Best Behaviour. Empowering managers and HR leaders to coach and align employee behaviours to supercharge growth, by Tony Holmwood is the book every Human Resources executive and manager should read. Why?

Tony is passionate about human behaviour and development. He’s also pretty disillusioned with the way ‘human resources’ is practiced. As you can imagine he’s not necessarily popular with some across the human resources sector. This is EXACTLY why you need to buy, read and explore his book.

Best Behaviour outlines Tony’s Balanced Behaviour Development Model, a model Tony has developed and implemented across various roles and companies he’s worked with. Among other attributes, Tony’s model is uncomplicated and intuitive and focused on reducing organisational complexity so strategy can evolve.

For many companies HR has become a compliance and ‘hire and fire’ department. Really the opposite of what the HR could and should be. Compliance and strategy need to be in balance if you are going to build, retain and empower those who work in your business.

It’s an inside-out job

As a non-HR person I was most interested in Tony’s exploration of working on understanding who we are and why we are the way we are. We all know we’re the sum of our early experiences and environments. However, I’d certainly never really explored this too deeply. Tony’s book took me on that journey and I learnt a great deal.

Tony and I have continued this discussion on many walks around Centennial Park in Sydney. Deeply exploring and understanding ones self take a large amount of courage and openness. It’s a really essential and worthwhile journey. How can we lead others if we don’t really understand who we are? Our fears, motivations, relationships, where we are on our own personal journey and more?

HR needs to change

Tony is openly critical of the HR sector. His view is that it’s been marginalised in most companies to a compliance and hire and fire’ factory. This is the complete opposite of what HR could and should be.

Today, human potential is again being realised, and smart, engage, purpose-driven employees are more valued than ever. Tony’s Balanced Behavioural Development Model underpins his approach for strategy that enables HR departments, managers and leaders to lead proactive, forward-focused organisations. And, maybe, Tony can come up with another name for HR.

What’s in Best Behaviour?

Best Behahviour is divided into two parts:

  • Part 1: Understanding the Balanced Behavioural Development Model. The first chapter covers what the model is, a holistic, inclusive framework of behavioural attributes. Much of the rest of this part is about working out who and why you are the way you are. Quite handy if you’re in HR and have to lead and support others in your company. Much of this chapter is about working out who and why you are the way you are. Why identity and behaviour define who we are, the individual and cultural identities, attitude, trust and truth on the journey to self discovery and more. Quite handy if you’re in HR and have to lead and support others in your company.
  • Part 2: Creating high-performance business culture with the Balance Behavioural Development Model. Don’t skip to this part if you are in HR. You need to ‘do’ the inside work first. But when you’ve done this, Part 2, is all about how you can fundamentally change what you/your HR department does within your business. Sure, you’re still going to do the compliance and ‘hire and fire’ but there’s so much more you can do and there’s a way to make this happen.

Ei is essential

In his conclusion Tony notes that:

Whereas IQ is lateral and analytical, Ei is an automatic, multidimensional capability delivering authentic, independent perspective. Mastering Ei requires a solid foundation of knowledge and self confidence, it is boosted by trusting your intuition and developing a strong sense of self-awareness to expose a powerful ability to leverage relationships for purpose.’

Tony Holmwood


Where ever your are on your professional HR journey, or business journey, do yourself a favour and read this book. I guarantee you’ll learn more about yourself than you thought possible and you will be a better leader because of it. You can buy it directly from Tony

A bit about Tony

Tony is a commercially focused chartered accountant with substantial business performance experience in large local and global organisations including Bega, Oracle, Fonterra, Essential Energy and American Express. His recent career journey has provided valuable insights into business transformation and change management.He is also a qualified motivational, behavioural and change practitioner.