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“Meet the New Boss”

Primal Management:
Unraveling the Secrets of Human Nature
to Drive High Performance

(New York: AMACOM, 2009)
By Paul Herr

A review by William C. Frederick, September 2009©

The view—not to mention the location—was totally and completely mind boggling.
A full-page advertisement in, of all places, that refuge and champion of free-market capitalism—none other than The Wall Street Journal—and paid for by the paper’s corporate parent, Dow Jones. An oversized, two-color headline proclaimed “MEET THE NEW BOSS”, followed by a striking portrait of Charles Darwin, the father of evolutionary thought and author of The Origin of Species. The ad told readers, “In today’s environment, only the fittest sales organizations survive. Ensure your survival.”

Huh? What’s going on here? After 150 years of Darwinian thought, has the Capitalist Establishment finally gotten natural selection’s message? If so, it’s about time. But the Dow Jones crowd can claim no bragging rights. After all, the Vatican Establishment came to terms with evolution some years ago. Ah, progress—of a sort!

Paul Herr, corporate consultant, seems at first to be another unlikely source of Darwinian wisdom. He’s been advising business for three decades, focusing mainly on employee engagement. Ah, but there’s the clue—how to get employees deeply engaged in their work and committed to their company’s goals. And why is that a tell-tale clue? Because Herr believes he has found the secret, one buried discreetly but actually in plain view if you know where and especially how to look for it. Here is his story.

Klick here to read the whole book review.