Archive for the 'Management' Category

The Innovator’s DNA. Mastering the five skills of disruptive innovators. Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, Clayton M. Christensen

Group Hug

The Innovator’s DNA.  Mastering the five skills of disruptive innovators.  Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, Clayton M. Christensen. 2011. ISBN 9781422134818.  I have all of Christensen’s books and this is a fitting addition to your library.  I agree that the creative/disruptive way to find and approach a problem lies with posing the questions.  Questionstorming as a technique is a great idea. As well they talk about the ten things you have to ask about a customer as they “try to get the job done’.  I appreciate the comment about looking at customer workarounds to get insight into what needs doing.   Easy to read, this one is a great four hour plane ride read.  It will make you think as it is really pragmatic.

Cold Hard Truth. On business, money and life. Kevin O’Leary

English: Entrepreneur & Reality show personality

Cold Hard Truth. On business, money and life. Kevin O’Leary. 2011.ISBN 9780385671767. I am working my way through the books the Canadian Dragons have written.  Kevin’s business  experience comes closer than all the others to my own. Yes he is brusque, some say nasty but he is a real truth teller on Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank.  He also makes the best arguments for investing in stocks/bonds than have a dividend/yield.  It works and I confirm it.  After readingg this book I would have much more time to listen to O’Leary (and Amanda Lang).  All these successful people have a story to tell and lessons you can learn from.  It is always about commitment and keeping going when the opportunity is presented.   Both he and Herjavec state that a business must grow or it dies. O’Leary my be seen as cruel – but he is being  kind to let people know immediately where they stand or their idea is foolish.  He also has very good words for those around him. Worth a read – I could not put it down as it flows well.

Driven .How to succeed in business and in life. Robert Herjavec

English: Robert Herjavec from Dragons' Den in ...

Driven .How to succeed in business and in life. Robert Herjavec. 2010. ISBN 9781554687091. One of the original Dragons on Dragons Den Canada ( also on Shark Tank in the US). A young Croatian comes to Canada, starts with little  and does very well.  This book is less a description of how he built and sold a  series of successful businesses and more an anthology of business advice collected through the years. Very enjoyable , but not concise.  I would advise young business people to read this book.

Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success. Connect with customers and get results. Colleen Stanley.

Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success. Connect with customers and get results. Colleen Stanley.2013. ISBN 9780814430293. I admit I am one of those dinosaurs that has been discounting the role of EQ in sales.  Over the past few years I have been asked to review books on EQ and…… I never did it.  (Stupid , stupid,  stupid )  Boy was I wrong and wow is this book ever bang on. If you wanted to describe someone with poor impulse control, that would be me when I first started selling. This just may be the 2013 sales book of the year. Stanley wraps up so much of what we know about selling in today’s market with thoughtful , insightful,  useful and funny strategies and tactics. I expect you will have as much fun as I did reading this book – its not preachy its direct and on the money.  The quotes are worth the price of the book. I defy any sales person or manager with a brain to read this book and not immediately start to sell more for more.  Get it read it , use it and read it again. Pass it along to your team.   If it makes a difference send 1% of your increased bonus to a good charity!

The Power of Why. Amanda Lang.

Amanda Lang @ CBC Lang and O’Leary Exchange (m...

Amanda Lang @ CBC

The Power of Why. Amanda Lang. 2012. ISBN 9781443413183.  Being a TV personality does not do a person any favors as the medium lessens the impact of the real person. Witness this book. It is thoughtful, surprisingly delightfully fresh and very well written. Lang also does what Christensen does – she makes notes that are as useful as the text.  This is a serious book that will change the way you think (as David Chilton said) .  All Canadians can learn from this.  For me it was the comment about being a problem finder rather than a solver that opened my eyes. I would advise every leader, educator and parent to buy this book and inculcate its ideas in everyone you come across.  In a field full of books on innovation, this one stands very tall.  Great for a flight from SF to New York.

To Sell Is Human. The surprising truth about moving others. Daniel H. Pink.

Cover of "Drive: The Surprising Truth Abo...
Cover of "A Whole New Mind: Moving from t...

To Sell Is Human. The surprising truth about moving others. Daniel H. Pink.  2012. ISBN 9781594487156. Pink ( DriveA Whole New Mind)  has done the world a favour.  This is never a book about how to sell, its a book explaining how sales permeates all our lives.  That said, Pink points out (and explains so well) very useful research (some new, some applied in new ways ) which will help anyone who ever needs to persuade, whether its a client, a manager, a child , a partner or a ticket agent.  This is a story that needs to get out into the wild. Those of us lucky enough to be paid to sell realize that persuasion and movement are essential to today’s selling and we use this in all our daily interactions.  Way to many great ideas here , but one that stuck out for me was that problem finders fare better in life than just being a problem solver.  This is a skill which will outlast whatever changes occur in the marketplace.  A lifeskill book -perfect for a four hour flight.  Buy it and pass it onto your family.

Grand Pursuit. The story of economic genius. Sylvia Nasar.

Sylvia Nasar

Grand Pursuit. The story of economic genius. Sylvia Nasar. (A Beautiful Mind) 2011. ISBN 9780684872988. A  book on a  large scale it takes us from the time of Dickens through to present day. I am fearfully ignorant of economics having found it hard to find a logical thread in which books to read and which theories to follow. Nasar builds the story being true to context and the lives that shaped these brilliant men and women, while maintaining a middle ground of opinion. ( I am sure radical liberals and socialists alike will disagree with me)  She is able to clearly position the growth of modern economics as these scholars built upon each others work (sometimes) while dealing with vast changes and upsets. I was most intrigued with how the Soviets were able to seduce many of these academics during and after WW II.  Worth anyone’s time to read this well written and clear book.

the signal and the noise. why so many predictions fail – but some don’t. nate silver.

English: Icon representing Bayesian statistics

the signal and the noise. why so many predictions fail – but some don’t. nate silver.2012. ISBN 9781594204111. A hard book to classify. Better than Freakonomics and others of that ilk, this book has some pretty hard math and science behind it.  You will learn how gamblers, chess, baseball, poker, the stock market, climatology, weather, terrorism,  and earthquake forecasting schemas work and where they are weak.  As well you get some great advice on Bayesian mathematics, how to reduce  errors in your forecasts ( but never eliminate them, nor do you eliminate your bias).

Great lines (From many sources) :

  • The future seen as sprinkles of probability
  • With more evidence we can get closer and closer to the truth
  • The majority of scientific hypothesis deemed to be true are actually false
  • Big Data will make us more prone to failure
  • most data is noise
  • combining forecasts could reduce error 15-20%
  • the stock market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent
  • unknown unknowns are gaps in our knowledge – but we do not know they exist

Valuable book for your library – this is required reading to reset your brain away from common fallacies. Very readable, good for that trip to the UK and back . My only gripe is that the paper quality is too low – for my eyes I need a brighter white to  see the text.

Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream. Steve Van Remortel.

Vanilla ice cream

Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream. Steve Van Remortel.2012. ISBN 9781608323876. A complete walk through of a strategic planning process with a difference. The author takes you through all the steps to show you how to discover and develop the individual talents of your team and from there how to learn to better differentiate your company by analyzing all facets.  This system allows the planning team to look at the business with fresh eyes and to develop skills of continuous renewal.  Quite impressive. I have been in a few situations where the company could have benefited from this process. The book is logically organized and clearly written.

The Journey to Sales Transformation. 25 Axioms for becoming a Trusted Partner to your Customers. Bob Nicols Jr.

Slovenščina: Nicolova prizma.

The Journey to Sales Transformation. 25 Axioms for becoming a Trusted Partner to your Customers. Bob Nicols Jr.  2011. ISBN 9781466388550.  A sales parable that talks to the sales manager/CSO.  The teaching power of these stories is strong and effective.  If you are the type of person who appreciates “stories” that teach, then this is your book.  The points the author makes are very true and he does a great job at showing where today’s sales organizations go off track. I appreciate his point on the need for process, structure and people in sales.  We see poor process to be at the root of most poorly performing organizations.  The summary at the back of 25 axioms (and the order in which you proceed) is worth the price of this book.  Recommend to all high performing sales professionals