четверг, 11 августа 2011 г.

Advice on business literature from Helen Edwards

A new summer selection of business literature from SKOLKOVO Library Project Manager Helen Edwards includes books written by marketing gurus Guy Kawasaki and Seth Godin (check a book jacket). Do not miss!

1. Little bets: how breakthrough ideas emerge from small discoveries
Peter Sims
Random House, 2011.
224 pages
ISBN: 9781847940476

Instead of large scale innovation and R&D this book advocates running lots of small experiments to see what works. As even the most innovative companies grow, managers become subject to "the tyranny of large numbers", only big projects in areas where there are already large markets seem worth pursuing. But most successful entrepreneurs do not begin with brilliant ideas - they discover them. Consultant Peter Sims describes how to use negativity to positive effect, how finding out what does not work can in the long run lead to success.

2. Enchantment: the art of changing hearts, minds and actions
Guy Kawasaki
Portfolio Penguin, 2011
xxi, 211 pages
ISBN: 9780241953648

Former Chief Evangelist at Apple Guy Kawasaki tells us how to delight customers, employees and bosses. The book is full of practical advice: how to achieve likability and trustworthiness; how to overcome resistance; how to prepare, launch and maintain interest in products and services; and how to make good use of social media. Kawasaki refers to his experience at Apple to illustrate his points, from describing how the work on the Macintosh was separated from the mainstream in its own building to "separate the believers" to reporting on the effort Steve Jobs puts into his presentations.

3. One page talent management: eliminating complexity, adding value
Marc Efron and Miriam Ort
Harvard Business Press, 2010.
208 pages
ISBN: 978-1422166734

The goal of this book is to provide a streamlined approach for developing highly capable employees and future leaders. Directed at HR professionals, the plant managers at the talent factory, the authors recommend three steps: start with the science, the academic research into behavior at work; eliminate unnecessary complexity, and encourage accountability and transparency. An evaluation scale on the basis of "do much more, do more, don't change, do less, do much less" works on all counts. And research shows that those employees whose values are aligned with that of the company show statistically significant positive performance in the long term.

4. Poke the box: when was the last time you did something for the first time?
Seth Godin
Do You Zoom, Inc, 2011
85 pages
ISBN: 978 1 936719006

This very short book by marketing guru Seth Godin encourages the reader to get started. Godin believes that a culture of compliance, established in factories for mass production and in other industries using the factory model, has robbed many people of their natural initiative. He identifies "instigation capital" as a key differentiator in the new project world; translating ideas into products or services which can "ship". The anecdotes and exhortations in the book are designed to overcome obstacles and inspire the reader with the necessary mindset to do this.

5. Why the west rules - for now: the patterns of history and what they reveal about the future
Ian Morris
Profile Books, 2010
608 pages
ISBN: 978-1846682087

Stanford historian Ian Morris compares eastern and western civilization over 16,000 years using a social development model to measure their relative positions. Factors include the use of technology, military power, energy use in terms of daily calorie consumption, urbanization and social organization. Historically geopolitical advantages played a huge role and led overall to western dominance; the industrial revolution in particular favoring the west - in 1919 Paris and London ruled a third of the world's lands and peoples. However the east looks poised to overtake the west in productivity by the end of the century and new abilities to exploit advances in nanotechnology, robotics and genetics will make old advantages less relevant.

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