September 12th 2014

The Social Employee. Success lessons from IBM, AT&T, Dell and Cisco on building a social culture. Cheryl & Mark Burgess.

The Social Employee. Success lessons from IBM, AT&T, Dell and Cisco on building a social culture. Cheryl & Mark Burgess. 2014. ISBN 9780071816410.  Very thorough job on what the four firms have done in this space. A very useful book when you are a large firm looking to benchmark your initiatives.  The early chapters give any company good ideas about how to engage your employees and the benefits of spreading the social work around. I appreciated their guidelines to help put bounds around what can be done.   Good easy to read style.

September 8th 2014

The Turkey adventure continues

English: Lindos, Island of Rhodes, Greece. Fra...

Shortly,  my wife and I  are heading off to a sailing week on the Aegean ( West coast of Turkey) and a week on the island of Rhodes.  For a sneak peak at our “yacht” holiday check out http://www.bluecruise.org/ and Rhodes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodes.

English: Temple of Athena Lindia, Acropolis of...

Looking forward to the food, people , sun and whatever they throw at us.  Not looking forward to the l.o.n..g. airflight! So if my posts are drawn out, it’s all good.

 

But first we have to see  on Friday our oldest son Michael married to Lisa – What a party that will be.

 

September 8th 2014

The Fracking Truth. America’s energy revolution:the inside, untold story. Chris Faulkner

Fracking the Ocean

The Fracking Truth. America’s energy revolution:the inside, untold story. Chris Faulkner. 2014. ISBN 9780985070373.  The author started in software and moved from control systems for oil & gas into starting an energy company that benefited form the advances in fracking technology.   There are two sides to any story and he is taking the engineers role of presenting all the facts for you to make your own decisions.  It is a very thorough and I for one appreciated the insights into the whole story.

Fracking is an 100% made in America oil and gas well completion technology that is on track to serve up Americas energy needs safely,  for the foreseeable future at a reasonable price. This will finally free the US from being tied to Saudi Arabia and the volatile Middle East  Increasing proven resources of gas in the US make it a distinct possibility of exporting gas to Europe, which will mitigate most  threats from Russia against the EU.   Also you will learn the background of the misleading comments and outright lies put forth by the Fox documentary called Gasland – which has fueled a complete misconception in the public media.  These falsehoods have taken root as an often told story to become accepted by most with no questioning.  Fracking works in North America because of the geography, infrastructure, skills and competence that is  rarely  found in  other places.

The author shows that the oil & gas industry does a woeful job of telling its side of the  story. In Canada we see that mishandling first hand with the Northern Gateway project, the Keystone pipeline and the oil sands. Like the ways that the politically astute environmental groups destroyed the West Coast timber industry for many years,  similar  groups are determined to do the same to resource extraction.

You will earn about the economics and environmental impacts of hydro, solar, coal, wood and wind energy projects. From the analysis it becomes apparent that the oil & gas sector will remain dominant for many many years, world wide.

Great cross country read in a concise, clear easy to read style.

September 1st 2014

Total Recall. Arnold Schwarzenegger & Peter Petre.

English: Arnold Schwarzenegger in July 2003

Total Recall. Arnold Schwarzenegger & Peter Petre.2012. ISBN 9781451662436. I have  admired Arnold for how he trained and drove himself to be the holder of more titles than anyone in bodybuilding by having a strong goal directed life.  This story talks on his whole life – how the goal to go to America came early , the journey to be a leading man in moves and then governor of California, the work involved, his family, marriage/divorce and his plans for the future.  The press too often gives a shallow view of public figures, this book gives you the depth needed to what is obviously a very driven, hard worker.  I am giving this book to all my sons as an example of what anyone can do in their life.  I liked the pace and writing style- it flowed well and seemed an extremely balanced view, all things considered.  It all comes down to reps or mileage.  Just  do it.

August 18th 2014

Who Gets Promoted Who Doesn’t and Why. 12 things you better do if you want to get ahead. Donald Asher

SVT Happy Hour

Who Gets Promoted Who Doesn’t and Why. 12 things you better  do if you want to get ahead. Donald Asher. 2007, 2014. ISBN 9781607746003.  A book filled with very sage career advice from an author who really knows this stuff. As I read the book I kept saying to myself, I wish I knew this when I was …on and on. He has a great sensitivity to all aspects of being in the workforce. I appreciated all the advice he directed to women and those who supervised them.  I enjoy the use of real life examples, to bring the points home. A book for anyone who wants a career to “moves” and gives them challenges and fulfillment.  If you think you are  a fast tracker – get this book to read, reread and keep forever. There is not a wasted word.

August 15th 2014

The Myths of Innovation. Scott Berkun.

Illustration from a collection of myths.

The Myths of Innovation. Scott Berkun. 2009. O”Reilly ebook.  The author was a Microsoft  IE coder and has written a few books for O’Reilly.  This one really blows the door off on common myths wrto innovation. I liked the book, it does a great job, is easy to read and well referenced. If you are in the Innovation “game” this is a must read book. No quick answers but lots of insights.

August 11th 2014

House of Lies. How management consultants steal your watch and then tell you the time. Martin Kihn

English: Abandoned house. The derelict house l...

House of Lies. How management consultants steal your watch and then tell you the time. Martin Kihn. 2005. ISBN 0446576565. Quite a hilarious book that was the inspiration for  House of Lies the TV series.  Yet the TV series is funnier than this book.  I appreciated the dictionary of consultants words and tongue in cheek  quick summaries of the Worlds Best business books. The portrayals are so gritty and  honest that you wonder how the industry of consulting could sustain itself.  Yet it did for many years.   Its an easy book to read and good for a cross country flight.  But get it out of the library – not a keeper.

August 8th 2014

Lawrence In Arabia. War Deceit, Imperial Folly and the making of the Modern Middle East. Scott Anderson

Middle East at Night (NASA, International Spac...

Lawrence In Arabia. War Deceit, Imperial Folly and the making of the Modern Middle East. Scott Anderson. 2013. ISBN. 9780385532938.  A well researched, thorough book that will give the student of history, politics  and events a good grounding into why the Middle East will continue to be a problem.  For me it reiterates that the US will continue to be foolish in its “help” to the Middle East – as it tends never to learn from history and experience. It was tragicomic to read about the boundless incompetence of the British military in WW I which cause untold millions to die unnecessarily.  Our trip last year through Turkey taught us much about that country , but their “version” of this time has been rewritten to put Ataturk in the best light with a glossing over of the dreadful effect the Young Turks had on the whole thing.   Lawrence does not come away as an inveterate truth teller in his own writings.  The reader will learn about the machinations of the French and Germans , Arabs and  Zionists in all this as well.   Well worth the read.

August 5th 2014

A Bigger Prize. How we can do better than the competition. Margaret Heffernan.

Schutzenschnur competition

A Bigger Prize. How we can do better than the competition. Margaret Heffernan. 2014. ISBN 9780385679831.  The author, after some very thoughtful , thorough research, has put together a well written, concise book that shows how competition is not the be all and end all of moving forward. All to quickly much of society is moving toward a belief that in  order fo an individual to get ahead someone else has to lose – the zero sum game.She pretty well slams the  counterproductive effects of competition  on :

  • education
  • sports
  • academia
  • research
  • financial services
  • software
  • music
  • movies
  • drug discovery
  • subprime debt
  • and more

What makes her arguments so compelling is that we have all seen exactly what she is pointing out and that if we allow this win at all cost approach to continue we will all be worse off. Not so say reading this will cause you to become a card carrying Occupy Wallstreet member, but unfettered capitalism /competition (in order for me to get ahead, you have to lose)  is taking us down the wrong road. What hit me the hardest is my current research on human development and innovation is pointing to similar conclusions as this author.   If you are any kind of leader, coach, educator this is one book you must read.

August 1st 2014

Made in America. An informal history of the english language in the United States. Bill Bryson

English: Bill Bryson in 2005. Bill Bryson Amer...

Made in America. An informal history of the english language in the United States. Bill Bryson. 1994/2001. ISBN 0380713810.  A funny yet very insightful book as only Bryson can  write it. Well researched with copious annotations this is book for historians, writers,  political scientists and students of all ages.  I learned so much from this book such as

  • The Pilgims were incredibly stupid  and unprepared for their settling of America
  • American angst over public sex, visual and written owes much to the Puritan influence
  • Current ideas about political correctness are seriously flawed.
  • Many Americanisms came from England – but the Brits could no longer recognize them.
  • America is an incredibly funny and diverse place.

Have ago if you can find this book (Its on Amazon) , it is well worth the read.