Category Business

The Alliance

The Alliance
By Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh
Blackstone Audio
Retail Price $19.95
Downpour Price:  11.96

Book Description: 

Introducing the new, realistic loyalty pact between employer and employee. – – The employer-employee relationship is broken, and managers face a seemingly impossible dilemma: the old model of guaranteed long-term employment no longer works in a business environment defined by continuous change, but neither does a system in which every employee acts like a free agent. – – The solution? Stop thinking of employees as either family or free agents. Think of them instead as allies. – – As a manager you want your employees to help transform the company for the future. And your employees want the firm to help transform their careers. But this win-win scenario will only happen if both sides trust each other enough to commit to mutual investment and mutual benefit. Sadly, trust in the business world is hovering at an all-time low. – – We can rebuild that lost trust with straight talk that recognizes the realities of the modern economy. So paradoxically, the alliance begins with managers acknowledging that great employees might leave the company, and with employees being honest about their own career aspirations. – – By putting this new alliance at the heart of your talent-management strategy, you’ll not only bring back trust, you’ll be able to recruit and retain the entrepreneurial individuals you need to adapt to a fast-changing world. – – These individuals – flexible, creative, and with a bias toward action – thrive when they’re on a specific ”tour of duty,” when they have a mission that’s mutually beneficial to employee and company that can be completed in a realistic period of time. – – Coauthored by the founder of LinkedIn, this bold but practical guide for managers and executives will give you the tools you need to recruit, manage, and retain the kind of employees who will make your company thrive in today’s world of constant innovation and fast-paced change.

Review

This book is a how-to about managing employees in both large and small company settings.  Since people view work differently and no longer stay loyal to the company like in the past, the authors look at ways to retain and acquire new talent for your organization.   The authors bring much to the table including how to manage people with respect, lending them to greater company loyalty while they are with you and when they leave.  This is all about reframing relationships with team members.  This was an excellent book to listen to on my commute to work

~Reviewed by John C.

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    More Awesome Than Money

    More Awesome Than Money
    by Jim Dwyer
    Tantor
    Retail Price $27.95
    Amazon Price: $20.93


    Book Description: 

    Their idea was simple. Four NYU undergrads wanted to build a social network that would allow users to control their personal data, instead of surrendering it to big businesses like Facebook. They called it Diaspora. In days, they raised $200,000, and reporters, venture capitalists, and the digital community’s most legendary figures
    were soon monitoring their progress. Max dreamed of being a CEO. Ilya was the idealist. Dan coded like a pro, and Rafi tried to keep them all on track. But as the months passed and the money ran out, the Diaspora Four fell victim to errors, bad decisions, and their own hubris. In November 2011, Ilya committed suicide.

    Diaspora has been tech news since day one, but the story reaches far beyond Silicon Valley to the now urgent issues about the future of the Internet. With the cooperation of the surviving partners, New York Times bestselling author Jim Dwyer tells a riveting story of four ambitious and naive young men who tried to rebottle the genie of personal privacy—and paid the ultimate price.

    Review

    This is an excellent book and made for enjoyable listening on my work commute.  It is the story of four Techie NYU students with high ideals that undertake a project to create a social network that will protect the privacy of its participants, but are overwhelmed by their own personal tragedy. Even though these guys didn’t become a traditional success , their story is captivating and there is much to learn from it.  I highly recommend it.

    ~Reviewed by Brian S.

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      The Goal

      The Goal
      By Eliyahu M. Goldratt, Jeff Cox and David Whitford
      Highbridge Audio
      Retail Price $39.95
      Amazon Price: $27.75

      Book Description: 

      In celebration of thirty years since the first publication of Eliyahu Goldratt’s essential business classic, HighBridge is proud to present an expanded audio edition of The Goal, featuring the original novel, plus case study reviews, and the author’s highly regarded essay “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.” Also included is an audio archive exclusive featuring Eliyahu Goldratt in conversation about the significance—both personal and professional—of his breakthrough work.

      Alex Rogo is the manager of a failing manufacturing plant who receives an ultimatum from corporate headquarters: Turn the situation around in three months or the plant will be scrapped. With help from a mysterious mentor, Rogo discovers a revolutionary new way to do business—a way for people in any field of endeavor to increase productivity, profitability, and personal fulfillment.

      The story of Alex’s fight to save his plant contains a serious message for all managers in industry and explains the ideas which underline the Theory of Constraints (TOC) developed by Dr. Goldratt. First published in 1984, The Goal has changed how America does business.

      Review

      I had an option to read and review this book for extra credit for my college finance course. I was not looking forward to reading it and it didn’t sound interesting at all so I chose to listen to it instead.  I was pleasantly surprised as this was not a boring book at all, but an intriguing novel with plenty of takeaway value. You are drawn into the story from the very beginning and it touches on the both personal relationships as well as business issues.  Goldratt tells the story of Alex Rogo who is trying to save his job, his facility, as well as his marriage.  This book was done and taught and emphasized important values from a management and engineering point of view. Though fiction, this book could have been real life as seen in the case study reviews and audio archives included on the CD.

      ~Reviewed by  Kerri K.

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        Thanks for the Feedback

        Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well

        Thanks for the Feedback
        By Douglas and Heen Stone
        Penguin Audio
        Retail Price $27.95
        Amazon Price: $21.13

        Book Description: 

        The bestselling authors of the classic Difficult Conversations teach us how to turn evaluations, advice, criticisms, and coaching into productive listening and learning

        We swim in an ocean of feedback. Bosses, colleagues, customers—but also family, friends, and in-laws—they all have “suggestions” for our performance, parenting, or appearance. We know that feedback is essential for healthy relationships and professional development—but we dread it and often dismiss it.

        That’s because receiving feedback sits at the junction of two conflicting human desires. We do want to learn and grow. And we also want to be accepted just as we are right now. Thanks for the Feedback is the first book to address this tension head on. It explains why getting feedback is so crucial yet so challenging, and offers a powerful framework to help us take on life’s blizzard of off-hand comments, annual evaluations, and unsolicited advice with curiosity and grace.

        The business world spends billions of dollars and millions of hours each year teaching people how to give feedback more effectively. Stone and Heen argue that we’ve got it backwards and show us why the smart money is on educating receivers— in the workplace and in personal relationships as well.

        Coauthors of the international bestseller Difficult Conversations, Stone and Heen have spent the last ten years working with businesses, nonprofits, governments, and families to determine what helps us learn and what gets in our way. With humor and clarity, they blend the latest insights from neuroscience and psychology with practical, hard-headed advice. The book is destined to become a classic in the world of leadership, organizational behavior, and education.

        Review

        This is an interesting take on how to receive and use feedback from other people.  While it is written for those in the workplace, it spills over to the personal life as well.  This is a great book for anyone looking to learn more about receiving performance feedback in a more balance way. It explains how by doing so,  you are creating a more productive environment.  I listened to the audiobook while on my commute and found this a great way to receive this information.  It was well done and a quality product.

        ~Reviewed by John C.

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