January 12th 2021

Soap and water and common sense. The definitive guide to viruses, bacteria, parasites and disease. Dr. Bonny Henry

Soap and water and common sense. The definitive guide to viruses, bacteria, parasites and disease. Dr, Bonny Henry. 2009.  ISBN 9781487008673. Dr. Henry has written a very easy to read  book on what could have been a very technical subject. The logic is clear and the writing concise. The common-sense approach was used throughout the book to ensure the reader was able to easily follow the science.  It’s also an enjoyable read and something for everyone to have reinforced.

January 7th 2021

The Splendid and the Vile. A saga of Churchill, family and defiance during the blitz. Erik Larson.

The Splendid and the Vile. A saga of Churchill, family and defiance during the blitz. Erik Larson. 2020.  ISBN 9780385348713.  A very well and tightly written story of the 57 days and nights of the relentless bombing of Britain by the Germans in WWII.  You see how Churchill and family ( and other govt ministers)  worked and lived through these horrendous days.  Lots of pathos and emotion in the pages as well as insights into the English upper-crust life. The author has researched diaries, written reports and memoirs of the English, American and German leaders at the time.  Well worth the read with the bonus of Churchill’s descriptive prose throughout the book.

December 22nd 2020

Compelling Selling. Simple & profitable tips for effective, efficient sales conversations. Dr. Nancy Zare.

Compelling Selling. Simple & profitable tips for effective, efficient sales conversations. Dr. Nancy Zare. 2020.  The author, a psychologist has analyzed aspects of prospects and salespeople and identified 4 different buying styles and 4 different selling styles. Some of this is very reminiscent of the Social Styles work done a few decades ago. I had applied it to my selling syles and found it useful.  This book goes further by giving more insights into identifying and following up with the different buying styles.  It reflects the more pragmatic demands of today’s business reader. The guides are useful and simple so I suspect most young salespeople will be able to adopt them.  I started out thinking that the book would be a retread of older material but I found new insights from this work.

December 16th 2020

A Long Petal of the Sea. Isabel Allende

A Long Petal of the Sea. Isabel Allende. 2020. ISBN 9781984820167. I am a long time fan of Allende’s work.  She weaves feeling. the human condition and history into a seamless tapestry.  This book starts with the  Spanish war between Republicans and Fascists that was a warm-up to WWII. We follow the hero ( a medical student)  through being on the desperate Republican side, what happens to his family and then fleeing to France. After they flee to Chiulem, build a life and then after Allende is killed, fleeing again to Argentina and starting over. The protagonist is jailed and tortured several times. Yet the characters survive the harshness and scarcities of war and repressions.  A great read that will stay with you for quite some time.

December 2nd 2020

Channel Force. A modern methodology for channel revenue growth. Craig H. Booth

Channel Force. A modern methodology for channel revenue growth. Craig H. Booth. 2020. 9781734891553.

A recent book on the issues surrounding Channel Sales. Written with a technology company in mind, the solutions suggested applying to any channel sales. The organization of the book is very logical and it allows the reader to build up a comprehensive model for their channel sales.  I appreciated the depth of thought put into this book.  This is helpful when you build your program but also you will learn the root of your channel problems and then be able to troubleshoot.  IMHO many, most channel problems are self-created through errors in the original set up and inattention.  It is difficult and painful to fix but needed to improve your revenue picture. This book will help, but the reader has to pay attention and work through the whole process, there are no short cuts. But once you understand the logic,  the work you need to do is easy to  see

November 21st 2020

the age of influence. The power of influencers to elevate your brand. Neal Schaffer.

the age of influence. The power of influencers to elevate your brand. Neal Schaffer. 2020. ISBN  9781400216376.   I have read all of Neal’s books in the past  and enjoyed them.  I heard good things about this one, contacted Neal and he sent me a review copy.   He then followed up and asked how it was going.  Neal practises what he talks about in this book. The book is a clear blueprint for working with influencers, with great examples, guides and room for you to maneuver in applying this to your business.  I took pages of notes and checked into most of the web pages/apps he suggested.  The examples are key to understanding how to use this book,  but his thoroughness in describing strategy and execution will make this a read and reread guide to how to do this.  He even h=gives you a web address where he will keep updating this book, important in such a fast-changing market.  It is an easy read, but that does not mean you can treat it lightly.  I highly recommend this book

November 15th 2020

Standout Virtual Events. How to create an experience an audience will love. David Meerman Scott.

Standout Virtual Events. How to create an experience an audience will love. David Meerman Scott. 2020. A very timely book. What these authors do is give you the psychology behind why to do these events a certain way.   The book is short in length but deep in content. Essentially these are lessons learned this year during the pandemic.   If you desire to be better at your virtual events, read this book.  Don’t just try to do the same old stuff as before – It will not work.

November 11th 2020

Read This Before Our Next Meeting. How we can get more done. Al Pittampalli

Read This Before Our Next Meeting. How we can get more done. Al Pittampalli. 2015.  ISBN 9780698409033.   A very short but impactful book.   The author blows a hole in our propensity to “have a meeting”.  I laughed as he described various tedious meetings, having lived through all that and more.   The actions to remedy this are simple and compelling.   Today, with online meetings being the norma, his mantra that meetings are for decisions is very apt.  I recently tried this out with an organization and the participants came back with a resounding yes to the format.  I recommend this book to all who meet with others.

November 4th 2020

GIRT. The unauthorized history of Australia. David Hunt

GIRT. The unauthorized history of Australia. David Hunt.  2913. ISBN 9781922231086.  Written with true Aussie tongue in cheek, Hunt delivers a Bill Bryson style story of the initial years of Australia.  It is sometimes outrageous, often gritty and also empathetic to those affected by the actions of the often corrupt, inept and bigotted British bureaucrats/colonists.  There are some inside jokes for the Aussie audience but it does not take away from the story nor the humour.   The story moves right along and does not bog down in trivia, quite the read.

October 31st 2020

the cluetrain manifesto. the end of business as usual. rick levine, christopher locke, doc searis, david weinberger.

the cluetrain manifesto. the end of business as usual. rick levine, christopher locke, doc searis, david weinberger. 2000 ISBN 0736202444. This came out over 20 years ago after  Eric Raymond’s  The Cathedral and The Bazaar. What is insightful about re-reading the manifesto is to see so much of what was predicted has slowly come about.  Once again this proves the wisdom of the crowds as this document was put together from many thousands of conversations on the early web.  Yes, some of the references are dated ( As in no longer what they were) but the truth of this work is evident. The 95 theses are here

Read the whole manifesto if you can here.    I took away:

  • That markets were originally conversations and business is a conversation.
  • The pervasive web opens the web of secrecy behind business and govt so people can talk again to people.
  • People want to do a good job if you let them, and many enjoy making clients/customers happy.
  • There is another set of rules beyond the org chart ( those who get things done).
  • The future is the intersection of choice and interruption
  • Real people employ humour to connect
  • Hear the questions of the heart through the web
    • children talking to  children
    • who is this person really like?
    • poor connecting with the poor
    • listen to ideas in context
    • information is tied to what voice?
    • be smart not just Google it
    • which stories are worthy?
  • Bring forth the human story.

If you work in tech it is worthwhile to read this manifesto it is still valid and useful.