too want to take, then the first step is to read this book.

Ron Ashkenas

Partner Emeritus, Schaffer Consulting

In the emerging world of hybrid work, enlisting and engaging employees has become more important than ever. Designing jobs that employees love is going to be table stakes. Fixing Work will inspire you to take up this challenge with joy and verve.

Geoffrey Moore

Author, speaker, advisor; Partner at Wildcat Venture Partners; Chairman Emeritus Chasm Group & Chasm Institute; Best known for Crossing the Chasm and Zone to Win; his latest book being The Infinite Staircase.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with David Henkin for nearly a decade at Vanguard as we helped enable company growth through a people-first culture. Henkin and Bertels have written a must-read primer for anyone focused on employee engagement, motivation, productivity, and customer centricity.

As employees today, we spend most of our waking hours working, but if the pandemic taught us anything, it taught us that life and work can and should be integrated. It taught us the importance of family, friends and mental health. It also demonstrated, through the Great Resignation, that we all have choices in the types of organizations we decide to be part of.

Fixing Work: A Tale about Designing Jobs Employees Love is a recipe for attracting and retaining the best talent. It’s a handbook with respect to what work should be and what today’s employees demand – rewarding work filled with mission, purpose, and a true sense of belonging. Winning organizations of tomorrow will embrace the lessons outlined in this book as a catalyst for success.

The days of leaders “maximizing shareholder value” have waned and given way to enterprises who have noble missions, value client loyalty and create incredible experiences for their most valued resource – their people. Fixing Work is a must read for every leader struggling to build a thriving team enabled by an amazing employee culture.

John T. Marcante

US CIO in Residence Deloitte, Former Global Chief Information Officer Vanguard; Board member; Founder; Author

Anyone who has had leadership responsibility in an organization will immediately recognize that David Henkin and Thomas Bertels feel their pain.  The authors share real and relatable world wisdom through the vividly portrayed story of people who have ‘been there’ and ‘done that’ in the daily struggle for integrity and relevance at work. This book is sorely needed. Read Fixing Work to better serve your company, colleagues and customers with distinction.

Jeff Westphal

Chairman & CEO (retired) Vertex Inc.; Founder, Meaningsphere.com

If you’ve worked in a large company, you know Jerry. The authors have effectively captured what’s broken with work environments similar to Consolidated Insurance. They masterfully introduce us to employees who work to implement well-intended, but often temporary fixes. Instead of focusing on the symptoms, much like anesthesia numbs pain, the authors guide us along a pathway that helps companies redefine what work should be for their teams – thereby eliminating the need for employers to create pain-management programs to sedate what’s broken – and allow them to turn their full attention to how work can be successfully executed.

Eric Reisenwitz

President, Lincoln Financial Group, Group Protection (retired)

’People, process, technology.’ This has been the business improvement mantra for decades, but usually with ‘Process’ elevated to pre-eminence and ‘People’ relegated to the lowest priority. If, instead, you like people and figure they’re the true key to business success, David Henkin and Thomas Bertels have authored the book for you. Written as an easy-to-digest business novel, Fixing Work  illustrates the principles of how improving the employee experience can, in the right hands, make companies more effective and competitive by making how work gets done more rewarding for the people who do it.

Bob Lewis

Internationally recognized authority on IT organizational effectiveness and business/IT integration, President, IT Catalysts, Inc.

Fixing Work is for anyone who wants to understand the nitty gritty of the American workplace and how to make work more meaningful, motivating, and productive. Henkin and Bertels’ dialogues and stories make the future of work come alive.

Dr Bob Aubrey

Founder of the Asean Human Development Organization (AHDO)

Having worked with Thomas on several projects over the past 20 years, I am well aware of his strategic thinking and organizational design capabilities. The authors’ use of storytelling to introduce work design and employee motivation principles results in a thought provoking yet easy reading novel. Fixing Work is a must-read for any executive seeking to optimize workforce satisfaction while improving productivity.

Dennis Trice

CEO of Mitsubishi Chemical Americas (retired)

What if we thought of work as a product, workers as customers of the product and managers as designers of the product? The result? More engaged and motivated employees, satisfied customers, and improved productivity. By imbuing work with purpose, autonomy, and feedback, designing work activity for entirety and variety, and ensuring that technology supports that work activity – Jerry Crawford successfully transforms his lackluster group at Consolidated Insurance into a high-performing Mojo Squad. Learn how you can do the same in your organization by reading his compelling transformation story in Fixing Work…today!

Dr. Tony O’Driscoll

Professor at Duke University; author of Everyday Superhero

Fixing Work offers a roadmap for organizations to improve employee engagement, organizational effectiveness, and customer experience from vision through execution. To achieve these three goals simultaneously can be challenging, but Henkin and Bertels highlight that with sustained effort and a long-term commitment, it is possible to have a more engaged workforce, a more effective organization, and a better customer experience. This is a must-have for your leadership library, and an especially insightful tool for Chief People Officers!

Julie Catalano

Chief People Officer, Bespoke Partners

I really enjoyed the Fixing Work. As someone who has implemented transformations involving the design of new jobs across multiple areas–the book portrayed a realistic journey and set of challenges to success. The ability to enhance service quality by empowering frontline workers to completely handle customer requests and align the organization to properly support that service delivery model, will always elevate performance. It also creates competitive advantage in your market, and a much more engaged workforce. 

I wish I had read Fixing Work before I took my journey, as it would have provided valuable insights about what to expect in driving this type of structural change.

 Thanks for contributing this story to the dialogue about job design!

Joe Spadaford

President, JFrancis Consulting LLC, former EVP Transformation, Computershare