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21. The One Minute Manager Anniversary
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22. Getting Things Done: The Art of
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23. Leading Change
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24. Disneywar : The Battle for the
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25. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting
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26. The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities
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27. Leadership and Self Deception:
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28. Product Development for the Lean
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29. Managing Transitions: Making the
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30. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator
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31. Microeconomics with MyEconLab
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32. Fundamentals of Financial Management
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21. The One Minute Manager Anniversary Ed : The World's Most Popular Management Method
by Kenneth H. Blanchard, Spencer Johnson
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0688014291
Catlog: Book (1982-09-01)
Publisher: William Morrow
Sales Rank: 3728
Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For more than twenty years, millions of managers in Fortune 500 companies and small businesses nationwide have followed The One Minute Manager's techniques, thus increasing their productivity, job satisfaction, and personal prosperity. These very real results were achieved through learning the management techniques that spell profitability for the organization and its employees.

The One Minute Manager is a concise, easily read story that reveals three very practical secrets: One Minute Goals, One Minute Praisings, and One Minute Reprimands.

The book also presents several studies in medicine and the behavioral sciences that clearly explain why these apparently simple methods work so well with so many people. By the book's end you will know how to apply them to your own situation and enjoy the benefits.

That's why The One Minute Manager has continued to appear on business bestseller lists for more than two decades, and has become an international sensation.

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Reviews (97)

4-0 out of 5 stars Got a few minutes?
"The One Minute Manger" by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson teaches the readers the three skills to achieving effective management. Although the keys to being an effective and successful manager, as described by Blanchard and Johnson, seems unbelievably simple, they will strike an understanding chord among most people who have ever managed and supervised employees. Not because managers typically follow the principles, but precisely because these simple principles are ones that they intuitively know they should be practicing yet do not because of lack of conviction in the methods, worry about changing management styles, low level of interest, or apprehension that they will take too much time.

Not to fear, Blanchard and Johnson address these concerns in their short simple book. The allegory starts off with a young man in search of an effective manager. Initially disillusioned by the managers he encounters, who are only results-oriented at the expense of the employees or only people-oriented at the expense of the organization, the young man discovers The One Minute Manager. The young man learns from The One Minute Manager and the people whom he manages the philosophy of the one-minute management style. The authors gradually convince the readers through examples, anecdotes, explanations, and quotable quotes why and how their three principles, when followed appropriately, actually work. A brief guideline list accompanies each of the three management skills: the "one minute goal setting," "one minute praising," and "one minute reprimand." There is even a concise flow chart to help solidify the management principles into one page near the end of the book; no doubt, designed to be cut-out or photocopied and posted in every manager's office. By the end of the short 60 minutes required to finish the book, most readers will be convinced to at least test out the method. After all, the title of the book already suggests that time commitment is not an issue; one can become an effective manager by investing a short 60-second of time. When one reads the book, this really translates to several 60-second intervals per day, but the amount of time will be much less than what most managers are used to.

More effective management in significantly less time? Is it possible? The authors certainly make a compelling yet uncomplicated and clear case for this. One does have to wonder if this is too easy. Will it work for managing all types of people in all types of organizations? How about the slackers? Or the employee who is the wrong fit for the job, doesn't have the appropriate training, or lacks motivation? How about the company with a long tradition of top-down management style? The book doesn't get mired in the details or specifics of every possible variation or situation; instead it attempts to provide the general strategies of effective management. The simple message of the book is to focus on making people feel valued which will lead to greater self-motivation and increased productivity for the individual and organization. As the One Minute Manager best described it, "People who feel good about themselves produce good results." And because they are not difficult to understand, learn, or implement, the skills can be readily used by most managers immediately.

The book is not only for managers of people. The message from the book is relevant to anybody interacting with people or when managing your own work and life. For example, I can utilize the skills to not only manage the people who report to me, but also in working with my colleagues or my supervisor, although the lesson on reprimanding may be less applicable in such situations. The most useful setting to apply the skills, perhaps, is when teamwork is involved, such as in committees, meetings, and group projects. This is when setting goals and timelines are critical and working effectively with colleagues, including giving praise and constructive criticism, is paramount to success. Furthermore, I can even see me being a One Minute Manager to myself, be it in the work environment, personal life, educational pursuits, or participation in hobbies. Who wouldn't want to be happier and have better results in all of these activities? I wouldn't mind impressing my boss more, fulfilling all my New Year's resolutions, or running a marathon in 3 hours and 15 minutes. After reading "The One Minute Manger", most readers will want to be a One Minute Manager tomorrow.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simple and Fast
A quick read because the concepts it describes are simple yet powerful. "The One Minute Manager" has evolved into a management classic since its first edition in 1981. Managers will take three precepts from this book: Efficient Goal Setting with employees, Praise, and Reprimands. In other words, make sure your people know precisely what they are to do, and then give them feedback whether they meet those expectations or not. That's it. Simple and effective. It takes an hour to read "The One Minute Manager", consider it an investment.

5-0 out of 5 stars Here's what I think about it...
The book is not a comprehensive management tool but nonetheless contains good basic concepts all managers should use or at least give a great deal of thought to. A short, easy read that has many nuggets of wisdom, I give it five stars. Other self-help books I liked include "The Multifidus Back Pain Solution."

5-0 out of 5 stars Just A Minute
The ideas in One Minute Manager are very effective for anyone who feels stretched to the limit by the daily demands of modern business. The advice is both simple and to the point so it means less time analyzing the lesson and more time implementing tips that can improve your overall performance. I highly recommend this book to seasoned managers as well as those who aspire to join the ranks of management.

Rat Race Relaxer: Your Potential & The Maze of Life by JoAnna Carey is another great book for companies to share with employees because it offers entertaining stories and goal oriented advice about improving your workplace and your life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best management style out there--Bar None!
This should be in the library of all managers and those aspiring to be leaders. It keeps accountability straight; and promotes initiative and quality in all involved. I find that this method gives each person in my command a sense of worth and it is very respectful of that person's ideas and performance. Better than any other style of management. ... Read more


22. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
by David Allen
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0142000280
Catlog: Book (2003-01-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 689
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In today's world, yesterday's methods just don't work. In Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen shares the breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that he has introduced to tens of thousands of people across the country. Allen's premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential. In Getting Things Done Allen shows how to:

€ Apply the "do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it" rule to get your in-box to empty
€ Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations
€ Plan projects as well as get them unstuck
€ Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed
€ Feel fine about what you're not doing

From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done can transform the way you work, showing you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.
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Reviews (98)

5-0 out of 5 stars Time Tested Principals
I attended one of David's seminars in 1986. As a result, I was able to successfully manage 101 concurrent projects, finishing on time and under budget. Fast forward to 2001. I keep this book by my side at all times (David publish it in Ebook form so it's easier to carry!). The company I'm with now wonders how I get the "impossible" projects done. Using David's techniques in the book, it seems like I can complete a full work day in fewer hours because I know what all my "next actions" are, and do them promptly. Gives me a lot of worry free time.

This is a book you "DO" not just read. Be prepared to work when you start out, but when the initial work is done, that's when the fun begins.

I cleaned my inbox and email box of 300 items in less than 15 minutes, filtering out the junk, the things that needed immediate attention, and the "someday maybe" things (like buying my first Harley).

This works for my personal life too. No more missed anniversaries, birthdays, phone calls, errands, etc.

Do you ever think about work projects at home? Do you ever think about home projects when you're at the office? Ever worry about that phone call you need to make or that errand you need to run? Forget it! Get the book. It's awesome. Get the book - period. If you don't, you deserve your stress.

5-0 out of 5 stars Truly the guide to stress-free productivity
I manage a team of twenty, in a very stress-filled IT environment. We juggle multiple projects with overlapping deadlines all the time. This book taught me far more than the well known time management guides and gurus. I learned to put EVERYTHING - my work life, personal life, dream life (to be a millionaire without being the weakest link or swallowing bugs!) into one place, and organize it all based on me - my life, current job, etc. I also used it to help my team. We now breeze through our deadlines, with lots of productivity and very little stress. We are able to work long hours when needed, and take time off when needed. Hopefully, future releases will bring a companion workbook and this book unabridged on tape or CD. FYI - Mr. Allen has a wonderful web site ... where you can sign up for his free weekly newsletter and continue to learn and grow. He also lists lots more helpful tips, etc. on the web site that you can download and share with your peers and staff members. I urge anyone who is feeling overwhelmed in their life and career to give this process a try. You will be very glad you did.

4-0 out of 5 stars DAM! (David Allen Method).
The real gist of this book is this;

First, tangibly ALL your thoughts to do something must be somewhere in order for you to PHYSICALLY apply it. Hence, you must write them down or put them all (stuff) somewhere, notes, post-it, napkins, etc., ANYTHING, just make it physically tangible. This is the only way for us to now LOGICALLY apply it. Because we are physical creatures, we must see our thoughts physically also. Down one.

Number two: when all of this is done, get the little ones out of the way, hence the "two-minute rule". Anything under two minutes DO IT NOW. DAM! (David Allen Method) yeah!!!

That's basically the "d.a.m." (pardon the pun) method. For details and even a better understanding buy or borrow the book.

When you think about it, it's all about logic. Delineate the process, divide, then conquer. Sort of like eating a big steak, you have to cut it to make it chewable, then taste, and decide to swallow, chew, or just spit it out, and before you know it, it's gone! It's funny we never applied this logic to our business, maybe below will explain why!

One thing that bugs me is that if something takes 2 minutes and we now need to do it now, there is one section about a guy going through 800 e-mails. If each one took two minutes, the e-mail "project" then took more than 26 hours!!! He didn't mention that in the book! Should he then delegate it, defer it, dump it, or simply call the waiter??? Note: vomiting is NOT an option!

5-0 out of 5 stars Works, I'm Using it.
I have read both books first from the library and only bought the paperback of Allens second book, Ready for Anything.

I am now buying the hardcover edition for this book because I plan to use it over and over. I have been a student of effective work flow for 15 years and this is one of the best methods I have found to clear your work surfaces and your mind to get down to creative, fun productive activities.

5-0 out of 5 stars I looked like I was OK but my cupboards were full of junk
I was one of those people who looked like I had things under control, and wasn't far from it, but my cupboards, drawers and email files were full of junk and felt like a ball and chain. I heard about this book at an Optimal Thinking seminar and decided to buy it. I knew it was in my best interest to clean up the junk and proceeded with Dave Allen's system. If anything took less than two minutes to resolve, I did it on the spot. I have to say that almost everything is in place now. I feel free of a huge load and am proud that I took control of it. This is a terrific book. I recommend it if you want a simple system to get things done. If you want to learn how to make the most of your thinking to achieve emotional mastery and get the most from every situation, read Optimal Thinking-How To Be Your Best Self too. ... Read more


23. Leading Change
by John P. Kotter
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0875847471
Catlog: Book (1996-01-15)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 1617
Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (47)

5-0 out of 5 stars Make Change Irresistibly Attractive
The leaders of some organizations have no idea how to make successful changes, and are likely to waste a lot of resources on unsuccessful efforts. Professor Kotter has done a solid job of outlining the elements that must be addressed, so now your organization will at last know what they should be working on.

On the other hand, if you have not seen this done successfully before, you may need more detailed examples than this book provides or outside facilitators to help you until you have enough experience to go solo. I suspect this book will not be detailed enough by itself to get you where you want to go.

Here's a hint: The Harvard Business Review article by Professor Kotter covers the same material in a much shorter form. You can save time and money by checking this out first before buying the book.

I personally find that measurements are very helpful to create self-stimulation to change, and this book does not pay enough attention in that direction. If you agree that measurements are a useful way to stimulate change, be sure to read The Balanced Scorecard, as well, which will help you understand how to use appropriate measurements to make more successful changes.

If you want to know what changes to make, this book will also not do it for you. I suggest you read Peter Drucker's Management Challenges for the 21st Century and Peter Senge's Fifth Discipline.

Good luck!

5-0 out of 5 stars THE Standard for Organizational Change
This book was recommended to me as being the standard for organizational change, and that recommendation was close to the mark. For any project manager who is involved in the mechanism of change, this is one book that should be right at the top their 'short list.'

This may seem like a strong statement, but reading this book can be life changing. Its concepts apply across many other business ideas, and it is particularly useful for implementing project management into an organization.

Lots of resources are wasted on unsuccessful efforts because often the leaders of some organizations don't know how to implement successful changes. The thought process gets tied up in the existing bureaucracy and remains stalled, going nowhere. In Leading Change, Professor Kotter has performed a commendable job of outlining all the elements that must be addressed. He identifies the most frequent mistakes in effecting change, and suggests eight steps to overcoming obstacles.

The author offers some good business essentials, but also adds a solid structure for implementation that can be applied across organizational cultures. Following his recommendations should make it easier for an organization to know what they should be working on and how to progress to the next steps.

There are good books that may be more recent than this, but you would do yourself and your organization a disservice if you passed this book by just based on that. As stated earlier, this book lives up to its reputation of being the standard for organizational change.

4-0 out of 5 stars One of the Best
I agree with some of the earlier reviews that recommend this book along with "Execution" by Bossidy & Charan, "Strategic Organizational Change" by Beitler, and "Good to Great" by Collins.

This book is a little light on practical tools, but it does offer a good overview for managers who are dealing with change.

5-0 out of 5 stars Recommended
One of the great books on self help practical leadership that has come out in recent years. You can complete your philosophical knowledge on leadership of character by going on to read the Remick book, "West Point: Jefferson: Character Leadership..." when you finish Kotter's "Leading Change".

4-0 out of 5 stars How to lead change
Kotter's eight-step formula for leading change provides some practical and valuable strategies, but it does not get to the core of the problem. When an organization hires and retains only those who have made the commitment to do their best regardless of the circumstances, then complacency is never a serious problem and the leader does not need to falsely impose a sense of urgency. I recommend this book, and suggest Optimal Thinking: How to be your best self is read along with it. We are integrating Optimal Thinking into our company (mission statement and culture) and moving away from the old paradigm of managers and employees to the new optimized paradigm of corporate optimizers. ... Read more


24. Disneywar : The Battle for the Magic Kingdom
by James B. Stewart
list price: $26.95
our price: $18.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684809931
Catlog: Book
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 130977
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25. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
by Barbara Ehrenreich
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805063897
Catlog: Book (2002-05-01)
Publisher: Owl Books
Sales Rank: 629
Average Customer Review: 3.68 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The New York Times bestseller, and one of the most talked about books of the year, Nickel and Dimed has already become a classic of undercover reportage.

Millions of Americans work for poverty-level wages, and one day Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that any job equals a better life. But how can anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 to $7 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich moved from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, taking the cheapest lodgings available and accepting work as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart salesperson. She soon discovered that even the "lowliest" occupations require exhausting mental and physical efforts. And one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors.

Nickel and Dimed reveals low-wage America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity -- a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate strategies for survival. Instantly acclaimed for its insight, humor, and passion, this book is changing the way America perceives its working poor.
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Reviews (694)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Important Book
The value of Barbara Ehrenreich's troubling, but remarkable investigation of the dearth of opportunity faced by working class Americans, is evident from the gamut of highly emotional reactions it has raised here.

Many readers seem enormously offended simply on the grounds that Ehrenreich was not actually a member of the working class, and only "visited" a life of poverty and toil. These readers take great pains to say that poverty is a serious issue, while discounting the book on the grounds that Ehrenreich - who holds a PhD of all the horrible things! - has no right to raise it. This is a willfully deluded argument which would seem to white wash all kinds of investigative journalism across the board. The attacks on Ehrenreich's credentials appear designed to avoid a discussion of the book itself, a low but familiar critical tactic, shooting the messenger to destroy the message.

It is understandable, however, that people would seek to look away from the experiences that Ehrenreich relates from her sojourns in the waitressing, housekeeping, and retailing industries. The pay is meager, the work is often backbreaking, and the management is consistently exploitative. You may already have suspected this to be the case, but the hard details in Nickel and Dimed - of trying to find housing, of applying for community aid, of unpaid overtime, and a thousand other tiny indignities - confront the reader with the vivid reality of how many of their fellow human beings are forced to live.

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific book, terrific writing
I love this book. Some people seem to find it hard to believe that a person can't "get by" on minimum wage, or that people get stuck in low-paying jobs - some claim that "everyone starts at minimum wage in life, but they get promoted and make more", etc. That doesn't always happen, or even happen that often. Ms. Ehrenreich's book shows the struggles she faced in just a short term experiment, but imagine trying to do it for the long haul - there are other crises that occur in the lives of working people - such as, lack of medical insurance - a HUGE problem - and car troubles, to name a couple. In this book, Ms. Ehrenreich was working during the warmer months - God knows what she may have encountered during the winter in Maine or Minnesota!But this terrific book gives a glimpse into the lives of the working poor, even with everyone seemingly going right for Ms. Ehrenreich. By the way, several reviewers have claimed that she has 'contempt' for the poor, and has a snobby, yuppie-ish attitude. Nothing could be further from the truth. I don't know why people make false allegations in a book review, I suspect it's to dissuade others from reading the book and deciding for themselves. Read this book, you'll be glad you did. And pass on a couple copies to your state reps, senators, etc. Teach them a few things. I look forward to future works by Barbara Ehrenreich after reading this - she's wonderful.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Working Poor of America get a voice
This case study in, as the subtitle says "(Not) Getting by in America" was in many ways surprising. I thought I had a pretty good handle on the fact that there are people in desperate straits out there, that being in desperate straights is awful, and that it would be better if no one had to do it. But some of the problems that are described in this book were things I had never even thought of. One of her main contentions is that many of the working poor are borderline homeless, living, ironically, in expensive motels because they can never get far enough ahead to save the deposit for a real apartment. The lack of medical care and desperate penny-pinching wasn't surprising, but what struck me was that the author, daughter of a union organizer and left wing journalist, was consistently surprised at the importance that her co-workers placed on the jobs they were doing, quite apart from the monetary rewards or managerial incentives.

This struck me as especially tragic, because it just reinforces the fact that most people take satisfaction in doing something well, and it's obvious from the lives these people lead that they aren't in the habit of shirking work. Shouldn't hard, quality work bring you a life with the basics we should all have? A thought provoking, if not especially surprising book.

5-0 out of 5 stars STAYS with you forever!
I read this book 3 years ago, and I'm STILL experiencing recall and flashbacks to some of its passages. For example: I might be doing nothing much in particular, as I set myself down to dinner at a family style restaurant...and WHAP!!! I will recall a passage from "Nickled and Dimed" concerning the not very pretty or easy plight of many waitresses and cooks who work at such establishments. And "Nickled and Dimed" does it all with a sense of humour, to boot!

Very thought provoking and enlightening for anyone who wants a better understanding the working poor and the flaws in our socio-economic system.

"Nickled and Dimed" should be required reading for every politician and social worker in the United States.

2-0 out of 5 stars Try Living it for Real
The biggest problem with the "realism" here is the fact that the author knows, throughout all of it, that she will be going back to her 'real' job and some serious money along with her yuppie lifestyle. She doesn't even pretend to want to find out how it feels to live this life for real. Try having $5.00 in your pocket on the 2nd of January to last you the rest of the month, with 2 babies crying because there isn't any heat in your house. And then come to the realization that you REALLY only have $5.00 in your pocket with 2 crying babies and no heat. And try realizing that the reason you are in this situation is because your town was hit by a flash flood that wiped your home away and your insurance company refused to cover the damages because they don't cover "floods." Suddenly you are poor and desperate and nowhere to turn. Try that. Then write your book. The only problem would be finding someone to publish it. The general public still doesn't want to hear about the true struggles of the working poor or what the circumstances were that lead to that poverty... they only want to be entertained and feel "enlightened" because they now "understand the plight of the poor." Sorry... you really don't. Next time you sit down to a full meal, consider there really are people out there eating ketchup on noodles and nothing else. All week... maybe even all month. ... Read more


26. The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time
by JeffreySachs
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594200459
Catlog: Book (2005-03-15)
Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The
Sales Rank: 123
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

He has been cited by The New York Times Magazine as "probably the most important economist in the world" and by Time as "the world's best-known economist." He has advised an extraordinary range of world leaders and international institutions on the full range of issues related to creating economic success and reducing the world's poverty and misery. Now, at last, he draws on his entire twenty-five-year body of experience to offer a thrilling and inspiring big-picture vision of the keys to economic success in the world today and the steps that are necessary to achieve prosperity for all.

Marrying vivid eyewitness storytelling to his laserlike analysis, Jeffrey Sachs sets the stage by drawing a vivid conceptual map of the world economy and the different categories into which countries fall. Then, in a tour de force of elegance and compression, he explains why, over the past two hundred years, wealth has diverged across the planet in the manner that it has and why the poorest nations have been so markedly unable to escape the cruel vortex of poverty. The groundwork laid, he explains his methods for arriving, like a clinical internist, at a holistic diagnosis of a country's situation and the options it faces. Rather than deliver a worldview to readers from on high, Sachs leads them along the learning path he himself followed, telling the remarkable stories of his own work in Bolivia, Poland, Russia, India, China, and Africa as a way to bring readers to a broad-based understanding of the array of issues countries can face and the way the issues interrelate. He concludes by drawing on everything he has learned to offer an integrated set of solutions to the interwoven economic, political, environmental, and social problems that most frequently hold societies back. In the end, he leaves readers with an understanding, not of how daunting the world's problems are, but how solvable they are-and why making the effort is a matter both of moral obligation and strategic self-interest. A work of profound moral and intellectual vision that grows out of unprecedented real-world experience, The End of Poverty is a road map to a safer, more prosperous future for the world.

From "probably the most important economist in the world" (The New York Times Magazine), legendary for his work around the globe on economies in crisis, a landmark exploration of the roots of economic prosperity and the path out of extreme poverty for the world's poorest citizens.
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Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Poverty and the Professor's Plan
Jeffrey Sachs, the director of Columbia University's Earth Institute and special advisor to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, tells us that about 20,000 people die daily due to extreme poverty (that's about 8 million people annually).Extreme poverty is defined as living on less than a dollar a day.About 1 billion people live on less than a dollar a day, one third of which are in sub-Saharan Africa.Thisbook makes us aware of the extent of this tragedy and it offers a global plan to do something about it.

The global plan, of course, requires big money and big debt relief.Sachs has calculated that it would take anywhere from $135 billion to $190 billion per year of donations from rich countriesover the next two decades in order to eliminate extreme poverty by 2025.

Not surprisingly, the conservative critics, such as the economist William Easterly, will disparage this plan as so much utopian social engineering and call instead for a more piecemeal approach (Neoconservatives, however, are different: they have a propensity for lavish spending and risky foreign adventures).

Sachs' plan is not entirely new.The development models of the 1960's and 70's were similar.Huge amounts of money were allocated for building infrastructure and human capital; instead this money ended up in the bank accounts of dictators and corrupt aid officials.The development focus of the 1980's and 90's was more toward ending corruption and state ownership, encouraging deficit spending and free trade.The results have been equally disappointing: still 20,000 die daily.

The Sachs' plan calls for some swift, aggressive, and large-scale "neoliberal" economic interventions.His recommendations on how this $135 to $195 billion should be spent are staggering: it goes from how to plant trees, to soil fertility, to antiviral therapy for Aids, to mosquito nets for malaria, to specially programmed cell phones, to battery charging stations - just to name a few.He proposes that the secretary general of the UN run the overall program (with the requisite oversights), and that this would lift poor countries out of the poverty trap by 2025.This is, admittedly, a tough sell in conservative circles.

It is disingenuous, however, for critics like Easterly and others in this column to call this plan utopian.The goal of ending "extreme" poverty is getting countries to the first rung of the economic ladder so that they can participate in the gobal economy.For example, Sachs considers sweatshop labor a step up from no labor at all - this is hardly a utopian goal.Ending extreme poverty only prepares people and countries for the marketplace, it doesn't make them wealthy.

It is true that an ambitious plan such as Sachs' would have its excesses and unforeseen consequences.One of Sachs' problems is that he accuses people who disagree with him of being uninformed, or, worse yet, in the case of Africa, racist.Surely, someone who became a tenured Harvard professor at aged 28 and saved a handful of countries from economic disaster is not lacking in ego.He would do well to be a little more diplomatic.

From this book one should remember the mission: to save 20,000 lives a day.Instead of labeling proposals left-wing or right-wing, liberal or conservative, we should look deeply within our technocratic selves to end extreme poverty.



5-0 out of 5 stars Fighting Poverty, says J. Wallis, is a Moral Value.
Sojourners magazine editor Jim Wallis is also an evangelical who has lately been speaking out on the current administration's politics which infer that anything having to do with fighting gay rights or abortion is a moral, Christian thing to do. Wallis says that although he cannot find many references in the Bible regarding abortion or gays, he can find thousands of verses regarding poverty, and fighting poverty is a moral, religious issue folks everywhere should do what they can to end.

Coincidentally--and I don't know whether these gentlemen has ever met--we have another popular economist, Jeff Sachs who is head of Columbia University's Earth Institute--who coincidentally has a hot book out that's causing waves. Causing waves for the end of poverty in our lifetime. Already he's been seen rubbing elbows with Kofi Annan and Bono of U2. He probably would have been a better candidate for the US ambassador to the United Nations...but, I politicize. The main thrust of this work here is that taking into account geography, infrastructure, political leanings, corruption of public officials, and other development issues, we (rich nations) can conceivably end grinding poverty by 2025 in most of the worlds under developed countries. How? By supplying medicine and education in AIDs ravaged areas of Africa and Asia, by aiding production of foodstuffs in these rural area (rather than by putting big thinking growers who tend not to understand the region and the traditions of people), by control of for example mosquitos in South Africa. We will help the poor survive and teach them how to survive.

Sachs says that by taking a pro-active stance, addressing problems that are able to likely be solved with enough appropriate effort, we can improve lives. The Millenium Project Report under the UN is designed to help these areas solve their problems.

The book is about the nature of the world's poverty (in for example Bilar, Pakistan, India, Africa) some of Sach's general observations of the poor and the steps to take to curve poverty.

Why should you read this? Even if you are not a Christian, it seems that as a citizen of this world two of your responsibilities are to feed the hungry and to help the poor. This is a valuable, current day, rational dissertation on a 'zero poverty by 2025' goal. It also teaches that civilization will be judged on how it treats its poor. Let's avoid having a bad report card.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Exciting Overview
A very exciting book.Professor Sachs describes his round the world adventures in working to solve some of the most severe economic conditions in modern history.Thrilling was his account of making his proposal to an unbathed Eastern European leader into the night (while the leader consumed a bottle of whiskey and smoked an untold number of packs of cigarettes), working through the night to have a written economic strategy proposal by morning and then, months later, watching with fingers crossed the behavior of the economy after his plan was put in place.Jeffrey Sachs is a high stakes player.The well-being of millions is often at stake.Disappointing was his account of how Russian and other world leaders ignored the majority of his proposals to transform the Russian economy.I've read books about Geronimo and Crazy Horse, climbing Everest, and revolutions, and this book was just as exciting.

Thrilling also is that it is possible to, maybe not eliminate, but greatly reduce the number of people living in extreme poverty.Disappointing is the fact that the necessary assistance from the wealthy governments of the world probably will not materialize.

This book is merely an overview of Professor Sachs's plan to eliminate the poorest of the poor.This is about how to give the absolute poorest of people (those living on less than $1 per day) a boost up to the bottom rung of the economic ladder of development.The poorest of the poor, Sachs claims, with no infrastructure, no education and no capital, are often achieving negative per capita economic growth.Sachs claims that, once on the bottom rung of the ladder, these poorest of the poor will then be able to begin climbing.

Professor Sachs suggests using "differential diagnosis" to determine the causes of deep poverty and devise a strategy to alleviate it and begin economic growth.Decades of experience have taught him that different countries and different regions and villages may be impoverished due to different causes.These impediments to growth must be first diagnosed through careful analysis followed by a strategy specifically designed to overcome these impediments.His method is not a one size fits all approach.

This book is not about enhancing development in economies that have are already on the economic ladder and growing.Countries like Bangladesh, although poor, are already on a path to economic growth and, with small accomplishments in read per capita GDP growth every year, will be able to continue to improve standards of living.

Criticism of this book began before the book was even available.It's not surprising that the harshest criticism comes from those who obviously have not read this book.Sachs is often criticized for failing in Russia.The critics never point out, probably because they are not aware, that neither the Russian government nor outside governments and institutions followed his advice.

A popular criticism of this book is that Sachs's solution involves merely throwing money at a problem.This is perhaps the most misguided criticism.Sachs's plan does involve development assistance from wealthy countries; however, the amount he suggests that is needed is no more than countries have already pledged to contribute.Moreover, Sachs is clear that financial aid without a development strategy will produce little results.Sachs proposes an analysis of the impediments to development at the village level followed by a diagnosis and strategy to overcome them.A stable, honest government is essential in carrying out the plan.

Another popular criticism is that aid has shown to be inadequate in addressing the problems of development.Sachs addresses this issue in the book.His argument is that the amount of aid has been so low in the most impoverished countries that it could not possibly have a significant long-term effect.The governments in the United States invest 30% of GDP in public goods - roads, bridges, ports, police and courts, education ($10,000+ per student in many areas) - in order to achieve a growth rate of 2% in real per capita GDP.Should we be surprised that an investment of a few dollars per citizen is ineffective in Africa?

Sachs is also criticized for suggesting that aid be given to corrupt governments where the money will merely end up in an off shore bank account.Sachs is very clear throughout the book that it is imperative that the recipient countries devise and implement a poverty reduction strategy and stick to it.Countries that are not committed to this "need not apply".

In the end, Professor Sachs has made a good proposal that WILL be effective in lifting hundreds of millions of people out of deep poverty and a track record to prove it.Unfortunately, his plan WILL NOT be implemented primarily because of resistance from Washington.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating look at development economics
Professor Sachs gives a great tour of the world and its economic problems.He gives personal accounts of helping the economies of Bolivia, Poland, India, Russia and to a limited extent China.Most attempts at helping were successful (Russia, which had deeper and more entrenched problems, was a notable exception).Sachs gives sound advice on what works and what doesn't in really really poor countries.He also lays out how little it would take from America and other developed nations to make it all happen.

The one downside is that for Sachs' plan to work, foreign governments have to be willing to cooperate.It's kind of a Catch-22.The US is not willing to donate large amounts of money if it is used poorly, and foreign governments aren't going to be able to spend wisely if they don't have very much. But really - we are spending hundreds of billions fighting the war in Iraq to "help the Iraqi people".But we could help many more people much more efficiently if we just committed to do it.

Overall, one of the most interesting economics books I have ever read (and I have read a few).

3-0 out of 5 stars A few problems
If there is a more tireless and indefatigable advocate for the poor and downtrodden, and a more vigorous campaigner fighting the evils of poverty in dozens of countries around the world than Mr. Sachs, I don't know who it is. Sach's book provides a sweeping and compelling overview of the dire effects of poverty and the possibilities for aid and assistance, economic reform, and development in third world countries, discussing the successes and failures in many countries and how and why they either failed or succeeded.

Before I get into the rest of my review, I should say something about my own prior and perhaps naive views on foreign aid. Before reading Mr. Sach's book, I believed in helping poor countries as much as possible and putting as much money into it as one could afford. Unfortunately, after reading his book, I was somewhat dismayed to find that so much of what he said could just as easily be used to argue against it. So, like a number of the reviewers here, although I agree that some sort of action is necessary, most of these solutions unfortunately still seem to come down to throwing more money at what in many cases have already turned out to be bottomless pits, lining local dictator's and beaurocrat's pockets and accomplishing very little else in the way of long-term gain. One shudders at the number of countries in Africa where aid is desperately needed and yet so little seems to reach the actual populace, not to mention several former Soviet countries, such as Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, and countries like Cambodia, that have similar if not worse situations.

One of Mr. Sach's favorite countries, for example, is Ethiopia, one of the world's poorest nations, where less than 1 dollar is spent per year per person on medical aid. However, Ethiopia still has not come to grips with its population problem, and every generation or about 20 years, there is another famine and the world sends vast amounts of food and money to rescue the starving populace.

This happened back in the 60s, and again in the 80s. That one I remember well because of all the TV ads featuring actors/actresses like Sally Struthers, one of the stars from the TV sitcom, All in the Family. While this generosity is commendable, nothing had changed since the 60s, and Ethiopia was again starving as a result of a couple of years of crop failures. Again, the U.S. and the world again sent huge amounts of aid, which did save many lives, but again, it just postpones Ethiopia's need to deal with the population issue in a more realistic and timely way.

Although I learned much about the different circumstances and strengths and weaknesses of many countries around the world in regard to their economic problems and opportunities, sometimes the book tantalizes as much as it explains. For example, Mr. Sachs discusses the amazing progress China has achieved, contrasting that with the failure of many Latin American countries to continue to progress, not to mention the problems of Russia. He attributes the success of China to the development of TVEs (township and village enterprises), which became small but dynamic production and profit centers, as opposed to the inefficient Soviet state operations, and the failure to develop true capitalistic institutions where profits are plowed back into capital spending, growth, and expansion rather than into the new elite industrial leadership's pockets.

However, this doesn't really explain why local village enterprises in China really succeeded over the larger state concerns in Russia. Larger operations enjoy certain advantages such as economies of scale and access to governmental funds for loans. Deciding to follow up on the question, I did a Google search and came up with the following excerpt from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization document number 4536 (I apologize for the long quote but it provides info that Sachs leaves out, and also, I'm going somewhere with all of this):

"China's township and village enterprises (TVE) are rural, collective economic organizations established at the township or village level. They also include the city branches of township enterprises. TVEs had become a major component of the Chinese economy, contributing significantly to GDP, employing large numbers of people and contributing to social development.

The development of TVEs has varied across China's regions and economic sectors. TVEs in some sectors are hi-tech or export oriented, and they face regional and international competition. However, TVEs in the brick, cement, coking and metal-casting sub-sectors were set up primarily to absorb rural labour, to provide essential low cost products, and to contribute to improving livelihoods in a localised area. In these sectors TVEs relied heavily on direct interventions from local governments for access to resources and marketing opportunities. As a result of the limited exposure of TVEs in these sectors to the market and to market forces, development in these sectors was characterized by expansion, without technology and technique development.

Despite their general dynamism and growth, TVEs still have many disadvantages compared to state owned enterprises (SOE). A key one is the shortage of workers having significant professional skills. Another is the lack of access to finance. These gaps are also found between TVEs in Central China and those in the coastal regions.

While the building material, coking and metal casting sectors provide key inputs to China's economic development and have been a major contributor to China's economic growth over the last 20 years (TVE provide more than half of the total output from these sectors), the level of technology in these sectors is low. Accordingly, TVEs in these sectors are characterized by high pollution levels. Notably, these four TVE sectors account for a staggering one sixth of China's total emissions of CO2. Their average relative energy consumption is 30% to 60% higher than state-owned-enterprise sector using currently available technologies. In addition, the low quality of their products leads to additional energy inefficiencies in product use (notably, poor building materials have low insulation levels, leading to heat loss in buildings). TVE are also major contributors to local air and water pollution and health hazards for employees."

Unfortunately, the impression I get from this article in the way of explanation is that this apparent miracle won't last. The most likely explanation to me for the success of the TVEs is that the interior of China was so backward (it consisting mainly of literally of tens of thousands of small and relatively isolated villages) is that almost any improvement in industrial capability and capacity was a big improvement over what had existed before in the region. The same thing happened in the Soviet Union, where initially industrial output increased due to some fairly simple and basic improvements in manufacturing technology and production. Like the TVE's, they also initially seemed a big success, only later peaking and going into decline. However, the interior of both countries was so backward industrially that almost any improvement was likely to succeed in the short term, whether it was more collectivized as in the case of the Soviet Union, or smaller scale, more private enterprise type operations as in the case of TVE's.

My point, unfortunately, is that we still don't know whether TVE's will truly succeed or not in the long run, as much of the profit can also be explained by the low cost of labor. If labor is cheap enough, you can still make a profit not matter how inefficient and low tech and non-competitive your operation is.

So overall, although I applaud Mr. Sach's willingness to be an advocate for eliminating poverty around the world, we still don't really know what we're doing in many cases economically, and the practical problems are still daunting. Development economics is itself a developing academic area (by the way, John Kenneth Galbraith, an advisor to many U.S. presidents, did his Ph.D. dissertation on farm economics, although he became known mainly for his book, The Age of Affluence), and hopefully we will continue to learn more and be able to apply more rational and scientific solutions to the elimination of poverty in the future.

In the short-term, however, our efforts continue to be hampered by inefficient and corrupt governments and inefficient aid organizations--although I still believe that we must continue to provide help despite the small percentage of it that ultimately reaches those most in need. ... Read more


27. Leadership and Self Deception: Getting Out of the Box
by Arbinger Institute, The Arbinger Institute
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1576751740
Catlog: Book (2002-02-09)
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Pub
Sales Rank: 2990
Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Leadership and Self-Deception is the first book to identify a single, underlying cause of every form of leadership failure. Through the story of Tom—a “shluck” in his manager’s words—readers discover that identifying and treating individual leadership problems as if they were separate and distinct is not enough to transform people into successful leaders. The authors suggest that the key to leadership lies not in what we do, but in how we "are." They explore this compelling secret: Self-deception is the central player and trap underlying all leadership failures, relationship issues, and performance problems in organizations. Leaders who live in the box of self-deception are trapped: they cannot lead, no matter how hard they try and no matter how many skills and techniques they employ. With convincing examples, the authors show clearly how self-deception operates and how to overcome it. While other books cover people skills, this one goes deeper, fully illuminating the secret to leadership success. ... Read more

Reviews (76)

4-0 out of 5 stars In the box
I think the "Light on content" reviewer is in the box! The concepts in this book COULD perhaps be contained in a small pamphlet, but Terry Warner's book guides the reader through useful and practical applications. Most people, including me, cannot simply read a pamphlet and expect the concepts contained therein to immediately change us. This book takes the time to help the reader internalize potentially life-changing ideas.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff--Not For the Timid
Don't read this book if you're not willing to confront yourself about how you see, feel about and treat others in your life--spouse, boss, children, co-workers, subordinates, the janitor. It's a short and simple book with a surprisingly simple message. You'll find yourself constantly stopping throughout the book to reflect upon some situation you could have, and should have, handled differently by thinking about those involved in a different manner. This is a truly fresh and human approach to leadership and performance. Read it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Remarkable
So much of this kind of writing is common sense once you're done the book... but this kind of common sense needs to be reinforced over and over again.

Written in an easy to follow narrative you find yourself relating to the main character, coming up with the same questions he has, and feeling the same feelings as he finds the truth about what he is living, feeling & learning.

A quick read and a remarkable look into how you can live & work everday.

2-0 out of 5 stars I suppose it could be useful ...
... but like most "leadership" books, it presents material that is more common sense than anything. However it may be the most obvious things that people overlook.

Nonetheless, the book can inadvertently create even more of "a box" between those who believe in the book's mantra and those who don't. The former will accuse the latter of "being in the box" while the latter may argue how the content oversimplifies things. In reality, like most philosophies, the answer is probably in the middle somewhere. The book recommends that we should evaluate our relationships as those between people, rather than objects, and that any problems we see may really be problems with ourselves. This ignores the fact that there are in reality (albeit hopefully uncommon) low performers, disrespectful, and dishonest people, and sometimes the problem really is with them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Get Out of The BOX
This book is outstanding in helping with judgements and self-deception. The principles are taught and reflected in a business relationship enviorment. The new guy ends up learning how to deal more effectively with people at work and at home.

This book is not just for business people. Leadership of Self-Deception is about every relationship. The story and concepts in the book help to open the veil that covers our minds and hearts which cause difficulties with people.

The ideas within this book take you to the deepest levels of judging and dealing with people. You learn how to change your viewpoint to have healthy vibrant relationships with coworkers, family, friends, and anyone you meet. This book took me to a deeper level then Who Moved My Cheese and The One Minute Manger.

There are twelve inches which seperates are head and heart. This book helps to bridge the gap and open us to better relationships. ... Read more


28. Product Development for the Lean Enterprise: Why Toyota's System Is Four Times More Productive and How You Can Implement It
by Michael N. Kennedy
list price: $26.95
our price: $18.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1892538091
Catlog: Book (2003-04-01)
Publisher: Oaklea Press
Sales Rank: 15287
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

If you're in new product development, or simply work in management and depend on new products for your livelihood, this is definitely the must-read of the decade. You're going to love the increased productivity and the freedom to be creative of this new product development system.

Where do you suppose it originated? Toyota, wouldn't you know. Iffamiliar with what's going on in industry today, you're already aware that the Toyota Production System is the envy of Western manufacturing. Companies like Dell Computers and Pella Windows are using it to sock it to their competition. But did you know that Toyota's new product development system is just as important to the ongoing success of Toyota? Consider this. Toyota's new product engineers are 400 percent more productive than those employed by most companies. Talk about productivity. It's enough to make top management want to dance a jig. This book explains that system and how it can be implemented.

Hold on. Before you click the order button, or surf to another site, let us make you aware of one more very important thing. The Toyota new product development system this book explains has very little if anything to do with the Toyota Production System. The former is how Toyota develops new products. The latter is how Toyota manufactures them. Both systems deliver extremely high productivity, both free people to do their best, but beyond that, there really aren't many similarities. You need to read this book to find out why. Believe us when we say, no company that depends on an ongoing flow of new and improved products can afford to ignore the revelations it contains or the potential advantages in terms of productivity and creativity that can accrue from following the method outlined in Product Development for the Lean Enterprise. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking Mental Nourishment
Michael Kennedy's book, Product Development for the Lean Enterprise, gives an experienced insight into the dilemma faced by some of North America's largest organizations, those who have embraced management science in all of its complexity to win national awards, only to find they are unable to compete successfully at the customer level. Using an engaging fictional narrative, Kennedy provides a fresh insight into product development; this book will challenge your beliefs and understanding and likely intrigue you sufficiently to investigate how aspects of the process can be made applicable in your enterprise. It is a treasure trove of information on, not just its principal topic, Toyota's unique product development process, but details on establishing and operating "a process renewal team" and "large group interventions for organizational change".

In Michael Kennedy's very readable book, one is introduced to Toyota's design concepts, unconventional to the majority of us in corporate North America. Imagine your product development process stipulating:
• explore not one, but multiple design solutions at the same time;
• delay the design's narrowing process to as late as possible in the process;
• demand the building and testing of multiple design models and prototypes for performance conformity;
• have the development, retention and reuse of engineering knowledge and skills a top priority for the company;
• eliminate the use of complex integrated task based program and plans by delegating each program designer to prepare his/her own time-lines to meet fixed review dates and performance levels; and
• have functional engineering managers focus on teaching and mentoring engineering talent, not administration.

In addition to product development, Kennedy's book gives the reader an overview of change management issues from strategy, to personal and political conflict, to presentation and implementation tactics. The book stimulates thought; it proposes possibilities; it gives a glimpse into the future of an enlightened company's product development process. It is beyond a wake-up-call; it is mental nourishment to everyone whose enterprise relies on engineered products.

5-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Compelling, a unique perspective on Toyota
Michael Kennedy has created a most entertaining and informative book which explores an, heretofore, unexplored aspect of why Toyota, and companies like Toyota, excel at bringing new products to market with 4 times the efficiency of their North American competitors. The book is written in a fictionalized style, ala "The Goal", and conveys the philosophies and paradigms that Toyota embraces which set them apart, in time-to-market and profits, even in this post-bubble economy. Kennedy draws from his life experiences, both as an organizational developer of concurrent engineering processes at a Fortune 100 company, and from his involvement with a National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) collaboration which studied and documented this subject. His volume chronicles how IRT Industries, struggles with their product development processes, their discovery of how Toyota uses knowledge-based paradigms, and how IRT grudgingly realizes that major paradigms shifts, not process changes nor process compliance is required to be a world class product development company. And, maybe best of all, he provides a detailed plan and methodology by which enlightened companies can implement what they learn from this volume. ... Read more


29. Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change
by William Bridges
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0738208248
Catlog: Book (2003-05)
Publisher: Perseus Publishing
Sales Rank: 3990
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From the most trusted voice on transition, a revised edition of the classic practical guide to dealing with the human side of organizational change.

The business world is a place of constant change, with stories of corporate mergers, layoffs, bankruptcy, and restructuring hitting the news every day. Yet as veteran consultant William Bridges maintains, the situational changes are not as difficult for companies to make as the psychological transitions. In the best-selling Managing Transitions, Bridges provides a clear understanding of what change does to employees and what employees in transition can do to an organization.

Directed at managers and employees in today's corporations, Bridges shows how to minimize the distress and disruptions caused by change. Managing Transitions addresses the fact that it is people who have to carry out the change. When the book was originally published a decade ago, Bridges was the first to provide any real sense of the emotional impact of change and what can be done to keep it from disrupting the entire organization. With new information and commentary on layoffs, corporate suspicion, and the increasing tumult in the business world, Managing Transitions remains the definitive guide to dealing with change. ... Read more

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change
Leading a full-time staff of 20 people and over a 1000 volunteers, and having read a number of books on change, I have found William Bridges book extremely helpful. Many talk about change without thinking about the people that change can effect. William helps us understand that change is situational, while transition is emotional. He puts flesh and bones on change.

This book is well organized, breaking down transition into three phases. Phase I: "The Letting Go Stage", Phase II: "The Neutral Zone" and Phase III: "The New Beginning" In each phase William helps us understand what to anticipate and gives us extremely practical advice and checklists.

I also enjoy the awesome quotes throughout the book. Here are some great qoutes from Phase II:

"It's not so much that we're afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it's the place inbetween that we fear... It's like being between trapezes." Marilyn Ferguson

"It takes nine months to have a baby, no matter how many people you can put on the job." American saying

"An adventure is only an inconvience rightly understood. An inconvience is only an adventure wrongly understood." C.K. Chesterton

Get the book. It is well worth your investment. It will help you with your greatest asset: PEOPLE.

5-0 out of 5 stars Answers the question: Why most organizational change fails?
William Bridges is one of the world's leading experts in the area of managing the human side of change. Bridges originally introduced the notion of "transition" in his first book, Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes (1980), which was a primer on coping with the tumultuous life changes we all face on a personal level. In Managing Transitions, Bridges applies the concept of transition within the context of organizational change.

Bridges asserts that transition is not synonymous with "change." A change occurs when something in the external environment is altered. In an organizational setting this would include changes in management, organizational structure, job design, systems, processes, etc. These changes trigger an internal psychological reorientation process in those who are expected to carry out or respond to the change. Transition is this internal process that people must go through in order to come to terms with a new situation. Unless transition occurs, change will not work.

Bridges believes that the failure to identify and prepare for the inevitable human psychological adjustments that change produces is the largest single problem that organizations encounter when they implement major change initiatives.

Unfortunately, many managers, when confronted with predictable change-induced resistance by those charged with implementing a change, respond in punitive and inappropriate ways that only serve to undermine the change effort. Due to their lack of understanding of transition, they do not possess the skills to facilitate it effectively.

Leaders and managers often assume that when necessary changes are decided upon and well planned, they will just happen. Unless the transition process is handled successfully by management, all that careful decision making and detailed planning will matter little.

We must face the fact that for a change to occur, people must own it. Unless people go through the inner process of transition, they will not develop the new behavior and attitudes the change requires. Change efforts that disregard the process of transition are doomed.

Bridges presents the reader with a simple three-phase transition model that eliminates much of the mystery surrounding the human side of change. He then provides would-be change agents with a series of checklists that serve as a road map for managing transitions in the real world.

Both research and experience remind us that although a change can be implemented quickly, the psychological process of transition takes time. Transitions can take a very long time if they are not well managed. Few organizations can afford to wait that long for the results.

The good news is that leaders can learn basic transition management strategies. Armed with these skills, they can lead employees through complex and difficult changes with renewed energy and purpose, and can actually accelerate the process of transition.

With as many as half of all major organizational change efforts failing, leaders must learn new strategies and skills that will increase the odds of success. Bridges has provided us with a toolkit for managing the human side of change that is well worth considering.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
This is one of the most succinct and clearly written business books you will ever read. Author William Bridges uses language with care and precision, delivering the goods without any superfluous jargon. He cites many welcome quotations on change and innovation from a wide range of writers and thinkers whose work is not usually found in business books. He places these quotations in context with aptly chosen examples of recent business transitions, bringing intelligence and sensibility to a subject too often addressed only with clichés and cant. Only those who have read many business books can fully appreciate the value of such an approach. Others will merely find that they are able to read this book from cover to cover without at any point having to wonder what the author really means to say. Managing transitions is really about helping people deal with fear and uncertainty - the key is to build trust and confidence. Everything Bridges says flows from that common sense insight, and seems obvious and necessary once he says it, though it may not seem as evident to you until you read his book. We highly recommends that you do so.

1-0 out of 5 stars crap
if you think this book is good, then you are bad.

5-0 out of 5 stars MANAGING change and more!
This book shows you how to MANAGE transitions and why transitions fail. It is an excellent read. If you want to know how to make the MOST of change, you have to be an Optimal Thinker. So read Optimal Thinking: How To Be Your Best Self too. ... Read more


30. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (A Marketplace Book)
by EdwinLefèvre, Marketplace Books
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471059706
Catlog: Book (1994-05-11)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 1620
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Stock investing is a relatively recent phenomenon and the inventory of true classics is somewhat slim. When asked, people in the know will always list books by Benjamin Graham, Burton G. Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street, and Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings by Philip A. Fisher. You'll know you're getting really good advice if they also mention Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre.

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is the thinly disguised biography of Jesse Livermore, a remarkable character who first started speculating in New England bucket shops at the turn of the century. Livermore, who was banned from these shady operations because of his winning ways, soon moved to Wall Street where he made and lost his fortune several times over. What makes this book so valuable are the observations that Lefèvre records about investing, speculating, and the nature of the market itself. For example:

"It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It always was my sitting. Got that? My sitting tight! It is no trick at all to be right on the market. You always find lots of early bulls in bull markets and early bears in bear markets. I've known many men who were right at exactly the right time, and began buying or selling stocks when prices were at the very level which should show the greatest profit. And their experience invariably matched mine--that is, they made no real money out of it. Men who can both be right and sit tight are uncommon."

If you've ever spent weekends and nights puzzling over whether to buy, sell, or hold a position in whatever investment--be it stock, bonds, or pork bellies, you'll be glad that you read this book. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is full of lessons that are as relevant today as they were in 1923 when the book was first published. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

Reviews (114)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting but not particularly useful...
I have read this book several times and always find it entertaining. The psychology of the markets is, I guess, always fairly similar; however, this book will not make you a dime. Do not buy this book if you think that you will learn valuable money making insights by reading it.

The worth in this book is in the entertainment value. Experienced traders will relate to certain events and conditions mentioned in this book (at least I do). Really, this book is a just a novel for traders that transcends generations in terms of relevance.

Victor Niederhoffer heavily borrowed from this book when he wrote "Education of a Speculator." In that book, he basically said that he would not give up his trading secrets for the price of a book. What came about was a biography on the basics of how he developed his mind of a successful trader. That is the essence of "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator:" how Edwin LeFevre developed his trading mind.

Will a neophite leap frog elemental educational experience in the financial markets by instead reading this book? I think not. The neophite will also not learn of a succesful money making strategy by reading this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is my "bible" of investing
I have a library of nearly 100 books about the markets. Reminiscences was the third book I ever read and it remains my "bible" more than a decade later. You might wonder how an 80-year old book about the stock market could still be relevant. Well, that is because financial markets are determined by human nature as much as anything else, and human nature acts today as it did a century ago. Greed, fear, herd thinking, impatience - those are the same influences that drive markets today and haunt traders and investors who are striving to make the right decisions. Many of the lessons that dictate my investment philosophy ("Cut your losses, let your winners run", "if you don't like the odds, don't bet") were taught to me by the protagonist, who is the fictional characterization of the legendary Jesse Livermore. That he tells his stories with such color and suspense makes the book completely entertaining beyond its invaluable trading lessons. BUY THIS BOOK FOR YOURSELF. BUY ANOTHER ONE FOR A FRIEND (I've given 4 copies). You'll not only improve your own investing results, but your gift will impress as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece
I bought this book after it was mentioned on the book Market Wizards. After I finished reading it, I found myself going back to it over and over again. This is a must read book for anyone that is really interesting in how the trading markets work in real life. It's brilliant, funny... Great!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Dated Yet Insightful
This book's contribution to the literature of the financial markets is incontrovertible. For an investing public starved of trading wisdom in a pre-Markowitz era when stock traders relied more or less on rules of thumb, "Reminiscences" stood out as a true gem. It should be read both as a source of profound insight into the workings of financial markets past and present, and as a critique of speculative activity in the years prior to the bursting of the stock market bubble in 1929.

One of the most important lessons mentioned in the book is that a trader does not have to be invested in the market all the time. It sounds hackneyed today, but this tenet is actually difficult to follow in practice, given the propensity of traders and investors to ride out losing positions.

It is important to remember that, having been written during a massive bull run and prior to the systemic failure of the stock market in 1929, during which the market's 'boundless hope and optimism', as described in Galbraith's "The Great Crash 1929", run roughshod over sentiments that the markets were overheating, "Reminiscences" should be read with an eye towards portfolio preservation, not injudicious speculation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hardcover Marketplace Book version worth the price ?
Wonderful book.
However I wanted a version printed on good paper so it would last a long time.
I bought a very costly hardcover Marketplace copy, just to discover that it was printed on weak paper.
It probably is just the paperback version with a hardcover, for which a 4.5 times the paperback price tag is quite rich. ... Read more


31. Microeconomics with MyEconLab Student Access Kit (7th Edition)
by Michael Parkin
list price: $100.00
our price: $100.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321246047
Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Sales Rank: 23335
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32. Fundamentals of Financial Management : Concise
by Eugene F. Brigham, Joel F. Houston
list price: $96.95
our price: $96.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0324258720
Catlog: Book (2003-03-07)
Publisher: South-Western College Pub
Sales Rank: 4593
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The market leader, Brigham/Houston, continues to grow in reputation as the most effective approach for learning the basic finance principles, tools, and applications. The Concise version of the extremely successful Fundamentals of Financial Management text offers an briefer alternative containing the same level of rigor concerning the topics covered.It is also updated to reflect the latest in theory, research, real-world examples, and use of technology. The seamless, integrated ancillary package - done by the authors - is a hallmark of this package that makes the subject more accessible for learners. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Long Way Book
I was very disappointed in this book because I looked forward to my finance class in college. But this book was poorly put together - one short paragraph would talk about carry forward and back but nothing was elaborated on the subject - it would just go right into the equation. I heavily depended on the professor's lecture and not once referred to the book when studying for the exam. However, I did use the book to make sure I was using the correct terminology for the exam. ... Read more


33. Winning With People : Discover the People Principles that Work for You Every Time
by John C. Maxwell, John Maxwell
list price: $24.99
our price: $16.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0785260897
Catlog: Book (2005-01-14)
Publisher: Nelson Books
Sales Rank: 33953
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Book Description

Ask the successful CEOs of major corporations, entrepreneurs, top salespeople, and pastors what characteristic is most needed for success in leadership positions, and they’ll tell you—it’s the ability to work with people.

Some people are born with great relationship skills, but those who are not can learn to improve them. In Winning with People Maxwell has translated decades of experience into 25 People Principles that anyone can learn.

Maxwell has divided the People Principles in this book according to the questions we must ask ourselves if we want to win with people:

  • Readiness: Are we prepared for relationships?
  • Connection: Are we willing to focus on others?
  • Trust: Can we build mutual trust?
  • Investment: Are we willing to invest in others?
  • Synergy: Can we create a win-win relationship?

Each section contains guiding People Principles. Some are intuitive, such as The Lens Principle: Who We Are Determines How We See Others. Others may go against your instincts, such as The Confrontation Principle: Caring for People Should Precede Confronting People. All of them are 100 percent practical!

... Read more

34. Confronting Reality : Doing What Matters to Get Things Right
by Larry Bossidy, Ram Charan
list price: $27.50
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400050847
Catlog: Book (2004-10-19)
Publisher: Crown Business
Sales Rank: 479
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Amazon.com

In their 2002 bestseller, Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan identify why people don’t get results: they don’t execute. Bossidy and Charan are back with another stellar study on organizational behavior that shows how companies can succeed if they return to reality and examine every part of their business. Confronting Reality is based on a simple concept, but many companies approach strategy and execution in a surprisingly unreal manner and even the simplest of measurement methods, like the business model, are not applied correctly.

Cisco, 3M, KLM, Home Depot, and the Thomson Corporation are just a few of the companies that Bossidy and Charan examine. To demonstrate how to examine a business using the business model, Bossidy and Charan map out external variables, financial targets, internal activities, and an iteration stage (defined as a time to "make tradeoffs, apply and develop business savvy") to prove how a dynamically evolving business model will help improve performance.

"The version of the business model we have developed is a robust, reality-based process for thinking about the specifics of your business in a holistic way. It shows you how to tie together the financial targets you must meet, the external realities of your business and internal activities such as strategy development, operating tactics, and selection and development of people."

Larry Bossidy, retired chairman and CEO of Honeywell International and Ram Charan, author of What the CEO Wants You to Know and Profitable Growth Is Everyone's Business, have once again shed industrial-strength light on how to run a successful business. --E. Brooke Gilbert

Amazon.com Exclusive Content

Amazon.com Interview: Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan


Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan are back with Confronting Reality to show how companies can succeed if they get back to reality and examine every part of their business. Amazon.com senior editor E. Brooke Gilbert interviewed Bossidy and Charan to discuss the current business climate, their new book, and future projections.
Read the interview.



Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan Discuss the Airline Industry

Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan discuss the airline industry's failure to confront reality based on a recent Wall Sreet Journal article and their new book as a backdrop.
Read their comments.



... Read more


35. Deal Terms - The Finer Points of Venture Capital Deal Structures, Valuations, Term Sheets, Stock Options and Getting Deals Done
by Alex Wilmerding, Aspatore Books Staff, Aspatore.com
list price: $49.95
our price: $39.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1587622084
Catlog: Book (2003-01-01)
Publisher: Aspatore Books
Sales Rank: 10134
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Deal Terms is the first ever in-depth look at valuations, preferred stock, stock options and other variables that affect deal structure, written by Alex Wilmerding (a venture capitalist at Boston Capital Ventures and best selling author of Term Sheets & Valuations). Written from a venture capital perspective, however applicable for all types of financings, Deal Terms includes actual term sheets, valuation methodology and analysis, assessment of stock option programs and their impact on valuations and capital structures and other real world documents used by leading venture capitalists and lawyers analyzed from multiple perspectives. A must have book for any executive, entrepreneur, or financial professional, this timeless classic is an unprecedented resource that will help you avoid costly mistakes, understand various structures and terms, and understand wording and language from other deal sheets to help you get deals done.

According to Graham Anderson, General Partner at Euclid SR Partners, "Deal Terms provides critical, in-depth, first-hand perspective on the crucial terms and factors which influence financing decisions."Clifford Schorer, Entrepreneur in Residence, Columbia Business School remarks, "Deal Terms is an indispensable reference for entrepreneurs and finance professionals." And Andrew McKee, General Partner at Webster Capital notes, "Deal Terms is a really important resource." ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Helpful, practical, and brilliant!
I recently finished your book "Deal Terms" and found it extremely
helpful as we are looking into our first round of financing.

This book showed me numerous issues that I would have definitely overlooked or simply not thought of.
 
Thanks for writing Deal Terms. Definitely an invaluable
reference for anyone in business!

5-0 out of 5 stars Direct to the Deal Terms
This book has a few sample drafts of term sheets and other legal documents. That is not the primary focus of this book. You can hire that kind of talent (legal drafting) on a per hour basis. This book helps the owners make the BUSINESS decisions necessary to avoid hamstring their new venture during this difficult passage. Included is information about what to pay your independent directors, advisory board members and senior management. Also included is what percentage of the company the founders should expect to keep, how to avoid excessive dilution during an unfortunate down round and how to present your opportunity to potential investors. All of these BUSINESS decisions are beyond the discretion of attorneys in this area, they typically instruct the entrepreneur to reflect upon the topic and then the attorney will draft it to suit.

Wilmerding interviews individuals that are representative of players an entrepreneur will encounter in getting his business funded. These real world examples of how business (strategy) items are handled or viewed by third parties are the best part of his book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Useful Reference Guide
As a corporate attorney specializing in the area of venture capital and private equity I just completed reading "Deal Terms." I found the book to be insightful and a good resource, particularly in areas that are outside of my traditional bailiwick as a lawyer. A recommend this book for those new to the venture capital area as well as experienced investors, entrepreneurs and professionals.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Insightful...Read Before Your Next Deal
Mr. Wilmerding's book is a great reference for every venture capitalist, entrepreneur, and investment banker. I was very impressed with the analysis of actual deal sheets, and the recommendations on specific points within a deal.

Also of particular value is the focus on the preferred and convertible stocks. The in-depth analysis of both the simple and complex types of offerrings brings to light a lot on the topic, and what to watch out for with new laws and regulations regarding these documents.

This book is a must read for anyone doing financial deals of any type. Although I have been doing deals for over 20 years, there were a couple of points in particular that I took away from this book that I now use in all the deals I do. We also had one of our portfolio entrepreneurs read it, who took away a lot and now uses this book as their "standard" for the types of deals they do.

Want to know what venture capitalists really think about deals and how they structure them? It's in this book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Passable guide, but certainly not a reference book
A very brief and concise view of venture capital structures, but also somewhat basic in content. Examples could use more details (e.g., the sample weighted average anti-dilution calculations).

Disappointed that the author does not address more complicated security structures other than common and straight convertible preferred. Also, I was surprised given the recent publication date that there was not a comparison on how deal terms have changed from the dot-com boom and bust.

Certainly not a must have book for my bookshelf.

Sahlman's Entrepreneurial Venture is a much better "reference" book and cheaper too. ... Read more


36. Economics : Principles and Policy, 2004 Update
by William J. Baumol, Alan S. Blinder
list price: $137.95
our price: $137.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 032420163X
Catlog: Book (2004-07-08)
Publisher: South-Western College Pub
Sales Rank: 39431
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Book Description

This text remains a proven leader in the world of economics. Since introducing the aggregate supply/ aggregate demand model as a fundamental tool for learning economics over two decades ago, in this edition William J. Baumol and Alan S. Blinder continue their long tradition of equipping students with the knowledge and tools they need to apply modern economics to their world.Hallmark features include one of the strongest policy treatments on the market and a careful and in-depth focus on the most important economic tools students should retain after the course is over. ... Read more


37. Bullies, Tyrants, and Impossible People : How to Beat Them Without Joining Them
by RONALD M. SHAPIRO, MARK A. JANKOWSKI, JAMES DALE
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400050111
Catlog: Book (2005-06-07)
Publisher: Crown Business
Sales Rank: 45841
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38. Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach
by Jeffrey Wooldridge
list price: $124.95
our price: $119.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0324113641
Catlog: Book (2002-07-11)
Publisher: South-Western College Pub
Sales Rank: 36369
Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The modern approach of this text recognizes that econometrics has moved from a specialized mathematical description of economics to an applied interpretation based on empirical research techniques.It bridges the gap between the mechanics of econometrics and modern applications of econometrics by employing a systematic approach motivated by the major problems facing applied researchers today.Throughout the text, the emphasis on examples gives a concrete reality to economic relationships and allows treatment of interesting policy questions in a realistic and accessible framework. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Did the trick ...
As an undergraduate student, studying econometrics I advise that this book is a very (very) basic introduction to econometrics (one-step up from basic statistics, probabilities, etc).

One minus of the book, is that it lacks detailed examples of some of the key concepts (which is defintiely a must when you are learning something new) .... the concepts are detailed enough but it is always helpful to have a real world example of the concept.

Also, some of the chapters can induce learning overload and require intense concentration ... which I found to be quite annoying (as you do when you are a student). If the chapters were broken up a bit more, it would be a far easier read (see my recommendation below concerning an easier read).

However, the appendices are most excellent for review of key prior mathmatical knowledge (probabilities,statistics, etc) ... but you will likely need to know your "stuff" before you attempt to read this book (which is logical really).

If you are interested in econometrics but not so good with maths, I recommend purchasing Schaum's outlines: an introduction to mathematical economics by Edward T Dowling, as this is a most excellent, informative book with hundreds of worked through examples.

Additionally, I have also recently read "Learning and practising econometrics" by William E Griffiths et al, and this is a far easier read than Woolridges book ... but maybe that is because I have already read Woolridges book (just a thought).

At any rate whilst using this book, I passed my basic econometrics 200 level course, with a pleasing grade. So all in all, the book did do the trick!

Good luck, Kristina

5-0 out of 5 stars commment
I love this book even as a graduate student. It covers all the major issues in the fields and explains it more easily to understand than the graduate texts. I borrowed a copy and then decided to buy one.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but not enough.
I bought Wooldridge`s book about 5 months ago, because I needed an introductory text, which is newer than Gujarati`s Basic Econometrics (1995).
Wooldridge's book is easy to understand, covers most of the topics you can expect. Good for beginners, undergraduate courses, but finally I still felt necessary to buy Gujarati`s book too. The latter is just better for an introductory-intermediate text.
If you have a low budget, and you need a text that you can use in the long run as well, choose rather Gujarati`s book.

5-0 out of 5 stars a great introduction into econometrics
Wooldridge has managed to write a great and intuitive introduction into econometrics. The book doesn't require any prerequisites despite basic high school math and statistics. Matrix algebra is only used in some of the appendices, which is a bit sad, as the introduction of it in the text, and the usage during the text, would have been a major advantage when reading more advanced books on econometrics. Despite that, the book is really fascinating. Written in a simple yet rather rigorous style, accessible and self-explanatory. The examples aren't always economic, which is a small lack, but in a way Wooldridge does what he is promising to do: He introduces the reader into the methods of modern econometrics, from a very solid and thorough coverage of OLS to more advanced methods such as panel data analysis, time series (basics, unit roots, co-integration) or ILS and 2SLS (simultaneous equation models). In my opinion, the book can be used for two one-semester courses. The availability of data sets for the computer exercises is useful for both students as well as instructors. Apart from its lack of matrix algebra, this book presents a consistent, solid, but easily understandable introduction into econometric methods so that even survey articles from e.g. the Handbook of International Economics using econometrics are rather easily readable. Kennedy's 'A Guide to Econometrics' makes a good companion, for further studies, Greene's econometric bible ('Econometric Analysis') is probably the most recommendable book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
This book gives very good intuition about the econometric analysis tools. For econometrics, this is the simplest book that covers so much and explains things so simply.
I definetely recommend this book. ... Read more


39. Does IT Matter? Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage
by Nicholas G. Carr
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1591394449
Catlog: Book (2004-04)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 13008
Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A Bold Manifesto on the Future of Information Technology

Over the last decade, and even since the bursting of the technology bubble, pundits, consultants, and thought leaders have argued that information technology provides the edge necessary for business success.

IT expert Nicholas G. Carr offers a radically different view in this eloquent and explosive book. As IT's power and presence have grown, he argues, its strategic relevance has actually decreased. IT has been transformed from a source of advantage into a commoditized "cost of doing business"-with huge implications for business management.

Expanding on Carr's seminal Harvard Business Review article that generated a storm of controversy, Does IT Matter? provides a truly compelling-and unsettling-account of IT's changing business role and its leveling influence on competition.

Through astute analysis of historical and contemporary examples, Carr shows that the evolution of IT closely parallels that of earlier technologies such as railroads and electric power. He goes on to lay out a new agenda for IT management, stressing cost control and risk management over innovation and investment. And he examines the broader implications for business strategy and organization as well as for the technology industry.

A frame-changing statement on one of the most important business phenomena of our time, Does IT Matter? marks a crucial milepost in the debate about IT's future.

... Read more

Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Where is IT going?
Full Title: Does IT Matter? Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage -- With $2 trillion being spent on computers and communications each year there is an underlying assumption that IT is critical to increasing the competitive advantage and strategic success of a business.

But with the ready availability of computers, storage, software and people, has the IT function perhaps become one of the foundation building blocks of a corporation, just like sales, engineering or manufacturing?

Similar to other books that are appearing, the author argues that it is time to look at IT with a managerial view. What are you getting for the investment? Is IT simply another cost center or a strategic benefit to the company? How do you control costs and yet get the information you need in a timely manner? The book provides an interesting and timely view of such points.

5-0 out of 5 stars A different view of the computer revolution
There has seemed to be a neverending flood of hype about computers for at least the last 20 years. Information technology (IT) is going to change everything, we've been told - from the way businesses operate to the way people live. Well, the flood ends here. Meticulously argued, well researched, and surprisingly lively, this short book dissects one computer myth after another. Most of it focuses on the business world, showing how IT is turning into another commonplace technology like electricity. There's an engaging historical review of how big technologies create big business changes early in their development, but then quickly turn into routine costs. It also provides practical advice for companies on how they should manage IT. It ends, though, with a broader examination of how we tend to get carried away with our dreams of big technological revolutions. It shows that in comparison with earlier technologies computers have had a fairly modest impact on society and commerce - and that some of the consequences have been less than positive. This book is a breath of fresh air.

2-0 out of 5 stars Excellent questions with inferior answers
'Does IT Matter' is a difficult book to rate. As to the questions it raises, it deserves 5 stars. But its answers, are two-star, at best.

By way of analogy, most bomb threats are bogus, but each one must be treated as if it were genuine. With that, in his new book Does IT Matter?, Nicholas Carr throws a bomb, and it turns out to be a dud.

Carr's book is an outgrowth of his article "IT Doesn't Matter," which appeared in the May 2003 issue of the Harvard Business Review. His hypothesis is that the strategic importance of IT has diminished. Carr views IT as a commodity, akin to electricity.

He also compares IT to the railroad infrastructure. In the early days, railroads that had their own tracks had a huge advantage, but once the rails become ubiquitous and open, that advantage went away.

Carr feels that since all companies can purchase the same hardware and software, any strategic advantage is obviated. It's true that the core functions of IT (processing, network transport, storage, etc.) are affordable and available to all, but there's still huge strategic advantage to be gained in how they're implemented.

It's much like two airlines that purchase the same model of airplane. If one airline streamlines and optimizes operations, trains its staff and follows standard operating procedures, it can expect to make a profit. If the other has operational inefficiencies, labor problems and other setbacks, it could lose money. The airplane is identical, but the outcome is not.

Carr is correct in that there have been some huge IT outlays of dubious value. But to say that IT is simply the procurement of hardware and software is to be blind to the fact that hardware and software are but two of the myriad components of IT.

To use the railroad metaphor, hardware and off-the-shelf software are the rails of IT; how they are designed and implemented is what provides their strategic value. Carr views IT as completely evolved. But the reality is that although IT has matured, it still is in a growth mode. The IT of today is vastly different from the IT of both 1999 and 2009.

Carr's view that most innovations within IT will tend to enhance the reliability and efficiency of IT rather than provide a competitive advantage is in direct opposition to what is said by every CIO I have met.

4-0 out of 5 stars Does Enterprise Architecture Matter?
Readers of this book should also read books on Enterprise Architecture as a solution to the concerns raised by the author.

5-0 out of 5 stars Provocative title, narrow claim, strong argument
You may recall the uproar in 2003 around a short Harvard Business Review article entitled "IT Doesn't Matter". Various IT company leaders spoke out against the article, with Carly Fiorina calling it "dead wrong" and Steve Ballmer calling it "hogwash". There were also many lengthy rebuttals. Nicholas Carr, the author of the original 8 page article, expanded the argument into a well-written book, explaining his claim more thoroughly and responding to his critics.

The book (like the article) has a provocative title, but in fact Carr's claim is much narrower than the title suggests. Carr is only focused on *corporate IT*, the systems that companies build and deploy for their own use and the use of their customers and suppliers. He is not looking at consumer IT --- the digital wonders that are showing up in our living rooms, cars, and in our pockets. And he is not looking at governmental IT --- the systems that are used to find terrorists, wage combat, or evaluate welfare eligibility.

More significantly, Carr is also focused on one corporate use of IT, to attain a *competitive advantage*. Can Coke achieve some competitive advantage over Pepsi by implementing a new application? Carr is not asking whether IT can add value to a company --- clearly there are thousands of examples of IT saving money, providing value to customers, to suppliers, and adding value in other ways. Instead, Carr asks whether we can expect IT to add this value in a way that competitors cannot quickly realize the same added value. Can Coke do something significant with IT that will not be quickly replicated by Pepsi?

Finally, Carr agrees that in the past IT has been used to gain competitive advantages. By automating reservations, pricing, and seat assignments in the 1960s, American Airlines really did achieve a lasting advantage over its rivals. By creating logistics applications in the 1980s, Walmart really did achieve a lasting advantage over Sears and Kmart. Carr's claim is that *those days are gone*, that the days of using IT for competitive advantage are over.

His claim rests on three broad trends, each of which undercuts the opportunities for competitive advantage. First, the time needed to replicate a particular IT application---the "technology replication cycle" in his words---has shortened considerably over the last few decades. Hardware, tools and platform technologies have made it increasingly easier, faster, and cheaper to replicate a successful application built elsewhere. This declining technology cycle is likely to continue, and make any advantage in the ownership of a particular application to be short-lived.

Another reinforcing trend is the push toward standardization. 40 years ago every company built their own applications. Since then software products have emerged. These products can always be customized to particular situations, but they often are not. It is often cheaper and easier to adapt the business to the best practices in SAP, rather than to customize SAP to the specifics of the business. The economics of standardization --- the cost advantages for companies to be like their competitors --- trump the advantages of maintaining differences. BPOs further this push to standardization, and away from competitive advantage via IT.

A third trend is the spread of IT business insight. It is much better understood today how to achieve value with IT. The secrets of how to do this spreads with individual experience, with analysts, with books and trade rags, and with consultants. If a company has success with a particular technology, everyone in their industry knows about it quickly.

These three trends (Carr claims) are reducing IT to a role much like electricity. Electricity is critical to all businesses today, but (aside from mishaps like the recent problems in California) no one would expect to find a competitive advantage in superior use of electricity.

Does Carr make his case? I think he does, although there are some big exceptions to his argument. ... Read more


40. Fundamentals of Risk and Insurance
by Emmett J.Vaughan, Therese M.Vaughan
list price: $115.95
our price: $115.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471216879
Catlog: Book (2002-05-15)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 46729
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This consumer-oriented textbook addresses the principles of risk management without skimping on the discussion of insurance. It summarizes the nature of pure risk on the individual and on society and illustrates how insurance can be used to deal with the problems posed by such risk. Mirroring the diverse experience of its authors, the text is equally effective in presenting the principles of insurance theory and offering how-to advice to students. Throughout, the main emphasis is on the insurance product and the use of insurance within the risk management framework. The traditional fields of life insurance, health insurance, property and liability insurance, and social insurance are treated in terms of their relationship to the wide range of insurable risks to which the individual and the business firm are exposed. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fundamentals of Risk and Insurance
Updated to reflect changes in the field since 1999, this volume provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of insurance, with a consumer emphasis on the insurance product.

4-0 out of 5 stars How Do I Write a Review about an Insurance Book?
Well, I guess I can try to review this book from the only perspective I read it from: that of a student. I had to read it for my CFP class on Insurance, and, as an introduction to most forms of insurance, it explains the forms in a very methodical and systematic way; it was very easy to follow and tough to get completely lost.

Honestly, I was never really fascinated with insurance. My life-licensing class was 24 hours of classroom time spread out over one weekend, so maybe that has created some insurance-related intellectual scars. The sections on Life Insurance and the basic components of any insurance contract and the whole insurance process were already familiar to me, so I found those sections incredibly uninteresting. The other forms of insurance were much more interesting and gave me a great foundation for other insurance studies I've done since.

The prose of the book, too, flows extremely well. In fact, I usually just lightly read passages explaining computations and formulas because I come back later to review them in-depth; however, while reading this book, I actually felt I fully understood most of the computations even while I read (which almost never happens because most formula-explaining reads much like Kant's "Metaphysics of Morals").

Just one closing point... I guess you'd have to be either Insurance Commissioner or a professor of insurance to be really interested in this material, but the authors write in a way that allows even the average CFP or insurance student to come away from the book with a good sense of how insurance works and where it fits into an individual's financial plan. ... Read more


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