Great little short ebook on the economics and stagnation in our economy because of technological advances. I'm now ordering their new book which comes...moreGreat little short ebook on the economics and stagnation in our economy because of technological advances. I'm now ordering their new book which comes out next month and continues the theme.
As a geek I highly recommend this book. Business author Rob Salkowitz takes you on a behind-the-scenes tour of Comic-Con and discusses the various con...moreAs a geek I highly recommend this book. Business author Rob Salkowitz takes you on a behind-the-scenes tour of Comic-Con and discusses the various convergences of geekery in media. (less)
Quick and good book written by VP and Forrestor analyst James McQuivoy. He primarily serves the CMO audience--and that is primarily the audience for t...moreQuick and good book written by VP and Forrestor analyst James McQuivoy. He primarily serves the CMO audience--and that is primarily the audience for this book. There wasn't a whole lot new for me here--but then I live and breathe tech innovation and am not the primary audience. (less)
Want an understanding of technology and innovation in the twentieth century? Then read the autobiography William Paley, founder and chairman of CBS, A...moreWant an understanding of technology and innovation in the twentieth century? Then read the autobiography William Paley, founder and chairman of CBS, As It Happened: A Memoir. Bill Paley learned the art of business from his father who owned a cigar factory. Still a young man in his twenties, Paley took some of his business windfall and invested the money into radio creating CBS Studios. This is a fascinating history of innovation in America--radio to television to music are all covered from the twenties up to through the seventies. Paley was inventing the business as he went along--and he writes of making quick and early mistakes.
This is a good book to read after Tim Wu's Master of the Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires. While Wu's book covers the entire industries and wave and changes of innovation in control, it is then interesting to get Paley's perspective from heading one of the most powerful information empires. You really see through this book how much control Paley did have over media--luckily as he describes in the book he had ideas about fairness and neutrality. Although there are a few times in the book I cringed a bit to realize how much control he had.
During his lifetime a few things that Paley accomplished: *rise of radio *rise of television (and he tried to get color tv from the beginning) *television--mass medium or educational content? and how do you mix both *WWII--went to Europe and helped ` *major collector of art--picassos, matisse, etc. *Columbia Records and record club (less)
This is Service Design Thinking was designed to be a much needed textbook on the new interdisciplinary approach to designing services. If you work at...moreThis is Service Design Thinking was designed to be a much needed textbook on the new interdisciplinary approach to designing services. If you work at all in in high tech you would be well served by reading this book--but service design touches almost any business.
The content is good--I especially enjoyed the middle sections that describe a number of methodologies for designing services. I've worked with a few myself including personas, idea generation (SWOT and mindmapping), agile development, storytelling, and my personal favorite--business model canvas. (Damn, I need to make sure all that is on my LinkedIn profile!) I also enjoyed some of the included in-depth articles on deep service design thinking. The essay on "Integrating Service Design Thinking and Motivational Psychology" by Fergus Bisset and "Service Design and Biophila" by Renato Troncon are worth the price of admission.
A shout-out now if you want to see world-class design affecting real people in action. Watch this video by Krista Donaldson and the folks at D-Rev.
So now what I didn't really like about this textbook... And mind you, I'm coming at this from an experienced book editor in high tech. The book was crowd-sourced but I think lacks a strong lead editor. It is a collection of material and I guess that is okay for a textbook like this, but I prefer having one expert guide me through the work of others than sifting through myself.
And the book was so over-designed as to be distracting. It has a number of bells and whistles--color-coded sections, ribbon bookmarks, a poster, pre-highlights and so many icons there is a map to the icons in the back. All of this is rather distracting. I hate having my books pre-highlighted for me. If I find it important, I will highlight it. I can do that. I kind of disagreed with whoever made some of the highlighting decisions.
I hope there will be a second edition because this is a good book, but it needs the hand of a firm editor to take it to the next level for me.
But I will keep the book on my shelf and will probably check out other titles that are referenced.
And if you work on services-- do take a look at the Business Model Canvas. If I were to pick one method over the others that would be it for me. I can learn so much about how a business works by taking it through the canvas just on my own.(less)
I have read the book 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris a number of times because it has some good tips in it about being effectively productive. But...moreI have read the book 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris a number of times because it has some good tips in it about being effectively productive. But it is also not a very practical book--for instance, I'm not planning on quitting my job anytime soon to take up Argentinean dance nor do I want to completely outsource my life. I also don't have the luxury of focusing completely on one to two things at the expense of everything else I have in my life (like my child). I've read a number of his other books, I'm still a fan, but I regard him as bit of a flim-flam man or a snake oil salesman. His own attention span is short and his work (and writing) is somewhat sloppy, so I continue to dip into his works looking for little nuggets that help.
I am also not a believer in David Allen's Getting Things Done. Blech. Any time I've tried his system I end up with a todo list that is a mile long and so overwhelming as to not be effective at all.
Over the years I've cobbled my own system by setting my goals and priorities ala Covey's First Things First, and a bit of the Pomodoro method thrown in, with a smaller focused "three things that have to be done today" todo list.
Now comes Robertt C. Pozen's book, Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results and Reduce Your Hours. As someone who has read every productivity book out there, this one is a winner. In some ways, Pozen even has some of the same ideas as Ferris...such as excusing yourself from pointless meetings or focusing your talents toward the 20% of Pareto's law for maximum return. But Pozen isn't a snake oil salesman--he is someone extremely accomplished--Harvard Business School Professor, Chairman at Fidelity, maker of Public Policy...and author of numerous books. He is very practical and his productivity is so that he can accomplish more and do it effectively. He also doesn't have you create endless todo lists. I like his focus on figuring out what you do best, do it, and delegating the rest.
I like this book very much--he spends the requisite amount of time on setting goals and priorities, but then the rest of the book has specifics...like how to read faster and how to write more effectively, then there are chapters that have great advice for planning your overall career. I also liked that Pozen addresses the homefront as well as career finding yourself a stay-at-home spouse or a quality support system. And for someone that you might expect to be a bit old-school, I like that Pozen has embraced the flexible workplace.(less)
A fantastic little memoir and a lesson in economic models. Alexander Blakely with his degree in economics moves from the US to Siberia in 1992. He spe...moreA fantastic little memoir and a lesson in economic models. Alexander Blakely with his degree in economics moves from the US to Siberia in 1992. He spent four years there living among her people and observing what happened up close after the fall of communism and rampant capitalism and consumerism took hold. He had a bird's eye view of what happened in Russia during this brief period when the walls came down and right before the globablization of the Internet.
The book is entertaining and Blakely has some spot on observations about the good and bad in free markets and the tradeoffs between comfort and happiness. At the end of the book which published in 2002 Blakely gives an update on his friends. Now, I would really love to have a sequel from a decade on.
You will like this book if you like: *memoirs *travel *business and economic theory *enjoy oral histories *read Russian literature(less)
If you work at a corporation of any size, this book is a good introduction to the hows and whys of talent and performance management. I'm not an HR pr...moreIf you work at a corporation of any size, this book is a good introduction to the hows and whys of talent and performance management. I'm not an HR professional, but am a professional in the learning and training industry. I also work at a company that is is using a performance management system that was instituted for all the right reasons, but may in fact be a system that is dragging us down. I could sit around and complain about it, but I chose to educate myself about it. I have several books on this subject to read, and this is the first in the pile.
I liked this book for a couple of reasons. The authors do a great job of breaking talent management down and they make a call for simplifying it. I'm all for simplification. They also back everything they claim with the facts--real research. The authors make a call at the beginning of the book to start with the science (behavorial science) eliminate compliexity and add value. I like that. Ah, if only a few more HR pros would read and live this book.
I also learned the history of forced distribution and ranking--it was popularized by GE and Ford Motor Co. (Ford was actually sued over it). The authors claim that studies have shown it works and shows tangible results for a company. But it did make a question rise in my mind--why in the 21st century are many Fortune 500s using a 20th century performance process built for assembly lines? We don't work that way. How do you root out poor performers in a system that values creative problem-solving and not building widgets? There has to be a better way. The authors do advise that the benefits of such a program emerge in the first few years and that an organization should adjust the forced distribution over time. That is logical and makes sense. They also advise to not use labels or numerical ratings that are communicated to employees. I would really like to see more research on forced distribution.
Along the way I picked up some interesting little tidbits like: *the more goals an individual has, the more poorly he performs on each (they suggest three) *list goals in order of importance on perf management form *frequent feedback builds leaders faster for course correction *self-assessment does not work as poor performers are delusional about their performance *everyone thinks they are a high performer--and writing a self-appraisal damages pride *research showed that less improvement is seen when feedback becomes about the person and not a task * and as an employee if someone gives you feedback, and then you follow up on it with them, they perceive you have improved whether or not you actually did *like goals, too many competancies at a company are a bad thing
Overall, a good book to have in your library if you are a manager and are interested in employee development.(less)