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Spirals: The Whirled Image in Twentieth-Century Literature and Art (Modernist Latitudes) by Israel, Nico (2015) Hardcover
Spirals: The Whirled Image in Twentieth-Century Literature and Art (Modernist Latitudes) by Israel, Nico (2015) Hardcover
by Nico Israel
Edition: Hardcover
2 used & new from CDN$ 87.07

5.0 out of 5 stars How and why the spiral may well be the defining image, symbol, and metaphor for the early-21st century, Aug. 12 2015
What's with spirals? According to Nico Israel, "Spirals have a curious centrality in some of the best-known and most significant twentieth-century literature and visual art." For various great artists, "the curved and recursive contours of the spiral do not simply express a relation to the past, but create an opening for potential newness. It is in the search for the now-ness of the spiral image's newness that my study's own novelty inhere's. To illustrate his various points and illuminate his insights, Israel includes 60 Figures and 17 Plates. They nourish and enrich his lively and eloquent narrative.

His contention is that "spiral images are a significant way in which writers and artists across the twentieth century engaged the conceptual space of the world or globe. While also offering a novel mode of interpreting the conceptual space." His primary sources include (in alpha order) Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, Samuel Beckett, Walter Benjamin, Marcel Duchamp, Robert Smithson, Vladimir Tatlin, and W. B. Yeats. Israel views The book takes the spiral not only as its topic but as its method, arguing that spirals provide a crucial frame for understanding the mutual involvement of modernity, history, and geopolitics, complicating the spatio-temporal logic of literary and artistic genres and of scholarly disciplines.

These are among the several dozen passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Israel's coverage:

o The Responsibility of the Spiral (Pages 21-31)
o Spirals and the Extreme Century (35-41)
o Accidental Tourists: Italian Futurists and the Speeding Spiral (49-59)
o Re-Envisioning Two Systems (73-76)
o Rough Beast: Yeats's Whirled Future (76-85)
o Tatlin's Tower of Power and the Stride of Modernity (92-104)
o The Babble of Translatability (104-110)
o Portrait of the Artist as a Thrusting Spiral (111-118)
o Ulysses and the Charybdic Dialectic (139-147)
o Inverted Spirals (176-181)
o Scales of Edges (181-186)
o The Spiral and the Grid: Winding Up (187-190)
o Beyond Utah: Surveilling the Megalopolis (203-210)
o The Grid, the Silkworm, and the Angel of Melancholy (210-226)

When concluding his comprehensive examination of the "whirled image" in twentieth-century literature and art, Nico Israel observes, "In art's failure in modernity genuinely to transmit tradition in itself, a failure that is exacerbated in an ever-more-globalized world, Agamben paradoxically asserts its 'truth': since 'knowledge of the new is possible only in the nontruth of the old,' the old's nontruths, including the grand nontruth of art's separateness itself, must be art's central domain. The spiral rings of [W.B. Seybald's] The Rings of Saturn, which is also to say, the spiral rings of [Israel's book] Spirals, from roaring race-car's serpent-hood to lowly silkworm's modest spinning, expose this arrest, this untruth, and this melancholically redemptive knowledge."

Precisely.

Think to Win: Unleashing the Power of Strategic Thinking
Think to Win: Unleashing the Power of Strategic Thinking
by Paul Butler
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 22.53
32 used & new from CDN$ 22.52

5.0 out of 5 stars The power of a new approach to results-driven, high-impact strategic thinking, Aug. 8 2015
Paul Butler, John Manfredi, and Peter Klein introduce and thoroughly explain a new approach to thinking simply, yet strategically: “That’s TTW, Think to Win.” I hasten to add that how “winning” is defined should be determined by the individuals and organizations that seek to achieve it. The key term is “strategic.” I agree with Butler, Manfredi, and Klein that in the healthiest organizations, the most successful organizations, there is effective strategic thinking at all levels and in all areas of the given enterprise.

As they point out, “Many companies have generated remarkable successes by creating traditions of strategic thinking. By instilling this capability throughout the organizations, companies such as Keurig, Jamba Juice, Procter & Gamble, Gillette, and New Balance have enjoyed years of dynamic growth. Butler, Manfredi, and Klein identify five principles that can serve as a “compass” to guide and inform strategic thinking:

o Challenge assumptions: Take no one and nothing for granted.
o Scope the issue: Determine its nature and extent.
o Rely on facts and data: Separate empirical evidence from "common knowledge."
o Focus on the vital few: Focus on the 10% that has the greatest impact on the 90%.
o Connect the dots: Make certain that they are the right dots and connected in the right pattern.

I commend the co-authors on their brilliant use of various reader-friendly devices, notably dozens of “Try This” application exercises strategically located throughout their lively and eloquent narrative. Also, dozens of mini-commentaries (in gray boxes) that highlight key insights, bullet-point checklists, and end-of-chapter Summaries and Exercises that review key points and suggest possible application of them to the reader’s own situation. These devices help to facilitate, indeed expedite frequent review of key material later.

These are among the dozens of passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of the book’s coverage:

o Taking the Long, Strategic View (Pages 10-13)
o Focus on the Vital Few (23-25)
o Connect the Dots (26-31)
o Principles + Process (40-42)
o Umbrella Statements (42-54)
o Facing a Critical Juncture (70-74)
o Defining characteristics of a great vision: Simple, Concise, Clear, and Compelling (84-87)
o Getting the Right Balance -- Goals Flow from Vision and Governing Statements (90-93)
o Aha Moments and Insights Inspire Strategies (102-107)
o Zeroing in on the Right Choices (107-112)
o Review the Choices (123-126)
o Key Messages Frame Everything (140-144)
o Making Visions Come Alive (166-167)
o HR Helps to Sustain Winning (175-178)
o Appendix A: Organizational Alignment Survey (189-195)
o Appendix B: Think to in Situation Assessment Diagnostic: Situation Assessment Tool for Consumer/Customer Marketing (198-210)

For business leaders who wish to introduce or strengthen strategic thinking throughout their organization, Paul Butler, John Manfredi, and Peter Klein provide an abundance of information, insights, and counsel. Some of the most valuable material is in two appendices: an “Organizational Alignment Survey and then a “Think to Win Situation Assessment Diagnostic: Situation Assessment Tool for Consumer/Customer Marketing.” Be sure to read and then re-read the nine chapters and Epilogue first.

Although the mini-case studies focus on larger organizations such as Gillette, LEGO, and Duracell, I believe that almost all of the material (with only minor modification) can also be of substantial value to almost any organization, whatever its size and nature may be. That said, the value of the Think to Win – or any other approach, for that matter -- will depend entirely on the willingness and ability of those involved to master core concepts and requisite tools, then apply then effectively to the given need, challenge, or opportunity. I am convinced that the fastest way, the easiest way, the least expensive way, to achieve a strategic objective is to pursue it the right way.

Strategic Failure: How President Obama's Drone Warfare, Defense Cuts, and Military Amateurism Have Imperiled America
Strategic Failure: How President Obama's Drone Warfare, Defense Cuts, and Military Amateurism Have Imperiled America
by Mark Moyar
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 22.89
30 used & new from CDN$ 22.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Mark Moyar on "how to protect the United States and maintain the international stability on which its prosperity depends", Aug. 8 2015
According to Mark Moyar in the Preface, this book's last chapter "draws upon the lessons of Obama's presidency to identify a better way for U.S. national security in the twentieth century. It calls for the U.S. government to reassert proactive global leadership, reverse cuts to defense spending, and reinvigorate American public support for the military. The ultimate objective of these changes is not to invade every hostile country or to remake the whole world in America's image, but rather to protect the United States and maintain the international stability upon which its prosperity depends. This positive vision, it is hoped, will be of value in the debate over national security during the presidential campaign of 2016, and in the U.S. decisions on national security strategy and defense spending after 2016."

This concluding paragraph of the book's Preface "sets the table" for the material that follows. Clearly, Moyar is convinced that President Obama's global decisions are based on "misguided strategic principles" that have produced a series of disasters that involve droned warfare, defense cuts, and "military amateurism." Moyar really does have -- and shares in this book -- a " positive vision" of what could and should be done to "to protect the United States and maintain the international stability on which its prosperity depends." In this context, I am again reminded of this line from one of George Bernard Shaw's plays, Back to Methuselah: "You see things; and you say 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?'" True, it would be more accurate to say "things that have not been true for decades" rather than "never were" because, following World War Two, the United States was the most powerful nation in the world and was so again following the collapse of the Soviet Union on Christmas Day in 1991.

Moyar examines dozens of strategic failure in recent years. For example: Had Obama displayed a resolve to bring the Afghanistan war to a successful conclusion, he could have used the cross-border power of America's perceived military strength to gain Pakistani cooperation in combating Al Qaeda and other extremist groups. Instead, he focused his words and deeds on getting the U.S. military out of Afghanistan, while citing misleading statistics about drones as proof that surgical strikes from afar were a viable substitute for ground forces. He left the United States bereft of influence in a country with nuclear weapons, a fragile government, a perilous rivalry with nuclear-armed India, widespread hatred of the United States, and thriving terrorist organizations with aspirations to bloody the American homeland."

Other strategic failures also help to explain why the United States continues to watch its prestige and credibility throughout the world deteriorate, alarming its allies and alienating longtime allies while encouraging its enemies to gain advantage by default.

These are among the several dozen passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Moyar's coverage:

o Barak Obama (Pages 6-9, 12-13, 115-126, 133-138, 175-185, 276-288, and 292-309)
o Afghanistan War (31-49, 60-65, and 101-130)
o Counterinsurgency: COIN (32-34, 36-37, 102-105, 110-116, and 178-179)
o Joe Biden (34-36, 36-38, and 61-62)
o General Stanley A. McCrystal (37-43 and 103-110)
o Robert Gates and Afghanistan (37-40, 42-44, 46-47, and 179-180)
o General David Petraeus (41-42 and 111-116)
o U.S. Congress and defense budgets (56-60, 69-71, and 73-75)
o Pakistan (64-65 and 127-154)
o George H. Bush and the Iraq War (78-79, 174-175, and 281-289)
o Nouri al-Maliki (81-87)
o Politics and governance in Afghanistan (104-107, 120-122, 179-180, and 225-227)
o Killing of Osama Bin Laden (114-115 and 142-148)
o Libya (195-227)
o Benghazi (202-221)

Here are Moyar's concluding remarks: "Whether the United States will stand a chance of halting and reversing the downward slide will hinge on whether the American people elect another president who subscribes to the misguided strategic principles that produced the disaster, or whether they instead choose someone committed to rebuilding America's military and reestablishing the United States as the world's preeminent power."

Can it be done? I agree with Michael Moyar that it can indeed be achieved. Will that happen? Stay tuned....

Lead the Work: Navigating a World Beyond Employment
Lead the Work: Navigating a World Beyond Employment
by John W. Boudreau
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 26.33
20 used & new from CDN$ 26.33

5.0 out of 5 stars "The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence ' it is to act with yesterday's logic." Peter Drucker, Aug. 7 2015
To what does the title of this book refer? Basically, it suggests the importance of the work to be done at a very high level of quality rather than leading those involved in that process. This is what Diane Gerson (in the Foreword) characterizes as "work beyond employment." That is to say, in the new world of work, who does what and how they do it are far less important than the fact that the work is done and done well. Given the wide and deep impact of what James O'Toole so aptly characterizes as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom," traditional thinking about employees and those who supervise them simply isn't up to new challenges within a competitive marketplace that is both global and multicultural. There is an urgent need for alternatives to the traditional workplace models.

I agree with John Boudreau, Ravin Jesuthasan, and David Creelman: "The vast majority of attention in the management literature is on what happens with employees within the organization. If we look at Model 4 [The talent platforms add a layer that dramatically increases the effectiveness of free agents by significantly lowering the transaction cost, Page 19], it becomes clear that that the work done inside the organization is only one element in a much bigger picture. For the leader of today, the question is how to optimize and lead the work across all these options." Be sure to check Figure 1.2 that offers a graphic representation that contrasts the old way of thinking about work with a new perspective.

These are among the several dozen passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of the book's coverage:

o Talent Platforms Optimize Freelancing (Pages 15-17)
o Seeing a Pattern in the Pieces (17-20)
o Why Employment Evolved (23-25)
Note: The etymology of the noun "employment" can be traced to the mid-15th century; "the spending of money," from the Middle English word "emploieno."
o The Starbucks Office and the Social Acceptability of Free Agency (28-30)
o From Free Agent Nation to Free Agent World, and, The Implications of Free Agent World (31-32)
o The Remaining Barriers to World Domination (32-33)
o The Rise of Outsourcing, and, The Rise of Alliances (37-42)
o Upwork: The Offering and Clients (52-58)
o The Engagement Model (64-68)
o The Less "Regular" Full-Time Job: The Engagement Model (71-74)
o Leading the Work Beyond Employment: A Decision Framework (83-91)
o How IBM Leads the Work (92-110)
o How Small to Deconstruct? (113-121)
o When to Detach and When Not to Detach (128-129)
o How Easily to Permeate? (137-140)
o How Deeply to Collaborate? (142-144)
o How Short the Time Frame? (155-158)
o How Creatively to Imagine the Reward? (166-172)
o HR Beyond Employment: Work Engineering, and, The Talent Lifecycle (178-183)
o Leadership Redefined (210-212)
o Common and Likely Future States for Governance Principles (220-221)
o Some Closing Thoughts on Governance and Stakeholders (232-234)
o What We, Our Children, and Our Organizations Can Do (250-252)

The co-authors are to be commended on their skillful use of mini-case studies inserted strategically throughout their lively and eloquent narrative. This material anchors concepts and applications in real-world situations with which most (if not all) business leaders can identify. For example, here are three "snapshots" of How to Escape Traditional Full-Time Employment: "How Free Agents Built the Software for Managing Genomes," "How to Power an Energy Company with Contract Workers," and "How to Unravel the Mystery of Folding Proteins with Volunteers." There are also more than a dozen "boxed in gray" mini-commentaries and brief accounts of that expand and enrich the frame-of-reference within which the "Leading Work Beyond Employment" model and its decision framework are explained. The focus (according to a format or at least implied) is on the offering and its clients, the work to be done, the workers, the Engagement Model, and "What This Means for Your Future as a Leader of the Work."

Here are John Boudreau, Ravin Jesuthasan, and David Creelman's concluding remarks: "We believe that the days of employment being the only important means for getting work done are passing. This will lead to a host of dislocations for us as individuals and citizens. It's natural and appropriate to worry about how this will affect our children. If we just let economic evolution take its course, there will be some good and some bad, but no guarantee of anything close to an optimal outcome. If we're smart individually and collectively, we can ensure that the good outweighs the bad. Being proactive in managing the change is undoubtedly better than trying to hang on to the past."

They do not offer any definitive maps but do provide an abundance of information, insights, and counsel that can serve as a "compass" for business leaders who now struggle to navigate a world beyond employment. Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to check out Transformative HR: How Great Companies Use Evidence-Based Change for Sustainable Advantage, co-authored by Boudreau and Jesuthasan and published by Jossey-Bass (2011).

Management Lessons from Taiichi Ohno: What Every Leader Can Learn from the Man who Invented the Toyota Production System
Management Lessons from Taiichi Ohno: What Every Leader Can Learn from the Man who Invented the Toyota Production System
by Takehiko Harada
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 27.55
29 used & new from CDN$ 22.54

5.0 out of 5 stars "It is a system that says there is no limit to people's creativity. People don't go to Toyota to 'work' but to 'think.'" Ohno,, Aug. 4 2015
Takehico Harada is the author of this comprehensive, indeed definitive introduction to the Toyota Production System (TPS) and to the man who invented it, Taiichi Ohno (1912-1990). The book was translated by Brad Schmidt. Briefly, drawing on his experience of introducing a flow production method using a chain conveyor into the assembly line of a textile plant (completed in 1927) with a monthly production capacity of 300 units, Kiichiro Toyoda (1894-1952) introduced this same method into the body production line at Toyota Motor Co., Ltd.'s Koromo Plant (present day Honsha Plant), completed in 1938.by ensuring thorough implementation of jidoka and the Just-in-Time method, Eiji Toyoda (1913-) increased workers' productivity by adding value and realized the Toyota Production System, which enabled Toyota to compete head-on with companies in Europe and the U.S. With strong backing from Eiji Toyoda, Taiichi Ohno helped establish the Toyota Production System, and built the foundation for the Toyota spirit of "making things" by, for example, creating the basic framework for the Just-in-Time method.

Harada explains that good kaizen [continuous improvement] "creates an environment in which work is meaningful. To sustain and manage a work environment like this, it is crucial to train people in the management of a Lean organization. Please use this book to that end, and make it your mission to create a workplace where smiles are everywhere and kaizen is happening all the time." He worked for more than 40 years trying to create "that wonderful workplace" at Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Motors' Taiwan plant. He is former president.

These are among the several dozen passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Harada's coverage:

o Western vs. Japanese culture (Pages x-xi and 121-127)
o Flow (1-2, 14-15, 17-20, 32-35, and 101-105)
o TPS: Deployment (4-5, 65-67, and 137-139)
o Productivity (24-29)
o Skilled workers (29-35 and 89-97)
o Training (30-35, 52-55, 65-66, and 1q39-149)
o Management (39-41, 65-79, and 81-118)
o Kanbans (60-63)
o TPS and Corporate Culture (66-67, 123-127, and 147-149)
o TPS: Roles and responsibilities of management (70--79, 81-118, and 129-132)
o TPS: Authority and empowerment (90-97)
o Defects (94-96 and 128-131)
o Ship set production (114-118)
o Resistance to change (123-127 and 145-149)
o Abnormality management (127-129)
o TPS: Achieving adoption (132-134)

Here are the 15 ”sayings” of Taiichi Ohno that Harada wrote down, each of which he discusses.

1. "No One Really Understood What I was Saying, So I had to Go to the Gemba ("the real place") and Give Detailed Instructions" (7-11)
2. "Kaizen Equals Getting Closer to the Final Process" (11-17)
3. "You Need by the [Assembly] Line Only the Parts for the Car You Are Assembling Now" (17-20)
4. "Building in Batches Stunts the Growth of Your Operations (Don't Combine Kanbans [improvement systems] and Build a Group of Them" (20-24)
5. "Nine Out of Ten, One Out of Ten" (24-29)
6. "The Foreman or Leader Is the One Who 'Breaks' the Standard (When You Make an Improvement and You Can Take Out One Person, Give Up Your Best Person" (29-32)
7. "Multitasking Means Learning the Next Process -- Keep It Flowing Until You Reach the Last Process" (32-35)
8. "What's That Red Circle on the Top Right of the Graph?" (35-39)
9. "Are You as the Manager Having Them Do It, or Are They Just Doing It Their Way? Which Is It, Man?"(39-41)
10. "Standard Work for the Andon [indicator of a problem] Is, 'Go There When It Flashes'" (42-45)
11. "Standard Work Is the Foundation of Kanban" (45-49)
12. "When the Worker Pushes the Start Button, He Has Stopped Moving. Can't You Guys Figure Out a Way to Push Star While Still Moving?" (45-52)
13. "You Bought an Expensive Machine, and Now You Want an Expensive Foreman or Engineer to Run It? Are You Mad?" (52-55)
14. "Engineers in Production Become the Horizontal Threads in the Cloth" (55-60)
15. The Lowest Kanban Quantity Should Be Five" (60-63)

If you work your way through each of these in a patient and attentive manner, I think you will be amazed by the scope and depth of new understanding that will occur. Albert Einstein once stressed the importance of making everything as simple as possible...but no simpler. That in essence is Lean Thinking, the philosophical foundation of the Toyota Production System.

Vince Lombardi once held up a piece of chalk during a Green Bay Packers team meeting and said, “I can beat any offense or defense with this.” Presumably Taiichi Ohno and Takehiko Harada agree with me that the same can be said of lists such as this one. Be they sayings, rules or guidelines, however sensible they may be, they are essentially worthless unless and until they become articles of faith, not for a production process but rather for a way of life.

The Connection Algorithm: Take Risks, Defy the Status Quo, and Live Your Passions
The Connection Algorithm: Take Risks, Defy the Status Quo, and Live Your Passions
Price: CDN$ 5.27

5.0 out of 5 stars How to develop a mindset that will help you and others to accelerate personal growth and professional development, Aug. 4 2015
To what does the title refer? According to Jesse Warren Tevelow, the connection algorithm is a mindset, one that almost anyone can develop that will "enable you to live the life you want to live, and to be in control. The goal is to eliminate the things that make you unhappy...[and will] naturally lead you to forge relationships with highly connected people. It will also open your eyes to a new lifestyle, freeing you from the shackles of a desk job."

Tevelow is convinced that success depends upon four HUGE "ifs":

o If a person decides to achieve personal growth and professional development,
o If they are totally committed to doing that,
o If they offer something to create substantial value (e.g. changing people's lives for the better), and
o If they build a network of Connectors (i.e. those who can be most helpful to achieving the given objectives).

Note: I presume to add a fifth "C": courage. The other four won't happen without it.

Whenever young people asked Rod Steiger (a great actor on stage and screen) for career advice, he always looked them in the eye and asked, "Do you want to be an actor or do you HAVE TO BE an actor." As he explained, "The longer it took them to answer that question, the less likely it was that they would succeed." That is what Tevelow means by commitment. It is important to keep in mind that, while building a network of influential allies, you will become a Connector who can help others to develop their own connection algorithm.

These are among the several dozen passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Wilson's coverage:

o The Point of It All (Pages 8-10)
o The Power of Connectors (16-18)
o The Four Cs: Choose, Commit, Create, and Connect (21-25)
o Act Today, Not Tomorrow (33-34)
o Why It's So Easy to Feel Off Track (35-40)
o Your Passion Is a Product (49-54)
o Connect the Dots Later (54-58)
o You Get Out What You Put In...Sort Of (69-73)
o Learn to Love Experiments (74-76)
o Don't Get a New Cage (86-87)
o Tim Ferriss and the Two Ps: The Pareto Principle and Parkinson's Law (95-97)
o Time: 10,000 Hours to Become an Expert? (98-103)
o Productivity Hacks (104-114)
o Body: "Vehicle for Getting Things Done" (131-143)
o Mind (143-153)
o The Connection Algorithm Defined (159-169)
o The Path to Being Connected (169-175)
o Ask for Help (180-181)
o Personal Values and Habits (191-197)
o Connector Qualities (202-210)
o Being a Connector (211-214)

As I read and then re-read Tevelow's "Final Thoughts," I was again reminded of Ernest Becker's classic, Denial of Death, in which he acknowledges that no one can deny physical death but suggests there is another form of death that can be denied: That which occurs when we become totally preoccupied with fulfilling others' expectations of us. This "death" is what Alan Watts has in mind, in The Book, when observing, "We need a new experience -- a new feeling of what it is to be 'I.' The lowdown (which is, of course, the secret and profound view) on life is that our normal sensation of self is a hoax, or, at best, a temporary role that we are playing, or have been conned into playing -- with our own tacit consent, just as every hypnotized person is basically willing to be hypnotized. The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego."

Jesse Tevelow urges his reader to deny the "death" to which both Becker and Watts refer. "I've done it. I've discovered the secret to prolonged happiness. Yes, it's taken me thirty years and I still have to remind myself constantly, but I've figured it out. Ready? Here it is -- the secret to being happy: Do shit you like to do."

Obviously, no brief commentary such as mine can possibly do full justice to the abundance of information, insights, and counsel that are provided in this book but I hope I have at least indicated why I think so highly of it.

Beyond Engagement: A Brain-Based Approach That Blends the Engagement Managers Want with the Energy Employees Need
Beyond Engagement: A Brain-Based Approach That Blends the Engagement Managers Want with the Energy Employees Need
by Brady G. Wilson
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 19.13
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5.0 out of 5 stars How and why executives should manage workforce energy rather than workforce engagement, Aug. 3 2015
Obviously Brady Wilson agrees with these observations by Tony Schwartz: "We're not meant to run at high speeds, continuously, for long periods of time. Science tells us we're at our best when we move rhythmically between spending and renewing energy -- a reality that companies must embrace to fuel sustainable engagement and high performance."

Wilson offers a "brain-based approach" to energy management. He shares everything he has learned (thus far) about how to nourish and strengthen both our own emotional and rational brains as well as the binary capabilities of those entrusted to our care. "Manage the whole person," but meanwhile manage the process by which each person can achieve personal growth and professional development. Organizational goals must be in proper alignment with individual workers' goals as well as those of customers.

These are among the several dozen passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Wilson's coverage:

o David Zinger's Foreword (Pages xi-xii)
o What's in This Book? (4-7)
o The Gas Guzzler (10-12)
o Engagement vs. Energy (15-17)
o How the Promise of Reward Short-Circuits Engagement (24-27)
o Delivering Experiences (27-28)
o What Matters Most? The Employee Experience (28-30)
o Four Times the Effort (35)
o Science Explains This (36-38)
Note: In this context, Wilson cites brain research that explains how and why our limbic system (emotional center of the brain) defines what we experience as reality.
o The Chemistry of Conversation (46-56)
o Cognitive Tension(66-68)
o Dimensions and Significance of Tension (70-78)
Note: I think that tension is comparable with destruction in that both can be either positive or negative, creative or lethal.
o The Binary Code of Responsibility (83-88)
o Parenting: It's in Our Roots (88-92)
o What Blocks Performance (110-112)
o Intelligent Energy (116-117)
o Five Driving Needs, and, Family of Needs (123-126)
o Unmet Needs Deplete Energy (126-128)
o Access Points to the Five Driving Needs (130-132)
o How Unmet Needs Can Serve Us, and, The Antidote (132-136)
Note: In this context, Wilson shares his concerns about the disruptive and damaging impact of three negative forces: narcissism, individualism, and consumerism.

o Stress: Demon or Demonized (140-143)

Wilson also provides ten "Case Stories" that feature real people in real-world situations as they struggle with the challenges and the opportunities of coordinating "the engagement that managers want with the energy that employees need."

Over several decades, I have been closely associated (either as a senior-level executive or as an independent consultant) with several hundred companies and few of them made effective use of the exit interview to obtain the information, insights, and counsel their business leaders needed to accelerate the personal growth and professional development of their employees in combination with achieving organizational goals and objectives. In all of the major research studies of employee satisfaction conducted by highly reputable firms such as Gallup and Towers Watson, "feeling appreciated" is always ranked among the three of what is of greatest importance to those who responded. I commend Brady Wilson on the brain-based approach that he recommends and commend him also on how well he presents it. With only minor modifications, it can be of substantial value to almost any organization, whatever its size and nature may be.

Those who have supervisory responsibility would be well-advised to keep in mind this observation by Maya Angelou: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Making Human Capital Analytics Work: Measuring the ROI of Human Capital Processes and Outcomes
Making Human Capital Analytics Work: Measuring the ROI of Human Capital Processes and Outcomes
by Jack Phillips
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 34.45
22 used & new from CDN$ 22.00

5.0 out of 5 stars How to connect HR to business, predict the value of HR initiatives, and optimize the value of human capital, July 29 2015
Up front, I want acknowledgement my agreement with comments by Rodd Wagner in his latest book, Widgets: The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If They're Real People: "Your people are not your greatest assets. They're not yours, and they're not assets. They are someone's son or daughter, brother or sister, mom or dad. They're people -- people for whom you have a crucial stewardship and with whom you are building a personal legacy that will last long after you have retired. Do right by them, make them happy, and they will be the major force behind the success you share with them, and the best part of being privileged to be a leader."

Obviously, Patricia Phillips and Jack Phillips mean no disrespect when referring to a workforce as "human capital." They would be the first to point out that it is no coincidence that most of the companies annual ranked among those that are most highly respected and best to work for are also annually ranked among those that are most profitable and have the greatest cap value within their industry. What is their "secret sauce"? Years ago, then chairman and CEO, Herb Kelleher, explained the secret of Southwest Airlines' success: "We treat our people great, they treat our customers great, and our customers treat our shareholders great." Of all the capital or assets an organization can possess, none is more precious than its people.

The Phillipses wrote this book primarily for HR executives, providing a wealth of information, insights, and counsel that would enable them to "place monetary value on the hard-to-value measures, such as employee engagement, job satisfaction, conflict, stress, and teamwork. In addition, it is helpful to understand relationships between [and among] different variables, taking the mystery out of what is causing low productivity, inadequate quality, delayed processes, and excessive costs."

These are among the several dozen passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of the Phillipses' coverage during the first five chapters:

o The Expanded Role of Human Capital (Pages 3-4)
o Struggles of the Human Resource Function (4-6)
o Human Capital Analytics: A Briefing (8-16)
o Types of Analytics Projects (16-28)
o The Development of the Human Capital Analytics Model (28-31)
o Benefits of Human Capital Analytics (31-33)
o Source of Problem or Opportunity (36-44)
o Define the Specific Business Measures (44-50)
o Table 2-5: Stakeholders for Typical Projects and Programs (52-53)
o Table 3-2: Typical Impact Measures for Projects and Programs (59-62)
o Searching/Locating Databases (66-67)
o Importance of Business Alignment (76-85)
o Figure 5-1: Objectives of Business Impact Coaching (92)
o Figure 5-2: Completed Data Collection Plan (94-96)
o Communication Plan (97-102)

In the remaining seven chapters, the Phillipses develop in much greater depth how to connect HR to business, predict the value of HR initiatives, and optimize the value of human capital. For example:

In Chapter 6, they explore "various data collection methods, including classic processes such as surveys, questionnaires, tests, interviews, focus groups, observation, and performance monitoring."

In 7, they describe "several isolation methods, ranging from classic experimental versus control group, trend-line analysis and analytical processes, to estimates from a variety of sources."

In 8, they explain "how to select solutions from various scenarios, modify a particular solution to deliver the value needed, and develop specific objectives for all five levels" of data. (See Figure 1-3, Pages 14-16)

In 9, they explore "the techniques, challenges, and opportunities for converting data to money." (See Pages 192-193)

In 10, they explain how to forecast, predict, test, optimize. (See Pages 249-253)

In 11, they share their thoughts about how to report results with a seven-step process and drive improvement.

And in Chapter 12, they offer practical recommendations about how to overcome and manage barriers to the analytics practice and sustain it. Presumably the Phillipses agree with Jim O'Toole who suggests (in his classic, Leading Change) that most resistance is cultural in nature, the result of what he so aptly characterizes as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom." My own rather extensive experience with change initiatives suggests that those who defend the current status quo were probably among those who worked so hard (and so well) to replace the previous status quo.

I commend them on their masterful use of reader-friendly devices throughout their lively and eloquent narrative. For example, they provide a brief but precise introduction to each of the 15 chapters, followed by an "Opening Story" to create a real-world context, as well as a "Final Thoughts" section at their conclusion. Also, dozens of Figures and Tables was well as checklists and bullet point clusters.

Obviously, no brief commentary such as mine can do full justice to the wealth of material that Patricia Phillips and Jack Phillips provide but I hope I have at least indicated why I think so highly of them and their book. The healthiest organizations are those in which personal growth and professional development are most likely to thrive. It is imperative, therefore, to be able to measure that growth and development. How? Almost everything business leaders need to know is provided in this volume. Bravo!

HBR's 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence (with featured article "What Makes a Leader?" by Daniel Goleman)(HBR's 10 Must Reads)
HBR's 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence (with featured article "What Makes a Leader?" by Daniel Goleman)(HBR's 10 Must Reads)
by Harvard Business Review
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 23.25
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5.0 out of 5 stars How and why the most effective leaders "have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence", July 22 2015
This is one in a series of volumes that anthologizes what the editors of the Harvard Business Review consider to be "must reads" in a given business subject area, in this instance emotional intelligence. I have no quarrel with any of their selections, each of which is eminently deserving of inclusion. Were all of these ten article purchased separately as reprints, the total cost would be $60 and the practical value of any one of them exceeds that. Given the fact that Amazon now sells this one for only CDN $ 20.03, that's quite a bargain. The same is true of volumes in other series such as "HBR Guide to...,""Harvard Business Review on...," and "Harvard Business Essentials." I also think there is great benefit derived from the convenience of having a variety of perspectives and insights gathered in a single volume

In all of the volumes in the "HBR 10 Must Reads" series that I have read thus far, the authors and their HBR editors make skillful use of several reader-friendly devices that include "Idea in Brief" and "Idea in Action" sections, checklists with and without bullet points, boxed mini-commentaries (some of which are "guest" contributions from other sources), and graphic charts and diagrams that consolidate especially valuable information. These and other devices facilitate, indeed accelerate frequent review later of key points later.

Those who read this volume will gain valuable information, insights, and counsel that will help them to monitor and channel their moods and emotions; make smart (i.e. empathic, "people") decisions; manage conflict and regulate emotions within their team; react to tough situations with circumspection and resilience; better understand their strengths, weaknesses, needs, values, and goals; and develop emotional agility.

Although the first use of the term "emotional intelligence" is usually attributed to Wayne Payne's doctoral thesis, "A Study of Emotion: Developing Emotional Intelligence" (1985), Daniel Goleman is generally credited with doing more than anyone else has to establish and enrich emotional intelligence as a key element in terms of both personal growth and professional development. In an essay that serves as an introduction to the other material in this volume, "What Makes a Great Leader?" (HBR, June 1996), Goleman observes that "the most effective leaders are alike in one crucial; way: They all have a high degree of what has come to be known as [begin italics] emotional intelligence [end italics]...my research, along with recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won't make a great leader."

In the other nine essays,

o Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee explain why primal leadership is the "hidden driver of great performance"
o Joel Brockner explains why it is so difficult to be "fair
o Andrew Campbell, Jo Whitehead, and Sydney Finkelstein explain why so many good leaders make such bad decisions
o Vanessa Urch Druskat and Steven B. Wolff explain how to build the emotional intelligence of groups
o Christine Porath and Christine Pearson examine the price of civility and explain why and how it hurts morale -- and the bottom line
o Diane L. Coutou explains how resiliency works
o Susan David and Christina Congleton discuss emotional agility: How effective leaders manage their negative thoughts and feelings
o Jay M. Jackman and Myra H. Strober explain fear of feedback and how to overcome it
o Kerry A. Bunker, Kathy E. Kram, and Sharon Ting on delaying promotions of fast trackers: "the young and the clueless"

Here are two other perspectives on emotional intelligence:

"Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a 'hot mess' or having 'too many issues' are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world." Anthon St. Maarten

"People who seek psychotherapy for psychological, behavioral or relationship problems tend to experience a wide range of bodily complaints...The body can express emotional issues a person may have difficulty processing consciously...I believe that the vast majority of people don't recognize what their bodies are really telling them. The way I see it, our emotions are music and our bodies are instruments that play the discordant tunes. But if we don't know how to read music, we just think the instrument is defective." Charlette Mikulka

I agree with Goleman that emotional intelligence can be learned. "The process is not easy. It takes time and, most of all, commitment. But the benefits that come from having a well-developedc emotional intelligence, for the individual and for the organization, make it worth the effort."

Those who wish to explore the subject in much greater depth are urged to check out two of Goleman's books: Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ (2003, co-authored with Boyatzis and McKee, and Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ (2005) as well as Emotional Intelligence 2.0 (2009), co-authored by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves.

Measuring The Success of Leadership Development: A Step-by-Step Guide for Measuring Impact and Calculating ROI
Measuring The Success of Leadership Development: A Step-by-Step Guide for Measuring Impact and Calculating ROI
by Patricia Pulliam Phillips
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 35.21
18 used & new from CDN$ 31.76

5.0 out of 5 stars How to quantify the effectiveness of almost any leadership development program, July 22 2015
All organizations need effective leadership at all levels and in all areas of the given enterprise. Developing leaders rather than hiring them away from other organizations is the best way to fill that need.

Given the importance of ROI, business leaders are under severe pressure to measure the progress - the success - of various organizational initiatives, including leadership development. In this volume, Patricia Pulliam Phillips, Jack J. Phillips, and Rebecca Ray explain how to do that. They offer a step-by-step guide: The ROI Methodology: A Credible Approach to Evaluating Your Leadership Development Programs. They collaborated on the first seven chapters, then:

Chapter 8: Phillips and Phillips
9: Lisa Parker and Caroline Hubble
10. Amy Happ and Kirk Smith
11. Patti Phillips
12. Jack Phillips
13. Hubble and Chris Kirchner

These are among the dozens of passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of this book's coverage:

o The Top Executive View (Pages 3-5)
o Reasons for the Failures of Leadership Development Programs (8)
o High-Performance Culture and Measurement (13-14)
o The ROI Methodology (16-17)
o Selecting Programs for ROI Analysis (21-24)
o Achieving the Proper Alignment (27-35)
o Quantitative and Qualitative Inquiry (43-44)
o Isolating the Effects (61-67)
o Calculating the Return, and, Intangible Assets (72-77)
o The Joan Kravitz Story: Presenting the Results of an ROI Study to Senior Management (86-92)
o The Importance of Sustaining the ROI (97-98)
o Developing Roles and Responsibilities (99-101)
o Removing Obstacles (107-108)
o The Evaluation Approach (118-119)
o Evaluation Methodology (140-144)
o Evaluation Results (145-150)
o Program Description (181-182)
o The Evaluation Approach (183-184)
o Planning for Evaluation (206-209)
o Improving Response Rates (214)

I commend the co-authors and other contributors on how well they "set the table" (explaining the "what" and "why") in Part 1 for the material provided in Chapter II (Chapters 8-13): "Evaluation in Action Case Studies Describing the Evaluation of Leadership Development Programs." Readers have been well-prepared to absorb and digest the "how" of measuring leadership development in a variety of organizations. There are six mini-case studies of exemplars: Fashion Stores International, IAMGOLD Corporation, Global Manufacturing Company (GMC), Global Bank Inc., Global Engineering and Construction Company, and International Nonprofit Group.

However, obviously, as Patricia Pulliam Phillips, Jack J. Phillips, and Rebecca Ray would be the first to point out, it would be a fool's errand to attempt to apply all of insights and counsel in this material. It remains for each reader to determine which of the material provided in this volume is most relevant, not only to where the given organization is now (in terms of needs, resources, and strategic objectives) but also where it wishes to be in 18-24 months. The leaders being developed in weeks and months to come must be well-prepared to get the organization as is to what it must become in order to thrive in months and years to come.

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