February 9th 2016

Compensating the Sales Force. A practical guide to designing winning sales reward programs. 2nd edition David j. Cichelli .

McGraw-Hill's 1990s logo

Compensating the Sales Force. A practical guide to designing winning sales reward programs. David j. Cichelli . 2015 . ISBN 9780071739023. Thorough, well researched and put into a easy to read style.    I reviewed the first edition in 2010 and this one is an even better resource. If you want an all in one book this one will do it.  It addresses almost every sales compensation question your could ask and it reflects today’s evolved selling environment. Lots of good examples and through templates to follow . I especially liked his updated chapters on plans for the  difficult roles, which was helpful and often not covered as well.  A book for every sales manager, CEO

February 1st 2016

The Great Traits of Champions. Fundamentals for Achievers, Leaders and Legacy Leavers. Mark Tewksbury & Debbie Muir

Matina Narvratilova and Mark Tewksbury read th...

The Great Traits of Champions.  Fundamentals for Achievers, Leaders and Legacy Leavers. Mark Tewksbury  ( Olympic Gold medal swimmer)& Debbie Muir  ( Winning-est Olympic coach) .  2012. ISBN 139780980908312.  I recently met Mark and Debbie in our Calgary GotoMarket program. They are working toward adding to their large audience, corporate events training  an Internet version. They live the life promoted in this book and I was intrigued to read it.  It is more than I had hoped.  I have read numerous self-help books and they usually start well  and then quickly become boring and tedious.  This book drew me in quick;y and I lost the whole weekend reading and rereading the sections.   They made a brilliant choice in aligning this book with what they were doing on each topic while building Mark into a Gold medal swimmer at the Olympics. You quickly look forward to each section to see where they were on the journey and how it worked for Mark and other athletes and teams.  Their personality and humanity shines out of the book and I await their online version.   Sales leaders are recognizing the importance of coaching in building their teams an I recommend this book to them.

January 18th 2016

Losing the signal. The untold story behind the extraordinary rise and spectacular fall of Blackberry. J. McNish & S.Sillcoff

English: BlackBerry 8900

Losing the signal. The untold story behind the extraordinary rise and spectacular fall of Blackberry. J. McNish & S.Sillcoff.  2015. ISBN 9781250060174.  Two scrappy brilliant guys from Waterloo who set the world on fire ( after many ups and downs) by taking control of on your hip email and then created a smartphone marketplace that was eventually taken over by Apple, Android , Samsung and others.  The authors did a tremendous number of interviews and got some very straight goods from the players involved.  Rocket Builders was the first Canadian consultancy to use Blackberries and with our clients we were very involved from the early days right to the end.  We even wrote a manual for RIM partners. owned shares for quite awhile and saw the disorder first hand.  The book has many reasons for the fall, and they are all valid. I look at hubris and a particular Canadian tendency to let the technical guys run marketing, for far too long. The CEOs far outstayed their welcome as they were unable to realize (As few CEOS do) that there comes a time to hand over the reins to real enterprise managers, always long before they know, in order to grow and mature the company.  Well written, valuable to any business person and student.  Greta for a cross Canada flight.  We wish John Shen well.

January 11th 2016

The Force. They sell for a living, and what drives them to the top can push them to the edge. David Dorsey

The Xerox 914 was the first one-piece plain pa...

The Force. They sell for a living, and what drives them to the top can push them to the edge. David Dorsey . 1994. ISBN 0679410309. The author followed a team of Cleveland Xerox sales persons for a year and then wore this story from their point of view. If you sold hardware in the 90′s you know exactly what this book talks about.   The quarterly  and annual targets , with contests, harangues, cajoling, machinations to make your nut and get to President’s Club.  It gave me shivers to read this as it dropped me right back into the driven nervy Life  of a big number salesperson  ( And the trials of his family) .   A great book for those of use who have been there and a good one for the younger sales guys.  I read this in one go – it was so visceral.

January 3rd 2016

C.J Sansom Books

Revelation (Sansom novel)

Dark Fire (Sansom novel)

Cover of "Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake My...

Cover of "DISSOLUTION"

C.J Sansom Books

A prolific historical fiction writer I recently discovered.  C.J. Sansom has 6 titles detailing the Henry VIII period, The Matthiew Shardlake  series, (Dissolution, Dark Fire, Sovereign, Revelation, Heartstone, Lamentation).  One on the Spanish Civil War  (Winter in Madrid)  and one based on what would have happened if Britain had made a peace treaty with Germany in 1940 ( Dominion) .  I like his ability to drop you quickly into what it is like to live in this times, the sights, smells, daily activities and attitudes.  The writing is an easy style that keeps you very interested in the stories progress.   At the end is a fascinating history lesson/commentary from the author which is as good as the book.  Well worth it.

Cover of "Revelation"

Cover of "Winter in Madrid"

December 22nd 2015

Hacking Sales . The playbook for building a high velocity sales machine. Max Altschuler

IBM Sales Leadership 1999

Hacking Sales . The playbook for building a high velocity sales machine.  Max Altschuler. 2015. ISBN  978 1508655084.

Excellent. Lots of tips and apps to improve “your sales stack”  Bringing technology to bear on sales process. Mentions Carb.io.  Works the whole stack with pragmatic tips  Really recommend.

December 14th 2015

Thomas Nast. Political cartoonist. Lynda Pflueger.

English: Thomas H. Nast, Photograped by Sarony...

Thomas Nast. Political cartoonist. Lynda Pflueger. 2014. ISBN  The life of a very influential cartoonist during the time of Tammany Hall, President Grant and many others. Thomas Nast was extremely popular and influential in his day. As most people could not read, cartoons made a huge impact. I learned that he rally stood his ground on principles to create a better place and rid public life of the corrupt influences endemic in his times.  AN east quick read, It is non the less informative and illustrative of the times.  I think  democracies still need people like Nast to point out the human foibles as fewer people read for substance and mostly get drowned in information.  Hopefully there are people like Nast able to work in countries like China, Myanamar, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq as well as the US.

December 7th 2015

An invitation to nominate to the 2016 Ready to Rocket lists

English: Greenchoice is a renewable-energy sup...

BC is home to many of Canada’s most exciting technology companies. Rocket Builders has built a unique methodology for analyzing market trends and using this knowledge to predict revenue growth in the coming year. Each year Rocket Builders publishes lists which profile the BC companies that have the greatest potential in the coming year.
The “Ready to Rocket” Lists feature top technology companies that are best positioned to capitalize on the largest growth trends in the technology industry. This upcoming list will be the 14th year of this recognition list.  We expect that companies selected to the “Ready to Rocket” list will outperform the economy and represent important trends that are creating rapid revenue growth.
We are seeking nominations for the 2016 “Ready to Rocket” lists that we will present on March 1 2016. Nomination deadline is February 23th 2016, but submission as soon as possible will allow the selection committee more time to consider your nomination.

What are we looking for in “Ready to Rocket” companies? 
CleanTech Ready to Rocket List for 2016
To qualify for nomination, a company must be beyond the proof of concept stage – customer validation, scalable demonstration project, and established industry relationships.
The selection committee is looking for companies that have the potential for 50% to 100% growth in the coming year, and are in good position to leverage industry trends or key industry partnerships.
CleanTech includes Renewable Energy (wind power, solar power, biomass, hydropower, biofuels), Green Transportation, Electric Motors, Green Chemistry, Lighting, Environmental Protection (air, water, soil) and any innovation that improves energy efficiency.
Life Sciences Ready to Rocket List for 2016
To qualify, a company must be entering a breakthrough stage in their maturity – customer validation, regulatory approval, and established industry relationships.
The selection committee is looking for early indicators of long-term potential and increasing shareholder value, such as passing key regulatory hurdles and achieving related validation steps.
Life Sciences Technology includes Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, Healthcare Information Technology and other innovations improving health.
ICT Ready to Rocket List for 2016
To qualify for nomination, a company must have more than $500K in revenue and a growing base of customers.
The selection committee is looking for companies that have the potential for 50% to 100% growth in the coming year, and are in good position to leverage industry trends or key industry partnerships.
ICT includes Information, Communications, Wireless, New Media and Internet technologies.
Please nominate a company even if the company is “too early” to qualify as Rocket Builders also recognizes emerging companies.
Nominations can be submitted online at
http://www.readytorocket.com/p/nominations.html

Many promising companies are too early in commercialization, too early in first revenues, or in transition to new markets or business models. Based on the potential of their technology alone, Rocket Builders recognizes their potential in a “Emerging Rockets” list. These companies represent companies to watch over the next few years and are likely to mature into “Ready to Rocket” companies.

December 7th 2015

The Godfather of Poker. Doyle Brunson

Cover of "The Godfather of Poker: The Doy...

The Godfather of Poker. Doyle Brunson. 2012. ISBN 9781580423076. A look into the life and mind of quite possibly the world’s best poker player. You learn about the start and growth of Texas Hold em, still an extraordinary poker game. From the crime ridden streets of old time Fort Worth , to Las Vegas and the world-wide explosive growth of internet and televised poker today , you will read about it all. I appreciated the insights into the minds of professional gamblers and their views of pretty well everything. The book is anecdotal and quite clearly written b

y his co – authors. You will learn more than a little as well about poker.

November 30th 2015

The Misfit Economy. Lessons in creativity from pirates, hackers, gangsters and other informal entrepeneurs. Alexa Clay and Kyra Maya Phillips.

Misfit as the new Batgirl. Art by James Raiz.

The Misfit Economy. Lessons in creativity from pirates, hackers, gangsters and other informal entrepreneurs. Alexa Clay and Kyra Maya Phillips.  2015. ISBN 9781451688825.  The two authors take a differentiated approach to change and reach into a grab bag of “misfits” who are commonly not held up to respect or as models of behavior. This  look is deeper than most as it brings out the “why’ of behaviors such as  nations like the US engaged in wide spread intellectual piracy in their early development, as China does now.   The book has gained a fair amount of social buzz as it contains controversial albeit commonplace information.  Good quote. Youth (eg ghetto, barrios, colleges etc) require love, belonging and opportunity. If they can not find it one way, they will find it in another.  I appreciated the dilemma of “do gooders” when faced with lofty goals or personal survival , too often the locals have to choose survival.   Like Eastern Europe’s booming  coal mining industry = jobs, where there have been few.  Read this book for its humanity and  pragmatism