Latest management books received

Syndetics book coverLean in : women, work, and the will to lead / Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell.
“*Starred Review* If Facebook COO (and first-time author) Sandberg succeeds, it will be because she’s made us mad and more than willing to act. With no small amount of self-deprecating humor, a massive quantity of facts and research, plus a liberal dose of very personal anecdotes, Sandberg forces each one of us woman and man to reexamine ourselves at work and in life, using a unique filter. Are we more concerned about being liked than succeeding? Do we think of our career as a series of upward ladders rather than a jungle gym? Do our authentic selves and honesty show up in business? In short, every single undoing of a woman’s career is examined thoughtfully and with twenty-first-century gentleness and exposed with recommended remedies. Her colleagues act as advocates for her theme: lean in, or take a risk and drive change for us all. And though there are no solutions offered, except in the formation of communities around the country and (we hope!) around the world, there’s tremendous reenergy in feeling that, thanks to Sandberg, the world just might be a different place.–Jacobs, Barbara Copyright 2010 BooklistFrom Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverCreative intelligence : harnessing the power to create, connect, and inspire / Bruce Nussbaum.
“In an unstable job market, many of us struggle to keep our skills current and marketable. To that end, Nussbaum, professor at the Parsons School of Design and a former Businessweek editor, brings us both good and bad news. The bad news is that a survey of 1,500 CEOs revealed that the most valuable management skill was no longer marketing or operations but creativity, a new literacy that employees will need to stay competitive. The good news is that these skills can be learned. Nussbaum dedicates much of the book to five practices that help individuals nurture and develop prized creative skills: knowledge mining, framing, playing, making, and pivoting. Latter sections of the book explore the economic value of creativity. The author shows the faulty thinking behind, and consequences of, the triumph of finance over product creation. More importantly, he offers a viable economic model, which suggests that creativity is a source of economic value, entrepreneurs drive growth, capitalism is a social movement, and social networks are the basic building blocks of the economy. This is a refreshing, informative, and groundbreaking new work that has implications for every level of the business arena. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverTake charge of your talent : three keys to thriving in your career, organization, and life / Don Maruska & Jay Perry.
“Maruska and Perry team up to help readers use their brains and talent at a time when most U.S. workers are simply not engaged. As most human-resources gurus will emphasize, careers are of your own making, which is exactly what the authors intend to teach (and, along the way, sell more than a few of their courses). The process itself is based on a Socratic dialogue, well scripted and framed, covering ephemeral hopes and fears as well as very practical actions. The three steps power up your talent story, accelerate through obstacles, and multiply the payoffs for yourself and others represent a good approach. The real issue will be identifying a talent catalyst who has these characteristics: a willing partner who asks open-ended questions, a generous listener, among others. No stumbling here: scripts and summaries and prescriptive steps are well documented. The narrative is a bit turgid, but that seems suitable for this subject.–Jacobs, Barbara Copyright 2010 BooklistFrom Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverContagious : why things catch on / Jonah Berger.“This is an extremely well written and interesting book that you should read whether for business or out of personal curiosity. How do social trends spread? What makes them spread? Why do some things go viral and others do not? These are the questions this book seeks to answer. The author provides entertaining, interesting or downright scientifically verifiable examples to back his ideas. The author lays out a few comprehensive commonalities that most popular trends have in common and how they can be emulated for success.While experienced marketing practitioners may find the dearth of novel information disappointing, the author nonetheless presents the information in insightful new ways that may challenge preconceived ideas you may have about various topics the book covers. For those less experienced, this is an amazing book that you should read as it has great examples, statistics, sociological and psychological information that can be used for reference later. This is a great book to read simply to reinforce your marketing instincts, whether an experienced or novice.” (Amazon reviewer

Syndetics book coverRed thread thinking : weaving together connections for brilliant ideas and profitable innovation / Debra Kaye with Karen Kelly.“Big picture thinking with practical application…This book provides an excellent look at the big picture issues that surround idea generation. What’s great is that it also provides ways to apply ‘red thread’ thinking so that you can innovate. Highly recommended!” (Amazon reviewer)

Syndetics book coverPlaying to win : how strategy really works / A.G. Lafley, Roger L. Martin.
“Amid the profusion of strategy books, this new offering by former Procter & Gamble CEO Lafley (coauthor of The Game-Changer) and Martin (dean of the Rotman School of Management and author of Fixing the Game) is a clear standout, sure to take its place on business students’ bookshelves next to Mike Porter’s classic, Competitive Strategy. This engaging look at how strategy really works draws on academic theory, but is deeply grounded in real life corporate lessons (including mistakes) learned at P&G both before and throughout Lafley’s tenure, during which time Martin served as an adviser to the firm. The authors ask basic, practical questions that separate true strategy from mission, vision, or planning, asserting that the essence of strategy is about winning and the tough choices leaders and organizations need to make to achieve that victory. Theoretical concepts about how to win in what space come to life through entertaining and engrossing stories of how P&G developed or positioned well-known brands as Bounty, Swiffer, Force Flex, and Oil of Olay. This collection of insights and captivating examples about strategy is a must-read for leaders at any level in the for-profit or not-for-profit world. Agent: Tina Bennett, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved” (Publisher Weekly)