The Power of Potential
How a Nontraditional Workforce Can Lead You to Run Your Business Better
by Tom D'Eri
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Pub Date 24 Jan 2023 | Archive Date 23 Jan 2023
“A powerful, game-changing book. Tom's approach is changing lives.”
— Seth Godin, Author of This is Marketing
Discover how supporting employment for people with autism unlocked new ways of running a business—and revealed transformative lessons for all of us.
Rising Tide Car Wash in Parkland, Florida, isn’t average in any way. When Tom D’Eri and his father John bought the location in 2013, they wanted to create employment opportunities for workers with autism. Like 1 in 54 Americans, Tom’s brother Andrew has autism, and he was facing lifelong unemployment. So the family set out on a mission to provide professional opportunities for people like Andrew, starting with one car wash. Now it’s one of the highest-volume washes in Florida. Its employee retention rate is five times that of its competitors. It has spun off into two additional locations that have been immediately successful, and the business is absurdly profitable.
The Power of Potential tells the inspiring, surprising reason why: The wash’s excellence isn’t in spite of their unusual workforce, but because of it. Thanks to their neurodivergent staff, the Rising Tide team was able to discover and correct common problems that typically fly under the radar in businesses, including:
- You hire based on interviews
- You think great talent is the secret to a great business
- Your managers are “good enough”
- You fire your worst employees
By spotting and correcting these hidden problems, any business—with any kind of workers—can achieve unexpected wins and leave average behind. At Rising Tide, solving these problems resulted in four unexpected wins that added up to a culture of excellence:
- Every employee felt safe
- Accountability became a tool for growth
- Everyone’s work gave them a sense of purpose
- Customers loved their experience
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 4 members
I always find it interesting that when we talk about potential the only thing we refuse to acknowledge is that it could go either way; and potential untapped is the worst and reading this book and learning about these four factors:
1. You Hire Based on Resumes
2. You Think Being Unique Will Make You Successful
3. Your Managers Are Good Enough
4. You Fire Your Worst Employees
They all reminded me about my past working experiences- some not so good, others propelled me into my current position in management and it's a reminder that those odd elements could be your success.
Thanks Netgalley for the eARC.
I got a digital copy of this book from NetGalley. If there is one thing that I have learnt in my practice of Design thinking and deeply thinking about innovation, it is the power of extreme users.
The author has taken the concept of extreme users to an extreme and not only created a business with employees who are near-diverse (as he calls them) a successful one at that. The lessons learnt in recruiting, training, retaining and helping them succeed is phenomenal in its own sense but are relevant to all businesses.
The way Tom has written the book is engaging with just the right amount of stories and lessons learnt for their business and how that translates into lessons for all of us. The writing is simple, engaging and easy to read.
This is indeed a great book if you really want to build a team where the success of the employees is well thought through. As he says, if an employee fails, then instead of thinking how the employee failed the business, start thinking how the business has failed the employee.. The reframe is super powerful.. And if you only take away this one lesson, it is worth the time and effort that I put in reading this book.