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BECOME A DIFFERENCE-MAKER

Connect to additional Great Work resources.

Great work is expanding the influence of your job, going beyond what’s expected, and creating improvements that benefit others. Your focus is on much more than routine execution and delivery. It is on making positive changes and creating new value that impacts the world around you.

Great Work: How to make a difference people love


Our breakthrough New York Times Bestseller by Executive VP David Sturt proves that anyone, from any background, can deliver a difference the world loves. Discover five practical skills that make it happen. Based on the world’s largest-ever study of award-winning work.

The Great Work Model

The Great Work Model shows how all five difference-making skills work together to create new and unexpected value. Asking the Right Question sets our purpose squarely on making a difference people love. The next two skills help us discover new solutions. Improving the Mix is for imagining the value of potential improvements before we make them. And Delivering the Difference is where we stay with our work, learning and refining until people love the result.

Great Work Experience 

One part think tank, two parts innovation lab. The Great Work Experience is a workshop where work actually gets done. Participants practice five skills from the global study behind our latest bestseller to ideate, innovate, and move projects forward in unexpected ways.

Based on the world’s largest-ever study of award-winning work and our New York Times bestseller.


From Great Work.

Inspiring stories referenced in the book.

How do you expand a shrinking public school in the middle of nowhere?


When Skip Hults became superintendent of Newcomb Central School in the heart of Adirondack Park, he inherited a tradition of excellence, a talented faculty, a supportive community, and 55 kids to fill 350 seats. It was a case of grow or die.

WATCH THE VIDEO


Is it possible to make 600 cars a day without producing garbage?


When Subaru’s parent company suggested Denise and her team get as close as possible to zero landfill, she was shocked. How do you eliminate all waste from a car plant the size of six-and-a-half football fields that produces 15 tons of waste every 24 hours?

WATCH THE VIDEO


How does a hospital janitor play a critical role on the healing team?


Surrounded by renowned doctors and world-class facilities, Mindi and her family were surprised to find the care and healing her son McKay needed came from the last member of the hospital’s staff they would have expected.

WATCH THE VIDEO


A Spanish biologist develops a fish farm that acts naturally.


Located on an island in the Guadalquivir River in Southern Spain, Veta la Palma looks more like a bird refuge than the world’s most sustainable fish farm. See Chef Dan Barber talk about how he fell in love with the tasty fish raised there.

WATCH THE TED TALK


A pioneer in microloans empowers people who live on a few dollars a day.


Kiva co-founder Jessica Jackley helps connect lenders with potential borrowers around the world, whether it's a farmer in Cambodia or a shopkeeper in Sierra Leone, thereby funding entrepreneurship worldwide for as little as $25 a loan.

WATCH THE VIDEO


The grandfather of snowboarding shares how it all began.


Every Great Work story begins with the desire to create something cool for others. The Toy Snurfer that Sherman Poppen created his two energetic daughters and pregnant wife inspired an entire industry.

WATCH THE VIDEO


Green Microgym: bikes and ellipticals that make electricity, oh my!


As long as you’re burning energy, you might as well be making it too. Adam Boesel of Portland’s Green Microgym started with the expected gym elements and created something entirely new. Take a brief tour of the Green Microgym.

WATCH THE VIDEO


The art of being greeted by an elephant in your cruise cabin.


It’s hard to trace the origins of cruise ship towel origami. Carnival cruise lines popularized it, but this simple addition to the basic skill of cleaning a room shows up everywhere from cruise lines to hospitals. It’s an out-of-the ordinary difference that people love.

WATCH THE VIDEO


A lesson in Lego: working with what you’ve got.


When we feel limited by our jobs, we need to remember that our limitations are a starting point for great work. There are so many untried combinations. Consider that six eight-stud lego bricks can be put together in more than 900 million different ways.

SEE THE MATH

Take the Great Work Challenge.

If you’d like to involve a group of friends or co-workers in doing some great work, take the Great Work Challenge. Invite your team to read Great Work. Get together and discuss its concepts, skills, and ideas. Apply the individual talents of team members to Ask The Right Question, See For Yourself, Talk To Your Outer Circle, Improve The Mix, and Deliver a Difference people love. Celebrate your success.

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