Skillsoft Blog

Skillsoft Books24x7® Book Review: Flat Army: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization

By Kelley Noblet, Marketing Manager, Skillsoft

Prior to coming onboard at Skillsoft more than two years ago, I could have guessed that poor leadership meant less productive employees, but I was unaware of the profound effect this could have on overall business results.  After reading countless research papers, speaking to customers and seeing our products in action, I now understand the importance of employee engagement and the role leaders play. Flat-Army-Cover

Recently I read Flat Army: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization, which explores the concept that leadership comes from all employees— regardless of rank—“leading together to achieve a common goal.” Traditional leadership hierarchies can limit employee creativity and reduce employee engagement by squashing ideas and imposing restrictions. How damaging can this be?

According a Gallup report, “only 11% of workers worldwide are engaged…The majority of workers, 62%, are not engaged—that is, emotionally detached and likely to be doing little more than is necessary to keep their jobs.”[1]

To be clear, the author is not trying to dismiss the value of a leadership hierarchy, but rather an environment that exudes command and control over its employees.

How does the author suggest we avoid this scenario? He argues that organizations can become a “flat army” by following these five principles:

  • Connection: The behaviors, actions and tactics to become an engaging leader
  • Collaboration: The behavioral method in which leaders and employees should be operating
  • Participation: The act of continuously building your network and distribution of knowledge
  • Learning: The recognition that learning is continuous, community driven, and everywhere
  • Technology: The tools and processes that cultivate both an engaged and connected organization

The author provides ample concrete examples and entertaining anecdotes on each of these principles, offering professionals actionable ideas to achieve increased innovation, participation and collaboration in their organizations.

Interested in learning more? Watch a webcast featuring the author and Skillsoft customer, Dan Pontefract, discussing his book. Skillsoft Books24x7® subscribers can also access this title in their BusinessPro™ subscription.


[1] Flat Army: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization by Dan Pontefract. John Wiley & Sons, 2013.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

(URLs automatically linked.)

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)