July 27th 2015

Outposts. Journeys to the surviving relics of the British Empire. Simon Winchester

Cover of "Outposts: Journeys to the Survi...

Outposts.  Journeys to the surviving relics of the British Empire. Simon Winchester.  1985, 2003. ISBN 9780061978326.

Older but still a useful look at the remnants of the British Empire.  Some hilarious exploits and some that just seemed damned foolish.  Fairly kind to the inhabitants. I learned lots about  ports like Gibraltar, St Helena, Diego Garcia,  And more , Some I had been to (Falklands)  but most I won’t.   Thanks Ean Jackson for tipping me off to this!

 

 

July 19th 2015

How Asia Works. Success and failure in the world’s most dynamic region. Joe Studwell.

English: Member nations of the Asia-Pacific Ec...

How Asia Works. Success and failure in the world’s most dynamic region. Joe Studwell.2013. ISBN 9780802193476.  An all encompassing, insightful book.  The structure is simple . Compare the NE Asian successes ( Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China ),  to the SE Asian disasters ( Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India) ignore unique nation states like Hong Kong, Singapore,  then extract behaviors that seem to lead to economic powerhouse countries.   Then discuss each country a little more deeply to unpack their individual  successes, failures and on-going weaknesses.  Along the way  blow holes in the prevailing World Bank and IDB ” economic wisdom” .  The  author has little regard for most economists and after reading the book I am inclined to agree.  He does indicate that economic history is a useful pursuit in this analysis.   I saw many of his observations “operating” in our recent Asia /Africa trip.  Even though this is well before the Chinese stock market meltdown, much of his analysis indicated the inevitability of it.  The text is easy to read, well organized and will consume you.  No wonder Bill gates endorsed it.

July 13th 2015

Selling Above and Below the Line. Convince the C-Suite.Win over management. Secure the sale. William Miller.

English: Selling tractors, Cambridge Machinery...

Selling Above and Below the Line. Convince the C-Suite.Win over management. Secure the sale. William Miller. 2015. ISBN 97808144348533. This is a missing book in your sales library. The author has simplified the value sale by splitting it in two parts.  Below The Line buyers are still concerned with features and benefits (and you need to address this) .  The Above the Line buyers are concerned with why they want to buy ( the value/impact) and many sales people do not address this.  This view makes your selling that much more effective.  ATL buyers can add more speed , budget and focus to your deal.  But its likely you may not have known how to get there. Now you have a guide book to help you make this happen .  Miller has a clear concise written style with enough illustrations and stories to make his points.  Buy this, read it , and keep it handy.

July 10th 2015

Sales Management. Brian Tracy.

English: Clare Darwish with Brian Tracy, Decla...

Sales Management. Brian Tracy. 2015. ISBN 9780814436295. A  recent addition to Amacom‘s Brian Tracy Success Library. These are little books that fit nicely in your briefcase for easy reference. I am sure the active salesmanager will turn to this book over and over. Tracy has the ability to really boil down the content to what is the true kernel of actionable information.  I make notes on the books I read and despite this books concise nature, I made voluminous notes.   An essential for the sales managers library and it will be very well used as you grow the sales teams performance

July 6th 2015

Stuffocation. Why we’ve had enough of stuff and need experience more than ever. James Wallman

An electronics store in a shopping mall in Jak...

Stuffocation. Why we’ve had enough of stuff and need experience more than ever. James Wallman.  2015. ISBN 978081299760.  Quite a thoughtful and thought provoking book. It is as appropriate to boomers as well as millennials.  The thesis is that consumerism for its own sake is no longer what we should strive for.  Having too much stuff is emotionally and psychologically bad for us. The author proposes that we move to meaningful experiences vs getting more stuff. He does a good job of explaining how we got this way and what it does for us as a country and personally.  Consumerism was created to meet the needs of a problem, of over production.  We were trained into this.  Enjoy this book . It is clearly written with a well thought out thesis and adequately furnished with relevant case studies.  I enjoyed the book.

June 29th 2015

Wind In Your Sails. Vital strategies that accelerate your entrepreneurial growth. David Greer

English: Box 9.1 What are the Seven Strategies...

Wind In Your Sails. Vital strategies that accelerate your entrepreneurial growth. David Greer. 2015. ISBN 9780994036407.  I read early drafts of David’s book and saw that he had set himself an aggressive target. Nothing new if you know David.  This was to be a short concise book where he distills down all the key elements of starting and running your business. He has succeeded in doing this on many levels.  The book needed to be short as most potential readers either read little or have little time to read.  Each chapter is well organized and clearly stated.  The sailing metaphor is well taken since in business as in sailing, you are pushed in the directions the elements decide you will go. Its always a case in adapting.  Which is always the case in a good business person.  A good book for those who wish to start or restart their business. The lessons learned are absolutely apt.

June 23rd 2015

The Sustainable Organization. A paradigm for a fairer society. Miguel Reynolds Brandao & Nadia Morais

The Sustainable Organization. A paradigm for a fairer society. Miguel Reynolds Brandao & Nadia Morais. 2015.  A very thought provoking rethink on how organizations could change to a more sustainable model.  I have reviewed the background research for the 99% movement , Alex Ohanians story how  youth can create the future and Bruce Thorntons belief in the EUs slow inevitable decline. all here in this blog.

Brandao has taken a more analytic view of  organizational structure, reward systems and their impact on the world order.  He details the world wide executive compensation inequity ( absent somehow for Sweden and Norway) . He posits a new index  the SORG , that powerfully communicates the impact of an organization on the world/community which is well beyond P&L statements and GDP.   This could be like catnip to Millenials.

This is a useful viewpoint, one that is worthwhile for academics to pursue further. Plus I suggest you read it to stimulate your thoughts and responses.  I can see this as worthy of a TED talk, and also at Davos.  The book may be one that Bill Gates would recommend as it fits with his recent recommendations.

June 15th 2015

Cry, The Beloved Country . Alan Paton.

Kiswahili: Alan Paton

Cry, The Beloved Country . Alan Paton.  1987, 1957, 1949. ISBN 978074326244.  Our driver on a safari tour in Durban South Africa recommended this book. It is about South Africa in the late 40′s and how the segregation policies had wide spread and often unexpected impacts. In Canada we can recognize similar issues rising form the treatment of aboriginal peoples, or the blacks in America . The book is simply written in the viewpoint of a poor black preacher from the depths of Natal ( Zulu heartland you can still see outside Durban). but it is not simple in its observations.  You can read this as adocumentary, a political text , a humanitarian  story or a reflection on the simislarities among all peoples. It is a wonderful book and useful for all ages.

June 11th 2015

Nine week, 63 days, 23 ports visited Asia, Africa, Europe cruise Itinerary

The Yangon River (also known as Rangoon River ...

From  March 31 to June 5, my wife and I were travelling on a cruise, starting in Singapore and ending in Dover , UK.    Lots of very interesting and widely varied sights and people were met. Definitely a bucket list trip and it allowed us to visit many islands that we would not get to other wise.  IN this post I will just attach the  itinerary .   Later posts will give a few details about some of  the ports and people met.

Before  leaving, I contacted via LinkedIn people in many of the locations we were to visit.  Details on how that worked will follow.   Most of the time when we arrived at a port, we got off the boat quickly,  hired a car and driver for a tour, which often ended in a local lunch.

Apr 03
No Transfer To Ship
Apr 03
Singapore
Check In 1:00pm-5:00pm
6:00PM
Apr 04
At Sea
Apr 05
Phuket
8:00AM
5:00PM
Apr 06
At Sea
Apr 07
7:00AM
10:00PM
Apr 08
At Sea
Apr 09
At Sea
Apr 10
At Sea
Apr 11
Colombo
7:00AM
8:00PM
Apr 12
At Sea
Apr 13
8:00AM
6:00PM
Apr 14
At Sea
Apr 15
7:00AM
6:00PM
Apr 16
At Sea
Apr 17
At Sea
Apr 18
Overnight
12:00PM
Date
Description
Start
End
Apr 19
Dubai
1:00PM
Apr 20
At Sea
Apr 21
At Sea
Apr 22
At Sea
Apr 23
At Sea
Apr 24
10:00AM
6:00PM
Apr 25
At Sea
Apr 26
At Sea
Apr 27
7:00AM
6:00PM
Apr 28
At Sea
Apr 29
At Sea
Apr 30
At Sea
May 01
Durban
7:00AM
5:00PM
May 02
East London
12:00PM
7:00PM
May 03
At Sea
May 04
Cape Town
Overnight
9:00AM
May 05
Cape Town
7:00AM
 Second leg
May 05
Cape Town
Overnight
May 06
Cape Town
5:00PM
May 07
At Sea
May 08
Luderitz
7:00AM
2:00PM
May 09
Walvis Bay
7:00AM
6:00PM
May 10
At Sea
May 11
At Sea
May 12
Luanda
7:00AM
4:00PM
May 13
At Sea
May 14
Sao Tome
Tender Required
Wheelchair Access Limited
7:00AM
6:00PM
May 15
At Sea
May 16
At Sea
May 17
At Sea
May 18
At Sea
May 19
At Sea
Date
Description
Start
End
May 20
Cape Verde Islands (
7:00AM
5:00PM
May 21
At Sea
May 22
At Sea
May 23
Santa Cruz De Teneri
8:00AM
5:00PM
May 24
Madeira (Funchal)
9:00AM
6:00PM
May 25
At Sea
May 26
Casablanca
7:00AM
7:00PM
May 27
Ceuta (Spanish Moroc
9:00AM
6:00PM
May 28
Malaga
7:00AM
6:00PM
May 29
At Sea
May 30
Lisbon
7:00AM
4:00PM
May 31
At Sea
Jun 01
At Sea
Jun 02
Rouen
8:00AM
10:00PM
Jun 03
At Sea
Jun 04
London (Dover)
5:00AM

June 8th 2015

In The Garden of Beasts. Love, terror and an American family in Hitler’s Berlin. Erik Larson

Mussolini (left) and Hitler sent their armies ...

In The Garden of Beasts. Love , terror and an American family in Hitler’s Berlin. Erik Larson. 2011. ISBN 9780307408853.  A very good but terrifying book.  US Ambassador William Dodd and family and the four years they spent in Berlin as Hitler was seizing more and more power in Germany.  YOu follow the acquiescence of the German people and the  unwillingness of the world powers to acknowledge what was really happening, which allowed Hitler and his thugs to essentially take the world to war.  Another preventable situation (Just like WWI). Clearly and well written this book is full of surprises and dark parts. Human nature remaining what it is, we will likely go down this road again.