Tag: Book Reviews
Jerry Newman of University of Buffalo (courtesy of UB Faculty Experts)
Imagine a 57 year old management professor donning the uniform of an undercover fast food worker for 14 months. Opting for this “hardship” research project during his sabbatical, he goes through seven jobs in burger chains like McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s.
Along the way, the professor discovers “powerful truths about what makes businesses great” and provides lessons from behind the counter “guaranteed to supersize any management style”.
“Policies are organisational scar tissue. They are codified overreactions to situations that are unlikely to happen again. They are collective punishment for the misdeeds of an individual”
With excerpts like that, you can be sure that Rework by founders of 37Signals Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson isn’t an ordinary book on entrepreneurship. Divided into 12 short chapters on various aspects of business – from progress to productivity and competitors to culture – Rework is a compelling read.
Why does pain sometimes feel like pleasure? Why do we enjoy music and art even though there aren’t any adaptive advantages? When does “one man’s meat” become “another man’s poison”?
The answers to these human behavioural puzzles (and more) can be found in How Pleasure Works. Written by Yale’s evolutionary psychologist Paul Bloom, the book uncovers the “new science of why we like what we like”. By delving into the fields of anthropology, evolution, history, biology and psychology, the book investigates why we humans are so different compared to our fellow earthlings.
Why do some companies succeed in turbulent times while others fail?
Is there a “secret sauce” to enduring corporate performance?
From its first animated feature Toy Story to Finding Nemo, Up, and Cars, Pixar Animation Studios is probably the world’s leading producer of animated features. Renowned for producing cartoon movies that stir the imagination and touch the heart, Pixar’s ability to allow “artists and geeks” to flourish makes it one of the world’s most innovative organisations.
The secrets behind Pixar’s success is ably captured in “Innovate the Pixar Way – Business Lessons From The World’s Most Creative Corporate Playground“. Written by Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson of The Disney Way, the book relates how Ed Catmull, Alvy Ray Smith and lengendary animator John Lasseter created a company which captures the imagination of childhood while making dreams come alive. The terrific trio did this by embracing four key principles:
Bruce Lee obviously knows the value of deliberate practice.
How does one become a world class performer in any field? Can we improve our chances of success despite being born to adverse conditions?
With an eye-catching title and an alluring subtitle – “What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else” – Fortune editor-at-large Geoff Colvin’s book “Talent is Overrated” provides excellent food for thought in today’s knowledge economy.