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Friday, December 31, 2010

 

Arrival City: The Final Migration and Our Next World by Doug Saunders - Book review



Arrival City

The Final Migration and Our Next World


By: Doug Saunders

Published: September 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
ISBN-10: 0307396894
ISBN-13: 978-0307396891
Publisher: Knopf Canada











"What will be remembered about the twenty-first century, more than anything else except perhaps the effects of a changing climate, is the great, and final, shift of human populations out of rural, agricultural life and into cities", writes international award winning journalist Doug Saunders, in his brilliant and landmark book Arrival City: The Final Migration and Our Next World. The author describes the enormous human migration from rural areas, to find tenuous footholds in the dynamic, and often misunderstood, urban transitional enclave of the arrival city.

Doug Saunders traveled the world and met with the residents of arrival cities in Asia, Africa, South America, Europe, and North America, examining where these makeshift communities worked effectively; and where they failed. The author finds commonalities in functional arrival cities, and points to why these ad hoc cities within cities succeed in their goals. For the residents, the arrival city is one of transition. The recent rural migrants, escaping the grinding poverty of their home villages, seek a better life with more opportunity in the great cities of the world. For the inhabitants of the slums and shantytowns and barrios of the emerging world, these hastily built enclaves represent hope for the future. For the newest residents, the arrival city is a precarious bridge between the home village, and a fully urban life. The new arrival will continue to keep one foot in the village, and send money home to support the remaining family, while setting down tentative roots in the city. Not every new arrival succeeds, but for those who do, their lives and that of their families, are changed forever.



Doug Saunders (photo left) recognizes that this vast human migration story is being replayed on a global basis. With some arrival cities achieving success, and becoming integrated into the main cities, there are valuable lessons to be learned by other cities. The author explodes many of the myths that have grown up around immigrants in general, and about the dynamics of the arrival city in particular. The common threads of hope for a better life, entrepreneurship, and new vibrancy offered by the newest arrivals is very often mistaken for static poverty. As Doug Saunders points out, the very transitional nature of an arrival city, with its newest impoverished inhabitants, gives the appearance of poverty. It is critical to understand that the arrival city is a dynamic, ever evolving place, where people often move on to higher quality suburbs, where families are reunited, and where entire villages migrate through the shared information of chain migration. Doug Saunders describes how high density, mixed land use, and infrastructure support, combined with more secure property ownership, provide a rich and diverse arrival city that works. Low density, heavily zoned project style development is not an effective format for arrival cities, or for existing residents.

For me, the power of the book is how Doug Saunders provides a powerful and compelling case for not only supporting the arrival city, but for embracing it. By reaching out to the arrival city, with infrastructure, support, and opportunities, the arrival city can and will succeed. Not only does the author consider the arrival city a key to advancement for rural migrants, but also a critical growth and renewal force for enhancing the economy and quality of life for the city itself. The new migrants bring an entrepreneurial spirit to the city, starting businesses and creating employment for themselves and other new arrivals.

Doug Saunders proposes some important policy concepts for local, regional, and national governments to consider to embrace the opportunities presented by the new inhabitants. The older panaceas of citizenship only, or restrictions on business start-ups, and on high rise development have failed. In their place, the author recommends a more organic and ground up approach to the strengthening of the arrival city and its residents. The people moving to arrival cities are not seeking a handout, according to the author, but instead a leg up in realizing their dreams of upward social mobility. Doug Saunders goes beyond mainstream analysis as well, and shares some insights and ideas for helping communities and national governments embrace the arrival city and its inhabitants. The result is a stronger local economy, more opportunity for both the new arrivals, and for the existing city.

I highly recommend the perceptive and seminal book Arrival City: The Final Migration and Our Next World by Doug Saunders, to anyone seeking real and effective public policy options for fully integrating the arrival city and its migrant inhabitants into the main city and into the overall economy. The author makes a powerful and convincing case as to the tremendous mutual benefits achieved through embracing immigration and internal population movement. The evidence is overwhelming as to the value, vibrancy, and renewal provided through the addition of new people to the cities of the world. Doug Saunders has written one of the most important books on the evolution of the city in terms of global human migration, and it should be required reading for everyone.

Read the masterwork on the topic of the last great human migration, Arrival City: The Final Migration and Our Next World by Doug Saunders, and it is very likely that whatever your views and opinions are now on immigration, they will be challenged, and probably changed with this book. It is rare that a book has the ability to study a complex and divisive issue like human migration, both within and between countries, in an insightful and comprehensive manner. This book is an essential to any reading list on human migration, the dynamics of cities, and on the benefits and challenges of immigration. It is not to be missed.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

 

Kimberly Wiefling: Scrappy Women In Business - Blog Business Success Radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Consultant and Founder and President of Wiefling Consulting, LLC., and author of the empowering and straight talking book Scrappy Women in Business: Living Proof that Bending the Rules Isn't Breaking the Law, Kimberly Wiefling, describes what it means to be a scrappy woman in business. Kimberley shares the stories of several scrappy women and how they overcame obstacles and achieved success. She points out the important lesson that bending the established rules of business isn't breaking the law, and why rule bending is often essential to profitability. Kimberly points out the lessons to be learned from each of the scrappy women's stories, and how their accomplishments can help others move forward in business and in their industry. Both practical and inspirational, Kimberly's advice is timeless and effective for scrappy women everywhere.

Kimberly Wiefling is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on BlogTalkRadio.

The show airs live on Thursday, December 30, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Consultant and Founder and President of Wiefling Consulting, LLC.., and author of the empowering and straight talking book Scrappy Women in Business: Living Proof that Bending the Rules Isn't Breaking the Law, Kimberly Wiefling, describes what it means to be a scrappy woman in business. You will learn:

* What it means to be a scrappy women in your career or business

* What traits are shared by successful business women

* How to stop feeling like a fraud and achieve your full potential

* How to achieve success through many different paths



Kimberly Wiefling (photo left) Executive Editor of the Scrappy About Series, is a proven expert in enabling people to achieve what seems impossible, but is merely difficult. She is the author of one of the top project management books in the US, Scrappy Project Management – The 12 Predictable and Avoidable Pitfalls Every Project Faces, a book growing in popularity around the world, and recently published in Japanese by Nikkei Business Press. She is the founder of Wiefling Consulting, LLC, a global leadership and business management consulting firm. She currently spends about half of her time working with high-potential leaders in Japanese companies, facilitating leadership, innovation and execution excellence workshops to enable Japanese companies to solve global problems profitably.

A physicist by education, and a successful business leadership and project management consultant for the past 9 years, she began her professional career working for 10 years at HP in product development project management and engineering leadership. She spent 5 years in the wild and wacky world of Silicon Valley startups, including a Xerox Parc spinoff where she was the VP of Program Management. In 2001 she rose from the ashes of the dot-com bust, launched her consulting practice, and never looked back.

In typical Silicon Valley style, Kimberly has helped to start, run and grow a dozen small businesses. Several of the startups that she co-founded are still in business and profitable.

Kimberly’s clients include companies like Cisco Systems, Symantec, Intuit, HP, Agilent Technologies, Mazda, Daiichi Sankyo, Dow Corning Toray, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the University of California, the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Siemens, Hitachi, Alcoa, Xerox PARC, NECsoft, NTT DoCoMo, and many more.

Over 5000 people have viewed the hysterical video documenting the final phase of completing her book. She’s obsessed with collaboration, and you can reach her via email at kimberly@wiefling.com

Kimberly is contributing to making the world a better place in a number of ways. She’s the co-founder of the Open Kilowatt Institute (OKI) and the co-chair of the SDForum Engineering Leadership Special Interest Group (EL SIG). She’s supporting micro-finance for entrepreneurs throughout the world via Kiva, and she supports the economic independence of women in various ways around the world because she believes that this is the most effective way raise the quality of life for all people.

My book review of Scrappy Women in Business: Living Proof that Bending the Rules Isn't Breaking the Law edited by Kimberly Wiefling.

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.

Add to iTunes

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

Let's talk with consultant and Founder and President of Wiefling Consulting, LLC., and author of the empowering and straight talking book Scrappy Women in Business: Living Proof that Bending the Rules Isn't Breaking the Law, Kimberly Wiefling, as she describes what it means to be a scrappy woman in business. Kimberley shares the stories of several scrappy women and how they overcame obstacles and achieved success. She points out the important lesson that bending the established rules of business isn't breaking the law, and why rule bending is often essential to profitability. Kimberly points out the lessons to be learned from each of the scrappy women's stories, and how their accomplishments can help others move forward in business and in their industry. Both practical and inspirational, Kimberly's advice is timeless and effective for scrappy women everywhere on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

 

Scrappy Women In Business edited by Kimberly Wiefling - Book review


Scrappy Women in Business

Living Proof that Bending the Rules Isn't Breaking the Law


By: Kimberly Wiefling

Published: July 21, 2010
Format: Paperback, 210 pages
ISBN-10: 1600051855
ISBN-13: 978-1600051852
Publisher: Happy About






"Life is messy, and careers are no exception", writes global leadership and business management consultant, and founder and President of Wiefling Consulting, LLC., Kimberly Wiefling, in her irreverent and straight talking book Scrappy Women in Business: Living Proof that Bending the Rules Isn't Breaking the Law. The author shares the stories of a dozen successful women, as well as her own personal insights, into the diverse paths to success in careers and business.

Kimberly Wiefling takes a refreshing approach to success for women. She goes against much of the conventional wisdom of how to achieve success, and offers the stories of successful women who achieved their goals and found their dreams in very different ways. Putting her own experience and long list of accomplishments to work, Kimberly Wiefling offers some important insights into the traits shared by the high achieving women whose stories appear in the book. The author points to some misconceptions about successful people, and how appearances can be very deceiving. Indeed, the author points to something she calls Impostor Syndrome that afflicts many women. They are certain that they are somehow frauds, and on the brink of discovery as such, at any moment. With this insight in hand, Kimberly Wiefling demonstrates how this phenomenon is not something to fear, but to ignore for the fraud that it is in reality.



Kimberly Wiefling (photo left) recognizes that many obstacles appear in the road to success for many women. She describes how she faced those challenges herself. Along with her personal story, and those of the women who offer their stories in the book, the author shares how women as a group have still not reached their fullest potential. Kimberly Wiefling expresses her disappointment at how women have not traveled as far along the journey to success as she had forecast. Thanks to the stories presented by the women in book, the author is certain that women will soon take full control of their own destinies. Through a combination of willpower, perseverance, and scrappiness, these women met and overcame all of the roadblocks in their way. For the author, these accounts are indicative of the power and potential of women in their careers and businesses.

For me, the power of the book is how Kimberly Wiefling provides both a theoretical background to her concepts of success along with some practical steps for women to achieve their goals. The book contains some valuable and useful exercises and checklists for women to assess their own goals and pathways to success. The addition of the personal stories of the scrappy women, forms the core of the book, and powerful examples of the book's principles in action. The understanding on the part of the author that there is no one road to success in careers or business provides a critical insight into achievement for women. The author points to the concerns among with being unmasked as a fraud, and demonstrates how to use this idea to assist in the road to accomplishments. With the book peppered liberally with scrappy tips for women, there is important advice and inspiration all through the book.

I highly recommend the delightful and motivational book Scrappy Women in Business: Living Proof that Bending the Rules Isn't Breaking the Law edited by Kimberly Wiefling, to any women seeking confirmation of their personal power and abilities. The stories presented in the book are affirming and inspirational in their diversity and shared traits. Scrappiness and perseverance worked for these women, and they will work for other women as well.

Read the empowering and energizing book Scrappy Women in Business: Living Proof that Bending the Rules Isn't Breaking the Law edited by Kimberly Wiefling, and put the qualities of being a scrappy women to work for you. Your success in business or your career will surpass even your wildest dreams and expectations.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

 

Men & Women Set Goals Differently According to New Study



A new study by top-rated provider of goal-setting training, leadership training, employee surveys and e-learning, Leadership IQ, describes how men and women approach and achieve goals in very different ways. the findings are very thought provoking, and very likely to spark some lively discussion and debate from both men and women. At this time of year, when New Year's Resolutions are in the air, the study demonstrated why the failure rate of those resolutions is so high for women and men.

Some of the key findings include how men and women approach and achieve goals differently, including strong variations in their emotional connection, visualization, urgency and levels of challenge. For example, it is found that men more actively visualize goals, though women tend to care more about their goals, and set more ambitious ones than men, but are more likely to procrastinate.

According to the ground breaking international study based on a survey of 4,690 men and women:


1. Women care about their goals more than men

Because women are more emotionally connected to their goals than men, they’re more likely to stick to their goals when the going gets tough.

2. Men visualize their goals better than women

Like the visualization used by elite athletes, men more clearly picture their goals than women. This gives them greater direction and focus.

3. Women are more likely to procrastinate than men

Women feel less urgency to achieve their goals than men. This results in procrastination, and potentially, goal failure.

4. Women set tougher goals than men

Women are more likely to leave their comfort zones and set challenging (and even scary) goals. This leads to both greater achievement and fulfillment.


The study points to some potential solutions to the gender based differences in goal approach and achievement:

Women:

• Women need to spend more time visualizing and picturing their goals. This could mean pictures, drawings, vision boards, etc., but whatever the form, women need to tap into the focus and direction that men get from more clearly picturing their goals.

• Women need to attach a greater sense of urgency to their goals, avoiding procrastination by setting more urgent deadlines, immediate rewards, limiting choices, etc.

• Women need to accomplish at least one thing each day that pushes them closer to their goals. By asking “What must I have accomplished today in order to keep on track to achieve my goals,” women can achieve higher levels of focus and urgency.

Men:

• Men need to develop more emotional attachment to their goals. Pursuing a goal without a deep emotional commitment can lead to wavering. Whether the commitment is intrinsic, extrinsic or personal, men must answer “why do I really care about achieving this goal?”

• Men need to set more difficult goals. Men need to increase the difficulty of their goals by asking themselves questions like ‘what will I have to learn to achieve this goal?’ ‘How will I grow as a person as a result of this goal?’ ‘What new skills will I have acquired by virtue of pursuing this?’ If men find that their goals aren’t stretching their minds (and helping them leave their comfort zone), they should increase their goals' difficulty by 20%.

• Men need to generate more social accountability for their goals. This doesn’t mean that men have to tweet or Facebook post about their goals, but should identify somebody in their lives who will engage and help them stay on track toward their goals each day. This helps keep men emotionally connected to their goals and ensures they keep them appropriately difficult.


The study is certain to generate some serious discussion, and perhaps even generate some controversy. The hope of course is that both men and women will enhance their goal setting, approach to goals, and success rate in goal achievement as a result.

**********

Survey Process:

During September-October, 2010, Leadership IQ surveyed 4,690 individuals about their goals (2,506 women and 2,184 men responded). Study participants came from a range of countries with the majority coming from the United States and Canada.

Geographic Participation:

United States 88. 52%
Canada 5.68%
Europe 1.54%
Asia 1.39%
Other (including Australia, Africa, South America) 2.87%


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Monday, December 27, 2010

 

Rebel Brown: Defy Gravity - Blog Business Success Radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Thought leader, renowned business strategist, leadership and motivational expert, and author of the brilliant and thought provoking book Defy Gravity: Propel Your Business to High-Velocity Growth, Rebel Brown, delivers her no nonsense approach to challenging the status quo in any business. Rebel shares her technique for getting your business into flight and avoiding the drag and weight that hold your company back. She shows business people how to avoid the gravity that works against moving a company forward and higher, and for preventing the crash and burn results that can set a business back or even destroy it. Learn how to spot opportunities to take flight and to add value that will drive growth. Learn Rebel's proven approach to strategy and market analysis to become a leader in any industry.

Rebel Brown is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on BlogTalkRadio.

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

Thought leader, renowned business strategist, leadership and motivational expert, and author of the brilliant and thought provoking book Defy Gravity: Propel Your Business to High-Velocity Growth, Rebel Brown, delivers her no nonsense approach to challenging the status quo in any business. You will learn:

* Why growth is so critical to business success

* Why it's important to have a forward focus

* Why the status quo is the real competition for a company

* How to create a strategic plan that is flexible and powerful



Rebel Brown (photo left) consistently challenges the status quo to deliver optimum solutions and high velocity growth for her clients. She combines the strategic expertise and tactical savvy of a global Corporate Strategy, Launch and Turnaround Expert, along with the leadership and motivational skills needed to get the job done. As an international consultant, Rebel has worked with over 100 clients – from larger companies to smaller, more entrepreneurial concerns - in start up, growth and turnaround situations in both the B2B and B2C markets.

* Ramp-Up and Roar - Rebel has helped dozens of start-up and pre-IPO international companies gain a foothold in the right markets – where they have the strongest opportunities for significant revenue and leadership. During this time, she has developed proprietary, customizable launch systems to gain immediate market share in a variety of industries.

* Rescue and Restore - Because of her ability to rapidly identify and improve areas of high leverage potential, Rebel is the consultant of choice for many venture capital and investment firms seeking turnaround solutions for their new acquisitions.

* Redefine and Rejuvenate - Rebel has spent half of her career specializing in 'start-around' companies with great value - which have needed to reinvent themselves to get past stagnation and grow in a rapidly changing environment.

Armed with diverse experiences and skill sets, Rebel Brown is uniquely qualified to quickly and accurately assess needs in a broad range of business types and situations to provide dynamic, effective solutions for high velocity growth.

When she's not busy powering up corporate growth, Rebel enjoys her pursuits as an avid horsewoman, expert skier and outdoorswoman who tends an orchid greenhouse, hikes coastal mountains and kayaks the Pacific Ocean.

My book review of Defy Gravity: Propel Your Business to High-Velocity Growth by Rebel Brown.

Listen live on Tuesday 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.

Add to iTunes

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

Let's talk with thought leader, renowned business strategist, leadership and motivational expert, and author of the brilliant and thought provoking book Defy Gravity: Propel Your Business to High-Velocity Growth, Rebel Brown, as she delivers her no nonsense approach to challenging the status quo in any business. Rebel shares her technique for getting your business into flight and avoiding the drag and weight that hold your company back. She shows business people how to avoid the gravity that works against moving a company forward and higher, and for preventing the crash and burn results that can set a business back or even destroy it. Learn how to spot opportunities to take flight and to add value that will drive growth. Learn Rebel's proven approach to strategy and market analysis to become a leader in any industry on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

 

Defy Gravity by Rebel Brown - Book review



Defy Gravity

Propel Your Business to High-Velocity Growth


By: Rebel Brown

Published: September 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 221 pages
ISBN-10: 1608320545
ISBN-13: 978-1608320547
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press






"Either we're growing our business or we're losing market share. There is no middle ground in today's market", writes corporate strategy, leadership, and motivational expert Rebel Brown in her brilliant and thought provoking book Defy Gravity: Propel Your Business to High-Velocity Growth. the author describes the fundamental change in thought that must take place to move a business forward from a dangerous and company stagnating status quo.

Rebel Brown recognizes the critical importance of growth to a company's continuing success. Unfortunately, for many companies, forecasting growth is all too often simply extrapolating past performance numbers into the future. As Rebel Brown points out so well, past performance is not a reliable predictor of future success. Indeed, the numbers from the past where different market and economic conditions existed, may lead a company to miss profitable business opportunities. As a result, Rebel Brown reminds business leaders to look forward instead of into the past. With a forward focus, companies are better equipped to make necessary course changes, should there be unexpected events taking place in the marketplace, or in the economy. Rebel Brown guides business people to accept that change to a plan is often essential, despite the reluctance to make alterations to the existing plan.



Rebel Brown (photo left) applies the analogy of flight to build a deeper and richer understanding of her guiding business growth principles. To achieve full powered flight, Rebel Brown reminds leaders that today's rapidly changing market no longer resembles or behaves like the slow moving, established markets of the past. As a result, companies must be more flexible, nimble, and not weighted down with excess baggage. Because today's markets are so dynamic, opportunities exist everywhere in the marketplace. These profitable markets are often missed or overlooked due to tunnel vision, group think, or a focus on the past rather than the future. By thinking and acting in a dynamic manner, business leaders are able to not only see opportunities in advance, but to capture them as well. By letting go of the status quo, as Rebel advises, limits to a company's growth potential can be removed successfully. A forward focus that includes the company's core values will provide a road map to uncovering opportunities for growth. With a forward focus, a business is better equipped to make dramatic course corrections to better position itself for adding value and growth.

For me, the power of the book is how Rebel Brown combines the theory of high powered growth with practical steps to achieve unprecedented success. The author presents a very effective analogy of flight to illustrate her critical points. Because her concepts are revolutionary, the use of the airplane metaphor provides richer understanding of her principles. Along with the illuminating airborne metaphors, Rebel Brown enhances here concepts with real world case studies of the gravity defying principles in action. Rebel Brown is a leading corporate strategist and that background is evident in her thought leadership presented in this fine book.

Rebel Brown emphasizes seeking and capitalizing on value opportunities through maintaining a forward focus, a dynamic ability to change course when necessary, and constant eye to value. With these concepts in mind, Rebel Brown demonstrates how to create business strategy that takes each element into consideration, in a holistic approach to strategy formulation. Overall, this powerful book will transform even the most moribund, status quo oriented company into a jet powered company, capable of seizing opportunities as they arise, and continuing their important growth plans.

I highly recommend the essential and empowering book Defy Gravity: Propel Your Business to High-Velocity Growth by Rebel Brown, to any business leaders who seek to maximize their growth potential through the application of these game changing concepts to their companies. Every chapter contains critical, value multiplying information that is both practical and results oriented. The principles in this book are a valuable addition to the field of corporate strategy.

Read the obstacle clearing and mind changing book Defy Gravity: Propel Your Business to High-Velocity Growth by Rebel Brown, and put the gravity defying principles to work for your company. With the status quo removed as a competitor, the entire focus can be on achieving success through growth. The competition in the marketplace will be left looking up from the runway.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

 

PBS NewsHour: Making Sen$e of the Foreclosure Crisis



Financial news dominated the headlines of 2010. All next week, (December 27 – 31, 2010) PBS NewsHour presents a 5-part series of encore reports by Paul Solman on the housing crisis, its impact on individuals throughout the nation, and the response of both the government and the private sector. It’s all part of his ongoing coverage, “Making Sen$e” of financial news.

Winners and Losers of Florida’s Foreclosure Crisis:

Paul Solman explores how the economic crisis has affected attitudes toward government with a report from Florida on people who lost homes to foreclosures and the buyers who are snapping up the properties.

Watch the video of Winners and Losers of Florida's Foreclosure Crisis

Homeowners Express Frustration with Government Loan Modifications:

Many struggling homeowners rely on loan modifications from government programs to keep afloat on their mortgages. Paul Solman speaks with homeowners who say they are running into problems with these services.

Faulty Paperwork Prompts Deepening Foreclosure Problem:

As foreclosures mount, Paul Solman reports on attorneys general who have launched an investigation into claims of faulty lender paperwork.

Boston Firm Offers Homeowners a Second Chance After Foreclosure:

For those who have lost a home they could have afforded at market rate, Boston Community Capital offers an avenue to regain ownership. BCC imposes strict regulations, but none of the 90 properties they have financed have defaulted so far. Paul Solman reports.

Winners and Losers in Home Mortgage Modification:

Paul Solman follows up with questions and viewer reaction surrounding mortgage modifications as part of his reporting on Making Sense or Financial News.



Paul Solman (photo left)

Coverage Continues Online

Dec 27 – Dec 31:

* Alyssa Katz: How Government Is Failing the Homeowner

New thoughts from author and journalist Alyssa Katz, who has covered the financial and housing crises

* The American Dream Deferred: What Befell our Strategic Defaulters?

Strategic Defaulters Update: Jason Welsh and Josh Barlett from April 2010 piece

* The Loan Mod Squad: A Request to Business Desk Readers

Business Desk viewer Q&A

* Foreclosure Fight? Bankruptcy Is Best, Says the Dean

Business Desk viewer Q&A

Jan. 3 – Jan. 5

* Monday, Jan 3: Should You Swim Away From an Underwater Mortgage?

A KQED ‘You Decide’ widget asks the question: Should you walk away from an underwater mortgage?

* Tuesday, Jan. 4: A Mortgage-Backed Security Map: The Fantastic Fate of One Man's Loan

One person mapped the history of his mortgage, including who owns it. The process took him more than a year.

* Wednesday, Jan. 5: Strategic Default: Right or Wrong?

Paul Solman talks with Brent White, Luigi Zingales and Bill Valenti in three separate web chats.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

 

Richard H. Axelrod: Terms of Engagement - Author interview



Leading authority on change management, and founder and principal of the Axelrod Group, Inc., Richard H. Axelrod, was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions about the second edition of his seminal classic book Terms of Engagement, Second Edition: New Ways of Leading and Changing Organizations.

Richard H. Axelrod describes the problems associated with traditional change management techniques, and offers a fresh alternative approach that is inclusive, engaging, and effective.

Thanks to Richard H. Axelrod for his time, and for his thoughtful and informative responses to the questions. They are greatly appreciated.

What was the background to writing this book Terms of Engagement?

Richard H. Axelrod: I interviewed dozens of leaders, OD and HR Professionals, in for profit and not for profit organizations along with experts in the field of organizational change. I combined that information with more than 30 years of teaching and consulting experience.

What do you mean by employee engagement within companies?

Richard H. Axelrod: Engaged people put their wholehearted self behind the task at hand. Engaged organizations are those where the majority of people put their energy and commitment into the work.

Why is it so critical today for companies to engage their employees?

Richard H. Axelrod: Engaged employees are more productive, provide better customer service, develop customer loyalty, have fewer accidents, the list goes on and on. In today’s world your employees are the key differentiator between you and your competition.

How does engagement differ from other concepts of change management?

Richard H. Axelrod: You can have change management that ignores engagement. This is what I call the Old Change Management. You can have change management where engagement is the cornerstone. I call this the New Change Management. The New Change Management involves significant numbers of people in the change process early and often. In these processes people know their voice counts, they are connected to the purpose, and they work together to get things done.



Dick Axelrod (photo left)

You describe in the book how breakthrough research into neuroscience supports the concept of engagement?

Richard H. Axelrod: Author David Rock, Your Brain at Work, identifies two basic human responses, we move away from threats and toward rewards. When threatened the collaborative, innovative part of the brain shuts down, when we are in the reward state the collaborative innovative part of the brain lights up. Rock considers engagement as a reward state. This reward state occurs as you are included in the decision making process, when have a sense of where things are headed, where you have the autonomy to make decisions, where you are connected to others, and when you perceive what is happening as fair. Interestingly these are all factors in a high engagement change process.

If the research and business evidence demonstrates the productive and quality aspects of engagement, why are some companies so reluctant to embrace engagement?

Richard H. Axelrod: There are many myths that surround engagement. Some are; it takes too long, only the experts have the knowledge to create solutions, leaders will lose control, productivity will go down instead of up, and self-interest will take over. These are myths and are not true, but the extent to which leaders believes these myths they are reluctant to embrace engagement. For others it’s just a value system. They do not believe that engagement works, is helpful, or the way they want to lead, despite the evidence. .

How can organizational leaders begin the transformation of the company to one based on engagement?

Richard H. Axelrod: There are lots of places to start. You can start with what we call every day engagement conversations and find out what is important to people in your organization and then help to make that happen. You can focus on your meetings and stop having dull, boring, time wasting meetings and begin to have meetings that are so engaging that no one looks at their Blackberry. You can find an important business issue that if people were engaged in its success would make a difference. You can design jobs based on autonomy, feedback and challenge. Any one of these strategies will work; you have to figure out which one makes sense for your company.

You describe four key activities for managers to consider with engagement. What are those four key elements and why are they so important?

Richard H. Axelrod: There are four principles to consider when it comes to engagement. Widen the Circle of Involvement, Connect People to Each Other, Create Communities for Action, and Promote Fairness. These principles are important because they create a way of working that builds a foundation for engagement. When you Widen the Circle, you not only get support you get better solutions as diverse opinions are added to the conversation. When you connect people to each other you build relationships in the organization that help the work go smoothly. When people connect to each other and to the task at hand, they put energy behind what needs to be done. When you build Communities For Action, you have a group of people who have the will to make something happen, and promoting fairness provides a sense of safety and wellbeing.

What happens should engagement fail and what could cause engagement initiatives to derail?

Richard H. Axelrod: When engagement fails you create a lot of organizational damage. People’s hopes are dashed and cynicism prevails. Engagement fails, when leadership administers engagement surveys and fails to involve employees in addressing the issues identified in the survey, It fails when company statements talk about the importance of people, and you are devalued on a daily basis.

How can an organization be designed from day one to include engagement as a core value?

Richard H. Axelrod: You can begin by designing work with engagement in mind, creating jobs that have meaning, autonomy, feedback, and challenge built it. You can create a compelling purpose for your organization, one that everyone wants to support. Companies that have a purpose of giving back to the communities in which they work, or doing good in the world, will do better than companies whose purpose is just to produce product. You can make sure that people have a voice in issues that impact them. You can choose leaders who are honest, who believe in transparency, and who are willing to trust their employees.

What is the first step a leader should take in a company toward engagement throughout the organization?

Richard H. Axelrod: There are several places you can start. It is important to find out what works for you and your organization. The first thing to remember is the engagement is a choice. You choose to engage with others and they choose to engage with you. Engagement is not a plug and play activity. You can start by eliminating time wasting, energy draining meetings and begin to think of meetings of engagement opportunities. When you have an important change initiative, involve people early and often, and make sure their voice counts. You can conduct dialogues to find out what people care about in your organization and why. Then, put those goals on a par with your regular business goals. You can talk about what is important to you and why you are willing to put your own time and energy behind what needs to be done.

What is next for Dick Axelrod?

Richard H. Axelrod: I feel another book coming on.

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

My book review of Terms of Engagement, Second Edition: New Ways of Leading and Changing Organizations by Richard H. Axelrod.

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Terms of Engagement, Second Edition by Richard H. Axelrod - Book review



Terms of Engagement, Second Edition

New Ways of Leading and Changing Organizations


By: Richard H. Axelrod

Published: October 11, 2010
Format: Paperback, 228 pages
ISBN-10: 1605094471
ISBN-13: 978-1605094472
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers






"Change management needed changing", writes leading authority on change management and founder and principal of the Axelrod Group, Inc., Richard H. Axelrod, in the second edition of his seminal classic book Terms of Engagement, Second Edition: New Ways of Leading and Changing Organizations. The author describes the problems associated with traditional change management techniques, and offers a fresh alternative approach that is inclusive, engaging, and effective.

Richard Axelrod recognizes that any change management process that fails to include the real needs and desires of the people involved, is destined for failure. The author cites the startling statistic that over 70 percent of change management initiatives fail. With that very troubling number in mind, Richard Axelrod makes it very clear that the current models of change management are both flawed and ineffective. While it would appear that the need for engaging employees in the change is obvious, the techniques for accommodating people in the process have been difficult to ascertain and put into practice. Dick Axelrod provides the tools for effective and engaging change management, with his revolutionary but common sense ideas. In effect, the author is creating an entirely new form of change management that is a complete departure from the failed models of the past; and are very often still in use in many organizations.



Dick Axelrod (photo left) understands that definitions of what constitutes change management are very often poorly understood, or even counter-productive. With so much uncertainty in organizations about what change management is, and how to initiate it effectively, it is no surprise that most efforts fail to achieve even their most modest objectives. To provide a solid framework for creating engaging and effective change management, Richard Axelrod offers the following principles:

* Widen the circle of involvement
* Connect people to each other
* Create communities for action
* promote fairness

Dick Axelrod also shares the following practices for the new change management:

* Honesty
* Transparency
* Trust

For me, the power of the book is how Richard Axelrod describes the problems that confound current change management efforts, and then provides a viable and effective alternative set of principles and practices. The author effectively combines the theory of the new change management with the practical tools that are critical for creating an atmosphere conducive to positive change. The key to change management achieving its stated goals is to include and engage everyone in the process from the very beginning. With everyone in the organization understanding why change is necessary, it is then possible to move along to the next stage of the process. The author shares his proven strategies and techniques for moving the process forward, while ensuring that the real human needs of the employees are considered and taken into account.

Dick Axelrod also includes valuable and illustrative case studies of effective change management, where the book's principles and practices are used to achieve the desired results. Because change management is such a sweeping and holistic function, the need to have everyone included in the process is essential. When all stakeholders understand the larger picture, and see both the challenges and opportunities involved, the change process goes much more smoothly. Through wider participation, more creative ideas are generated, and the level of accountability increases. Dick Axelrod recognizes the core value of positive and fair change, and demonstrates that work and organizations can be developed with change and engagement as central components.

I highly recommend the revolutionary and transformational book Terms of Engagement, Second Edition: New Ways of Leading and Changing Organizations by Richard H. Axelrod, to anyone seeking a better and more effective concept of change management. This book not only points the way to more successful change management, but also provides insights into how to create a more fair process and outcome for everyone involved. The author doesn't simply talk about engagement, but shares a blueprint for turning the idea into a reality and core value in any organization.

Read the essential and important book Terms of Engagement, Second Edition: New Ways of Leading and Changing Organizations by Richard H, Axelrod, and put the concepts of the new change management into effect in your own organization. Instead of change being a source of employee resentment and ultimate organizational failure, this book guides leaders toward a better and more engaged process and future for everyone.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

 

Liz Strauss: SOBCon And The Future Of Online Business - Blog Business Success

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Thought leader, widely acclaimed blogger at Successful Blog and social media expert, Liz Strauss describes the importance and growth of SOBCon from its beginnings to a leading social media discussion event. Liz shares how SOBCon is built each year and how attendees benefit from learning from other experienced social media users and practitioners. Liz also looks to the future of SOBCon as an idea generator for social media users, as well as a forum for sharing ideas. She also examines the future of online business, of engaging with customers through building relationships and trust.

Liz Strauss is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on BlogTalkRadio.

The show airs live on Thursday, December 23, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Special SOBCon 2011 Offer:

Use the code Wayne200 for $200 discount on the full registration price.

The offer is good until the ball drops in Times Square in New York City on January 1, 2011.

The "Register Now" button to the eventbrite page is in the sidebar.


Thought leader, widely acclaimed blogger and social media expert, Liz Strauss describes the importance and growth of SOBCon from its beginnings to a leading social media discussion event. You will learn:

* Why SOBCon remains a successful conference for business people

* How SOBCon has changed and evolved to meet the needs of the business community

* How social media continues to become a staple of relationship building

* How the future of business is evolving into new and exciting business models



Liz Strauss (photo left) is a social web strategist and community builder. Coming from a background of publishing, business, and instructional design, Liz understands how people perceive a blog, a product, and an experience — how the head and heart engage to make a fiercely loyal customer. She can articulate what makes things irresistible — what keeps people coming back — from literacy, editorial, design, and marketing sensitivities.

Liz works with businesses, universities, and individuals to help them understand how text, words, and images work in the culture of the social web. She has over 20 years in print, software, and online publishing, and has strategized with publishers in Europe, Australia, the UK, and Ireland. She was recently a featured speaker at the Cass Business School of City University in London and taught a Master’s Level class at the CityU School of Pubishing.

Liz is a founder of the highly successful business bloggers conference SOBCon — which has gained the partnership of companies such as Intuit, IZEA, ReveNews, Walmart, Colgate, Allstate, and Klondike Frozen Treats, as well as the attention of BusinessWeek, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Innovation Initiative of the Kellogg School of Business.

She has been named to the Top 100 Social Media & Internet Marketing Bloggers Top 100 Most Influential Marketers of 2008, the 50 of the Most Powerful and Influential Women of Social Media, NxE’s Fifty Most Influential ‘Female’ Bloggers and her blog is listed on Alltop Social Media and Alltop Twitterati.

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.

Add to iTunes

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

Let's talk with thought leader, widely acclaimed blogger at Successful Blog and social media expert, Liz Strauss as she describes the importance and growth of SOBCon from its beginnings to a leading social media discussion event. Liz shares how SOBCon is built each year and how attendees benefit from learning from other experienced social media users and practitioners. Liz also looks to the future of SOBCon as an idea generator for social media users, as well as a forum for sharing ideas. She also examines the future of online business, of engaging with customers through building relationships and trust on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

 

Dan Hill: About Face - Secrets Of Emotionally Effective Advertising - Blog Business Success radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Authority on the role of emotions on consumer and employee behavior, and Founder and President of Sensory Logic, and author of the insightful and eye opening book About Face: The Secrets of Emotionally Effective Advertising, Dan Hill, describes how buying decisions are made on emotion rather than logic. Dan Hill shares the latest research into eye tracking and facial coding can help advertisers find success by being "on emotion" rather than being "on messsage". Dan moves beyond the three P's of product, place and promotion, and moves toward the new P's of passion, purpose and personality. By engaging people emotionally, the customer's experience will be enhanced on a deeper level. Discover why people are primarily acting on emotion and why this understanding is critical to your advertising success.

Dan Hill my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on BlogTalkRadio.

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

Authority on the role of emotions on consumer and employee behavior, and Founder and President of Sensory Logic, and author of the insightful and eye opening book About Face: The Secrets of Emotionally Effective Advertising, Dan Hill, describes how buying decisions are made on emotion rather than logic. You will learn:

* Why people make buying decisions based on emotional response rather than logic

* Why advertisers and marketers have been slow to embrace emotion based messages

* How to stay on emotion rather than on message in advertising communications

* How to transform your company and brand to emotion based advertising



Dan Hill (photo left) is the President of Sensory Logic, Inc., founded in 1998 as a scientific consumer insights firm that specializes in gauging both verbal and nonverbal, subconscious reactions to advertising, store environments, and product design, packaging and presentation. He has also provides executive coaching for sales force training relating to interpersonal communication skills.

Prior to launching Sensory Logic, Dan held positions in business and state government. In business, Dan was the director of Executive Communications for the Newark, New Jersey based utility company PSE&G. There he co-chaired a branding task force, organized the annual employee meetings, and was responsible for creating one of the top 11 annual reports in Financial World’s 55th Annual Report Competition.

While serving as a regulator at the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Dan was honored by the state senate for negotiating one of America’s first car leasing laws and spearheaded the creation of a 29-state task force on car repair reform for the National Association of Attorneys General. In academia, Dan earned a Ph.D. in English from Rutgers University and a Masters in Creative Writing from Brown University after undergraduate studies at Oxford University and St. Olaf College.

My book review of About Face: The Secrets of Emotionally Effective Advertising by Dan Hill.

My book review of Emotionomics: Leveraging Emotions for Business Success (Revised Edition) by Dan Hill.

Listen live on Tuesday 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.

Add to iTunes

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

Let's talk with leading authority on the role of emotions on consumer and employee behavior, and Founder and President of Sensory Logic, and author of the insightful and eye opening book About Face: The Secrets of Emotionally Effective Advertising, Dan Hill, describes how buying decisions are made on emotion rather than logic. Dan Hill shares the latest research into eye tracking and facial coding can help advertisers find success by being "on emotion" rather than being "on messsage". Dan moves beyond the three P's of product, place and promotion, and moves toward the new P's of passion, purpose and personality. By engaging people emotionally, the customer's experience will be enhanced on a deeper level. Discover why people are primarily acting on emotion and why this understanding is critical to your advertising success on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

 

About Face by Dan Hill - Book review



About Face

The Secrets of Emotionally Effective Advertising


By: Dan Hill

Published: October 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 212 pages
ISBN-10: 0749457570
ISBN-13: 978-0749457570
Publisher: Kogan Page












"With ever-gathering force during the past two decades, breakthroughs in brain science have confirmed what we all instinctively know in our gut but don't admit to in business: people are primarily emotional decision makers", writes leading authority on the role of emotions on consumer and employee behavior, Dan Hill, in his insightful and eye opening book About Face: The Secrets of Emotionally Effective Advertising. The author describes the overwhelming case for utilizing emotional triggers in every aspect of marketing and advertising campaigns, and shares the concepts necessary to utilize emotional responses effectively.

Dan Hill explodes the myth of the rational decision maker through the use of cutting edge science and research. Despite evidence to the contrary, however, the much of the advertising and marketing industries have continued to insist that customers don't make their buying decisions based on emotional responses. Dan Hill demonstrates that emotions rule people's buying decisions every day. The rational reasons are only applied after the fact to justify that choice. Leading edge advertising agencies are already discovering the power of the emotional response, however. Through the research conducted by Dan Hill, advertisers can see readily which components of their advertising message is working. Perhaps more importantly, they can gauge precisely why the message, or parts of the message work on a deeper emotional, unconscious level.



Dan Hill (photo left) Understands that when a person makes an emotional response to a message, that person is also motivated to take action. With this fundamental concept in mind, the author provides a formula that assists marketers and advertisers in crafting the ideal communication format. The effective, emotionally charged message can be formulated as follows:

* Keep it simple
* Make it relevant
* Be memorable
* Focus on faces
* Always sell hope
* Don’t lead with price

For me, the power of the book is how Dan Hill shows clearly the critical importance of understanding the role emotions play in the buying process. For advertisers who relied on traditional communications channels and staying on message, the book serves as a true wake up call. Instead of staying on message, as previously practiced, Dan Hill urges advertisers to remain on emotion instead. This fundamental change in perspective changes the entire advertising and marketing landscape, from a rational model, to one based on the overwhelming force of emotions on human thought and decision making. The book is especially useful for creating an emotionally charged brand image, that will not only be memorable, but effective in a deeper and more personal manner.

Marketing to women has long been understood to be emotionally charged, and Dan Hill points to the effectiveness of that approach. He also recommends extending and enhancing the emotional marketing and advertising message to everyone, including both men and women. The good news, according to Dan Hill, is that creating an emotionally charged message should come naturally to advertisers. People can feel the emotional power of the advertisement naturally, and and on an intimate and very personal level. By trusting in the emotional impact of the message, marketers can achieve a more intimate relationship with their customers and clients. For the twenty-first century, Dan Hill provides the road map to a more successful and personally connected advertising industry.

I highly recommend the important and paradigm altering book About Face: The Secrets of Emotionally Effective Advertising by Dan Hill, to anyone serious about understanding the crucial role made by the emotions in the buying process. This book provides the scientific background to support the premise, and the practical steps necessary to put the theory into practice. Dan Hill will change forever the way that you think about and approach marketing and advertising messages and communications channels.

Read the valuable and essential book About Face: The Secrets of Emotionally Effective Advertising by Dan Hill, and enter the twenty-first century realm of emotion based advertising. You will move far ahead of the competition, and they will never even understand what happened to them.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

 

Invisible Capital by Chris Rabb - Book review



Invisible Capital

How Unseen Forces Shape Entrepreneurial Opportunity


By: Chris Rabb

Published: November 2, 2010
Format: Paperback, 192 pages
ISBN-10: 1605093076
ISBN-13: 978-1605093079
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers












"Very few entrepreneurs will create businesses that are profitable, let alone businesses that will be able to hire employees", writes consultant, and speaker on the intersection of entrepreneurship, media, civic engagement, and social identity, Chris Rabb, in his challenging and eye opening book Invisible Capital: How Unseen Forces Shape Entrepreneurial Opportunity. the author describes how dangerous myths stand in the way of the success of many entrepreneurs, who then fail to draw on their invisible capital and develop a plan that builds on strengths and lessens the impact of weaknesses.

Chris Rabb points to some very sobering statistics that give pause to the mythology and misinformation that surround entrepreneurship. The author writes that only one in four businesses will generate enough revenue to add paid employees, with the owner of the independent business being the sole employee. In the words of the author, the entrepreneur is the entire business. Chris Rabb considers the high failure rate among independent business owners, not due to lack of entrepreneurs, but rather the need for better informed and more skilled entrepreneurs. Very often, according to the author, would be business people fall the idea that a good idea, a good attitude, and hard work are the keys to success. Chris Rabb dispels that argument and demonstrates that those characteristics alone are not enough. To fill the knowledge and information gap that stifles the success the majority of entrepreneurs, Chris Rabb recommends tapping into the entrepreneur's store of invisible capital.



Chris Rabb (photo left) understands that entrepreneurs possesses more invisible capital than they realize, in the form of social networks, and through weak and strong ties to other people and groups. The author considers the entire community to be a powerful source and base of invisible capital, but the entrepreneur must get past the myths of the lone business person and challenge the very concept of what success really means in their own business and personal context. Chris Rabb points out that every entrepreneur has access to their own, often hidden and unrecognized invisible capital, and that the invisible treasure trove is unique for every business owner. Invisible capital relies on networks, but is even more complex and diverse than social and business contacts. Invisible capital also includes the person's skills, existing knowledge, available resources, and experiences. When added to the networks, invisible capital becomes a very powerful source of business success.

For me, the power of the book is how Chris Rabb looks beyond the standard explanations of how business people succeed, and considers the deeper issue of why entrepreneurs create profitable and growing companies. For Chris Rabb, that success results from leveraging one's own storehouse of invisible capital. The author describes invisible capital as being little known, and even less understood, because of what he calls the "entrepreneurial-industrial complex". Chris Rabb charges this mysterious entity as proffering deliberate misinformation and mythology to the general public, where it is absorbed and internalized by potential entrepreneurs.

At the same time, writes the author, those same cynical manipulators of public ideas, make total use of their own invisible capital to enhance their own business success. Chris Rabb presents the important remedy and solution to this myth perpetuation through encouraging communities to help people build and strengthen their personal capital. The resulting skilled, and invisible capital guided entrepreneurs in turn build the economy of the community in a sustainable and beneficial manner. By unleashing the latent potential of invisible capital, the business person and the community enhance and build one another's prosperity, in a mutually satisfactory and community centered way.

I highly recommend the insightful and important book Invisible Capital: How Unseen Forces Shape Entrepreneurial Opportunity by Chris Rabb, to anyone seeking a fresh and community centered approach to entrepreneurship that is both sustainable and works for the betterment of everyone. The author draws back the curtain that shrouds the critical concept of invisible capital, and shines a bright light on this relatively unknown and often misunderstood component of business success. The idea that the community itself can spawn and nurture successful businesses is a powerful one for this and any economy.

Read the essential and thoughtful book Invisible Capital: How Unseen Forces Shape Entrepreneurial Opportunity by Chris Rabb, and change your view of why some entrepreneurs succeed why so many others fail. Discover how invisible capital, combined with a rethinking of what success really means for the business person and the community, levels the playing field for entrepreneurs. This book can transform a possibly failed business venture into a sustainable one that forms an integral part of the overall community.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

 

Online University: 15 Philosophy Books for Business Students



OnlineUniversity.com Blog posted a list of their recommended 15 Philosophy Books Every Business Student Should Read. As expected, the list contains standard philosophy classics from several different historical eras, ranging from the ancient world to the twentieth century.

While a person might disagree with the order, and the inclusions and omissions, the list is an excellent starting point for business students. Anyone working their way through this remarkable list will achieve a better grasp, not only of philosophy, but of business as well. It is my firm conviction that a solid grounding in the Humanities, including literature, philosophy, history and languages, serves a business person very well. Indeed, the failure to read, learn, and absorb the wisdom found in the great works leaves a real gap in anyone's education.

Reading and understanding the timeless wisdom found in the Humanities is even more critical for business students, as the moral and ethical dilemmas of our current era, have arisen in the past. The great writers have grappled with these issues for centuries. They offer guidance, that a business student who aspires to a leadership role, would be wise to consider and reflect upon. A business person will be a more effective leader and decision maker as a result.

As the blog post states:

There’s a lot of wisdom to be gained from philosophers — hailing from both this century and those of ancient times. Not only have they helped educate some of the best and brightest at universities and in classrooms around the world, they also serve as education and inspiration for those in the business world. These philosophical tomes touch on ideas like morality and ethics, human nature and leadership– all of which can be directly applied to aspects of business as diverse as management and marketing. So if you’re a business student looking for a little inspiration in your studies or new insights in seeing the world, don’t miss out on these amazing reads.


To get you started, the fascinating, and complacency shattering classic, A Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Walter Benjamin (shown top left) is listed as Number 4 on the list:

What meaning does art have in a world where nearly everything is produced en masse? It’s an interesting point for any business to contemplate. Do you want your products to be unique or do you want them all to be just the same? There are arguments to be made for each, and Benjamin starts the discussion on what art means in the modern age within this text.


As a matter of interest, I have read eight of the fifteen books. I still have some work to do as well. It's a good thing that I believe in and fully support lifelong learning.

Happy reading!

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