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Sunday, October 31, 2010

 

Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace - Book review




Diamond Ruby

By: Joseph Wallace

Published: May 4, 2010
Format: Trade Paperback, 480 pages
ISBN-10: 1439160058
ISBN-13: 9781439160053
Publisher: Touchstone















Teenager Ruby Thomas is faced with raising her two young nieces, following the tragic loss of their family in the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918. Ruby tries her hand unsuccessfully at numerous unsafe and ill paying jobs, but her talent as a left handed pitcher possessing a blazing fastball, helps to provide a living for them. Set against the ballyhoo and glitz of the Roaring Twenties, author Joseph Wallace recreates a world both exciting and dangerous in his home run of a novel, Diamond Ruby.

Peopling his wonderful novel with larger than life characters including New York Yankee superstar Babe Ruth and boxing legend Jack Dempsey, Joe Wallace draws the reader into the spirit of the Jazz Age. The author also takes the reader into the dangerous underside of New York City, where gamblers, bootleggers, and quick buck artists ply their deadly trades. Into this Prohibition world of speakeasies and fast money, Ruby Thomas charms the reader with her courage and conviction. Facing the severe obstacles of sex discrimination, Ruby pours her energy into her pitching career, and in keeping her family intact. Joseph Wallace brings the 1920s to life, with its pretentious of being the modern world, along with the age old themes of good and evil. Ruby Thomas is no crusader, but is carries her convictions and courage to the end, as she makes her way in what was considered a man's world. As Diamond Ruby, she is a teenaged female pitching sensation, but as Ruby Thomas, she is a protector and provider for her two young nieces. The duality of her life reflects the duality of life in the Roaring Twenties as well.



Joseph Wallace (photo left) presents an allegory of America in tumultuous Prohibition America, where crime, greed, and corruption are a way of life. At the same time, baseball presents a balance to the seedier side of life. Faced with challenges from gamblers and bootleggers, baseball as the symbol of all that is good about America, represents hope and a brighter future. Ruby and the sport are intertwined, as baseball too is her chance for a better life. Its darker side is a metaphor of Ruby's obstacles in a dangerous and uncaring world. The worst aspects of America, from the Klan and its ugly racism and extreme sexism, to the criminal underworld represent the forces of evil that confront Ruby every step of the way. As a good person, in a corrupt society, Ruby is faced with temptations and choices that could lead to not only her own demise, but that of her two nieces as well. Faced with overcoming very long odds, Ruby embarks on a journey of self discovery, of her own inner strength, that matches and even surpasses the strength in her powerful left arm.



This novel carries echoes of the classic novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but Diamond Ruby's Brooklyn is a far darker and more dangerous place. Ruby Thomas (shown on baseball card left) is a survivor, who dispenses with sentimentality and accepts life's hardships stoically and with iron willed resolve. Ruby is a strong and memorable heroine, who lives in the here and now. She doesn't dream of riches or of a pie in the sky future. Her feet are planted firmly in this world and in the here and now. She does discover fame, and as with everything she experiences in her life as Diamond Ruby, fame extracts a heavy toll. The glamor of being a pitching sensation comes with a cost, and for Ruby, that high price is one that must be paid. As a reflection on fame and celebrity, in a world much like our own where the famous are worshiped and their every move followed by the general public, Joseph Wallace displays a keen eye, The author recognizes that many people seek fame, and a few achieve notoriety, but no one enters that exclusive world without sacrificing something very dear to them. The parallels between the 1920s and the world of today are striking, and Joseph Wallace presents those similarities very well.

I highly recommend the excellent and exhilarating novel Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace, to anyone seeking a thrilling story, peopled with memorable characters. The seamless blending or historical figures with fictional characters is a strength of the novel, that gives the story an additional layer of realism. The eternal themes of good and evil, temptation, redemption, and love of family permeate this must read novel.

Read the enthralling and and wonderful novel Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace, and transport yourself back to the Age of Ballyhoo, and relive the Roaring Twenties through the eyes of the delightful Ruby Thomas. The always fascinating Diamond Ruby, is one character that you will never forget, in this winner of a novel.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

 

Get A Finacial Life by Beth Kobliner - Book review



Get a Financial Life

Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties


By: Beth Kobliner

Published: March 2009
Format: Paperback, 352pp
ISBN-13: 9780743264365
ISBN-10: 0743264363
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group












"If you're like a lot of people in their twenties and thirties, you're worried about money. And who can blame you?" write financial literacy expert and member of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability, Beth Kobliner in her very useful and no nonsense book Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties. The author presents practical and readily applicable finance primer for Millennials and younger Generation Xers, in a readable and comprehensive format, that will solve even the most perplexing financial issues.

Beth Kobliner understands that financial literacy is not widespread within the twenty and thirty-something age groups. This book bridges that knowledge gap with chapters covering every aspect of personal finance. The author shares her wisdom and advice freely to ensure that readers will both avoid the money traps that await the unwary, while also building personal wealth and financial security. The author covers all of the critical areas of finance for younger investors. The major topics included are:

* Insure yourself against financial ruin
* Pay off your debt the smart way
* Contribute to a tax-favored retirement plan
* Build emergency cushion with automatic savings plan
* Consider investment in stocks and bonds
* Find out your credit score and improve it
* Think about buying a house or apartment
* Get smart about income tax



Beth Kpbliner (photo left) doesn't suggest that a person use all of the recommendations at once. instead, the author points out the importance of creating and sticking to a personal financial plan with clear goals. One strong concept is the critical issue of getting out of debt. With so any recent graduates facing large student loan balances, getting out of debt, and remaining debt free creates a powerful head start in achieving financial independence. The repayment of debt, especially high interest rate debt, forms a very high rate of return on investment. With the economic situation taking its toll on 401k accounts, Beth Kobliner shares some asset building advice to maintain value in the account in any economy. The author also coaches her younger readers on how to save money for a down payment on a house, including new strategies for today's uncertain housing market. Beth Kobliner emphasizes saving money for the long term, reducing tax liability, and getting out of debt as priorities for people new to the work force.

For me, the power of the book is how Beth Kobliner shares valuable and timely financial advice in a very readable and approachable manner. She explains her reasoning for each money action in a step by step format, removing the mystery that so often surrounds financial information. The author starts with the basics, and then moves to more advanced material, as the reader becomes more comfortable working with money. All too often, parents and the educational system fail to prepare young people for the real world of money and financial obligations. This book eases the transition from money novice to becoming a person acquainted with debt reduction, credit scores, savings, insurance, mortgages, stocks and bonds, and the taxation system. The author doesn't force the reader to live like a pauper, but rather to take a responsible and long term approach to money management.

I highly recommend the concise and information packed book Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties by Beth Kobliner, to anyone in their twenties or thirties who is seeking to achieve financial freedom. This book will help you get out of debt, build your savings, start you on a solid road to the successful building of wealth. The advice presented in this book is so strong, that it can applied to the financial circumstances of people of any age group.

Read the essential book Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties by Beth Kobliner, and free yourself of the financial worries that are affecting your life and career. If you missed out on a financial education at school or at home, this book is a tremendous course in financial and money management to fill that knowledge gap completely. This book, if even part of the advice is followed, can change a person's life for the better.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

 

Raghav Bahl: Superpower? - Author interview



Founder, controlling shareholder,and director of Network 18, India's largest television and business network, Raghav Bahl, was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions about his incisive and thought provoking book Superpower? The Amazing Race Between China's Hare and India's Tortoise.

Raghav Bahl describes the challenges facing the rapidly expanding economies of both India and China, and provides important insights into the future growth of the the two Asian giants on the global stage.

Thanks to Raghav Bahl for his time, and for his intriguing and comprehensive responses to the questions. They are greatly appreciated.

What was the background to writing this book Superpower? The Amazing Race Between China's Hare and India's Tortoise?

Raghav Bahl: I began thinking about writing this book in April 2009 when the world was getting back on its feet after the economic recession that had crippled it. The lull in business activity allowed me to get back to my old love, i.e. journalism. When looking for themes, one story that fascinated me both as an entrepreneur and as a business journalist was the relentless rise of China. I was intrigued that when Deng Xiaoping put China on the path of reform, its economy was smaller than India’s.

Even more critically, 32 years ago the Cultural Revolution had virtually decimated China’s economic institutions. It did not have a central bank or a stock market. The universities had been emptied out. There was virtually no judiciary, as the entire lawyer community had been annihilated. Economically and institutionally China was a very weak State in 1978. Yet today, its economy is four times that of India. It was a compelling story.

You describe India as a tortoise and China as the hare in this vast race for preeminence. What do you mean by the tortoise and the hare?

Raghav Bahl: I do not claim intellectual property rights to this analogy! The fable of the hare and the tortoise is well known. In that story the tortoise steals a march over the complacent hare, which was much ahead in the race. India and China are also compared to the elephant and the dragon. Whatever the animal, the subcontinent is not associated with speed. By their very nature, democracies are slow. Taking everybody on board takes time. But I believe that nations should be capable not only of bursts of energy but also of consistent performance.

China’s post-Revolutionary history has been marred by sharp discontinuities though Mr. Deng and his successors have shown extraordinary sagacity in steering the country. An enlightened and decisive leadership can sustain India’s recent high growth momentum and lift its people quickly out of poverty. But wisdom is not assured!



Raghav Bahl (photo left)

Many pundits and observers have already conceded 21st century leadership to China. You make a strong case for India as well. Why is India such a powerful rival for China?

Raghav Bahl: China’s economy is four times that of India. Size tells one story. Time taken to achieve it tells another. At the turn of the century, China was a one trillion dollar economy. That is where India is now. So one can say that India is just 10 years behind China. That is not too big a gap. India has everything going for it: a huge population, pent up demand, entrepreneurial people, strong economic institutions, the rule of law, an ability to (messily) resolve social conflicts and a culture of religious tolerance (occasionally interrupted).

Unlike China’s imbalanced economy, India’s is based on domestic consumption, lean capital, and frugal use of resources. President Obama’s economic adviser, Larry Summers, who was recently in India, calls this “people-centered growth,” the “Mumbai Consensus”. Of course, one should not be carried away. India has huge inequities. But India’s size makes it a natural rival to China. For strategic reasons too, it cannot afford to fall behind.

China invests heavily in infrastructure, while India has lagged in the infrastructure spending. Do you see a change in this scenario in the future?

Raghav Bahl: China’s infrastructure investment has been made entirely by the state or by state enterprises, with their easy access to cheap bank finance made possible by financial repression. The Indian state does not have the money to invest, because it squanders much of its resources on wasteful subsidies in order to appease various constituencies of voters. So it has been forced to take the route of public private partnership. This is a costlier way of financing infrastructure, but this disadvantage is offset by the Indian private sector’s superior execution capability. The past decade was spent in getting the policy and templates for contracts right. Bankers see a spurt in infrastructure spending during this decade. But there are areas of darkness still, like the Railways, where a leadership deficit has translated into an infrastructure deficit.

India and China both recovered quickly from the 2008 economic meltdown, but you describe their recoveries as taking different forms. How did the two countries emerge from the economic crisis differently?

Raghav Bahl: China, which had aggressively built infrastructure before the meltdown, went on an infrastructure-spending binge to pull itself out of the slump. India could have spent a lot more on infrastructure but did not for various reasons: a conduct code for political parties before the general elections that prohibited new spending and the lack of a ready shelf of projects that banks were willing to finance. Instead the Indian government cut taxes to put more money in people’s wallets and spur domestic consumption.

Companies producing cars, buses and home appliances saw a big spurt in sales. Though India is less dependent on exports, the loss of exports was keenly felt because export industries are also the most labor intensive. Those put out of jobs suffered a double blow in the form of high inflation, stoked partly by the fiscal deficit which had more than doubled. The pain was acute but short-lived. India is once again staring at growth rates seen just before the meltdown.

In relations between India, China, and the United States, there are some differences and some real challenges. How does the geo-political sphere look for the coming decades?

Raghav Bahl: India and the United States have a lot in common. They are natural allies. But the scramble for resources could bring China and India into conflict. It is a relationship that has to be smartly managed. China has been keen to reassure the world that its rise is not threatening, but of late has been quite aggressive in its dealings with the US, India and Japan. India will have to grow faster to keep China in check.

Demographics regarding population age are very different in India than in China. How is the age distribution a factor in the future of both countries?

Raghav Bahl: China will grow older before it grows richer. Because of the one-child policy it will have more people dependent on its workers, though the disadvantage could be partially offset by a better-educated population. India’s larger proportion of a younger population could be an asset. But there are studies which show that the so-called demographic dividend is not assured. For young people to be productive workers they must be healthy and educated. India also faces another challenge that China has already addressed: getting more of its women to work outside the house.

India is often seen as a leader in entrepreneurship. Is this trend a growing difference between India and China?

Raghav Bahl: The Chinese are good at business. They have flourished in countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan. But Communism under Mao destroyed native enterprise. What one now sees is state capitalism. The one thing that distinguishes India from present-day China is the quality of its entrepreneurs. I have George Soros’s word for it. India’s turnaround story since the 1990s has been scripted by its private enterprise. If only the government did not get in the way!

Both countries face increasing challenges with urbanization, infrastructure and the environment. Are India and China addressing these enormous problems in different ways?

Raghav Bahl: China is urbanizing faster than India. Its urban spaces are much more livable. This is partly because of the internal passport system that restricted migration to cities. Indian cities are choked with people relocating for jobs. Their governance is paralyzed by multiple authorities that do not work as a team. Municipal agencies are poorly funded, lack capable leadership and are racked by corruption. As for the environment, India’s is less devastated than China’s because of a noisy press and a strong environmental movement but that is little consolation. Whatever pollution there is in India is bad enough.

The agricultural base of India and China are very different. How can these two nations feed their vast populations successfully in the future?

Raghav Bahl: China has less cultivable land than India, and fewer restraints on alienating it for non-agricultural purposes, because land is state owned. China is also a meat-eating nation, unlike India, and will be dependent on imports (of soybean) to feed its large and growing poultry industry. Chinese reforms began in the countryside. Its farms are much more productive and fewer people are dependent on them.

Indian food production is stagnating. The amount of cereals available per person is decreasing. Agriculture is not a paying proposition. India will have to revamp its subsidies to ensure that farming is not groundwater depleting. It will have to improve governance and infrastructure in water-rich areas to unleash their agricultural potential. And it should allow foreign retailers like Wal-Mart to sell directly to Indian consumers, so that they can in turn tell farmers what to grow for the market and how to grow it.

What is the current status of the race between the tortoise and the hare?

Raghav Bahl: India should do what it is now doing, but much more vigorously, with the Indian State taking bigger risks and bolder actions; it is China that needs a political course correction, the evidence for which is not too encouraging.

What is next for Raghav Bahl?

Raghav Bahl: I am known as a serial entrepreneur, not a serial writer! But I have enjoyed writing this book …

*****************

My book review of Superpower? The Amazing Race Between China's Hare and India's Tortoise by Raghav Bahl.

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Superpower? by Raghav Bahl - Book review



Superpower?

The Amazing Race Between China's Hare and India's Tortoise


By: Raghav Bahl

Published: October 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
ISBN-10: 1591843960
ISBN-13: 978-1591843962
Publisher: Portfolio/Penguin














"It's an amazing race between between China's hare and India's tortoise - one that China need not automatically win, and India should not believe it is bound to lose", writes founder, controlling shareholder,and director of Network 18, India's largest television and business network, Raghav Bahl, in his incisive and thought provoking book Superpower? The Amazing Race Between China's Hare and India's Tortoise. The author describes the challenges facing the rapidly expanding economies of both India and China, and provides important insights into the future growth of the the two Asian giants on the global stage.

Baghav Bahl presents a balanced account of the potential for growth, and the obstacles in the path, for both India and China. The author emphasizes the similarities and vast differences between the two contenders for leadership in Asia, and their place in the globalized economy. When the world economy melted down in 2008, both India and China were affected by the resulting recession. Both domestic economies recovered, but at different rates, and through different means. While China increased its debt load dramatically, and experienced rapid economic expansion, the result has been massive increases in infrastructure, and huge but perhaps unsustainable growth rates. India, on the other hand, took a different route to recovery that reflects the national approach to economic growth. Slow and steady, but built on a wider base and lower debt levels, was the response that was taken by India. The recovery from the global meltdown demonstrated the differing means by which these two huge countries conduct both their business and their politics.



Raghav Bahl (photo left) recognizes that both India and China possess enormous economic potential, as well as some very unique challenges and roadblocks. For China, the business structure is very heavily tilted toward huge state run enterprises, influenced by the political will of the country's political elite. The Chinese government can create massive growth in the economy through its state owned banks and businesses. India, on the other hand is the world's largest democracy. As a result, the change will be slower, but grounded in a more entrepreneurial setting, where private investment leads the economy. India's very heavy bureaucracy, however, very often acts as a brake on the intentions of the private sector investor. Faced with growing populations, resource shortages, rapid urbanization, and environmental issues, both countries are responding in very different ways. Some initiatives are successful, while others are very often counterproductive. For the author, the winner of this race of titans may be the more innovative and entrepreneurial country. At the moment, the outcome is still very much in doubt.

For me, the power of the book is how Raghav Bahl describes the current status of the race between China's hare and India's tortoise. The author also shares his insights into the future of the two Asian giants, and how their current actions will affect their future economic status. Baghav Bahl compares and contrasts the strengths and potential liabilities of each economy in a fair and objective manner. He presents real world observations on the public and private sectors in both countries, and shares their triumphs and their failures.

The author doesn't fall into the trap of simply extrapolating the current economic, demographic, and political underpinnings of both countries into the future. Instead, he examines how both India and China are evolving, and renewing themselves, and the radically differing routes that have been chosen by their local and national leadership. The possibility of India overtaking China, due to its more ground up entrepreneurial style, combined with its democratic political system, is discussed in the book. Raghav Bahl is careful to point out how the large, state owned companies in China are also a powerful force for innovation, but in a different form from the Indian entrepreneurs. The race result is not a forgone conclusion of victory for China, as many in the West suppose. The case for India moving ahead is equally compelling, but not as immediately apparent.

I highly recommend the important and must read book Superpower? The Amazing Race Between China's Hare and India's Tortoise by Raghav Bahl, to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of what is really happening in the economic race between India and China. The book also contains some very powerful and well researched information on the social, political, international, and demographic challenges facing both countries as we move farther into the twenty-first century.

Read the informative and fascinating book Superpower? The Amazing Race Between China's Hare and India's Tortoise by Raghav Bahl, and discover for yourself the critical importance of the race between India's tortoise and China's hare. The outcome will have reverberations that will be felt around the world. This book will prepare you to meet that economic reality successfully.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

 

Barbara Weaver Smith: Small Business Role in the Economy, Recovery, Innovation - Blog Business Success Radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Small business expert, author and owner of The Whale Hunters, Barbara Weaver Smith, shares her wisdom on the role of small business in the economy. She describes how critical it is for small business to be successful for a healthy economy. She presents her thoughts on how small business can spearhead the economic recovery. Barbara also describes the leadership role of entrepreneurs and small business in creating innovative products, services, and processes. She also shares her thoughts on how small business can compete successfully with larger companies in any economic environment. She also provides some effective small business growth strategies to gain an edge in the economic recovery.

Barbara Weaver Smith is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on BlogTalkRadio.

The show airs live on Thursday, October 28, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Small business expert, author and owner of The Whale Hunters, Barbara Weaver Smith, shares her wisdom on the role of small business in the economy. You will learn:

* How small business can lead the economy to recovery

* How innovation in small business will build the company success

* How small business can land the big customers

* How small business can create partnerships to go after large markets



Barbara Weaver Smith (photo left) is a successful female entrepreneur and founder of The Whale Hunters. The Whale Hunters is a strategic sales coaching company. She helps small businesses achieve explosive growth by landing bigger deals with bigger customers. Barbara helps her clients create a repeatable, team-based system that drives lasting performance improvements for the business.

Barbara walks clients through every step of the process, and the first step begins at http://www.thewhalehunters.com. Before launching The Whale Hunters, Barbara was a professor, a university dean, and the president of a statewide nonprofit organization.

Barbara's specialties include sales process development, accelerated business growth, selling through an RFP or RFQ, business proposal writing, business development

Barbara Weaver Smith on Facebook

The Whale Hunters Facebook fan page

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Barbara Weaver Smith on LinkedIn

My book review of Whale Hunting Women: How Women Do Big Deals by Barbara Weaver Smith.

My Q and A interview with Barbara Weaver Smith.

Listen live on Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

BlogTalkRadio.com

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.

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To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with small business expert, author and owner of The Whale Hunters, Barbara Weaver Smith, as she shares her wisdom on the role of small business in the economy. She describes how critical it is for small business to be successful for a healthy economy. She presents her thoughts on how small business can spearhead the economic recovery. Barbara also describes the leadership role of entrepreneurs and small business in creating innovative products, services, and processes. She also shares her thoughts on how small business can compete successfully with larger companies in any economic environment. She also provides some effective small business growth strategies to gain an edge in the economic recovery on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

 

Surrounded By Geniuses By Alan S. Gregerman - Book review





Surrounded by Geniuses

By: Alan S. Gregerman, Ph.D.

Published: September 2010
Format: Trade Paperback, 250 pages
ISBN: 9781402244841
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.














"Not by doing business as usual, but by rediscovering the curiosity and talent in all of us and using it to unlock genius in the world around us", writes strategy and innovation authority, and Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Venture Works, Alan S. Gregerman, in his brilliant and change facilitating book Surrounded by Geniuses. The author presents the disarming and mind opening concept that each person has the capacity for genius, and that everyone is in constant contact with other people who also posses that genius ability.

Alan Gregerman begins his journey to reinventing the way that people within organizations with two simple premises. Simple on the surface, they contain what amounts to the unlimited potential for ideas that is part of being human. The two ideas are:

* There is latent genius within each one of us
* We are surrounded by a world filled with other geniuses as well

The author not only recognizes the hidden ability for creativity and innovation within individuals and groups, but that ability can be harnessed to transform any company or organization. Alan Gregerman demonstrates how to tap into this powerful stream of brilliant minds by encouraging leaders to look beyond their own expertise and best practices. The author challenges executives to embrace the unlimited, and often unrecognized genius, awaiting discovery in the world around them.



Alan S. Gregerman (photo left) recognizes that genius can appear at any time, and originate with anyone. The culture that has nurtured the mentality that only those in positions of authority can generate new ideas has done tremendous harm to organizations. As the recent economic downturn has made clear, the idea creation skills of business leadership has been found wanting, and even destructive. The failure to consider the potential for genius within every person has done great harm.

Alan Gregerman offers a positive solution to this creativity crisis with his two deceptively simple premises. The author's recommendations run counter to outmoded, conventional thinking on innovation, and even of human intelligence and capabilities. For Alan Gregerman, part of the failure to understand and embrace internal genius is the rigid compartmentalization found within the modern organization. Indeed, for the author, the stepping outside of the silo provides fresh thinking and taps into the intuitive genius of the new observer.

For me, the power of the book is how Alan S. Gregerman describes the clear and concise premise of universal latent genius. The author presents a strong theoretical framework as to why conventional leadership fails to consider ideas outside of the usual narrow spheres. Alan Gregerman supports his concepts with concrete reasons why leaders don't develop the context for genius, and indeed are stifling fresh thinking in the organization. The author shares practical, ready to apply techniques for freeing the hidden genius in everyone within the organization.

The book contains a series of methods for unleashing the potent genius factor within a company, leading to revitalization and renewal of the entire business. The challenge for leaders is to recognize their employees' vast untapped genius reserve, and to nurture each person to discover the internal genius within them. When this realization is put into practice, the possibilities for innovation and growth of the organization are unlimited.

I highly recommend the groundbreaking and must read book Surrounded by Geniuses by Alan S. Gregerman, to anyone seeking an alternative way of thinking about genius. Instead of perpetuating the myth that genius is a rare event, the author presents the empowering concept that everyone possesses the capacity for genius. He also demonstrates that the people around you every day are also latent geniuses awaiting their opportunity to display their creativity.

Read the empowering book Surrounded by Geniuses by Alan S. Gregerman, and put the power of genius to work for your organization. The transformation from an ordinary company to an exceptional one will put your business far ahead of the competition.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

 

Engaging Emergence by Peggy Holman - Book review




Engaging Emergence

Turning Upheaval into Opportunity


By: Peggy Holman

Published: September 13, 2010
Format: Paperback, 192 pages
ISBN-10: 1605095214
ISBN-13: 978-1605095219
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers












"Change begins with disruption", writes management and training consultant for business, non-profit, and governmental organizations, and co-founder of the Open Space Institute, Peggy Holman in her brilliant and visionary book Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity. The author describes how the ubiquity of change, often resembling barely controlled chaos, contains the ingredients for building a new and higher order system.

Peggy Holman recognizes that the upheaval that accompanies change can be turned into a coherent whole and a vital new systematic renewal. The author calls this process emergent change. Peggy Holman presents a disruptive change model that challenges existing systems and replaces them with fresh and revitalized outcomes. While the author realizes that people fear and avoid change in many instances, she offers hope for transition through a compassionate approach to disruptive innovative change. The usual process for change is one of severe and damaging upheaval and chaotic loss of direction and time. In place of that negative change paradigm, Peggy Holman provides a positive process that guides people on a human level through the entire activity from the initial disruption to the final coherent result. Through a creative and collective effort, people are engaged in the entire change process, and the events are much less stressful and the outcome much more satisfying and sustainable.



Peggy Holman (photo left) turns the entire theory of change management upside down. In place of the usual concepts of controlled change and a managed future, the author invites open disruption that leads to unexpected and more creative results. Peggy Holman stresses the absolute necessity for engaging emergence. Without disruptions, many organizations stagnate and even collapse. The tendency to incremental change and tinkering around the edge, and the illusion of control being maintained, ends in failure to reinvent the organization. All too often, mechanistic change formulas fail to account for people and their emotional and spiritual need during the upheaval process. This lack of personal attention leads away from creative solutions, and tends to end in loss of direction and system collapse. In its place Peggy Holman offers the refreshing concept of emergence which she defines as order arising out of chaos. Because novel in its approach, emergence contains elements of risk, but the resulting coherence is well worth the effort.

For me, the power of the book is how Peggy Holman describes an entirely new technique for causing positive and productive change within organizations. The key to her often challenging approach is the letting go of control and the engagement of the people involved in the process. The disruption is necessary to build a new future, but at the same time people must be considered as integral to that transition. In place of the older controlled, top down change methodology, Peggy Holman shares a holistic concept that accounts for the spiritual and personal needs of the people affected by the disruption. This collaborative style also brings out creative thinking that is ignored in tightly controlled attempts at building a specific future. This letting go of control, and decentralizing disruption leads to exciting and entirely fresh and coherent outcomes. The author also backs her theoretical framework for emergence with practical tools to guide and support disruption and emergence. The book also contains valuable case studies of emergence in action in the real world.

I highly recommend the insightful and groundbreaking book Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity by Peggy Holman, to anyone seeking an effective and humanizing approach to disruptive change within organizations. The entire idea of letting go of control and decentralizing decision making will result in breakthrough ideas and innovations that create positive change, renewal, and organizational coherence.

Read the seminal book Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity by Peggy Holman, and develop a disruptive approach to change management within your organization. Emergence is like no other change management system, and that fresh thinking is the key to handling conflict and the discomfort of change to emerge successfully on the other side of the process. The results from the creative and often random approach will give you clear insights, and innovative and highly effective organizational revitalization.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

 

Wise Mind, Open Mind by Ronald A. Alexander - Book review



Wise Mind, Open Mind

Finding Purpose and Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss, and Change


By: Ronald A. Alexander, Ph.D.

Published: August 15, 2009
Format: Paperback, 211 pages
ISBN-10: 157224643X
ISBN-13: 978-1572246430
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications








"When dramatic shifts occur in our lives, we can become nearly paralyzed with fear, anger, grief, and resentment. We enter a state of shock and forget that with loss comes rebirth", writes Executive Director of the OpenMind Training® Institute, practices mindfulness-based mind-body psychotherapy practitioner, and leadership coach Ronald A. Alexander,Ph.D. in his inspirational and mindfulness developing book Wise Mind, Open Mind: Finding Purpose and Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss, and Change. The author shares his three step mindfulness technique to overcome life's unexpected and unwanted obstacles, to replenish one's inner capacity for creativity, and to enhance the purpose of life with passion and meaning.

Ronald Alexander presents a mindfulness approach to life that forms a fusion between contemporary techniques and wisdom from ancient Buddhist teachings. At the same time, the author shares additional methods ranging from mind-body approaches to modern psychology research to ideas from creative thinking strategies. The blend of the ancient and the modern provides a holistic process for healing life's wounds and pain, and for exploring an enriched life based on mindfulness and personal fulfillment. The author guides the reader in a comprehensive system to:

* Let go of resistance
* Tune into your creative unconscious, experiencing open mind
* Move forward with a practical plan for transformation



Ronald Alexander (photo left) makes the fascinating insight of discovering the connection between creativity and personal transformation. The author believes that everyone holds the keys within themselves for deep and lasting personal change. The path of mindfulness is built on the individual's passions and personal values. The result is a personal transformation that is deep, lasting, and authentic. The release and letting go of pain and personal obstacles, and the need for control form the basic core of the mindfulness transformation. The Buddhist tradition calls this personal reinvention open-minded consciousness. Ronald Alexander shares the Buddhist law of impermanence that offers a world of constant change and transition, where nothing is forever, meaning that change is inevitable. While not all change is welcome or even pleasant, the mindfulness approach provides the framework to guide oneself through those difficult transitional periods successfully. Instead of either demanding change or resisting it, the approach shared in the book gives the individual the inner strength to accept change as part of life and an opportunity for personal and spiritual growth.

For me, the power of the book is how Ronald Alexander shares both the theoretical background for personal transformation, and the practical steps for guidance along the often difficult path to self discovery and personal change. The unique fusing of the traditional Buddhist teachings of the letting go and dissolving of pain, acceptance of flux in all things, and the tuning into the unconscious mind with modern techniques is appealing to a contemporary audience. The author recognizes that no one can or should attempt to control events or destiny, but instead learn to navigate the stream of life through creative transformation. The book contains both ancient wisdom, and solid scientific research to support the mindfulness approach, providing the best of both Eastern thought and Western study. The letting go of resistance, and the embracing of creative transformation is the important lesson to navigating the perils and pain of life, helping the person move beyond them. These events, while painful, are not permanent but present opportunity for personal growth and change through inner search and meditation.

I highly recommend the insightful and change guidance book Wise Mind, Open Mind: Finding Purpose and Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss, and Change by Ronald A. Alexander, and let go of the pain and false need for control that clouds your life. This book offers the navigation tools for moving with the transformation to a richer and more passion filled life of purpose. The mindfulness approach is easy to learn, and can be applied for a lifetime of creative transformation, regardless of the current path of a person's life.

Read the life changing book Wise Mind, Open Mind: Finding Purpose and Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss, and Change by Ronald A. Alexander, and put the power of Buddhist wisdom and modern clinical advice to work in your life. The path of mindfulness and creative transformation frees you from the pain that hinders your life and personal growth, both as an individual and part of the larger community.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

 

Priscilla Nelson: Riding The Tiger - Author interview



Talent management expert and former Satyam Computer Services executive, Priscilla Nelson and co-author with Ed Cohen, of the leadership lesson filled book Riding the Tiger: Leading Through Learning in Turbulent Times, was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions about the book.

Priscilla Nelson describes the crisis that almost destroyed Satyam Computer Services, and the initiatives that not only saved the company from bankruptcy, but transformed the entire organization into a more effective and growing business. She shares the strategies and techniques that turned the company around and began its path to renewal and profitability.

Thanks to Priscilla Nelson for her time, and for her comprehensive and informative responses. They are greatly appreciated.

What was the background to writing this book Riding the Tiger: Leading Through Learning in Turbulent Times?

Priscilla Nelson: We moved to Hyderabad, India in 2005 to work for a global IT company named Satyam Computer Services that operated in over 60 countries. Ed was the Chief Learning Officer and Pris was the global head of People Leadership. Our responsibility was to ensure the development of leaders and their 53,000 associates. The company was growing at a rapid pace and had been recognized with many awards including ASTD (American Society for Training & Development) naming them number one in the world for learning.

Then on January 7, 2010, the founder and chairman Ramalinga Raju to “cooking the books” in what turned out to be a 2.5 billion dollars scandal. The company was immediately and severely impacted, causing the leaders to find a way to help the company survive. After the chairman’s confession, the leaders and associates were left to pick up the pieces. We decided to document the leadership strategies that work for companies going through significant change and turbulence.

What were the major causes of the crisis at Satyam Computer Services?

Priscilla Nelson: The major causes were: The founder and chairman’s desire to project the company as growing rapidly and more successful than it actually was; the need to take a small gap in the books that started in 2001 and perpetuate it because he and his collaborators could not figure out how to close it. The culture of India contributed enormously. Respect for leadership, especially the chairman of a company, who is held in the highest and most trusted position put everyone in a position of not seeing, expecting, believing, or any this level of greed. This acquiescence to the most senior leader went all the way to the highest levels of the Board of Directors. In fact, even after Raju confessed many still did not believe he could possibly have done this.

Was there a crisis of leadership taking place at Satyam?

Priscilla Nelson: Yes, there was most definitely a crisis of leadership, although not with all leaders. The organization has scoured the world to recruit some of the best global leaders in consulting and technology. These senior and tenured leaders worked together shift the culture from patriarchal leadership to a distributed leadership model. There was much talk of leveling the hierarchy and for all intents and purposes, this was accomplished. Unfortunately the full life cycle leadership model, while enabling distributed leadership, also encourages a lack of line of sight that perpetuated and disguised the ongoing illicit activities.

Do other companies, regardless of their industry, recover as well from crisis as Satyam?

Priscilla Nelson: Others have recovered, although most do not. There was a Harvard study completed that looked at 400 companies that suffered major turbulence. Only 13% of companies were in business one year later. We believe Toyota has taken the right measures internally and externally to recover, however in the case of BP, we they are still very much at risk.



Priscilla Nelson (photo left)

The company adopted a "leading through learning" strategy that calmed the crisis. What did this strategy involve?

Priscilla Nelson: Leading through learning is our model for helping leaders to simultaneously lead and learn through every experience, in order to calm the chaos and get the company back on the right path. Leading through learning practices helped so well that we decided to expand our thinking to include practices that all organizations can use when going through any kind of change. Organizations forget that learning can be a key component in a company’s risk mitigation plan. We learned ourselves first hand. Our first step was “Lights On”.

You describe what you refer to as the "Lights On" strategy. What are the critical elements of that approach?

Priscilla Nelson: The “Lights On” strategy—is a vital first step for a business in crisis, which simply is to keep the lights on and do only what’s absolutely necessary to stabilize operations and regain forward momentum. The Lights On plan, which is based on insights from all quarters, has two pillars—learning and communications. The strategy is iterative and cumulative and comes about by following these steps:

• Hold everything.
• Build a start-stop-continue worksheet.
• Deploy learning resources optimally.
• Start an information safari.
• Include critical communications and bring people together.

How can the company's organizational culture be guided into the right direction to turn the company around?

Priscilla Nelson: Organizations should start with where they are. Conducting a critical analysis of business as it is today, with the processes as a focus, will assist with what steps may be required to prepare for times good and bad. Every organization develops both a conscious and an accidental culture. Its conscious culture unfolds from the written and spoken goals, values, behaviors, and practices that are taught, measured, and reinforced in the organization. The accidental culture emerges from the unwritten and unspoken values, behaviors, and practices to which everyone knows they should adhere. Collectively, a conscious culture and an accidental culture permeate every nook of every organization.

Turbulence of any kind can affect an organization’s culture. To prepare for these changes, the necessary steps to protect and adjust the organizational culture must be planned, and this planning needs to be done before, during, and following turbulent times. We recommend four steps, which have been tried and tested many times, protect and to shift an organization’s culture:

1. Identify the existing culture of your organization.
2. Proactively influence your organization’s culture by facilitating what to keep, what to eliminate, and what to add.
3. Revisit your organization’s core purpose and values, and reorganize them if necessary.
4. Communicate and reinforce the core purpose and values.


How can relationships within the company be improved with an eye to organizational renewal?

Priscilla Nelson: Leaders need guidelines and these guidelines need to be reinforced every day. Most of these guidelines involve the need to protect and rebuild relationships. In the book we present the We 12 guidelines of our leading through learning strategy.

1. Understand that we will never get back to normal.
2. Take care of one another.
3. React . . . pause . . . respond.
4. Talk—even when you don’t believe there is much to say.
5. Be visible—now is not the time to play hide-and-seek.
6. Maintain integrity and high moral values.
7. Optimize costs, with retention in mind.
8. Be a brand ambassador.
9. Assess and rebuild trust.
10. Remember, leaders are human, too.
11. Think like a child.
12. Take care of your emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.

How can social networking be utilized effectively as part of the strategy?

Priscilla Nelson: Human contact is essential and Twitter’s 140 characters are not enough to convey the messages that people need to receive. During a corporate crisis, it is necessary to find a scalable, flexible, and reliable solution to rapidly communicate with everyone around the world. In most cases, you should be able to leverage existing technologies to make this happen. Developing a 24/7 social media presence is within the realm of possibility for any organization.

Today, web TV/radio capability is as simple as a Skype or Yahoo connection. A small investment in a high quality video camera and a media server further extend this capability. It’s also import for companies to embrace social media. Their people will use it whether they want them to or not so why not leverage this vital information source. Monitor the social media sites to learn what the employees are saying and to hear their concerns.



Co-author Ed Cohen (photo left)

Many employees were troubled and experienced tremendous stress during the crisis. How were these employees cared for?

Priscilla Nelson: Because we were a global organization our approach had to be two-fold. We had to be cognizant of the fact that many of our developing countries had no “employee assistance program” and therefore those resources were non-existent. To address this need in those areas we identified several practitioners outside the organization that a) donated several hours per week, b) reduced their costs to employees and c) we used our internal professional coaches for “non-therapeutic” interventions or to identify those who may need additional services not provided by the coaches.

Every leader in the organization was automatically assigned a coach to assist with their levels of stress and to ensure they had a partner for how to determine next steps and manage their teams reaction and productivity.

We also provided a help line for people to call to ask for help and to gain information.

How can a company respond properly in real time to a crisis?

Priscilla Nelson: It’s essential to be honest and transparent. Communicate. “Even when there is nothing to say there is much to say”. Schedule updates and don’t ever cancel an update. There are things that are not appropriate to share or those things that could put the employee, leader or organization at risk (for example, actions that are under consideration that if they were made known everyone in the organization could be held responsible…let’s think about how we want to say this), however, including employees in some of the problem solving actually helps everyone find solutions faster.

Identify strengths and put people to work. Ask for their ideas and input, include them in as much as possible. Gaining some level of control over your situation helps. If you are part of the solution, even if it means you are part of those who will be leaving in the end, gives us the ability to take charge of the outcome to some extent. Employees who are going to be terminated need to know so they can make plans for themselves and their families.

Can the experiences of Satyam be applied to other companies to prevent a crisis or to recover from a crisis?

Priscilla Nelson: Absolutely! The lessons of Satyam were actually learned even before the crisis. Many of the leadership practices that were put in place prior to the crisis were used during the crisis. By opening up the possibility for leading through learning an organization magnifies the ability to capitalize on existing talent each and every day and systems are in place to get them through any kind of turbulence.

What is next for Priscilla Nelson and Ed Cohen?

Priscilla Nelson: We launched Nelson Cohen Global Consulting in November 2009. We consult with organizations on change management and leadership strategies. We are teaching and implementing our leading through learning approach in companies all over the world. We believe that we are always learning and capable of discovering new tools and methodology for organizations to put in place.

We also try to model “not knowing” as it can be incredibly refreshing for leaders to not have all the answers and to seek the missing pieces from their stakeholders…team members, customers, investors, etc… We have found that the model we use today is helping new and seasoned leaders be more effective in what they do. We are also writing and blogging to share our knowledge and experiences with the world.

********

My book review of Riding the Tiger: Leading Through Learning in Turbulent Times by Priscilla Nelson and Ed Cohen.

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Riding The Tiger by Priscilla Nelson & Ed Cohen - Book review



Riding the Tiger

Leading Through Learning in Turbulent Times


By: Priscilla Nelson, Ed Cohen

Published: July 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 200 pages
ISBN-10: 1562867342
ISBN-13: 978-1562867348
Publisher: American Society for Training and Development










"We had to grab this tiger by the tail and prevent it from completely devouring everyone and everything in its sight", write talent management experts and former Satyam Computer Services executives, Priscilla Nelson and Ed Cohen, in their leadership lesson filled book Riding the Tiger: Leading Through Learning in Turbulent Times. The author describe the crisis that almost destroyed Satyam Computer Services, and the initiatives that not only saved the company from bankruptcy, but transformed the entire organization into a more effective and growing business.



Priscilla Nelson (photo left) and Ed Cohen share the remarkable turnaround of the near calamitous failure of the company derisively called "India's Enron", as Satyama was brought back from the brink of disaster. The leadership and management techniques that led to the company's recovery from scandal and near demise, form the basis for the strategies outlined by the authors. The concept of "leading through learning" formed the backbone of the transformation from financial pariah to respected growing corporation prevented a chaotic environment within the company. That inner organizational tranquility and sense of resolve that the problems could be overcome, led to the successful rebuilding process. The collaborative efforts of the company leadership and the employees resulted in a resolution of longstanding issues, the financial chicanery that brought the company to the brink, and the continuation of effective programs and initiatives led the organization out of trouble and back to profitability.



Ed Cohen (photo left) and Priscilla Nelson present a proven system for meeting a corporate crisis and achieving a successful result. The authors demonstrate why it is critical to identify the facts and status of the crisis, and show strength and solidarity within the company ranks from top to bottom. These goals must be put into action by the learning group immediately to prevent further damage. The authors describe their Lights On strategy for facing and overcoming a crisis with the learning group in place. The concept rests on two pillars and includes insights from as many areas of the company as possible.

The first part is the learning pillar which includes:

* technology learning
* domain knowledge
* people and business leadership
* completion and closure of existing programs
* pre-paid vendor supplied programs

The communication pillar consists of:

* regular factual updates
* differentiation of fact from fiction
* Building the confidence of the leaders

For me, the power of the book is how Priscilla Nelson and Ed Cohen convey the importance of their proven system for overcoming a corporate catastrophe. The Lights On strategy was formulated to save the Satyam organization, and the process worked very well. The authors present the system as a formula that can be applied to any corporate crisis for a successful resolution. The steps of the Lights On strategy works as a self checking system that ensures that all areas of the crisis receive attention. The steps of the systems include:

* Hold everything
* Build a start-stop-continue worksheet
* Deploy learning resources in an optimum manner
* Start an information safari
* Include critical communication and bring people together
* Develop 30, 60, and 90 day scenario plans

I highly recommend the insightful and visionary book Riding the Tiger: Leading Through Learning in Turbulent Times by Priscilla Nelson and Ed Cohen, to any corporate leaders who are serious about developing a company crisis management strategy. With this book, and the experiences of the authors with the Satyam turnaround as a guide, any organization can cope successfully with any potential disaster. When applied at Satyam Computer Services, the strategies provided in the book were not only effective, but facilitated a complete renewal of the company to growth and vibrancy.

Read the practical and disaster averting book Riding the Tiger: Leading Through Learning in Turbulent Times by Priscilla Nelson and Ed Cohen, and put the power of the Lights On strategy to work for your company. Your organizational culture, communications, and learning will be improved immensely as a result.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

 

The World Economy: Global Trade Policy 2009 Edited by David Greenaway - Book review






The World Economy

Global Trade Policy 2009


Editor: David Greenaway

Published: June 22, 2010
Format: Paperback:, 176 pages
ISBN-10: 1405197048
ISBN-13: 978-1405197045
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell









"Agricultural markets have been heavily protected over a long period of time and much has been written on the costs and benefits of protection" writes Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham in the foreword to the insightful and provocative series of essays compiled in The World Economy: Global Trade Policy 2009. The book is the latest in the landmark series of books examining the salient world economic issues. The editor presents a multi-faceted discussion of how trade liberalization has moved toward global markets, but that agricultural policy has been a cause of intense debate at the Doha Round of international trade talks.

In an incisive special essay, contributor Johan Swinnen of the University of Leuven, presents a comprehensive historical analysis of agricultural protection policy in nineteenth and twentieth century Europe. The growth of protection, based in large part on the desire for food security and the thread of its disruption, underpins much of the European initiatives in agriculture. The essay also points to other dynamics at work in the European context, and points the way to future discussions on agricultural trade in light of the European Union, and more open trade policy in other industries. Importantly, Johan Swinnen recognizes that any trade agreements involving agricultural trade can't be made in isolation. The impact of other industries, national fears and concerns, political aspirations, and the potential for a catastrophic interruption of the continental food supply are only a few of the complex dynamics placing stress on the future of trade liberalization and protection.



David Greenaway (photo left) devotes the majority of this anthology to a series of papers from a special symposium on China and Africa. With the astonishing growth rate of China's economy over the past decades, it was inevitable that the country would have an enormous impact on global trade. With its insatiable appetite for resources, and its need for food security for its vast population, China is now a major player in global agricultural policy. Africa is a continent, wealthy in resources, that became a major trade partner for China. The relationship between China and Africa has been little discussed and studied, and this book forms an important contribution into the various aspects of that trade arrangement. The editor includes contributions from a largely African perspective on the short and long term impact of trade with the Middle Kingdom. Included are essays that cover such areas as African industrialization, agricultural production, the effects both domestically and internationally of an export based economy, and the future implications of intensive Chinese investment and resource exploitation in Africa.

For me, the power of this important essay collection is how David Greenaway presents an overview of the many conflicting interests involved in global trade liberalization and protection. From a historical perspective of agricultural policy evolution in Europe, to a boots on the ground assessment of trade effects on the African continent, the writers point to a world where deeper understanding is critical for policy success. Absent of formal international trade agreements, the various governments and private interests in Africa are developing a robust export trade with China. At the same time, China is ramping up its investment in the economies of individual African nations. From a range of countries including Angola, Senegal, Kenya, and Ethiopia, are stories of the successes and failures of African integration with the vast and growing Chinese economic juggernaut. The writers examine the present and future implications of this seldom reported trade on Africa and on the world's trade policy.

I highly recommend the must read book The World Economy: Global Trade Policy 2009 edited by David Greenaway, to anyone seeking an up to the minute report on the various aspects and complex issues surrounding global trade liberalization. The various authors describe a world from Europe to Africa to China where simple answers are not sufficient to resolving the often conflicting aspirations of the people and nations involved. The book serves as a powerful and crucial starting point for further study and deeper study into world agricultural and commodity trade.

Read the essential book The World Economy: Global Trade Policy 2009 edited by David Greenaway, and consider the complexities and conflicting aspects of formulating global trade policy. The basic concerns of food security for the domestic population must be balanced against the potential for export revenue and food processing. The global competition for resources, made acute by the entry of China into the global marketplace, has intensified the need for agreements. This conflict is seen in all of its aspects in the relationship between China and the resource rich countries of Africa. This book is an excellent starting point for discussions on the role of trade liberalization and its impact on the twin concerns of food security and export revenue.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

 

Sherrie Madia: The Social Media Survival Guide - Blog Business Success Radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Consultant, editor, coach, Director of Communications at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and co-author of the insightful and information packed, social media best practices guide The Social Media Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Grow Your Business Exponentially with Social Media, 2nd Edition, Sherrie A. Madia, Ph.D., describes how using social media is a different skill set from that of traditional public relations, marketing and communications. She shares the five mistakes made most frequently by new users of social media. She also points to the many failed corporate social media initiatives that resulted from failing to create and implement a plan, while not engaging fully as a social media participant. Sherrie presents nine steps for formulating and employing a successful social media plan. As Sherrie says, smart social media use that engages and build relationships can pay real dividends for your company.

Sherrie Madia is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on BlogTalkRadio.

The show airs live on Thursday, October 21, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Consultant, editor, coach, Director of Communications at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and co-author of the insightful and information packed, social media best practices guide The Social Media Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Grow Your Business Exponentially with Social Media, 2nd Edition, Sherrie A. Madia, Ph.D., describes how using social media is a different skill set from that of traditional public relations, marketing and communications. You will learn:

* The five critical mistakes companies make with social media

* Why social media requires a strategy and a plan

* How to start small, train a team, and create a social media policy

* How to develop a successful social media marketing plan



Sherrie A. Madia, Ph.D. (photo left) has devoted her career to marketing and communications strategy and implementation. She serves as consultant, educator, and one-on-one coach to a broad range of clients. Her experience spans across media, from Baltimore Magazine and the Miami Herald, to Business Wire, and Cendant Corporation. She is currently Director of Communications, External Affairs, at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

She serves on the Advisory Board of EyeCatcher Digital. Her dual roles as practitioner and academic span more than 15 years. She has served as Director of Communications and Research at Temple University, and teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Phoenix, reaching thousands of students. She is an expert in online facilitation in higher education and professional development. She serves as Associate Adjunct Professor at Drexel University, where she received the Samuel J. Mercer Jr. Award for Distinguished Instruction and is a Lecturer at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where she developed and teaches a course on Social Media and Communication Strategies.

She holds a Ph.D. in Mass Media and Communication from Temple University, a Master’s degree in Communication from the University of Miami, and a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from The Johns Hopkins University. She is a Fellow of the prestigious 21st Century Trust in London.

My book review of The Social Media Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Grow Your Business Exponentially with Social Media, 2nd Edition by Sherrie A. Madia, Ph.D.and Paul Borgese.

Listen live on Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

BlogTalkRadio.com

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.

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To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with consultant, editor, coach, Director of Communications at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and co-author of the insightful and information packed, social media best practices guide The Social Media Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Grow Your Business Exponentially with Social Media, 2nd Edition, Sherrie A. Madia, Ph.D., as she describes how using social media is a different skill set from that of traditional public relations, marketing and communications. She shares the five mistakes made most frequently by new users of social media. She also points to the many failed corporate social media initiatives that resulted from failing to create and implement a plan, while not engaging fully as a social media participant. Sherrie presents nine steps for formulating and employing a successful social media plan. As Sherrie says, smart social media use that engages and build relationships can pay real dividends for your company on Blog Business Success Radio.

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