Archives for posts with tag: writing

This infographic from MainPath shows how the brain processes different types of content such as written, graphic, interactive, and video. “The way the brain processes different types of content affects a viewer’s emotions and impressions.”

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Photo by Joao Silas via Unsplash

In an article announcing the 2016 annual awards longlist, 800-CEO-READ’s Editorial Director Dylan Schleicher, makes an interesting observation about this year’s best business books:

While speed, innovation, big data, and disruption are the business buzzwords of the day, the best books of 2016 argue for a more considered and considerate, human-centered, inclusive, and deliberately constructive approach to business. Change is in the air and technology is on the rise, but business is still a human pursuit, and should be humane. In a media climate dominated by Twitterstorms and sound bites, it is important to dive deeper into the issues and inform ourselves more fully before taking action. These books help do that.

Here is the longlist for the 2016 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards:

LEADERSHIP & STRATEGY

  • The Founder’s Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth by Chris Zook & James Allen
  • Off-Centered Leadership: The Dogfish Head Guide to Motivation, Collaboration and Smart Growth by Sam Calagione
  • Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets by Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead, Kevin Maney
  • Scaling Lean: Mastering the Key Metrics for Startup Growth by Ash Maurya
  • Simply Brilliant: How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways by William C. Taylor

MANAGEMENT & WORKPLACE CULTURE

  • Communication the Cleveland Clinic Way: How to Drive a Relationship-Centered Strategy for Superior Patient Experience, edited by Adrienne Boissy, MD and Timothy Gilligan, MD
  • An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey
  • Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace by Jessica Bennett
  • Under New Management: How Leading Organizations Are Upending Business as Usual by David Burkus
  • Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results—Without Losing Your Soul by Karin Hurt and David Dye

MARKETING & SALES

  • Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers by Jay Baer
  • Martketing: The Heart and the Brain of Branding by Javier Sanchez Lamelas
  • Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It by Chris Voss with Tahl Raz
  • The Power of Fifty Bits: The New Science of Turning Good Intentions Into Positive Results by Bob Nease
  • Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends by Martin Lindstrom

INNOVATION & CREATIVITY

  • Art Thinking: How to Carve Out Creative Space in a World of Schedules, Budgets, and Bosses by Amy Whitaker
  • Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
  • Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr
  • Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson
  • You Got This!: Unleash Your Awesomeness, Find Your Path, and Change Your World by Maya S. Penn

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT & HUMAN BEHAVIOR

  • Becoming Wise: An Inquiry Into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippett
  • The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It… Every Time by Maria Konnikova
  • Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
  • How to Have a Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life by Caroline Webb
  • Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within by Chade Meng Tan

CURRENT EVENTS & PUBLIC AFFAIRS

  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
  • Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash
  • Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business by Rana Foroohar
  • Shadow Courts: The Tribunals That Rule Global Trade by Haley Sweetland Edwards
  • Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner?: A Story of Women and Economics by Katrine Marcal

NARRATIVE & BIOGRAPHY

  • Breaking Rockefeller: The Incredible Story of the Ambitious Rivals Who Toppled an Oil Empire by Peter B. Doran
  • Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation by Edward Humes
  • How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight by Julian Guthrie
  • The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan by Sebastian Mallaby
  • The Network: The Battle for the Airwaves and the Birth of the Communications Age by Scott Woolley

BIG IDEAS & NEW PERSPECTIVES

  • The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness by Todd Rose
  • Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art by Virginia Heffernan
  • The Smartest Places on Earth: Why Rustbelts Are the Emerging Hotspots of Global Innovation by Antoine van Agtmael and Fred Bakker
  • Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff
  • What Works: Gender Equality by Design by Iris Bohnet

 

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Photo by Thomas Litangen via Unsplash

Virginia Woolf’s classic essay, A Room of One’s Own, was written in 1929 and explores, in regards to woman and fiction, the opinion that a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. A woman at that time, due to social restrictions, had limited resources, space, privacy and time, all of which are needed to create and write fiction.

Fast-forward to today and a variation on the theme of independence can be explored that pertains to both men and women and includes the world of business. It is about creating an environment that allows for intellectual freedom. One way for business professionals and others who wish to grow creatively and intellectually outside their places of work, is to start businesses of their own.

Starting a business today is vastly different than starting one in the past. The main reason for this is due to, thanks to technology and innovation, the development of open access resources and tools. Starting and running a business in the past required a great deal of investment. Now, the availability of open access resources offer not only high quality, but economical options and opportunities as well.

Here are just a few examples of open access resources and tools and their uses. There are many, many more available:

  • Marketing/Social Media – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
  • Social Media Monitoring – Social Mention, Icerocket, Hootsuite
  • Marketing/Communications – blogging sites such as WordPress and Medium
  • Marketing/Design – Canva allows you to design and create professional presentations, flyers, documents, infographics, and more
  • Business and Market Research – SEC filings, Google Trends, Owler, SimilarWeb, Kompass. Emergence of government data combined with analytics
  • Accounting – GnuCash, Wave
  • Virtual Meetings – JoinMe, Google Hangouts, AnyMeeting

Today, it truly is possible to create a personal environment to freely pursue intellectual endeavors. Lucky for us that we live in a time where high quality open access tools and resources are readily available.

into the primitive

Photo by Lou Levit via Unsplash

Association of American Publishers (AAP) StatShot Annual survey provides insight into sales and volume data collected for categories that include trade (fiction/non-fiction/religious), K-12 instructional materials, higher education course materials, university presses and professional books. Interesting highlights from the press release include:

The area of largest growth for the trade category was Adult Books. Adult non-fiction books sold the most units and provided the most revenue in the trade category for the second consecutive year. Within the Adult Books category, the fastest growing formats in terms of units sold were downloaded audio (up 45.9%), hardback (up 15.1%) and paperback (up 9.1%).

For trade formats:

Downloaded audio: Revenue for downloaded audio has nearly doubled since 2012. From 2014 to 2015, the growth was substantial: 37.6% in revenue and 41.1% in units.

eBooks: After peaking in 2013 eBook revenue declined in 2014 and again in 2015. Unit sales also declined with eBooks now making up 17.3% of the trade book market.

Paperback books: Paperbacks remain the most popular format in terms of units sold, comprising 40.6% of the market.

Hardback books: Hardback books saw growth in both revenue and units over 2014.

 

The StatShot Annual Executive Report with all corresponding data will be available later this summer. To place an advance order: tjordan@publishers.org.

Erik Devaney, Editor of HubSpot’s ReadThink, has written an informative post on corporate jargon, or,“Why do business-people talk like that?”

It is easy to think light of corporate jargon. There is, however, a serious side to consider when performing research. Being aware of what the current day jargon is, even though it can at times be silly, can be helpful in retrieving results that are current and relevant. One search strategy to consider when you are retrieving irrelevant results (we’ve all been there) is to use terms that you think the author might use in his or her writing, not what you think the author should use.

This article is filled with wonderful little nuggets such as:

“…the word jargon dates back to the Middle Ages and originally referred to a sound that birds made.”

“’Thinking outside the box,’ for example, is a reference to a logic puzzle, which requires that you connect a 3×3 ‘box’ of 9 dots using four straight lines or fewer — without lifting your pen or pencil off the paper…The trick is that you need to drag your line outside of the box in order to complete the puzzle.'”

“The term aboveboard, meanwhile, was likely born out of the requirement that card players keep their hands above the table as a way to discourage cheating.”

Perhaps the most interesting section focuses on the theories for its use, even though users know it can be incomprehensible or vague: Here are a few of the leading theories:

  1. It’s a power move. 
  2. It reinforces belonging. 
  3. It makes it easier to talk about uncomfortable topics. 

Years ago, I researched and compiled a list of business management classics. These titles were selected because they introduced new, groundbreaking ideas and practices that were influential in moving the discipline forward. Ultimately, they play an important part in the history of business management thought leadership.

The Achieving Society (1961). David C. McClelland. This book identifies achievement motivation as an important psychological foundation for economic development.

Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-Making Processes in Administrative Organizations (1947). Herbert A. Simon. A “ground-breaking” work in which Simon applied his pioneering theory of human choice to administrative decision-making.

A Behavioral Theory of the Firm (1963). Richard M. Cyert and James G. March. This is a classic work in organizational theory, and it is one of the most significant contributions to improving the theory of the firm.

Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors (1980). Michael E. Porter. This highly influential book has transformed the theory and practice in the field of business strategy. Introduced is the famous Five Forces framework.

The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (1990). Peter M. Senge. Senge’s “path-breaking” book draws on science, spiritual wisdom, psychology, and the cutting edge of management thought to show how businesses can overcome their “learning disabilities” and beat the odds of failure.

The Forest Ranger: A Study in Administrative Behavior (1960). Herbert Kaufman. This landmark case study details how, in a large dispersed organization, like the Forest Service, top managers are able to shape the behavior of field officers into a coherent, unified program.

The Functions of the Executive (1938). Chester I. Bernard. Mr. Bernard’s thinking on the importance of communication is still relevant to modern management.

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement (1993). Eliyahu M Goldratt. This business book, disguised as a novel, is about a manager that discovers a revolutionary new way to do business. Mr. Goldratt explains the technique of optimized production technology.

How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936). Dale Carnegie. This book is based on courses in public speaking that had been taught by Dale Carnegie and was designed to help professional people do better in business by helping them make social contacts and improve their speaking skills.

The Human Problems of an Industrial Civilization (1933). Elton Mayo. Here Mayo discusses the Hawthorne experiments, which shows the important link between workforce morale and organizational performance.

The Human Side of Enterprise (1960). Douglas M. McGregor. McGregor’s revolutionary Theory Y – which contends that individuals are self-motivated and self-directed – and Theory X – in which employees must be commanded and  controlled – has been widely taught in business schools for over four decades.

In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies (1982). Tom Peters and Robert Waterman. Based on a study of forty-three of America’s best-run companies, In Search of Excellence describes eight basic principles of management that made these organizations successful.

In the Shadow of Organization (1981). Robert B. Denhardt. This book deals with the dilemma of individual autonomy in an organizational society.

Industrial Organization: Theory and Practice (1965). Joan Woodward. This book  was a major contribution to the development of contingency theory and our understanding of the relationship between technology and organizations.

Management and the Worker (1939). Fritz J. Roethlisberger and William J. Dickson. This is the official account of the famous experiments carried out at the Hawthorne Works of the Eastern Electric Company in Chicago. The results of these experiments greatly influenced the Human Resources movement.

The Management of Innovation (1961). Tom Burns and George M. Stalker. This influential book on organization theory addresses the relationship between an organization and its market and the technological environment.

Motivation and Personality (1954). Abraham H. Maslow. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs contributed to the research of motivation and the emergence of human relations as a discipline.

My Years with General Motors (1964). Alfred P. Sloan. This personal memoir describes the strategies Mr. Sloan used to build GM into what at that time was the world’s largest and most successful industrial company.

The One Minute Manager (1981). Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. An easy read, this book simplifies rules that can guarantee increased productivity, profits, and job satisfaction.

Organization and Environment: Managing Differentiation and Integration (1967). Paul R. Lawrence and Jay W. Lorsch. The authors, in a retrospective review, state that this book’s enduring contribution is the “contingency idea that organizations function most effectively when tailored and designed to mesh with their chosen environments.”

Organizations (1958). James G. march and Herbert A. Simon. Written by two of the world’s most important contributors to the field, Organizations has become a classic work in organization theory.

Organizations in Action: Social Science Bases of Administrative Theory (1967). James D. Thompson. Organizations in Action is a classic multidisciplinary study of the behavior of complex organizations as entities.

Out of the Crisis (1986). W. Edwards Deming (1986). Deming is regarded as the leading figure on quality. Here he offers a theory of management based on his 14 Points for Management.

The Practice of Management (1954). Peter F. Drucker. Mr. Drucker is widely  considered to be the father of modern management. The Practice of Management created the discipline of modern management practices.

The Principles of Scientific Management (1911). Frederick W. Taylor. Many consider this the most influential book on management ever published. This classic, controversial at times, of decision theory and managerial technique has helped administrators eliminate inefficiency since 1911.

Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution (1993). Michael Hammer. The reengineering revolution hit hard in the 1990s, and this was the “must read” book by the leading reengineering guru.

Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of American Enterprise (1962). Alfred D. Chandler. This book shows how the seventy largest corporations in America have dealt with a single economic problem: the effective administration of an expanding business.

 

Financial Times has announced the 2015 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award. The winner is The Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of Mass Unemployment, by Martin Ford.

In the announcement, Dominic Barton,editor of the Financial Times and chair of the panel of judges, is quoted, “While no one can be certain how the future will unfold, this year’s winner delivers an important message: Companies and governments are racing into a world where both work and the work force will need to be radically redesigned.”