SkyeTeam Book Review: The Alliance

SkyeTeam Leadership Development Best Business Books

My curiosity was piqued when I read the jacket cover of “The Alliance” by Reid Hoffman Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh, the piece that caught my eye was

“Stop thinking of employees as either family or as free agents. Think of them instead as Allies.”

Having just published my own book, “Cultivate. The Power of Winning Relationships” where I discuss the concept of ally relationships, professional relationships at work, I was interested to learn how this book explored the concept.SkyeTeam Book Review The Alliance

I really enjoyed this book.  The authors explain that the psychological contract between employee and employer has changed dramatically in recent years.  No longer is a job for life, in fact the authors point out the disconnect between an employee who joins a company, full of enthusiasm and perceived loyalty, only to discover that they are on a 90-day probation period, and then on an “at-will” basis, ie they can be fired or let go for no reason at all.

  • Employers promise loyalty – yet don’t invest in the development of their employees, provide ineffectual feedback
  • Employees promise loyalty – yet are tempted away by a “better offer” elsewhere.However the grass is not always greener!

When no one is investing in developing a healthy, candid working relationship, trust is limited. As the authors point out, a business without trust and loyalty is one that long-term thinking, as both parties are focused on what they can get from each other today.  Instead of this veiled dance, the authors suggest a new approach to thinking about employees – as Allies. Allies who are on a Tour of Duty with your organization. It’s new and it’s different.

I loved the synergy with my own book. The concept of Ally relationships is that they work together, to ensure mutual success. It isn’t a competition, it isn’t about power, it’s about the future vision and achieving results that benefit the business and the employee. a partnership!

In this new model employees are engaged for specific projects / periods of time – a mission.  There are three types of Tours: Foundational, Rotational and Transformational. Each has clearly articulated goals and benefits. I’ll leave you to read the book to learn more about each of these.

This approach makes for a more flexible approach, hopefully Tours are extended as needed by the individual and company.  The book also makes clear that Tours can come to an ended sooner than anticipated due to a change in strategy or individual goals, however when this happens there is a proactive conversation that either results in the Tour coming to a formal end or a new Tour of Duty commencing. It prompts discussion, it allows for regular course corrections and feedback, it builds trust and nurtures the relationship.

I’d highly recommend this book, whether you are considering your own career, your team, or your organization.