Brief Review of Inspirational Works
The following annotated bibliography of books on thinking and life skills is by no means exhaustive… and can never be. However it does capture the favourite books of the thousands I have read in my lifetime. In the short notes following each reference I have:
- Described the main purpose of the work
- Described the contents
- Indicated the possible audience for the work
- Noted any special features
- Warned of any defect, weakness, or suspected bias
Ed. BRYNJOLFSSON, Eric; URBAN, Glen L. 2001
MIT Sloan Management Review Strategies for EBusiness Success
This is a collection of articles ranging from the decision process for entering a market, to virtual advisors & advice on running online forums. The perspectives of the 12 authors from academia and consulting spheres point to a future development of ecommerce that is sustainable, built on trust, supplanting traditional retail and direct sales.
KENNEDY, Daniel S 1991
The Ultimate Marketing Plan
Bob Adams Publishers
Dan describes the 4 ways to grow your business and suggests finding the most promotable competitive edge and turning that into a powerful marketing message, delivering it to the right prospects. I found the most useful part of the book the think sheets.
DRAPKIN, Michael; LOWY, Jon; MAROVITZ, Daniel 2001
Three Clicks Away -Advice from the trenches of Ecommerce
John Wiley & Sons
This book covers every area of setting up and running an ecommerce business from planning, architecture, types of revenue structure and hosting. It has a wealth of information and serves as a great primer for someone new to the industry.
AYLING, Geoff 2001
The Australian Guide to Selling on the Internet
How to turn a website into a profit centre
Business + Publishing
Geoff suggests Scarcity and Specialisation as the keys to success online. He uses examples such as an organic fruit & vegetable supplier and Wishlish as examples to follow. Find a source of pain or frustration and satisfy it. Use adaptive specialisation – import, adapt, integrate and mutate successful ideas from elsewhere into your website.
LEIGH, Elyssebeth; KINDER, Jeff 2001
Learning Through Fun & Games- 40 games and simulations for trainers facilitators and managers.
These exercises are for groups and go for 15 mins to 2 hours covering trust, change conflict negotiation and planning. With each exercise there is a brief and a debrief to cover the learnings of each exercise. Recording participant’s responses will point to differences in learning styles, risk profiles and leadership potential.
MERCER, David 2001
Expression- redefining marketing in the multichannel age.
John Wiley & Sons
A fascinating book well written with articulation like a modern text should be with pause for thought, vital questions and Key Concepts and exercises. The author lays the ground rules for emarketing which serves to incrementally integrate ecommerce with traditional marketing.
KURTZMAN, Joel; RIFKIN, Glenn 2001
Radical E -From GE to Enron Lessons on how to rule the web
John Wiley & Sons
Lessons from the best 9 players from diverse arenas- David Bowie (recent recipient of a Webby lifetime achievement award), Victoria’s Secret, GE Plastics etc. The lessons include staying on brand, creating a community, transparency of information and delivering information rich content- tailored to the individual visitor. The authors say that a radical e company fully embraces the internet as a channel and just like Staples’ Stemberg decide to attack the internet full bore.
MCCARTHY, Shaun P 2001
The art of .comBAT – Ancient Wisdom for the competitive Economy
John Wiley & Sons
The author integrates the teachings of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War (500BC) with today’s internet threats and Opportunities to create offensive and defensive strategies for your website.
KHAN, Ilyas 2001
Underdogs in Overdrive
10 insanely great ideas for the Asian Technopreneur
John Wiley & Sons
Ilyas and partner Johnny Chan started Techpacific.com (now Crosby.com) a Venture Capital funds management group. Their online exchange Nirvana apparently attracted $1.5B over the last 7 years since this book was published. With a staff of 125 people Crosby (previously Techpacific.com) is still haemorrhaging money at the rate of $40M a year… hey but it’s not their money is it.
BLAKE, Darryl 2001
Skroo the Rules. What the world’s most productive workplace does differently.
This book is based on interviews with Graham (SKROO) Turner Ceo and founder of Flight Centre. The vet science graduate bought an old double decker bus in the UK and ran Top Deck Travel for 7 years in Europe. Commencing Flight Centre in 1981 Turner developed 10 rules for breaking the traditional rules of the workplace. This culture has contributed immensely to the growth and success of the flight centre group. I designed the lowest airfares guaranteed seal for the company in the early 80’s.
Some of the interesting work practices are morning team meetings. No Secretaries- do your own dirty work. Incentives for success, monthly BUZZ nights, twice yearly conferences overseas… and of course instilling a sense of ownership and control by each employee over their tasks and projects.
SANT, Tom (1992)
Persuasive Business Proposals
Writing to Win Customers Clients and Contracts
The author suggests writing proposals that address needs first, speaking in the language of the prospect, respecting the way that they use information and make decisions. In adapting Myers Briggs typology of personality types the author has simplified the types to these four: Detail Oriented, Pragmatic, Consensus Oriented, Visionary.
By considering authority level- gatekeeper, user, ultimate authority and expertise level of expert through to novice, proposals can be tailored to have a greater success rate. A proposal feedback form was also of use.
HAYDON, Robyn (2007)
The Shredder Test. The Australian Guide to writing winning proposals.
Monterey Press, Melbourne.
The author shows how to write proposals that survive a first reading and go on to persuade by answering the right questions without boring the reader.
FEROS, James N & PENGILLEY, Warren (1995)
Strategic Business Decisions
Reviewing Proposals for Growth
This book looks at all of the ways to appraise a business for acquisition, merger or JV activities.
ANDERSON, Jonathan & POOLE, Millicent (1998)
Assignment and Thesis Writing 3rd Edition
Jacaranda Wiley, Brisbane.
The correct form, language and structure for tertiary writing is examined, with examples. The authors show various ways to correctly attribute ideas and concepts to their authors, avoiding plagiarism at all costs.
DEBONO, Edward (1991)
Six Action Shoes
Harper & Collins London
The author suggests six modes of action to fit different situations we come across. In this way our actions can be tailored to produce the greatest results. In line with his earlier book Six Thinking Hats, DeBono constructs a system of Six pairs of Shoes, of various colours and styles. For instance a pink slippers metaphor is created for acting with care and sensitivity in contrast to an orange gumboot which suggests emergency or crisis action in the face of danger.
DEBONO, Edward (1981)
Atlas of Management Thinking
Maurice Temple Smith Limited
Edward used diagrams for each of 200 concepts in management theory from demand to polarisation.
NALEUFF, Barry & AYERS, Ian (2003)
Harvard Business School Press
How to use everyday ingenuity to solve problems big and small. One of the ideas I liked the most was taking a current situation in business and flipping it around. The outcome… free market pricing on services. Some innovative business products include Home Equity Insurance- protection against falling values. Open source movement to solve problems and a digital secretary is another.
GRAHAM, Douglas & BACHMANN, Thomas T. (2004)
Ideation The Birth & Death of Ideas
Wiley, New Jersey
This work covers intellectual property and how to protect it and targets an audience of innovators both independent and working within companies. This book is full of curious anecdotes such as the Russian inventor Genrich Altshuller, who in the 1940’s created TRIZ which presents 1,000 general principals of the 20,000 patents he reviewed. Another ideation technique is one that Marx borrowed from Hegel who borrowed from the Greeks- Thesis/Antithesis/Synthesis. You take the initial thesis, think of the opposite viewpoint then think of a way to embrace both or resolve differences. The authors urge the reader to protect ideas early on with an ELN (electronic laboratory notebook) or a service offered by them at www.ideation.com. They have developed an intellectual capital exchange brokering patents and inventions to corporations and government. I found their flowchart of innovation useful with decision trees for each stage of the invention process.