Summary of The Natural Advantage

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The Natural Advantage book summary

Editorial Rating

6

Recommendation

Work smarter, not harder has become a management cliché. While this mantra is vague at best, author Alan Heeks provides some useful advice on achieving this kind of balance. Heeks compares the stressed-out worker to formerly traditional farms that have gone organic. This premise could have been hokey, but Heeks pulls off the analogy with aplomb. As a consultant who works with large companies, the author is rooted enough in the real world that his advice is feasible. He offers helpful examples of people who have overcome work problems by using his principles. The book occasionally repeats itself and goes on a bit longer than necessary. Nonetheless, it provides a unique and healthy way of handling work-related stress. getabstract.com recommends this book to any manager or employee looking for an unconventional way to improve efficiency, by using the organic approach to life.

About the Author

Alan Heeks is founder of the Wessex Foundation, an educational charity and 132-acre organic farm in England. He attended Oxford University and earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. His consulting firm’s clients include 3M, Glaxo and BP.

Summary

Renewing Yourself

The high-stress, fast-paced world of work is full of unrealistic expectations. The result is dissatisfaction, poor performance and burnout. Our culture encourages you to treat yourself like a machine. But you aren’t like a refrigerator; you are more like an organic farm.

The environmental downside of these traditions is obvious: Natural resources are being polluted and exhausted. Many employers call the people in their work force their most important resource, yet - like the resources of nature - human resources also are being polluted and depleted.

You can increase your productivity to sustainable levels by acknowledging that everyone has a natural capacity to grow and to adapt. This Natural Advantage comes from working within nature’s bounds. Sustainability means satisfying current needs without sacrificing future potential. The organic approach isn’t about abandoning hard work and order; instead, it focuses on harnessing and shaping natural resources and processes to create quality.

Seven Principles of Organic Farming

Organic farming is a difficult task, because the farmer must cede significant control to nature. Seven key factors...


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