Readers’ Reviews of The Collaborative Way: A Story about Engaging the Mind and Spirit of a Company

“The Collaborative Way: A Story About Engaging the Mind and Spirit of a Company” by Lloyd Fickett had an immediate positive impact on the culture of our manufacturing facility. Employees who read the book started implementing the commitments in their work areas on their own. Others became curious about what was driving the positive behaviors they were seeing, read the book, and the upward spiral continued. Even before we began orientations for our managers and supervisors, the collaborative approach was being implemented in several work areas. The Union committee saw the positive changes taking place and suggested the Union committee leaders pair with salaried leaders to facilitate orientations for the entire workforce. These cross-functional orientations helped connect employees at all levels of the organization, and develop a greater appreciation for the challenges faced by other departments.  Union/Management relations improved significantly and formerly contentious issues became easier to resolve by employing the collaborative way commitments. I have never seen a book have so much impact on an organization even before the comprehensive roll-out began. Further validation of the approach is confirmed by the heartwarming stories our employees tell us about the impact their practice is having at home with their families.

Forrest B. Lauher
Manufacturing Manager

I thoroughly enjoyed “The Collaborative Way”. The ideas are articulated clearly and concisely; the characters and business examples are realistic and effectively demonstrate the principles. The book is engaging, thought provoking, and a quick read. I highly recommend it!

Elizabeth Corley
Senior Vice President, People, Planning & Communication

A terrific book that is an easy, quick read! Unlike many books that present concepts too complex to translate into behavior change, “The Collaborative Way” reveals the simple “how to do” on what we ought to do in business relationships. Although “The Collaborative Way” is a book about engaging the mind and spirit of a company, it also engaged the “mind and spirit” of my life. A very valuable read for everyone.

Richard Battista
Executive VP, COO
Diccicco Battista Communications


I recently read “The Collaborative Way” by Lloyd Fickett and Jason Fickett.  I read the book about two weeks after participating in a series of Collaborative Way seminars with Lloyd Fickett as leader.  I found that by reading the book many of the thoughts and comments made during the seminars were reintroduced and reinforced.  I could see myself and my behavior in much of the dialog provided in the “The Collaborative Way”.  For me it helped me put it all together.  I am thankful that such a process and such a book could have this profound effect on me personally.

Yvan J. Beliveau PhD; P.E.
Myers Lawson School of Construction,
Virginia Tech


I enjoyed reading “The Collaborative Way”.

Any of us who have run businesses — and have experienced periods of stalemates in progress or lack of business or cultural growth can relate to the frustration of Barry Halton, the challenged CEO in your story.

The Collaborative Way is a tremendous tool to help organizations move faster. And with business only speeding up – the practice of the Collaborative Way can mean the difference between success and failure.

Slowing down to go faster sounds counter-intuitive. As we take on initiatives, putting proper time into team preparation, getting past defensiveness and building alignment around decisions creates a sense of success that fosters more success. In a culture that seems to favor knee-jerk reactions – the message from “The Collaborative Way” is a good reminder for your readers who are truly up to making a difference in their organizations.

William B. Stockwell
Stockwell Elastomerics, Inc

As a writer, publisher, developer and instructor of a therapeutic technique for use with animals I have served as a mentor to many. While I worked at developing others to be instructors for my technique I found it quite difficult to relinquish the leadership role. That final step felt threatening to my position, yet was essential to their success.

When I was given a copy of “The Collaborative Way” I sat down to read it with mild curiosity, not thinking of my highly personal business dilemma or that a book written for larger companies would relate to my small school. Yet in the few short hours it took me to read it I came to see, with vivid clarity, how the course of action I had been following was indeed leading to disaster and simultaneously how simple it would be to change it.

I think this book has the potential to be the “next step” for many small business owners. It’s the logic we all know, with the extra kick of showing us how to trust and use it. I’ve already loaned it to a friend whose tail of woe with her twenty year old magazine was just screaming for the answers in the Collaborative Way. Her comment was, “I see where I have been really weak in my listening skills.”

Carol Bennett
Founder of the Animal Connection Network

I want to acknowledge the brilliant and subtle method “The Collaborative Way” provides in creating and sustaining a new reality in the workplace. I was reminded that it is a full time job changing and sustaining a company’s culture, and that the job of the top leaders is to model a powerful way of being that gets emulated. This is a constant and relentless endeavor; not for the faint of heart and isn’t something that has an end date. Most feats of this nature fail due to the “it’s started, so let’s get back to work,” by the top managers. “The Collaborative Way” underscores that this is a life choice, and not a job. It is a different way of living, and though not stated explicitly the principles apply both at home and at work.

Brilliantly done.

Ed Atkinson
Atkinson Enterprises, Inc.

The book “The Collaborative Way” does an excellent job of explaining exactly how the practice of The Collaborative Way is a powerful management tool. It is a must read for business leaders considering The Collaborative Way and a great reinforcement tool for those already practicing.

At the beginning, we meet Barry Halton. Barry is great at starting companies but after the start-up phase, he keeps running into trouble. When his second company begins to exhibit some of the same bad habits as the first, Barry starts to think that maybe he just isn’t cut out to lead a company past start-up.

Fortunately, Barry learns about The Collaborative Way. The book makes it easy to see how Barry’s management style is the problem and how both Barry and his company change for the better after adapting The Collaborative Way. But even more important, you will finish with a clear understanding of how The Collaborative Way can benefit your company or how you can improve your practice.

I highly recommend this book.

Michael H. Goodman
Metallurgical Products Company
Practicing The Collaborative Way™ since 1995

Honesty, generosity, recognition, support in achieving goals — what most of us would like in a workplace, but few people experience. Organizations practicing the principles described in “The Collaborative Way” activate leadership at all levels to make a more fulfilling workplace and a more focused, more adaptable organization where trust and recognition run rampant.

“The Collaborative Way” is a quick read, and a good introduction to the five principles that are the key to unlocking the human potential within an enterprise, but don’t stop there. The onsite training and coaching sessions provided by Lloyd Fickett & Associates are the keys to establishing commitments to practice a focused, ethical work-style extending from the reception desk through the backroom to the corporate boardroom.

I’ve had the pleasure of being part of a workplace being transformed by The Collaborative Way and while it takes constant work to keep from slipping back into bad habits, there is a significant change resulting from speaking straight, listening generously, being for each other, honoring commitments and acknowledging and appreciating the contributions of the individuals making up the team. The commitment and investment my organization made to the principles learned in “The Collaborative Way” has been a real asset as our organization turns the corner from the glow of a startup to the difficult conversations and decisions required of a maturing team. It’s helped in my family life and in some very difficult life situations.

The Collaborative Way is five principles to build a life on. Don’t miss out.

Mike O’Brien
William E. Jamerson Professor
Department of Building Construction
Myers-Lawson School of Construction
Virginia Tech

In the corporate world where attracting, hiring and retaining the best and brightest keeps getting harder and harder, a company must create a culture where people feel included and what they think is important. “The Collaborative Way” did a great job of identifying the principles to create that culture and offered real life examples of how they can be applied. A good way to make your company better and different.

Bob Capps
Allan Myers
Director of Field Recruiting and Retention and Career Development