While halfway through this book, I wondered why it took me a year to start it (having bought it on impulse at Logan Airport on my way to Denmark last...moreWhile halfway through this book, I wondered why it took me a year to start it (having bought it on impulse at Logan Airport on my way to Denmark last year). It's classic Terry Pratchett satire, and is a hilarious and insightful send-up of leadership and politics. While thoroughly enjoying this book, it made me realize that I need to read more fiction. Non-fiction business books comprise the bulk of my reading list, but there's no better way to learn to tell a story than by reading fiction by authors I enjoy.
This book also resonated with me more on my trip than it would have at home because I did not have to imagine the narrow twisting streets, the tiny horse-drawn carts, and the beautiful architecture of the medieval setting in Night Watch; I was living them in Stonetown.(less)
this is the best practical book on how management is changing and how you can be waaay ahead of the curve. read it, or my notes for an idea of what it...morethis is the best practical book on how management is changing and how you can be waaay ahead of the curve. read it, or my notes for an idea of what it's about. the book has a lot more practical advice about innovating your management processes regardless of whether you're running your own company or whether you're working at a big corporation.
14: Max Weber has been dead for 90 years, but control, precision, stability, discipline, and reliability - the traits he saluted in his anthem to beaureacracy - are still the canonical views of modern management.
23: Toyota's capacity for continuous improvement has been powered by a belief in the ability of "ordinary" employees to solve complex problems. In 2005, the company received 540,000 improvement ideas from its Japanese employees.
43: Goal of mgmt innovation is to build organizations that are capable of continual, trauma-free renewal.
56: Something in orgs that deplete natural resilience and creativity of human beings - management principles that foster discipline, economy, rationality, and order, yet place little value on artistry, nonconformity, originality, and elan.
62: Hierarchies are good at aggregating effort, at coordinating activities of people with widely differing roles. But not good at mobilizing effort, at inspiring people to go above and beyond. When it comes to mobilizing human capabilities, communities outperform beaureacracies. For several reasons: * In bureaucracy, basis for exchange is contractual; in community, it's voluntary - give your labor to make a difference or exercise talents * In B, you are factor in production; in C, a partner in a cause * In B, loyalty is a product of economic dependency; in C, dedication and commitment depend on one's affiliation with the group's aims and goals * in B, policies and rules determine supervision and control; in C, norms, values, and peer pressure * in B, contributions based on role; in C, capability and disposition are more important than credentials and job desc * in B rewards are mostly financial; in C, mostly emotional
Compared with bureaucracies, communities tend to be unmanaged. That, more than anything else, is why they are amplifiers of human capability.
64: No discussions of mgmt process suggest participants have hearts - none of Beauty, Truth, Love, Service, Wisdom, Justice, Freedom, Compassion. You are unlikely to get bighearted contributions from your employees unless they feel they are working toward some goal that encompasses bighearted ideals.
74: Peer pressure enlists loyalty in ways that bureaucracy doesn't.
75: Whole Foods: 93% of company stock options have been granted to nonexecutives (In most companies, 75% of stock options go to give or fewer senior execs).
89: In a high-trust, low-fear organization, employees don't need a lot of oversight - they need to be mentored and supported, rather than bossed around.
91: Recruiting people to a new initiative is a process of giving away ownership of the idea to people who want to contribute. The project won't go anywhere is you don't let people run with it. - Terri Kelly, CEO, WL Gore
91: Willing commitment is many times more valuable to an org than resigned compliance. Gore tenet: "All commitments are self-commitments." At Gore, tasks can't be assigned, they can only be accepted. Associates are measured and rewarded on the basis of their contribution to team success, they have an incentive to commit to more rather than less. While associates are free to say "no" to any request, a commitment once made is regarded as a near-sacred oath.
97: Mgmt innovation almost always delegates power downward and outward. To enfranchise employees you must disenfranchise managers, yet the redistribution of power is one of the primary means for making organizations more adaptable, more innovative, and more highly engaging.
110: If you run the company as a set of extended conversations, you get a lot of buy-in, and buy-in drives execution.
119: Management innovations that humanize work are the ones most likely to succeed - and they'll help your company recruit the best of the best.
130: To sell one's time rather than what one produced, to pace one's work to the clock, to eat and sleep at precisely defined intervals, to spend long days endlessly repeating the same, small task - none of these were, or are, natural human instincts.
136: You don't need a lot of front-line discipline when four conditions are met: 1. First-line employees are responsible for results 2. Team members have access to real-time performance data 3. They have decision authority over the key variables that influence performance outcomes 4. There's a tight coupling between results, compensation, and recognition
138: Individuals often defend the how of a hoary old management process simply because they haven't thought deeply about other ways of accomplishing the goals that process serves.
161: What can management innovators learn from markets? First and foremost, this: resources (capital and talent) have to be free to seek the best returns.
164: Additional rules for building nimble companies: * First, process of evaluating and pricing new projects needs to be decentralized * Innovators should have access to multiple sources of experimental capital * The more efficient the market for ideas, talent, and capital (the easier it is for internal innovators and investors to find each other, and the fewer the constraints on the internal realignment of resources - the more adaptable a company will be)
167: Additional design rules for 21st century (adaptable) companies: * leaders must be truly accountable to the front lines * employees must feel free to exercise the right of dissent * policy making must be as decentralized as possible * activism must be encouraged and honored
196: What tools can we give to employees to make them fully empowered business innovators? * DB of customer insights and competitor intelligence? * detailed financial stats to explore implications of changes in pricing, promo spending, staffing, etc? * maps of key business processes to reconfigure and analyze them? * internal website that helps individuals gather feedback on their creative ideas?
207: in a community of peers, people bow to competence, commitment, and foresight, rather than to power.
255: For the first time since the dawning of the industrial age, the only way to build a company that's fit for the future is to build one that's fit for human beings as well. *This* is your opportunity - to build a 21st century management model that truly elicits, honors, and cherishes human initiative, creativity, and passion - these tender, essential ingredients for business success in this new millenium. Do that, and you will have built an organization that is fully human and fully prepared for the extraordinary opportunities that lie ahead. (less)
The book was slow in places, but mostly because Ekman provided significant discussion of the nature/nurture debate as it pertains to facial expressions across cultures, while I was interested in the content regarding the recognition of emotions through facial muscle movements.
One of the major outcomes of Ekman's work is the Facial Action Coding System (or FACS), which lists most of the critical muscle movements in the face that relate to emotional expression. The combination of these muscle movements usually determine the emotion that a person is feeling. While the FACS itself seems more useful in academic research, Ekman's site has a training CD that helps people recognize the expressions that flit across peoples' faces everyday, which could be useful.
The information in Emotions Revealed will help build and maintain relationships in everyday life, but if you only pick it up brielfy, the chapters on the four emotional categories that Ekman describes (sadness and agony, surprise and fear, anger, and enjoyable emotions) are the most useful in the book.(less)
Having run out of books to read, I picked this up in a Positano pharmacy, on the strength of Mezrich's first effort about MIT blackjack card counters,...moreHaving run out of books to read, I picked this up in a Positano pharmacy, on the strength of Mezrich's first effort about MIT blackjack card counters, Bringing Down the House.
The book is based on a true story, and is about an American kid--alias John Malcolm--who goes to Japan to work for a hedge fund. Malcolm ends up making millions while living the fast driving, high-flying moneyed, sexed-up lifestyle of rich ex-pats in Japan.
The story is compelling, but not particularly enriching. It's a solid second effort, but in addition to a great story, you at least learn something in Bringing Down the House.(less)