Friday, May 24, 2013
Tipping Sacred Cows by Jake Breeden
Tipping Sacred Cows
Kick the Bad Work Habits that Masquerade as Virtues
By: Jake Breeden
Published: March 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover, 224 pages
"When leaders embrace beliefs without understanding and managing the potential side effects, the beliefs become sacred cows and get in the way. When leaders shut off their brains and blindly follow the bromides of conventional wisdom they set off a string of unintended consequences", writes educator, coach, and member of the Global Faculty for Duke Corporate Education, Jake Breeden in his iconoclastic and thought provoking book Tipping Sacred Cows: Kick the Bad Work Habits that Masquerade as Virtues. The author describes how leaders with the best of intentions, and with the conviction of their most cherished beliefs, take what they believe is the best course of action, and have things go terribly wrong.
Jake Breeden recognizes that business virtues are not always a bad thing, but when they are used out of habit or by default, that is when the problems arise for leaders. The author considers the bad decisions that result from a leader's good intentions to be both insidious and frustrating for everyone. Often, the virtues are part of the leader's development plan and expectations from the organization itself.
While the virtues may be good things in and of themselves, they may fail tragically if used by rote. The author points out that the reverence given to the sacred cows in organizations is both widespread and never examined for validity. The author provides evidence that what he calls the seven business virtues demand reconsideration as to their applications in the workplace.
Jake Breeden (photo left) understands that that business virtues have a place within the organiztion and its culture. He presents evidence that the virtues are often misunderstood as to what they really mean in practice. The outcome of the standard implementation of these sacred virtues, in an inappropriate manner can be some very damaging repercussions. To counter the almost robotic use of the seven virtues by leaders, the author exposes their hidden pitfalls, and plots a course that successfully traverses the distance between good intentions and superior results.
Jake Breeden presents the seven business virtues as having both a good side, and a dark side as their mirror image that unleashed unintended consequences. As a result, the author ensures that leaders know what the potential traps of the seven business virtues entail, and how to recognize when their automatic use can have serious unintended consequences. The seven business virtues are as follows:
* Balance: Avoiding weak compromises and bad tradeoffs
* Collaboration: Knowing when working together creates effectiveness
* Creativity: Avoiding having the leader's idea take precedence over others
* Excellence: Not letting perfection be the enemy of good enough
* Fairness: Knowing the difference between a fair chance and a fair result
: Passion: Seeking harmony not obsessive behavior
* Preparation: Knowing when preparation should end and when action should begin
For me, the power of the book is how Jake Breeden combines a comprehensive overview of real problems that can result from automatic application of the seven business virtues, with strategies to ensure that the virtues are implemented properly at the right time. The author offers compelling insights into why the seven virtues become default actions for leaders, and how to avoid the dark side hidden within each one. Jake Breeden guides leaders toward self awareness as to when and why they fall back on the sacred cows rather than examining their other available options more carefully.
With the virtues recognized as having both value and risk, leaders can decide whether their use is appropriate for the circumstances, or whether some other decision should be taken instead. Jake Breeden demonstrates how the automatic use of the virtues by leaders can be examined, challenged, and understood more accurately as to their role within the organization. The author offers practical advice and techniques for transforming the virtues into workable concepts that avoid their becoming vices that cause additional and unexpected consequences.
I highly recommend the research based and real world tested book Tipping Sacred Cows: Kick the Bad Work Habits that Masquerade as Virtues by Jake Breeden, to any leaders, executives, managers, and entrepreneurs seeking a clear and concise guide to effective leadership decision making, through avoiding the traps posed by falling into the well meaning habi,t of applying the seven business virtues to every situation. This book offers the alternative of examining, questioning, and transforming the virtues into real and workable forms that benefit leaders, employees, and their organizations.
Labels: book reviews
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Thursday, May 23, 2013
Debra Kaye: Red Thread Thinking - Blog Business Success Radio
Global innovation and brand strategist, partner in Lucule Consulting, and author of the revolutionary and breakthrough oriented book Red Thread Thinking: Weaving Together Connections for Brilliant Ideas and Profitable Innovation, Debra Kaye describes how to utilize connections between ideas to stimulate individual innovation. Debra Kaye presents the five part principles of Red Thread Thinking to transform any innovation process into an effective one. Moving beyond traditional concepts of creativity, innovation and company culture change, Debra Kaye offers an individual approach that transcends the usual techniques. Debra Kaye emphasizes a market based mode of thinking in the innovation process to ensure profitability. Debra also points out that anyone can learn and develop their own innovation skills, and that the Red Thread Thinking skills can be applied by anyone to any innovation process.
Debra Kaye is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on BlogTalkRadio.
The show airs live on Thursday, May 23, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.
Global innovation and brand strategist, partner in Lucule Consulting, and author of the revolutionary and breakthrough oriented book Red Thread Thinking: Weaving Together Connections for Brilliant Ideas and Profitable Innovation, Debra Kaye describes how to utilize connections between ideas to stimulate individual innovation. You will learn:
* Why so many corporate innovation efforts fail to achieve results
* Why effective innovation begins with an individual approach
* How to use the five Red Thread Thinking principles in innovation
* Why innovations must be seen as valuable by others in the marketplace
Debra Kaye (photo left) is an international innovation expert specializing in culture and brand strategy for consumer businesses. She encourages her clients to become change-makers, and has helped set agendas for companies such as L’Oreal, Mars Petcare, Colgate, McDonald’s, American Express, Dove Chocolate, Kimberly-Clark, Johnson & Johnson, Reckitt Benckiser, Sony, and many more.
BDDP/Mancebo•Kaye, the marketing company she founded in Spain, became #1 in the country for strategic thinking and #3 for creativity in under three years, according to Ballester research. It’s the kind of success that comes from inspiring people to be great thinkers and creating a culture of solving critical business issues. Debra was also a frequently featured marketing and communications writer for top Spanish business publications, appeared prominently in five books about marketing, and named Female Entrepreneur of the Year by Spain’s Tribuna Económica.
As CEO of TBWA\Italy, she was named the country’s top marketer, and oversaw the business for clients such as Wind (mobile phones), Apple, Group Pernod Ricard, Bieirsdorf, and Nissan. In the U.S., she introduced her own skin care line, which was distributed nationwide in Nordstrom, Sephora, and in Saks Fifth Avenue New York. Three-months into distribution, Iconoculture named it the best-positioned cosmeceutical on the market.
Today, Debra is partner at innovation consultancy Lucule Consulting. A frequent commentator on American Public Radio’s “Marketplace” and contributor to Fast Company, she is a sought-after speaker and has been featured at such venues as South by Southwest, among other engagements. She is a board member of Count Me In, an organization dedicated to helping women-owned businesses grow and prosper.
My book review of Red Thread Thinking: Weaving Together Connections for Brilliant Ideas and Profitable Innovation by Debra Kaye.
Listen live on Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.
If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for free download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.
To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832
Let's talk with global innovation and brand strategist, partner in Lucule Consulting, and author of the revolutionary and breakthrough oriented book Red Thread Thinking: Weaving Together Connections for Brilliant Ideas and Profitable Innovation, Debra Kaye describes how to utilize connections between ideas to stimulate individual innovation. Debra Kaye presents the five part principles of Red Thread Thinking to transform any innovation process into an effective one. Moving beyond traditional concepts of creativity, innovation and company culture change, Debra Kaye offers an individual approach that transcends the usual techniques. Debra Kaye emphasizes a market based mode of thinking in the innovation process to ensure profitability. Debra also points out that anyone can learn and develop their own innovation skills, and that the Red Thread Thinking skills can be applied by anyone to any innovation process on Blog Business Success Radio.
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Red Thread Thinking by Debra Kaye - Book review
Red Thread Thinking
Weaving Together Connections for Brilliant Ideas and Profitable Innovation
By: Debra Kaye
Published: February 5, 2013
Forat: Hardcover, 288 pages
"Being innovative is not reserved for a few special people. Red Thread Thinking proves that we all have the power to design and develop thoughts into things", writes global innovation and brands strategist, and partner at Lucule Consulting, Debra Kaye in her revolutionary and breakthrough oriented book Red Thread Thinking: Weaving Together Connections for Brilliant Ideas and Profitable Innovation. The author describes how innovation is an individual event and must be addressed on personal scale, and shares the practical skills and techniques to guide the innovator to success.
Debra Kaye understands that creativity and imagination are essential components of the innovative process. The author cautions that people must make a clear distinction between the ideas of creativity and of innovation. To be considered an innovation, someone else must see the value in it for the market, and to have staying power the innovation must have attractive charisma. While individuals may be innovators within organizations, Debra Kaye points out that the very nature of corporate behavior works against innovation. The good news, according to the author, is that anyone can learn the techniques and skills that spur creativity resulting in breakthrough innovations that are sought after in the marketplace.
Debra Kaye (photo left) recognizes the critical importance of innovation to an health and future of a company. In today's rapidly changing economy and marketplace, innovation is more crucial than ever for the very survival of the business. As a result, Debra Kaye offers the insight that not only must individuals become more innovative, but they must make innovation an integral part of their lives and thought process.
Debra Kaye provides the five principles of what she calls Red Thread thinking, based on the interconnectedness of ideas. The five ways are as follows:
* Innovation: It's all in your head
* Everything old is new
* People: The strangest animals in the zoo
* What you see is what you get
* The force of passion
For me, the power of the book is how Debra Kay combines the connective power of the Red Thred Thinking process, with the techniques and tactics to use those threads to innovate effectively. The author takes and individual approach to innovation, while carefully pointing out that any individual can be an innovator, to avoid that old rare genius innovator trap. The author demonstrates how and why an individual is the starting point for innovation, and why organizational culture change methods so often fail to materialize.
Debra Kaye goes beyond the standard approaches to creative thinking and innovation, and presents evidence that while the two concepts are related, they are not the same thing. The author also shares the important lesson that an innovation must be seen as having value in the marketplace, and have some outstanding quality to give it staying power within that market. Debra Kaye also augments the ideas of interconnected ideas with case studies of the principles of Red Thread Thinking in action in the real world.
I highly recommend the results oriented and insightful book Red Thread Thinking: Weaving Together Connections for Brilliant Ideas and Profitable Innovation by Debra Kaye, to any business leaders, managers, entrepreneurs, and would be innovators seeking an effective, individual based approach to innovation. This book will transform anyone who learns the insights and practices of Red Thread Thinking into powerful and profitable innovators.
Labels: book reviews
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Blog Bloke: Google Plus Changes And What They Mean - Blog Business Success Radio
Long time online privacy advocate, search engine analyst, and blogger Blog Bloke describes the recent changes made to the Google Plus social media platform and what they mean. Blog Bloke provides analysis of the changes, how they relate to other social media platforms, and the reasons for the changes. Blog Bloke offers advice for returning the better features of the previous Google Plus layout and how to utilize the better aspects of the new format. Blog Bloke also discusses the effect of Google Plus on search engine rankings, and also the impact of the changes for mobile users. Blog Bloke also offers his thoughts on the recent updated statements from Google about how they are addressing the constant challenge of spam.
BlogBloke is my internet radio show guests on Blog Business Success; hosted live on BlogTalkRadio.
The show airs live on Tuesday, May 21, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.
Long tome online privacy advocate, search engine analyst, and blogger Blog Bloke describes the recent changes made to the Google Plus social media platform and what they mean. You will learn:
* What changes have been made to the Google+ social media platform
* * What these changes mean to users of Google+ and other social media sites
* Why Google made the changes in the first place
* How Google continues to work on the constant challenge posed by spammers
Blog Bloke (avatar left) has worked in journalism and as a programmer in the computer industry before most had heard of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. A crusader at heart, he switched to law and soon made a name for himself as a successful litigation expert and mediator, helping folks who under normal circumstances can't afford justice.
A geek in every sense of the term, he carried his passion for helping others and computers into blogging that he helped pioneer. In those days there was no such thing as Wordpress or RSS newsfeeds for blogs. Having created the "Blog Tips" niche, his blog is an outstanding resource for helpful blogging tips and how-to tutorials. He has a reputation for being a straight shooter, his sharp wit and an outspoken champion for online ethics. He is bullishly pro blogging, social media, an outspoken advocate for online rights, security and technology issues.
Tech Editor and Author, BLOGBloke has been quoted in the Washington Post, New York Times and CBS News. Here are just a few of the comments that his readers have made:
Listen live on Tuesday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.
To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832
Let's talk with long tome online privacy advocate, search engine analyst, and blogger Blog Bloke describes the recent changes made to the Google Plus social media platform and what they mean. Blog Bloke provides analysis of the changes, how they relate to other social media platforms, and the reasons for the changes. Blog Bloke offers advice for returning the better features of the previous Google Plus layout and how to utilize the better aspects of the new format. Blog Bloke also discusses the effect of Google Plus on search engine rankings, and also the impact of the changes for mobile users. Blog Bloke also offers his thoughts on the recent updated statements from Google about how they are addressing the constant challenge of spam on Blog Business Success Radio.
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Monday, May 20, 2013
Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Business by Karen Leland - Book review
Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Business
By: Karen Leland
Published: May 1, 2013
Format: Paperback, 300 pages
Publisher: Entrepreneur Press
"Pinterest has tapped into this visceral love of visuals, and no small business, entrepreneur, or corporation can afford to miss the boat on bringing what they do beyond words and into images", writes branding and marketing strategist, and President of Sterling Marketing Group, Karen Leland in her comprehensive and very hands on book Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Business. The author describes how how businesses can utilize the engagement power of Pinterest to build their marketing results to their fullest potential.
Karen Leland recognizes that women comprise the vast majority of active Pinterest users, and that fully 20 percent of all women online are users of the Pinterest social media platform. Given the tremendous buying power and purchasing influence exercised by women, the author presents a clear case for companies of all sizes to be active participants in the Pinterest community. Karen Leland guides business people through the entire process of using Pinterest effectively. The author starts at the very beginning with advice for starting off on the right foot, creating boards that are appropriate for the business, getting more visitors to the page, building community, and for engaging those visitors and community members in their transformation to customers.
Karen Leland (photo left) understands the importance of establishing a marketing strategy prior to beginning a Pinterest campaign. With firm goals in mind, the business person is able to attract the ideal customer to their community, and developing a high level of sharing and engagement with the visitors. Karen Leland provides a guide to creating a fully integrated social media strategy through the addition of a Pinterest element to the other platforms. The author also offers concrete suggestions for enhancing the visual effects of the page, and also for planning on the best metrics for quantifying success.
Karen Leland presents a complete guide to building a strong Pinterest page that is inviting and effective in building relationships and converting visitor traffic to customers. The book includes the following topics:
* On your mark, get set,, join
* Create a Pinterest profile that rocks
* Strategize first, pin second
* Build boards that are on brand
* Become a content creator and curator: Pinning and Repinning
* Pin etiquette and optimization
* Beyond photos to video, podcasts, and screencasting
* Make your website Pinterest friendly
* Follow and be followed
* Engage with the Pinterest community: Liking, hashtags, commenting and tagging
* Me, you, and we: Collaborative pinning and your Pinterest strategy
* Pinterest on the go: Mobile
* Build your blog with Pinterest
* Your profession on Pinterest: An A-Z guide
* Pin your way to new work: Job hunting and client acquisition
* Track your Pinterest performance
* Your parting party gifts, and what's next
For me, the power of the book is how Karen Leland combines an overall Pinterest strategy focus with the practical techniques and practices to make those strategic goals a reality. The author takes a holistic approach to Pinterest that includes the complete integration with other social media platforms, and with the business blog and website as well. This overall approach ensures that the brand has full visibility across all of the company's community. Karen Leland goes beyond other books on Pinterest by including key sections on blogs, advice for job seekers, assistance for profession in the use of the platform, and for developing the right metrics to ensure that success is measured correctly.
The book is designed in a large format to double as a workbook to serve as a resource and reference through the entire Pinterest brand marketing strategy. The author also enhances the concepts presented in the book with photos, screen captures and graphics that demonstrate the ideas in action. Karen Leland further augments the material with case studies of the concepts at work in real world situations.
I highly recommend the indispensable and results oriented book Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Business by Karen Leland, to any entrepreneurs, marketing and brand executives, and other business leaders who are serious about utilizing the proven effectiveness of Pinterest as a vital component of an overall social media strategy. This book will transform any current or potential Pinterest page from the ordinary to the source of relationships and an engaged community; and convert them to valued and enthusiastic customers.
Labels: book reviews
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Sunday, May 19, 2013
Focus by Heidi Grant Halvorson & E. Tory Higgins - Book review
Use Different Ways of Seeing the World for Success and Influence
By: Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D., E. Tory Higgins, Ph.D.
Published: April 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
Publisher: Hudson Street Press
"This book is a practical guide to understanding and working with your promotion or prevention focus", write social psychologist, speaker, and associate director for the Motivation Science Center at the Columbia University Business School, Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D.; and Stanley Schachter Professor of Psychology at Columbia University and professor of management at the Columbia Business School, E. Tory Higgins, Ph.D., in their fascinating and perceptive book Focus: Use Different Ways of Seeing the World for Success and Influence. The authors describe how there are two basic groups of people, namely those who see the world in terms of promotion and those who see the world in terms of prevention, and how to work with and influence those with either type of behavior.
Heidi Grant Halvorson (photo left) and E. Tory Higgins recognize that there are two types of pain and of pleasure that motivate the actions of different people. The authors provide insights into who they consider two very different people with entirely different motivations. One group is what the authors call promotion focused and motivated by rewards. The other group is what the authors name prevention focused and motivated by minimizing losses.
The authors demonstrate how managers and marketers can identify the appropriate focus, change focus, and utilize focus in the correct manner to achieve successful results. The authors offer strategies and techniques for uncovering the two types of focus, and for applying this knowledge appropriately in any marketing campaign.
E. Tory Higgins (photo left) and Heidi Grant Halvorson understand that failure to realize that people may have a different focus can result in communication problems. Those who are promotion focused will have to adjust their management or marketing style to accommodate those whose focus is on prevention. The same challenge must be met and overcome by prevention conscious managers and marketers when they communicate with people who have a promotion orientation.
The authors examine the nature of promotion and prevention focus in both the workplace, and in an individual's personal life. The way the two types of people approach problems and decision making are covered in the following areas:
* Focused on the win, or avoiding the loss
* Why optimism doesn't work for defensive pessimists
* Focus on work
* Focus on kids
* Focus in love
* Focus on making decisions
* Focus on our world
* Identifying and changing focus
* It's the fit that counts
* The triumph of the fittest
* Under the influence
* To market
* A guide to creating motivational fit
For me, the power of the book is how Heidi Grant Halvorson and E. Tory Higgins combine a comprehensive analysis and overview of the two types of focus, with practical techniques for identifying and communicating with people of both focus styles. The authors present a very convincing case for their thesis of the two focus type personalities. They back their statements with solid research, and each chapter contains extensive endnotes for further study. While the main purpose of the book is on examination of the workplace, management and motivation of people, and the marketing process, the authors go beyond the world of work to include focus in one's personal life.
Through the addition of focus on children, romance, and the wider world, the authors show how a person can be promotion focused at work, while being very prevention focused at home. This change of focus is important to understand, and offers the important lesson that the same approach to an individual may fail to take this switch of focus into account. The book offers an excellent guide for improving communication with others, as the listener may not share the same focus. The authors demonstrate how to avoid messages from becoming misunderstood, ineffective, or even counterproductive.
I highly recommend the important and communication improving book Focus: Use Different Ways of Seeing the World for Success and Influence by Heidi Grant Halvorson and E. Tory Higgins, to any business leaders, executives, managers, marketers, entrepreneurs, or anyone wanting to better understand how to communicate more effectively with others. This book will transform your ability to be better understood by people of either type of focus, enhancing your ability to influence outcomes more effectively.
Labels: book reviews
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Friday, May 17, 2013
Business Techniques In Troubled Times by Thomas H. Gray - Book review
Business Techniques in Troubled Times
A Toolbox for Small Business Success
By: Thomas H. Gray
Published: April 12, 2013
Format: Paperback, 344 pages
Publisher: Thomas H. Gray Incorporated
"Small business owners are 'doers'. They are pragmatic decision makers who deal with risk and 'figure things out' on their own every day. With the right tools, they will continue to build successful enterprises that make America a better place to live. This book provides some of those tools", writes entrepreneur and management consultant, Thomas H. Gray, in his comprehensive and very hands on book Business Techniques in Troubled Times: A Toolbox for Small Business Success. The author describes the effective and proven tools and techniques for achieving success in every aspect of a business life cycle.
Thomas H. Gray understands that entrepreneurs face challenges to their business at different points and times.As a result, the author provides module based format where the problem being faced by the business person can be solved in a readily applicable manner. The book as presented by the author, is designed to be a toolbox, where the appropriate tools can be selected and put into action to achieve a solution.
For many entrepreneurs, the main hurdle to overcome is to understand that a problem may actually exist, and that there is trustworthy and real world tested advice available. Thomas H. Gray provides the tools for identifying and diagnosing the problem, and offers the suitable solution to resolve it successfully.
Thonas H. Gray (photo left) recognizes that entrepreneurs and other samll business leaders are often short of time to find solutions to critical problems. As a result, the author arranges the book in a clear and concise format, with an emphasis on simple methods that can be implemented with ease to get the desired results.
The author places the various sections of the book in a logical order that follows the natural sequence of events in the establishment and operation of a small business. With this ordered system in place, a small business person can find the answers they seek with a minimum of searching. The book is divided into six overarching sections, each with its own detailed sub-chapters offering more detailed and specialized advice. The six basic parts of the book are as follows:
* Strategy and vision
* Financing your business
* Effective marketing
* Day-to-day management and operations
* Growing and exiting your business
* Distressed businesses
For me, the power of the book is how Thomas H. Gray combines a complete guide to starting, managing, and exiting a business, with practical and specialized advice for each aspect of the business. The material is organized in samll and easily applied pieces to assist in getting to the problem and reaching a solution quickly. As a handy reference book, this is a superb guide to resolving both short and long term obstacles in a minimum amount of time.
The author augments the text with numerous visual aids and charts to assist in understanding the principled shared in each chapter. A unique feature of the book is the inclusion of two tables of contents to help narrow down the issues and provide ease of locating the best resolution to those issues. Thomas H. Gray also provides the expertise of a number of guest authors who present their specialized knowledge in several of the more technical chapters.
I highly recommend the results oriented and indispensable book Business Techniques in Troubled Times: A Toolbox for Small Business Success by Thomas H. Gray to any current or wouldbe entrepreneurs and small business managers who are seeking a clear and concise road map to overcoming the many obstacles and challenges that confront any business. This book is one that anyone will return to again and again for its straight forward and useful advice.
Labels: book reviews
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