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Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas)

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Thinkers 50 Innovation: Breakthrough Thinking to Take Your Business to the Next Level
Thinkers 50 Innovation: Breakthrough Thinking to Take Your Business to the Next Level
by Stuart Crainer
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 22.95
35 used & new from CDN$ 2.56

5.0 étoiles sur 5 How does an organization establish and/or strengthen a capability for discontinuous innovation?, May 19 2015
This is one of the volumes in a series published by McGraw-Hill Education and co-authored by Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove. They wrote it in response to that question.

I really like the basic concept: Crainer and Dearlove selected a major business subject such as leadership and then asked, "Which cutting edge thinkers should we consult to share their thoughts about this?" They had already read their books and articles and even interviewed several of them. A generous selection of the most valuable material they obtained is provided in this volume. The first chapter is called, appropriately, "How We Got Here." That is, how perspectives on innovation have evolved over time.

Here is one of the Q&As from an interview of Clay Christensen:

C&D: What exactly is disruptive innovation?

CC: Disruptive innovation has a very specific meaning. It is not a breakthrough innovation that makes good products a lot better. It has a very specific definition, and that is that it transforms a product that historically was so expensive and complicated that only a few people with a lot of money and a lot of skill had access to it. A disruptive innovation makes the product so much more affordable and acceptable that a much larger population has access to it.

And so it creates new markets. But the technology leaders who made the complicated, expensive stuff find it very hard to move in the direction of the affordable and simple because that is so incompatible with their business model. And so it's almost a paradox within itself. But what it says is, if you are a little boy and want to kill a giant, the way you do it is by going after this kind of product, where the leader is actually motivated to walk away from you rather than engage you.

Here is another Q&A, from their interview of C.K. Prahalad:

C&D: What would be an example of co-creation?

CKP: Let's take Google. But if I look at Google, it does not tell me how to use the system. I can personalize my own page; I can create iGoogle. I decide what I want. Google is an experience platform. Google understands that it may have a hundred million consumers, but each one can do what he or she wants with its platform. That is an extreme case of personalized, co-created value. Our shorthand for it is "N=1."

On the other hand, Google does not produce the content at all. The content comes from a large number of people around the world -- institutions and individuals. Google aggregates it and makes it available to me. That is the spirit of co-creation, which says that even if you have a hundred million consumers, each consumer experience is different because it is co-created by that customer and the organization, in this case Google. So resources are not contained within the firm, but accessed from a wide variety of institutions; therefore, resources are global. Our shorthand for that is "R=G," because resources are now coming from more than one institution.

So, N+1 and R=G are going to be the pattern for the future.


Other thought leaders who contributed to this volume include Teresa Amabile, Henry Chesbrough, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Vijay Govindarajan (Q&A), Gary Hamel (Q&A), Ionnis Ioannou, Constantinos Markides (Q&A), Procter & Gamble, Berndt Schmitt (Q&A), and Don Tapscott (Q&A).

Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to check out the Thinkders50 volumes on management, leadership, future thinkers, and strategy. Also, Crainer's The Ultimate Business Library: The Greatest Books That Made Management, published by Captone/A Wiley Imprint, and The Management Century: One Hundred Years of Thinking and Practice, part of the J-B BAH Strategy & Business Series.

I also greatly admire Dearlove's The Ultimate Book of Business Thinking: Harnessing the Power of the World's Greatest Business Ideas and Business the Richard Branson Way: 10 Secrets of the World's Greatest Brand Builder (Big Shots Series).

Hidden Strengths: Unleashing the Crucial Leadership Skills You Already Have
Hidden Strengths: Unleashing the Crucial Leadership Skills You Already Have
by Milo Sindell
Edition: Hardcover
Prix : CDN$ 17.52
19 used & new from CDN$ 11.93

4.0 étoiles sur 5 "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." John Quincy Adams, May 18 2015
Whatever their size and nature may be, all organizations need effective leaders at all levels and in all areas of the given enterprise.

Think of this book as a 63-page primer on the fundamentals of how to identify potential leaders, then develop and leverage their strengths to achieve and thereafter sustain organizational excellence. All of us have what Thuy and Milo Sindell characterize as "hidden strengths." They may in fact be not-as-yet-recognized and/or not-as-yet-appreciated strengths of their potentiality.

In this context, I am again reminded of Darrell Royal's suggestion that "potential" means "you ain't done it yet."

As the Sindells explain, "The rocket fuel for your development resides in your middle [between strengths and weaknesses]. With awareness, effort, and appropriate resources, you can quickly [or more quickly] turn Hidden Strengths into Learned Strengths. They may never cvome4 as easily to you as Natural Strengths, but they will be equally as valuable to you and your organization."

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

o What Are Hidden Strengths? and Why Hidden Strengths? (Pages 7-11)
Note: My take is that "hidden" is synonymous with not-as-yet discovered or as-yet not recognized by others or under-developed.

o The Risk of Focusing on Hidden Weaknesses (11-13)
o The Risk of Overrelying on Hidden Strengths (14-18)

o The Four Principles of Hidden Strengths (19-25)

#1: Leverage Your Traits, and Develop Your Skills.
#2The middle is the source of your development.
#3: Practice, practice, practice.
#4: Always be working on your hidden strengths

o The Twenty-Eight Skills (30-40)
o Hidden Strengths Five-Step Development Plan (47-60)
o Appendix A: The Twenty-Eight Skills and Why They Matter (65-76)
o Appendix B: Hidden Strengths Development Worksheet (77-78)

The Sindells identify most of the "what" of strength recognition that is essential to personal growth and professional development. To those in need of wider and deeper coverage of the "why" and (especially) the "how," I highly recommend Enterprise Architecture As Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution co-authored by Jeanne W. Ross, Peter Weill, and David Robertson; also Noel Tichy's The Leadership Engine: How Winning Companies Build Leaders at Every Level, Dean Spitzer's Transforming Performance Measurement: Rethinking the Way We Measure and Drive Organizational Success, and Beyond Performance Management: Why, When, and How to Use 40 Tools and Best Practices for Superior Business Performance, co-authored by Jeremy Hope and Steve Player.

The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789
The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789
by Joseph J. Ellis
Edition: Hardcover
Prix : CDN$ 20.69
27 used & new from CDN$ 19.07

5.0 étoiles sur 5 A brilliant analysis of "arguably the most creative and consequential act of political leadership in American history", May 17 2015
Many people still do not as yet know that that after the Declaration of Independence, and then winning a war, the thirteen colonies then had to win a peace during the years 1783-1787 if the new nation were to survive. Signing the Treaty of Paris signaled the successful conclusion of the first war. According to Joseph Ellis, there were four founders who helped to win what he characterizes as "the second American Revolution."

As he explains, "a political quartet [Washington, Hamilton, Jay, and Madison] diagnosed the systemic dysfunctions under the Articles, manipulated the political process to force a calling of the Constitutional Congress, collaborated to set their agenda in Philadelphia, attempted somewhat successfully to orchestrate the debates in the state ratifying convention s, then drafted the Bill of Rights as an insurance policy to ensure state compliance with the constitutional settlement. If I am right, this was arguably the most creative and consequential act of political leadership in American history."

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

o Slavery (Pages 9-11, 106-107, and 144-147)
o George Washington (16-28, 104-114, 139-142, 196-200, and 213-215)
o Continental Congress (17-18 and 69-72)
o Robert Morris (36-37 and 39-46)
o James Madison (46-47, 127-128, 135-138, 142-144, and 147-151)
o Alexander Hamilton (47-47, 61-63, 97-98, 142-144, 146-149, and 163-168)
o John Jay (69-74, 84-90, and 103-105)
o Articles of Confederation (111-114, 117-119, and 123-125)
o Continental Congress: Philadelphia 1787 (123-153)
o House of Representatives (204-209 ad 233-237)
o U.S. Senate (209-211 and 233-237)
o U.S. Congress (233-245 and 238-240)

Near the down area here in Dallas, there is a Farmer's Market at which some merchants offer slices of fresh fruit as samples of their wares. In that spirit, I offer these brief excerpts:

"Although most of the prominent founders, and all of the men featured here, fully recognized that slavery was incompatible with the values of the American Revolution, they consciously subordinated the moral to the political agenda, permitting the continuance and expansion of slavery as the price to pay for nationhood." (Page xix)

"One of the reasons Hamilton found the word [begin italics] democracy [end italics] so offensive was because he realized that the vast majority of American citizens had not the dimmest understanding of what he was talking about." (63)

"Despite what had become a multilayered series of defense mechanisms, Washington was vulnerable to entreaties from Jay and Madison because he was also on record, at least privately, advocating precisely the political agenda they were now proposing." (108)

"Madison's emerging political stature defied his physical appearance, since 'little Jemmy Madison' was, at five foot four and 120 pounds, a diminutive young man, forever lingering on the edge of some fatal ailment." (115)

"No less a figure than Washington fervently believed that the failure to create a sovereign national government would represent a repudiation of everything he had fought for. What was at stake, then, was nothing less than what the American Revolution meant, or had come to mean, and that was how all the most prominent nationals thought about it." (142)

"No president in American history wanted to be president less than Washington. And yet, as Hamilton made clear to him, no man in America was so essential to enhance the prospects for success of the emerging nation." (197)

Readers will welcome the provision of "The Articles of Incorporation and Perpetual Union," "The Constitution of the United States," and "The Bill of Rights" in three appendices. They offer substantial evidence of what the four founders and their colleagues achieved when winning the "the second American Revolution." Of course, significant challenges remained and the one most prominent among them was not resolved until the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and a subsequent victory in the Civil War that preserved the Union.

It seems to me especially appropriate that Ellis allows Thomas Jefferson to have (almost) "the last word" when suggesting that "laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered...institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him as a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regime of their barbarous ancestors."

In fact, Ellis has the last word when noting that most prominent members of the revolutionary generation "did not regard their political prescriptions as sacred script." They strongly opposed any doctrine of "original intent." That said, it should be added, "they all wished to be remembered, but they did not want to be embalmed."

I learned more from this book than from any of Joseph Ellis's previous works and I also enjoyed reading it more than I did any of them. He shines a bright light on colonial years that had been until now, at least for me, in shadows, if not total darkness. I offer a heartfelt "Thank you!"

Light a Fire under Your Business: How to Build a Class 1 Corporate Culture through Inspirational Leadership
Light a Fire under Your Business: How to Build a Class 1 Corporate Culture through Inspirational Leadership
by Tom Pandola
Edition: Hardcover
Prix : CDN$ 44.99
15 used & new from CDN$ 44.99

5.0 étoiles sur 5 "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Benjamin Franklin, May 15 2015
This is the first book I have read thus far that explains how to achieve strategic objectives using a business model based on the management of a fire department. As Tom Pandola and James Bird explain, "The stories in this book are actual experiences from our combined fire service careers of nearly 50 years, plus our combined business careers of nearly 30 years. They are presented to you, the reader, to demonstrate a particular point our principle...we refer to our past experiences because our fire service careers acted as a practical classroom in which we learned the principles that have served us well in firefighting, subsequently in business, and in life in general."

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

o Comfort Zones -- The Bigger the Better (Pages 5-6)
o Erasing Real and Understandable Fear (8-10)
o If They Can Do It, So Can I (12-13)
o Mission to Motivation (14-16)
o What You Do [and Don't Do] Always Matters (17-18)
Comment: Michael Porter once observed, "The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do."
o To Be Successful at Anything, We Need Everything (20-24)
o Are You on Scene and in Command? (33-34)
o Five Critical Actions (34-38)
o SIZE-UP A Plan to Realize Your Vision (40-48)
o Five Critical Factors (49-53)
o How to Predict the Future You Want (59-60)
o Managing Risk While Discovering Your Best Practices, and, R2 = Exponential Improvement (67-68)
o The Review Process, and, Make Success a Way of Thinking -- A Way if Life (69-71)
o Creating a High-Performance Team (78-80)
o Mission to Motivation (81-84)
o From Vision to Reality (84-85)
o Leading with Appreciation, Trust, and Respect (88-92)
o CPR + R2 = Successful Business Teams (95-97)
o Business Firefighting (101-102)
o The Business of Firefighting (102-104)

I commend Pandola and Bird on their skillful use of several reader-friendly devices that include a Chapter Review of key points, "Revise: Call to Action" sections that focus on areas in which to improve, "Notes" at each chapter's conclusion, and a series of "Hot Tips" on Pages 108-112, 113-116, 121-124 (two), 132-133, and 146-148. The design of the book, however, is much less friendly. The substance of the narrative could be -- and should be -- visually more accessible. The "flow" of the narrative itself also needs to be improved as does the inconsistent use of voice. I was sometimes distracted by shifts back and forth between first-person singular and first-person plural as on Page 27: "I had this sense of confidence..." and "Our mission as an organization...." One narrator, first-person singular or plural: Not both.

That said, there is much of substantial value in this book. With appropriate modification, much (if not most) of the practical, do-able counsel is relevant for almost any organization, whatever its size may be, when establishing or strengthening a culture within which personal growth and professional development are most likely to thrive. They also offer several useful insights with regard to personal initiative and accountability as well as to teamwork, especially when under duress.

Tom Pandola and James Bird explain include the Franklin quotation among more than a dozen inserted strategically throughout the book. Ancient wisdom suggests that you should dig a well before you are thirsty. Good advice. For CEOs as well as for firefighters, another is that it is far better to prevent a crisis (e.g. a fire) than to contend with one. Better yet, do everything to prevent one but be well-prepared when one occurs.

The Bill of Rights: The Fight to Secure America's Liberties
The Bill of Rights: The Fight to Secure America's Liberties
by Carol Berkin
Edition: Hardcover
Prix : CDN$ 22.57
21 used & new from CDN$ 18.71

5.0 étoiles sur 5 How and why the Bill of Rights "is the most important element in the Constitution", May 14 2015
Once the war for independence from Britain had been won, the most important question to be addressed was this: "Should broad power and authority reside in the federal government or should it reside in the state governments?" Part of the answer can be found in the Constitution whose ratification began with Delaware on December 7, 1787, and ended when the final state, Rhode Island, ratified it on May 29, 1790. It was only with this ratification that the new nation could cope with other challenges, notably survival.

Frankly, until having read Carol Berkin's book, I had given little thought to how important the Bill of Rights has been to the Constitution, much less to how important it would prove to be during the subsequent development of a new nation that began with thirteen states and now has fifty. When James Madison proposed the Bill of Rights, Belkin observes, "the young nation faced a great ideological divide with regard to [the aforementioned] question: should broad power broad power and authority reside in the federal government or should it reside in the state governments, where the Antifederalists insisted it could best protect the people's liberties?"

She goes on to observe, "This confrontation between states' rights and national authority started with the fierce debates over ratification of the Constitution, and it continued in the First Federal Congress, in the state legislatures, and in the press as Washington's first administration began."

Berkin's comments about Madison and his unique significance are especially insightful: "Madison's Bill of Rights was thus more a political strategy than a statement of America's most cherished values. Yet Madison was keenly aware of its potential to set a high standard for the relationship between citizens and the men who governed them."

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

o Articles of Confederation conference (Pages 7-12)
o Ratification of Constitution (17-31 and 105-106)
o State ratification conventions (18-21, 26-31, and 105-106)
o Antifederalists (33-42 and 126-128)
o James Madison's views on Bill of Rights (39-42, 59-61, and 65-66)
o First Federal Congress: 1784 (43-63)
o Federalists in House (47-50, 53-56, 65-67, 99-114, 135-137, and 188-191)
o James Madison's nine proposals (71-103)
o Elbridge Gerry (62-70, 87-93, 95-102, 108-113, 120-121, and 186-187)
o Committee of Eleven (120-193)
o Development of Federal Government (87-88, 134-135, and 140-143)
o Federalists in Senate (166-117)
o Legacy of American Revolution (139-143)
o Ratification of Bill of Rights (126-130)
o Bios of Senate members (155-173)
o Bios of House members (175-215)

During the president campaign in 2016, presumably there will be differences of opinion again -- sometimes severe differences of opinion -- about states rights versus the federal government as well as individual rights versus collective rights at the state and federal levels; also between and among the executive, judicial, and legislative branches. I agree with Berkin that the Union victory in the Civil War "led to a new, greatly expanded role for the guarantees of the Bill of Rights but it is worth noting, in this context, that women were not permitted to vote until 1920 (Amendment XIX) and segregation in schools was not declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court until 1954.

Here are Carol Berkin's concluding thoughts: "Despite the fidelity of meaning that marks the history of federalism, the Bill of Rights as fulfilled James Madison's fervent hope that this 'parchment barrier' would benefit the civic and moral development of the nation. It has proved a strong bulwark for our liberties and a safeguard against the majority's abuse of minorities. And it has established the vocabulary for our most critical discussions of, fiercest debates over, who we are what we think it best to do."

In this context, I am again reminded of the final stanza of one of James Weldon Johnson's poems, " Lift ev'ry voice and sing":

"God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might,
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee,
Shadowed beneath thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land."

No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends
No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends
by Richard Dobbs
Edition: Hardcover
Prix : CDN$ 21.94
14 used & new from CDN$ 21.57

5.0 étoiles sur 5 How to understand the nature and implications of four disruptive forces, reset intuitions accordingly, and thrive, May 13 2015
In No Ordinary Disruption, Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan Woetzel explain how to cope with "four global forces breaking all the trends": emerging growth markets (including cities) as the new gravitational centers of economic activity, increasingly faster pace of technological breakthroughs and adoptions, aging demographics, and globalization of trade driven by connectedness and interactivity.

For example, with regard to emerging growth markets (including cities) as the new gravitational centers of economic activity, they offer five specific recommendations (Pages 23-30):

1. Get to know the newcomers...and others who do business with them. Are there any significant cultural issues and sensitivities unique to the given emerging market?

2. Create new services...or new applications more appropriate to newcomers' unmet or insufficiently met needs.

3. Tap urban talent and innovation pools...and seek the counsel of those who best understand the relevant dos and don’ts, such as business school faculty and business journalists.

4. Think of cities as laboratories...collaborate with allies on many low-cost, low-risk experiments. Collaborate with anyone/everyone to learn more and do better than would otherwise be possible.

5. Manage operational complexity...especially costs and other criteria for prudent resource allocation.

Dobbs, Manyika, and Woetzel: "The portraits we take of cities [and other emerging markets] must capture the dynamism underneath the surface and highlight the brightness of opportunities, while toning down the alarming flares of risk. Most of all, they must be able to project forward motion.”
These are among the dozens of passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Dobbs, Manyika, and Woetzel’s coverage:

o Shifting Economic Centers of Gravity (Pages 16-18)
o Accelerating Innovation (33-34)
o The Disruptive Dozen (34-39)
o Accelerating Adoption (41-43)
o A Structural Change (61-64)
o A New Wave of Globalization: Trade in Goods and Services (72-83)
o The Next Three Billion Consumers: How to Adapt (98-109)
o Reversing the Cycle of Resource Opportunity: How to Adapt (120-128)
o Trend Break (132-135)
o End of an Era Farewell to Increasingly Cheaper Capital: How to Adapt (140-147)
o Overcoming Dislocation in the Market Because of a Jobs Gap: How to Adapt (156-164)
o Trend Break (166-168)
o Rise of New Competitors and a Changing Basis of Competition: How to Adapt (174-179)
o Concluding Thoughts (201-207)

I commend Dobbs, Manyika, and Woetzel on their brilliant organization and presentation of material. For example, effective adaptation is essential to coping with the four disruptive forces. Hence the importance of their insights and counsel with regard to how to adapt to resource management improvements (9-10 and 120-128), urbanization (23-30), technological disruption (45-52), the new consuming class (25-26 and 98-109), aging trend (64-70), interconnected world (83-89), capital cost changes (140-147), labor market gap (156-164), and new competition (174-179).

They also address a key question: "What can leaders do to reset the intuitions of their organizations? Here is a composite of Dobbs, Manyika, and Woetzel response: "One fundamental realization is that to drive the necessary change, leaders must develop the capabilities to reset their own intuition. McKinsey research and client experience suggest that 50 percent of all efforts to transform companies fail either because senior role models fail to drive change or because of the inherent tendency to defend the status quo...Another key to survival is to embed curiosity and learning in an organization. In an era of rapid change, full of examples of companies that have become casualties of stasis, successful leaders must adapt to be 'students in a way that maybe we haven't been before,' as Tom Peters puts it...It is also essential to surround yourself with the right people, those who are able to act ass ‘reset catalysts’ for an entire organization. Large organizations and groups of people don't simply respond with alacrity to commands and edicts issued from on high...Agility is another vital attribute necessary to thrive in trend break era...Lastly, and most importantly, all leaders have to resist the temptation to focus on the hazards of the period ahead instead of the opportunities it presents."

Obviously, no brief commentary such as mine can possibility do full justice to the invaluable information, insights, and counsel that Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan Woetzel provide. However, I hope I have at least indicated why I think No Ordinary Disruption is a brilliant achievement, indeed a must read for all business leaders as well as for those who aspire to become one. Bravo!

* * *

Richard Dobbs is a director of the McKinsey Global Institute and a director in McKinsey’s London office, James Manyika is a director of the McKinsey Global Institute and a director in the San Francisco office, and Jonathan Woetzel is a director of the McKinsey Global Institute and a director in the Shanghai office.

The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance
The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance
by Jim Whitehurst
Edition: Hardcover
Prix : CDN$ 23.51

5.0 étoiles sur 5 How and why to focus everyone's attention on what is most important, doing so with passion to achieve breakthrough results, May 13 2015
, May 13, 2015
By Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance (Hardcover)
Almost everything I know about the "open" concept and mindset I have learned from Henry Chesbrough and Linus Torvalds. According to Chesbrough in Open Business Models (2006), for example, "A business model performs two important functions: it creates value and it captures a portion of that value. It creates value by defining a series of activities from raw materials through to the final consumer that will yield a new product or service with value being added throughout the various activities. The business model captures value by establishing a unique resource, asset, or position within that series of activities, where the firm enjoys a competitive advantage."

Having thus established a frame-of-reference, Chesbrough continues: "An open business model uses this new division of innovation labor - both in the creation of value and in the capture of a portion of that value. Open models create value by leveraging many more ideas, due to their inclusion of a variety of external concepts. Open models can also enable greater value capture, by using a key asset, resource, or position not only in the company's own business model but also in other companies businesses."

Jim Whitehurst is the CEO of Red Hat, the largest open source software company in the world. He and Red Hat demonstrate what Chesbrough describes in these brief excerpts. As Whitehurst explains, open source "successfully harnesses the power and commitment of talent and engagers that talent in an ongoing way over time." That is, "the term 'open source' is traditionally used in the software arena [e.g. Linux] and designates a process in which anyone can contribute to or access code, unlike traditional software development, which is proprietary and owned by the company that produces it and governed by international property la=w. In open source, those who do the work volunteer their time and effort, and these volunteer, participative communities are both long running and capable of tackling multiple problems and opportunities simultaneously."

Almost everything Whitehurst has learned about all this is shared in this book, thereby demonstrating the "open" concept and mindset.

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

o Gary Hamel'a Foreword (Pages ix-xiv)
o The Open Organization (8-11)
o Leading the Open Organization (11-15)
o Conscious Capitalism: It Starts with a Purpose (27-32)
o The Leader's Role: Leading a Passionate Organization (34-52)
o The Power of Engagement (58-65)
o Leveraging 360-Degree Accountability (65-72)
o The Leader's Role: Scaling Up Engagement (72-78)
o It's Not a Democracy (87-90)
o Building a Culture of Thought Leaders (93-97)
o Beyond Brainstorming (112-118)
o Adopting a New Mind-Set (118-123)
o The Leader's Role: Knocking Down Barriers to Collaboration (126-131)
o The Power of Including Others (137-149)
o Slower Decisions Lead to Faster Results (152-157)
o Introducing the Catalyst in Chief (164-166)
o The Leader's Role: Leverage Your Soap Box (166-179)
o The Boundaries of Participative Organizations (183-187)
o There's No Going Back (188-192)
o Learning from Linux (196-202)

These are among the reasons that I find the open concept so exciting in terms of what is yet possible in the evolution of two terms, workforce and workplace.

1. It eliminates limits on who can be involved.
2. It also eliminates limits on what each participant can contribute.
3. The focus is on collaboration and, especially, on collective judgment.
4. Success of the given initiative has higher priority than does anything else.
5. There is accountability at both the individual and group levels.
6. Influence will be determined by value added in a pure meritocracy.
7. Leaders are selected by those led. (See #6)
8. Leadership nourishes passion, scales engagement, eliminates barriers, and leverages the group's "soap box" (i.e. collective strength).
9. Resources are distributed with market-like mechanisms.
10 "Why" matters much more than "what."

It is no coincidence that most of the companies annually ranked among those that are most highly admired and best to work for (e.g. The Container Store, W.L. Gore, Pixar, Red Hat, Whole Foods, and Zappos) are also ranked among those that are most profitable and have the greatest cap value in their competitive marketplace. In ways and to the extent that are appropriate to their needs, goals, and resources, all are open organizations.

Jim Whitehurst encourages those who read this book to check out and join the discussion "of what is possible when you open yourself to the possibilities of working in an open source way." I agree with him, as do Chesbrough and Torvalds, that business leaders must put aside conventional thinking "and begin to tap into the power of participative communities in all aspects of our lives and businesses." The potential really is limitless.

HBR Guide to Office Politics (HBR Guide Series)
HBR Guide to Office Politics (HBR Guide Series)
by Karen Dillon
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 16.61
33 used & new from CDN$ 11.47

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Rise above rivalry, avoid power games, and build better relationships to accelerate personal growth and professional development, May 12 2015
In HBR Guide to Office Politics, published by Harvard Business Review Press 2014), Karen Dillon offers an abundance of information, in sights, and counsel that can help almost anyone to rise above rivalry, avoid power games, and build better relationships, not only at work but in all other dimensions of their lives.

I cannot recall a prior time when I have observed or heard about more incivility in the workplace than I do now. Courtesy is hardly common. There is severe pressure on everyone to produce more and better work in less time, and at a lower cost. Electronic devices enable almost anyone to connect with almost anyone else, anywhere and at any time and yet many (most?) workers, paradoxically, feel out-of-touch with, if not alienated from their associates. This is the context, the workplace culture, within office politics are most likely to thrive.

At the outset, she offers four invaluable caveats to those who find themselves engulfed in "playing politics."

o <strong>Question your reaction</strong>: When people appear to be playing political games, we often think we know their motives, but sometimes we're off the mark. Step back and reevaluate: What else could be driving the behavior? Maybe it's not as vengeful as it seems -- or even intentional.

o <strong>Try removing yourself from the equation</strong>: Everybody brings her own quirks, worries, and stresses to work. What you assume is a personal attack may have absolutely noting to do with you.

o <strong>Accept that not all conflict is bad</strong>: Great performance can come out of being challenged by an aggressive colleague or being forced to collaborate with someone you can't stand. We can and often do rise to challenges. Don't assume 'uncomfortable' means bad."

o <strong> Keep your cool</strong>: Office bullies and other game players win every time they see they've rattled you. Never give them that satisfaction -- you'll just perpetuate the problem. Stay composed, and they'll lose their power.

She wrote this book for those who are now in urgent need of assistance with achieving these goals: to increase their influence without compromising their integrity, contend with backstabbers and bullies, working their way through really difficult conversations, manage tensions when resources are scarce and prospects are ambiguous, obtain their fair share of choice assignments (including promotions), and meanwhile, avoid the feeling that all conflict is bad.

With regard to the last point, it is well worth keeping in mind Harry Truman's definition of politics as "the art of getting things done." Those who comprise a workforce must decide which politics will be acceptable to help their organization to get the "right things done" and done right.

Karen Dillon concludes: "So what's the main takeaway, if I had to boil it down to one? As organizational development and HR expert Susan Heathfield puts it, don't try to be the boss's pet -- be [begin italics] everyone's [end italics] pet. That is, devote your energy to being a terrific employee and colleague. You'll find that you're less preoccupied with all the jockeying that's going on around you-- and more focused on positive pursuits like performance, growth, and fulfillment."

Dissent: The History of an American Idea
Dissent: The History of an American Idea
by Ralph Young
Edition: Hardcover
Prix : CDN$ 32.57
18 used & new from CDN$ 32.57

5.0 étoiles sur 5 "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." Edmund Burke, May 11 2015
On occasion, I read two or more books at the same time if they address many of the same issues. For example, this book and Carol Belkin's The Bill of Rights: The Fight to Secure America's Liberties. Dissent has indeed been one of the most powerful forces prior to, during, and following the War for Independence. It is also true had there been no Bill of Rights and what its ten amendments establish, it would have been difficult -- if not impossible -- to protest anything within the legal framework that has since preserved and protected the "inalienable right" to which the Declaration of Independence refers.

According to Belkin, "Despite the fluidity of meaning that marks the history of federalism, the Bill of Rights has fulfilled James Madison's fervent hope that this 'parchment barrier' would benefit from civic and moral development of the nation. It has proved a strong bulwark for our liberties and a safeguard against the majority's abuse of minorities. And it has established the vocabulary for our most critical discussion of, and fiercest debates over, who we are and what we think is best to do."

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

o Dissent: American Revolution (Pages 55-78)
o Dissent: War of 1812 (91-93)
o Slave resistance and rebellion (115-122)
o Dissent: Mexican War (161-166)
o Dissent: Spanish American War (184-186)
o John Brown (185-189)
o Dissent: Civil War (191-212 and 204-205)
o Ku Klux Klan (216-220)
o Haymarket (262-2630
o Emma Goldman (320-335)
o Dissent: World War One (327-344)
o Sacco and Vanzetti (344-348)
o America First Movement (392-396)
o Dissent: World War Two (393-406)
o House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC): Pete Seeger and Paul Robeson hearings (410-413)
o Freedom Riders (430-432)
o Martin Luther King, Jr. and Selma (445-447)
o Dissent: Vietnam War (455-460)
o Eugene McCarthy (470-472)

In the final chapter, Young shifts his attention to the new elements that have entered the dissent narrative, notably the social media that "have the impact of reaching massive audiences and raising public awareness of [alleged] injustice." I agree with him that postings on Twitter and Facebook "spread the word of protestors of the time and place of the next rally or demonstration or civil disobedience action or spontaneous 'flash protest"...The possibilities are endless for dissenters to utilize these new tools to spread the word, educate people, and increase participation in their movement." However, Young goes on to share his concerns about dissent that does not serve as "the fuel for progress." He refers to irresponsible dissent that is, best uninformed and self-serving, and at worst, unethical or even criminal. There are significant needs that need to be addressed, such as demanding more responsible journalism, demanding that politicians "are beholden to the people and not to those who bankroll them, we need to question authority, we need to speak out [as he has], we need to make sure that 'We the People' really means something. We need to dissent."

Obviously it is impossible for a brief commentary such as mine to do full justice to the abundance of insights, and counsel that Ralph Young provides but I hope that I have at least indicated why I hold his book in such regard. The idea of dissent can be traced back in time thousands of years but its nature and extent as well as its potential power are probably most evident in the history of the United States.

As I began to read this book for the second time, I was again reminded of this observation by Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and the Birth of Modernist Art
In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and the Birth of Modernist Art
by Sue Roe
Edition: Hardcover
Prix : CDN$ 21.91
27 used & new from CDN$ 18.81

5.0 étoiles sur 5 A lively story of unknown artists with “closely overlapping lives” who have since become household names, May 11 2015
Many years ago, there was a CBS Radio series called "You Are There" that later became a television series hosted by Walter Cronkite. He returned in time to an especially significant event in history to provide an eyewitness account of, for example, John Cassavetes as Plato in The Death of Socrates, James Dean as Robert Ford (outlaw) in The Capture of Jesse James, Paul Newman as Marcus Brutus in The Assassination of Julius Caesar and as Nathan Hale in The Fate of Nathan Hale, Jeanette Nolan as Sarah Bernhardt in The Final Performance of Sarah Bernhardt, Kim Stanley as Cleopatra in The Death of Cleopatra, Rod Steiger as Richard Burbage in The First Command Performance of Romeo and Juliet, Beatrice Straight as Anne Boleyn in The Crisis of Anne Boleyn, and Joanne Woodward in The Oklahoma Land Rush.

I commend Roe on her consummate skills that enable her to transport her reader back in time to early- 20th century Paris much as Woody Allen for those who see his film, Midnight in Paris, to the years there after the First World War. Pablo Picasso was probably the gravitational center of the culture before that war but even his dominant personality could not subdue, only enhance, the charm and historical significance of Montmartre’s cafes and cabarets, galleries and studios, shops and private homes during the first decade of the 2oth century. She really made me feel as if I were there in the milieu. I could almost hear her voice assure, "all things are as they were then, except you are there! "

As Roe explains, "The cross-fertilization of painting, writing, and music and dance produced a panorama of activity characterized by the early works of Picasso, Braque, Matisse, Derain, Vlaminck and Modigliani, the appearance of the Ballet Russes and the salons of Gertrude Stein."The Larger framework for this book's structure also includes the World's Fair, major art exhibitions (of both paintings and sculpture), ballet and symphony performances, and relevant social, economic, and political developments in Europe as well as in the United States.

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

o Montmartre village (Pages xiii-xvi)
o Henri Matisse (17-23,55-56, 107-113, and 169-171)
o André Dorain (18-19 and 105-113)
o Pablo Picasso (23-25, 36-39, 56-58, 78-81, 87-94, 157-162, and 270-274)
o Picture sellers in Montmartre village (28-35)
o Paul Cézanne (31-33 and 204-206)
o Maurice Vlaminck (43-48, 85-86, 111-112, and 246-248)
o Georges Braque (61-68, 81-82, 178-179, 237-238, and 243-246))
o Serge Diaghilev (69-70, 204-206, and 303-304)
o Bateau-Lavoir (75-79, 140-141, 154-155, and 179-180)
o Gertrude Stein (97-00 and 134-140)
o Amedeo Modigliani (142-148 and 208-210)
o Picasso and Matisse (154-155 and 175-177)
o Gauguin's influence on Picasso (160-161)
o Salon d'Automne (204-206 and 303-304
o Ballet Russes (258-262 and 286-289)

There is a Farmer’s Market near the downtown area here in Dallas at which merchants offer slices of fresh fruit as samples of their wares. In that same spirit, I now offer three excepts from Rose’s narrative that are representative of her skills:

o "The real revolution in the arts first took place not, as is commonly supposed, in the 1920s, to the accompaniment of the Charleston, black jazz, and mint juleps, but more quietly and intimately, in the shadow of the windmills -- artificial and real -- and in the cafés and cabarets of Montmartre during the first decade of the twentieth century. The unknown artists who gathered there and lived closely overlapping lives are

o "There had always been painters in Montmartre; its reputation as the centre of artistic life dated back to the reign of Louis VI, who was a great supporter if the arts. (Montmartre appears in records dating back to the twelfth century.) The Abbey of Montmartre founded under his rule and built on the site now occupied by St. Peter's Church, between the Place du Tertre and the Sacré Coeur, attracted generous donations, earning Paris the title of 'Ville de Lettres'. Montmartre's reputation had originally been founded not on prostitutes but on nuns, some of whom achieved sainthood." (Page 15)

o "'What I am searching for, [Modigliani] wrote in one of his sketchbooks, 'is neither the real nor the unreal, but the Subconscious, the mystery of what is Instinctive in the human race'. The new go0al for the modern artists was to find ways of expressing the interior life. In their own way, Picasso and Matisse, Derain and Vlaminck, Diaghilev and Poiret, Marie Laurencin and Gertrude Stein were all by now engaged in this quest.” (211)

o "The struggles of a few dedicated, near-destitute artists working in the broken-down shacks and hovels of rural Montmartre seemed to have created the foundation for the wider arena of modern art. In retrospect, the bohemian world of the artists in Montmartre in the first decade of the century may be seen as a kind of living [begin italics] parade [end italics], a brief, dynamic, entertaining drama containing all the seeds of the main, twentieth- century show -- and all the fun of the fair." (312)

Sue Roe provides a superb Bibliography to which I presume to add David McCullough’s The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, Gabrieller Selz's Unstill Life: A Daughter's Memoir of Art and Love in the Age of Abstraction, Anne Sinclair's My Grandfather's Gallery: A Famliy Memoir of Art and War, and Paul Durand-Ruel: Memoir of the First Impressionist Art Dealer (1831-1922) co-authored by Flavie Durand-Ruel and Paul-Louis Durand-Ruel.

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