Business books are a booming business. What’s left to write about? So many topics have been effectively tackled, leaving almost nothing new under the sun. This book, however, shares a new twist — a creative combination of ideas that can inspire innovation and produce better outcomes at the personal and productive levels. Why have just plain chocolate or just plain vanilla when you can twist them together for something even more delicious? Individual interventions could work at an organizational level. Business can benefit from artistic processes. And what happens when you consider the fulcrum of the pendulum, not just the swinging action? Looking at the unobvious may sound – well – obvious! But it’s worth examining all the same. It seems that efficiency and effectiveness are two key watchwords these days — everyone is trying to do more with less, or even just doing more with the same. Enter “engaged team performance”. This concept harnesses two elements that should raise performance: engagement and teams. Corporate wisdom says that teams are synergistic — if you have a high-performing team of six people, that team should be accomplishing more than six individuals working alone. There is some sort of systemic magic that happens on high-performing teams, and this has been documented and studied time and time again. The second element is engagement. Right now, corporate North America is (if you believe the reports) rife with “presenteeism” — people who show up physically for work but really don’t do much of anything. Most of an organization’s productivity comes from those who are fully engaged in their work — working for the joy of it and, while they get a decent pay cheque, they believe in the company and in their mandate. There is a personal fulfillment. When you combine engaged individuals on a high-performing team, basic mathematics says that the output should be exponentially higher than your average group functioning. But how do you create it? Therein lies the rub. Authors Dodd Starbird and Roland Cavanagh have, of course, their system: a model that looks at performance and process, people and technology, goals and generations, all wrapped up in a neat case study. The book is well-written, though a little heavy on graphs and mathematical modelling. If six-sigma hasn’t worked for you, and you’ve really tried it, you may find this book to be well-aligned to your way of thinking while providing you with alternative possibilities. Give it a try — genuine employee engagement and high-performing teams are always worth aiming for.