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.

March 30th 2015

Everyone Loves You When You Are Dead. Neil Strauss

English: Neil Strauss speaking in January 2009.

Everyone Loves You When You Are Dead. Neil Strauss. 2011 ISBN 9780061543678.  I admit that a huge hole in my upbringing is no knowledge of current or past pop cultures/music performers. I had zero interest in the lives and antics of singers and actors, but I listen to music and watch performances oblivious of who was performing.   Strauss  wrote for the New York Times, Rollin Stones  and more for years on all these folks and more. He has pulled out from his archives snippets of interviews that show the best and worst of these people as people, living and dead.   I found it a trudging read due to my non interest, but if you have any interest at all you will likely find these insights fascinating

March 23rd 2015

Hooked. How to build habit-forming products. Nir Eyal

Hooked (Great White album)

Hooked. How to build habit-forming products. Nir Eyal. 2014. ISBN 9780670069323.  The book is very good. Using four stages the author shows you how the user moves from Trigger, to Action, receives a Variable reward and Invests into the product.  Clearly written and easily familiar to any of us with addictive tendencies,  the book is a welcome addition to the literature of making compelling products.  The author makes a clear distinction between products that make the users life better and all the others out there.  A good addition to the work documented by Dan Ariely.   A four hour well written read.

March 16th 2015

Unselling. The new customer experience. Scott Stratten & Alison Kramer

Cover of "UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. St...

Unselling. The new customer experience. Scott Stratten & Alison Kramer.2014. ISBN 9781118943007. . A pair of almost zany Canadians that write about recent classic sales fails (Unmarketing talked about marketing fails) .  Well written in a jocular style.  Don’t expect a deep analysis , but read this to enjoy the clear joy in learning about obvious dumb moves that many people and companies did with the best of intentions.  A good book for that next boring AirCanada ( Poor you )  flight you find yourself on.    They have an unpodcast and it truly is…a conversation that might say something on topic

March 9th 2015

Global Catastrophes and Trends. The Next fifty Years. Vaclav Smil.

English: Photo of Vaclav Smil Français : Photo...

Global Catastrophes and Trends. The Next fifty Years. Vaclav Smil.. 2008. ISBN  9780262195867. At first this seems like a weighty book to go through. However the widely read, and acknowledged expert author  ( Resident of Manitoba)  has just the right style to weave anecdote, research and analytic data together to create a compelling read.  It may be more for the Economist vs People magazine reader, but if you care about the planet and what may or may not occur bases on the numbers and the trends, a very needed read.   E.g. 9/11 killed about the same numbers of people as those who die in the  every two weeks because of medical  errors in the hospital, or every four weeks from car accidents.  Extrapolate what would happen if the money spent daily to  ”prevent” another 9/11 addressed hospital error? And  car accidents and medical error continue. while 9/11 happened once.   Or that Russia kills so many adult makes due to chronic alcoholism and related events ( car crashes etc)  that their population will decline by 25% by 2025?  Read this book and you will have a completely different view of of the 6 pm news broadcast.

March 1st 2015

Value Proposition Design. How to create products and services customers want. Osterwalder, Pigneur, Bernarda & Smith

Business Model Canvas Poster download (http://...

Value Proposition Design. How to create products and services customers want.  Osterwalder, Pigneur, Bernarda & Smith. 2014. ISBN 9781118968055. A textbook, workbook and piece of graphic art all in one.   In our practise we help companies discover their value proposition and it is quite a bit of hard work for them.  This is a thorough look at the process with a terrific front end explanation as to why this is so important.   the book is a significant contribution to the field.  It should be required reading for all technology companies ( and more) . Clearly written , but you will need a lot of thinking time as you work through this process.