Archive for February, 2010

The Imposter. How a Juvenile Criminal Succeeded in Business and Life. Kip Kreiling.

WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 29:  U.S. President Barac...
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The Imposter. How a Juvenile Criminal Succeeded in Business and Life. Kip Kreiling. 2009. ISBN 97065320557.   A personal diary, a business opportunity, a life guide , this book could be some of each of these and more. A very personal book that I could not put down and thus read in one sitting. I am sure we all know people who struggle in life and this book is written at such an open human level it could reach many of them. There are echoes of the Heath book , Switched, in that Kip references some of the same research on making change.  I learned , again,  that we make our own way , that everyone can change, but there are ways to make it stick.  His section on reality slicing and how it allowed him to recognize the existence of logic behind many different points of view is very well thought out. Very readible and you will enjoy his eight principles of transformation.

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Switch. How to change things when change is hard. Chip & Dan Heath

A multi-volume Latin dictionary (Egidio Forcel...
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Switch. How to change things when change is hard. Chip & Dan Heath.2010. ISBN 9780307357274.  The best selling authors of Made to Stick have another winning book. I am going through several books on change at the moment and this one is so far the best.  A couple of early insights set the tone:

  • Change requires the exertion of self control
  • Self control is an exhaustible resource
  • Change is hard because people wear themselves out.

The book then goes on to very simple lay out the critical steps in making change easier, and what one needs to look for.  Also by imbedding case studies that encourage you to use their ideas before reading their suggested answer,  your learning grows.  (The design of the book follows their own findings! ) Lots of great information at  The ideas that we are driven at the same time by a logical driver ( The Rider) and an emotional one (The Elephant) is a very useful metaphor. Its an easy read but as very valuable one.  C-suite required reading for sure.

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SWAT. Systems working all together. Timothy L. Johnson.

Rendering of human brain.
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SWAT. Systems working all together. Timothy L. Johnson. 2010 ISBN 9781934417027.  A very good book on using systems thinking. This is a great application of many of the most useful parts of lean and six sigma thinking. I enjoyed how the author has boiled this to a simple to digest and apply process. By using the business fable format, he draws you in as the reader. I read this at one sitting, I could not put it down.  If you run  a business, conduct meetings and want to accomplish things in your life with groups, this is a very useful book!

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Surviving Dreaded Conversations. Talk through any difficult situation at work. Donna Flagg

Surviving Dreaded Conversations. Talk through any difficult situation at work. Donna Flagg. 2010 ISBN 9780071630252. AnSurviving Dreaded Conversations: How to Talk Through Any Difficult Situation ...other very useful book from McGraw Hill.  Boy do I wish I had this book by my desk many times in my career.  Her opening paragraphs/exercises  on how to confront your own ego and recognize its impact are worth price of the book in itself.  By using real world real people examples Flagg is able to drive home,  how, what, when and where to get it done.  She even included scripts and tips on structure of conversations. Some of the uses of humour are just priceless!  Lesson learned, bite the bullet, pick the time and place and do the deed, the anxiety you feel beforehand is way larger than the work involved.  Great managers bookshelf book (but it is as useful for employees as well)  And its an easy read.

Prisoner’s Dilemma. John van Neumann, game theory, and the puzzle of the bomb. William Poundstone

Prisoner’s Dilemma. John van Neumann, game theory, and the puzzle of the bomb.William Poundstone. 1992. ISBN 9780385415804.  If you use a computer – you owe so much to Jon Van Neumann.  I confess we called number theory mystery math in university.  No longer – I understand it now.  This little book does a great job on the subject.  The story of van Neumann is fascinating, then you have the explanation of many games like the prisoner’s dilemma and how they apply to nuclear proliferation.  Many world leaders should read this book, but of course politics and ego overshadow logic and rationality.  Well worth the read, but this is not a trivial book but it will help anyone in negotiations.

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Call me old fashioned – Opening ceremonies 2010 Olympics

Fiddling and tap dancing?  Thats Canada?  Coome on….call  me old fashioned

The world has descended on Vancouver Day 1

So downtown is officially closed for business.  Hordes of locals and visitors descend on every part.
So far. Most free food and drink, russian pavilian at noon. Best jazz capones in yaletown. Best free internet yahoo canada in the yaletown mini place.
Coolest video games. Acer house at david lam park. Waste of time coca cola house.  Biggest disappointment molsons hockey house is private. Worst use of funds Canada house. Unexpected bonus, getting to hold an Olympic  torch and get my pic taken.  Biggest spoils sports,  protestors in designer clothes marching down Georgia. Best looking hostesses, russia house.

Off the Tourist Trail. 1000 unexpected travel alternatives. fwd by Bill Bryson

Taken May 5th, 2004 by myself.
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Off the Tourist Trail. 1000 unexpected travel alternatives.  fwd by Bill Bryson. 2009. ISBN 9780756653996. When I am not traveling I confess to a love of armchair travel. Whether it is DVDs  (The Lonely Planet City DVD set is awesome!), National Geographic shows, or books by Lonely Planet or DK..

This coffee table book by DK is my favorite.  As Bryson says here is good news and bad news, the good being 1000 places you likely have not heard of that are fantastic, the bad being you will not live long enough to see them.  I really liked the section oon each location where it compared the famous site Pompeii with the lesser known, less busy but great site , Herculaneum, which is off the  tourist trail. You can spend hours with this book, which is filled with great pictures and compelling descriptions.  They also summarize how to get there, best months to visit, suggested restaurants and hotels and budget for two per day.  Enjoy.

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