August 29th 2016

The Road to Little Dribbling. More notes from a small island. Bill Bryson

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

The Road to Little Dribbling. More notes from a small island. Bill Bryson . 2015. ISBN 9781473508071.  Twenty years after writing Notes From a Small Island, Bryson revisits the UK to look at some of the places he did not touch on in the first book . In his concise,  deprecating , descriptive style he again pens a thoroughly enjoyable book. He paints such clear pictures of his love for the UK  (including pubs, tea and biscuits,) while hitting you with a guffaw inducing comment on the dismal lack of manners, service, taste and planning evident in so much of of the country. A wonderful gift for the readers you know and one to yourself  when you have a moment just to savor a well written book. Enjoy.

August 22nd 2016

Value as a Service: Embracing the Coming Disruption. Rob Bernshteyn.

English: Fee Glacier (Feegletscher) above Saas...

Value as a Service: Embracing the Coming Disruption. Rob Bernshteyn. 2016. ISBN 9781626343054.  The author proposes that just as SaaS followed and beat  client/server and is now unexceptional , than Value as a Service (VaaS) will come next.  This is where the vendor offers and prices his service based on the value delivered to the client.  This requires a value driven partnership with client and vendor.   Since selling value is the  trend in modern sales, this  author makes  sense.  He admits it is not a rapid transition as many firms are still just working out SaaS, but it is inevitable for successful companies.  You can see this progression in Thull’s, Mastering the Complex Sale for example. Our firm certainly believes in this process as a winner.  A needed book for the successful sales manager and CEO

August 22nd 2016

Customer Moat. Unveiling the secrets of business strategy. Eddie Sung. A guest post

English: A business ideally is continually see...

Customer moat. Unveiling the secrets of business strategy. Eddie Sung. 2016 ISBN 9780996919012.

A guest post by Brock Nordman (Sales Rep, my youngest son) 

This book was great
He started out rather bluntly:
Business: incredibly complex game that not only was poorly understood but held such vast implications for the health of our society.
All the books he would read would gave him bits of information, but in the end still left without a clear answer.
The use of customer moat builder is a mental and visual tool to see what is it you are trying to create. Great for me as my background is building. By looking at the business from a customer perspective, you are able to see which areas what you are doing and if you can change/alter.
“The purpose for a business is to defend its source of prosperity by defending its customers. The customer moat allows businesses to defend their income”
As you go along in the book, Eddie Sung continues to tie back relevant information to case studies which were introduced through the book. This helps to solidify his reasoning for his core principles and 8 moat builder tools. The second attribute was showing you real world applications and confirms in the readers mind “yes, that makes sense, I can see that, I trust what he is saying”
Like any business book, the answers aren’t inside the book, that doesn’t exist.  What is inside are the tools to help you develop your business to best suit your customers. Starting with your customer core then looking where you stand in the market and visual ways to see how you are providing service in your customer life. Visual tools in this book make it easy to understand and could be easily shown in a company training/meeting, which is fundamental for company by-in.
As he quotes from Sam Walton (Wal-Mart) “There is only one boss. The Customer. And he can fire everybody in the firm from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else”
Reg’s notes:
The author packs a lot into one place.  A good book if you had note heard of some of or any of this material before.  I would not have organized the material in quite the way the author does, however it fits well with his original thesis.  This also fits in with the view point of a younger person who also still realizes the need for and value in hard work every day.  The author gives good lessons without feeling the need to  moralize.

August 16th 2016

Black Box Thinking. The surprising truth about success. Matthew Syed.

Black Box Thinking. The surprising truth about success and why some people never learn from their mistakes. . Matthew Syed. .  2015.  ISBN 9781473613775.  A very insightful book.  Ever wonder why airflight really learns from mistakes, while healthcare continues to make deathly mistakes every year ( despite tremendous leaps forward in medicine). You will be inspired and then dismayed by Syed’s book.  If you are any way involved in innovation, total quality, best practices and group productivity, this is a  book you need to read.  Funding/controlling bodies for institutions such as healthcare, governance, the legal system need to also read this book and act on it.  A compelling well written book.  Good for a four hour plane ride ,there and  back

August 2nd 2016

Flashpoints. The emerging crisis in Europe. George Friedman.


Flashpoints. The emerging crisis in Europe. George Friedman.2015, ISBN 9780385536332. A clearly written analysis of  today’s Europe that uses history,  present day reports and what seems common sense to project believable scenarios.   Combined with Studwell’s How Asia Works, this book dovetails nicely.  As a bit player in the economic world, Canada should have some people who look at the world like Friedman.  In a recent article, Freidman’s projections show an economic basis for Japan and Islamic Turkey in future to knock heads with the US, with the first blows happening in space.  Its not such a long shot, when you take in all the arguments.

I especially appreciated his comment that Europe matters less to the US than it matters to Russia.  Russia wants buffer states like before and needs to keep the oil flowing to Europe.  Germany’s recent bullying of Greece ties to his analysis that Germany has to keep the exports up in order to keep prosperous, and internally there is little support to helping Greece if Germany has to take any hits.   Muslim immigration, the rise of right wing parties , combined with high unemployment mean some major impacts on European nations.

Written like a journalist , so it flows along quite nicely. I suggest you read it, you may not agree but it is good  food for thought.

July 25th 2016

Avogadro Corp, A.I. Apocalypse, The Last Firewall, The Turing Exception. William Hertling.

Cover of "A.I. - Artificial Intelligence ...

Avogadro Corp, A.I. Apocalypse, The Last Firewall, The Turing Exception.  William Hertling. 2013. Four  interesting  scifi books on the future by this author.  Avogadro Corp  ( Loosely modeled on Google I suspect)  is the world’s largest Internet company , which in the work of making email more efficient, an AI  emerges.  A.I. Apocalypse is years after, when  a whole civilization of  A.I is created through an evolutionary computer virus.  The Last Firewall is years after that when A.I . is embedded into our society and a  rogue A. I  attempts to take over the World.  The Turing Exception pits the wworld against an AI group, with the US and China behaving ,like they always do.  Lots here to chew on in the three books. The author writes a fast easy to read book that is compelling as just enough predictable  human responses are there to make the premise believable.  Good for an escapist cross country read.  See more at

July 18th 2016

how to kill a unicorn. How the world’s hottest innovation factory builds bold ideas that make it to market. Mark Payne.

English: New Builds

how to kill a unicorn. How the world’s hottest innovation factory builds bold ideas that make it to market. Mark Payne.2014. ISBN 9780804138734.   I really took my time with this book as it contains the kernel of how Fahrenheit 212 works.   It is easily one of the better innovation books on the market., right up there with Ed Cattmull’s,  Creativity Inc.    Payne explains exactly how they and you can follow their experience in getting to those breakthrough great ideas.  Key to it is their goal/ belief, ” Its more than great products, it’s  great businesses with products igniting them. ‘   A good cross  country read , that I am sure you will go back to many times to refresh your thoughts. The book  is applicable to all businesses.  Its also a concise, easy to read book.

July 11th 2016

The Lean CEO. Leading the Way to World-Class Excellence. Jacob Stoller.

English: John leading Lean and Mean

The Lean CEO. Leading the Way to World-Class Excellence. Jacob Stoller.   2015. ISBN 9780071833073.  This is the missing  book that puts together the plethora of lean successes across industries , public sector and geographies.  You will learn not only where Lean came from ( Deming and much more) , but how successful it has been in some many sectors and why it has not been more widely adopted in N America.  For tech companies after the Lean Startup you must  become the lean grownup to survive and grow. This book will help point the way.  Clearly written with  lots of examples makes this an engrossing book. Well worth anyone’s time to sit down and read it.

July 4th 2016

I’d Rather Die. Public Speaking Survival Skills. Robert Scanlon

Relatively Speaking (book)

I’d Rather Die. Public Speaking Survival Skills. Robert Scanlon. 2015. ISBN 0994409206.  You can always learn something new.  I have been confidently public speaking for 50 years and innumerable time. I have been told I am quite a good, interesting speaker.  After reading this book I am better prepared to put my public speaking up onto a completely different level.  This is the soup to nuts, one book to do it all, concise bible on public speaking.  My take aways  are so many and yet everything he says fits so well with all I have learned and studied  over the years ( We seem to have read most of the same books and  used similar videos) .  I recommend this book to anyone who has to speak to any group.  If you use this book , you will be doing your audience an incredible favor and saving them from “just another ” presentation.

June 27th 2016

Contrepreneurs. Diane Francis.

Float from Mardi Gras 2009 in New Orleans, lam...

Contrepreneurs. Diane Francis. 1988. ISBN 0771599153.  Yes this is an older book, but the names of some of these blatant crooks seem to still pop up from time to time. This is the book that launched Diane Francis career of exposing the dirty underbelly of stock markets, banking, corruption and money laundering that still finds a home on Canada with these white collar criminals , who still remain at large and untouched. .  She has since become the author who details where the money and power is located in just a few powerful hands.  I recommend this book on the  Canadian stock markets as these tricks still continue. albeit with different players.