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green beans and ice cream: The Remarkable Power of Positive Reinforcement By: Bill Sims, Jr.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Green Beans and Ice Cream? At first glance, they don’t sound like they go together. But this groundbreaking new book from author Bill Sims, Jr. will change forever the way you deal with your family, customers, coworkers, students, and yes, even your spouse! In Bill’s thirty year history, he has helped design more than one thousand behavior change systems that have produced tremendous gains in performance and profits at America’s top companies including Disney, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, General Motors, and Dupont. Hidden in this book you will find Bill’s “secret sauce”, and the recipe for rapid, sustainable behavior change and engagement--Positive Reinforcement (PR+) The book explains why positive reinforcement is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. Use it wisely, and performance moves off the chart. Use it poorly, and the results can be disastrous. Green Beans & Ice Cream analyzes over 100 years of research in the field of human behavioral science, and compares it to “real world, in the trenches” true stories that Sims recounts. It points out clearly that the thing we need the most, is the thing we often receive the least—positive reinforcement and feedback from those around us. Using the techniques outlined in this book, you can master the remarkable power of positive reinforcement, and make a real difference in the world around you. This book is for everyone who must lead others. Whether in the family, the school, or the workplace, it is a “must read” for anyone who wants to improve the performance of their team. With this first book, Sims has dropped a stone in the still pond of leadership. The waves will only get bigger.

Amazon Summary

This is a great little book!  I love it when writers offering advice…give us loads of real-life examples.  I think that husband of mine has been using these techniques on me for years.  I’ve read about B.F. Skinner and his operant conditioning.  Author Sims quotes Skinner, “Human thoughts are behaviors we have not yet learned how to observe.”  Sims mentions many times that neuroscience has begun and will one day help tell us what thoughts and behaviors are linked….and are therefore targets for conditioning.  
Included in each chapter is a QR code which can be scanned in order to see more examples of applied positive and negative reinforcements.  If you’re like me and don’t have a fancy phone, you can access the same information at the author’s website, greenbean leadership – the remarkable power of positive reinforcement
Reading Google’s experience with pay raise positive reinforcement was interesting.  My workplace has taken Google’s approach to raises for a few years without poor results.  I wonder if the times have changed since Mary Kay’s pink Cadillac, but that’s a great story too.  Loved the Daughter-of-the-Month and hosed ape stories!  I’m not a supervisor of employees, so I won’t be able to try these techniques.  I found the break-down interesting: the three “flavors” of positive reinforcement are tangible, social, and self.  The success of a “leader” is determined by his/her ability to “change the behavior and improve the performance of …followers”.  The true test is whether employees (students, your children) do what they should “in the moment of choice, when nobody is watching”.  Interesting read, good stories, with lessons that can be applied to community, work, and home life…
Four and a Half Stars  

*Reviewed by Colleen*

Find this book:
Barnes and Noble

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. bn100 said...:

    Sound like good examples

  1. Sarah P said...:

    Haha I love the cover! This seems like a cool book, I'll have to check it out :)

  1. Susan T. said...:

    I have been a supervisor of other workers and I could have used the advice! It's a lot of responsibility. I hate to think I'm manipulating people in any way though.