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Beyond Cybersecurity: Protecting Your Digital Business
Beyond Cybersecurity: Protecting Your Digital Business
by James M. Kaplan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 42.27
36 used & new from CDN$ 16.79

5.0 out of 5 stars How and why all organizations must develop digital resilience to establish and then sustain cybersecurity, June 6 2016
First of all, it is important to keep in mind that cybersecurity is not an IT issue; it is a [begin italics] business [end italics] issue. The co-authors of this brilliant book — James Kaplan, Tucker Bailey, Derek O’Halloran, Alan Marcus, and Chris Rezek — are staunch and eloquent advocates of what they characterize as “digital resilience.” More specifically, it is a state in which individual organizations, industries, and even entire (national) economies

o “Understand the risks of cyber-attacks and can make business decisions where the returns justify the incremental risks.”

o “They have confidence that the risks of cyber-attack are manageable, rather than strategic — their do not put their competitive position or very existence at risk.”

o Consumers and organizations “have confidence in the online economy — the risks to information assets and of online fraud are not a brake to the growth of digital commerce.”

o Finally, the risk of cyber-attack “does not prevent them from continuing to take advantage of technology innovation.”

Now you have the context in which the World Economic Forum and McKinsey & Company “have collaborated to understand how to help companies and countries reach their aspirations.” Kaplan, Bailey, O’Halloran, Marcus, and Rezek bring to the task a wide and deep background of experience as well as the unique and abundant resources of the WEF and McKinsey from which they share valuable information, insights, and counsel that can help almost any organization (whatever its size and nature may be) to protect itself from cyber-attacks such as the theft of information assets and the intentional disruption of online processes.

Now you have the context in which the World Economic Forum and McKinsey & Company “have collaborated to understand how to help companies and countries reach their aspirations.” Kaplan, Bailey, O’Halloran, Marcus, and Rezek bring to the task a wide and deep background of experience as well as the unique and abundant resources of the WEF and McKinsey, sources from which they share valuable information, insights, and counsel that can help almost any organization (whatever its size and nature may be) to protect itself from cyber-attacks such as the theft of information assets and the intentional disruption of online processes.

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

o Cybersecurity change management program (Pages xvi-xvii and 157-183)
o Three critically important questions that must be addressed (xxI)
o Loss of Business information (13-14, 81-82, and 118-120)
o Loss of intellectual property (17-18, 61-63, 81-82, and 118-120)
o Cyber criminals: Attackers’ advantage (19-21)
o Cloud computing (36-37 and 103-110)
o Cyber: Role of international bodies (50-51 and 185-208)
o Role of senior management (60-63, 96-99, 160-161, 176-177, and 180-182)
o Cybersecurity in business processes (78-90)
o Frontline employees (87-88, 90-93, 113-116, and 118-120)
o Cybersecurity in IT (101-122 and 179-180)
o IT vulnerabilities (101-122, 124-126, 162-163, and 179-180)
o IT controls (110-122)
o Active defense (123-139)
o Cybersecurity analytics (133-135)
o Incident response (141-155)
o Cybersecurity in organizational structure (172-174 and 181-182)
o Collaboration within industries (190-191, 201-202, and 204-205)
o Cybersecurity: National security (195-199)

Please be sure to read with care, then absorb, and digest the material in both the Preface and Executive Summary which “sets the table” for what proves to be a “feast” of cutting-edge information, insights, and counsel with regard to how to move beyond cybersecurity to digital resilience. Obviously, no brief commentary such as mine can possibly do full justice to the incalculable value of the material that James Kaplan, Tucker Bailey, Derek O’Halloran, Alan Marcus, and Chris Rezek provide. However, I hope I have at least indicated why I think so highly of them and their work.

They understand and appreciate better than can almost anyone else how serious the threats to digital business practices are in a world that seems to become more volatile, more uncertain, more complex, and more ambiguous than at any prior time I can remember. That said, I commend this observation by Marie Curie: “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood. We must understand more so that we may fear less.”


This Brave New World: India, China and the United States
This Brave New World: India, China and the United States
by Anja Manuel
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 32.39
45 used & new from CDN$ 16.05

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How and why the United States, China, and India ' indeed must ' create a positive brave new world, June 4 2016
As Anja Manuel explains, 'The phrase 'brave new world' has famously been used twice. William Shakespeare coined the expression when his heroine Miranda paints a rosy picture of the future in The Tempest, a play that reacted to the discovery of the new world. Alloys Huxley later used the words ironically to describe the dystopian world in his novel Brave New World (1931), set in the year 2540.'

I often wonder what kind of a world my grandchildren and their children will have. That will probably depend on whether or not the United States will be able to accommodate the ambitions, insecurities, values, concerns, and other issues of greatest interest among the leaders in two new great powers, China and India.

Why did Manuel write this book? 'If you want a glimpse into the future of the world economy, look no further than the corridors of power and boardrooms of China and India. They are the world's most populous countries; and in a decade or so, they will be the world's largest and third largest economies, have more than one billion Internet users, be consuming the most energy and resources, and creating the most pollution. Like it or not, they will have veto power over many [most?] international decisions.'

Manuel draws upon two decades of experience negotiating with Delhi and Beijing at the State Department, 'traveling the backroads of each country, and now advising American businesses how to navigate their often opaque systems. I wrote this book to help explain what makes these two Asian giants 'tick,' and how we can work together for a future where we can all prosper, instead of working against each other and ' in the worst case ' slipping into a new cold war with China.' This book certainly provides more than a 'glimpse' into the future, one that is certain to become even more ambiguous, more uncertain, more complex, and more ambiguous than it is today.

With meticulous care, Manuel creates a context and case for each of her recommendations. They include:

o Instead of viewing and interacting with China as an adversary, the U.S. should treat both China and India 'with the same subtlety that Britain used for the upstart United States.' We need to coach them on how to become great powers. 'To extend a world order based on American values, we must make a sustained, long-term effort to bring China and India along rather than alienating one or both.'

o As with the U.S. relationship with the U.K. throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, we must be in direct and frequent contact with China and India. When disagreements occur ' and they will, especially with China ' it cannot be 'USA versus'; rather, for example, 'we should press India, Japan, Australia, and European nations to also express their concerns about China land grabs and cyber-hacking.' It makes so much sense to treat both China and India as valued members of an exclusive club and then respond to unacceptable behavior as fellow members rather than as antagonists.

o We should also 'keep encouraging both China and India to accept open investment and trade regimes. This is hard work'U.S. officials should encourage Delhi and Beijing to push economic reforms. This will help China stabilize its economy and help India to jump-start the growth it needs to benefit from the demographic dividend.'

o It would also make sense to encourage companies from all three countries ' U.S., China, and India ' to invest in each other. 'This creates jobs that benefit all three, and produces a strong constituency in each country for good relations with the others. It may take a decade or more [if not a century or more], but this is the patient work that creates lasting partnerships.

Manuel is convinced that the future is 'ours to lose.' I agree, although I remain uncertain what specifically 'winning' and 'losing' could ' and probably will ' mean in the brave new world ahead. The current presidential campaign certainly suggests more questions than answers. I also wonder what roles Russia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan will play. Finally, what about terrorism?

Perhaps, just perhaps, if India, China, and the United States can create and then strengthen the partnership that Anja Manuel envisions, all the other issues will be addressed. Yes, 'it may take a decade or more [if not a century or more], but this is the patient work' that can perhaps create such a lasting partnership.

What are the alternatives?


The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life
The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life
by Michael Puett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 27.53
33 used & new from CDN$ 15.81

5.0 out of 5 stars Here are several "profoundly counterintuitive perspectives on how to become a better person and how to create a better world", June 2 2016
Here’s the background: This book is a collaboration between a classroom teacher and a freelance journalist. They share their thoughts about material that is assigned in a course at Harvard, “Classic Chinese Ethical and Political Theory,” taught by Michael Puett. Christine Gross-Loh once took the course and later earned a Ph.D. in East Asian history from Harvard. The aforementioned material focuses on the works of five Chinese philosophers: Confucius, Mencius, Laozi, Zhuangzi, and Xunzi.

In the Foreword, Gross-Loh that it isn’t just the philosophical texts that shape the students who take the course. “Michael himself is an inspiration. He is known for his kindness, humility, and dedication to helping his students flourish: traits that come directly out of his decades of immersion in Chinese thought.” Moreover, because the five philosophers’ ideas are just as relevant today as they were two thousand years ago, “Michael and I realized that these ideas can speak to all of us, and that’s how this book came into being.”

So, think of Puett and Gross-Loh as personal tutors who accompany you during a mindful exploration of ancient wisdom that really can change your life, just as it has changed the lives of so many of the Harvard students.

* * *

Here are three Q&As that, I hope, will help you to decide whether or not this book offers the right path for you too follow.

To what does the title of this book refer?

It comes from “a concept of the Chinese philosophers referred top often as the [begin italics] Dao [end italics, or the Way. The way is not a ‘harmonious ‘ideal’ we must struggle to follow. Rather, the Way is the path that we forge continually through our choices, actions, and relationships.”

Why is Confucius significant?

He sought to create “a world where his students could thrive, with the hopes that some of them might be abler to create a larger social order where the broader population could flourish too.

“Every philosopher we encounter in this book is similar to Confucius. Each emerged from this crucible of transition. Each opposed the society in which he lived and was actively contemplating new and exciting ways to live. Each believed strongly that every person has equal potential for growth.” (Page 21)

What can be learned about career planning from Mencius?

“You can’t plan out how everything in your life will play out. But you can think in terms of creating the conditions which things will likely move uncertain directions: the conditions that allow for the possibility of rich growth. By doing all this, you are not being a farmer. You are also the results of the farmer’s work. You become the fruit of your labor.” (81-82)

Who would be a representative example of the Laotian leader?

“In his Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln made the argument that all men are created equal. The president’s move was to claim implicitly that the Declaration of Independence was America’s founding document, and that we as a nation were dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

“When he made this argument, in 1863, it was explosive. The press was incredulous: America was dedicated to no such proposition, nor was the Declaration of Independence the founding document of America. However, Lincoln’s vision not only won the day, it also came to be accepted as received wisdom for America as a whole.” (110)

Contrary to what many people apparently believe, success and happiness are NOT mutually-exclusive. The five Chinese philosophers remind us that success is happiness and that happiness is success. They are interdependent. If we try to separate them, we will have neither. It all seems so simple: success is happiness and that happiness is success. Easy to say but immensely difficult to embrace, absorb, and digest. Harvard students who the course’s first class in and those who begin to read this book need to complete a challenging journey of personal discovery and growth to reach what Oliver Wendell Holmes once characterized as “the other side of complexity,” a state of mental, emotional, and spiritual health of which they were previously unaware. How to get there? Follow the Dao or Way.

Here are Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh’s concluding thoughts: “If the world is fragmented, then it gives us every opportunity to construct things anew. It begins with the smallest things in our daily lives, from which we change everything. If we begin there, then everything is up to us.”


The Power of the Other: The startling effect other people have on you, from the boardroom to the bedroom and beyond-and what to do about it
The Power of the Other: The startling effect other people have on you, from the boardroom to the bedroom and beyond-and what to do about it
by Henry Cloud
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 28.45
39 used & new from CDN$ 15.76

5.0 out of 5 stars Champions get up when they can't.' Jack Dempsey, June 1 2016
Very few have competed in a heavyweight boxing championship bout but almost everyone understands what Dempsey means. There are times when many of us are convinced that we cannot keep going. We lack the energy and/or the will to continue. Then somehow, perhaps for reasons we will never fully understand, we hang in there and stay the course, whatever it may be. The title of this book refers to a specific situation in which Henry Cloud's brother Mark, a Marine who was later killed in Iraq, stood on the shore cheering on a SEAL candidate ' Bryce ' who was struggling to complete the final test of endurance.

'He could see his dreams sinking with him, about to be over. What must it have felt like, to have gone through everything he had gone through to make it up to the very end? I am sure that the lights were going out in his heart, as his body would go no further. Until'.' Then he saw Mark Cloud give him a huge fist pump and a yell, signaling to Bryce that 'he could do it.' Their eyes locked for a few seconds'.' What happened next enabled him to make it. He finished the course. He passed the final test. He would be a SEAL. 'That is 'the power of the other.''

Cloud's thesis is that "there is a 'neglected truth' about a relationship: 'the invisible attributes of relationship, the [begin bold face/italics] connection [end bold face/italics] between people, have real, tangible, and measurable power.' And the need for connection begins even before birth. 'It goes literally from the womb to the tomb. Relationship affects our physical and mental functioning throughout life. This invisible power, the power of other, builds both the hardware and the software that leads to healthy functioning and better performance.'"

Cloud explains what I have suspected for many years: Much (if not most) of what we achieve would not have been possible if other people had not been involved in one way or another. In this context, Cloud observes, 'The undeniable reality is that how well you do in life and in business depends not only on what you do but also on who is doing it [begin italics] with [end italics] or [begin italics] to [end italics] you.'"

I really do not want to say more about the material in this book because I assume that reading it will be for most others, as it was for me, a journey of personal journey from much of what had become a forgotten past through a carelessly examined or ignored present to an increased understanding and ' yes ' appreciation of the potential power of others in my life but also the potential power I could have in others' lives.

Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to check out The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life, co-authored by Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh and published by Simon & Schuster (2016).


Winning Well: A Manager's Guide to Getting Results - Without Losing Your Soul
Winning Well: A Manager's Guide to Getting Results - Without Losing Your Soul
by Karin Hurt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 31.17
23 used & new from CDN$ 21.26

5.0 out of 5 stars How to build a workforce culture within which personal growth and professional development are most likely to thrive, June 1 2016
It is no coincidence that companies annually ranked among those that are most highly admired and best to work for are also among companies annually ranked as most profitable and having the greatest cap value in their industry segment. However different they may be in most respects, all have a high percentage of personal accountability at every level and in every area of the given enterprise.

Throughout the last Industrial Revolution, factories were built to accommodate the needs of mass production and workers were trained to become machine-like in terms of their consistency and reliability. One of the inevitable results of this “efficient” and “productive” process was a relentless dehumanization of workers. The primary task of managers was to sustain workers’ consistency and reliability.

This brief background helps to explain what Karin Hurt and David Dye mean by “winning well” as opposed to “winning at any cost.” They assert — and I agree — winning means “you and your people succeed at doing what you’re there to do. The real competition isn’t the department across right building or the organization across town. Yo9ur competition is mediocrity…Winning Well means that you sustain excellent performance over time, because you refuse to succumb to harsh, stress-inducing shortcuts that temporarily scare people into ‘performing.’ You need energized, [self-] motivated people all working together.” That is why the primary responsibility of managers today is to establish and then sustain a high percentage of personal accountability at every level and in every area of the given enterprise.

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

o Winning Well principles (Pages 10-18)
o Users (18-20)
o Pleasers (21-22)
o Games (22-23)
o Assessment (26-27)
o Performance management (35-36)
o Meetings (46-54)
o Decisions (56-61)
o Ownership of decisions (59-61)
o Accountability (62-70)
o Feedback (65-66 and 148-149)
o INSPIRE method for accountability (65-69
o Problem solving (71-81)
o Terminating employees (98-105)
o Momentum (118-1127)
o Displaying trust to employees (120-122)
o Team and problem solvers (128-129)
o Technologies for communicating (157-158)
o Building influence (203-213)
o “Boss” attitudes (217-225)
o Conversations (220-222)
o Self-motivation (234-243)

Hurt and Dye stress throughout their lively and eloquent narrative the four principles of Winning Well:

CONFIDENCE: “Know your strengths, own them, and use them. Stand up for what matters. Speak the truth [especially to power].” Please see pages 11-12 and 118-127.

HUMILITY: Have an accurate self-image. Admit mistakes. Invite the challengers [i.e. encourage principled dissent].” Please see pages 12-14 and 222-225.

RESULTS: “Clarifiy. Plan. Do.” Please see pages 15-16, 39-45, and 172-173.

RELATIONSHIPS: “Connect. Invest. Collaborate.” Please see pages 6-18, 48-49, and 180-190.

There are no head-snapping revelations among them, nor do Karin Hurt and David Dye make any such claim. The valuable information, insights, and counsel that they do offer — in abundance — provides what is best viewed as a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effect system with proven methodologies that can help almost any organization (whatever its size and nature may be) to establish and then nourish a workplace culture within which personal growth and professional development are most likely to thrive.

What’s the “secret sauce”? In my opinion, it is having a high percentage of personal accountability at every level and in every area of the given enterprise. In this context, I am reminded of two observations. First, from William L. McKnight, the legendary CEO of 3M in 1924: “If you put fences around people, you get sheep. Give people the room they need.” More recently, from Peter Drucker: “So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.” Workers are people, not machines or sheep, and managers must understand and appreciate that. Otherwise, Winning Well is impossible.


The Genius of Opposites: How Introverts and Extroverts Achieve Extraordinary Results Together
The Genius of Opposites: How Introverts and Extroverts Achieve Extraordinary Results Together
by Jennifer Kahnweiler
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 21.30
26 used & new from CDN$ 9.83

4.0 out of 5 stars Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.' Margaret Mead, May 31 2016
As I began to read this book, I was again reminded of an incident years ago when then chairman and CEO of GE, Jack Welch, turned to one of his senior vice presidents during a management committee meeting and said, “You and I seem to agree on everything. One of us is redundant.” I mention this incident because, with all due respect to this book’s subtitle, achieving extraordinary results does not depend on introverts and extroverts collaborating successfully. Diversity in terms of temperament and personality is usually desirable but not imperative. What is? Diversity of [begin italics] relevant [end italics] talent, experience, skills, and an eagerness to collaborate on solving a problem, answering a question, achieving an objective, etc.

That said, Jennifer Kahnweiler has much of value to share about how introverts and extroverts can work and (yes) live more congenially together. Years ago, David Riesman write a book with Nathan Glazer and Reuel Denney, The Lonely Crowd, in which he essentially contrasted those who are inner-directed with those who are outer-directed. Opposites can attract but they can also repel. If in a situation the given need requires introverts and extroverts to work together despite their differences, of if they believe it is in their best interests, they will probably do so. That was certainly true of the Manhattan Project and, more specifically, of Enrico Fermi and Richard Feynman.

She offers what she characterizes as the five-step “Genius of Opposites Process”:

1. Accept the Alien
2. Bring on the Battles
3. Cast the Character
4. Destroy the Dislike
5. Each Can’t Offer Everything

Kahnweiler fully understands and appreciates the fact that all human relationships worthy of the name must have mutual-trust and mutual-respect as a foundation. She carefully explains what each step requires and how to complete it. In fact, she devoted a separate chapter to each of the five steps. There are no head-snapping revelations in this book, nor does she make any such claim.

Who will derive the greatest value form this book? In my opinion, there are three groups: Those who now find themselves paired in an Introvert/Extrovert combination and want it to be as pleasant and as productive as possible. Also, supervisors who are responsible for collaborations (be it a pair or a team) and who also want each to be as pleasant and as productive as possible. Finally, those in personal relationships (current or prospective) who wish to gain a better understanding the differences between introverts and extroverts so that conflicts can be avoided or at least managed in a civil manner.


HBR's 10 Must Reads on Collaboration (with featured article “Social Intelligence and the Biology of Leadership,” by Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis)
HBR's 10 Must Reads on Collaboration (with featured article “Social Intelligence and the Biology of Leadership,” by Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis)
by Harvard Business Review
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 20.40
61 used & new from CDN$ 12.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.' Ancient African proverb, May 28 2016
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 collaboration. I have no quarrel with any of their selections, each of which is eminently deserving of inclusion. Were all of these ten articles purchased separately as reprints, the total cost would be at least $60 and the practical value of any one of them exceeds that.

Given the fact that Amazon US now sells this one for only 119.52, 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 or 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 forge strong relationships up, down, and across their organization, build a collaborative culture, bust silos (often disguised as human beings, “the living dead”), harness informal knowledge sharing, select the right collaboration(s) outside their business, manage conflict wisely, and know when [begin italics] not [end italics] collaborate.

The healthiest organizations are those with a workplace culture within which personal growth and professional development are most likely to thrive. With rare exception, the improvement and development are driven by collaboration at all levels and in all areas of the given enterprise. Both are a never-ending process, a journey, not an ultimate destination. Hence the wisdom of the ancient African proverb.

In the first article, Herminia Ibarra and Morten T. Hanszen pose this question: “Are You a Collaborative Leader?” According to the HBR editors of this volume, “In their research on top-performing CEOs, Insead professors Ibarra and Hansen have examined what it takes to be a collaborative leader. They’ve found that it requires connecting people and ideas outside an organization to those inside it, leveraging diverse talent, modeling collaborative behavior at the top, and showing a strong hand to keep teams from getting mired in debate.”

Consider this passage from Lao-tse’s Tao Te Ching:

”Learn from the people
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have

Build on what they know
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves.”

Not everyone has the temperament or inclination to be a collaborative leader but the most effective C-level executives do. The other nine articles cover separate but related subjects:

o “Social Intelligence and the Biology of Leadership” (Goleman and Boyatzis)
o ”Stringing Minds Together” (Abele)
o “Building a Collaborate enterprise” (Adler, Heckscher, and Prusak)
o “Silo Busting: How to Deliver on the Promise of Customer Focus” (Gulati)
o “Harnessing Your Staff’s Internal Networks” (McDermott and Archibald)
o “Want Collaboration? Accept — and Actively Manage — Conflict” (Weiss and Hughes)
o “Shattering the Myths About Enterprise 2.0” (McAfee)
o "When Internal Collaboration Is Bad for Your Company” (Hansen)
o “Which Kind of Collaboration Is Best for You?” (Pisano and Verganti)

Although the term “emotional intelligence” first appeared in a 1964 paper by Michael Beldoch, Daniel Goleman is generally given credit for popularizing the concept with his eponymous book published in 1995. He and Richard Boyatzis are the co-authors of one of the ten articles, “Social Intelligence and the Biology of Leadership,” published in HBR in 2008. Emotional intelligence and social intelligence share many of the same values (notably empathy and attunement) that are evident in relationships with others. Almost twenty years ago, Goleman and Boyatwzis came across as pioneers in a relatively new field that most business leaders preferred to avoid. What seems obvious today was hardly credible then. Consider their concluding remarks:

“As we explore the discoveries of neuroscience, we are struck by how closely the best psychological theories of human development map to the newly charted hardwiring the brain…Hard-bitten executives may consider it absurdly indulgent and financially untenable to concern themselves with such theories [importance of play to accelerated learning and the importance of a solid base to innovative thinking] in a world where bottom-line performance is the yardstick of success. But as new ways of scientifically measuring human development start to bear out these theories and link them directly with performance, the so-called soft side of business begins to look not so soft after all.”

Those who think the material in the ten HBR articles is “dated” because it was published years ago obviously haven’t read even one of them, much less all ten. That is especially true of “Social Intelligence and the Biology of Leadership.”


People Analytics in the Era of Big Data: Changing the Way You Attract, Acquire, Develop, and Retain Talent
People Analytics in the Era of Big Data: Changing the Way You Attract, Acquire, Develop, and Retain Talent
by Jean Paul Isson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 51.75
22 used & new from CDN$ 43.15

5.0 out of 5 stars Just about everything you need to know to attract, hire, develop, and then retain the high-impact talent your organization needs, May 27 2016
I agree with Jean Paul Icon and Jesse Harriott: 'Workforce dynamics have always been complex during business cycle changes. However, what's different in this economic cycle is that human capital executives and hiring managers now have Big Data analytics to leverage in attracting, acquiring, and advancing the right talent throughout the organization'People Analytics is a new domain for most HR departments. However, with the application of newer techniques and new thinking to talent management, the field of People Analytics is becoming more mainstream. Leading companies are increasingly leveraging sophisticated methods to analyze employee and business data to enhance their competitive edge. The old approaches of gut feel and 'that's worked in the past' are no longer enough.'

Isson and Harriott write this book to help as many people as possible to help them and their colleagues to develop high-impact People Analytics that will generate business value from the Big Data and little data available to their organization. 'Some of the practices we outline are not easy to access polish, but whether you are in a large company or a small one, you can apply your vision of people of People Analytics and create value from your data.'

Christine Borgman is among the most highly-regarded knowledge leaders in the burgeoning field of data scholarship. It came as no surprise to me that she needed 91 pages to cite the scope and depth of her own research for her latest book, Big Data, Little Data, No Data: Scholarship in the Networked World, published by MIT Press (2016). As she explains, 'Big data begets big attention these days, but little data are equally essential to scholarly inquiry. As the absolute volume of data increases, the ability to inspect individual observation decreases. The observer must step ever further away from the phenomena of interest. New tools and new perspectives are required. However, big data is not necessarily better data. The farther the observer is from the point of origin, the more difficult it can be to determine what those observations mean ' how they were collected; how they were handled, reduced, and transformed; and with what assumptions and purposes in mind. Scholars often prefer smaller amounts of data that they can inspect closely. When data are undiscovered or undiscoverable, scholars may have no data.'

Two major challenges are obvious: obtaining relevant data in sufficient quantity, and, knowing how best to leverage it to create value.

In their book, Isson and Harriott include interviews of 58 C-level executives and micro-case studies of (in alpha order) Bloomberg, Dow Chemical, General Electric, General Motors (Volt division), Goldcorp, Google, and Monster Worldwide. They draw upon their wide and deep experience as well as these sources when provide an abundance of valuable material. These are among the dozens of passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of their coverage:

o The People Analytics Advantage (Pages 3-10)
o A Short History of Analytics Adoption (35-39)
o Advanced Business Analytics and Advanced People Analytics (44-50)
o The Promise of Analytics and People Analytics Bridges (50-53)
o The Seven Pillars of People Analytics Success, and, Leveraging the People Analytics Framework (76-79)
o Making an Impact with Workforce Planning Analytics (112-121)
o Talent Sourcing in the Area of Big Data and Advanced Technology (138-152)
o Putting the impact Cycle into Action (169-170)
o Why Should You Care About [Talent] Acquisition Analytics? (179-182)
o Stages of Onboarding (209-212)
o Open Analytical Framework for Effective Onboarding (213-215)
o The Importance of Employee Engagement (225-227)
o Making Employee Engagement Surveys Predictive (229-232)
o Moving Beyond the Survey: Employee Engagement Measures (232-234)
o Benefits of Analytical Performance Management (249-250)
o How to Implement Proactive Talent Retention Models, and, Data for Talent Attrition Predictive Modeling (295-299)
o Why Should You Care About Workplace Wellness? (311-314)
o Rise of Employee Behavioral Data (359-364)
o Quantification of HR (369-371)

I commend Isson and Harriott on their brilliant use of several reader-friendly devices that include the aforementioned interviews and micro-case studies as well as end-of-chapter 'Key Takeaways' and 'Notes,' and dozens of 'Figures' and 'Tables.' These resources will facilitate, indeed expedite, frequent review of key material later. I do strongly recommend that each reader highlight key passages (I use a wide-tip optic yellow Sharpie) and having a lined notebook near at hand in which to record notes, page references, questions, etc.

Here are Jean Paul Isson and Jesse Harriott's concluding thoughts: 'There is more work to understand exactly ho0w the quantified HR organization achieves results, as surely many factors have an impact on an organization's overall success. However, there is enough data from multiple sources to conclude that the data-driven HR organization is real, and that it isn't tied to a single type of technology, organizational makeup, or industry. Becoming an analytically driven function is achievable for any organization willing to take an honest look at its data and analytics and use that information to make workforce decisions.'

If you and your colleagues have an urgent need of the information, insights, and counsel that are required to establish and then strengthen such an organization, look no further.


Players: The Story of Sports and Money, and the Visionaries Who Fought to Create a Revolution
Players: The Story of Sports and Money, and the Visionaries Who Fought to Create a Revolution
by Matthew Futterman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 30.62
27 used & new from CDN$ 20.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Greed corrupts…and absolute greed corrupts absolutely., May 27 2016
Long ago, I realized that the correct answer to most questions about professional sports is “Money.” If the questions are about the Dallas Cowboys, the correct answer is almost certainly “More money.” We also have multi-millionaires now competing in the Summer and Winter Olympics as well as in events sponsored by the so-called Amateur Athletic Union. How did all this happen?

Opinions are divided, of course. Matthew Futterman suggests in Players that much (if not most) of the game, “Playing/Coaching or Managing/Owning/Whatever for Dollars,” can be traced back to Arnold Palmer’s decision to replace Wilson Sporting Goods with Mark McCormack (1930-2003), an attorney in Cleveland, whose firm – the International Management Group, founded in 1960 – eventually became the most influential force in the scheduling, production, and telecasting of professional sports events in the world.

Early on, IMG also had superstars such as Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player in golf; Bjorn Borg, Chris Evert, and Pete Sampras in tennis; and stars in other sports such as Jean-Claude Killy (downhill racing), figure skating (Scott Hamilton), and Formula 1 racing (Jackie Stewart) as well as entertainment and politics under contract who participated in various IMG events. IMG also distributes over 32,000 hours of content—originating from more than 200 clients and events—to major global broadcasters annually, across all forms of media including TV, audio, fixed media, inflight and closed circuit, broadband and mobile.

Moreover, IMG Academy is a private educational institution located in Bradenton, Florida, and specializing in sports training. The boarding school offers an Academy program for Pre-K/Elementary, Middle & High School, and Postgraduates, as well as a year-round camp program. The 500-acre campus also serves as the training and competition venue for amateur and professional teams, the host site for a variety of events, and a hub for sports performance research and innovation. Sport programs include baseball, golf, soccer, tennis, basketball, football, lacrosse, and track & field and cross-country. IMG became and remains the sports world equivalent of a kennel/veterinary clinic/taxidermist.

“Money in sports isn’t, on its own, a bad thing. But when money becomes the motivating goal and main purpose in sports, that [begin italics] is [end italics] a bad thing. It’s bad for a player whose sneaker contract is more important than his team’s win total, and that’s bad for an owner or a league whose teams become little more than a commodity to be traded for a big-pay television contract.”

I agree with Matthew Futterman that money is not inherently evil but the fact remains that so much of the professional sports world and even portions of the so-called “amateur” sports world has been corrupted and I do not see how the sources of corruption can be diminished (much less eliminated), given the financial implications.

Although there is no mention of Lou Holtz in this book, he deserves to be included in a discussion of corrupting influences. It is hardly a coincidence that he left every program he coached at just before they were hit with NCAA probation. NC State, Minnesota, Arkansas, Notre Dame, and South Carolina were all found to have violated NCAA rules while under his leadership. Holtz was also overseeing the Notre Dame Football team when they were caught distributing steroids in the locker room during the late 80’s and early 90’s. The NCAA allowed the Irish to handle the matter internally, but there is no way Holtz was unaware of all that was going on with that program and others for which he was also responsible.

Why have so many serious problems in “big time sports” become even worse? Let me guess….


Winning the Brain Game: Fixing the 7 Fatal Flaws of Thinking
Winning the Brain Game: Fixing the 7 Fatal Flaws of Thinking
by Matthew E. May
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 25.18
28 used & new from CDN$ 12.52

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How and why “seven flaws of thinking” prevent you from understanding yourself and the world in which you live and work, May 27 2016
I have read and reviewed all of Matthew May’s previously published books and also interviewed him. Our friendship aside, I think he is one of the most insightful business thinkers as well as one of the most eloquent writers. In his latest book, he shares what he learned from a ten-year study that involved hundreds of interactive creative problem-solving sessions. More than 100,000 executives participated.

He explains how and why each flaw causes so many problems and suggests a “fix” for it. Here they are, with six sharing the same prefix. More specifically, here’s how to correct your thinking after

1. Leaping to a premature conclusion: Generate multiple ways to frame the given issues.

2. Fixating on one solution to the explosion of all others: Shift thinking from the current reality of how things are in order to pursue the possibility of how they could — perhaps should -- be.

3. Overthinking that creates problems that weren’t even there in the first place: Initiate prototesting, a combination of prototyping and testing. As Einstein suggests, “make everything as simple as possible but no simpler.”

4. Satisficing by glomming on to what’s easy and obvious to stop seeking the best or optimal solution: Use integrative thinking to merge the very best parts of 2-3 opposing but satisficing solutions “in an elegant mash-up that defeats the tendency to satisfice and settle for anything less than the best solution. The fix for Satisfying is thus: Synthesis.”

5. Downgrading to the point of wholesale disengagement from the given challenge: “The fix for Downgrading is Jumpstarting defined just as it is in the dictionary: starting a stalled vehicle whose battery is drained by connecting it to another source of power.”

6. Not invented here (NIH) happens: Eliminate that automatic, knee-jerk reaction to any idea developed elsewhere, the fix is from Procter & Gamble’s Connect and Develop innovation program: Proudly Found Elsewhere. This will open minds “to let in, leverage, and recycle the ideas and solutions of others,” whoever and wherever they may be.

7. Self-censoring: Eliminate further diminishment of you and your value (“mental masochism”); think of yourself (as Adam Smith suggests) as an impartial spectator to the given circumstances. “Psychologists refer to it as self-distancing, and as the name implies, the concept is one of distancing yourself from well, you.”

May devotes a separate chapter to each of the seven, thoroughly explaining their causes, possible consequences, and probable implications. He believes – and I agree – that anyone can live a much more creative life if (HUGE “if”) they are willing to re-think how they think when process information and especially when making decisions.

Here is a mantra from May’s book, The Elegant Solution, that everyone should keep in mind when struggling to cope with a business world that seems to become more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous each day:

“What appears to be the problem, isn’t.
What appears to be the solution, isn’t.
What appears to be impossible, isn’t.”

Most people cling to their self-serving biases, prejudices (pre-judgments), and delusions like Linus clings to his blanket. They cannot correct what they so tenaciously deny.

Matthew May provides an abundance of information, insights, and counsel that really can help almost anyone to become more mindful, to think more clearly and more logically, and to make much better decisions.

One other point: This is one of the most entertaining as well as informative books I have read in many years. Nine Einstein quotations are included. I conclude this brief commentary with one of them:

“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first fifty-five minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”


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