A step-by-step guide to building and sustaining a powerful work force.
Highway was a tremendous challenge for me to write and I had a ton of fun with it. Since It’s a business parable that teaches the key learning points of Scott Dow’s Lean Staffing Methodology to corporate talent leaders.
Scott is a long-time friend whose expertise is in an area that interested me. Since I usually work with people once they’re brought into an organization, I was curious to find the best way for companies to find them. Scott taught me the best way, then asked me to shape those principles into something fun to read that explains the key learning points in an entertaining way.
The easy part was agreeing to do it. The hard part was figuring out how.
When I’m home in Denver, I enjoy taking my dogs on long, off-the-leash walks at Cherry Creek State Park. For three successive mornings I mulled how to do it as the dogs and I walked. Finally it hit me: I had the story premise in my story file at home, a comedic premise I’d filed away for sometime down the road. I keep a huge file of storylines, jokes, characters, and other oddities. Buried inside the file was a premise I’d thought up but never written: A small town threatened with financial ruin because of a new highway bypass project that rerouted cars away from the small shops that depended on passing motorists for sustenance.
I took the premise and used it. Somewhere is the name I gave a small town in rural Nebraska; the town I used in lieu of a company under competitive threat. Somewhere’s citizenry substituted for corporate employees.
All the fights, arguments, and political backstabbing you find in frustrated companies I wrote into the behaviors of the characters. I wove the Lean Staffing Methodology into the solution.
The story is a fun, comedic page-turner that teaches a whole lot of smart things for companies to do when pursuing problem-solvers and ideas. It also demonstrates (through character behaviors) the right things to do and wrong things to avoid.
In the end, we told a clever story that teaches the best way for staffing organizations to think and operate. I also got to write a really good story about a fun premise I’d been hoping someday to use.
From a creative writing standpoint Highway to Somewhere was a great challenge for me. From a business standpoint it was a smart project to undertake. I learned a lotto help better advise my clients. Knowing how to develop talent is one thing; knowing the best way to find it adds even greater value.
Since staffing and recruiting is often done over the phone, it was an honor for me to have the book recorded by staffing professionals in Denver. They volunteered to do so to benefit Rocky Mountain Blind & Dyslexic, a great organization that helps its users develop better life and business skills. I am very proud they thought enough of the story and its teachings to take the time to help others.