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1. Service Delivery (It Infrastructure
$14.75 list($35.00)
2. Cutting Edge: Gillette's Journey
$33.96 $29.95 list($39.95)
3. Achieving 100% Compliance of Policies
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4. Raising the Bar : Integrity and
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5. My Years with General Motors
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6. Residential Streets
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7. From Monopoly to Competition :
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8. Creative Company : How St. Luke's
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9. The VC Way: Investment Secrets
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10. Industrial Organization: Theory
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11. The Economic Institutions of Capitalism
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12. The Legend of Pfizer
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13. 100 Years of Harley Davidson
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14. IT Organization: BuildingA Worldclass
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15. Leveraging the New Infrastructure:
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16. Insanely Great: The Life and Times
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17. Plain Talk : Lessons from a Business
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18. Stetson Hats & the John B.
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19. Swoosh : Unauthorized Story of
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20. Guide to Analysing Companies,

1. Service Delivery (It Infrastructure Library Series)
by Not Applicable (Na )
list price: $144.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0113300174
Catlog: Book (2001-05-01)
Publisher: Stationery Office
Sales Rank: 94514
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Best of official ITIL guides
Among the official guides this one stands out as the most detailed and practical. Most of the official guides are, in my opinion, essential only if you are pursuing certification, but this one goes beyond the essential minimums by providing practical information about the five key process areas in more depth. The areas covered are:

(1) Service Level Management
(2) Financial Management for IT Services
(3) Capacity Management
(4) IT Service Continuity Management
(5) Availability Management

As in all books in this series this one covers the theory, practical and implementation perspectives, as well as the relationships between and among key process areas.

Another resource I highly recommend is ITIL Community Forum, which you can reach by pasting the ASIN number B0002FP9PO into the search box on this page, selecting all products and clicking GO. This site has a link to an open source version of the ITIL documentation that is evolving, but contains good descriptions of many of the key process areas.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fundamental IT
The information Technology Infraestructure Library is a set of guidance developed by United Kingdom's Office of Goverment Commerce (OGC). The guidance, documented in a set of books, describe an integrated, process based, best practice framework for managing, delevop in this case, IT services. To date, this book is the only comprehensive, non-propriestary, publicly available guidance fot IT Management in Service Delivery.
So, is primarily targeted at people responsible for managing IT services or IT consultants from enterprise that offers IT review services. ... Read more


2. Cutting Edge: Gillette's Journey to Global Leadership
by Gordon McKibben
list price: $35.00
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Asin: 0875847250
Catlog: Book (1997-12-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 533348
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Ever since a forward-thinking bottle-cap salesman named King Camp Gillette first grew tired of shaving with a dull razor more than 100 years ago, the company he then founded has prospered impressively--despite ongoing threats of hostile takeovers and downsizing--by continuing to explore new geographic markets and introduce fresh consumer products. Cutting Edge: Gillette's Journey to Global Leadership, by long-time business journalist Gordon McKibben, is a scrupulous, behind-the-scenes examination of the firm's history with an emphasis on the modern period that began around 1975 and solidified Gillette's deserved reputation as a worldwide powerhouse. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars A very interesting history for anyone interested in Gillette
I enjoy reading books about successful companies, their founders and the principle people in the company history. I have read many books of this type and found this one on Gillette to be well worth adding to my library. The author does an excellent job of telling the history or Gillette in an interesting way. He also does a good job of describing the men who were influential in the company's direction. Well worth reading!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Anyone Wondering How Gillette Does It
This book is essential for anyone who wants to understand how a company builds brand image and then maintains that image for years and even decades. This book, while some times dry, dramatically demonstrates how Gillette never rested, but constantly sought to improve its products. Gillette's constant R&D have paid dividends not just to employees and stock holders, but also to our late 20th century society. This book is great!!! ... Read more


3. Achieving 100% Compliance of Policies and Procedures
by Stephen Page
list price: $39.95
our price: $33.96
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Asin: 1929065493
Catlog: Book (2000-08-04)
Publisher: Process Improvement Pub
Sales Rank: 162985
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Download Description

"Achieving 100% Compliance of Policies and Procedures" is the third book of a four-part series on policies and procedures. This exciting new business book focuses on a subject that fills a major void for those individuals who are responsible for the life cycle of business processes, policies, and procedures. This 359-page book is all about change and continuous quality improvement as it applies to policies and procedures. A real-life case study is used to help explain the principles of this book. The reader is led from a labor-intensive system (procedure, procedure flow chart) through the necessary steps, including a cost-benefit analysis, to accomplish compliance and continuous improvement, resulting in a business process/procedure and a $2 million dollars savings. This book is about improvement and metrics and contains five quality tools for measuring policies and procedures. As the title suggests, the goal is to achieve 100% compliance, or complete acceptance by the customer. While a compliance goal of 100% is ambitious, you'll find the process of achieving the goal is just as important as achieving it. Through plans and goals, you'll increase productivity, profits, and customer satisfaction; as well as minimize process variation, enhance quality, reduce cycle and response time, and help the organization become receptive to change and develop a proactive (forward thinking) outlook. This book is a necessary addition to any procedures writer's reference library as it helps to ensure that the policies and procedures infrastructure remains stable by demonstrating to the reader how to write effective policies and procedures that can be measured, communicated, trained, mentored, audited, and improved. There are more than 75 illustrations, examples, tables, flow charts, and written procedures using the standard writing format introduced in my first book, "Establishing a System of Policies and Procedures." Most readers will find something useful in this book. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome books!
I bought and used all four of Stephen Page's policy and procedure books. From the very first day, I was able to get up and running on a project that was very demanding and challenging. Not only did he provide examples, but he was always there for advice when I hit a rough spot.

I HIGHLY recommend these books!

Dana Rosenboom

5-0 out of 5 stars Processes, Procedures, and Quality
I was impressed with the amount of useful information included in this book; everything seems to have been well thought out. It would appear that the author has "lived" his words and this is what makes this make book so useful to me. Because I know that when I implement his ideas that they will probably work. His case study is also very meaningful as he very carefully explains how to go from a labor-intensive procedure and go through process improvement, metrics, and arrive at a streamlined, high cost saving, new procedure.

I have bought all four of his books on procedures and this book is what makes it all worthwhile. Though I found that each book is unique in its own way and that you really need all four to write a good system of policies and procedures.

I would definitely recommend this book. He has a 40-step plan of action at the front of the book that gives you an A to Z approach to the development of any policy or procedure or process. I have printed this list and I keep it tacked on my walls.

Jim T. Armstrong

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book for quality professionals
Of Steve Page's 4 recent books, I found this one to be the most interesting. It contains all kinds of ideas for projects.

A communication strategy is obviously Steve's speciality. He knows how to use the various methods to the most advantage.

His idea for a compliance plan is a clever take-off on process control plans. He also adapts other quality tools, such as scatter and pareto diagrams to use with documentation. However, you would need another book for more details on the tools themselves.

Auditing is another of Steve's specialties which he shares with his readers.

I wish he had gone into more detail on determining the cost of documentation. He no doubt knows how to calculate it, as best as one can. He gives a detailed example on how a new (purchasing) procedure saved a company money, but not enough on the cost of producing the document itself.

I would definitely recommend this book to all who work with ISO 9000 compliance.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential for TQM, ISO 9000 and GMP organizations
Of the three books that the author has published on policies and procedures this one is a masterpiece, and is essential to anyone who works for a company that employ TQM, ISO 9000 or FDA GMP.

Where his first book, Establishing a System of Policies and Procedures, provides a roadmap for new policy writers, this book takes the subject to a much higher level by providing a process that encompasses communications and training strategies, a compliance plan, and continuous improvement. These align seamlessly with ISO 9000, as well as FDA GMPs, and is consistent with the TQM Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle. In addition, the self-assessment and auditing approaches set forth will assure policies and procedures that reflect a mature organization that is focused on quality and continuous improvement.

Among the highlights of the book are the numerous checklists, real-life examples, and an underlying strategy for the development of a comprehensive and complete system of policies and procedures, and a means to assure compliance. I particularly liked Appendix C, Cost of Quality, and the succinct description of tools and techniques in chapter 11.

Another strong point is the complexities of marrying policies and procedures writing with a continuous improvement cycle and auditing are handled in a structured, logical sequence. This is no small feat for a writer, and it is one of the reasons this book is so valuable. This book sets a standard in the field and is one that I'll always recommend to colleagues and clients.

5-0 out of 5 stars TQM-Based approach to implementing and ensuring compliance
This book is one of the most eye-opening, practical and insightful books I have read in a long time. It's one thing to write effective policies and procedures, it's quite another to implement them, and more difficult still to ensure compliance. The author's approach addresses the implementation and compliance challenges head-on.

The key strength of this book is the continuous improvement approach. I am familiar with the TQM Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle because I use a similar approach called Entry Criteria-Task-Validation-Exit Criteria (ETVX)when I am developing processes that are governed by policies and executed by procedures. What I had not thought of before reading this book was how to best implement and enforce policies and ensure procedure compliance. This book showed me how to superimpose the PDCA or ETVX cycle on communicating, measuring and continually refining policies and procedures by starting with writing policies and procedures that can be measured. I found the 40-step plan provided in this book to be straightforward and easy to manage. Do not let "40 steps" deter you because the steps are small and build upon one another. This is reinforced by a case study that completely illustrates how the 40-step plan is applied to a realistic example.

How to implement your policies and procedures is covered in the chapters on communications and training strategies, which are exhaustive and filled with tips and guidance. These chapters are fleshed out with a chapter on creating a review and communication control plan, which is essential for keeping your policies and procedures up-to-date and ensuring that they are living documents that are meaningful to your organization. Outdated policies are often ignored, which is worse than having no policy at all. Ignored policies undermine authority, which is the foundation of a policy. Outdated procedures can result in technical and cost risks at best and unsafe working conditions at worst. The next chapter on establishing a compliance plan is excellent. It incorporates measurements and validation, and shows how to develop and use the compliance plan. This is augmented by an invaluable chapter on developing self-assessment checklists, and how to evaluate the results of an assessment and how to rectify gaps.

Among the most valuable (to me) chapters in this book were: preparing an organization to be receptive to change (a major implementation barrier), conducting audits (key to compliance assurance), and conducting continuous improvement activities (keeping the policies and procedures relevant and aligned to changing requirements and business imperatives).

The information and approach given in this book will make the difference between policies and procedures that are "shelfware" and those that provide real guidance and are meaningful to an organization. I personally think this is one of the most important books on the topic, and the only one that I have come across that actually shows how to implement them and ensure compliance. ... Read more


4. Raising the Bar : Integrity and Passion in Life and Business: The Story of Clif Bar, Inc.
by GaryErickson, LoisLorentzen
list price: $24.95
our price: $15.72
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Asin: 0787973653
Catlog: Book (2004-08-06)
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Sales Rank: 4440
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Book Description

In April of 2000, Gary Erickson turned down a $120 million offer to buy his thriving company. Today, instead of taking it easy for the rest of his life and enjoying a luxurious retirement, he's working harder than ever. Why would any sane person pass up the financial opportunity of a lifetime?

Raising the Bar tells the amazing story of Clif Bar's Gary Erickson and shows that some things are more important than money. Gary Erickson and coauthor Lois Lorentzen tell the unusual and inspiring story about following your passion, the freedom to create, sustaining a business over the long haul, and living responsibly in your community and on the earth. Raising the Bar chronicles Clif Bar's ascent from a homemade energy bar to a $100 million phenomenon with an estimated 35 million consumers, and a company hailed by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. four years in a row. The book is filled with compelling personal stories from Erickson's life-trekking in the Himalayan mountains, riding his bicycle over roadless European mountain passes, climbing in the Sierra Nevada range--as inspiration for his philosophy of business. Throughout the book, Erickson--a competitive cyclist, jazz musician, world traveler, mountain climber, wilderness guide, and entrepreneur--convinces us that sustaining one's employees, community, and environment is good business.

If you are a manager, executive, business owner, or board member, Raising the Bar is your personal guide to corporate integrity. If you are a sports enthusiast, environmentalist, adventure lover, intrigued by a unique corporate culture, or just interested in a good story, Raising the Bar is for you. ... Read more


5. My Years with General Motors
by ALFRED SLOAN
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385042353
Catlog: Book (1990-10-01)
Publisher: Currency
Sales Rank: 26419
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars A rare business biography/classic by Alfred P. Sloan Jr.
Alfred P. Sloan Jr. was CEO of General Motors from 1923 to 1946. This book was originally published in 1964. Sloan is seen as the first person to have worked out systematic organization in a big company, planning and strategy, measurements, the principle of decentralization - in short, basic concepts of a discipline of management. This is a difficult book to review, since it is more a historic piece on GM's history and development from Sloan's perspective than an autobiography. It does not discuss the individual Alfred P. Sloan Jr., it discusses Alfred P. Sloan Jr. as professional manager. The chapters also come across as business school lessons in different subjects, ranging from general management through to accounting, marketing and compensation strategies.

The book consists of two parts. "Part One is an integrated continuous story of the main lines of General Motors' progress, involving the origin and development of the corporation's basic management concepts in the areas of organization, finance and product." It discusses the extreme growth and development of the automobile industry from the early 1900s through to the early 1960s. It also discusses the methods General Motors introduced used to manage the corporation (Sloan all through the book keeps emphasizing the concept of the corporation). He later became known as a committee-man, because he used different types of committees to get/keep various divisions talking and working with each other.

"Part Two consists of individually distinct sections dealing in some detail with engineering, distribution, overseas operations, war and defense products, incentive compensation, and other aspects and branches of the enterprise." This part of the book discusses in greater detail the different experiences and events during Sloan's reign as CEO. It discusses some very interesting subjects, such as the evolution of the automobile, relationships with dealers, World War I and II efforts, and personnel and labor relations. Chapter 23 and 24 are really the conclusion to this book.

Yes, this is a great book. It is a TRUE business classic. It discusses all the subjects involved in business from a CEO's point of view. I was amazed to see the amount of detail Sloan has gone through while writing this book, there are plenty of quotes from annual reports, memoranda, conversations, etc. However, some readers will be disappointed by the lack of insight into Sloan's personal life. This particular edition includes an introduction by Peter F. Drucker, who explains why this book is MUST reading for all MBA and business students, but also all people that want to be serious about management. Highly recommended. The book is written in simple business US-English.

5-0 out of 5 stars Half a century of US history told from GM's perspective
Sloan offers a unique first-hand perspective of the forces that shaped the auto industry and much of consumer marketing.

I found the account of GM's entry into consumer finance and the forces at work during the great consolidation periods of most interest.

Sloan seems to be able to keep his ego in check and deliver the facts in a straightforward manner.

Discussions of the DuPont principles of comparison for unlike businesses and the board politics that shaped General Motors are helpful to executives even today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great!!!
I think it's really a great book, not only for any industry engineering people or student, but for any student studying management. Alfred Sloan was a great businessman and I respect him and his business thought.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sloan's system thinking
Sloan's work successfully embodied the essence of system thinking.

5-0 out of 5 stars If Only Mr. Sloan were around today...
Alfred P. Sloan's account of his time with General Motors is a "just the facts, ma'am" telling of how the world's largest manufacturing concern teetered, tottered, and eventually overcame it's problems to become the symbol of American Industrialism that it is today. It's not a fast-paced nor exciting read but it is splendidly written and full of information that could only come from who was arguably the best leader of General Motors. ... Read more


6. Residential Streets
by Walter M. Kulash
list price: $49.95
our price: $42.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0874208793
Catlog: Book (2001-05-07)
Publisher: Urban Land Institute
Sales Rank: 532558
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

ULI-the Urban Land Institute, in partnership with the National Association of Home Builders, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

Updated throughout, the third edition of Residential Streets takes a practical approach to planning and designing streets that is cost effective, and that enhances the livability of subdivisions and master-planned and new urbanist communities. It offers a fresh look at street widths, geometrics, traffic flow, and other design considerations, as well as intersections, drainage systems, and pavement. Solidly endorsed by traffic engineers and in compliance with the requirements of state highway officials, the book provides street designs that can save on land costs, reduce the environmental impacts of runoff, provide a marketing advantage, and win approval. It will be useful to developers, builders, designers, and local officials who wish to create streets in residential communities that encourage walking and bicycling and that discourage speeding by through traffic. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Every municipality should read this book.
I purchased this book after hearing a presentation by the author on his ideas on "humanizing" highways. This authoritative book presents the point of view that residential neighborhood streets should be part of the ambience of the neighborhood, and not just efficient vehicle movers. In the author's view, it is OK for kids to use their neighborhood street as a playground, and the street should be designed with enough traffic calming geometry so that it would be safe to do so. This point of view is entirely opposite to the prevailing attitude in the town I live in, where residential streets, even cul-de-sacs, are required to be wide enough for two cars to pass plus a row of parked cars, and as a consequence, residents routinely ask for police enforcement to dicourage cars from speeding on those streets.

To back up this point of view, the book is a design manual for residential streets, including drainage, intersection design, pavement, sidewalks, bike paths, etc. A municipality wishing to adopt the point of view of the book will find all the specs necessary to incorporate that point of view in its subdivision regulations.

When I saw this book, I passed it around to everyone influential I knew, and got the town planning department to order two more copies for people to borrow and read. ... Read more


7. From Monopoly to Competition : The Transformations of Alcoa, 1888-1986
by George David Smith
list price: $75.00
our price: $75.00
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Asin: 0521352614
Catlog: Book (1988-08-26)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 986823
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Book Description

Over the past century, Alcoa has developed from a small entrepreneurial venture to a giant corporation; from a one-dimensional, owner-managed firm to a complex managerial bureaucracy; from a domestic company to a multinational enterprise.In the process, Alcoa survived a difficult transition from its long-held position as a monopolist (of aluminum production) to its current status as a firm operating in highly competitive international markets.This book presents Alcoa's history, from its beginnings as a speculative venture seeking to exploit an untested technology, through its rise to become the most successful monopoly in American history.By World War II, no other American corporation had developed its industry's markets more dramatically and then dominated them more completely. The book analyzes the undoing of Alcoa's monopoly by war and antitrust, as well as how Alcoa adapted to evolving forms of competition. ... Read more


8. Creative Company : How St. Luke's Became "the Ad Agency to End All Ad Agencies"
by AndyLaw
list price: $29.95
our price: $20.37
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Asin: 0471350265
Catlog: Book (1999-07-09)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 220832
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"This is the book I wish I had written. Andy Law has redefined the agency for the twenty-first century. It will be interesting to see how many agencies follow his lead." – Jay Chiat, Founder, Chiat/Day

"Passion. Rebellion. Guts. Glory. This book has the breathy pace of a thriller. The story of how St. Lukes takes on the advertising establishment is a merger of the ballad of Robin Hoods merry band and the story of David and Goliath. In fact, its a parable not just for the advertising business, but for all business today and tomorrow. St. Lukes is definitely on to something." – Marty Cooke, Executive Creative Director, M&C Saatchi

"Andy Law is one of the few creative executives who has learned by doing, not just telling. So its exciting to have him chronicle all that learning for us. Having watched him build St. Lukes from the start, it feels like watching Neil Armstrong take his first step on the moons surface. He is truly pioneering how companies will have to be run in the twenty-first century." – Geraldine B. Laybourne, Chairman and CEO Oxygen Media

"Creative Company is an intriguing story that captures the soul of the new economy. It is a must-read for managers who want to bring out exceptional performance in their team–or for anyone who wants insight into the future of business." – Deborah Kenny, Group Publisher, Sesame Street magazines

"Its a big book. It needs to be." – Dan Wieden Founder, Wieden and Kennedy

Why does Fast Company magazine call St. Lukes "the ad agency to end all ad agencies"? How can a company function, let alone thrive, when it has "eschewed conventional hierarchy in favor of the flattest possible organizational layout and the craziest ever decision-making process"? And why on earth would some of the most talented and sought-after minds in the advertising world forsake the fabulous perks available to senior managers and risk everything for a company where no one has even a desk to call his or her own?

In Creative Company, the chairman and cofounder of St. Lukes answers these questions and many more. Andy Law writes candidly and enthusiastically about breaking the agency mold and organizing a company in a completely different way.

St. Lukes is nothing if not different–to many, the agency described in this remarkable and challenging book may hardly sound like a business at all. In 1995, a small band of highly creative people who loved the work but hated the workplace established a company designed not only to get the most out of them, but to give the most back–a company in which creativity, curiosity, versatility, and a sense of fun are assets to be celebrated, not encumbrances to be left outside the door. Law recounts how many St. Lukes employee/owners discovered new sources of satisfaction, hidden talents, and even entirely new careers as they encouraged each other to experiment, learn, and grow. Meanwhile, the agencys annual billings soared to more than $90 million in three memorable years.

Complete with revealing tales of advertising legends such as Jay Chiat, Bill Tragos, Frank Lowe, and the Omnicom chieftains, Creative Company offers a fascinating, warts-and-all tour of the advertising industry. It also fires the opening volley of a revolution that aims to do nothing less than alter the "DNA" of business itself and, in Laws words, "furiously seeks a new, better, more fulfilling, and fairer role for business in the lives of its employees."

The St. Lukes story will challenge your preconceptions, stimulate your imagination, and may even change your mind. ... Read more

Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing reviews from the Europe edition (called Open Minds)
nick_johnston-jones@leoburnett.co.uk from London , 2 March, 1999 Essential reading and thinking for the office-bound This is a marvellous book in all kinds of ways and an inspiration to all who feel there has to be a better way, but don't see it in "virtual" offices, telecommuting or any of the other dubious possibilities thrown up by new technology. I sincerely hope St Luke's fulfils its potential and provides a model for enlightened 21st century business. The sense of humanity running through the text is so palpable, and the whole is terrifically life-affirming.

A couple of gripes. First, I cannot reconcile all of the proud claims made on behalf of St Luke's output with the questionable quality of work such as their campaign for the Express. Honesty is the key note of Andy Laws' philosophy, and I feel this should extend to a properly critical view of St Luke's work. The risk inherent in their approach (and this applies to other radical agencies such as HHCL) is that in their drive to innovate and be different, the occasional dog will get out. The Fox's work also falls into this category for me: I applaud the originality and bravery of the approach, but find it hard to believe it sold many biscuits. Of course, these may be the deluded opinions of an advertising luddite.

Second, am I alone in finding the epilogue painfully artificial by comparison with the text that has come before? Again, if honesty is the byword here, I simply cannot believe that this high-order philosophical debate (complete with word-perfect quotes from Greek and German philosophers) actually took place as reported. And in the unlikely event that it did, I find the tone desperately pretentious. The protagonists go perilously close to disappearing up their own fundaments, and it's a disappointing ending to an otherwise superb book.

Congratulations to Andy Law and all at St Luke's on their courage and imagination. You deserve to make a mint, then give it all away to society.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I just completed this book last week, and it really made me think about my business, where I wanted to go (I don't want my employees to be employees... so this opened up new ideas on how to work on projects, with clients, and run an business).

This book does give information about how salary's were done, vacation time, benefits, and even how shares are allotted, etc. It is a very personal testimony of a life ambition.

What this book is not: it is not a book about how a one person business became like St. Lukes. It is about how a merger happened, and a group of people joined together to keep the big-name clients they already had and make a new company. You won't find tips on how to take a 1 person shop to a 5 person shop, but the book will certainly make you think about how to organize your business, how you will work with clients, and give you a glimpse of a company that runs very well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Establishing and Then Nourishing a Landscape of Creativity
According to Law, business "can treat you as well or as badly as it chooses, yet we devote our lives unthinkingly to it and donate almost all of our knowledge and learning and creativity and sweat without any regard to its true value." On first blush, this comment seems cynical (or so it did to me when I first read it) and yet I agree with the implication that the unspoken but primary objective of most organizations is to protect their own status quo. As a result, "we have achieved only a small percentage of the innovation we could achieve." In this book, Law discusses St. Luke's, "the ad agency to end all ad agencies," in which he and his associates keep on developing new ideas. Their perpetual vision is to open minds. "And because [St. Luke's] has opened its own and the minds of those who have come to know it, I hope this book contributes to the pursuit of that vision and that you, the reader, husband, wife, employer, human are changed by it in some way."

At this point, I hasten to add that Law does not then provide a series of checklists of key points, what to do and not do, etc. His is what I guess could be called a personal memoir whose focus is on a truly unique workplace, the St. Luke's advertising agency in London. It would be foolish -- however -- for any of his readers to use St. Luke's as a model. Worse yet, to attempt to transform their own organizations into clones of St. Luke's. Rather, if I understand Law's objectives in this book (which I may not), he challenges and encourages his readers to think differently about what they do and how they do it, to think differently about the organization in which they do it, and -- in ways and to the extent appropriate -- to redevelop the "landscape" of their working lives.

There are several reasons why I have such a high regard for this book. Here are three. First, Law shares a number of profound insights concerning quality of life in the workplace. To summarize them in this brief commentary (out of context) would, however, trivialize them. Suffice to say that believing in the value of what you do to earn a living and feeling appreciated by others with whom you do it are two of the most important values within a workplace. Second, much can be done to create a physical environment within which to nourish creative thinking. With meticulous care, Law explains how he and his associates at St. Luke's did so. Finally, Law makes an eloquent as well as convincing argument to support his belief that creative ideas about the process of creative thinking are at least as important (if not more so) as the results of that process. Stated another way, creative thinking requires both new "wine" AND new "bottles."

Law insists that this is not just a business book. "It's also a kind of fairytale I guess because at times I still can't believe it all happened the way it did." In addition to being an entertaining raconteur, Law also offers a number of excellent insights as to how almost any human community can become a "creative company." It remains for each reader to answer various "soul-searching questions" which Law poses. Efforts to formulate those responses as well as the responses themselves will largely determine the value of this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A human being first, a businessman second.
Don't let the blurb fool you. Andy Law has not written a how-to book about manging creative businesses. If you pick up some tips about how to do so, that's bonus.

Rather, the author poses some fundamental questions about the role of work, and the interplay of one's economic, intellectual and emotional lives. A subject which ought to exercise us more than it does.

I personally wouldn't like to work in the St. Luke's style. But that a company looks first at its role in the community of its stakeholders, and second at how it might make money, makes it an example for companies far beyond the creative sphere.

Unfortunately, I have heard rumours that St. Lukes has actually had to, er, let people go. Not easy in a co-operative. Does some better-informed reader know if it's true? Sad, if it is. And it doesn't discredit Law's philosophical arguments, nor diminish their importance.

BTW, Andy Law writes beautifully.

5-0 out of 5 stars They did it and it works !
This is a great book for at least 2 key reasons :

1) they did it and it works ! They created a SUCCESFUL agency with an 100% ownership equally allocated between every employees ! Whatever are the next step of the story (we enter in recession, and their model will be tested) they had the courage to do it and it worked both one "our" terms (money, growth, ...) and theirs (fun, creativity, ...). I seriously doubt you can export the model beyond the "professional services" sector given the "agency cost" (not ad agency, but "Jensen annd meckling" agency problem) and even but forget theories : this book is about practice and St luke will remain in the history of "organisation design" beyond the agency. Anyway, they did it and it score 1 - 0 for them versus the rest of us.

2) The other point is that the book is very well written and that is not so common to find corporate history with such good writing skills combines

All done, a very good book where you learn as much about business that about "how ready you are to do it" (being myself an entrepreuneur) ... Read more


9. The VC Way: Investment Secrets from the Wizards of Venture Capital
by Jeffrey Zygmont
list price: $26.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0738203874
Catlog: Book (2001-03-06)
Publisher: Perseus Publishing
Sales Rank: 567424
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Investment secrets from the millionaire venture capitalists of Silicon Valley. Venture capital plays a significant role in launching the technologies that continue to redefine our work and life. Alongside the innovators who dream up the ideas, VCs contribute the tactical brainpower that fuels Silicon Valley. And it is through this process of high-stakes investing that unbelievable fortunes are made. The clubby world of big-bucks venture capital is of considerable interest to investors and entrepreneurs alike. The VC Way is the first book to take readers into this private world of extreme investing. For those who want to invest like the best, it reveals their unique strategies, sectors they are tracking, screens and criteria, best and worst investments, and how individuals can use the lessons they've learned. Packed with insider's advice and fascinating stories, The VC Way contains accounts from some of the most influential and noteworthy venture capitalists in business today--Ann Winblad of Hummer Winblad, Neil Weintraub of 21st Century Internet, and dozens of others. The VC Way is an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to match strategies with these master investors. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Venture Capital 101 (Not Suitable for Individual Investors)
In The VC Way, Zygmont delineates the common character traits of venture capitalists. In that task Zygmont does a credible job, having interviewed a number of well known VCs such as James Swartz (Accel Partners) and Donald Valentine (Sequoia). His prose is well-balanced between commentary and primary data, and this book will serve as a good primer on the VC world for those that are seeking either VC cash or employment.

If you fall in either category, you should consider purchasing the book. Among other things, you'll learn the following:

(1) Venture capitalism is a competitive industry where VCs are effectively "money salesmen" selling money in exchange for a equity stake

(2) The Internet is not a technological revolution but simply a new communications medium. In that way, it was appropriate that there were a spate of ideas generated by MBAs with no technical background, because the Internet is a marketing revolution rather than a technical one.

(3) The personality of the entrepreneur is critical. In particular, VCs look for energy, conviction, and above average intelligence ("smarter than the average bear"). Educational pedigree matters because it's just another filter the person has gone through.

(4) VCs are willing to step in and make changes. Zygmont cites the common example of Donald Valentine (Sequoia) replacing the founders of Cisco with more able managers.

(5) VCs have specific domain expertise (the "big picture knowledge" about an industry including the trends and competitive pressures that an entrepreneur might not be aware of.

(6) VCs market themselves as well as the companies that are parts of their portfolio. Zygmont raises the example of Ann Winblad's Tuesday Madness college business plan competition.

(7) Entrepreneurs must be optimistic. Izhar Armony (Charles River) in fact equates optimism with entrepreneurialism.

Unfortunately, the book does not target itself to the proto-venture capitalist or entrepreneur but instead the individual investor. Zygmont touts the book as a "precious resource for anyone who wants to imitate the strategies and successes of these money masters." I believe that this was a marketing mistake that was driven by the need to differentiate itself from the myriad VC 101 books on the market today and capitalize on the personal investment boom.

Be forewarned: VC investment strategies cannot be profitably be applied by the individual investor. By the author's own admission:

(1)"A venture capitalist is closer to the mutual fund manager than he is to the pick-your-own stock shopper, especially if you're talking about the manager of a focused fund." Only those with sufficient cash basis can afford to spread their money across the recommended 10 minimum investments.

(2) "Involvement and participation in the companies they invest in is key to top-shelf VCs". However, unless you are Warren Buffet, it is highly unlikely that you as a individual investor will be able to cajole your way into a company's board room.

Ergo, if you want to learn more about VCs and know very little about the industry, buy this book. If you are individual investor, however, I would find very little in this book to recommend.

Paul Erdos

5-0 out of 5 stars Actually, A Variety of Ways
Zygmont offers "investment secrets from the wizards of venture capital" but I think the greater value of the book is the direct access it provides to the minds of various VC decision-makers as they interact with him in casual but remarkably candid conversation. "This book is about their methods." There are no "secrets", per se. "This book also compares [and contrasts] venture-investing rules and principles to general investing practices. The idea is to let general investors mine for insights that might help them when they're putting together their own portfolios." Zygmont organizes his material within 12 chapters and then offers his conclusions about "The Composite VC" followed by a list of VC firms and investor and entrepreneur resources. His formula is really very simple and straightforward: "Ask them." He interviewed a number of the most successful venture capitalists who, at the time of the interviews, were associated with the most prominent VC firms. What do they share in common other than the obvious (intelligence, courage, ability to tolerance risk, high energy level, etc.)? Commitment, idealism, honesty, charm, pride, and reverence (or humility). This book will be of greatest value to those who are preparing to seek venture capital, obviously, but can also be of substantial value to senior-level executives who ask this question: "What would a venture capitalist have to say about my company?" Although the responses from those whom Zygmont interviewed would probably vary, perhaps significantly, all would probably ask essentially the same questions before making an evaluation. If you share my high regard for this book, I urge you to check out Done Deals and Inside the Minds. ... Read more


10. Industrial Organization: Theory and Applications
by Oz Shy
list price: $37.95
our price: $37.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0262691795
Catlog: Book (1996-01-17)
Publisher: The MIT Press
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This upper-level undergraduate text provides an introduction to industrial organization theory along with applications and nontechnical analyses of the legal system and antitrust laws. Using the modern approach but without emphasizing the mathematical generality inherent in many of the arguments, it bridges the gap between existing nontheoretical texts written for undergraduates and highly technical texts written for graduate students. The book can also be used in masters' programs, and advanced graduate students will find it a convenient guide to modern industrial organization.

The treatment is rigorous and comprehensive. A wide range of models of all widely used market structures, strategic marketing devices, compatibility and standards, advertising, R&D, as well as more traditional topics are considered in versions much simplified from the originals but that retain the basic intuition.

Shy first defines the issues that industrial organization addresses and then develops the tools needed to attack the basic questions. He begins with perfect competition and then considers imperfectly competitive market structures including a wide variety of monopolies, and all forms of quantity and price competitions. The last chapter provides a helpful feature for students by showing how various theories may be related to particular industries but not to others.

Topics include: the basics needed to understand modern industrial organization; market structure (monopoly, homogenous products, differentiated products); mergers and entry; research and development; economics of compatibility and standards; advertising; quality and durability; pricing tactics; marketing tactics; management, compensation, and information; price dispersion and search theory; and special industries.
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Economic Theory and Game Theory
Good book for economics study and game theory!! Use in classroom in a demanding academic environment. ... Read more


11. The Economic Institutions of Capitalism
by Oliver E. Williamson
list price: $21.00
our price: $21.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 068486374X
Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
Publisher: Free Press
Sales Rank: 158321
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"An extraordinarily impressive achievement and must reading for all serious students of law, economics, and organization".--Paul L. Joskow, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts of Technology. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars A classic of new institutional economics
EIoC is a classic work of new institutional economics. In it, Williamson works out his theories of transaction cost economics across an array of interesting economic questions. Most of the covered topics will be of interest not only to economists, but also to lawyers and policymakers. Among other examples, Williamson tackles such subjects as vertical integration, corporate governance, and industrial organizations.

Williamson's core idea is the theory of transaction cost economics. We can analogize transaction costs to friction: they are dead weight losses that reduce efficiency. They make transactions more costly and less likely to occur. Among the most important sources of transaction costs is the limited cognitive power of human decisionmakers. Unlike the Chicago School of law and economics, which posits the traditional concept of rational choice, Williamson asserts that rationality is bounded. Put another way, he assumes that economic actors seek to maximize their expected utility, but also that the limitations of human cognition often result in decisions that fail to maximize utility. Decisionmakers inherently have limited memories, computational skills, and other mental tools, which in turn limit their ability to gather and process information. As he demonstrates, this phenomenon, known as bounded rationality, has pervasive implications for understanding how institutions work.

At the policy level, transaction cost analysis is highly relevant to setting legal rules. Suppose a steam locomotive drives by a field of wheat. Sparks from the engine set crops on fire. Should the railroad company be liable? In a world of zero transaction costs, the initial assignment of rights is irrelevant. If the legal rule we choose is inefficient, the parties can bargain around it. In a world of transaction costs, however, the parties may not be able to bargain. This is likely to be true in our example. The railroad travels past the property of many landowners, who put their property to differing uses and put differing values on those uses. Negotiating an optimal solution will all of those owners would be, at best, time consuming and onerous. Hence, choosing the right rule-which is typically the rule the parties would have chosen if they were able to bargain (the so-called hypothetical bargain)-becomes quite important.

In sum, highly recommended. If so, you might ask, of course, why did I subtract one star? Mainly because of Williamson's unfortunate writing style. Although EIoC is largely free of the recreational mathematics that plagues modern economic writing, which is useful for those of us who flunked Differential Equations, it is very jargon-intensive. Worse yet, much of the jargon is self-created. All of which makes reading Williamson an effort-intensive project. Usually the cost-benefit analysis nevertheless comes out in his favor, but sometimes one puzzles out the jargon to find a rather obvious point that could have been conveyed far more simply. (The business about contracting nodes, pp. 32ff, is a classic example.)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great for expanded understanding of vertical integration
I came across this book as part of my MBA studies at the Cox School of Business. A professor recommended it for expanded understanding of vertical integration theories. In fact, my professor is cited in the book! I found it to be very valuable and plan to keep it as a reference for years to come! ... Read more


12. The Legend of Pfizer
by Jeffrey L. Rodengen
list price: $39.95
our price: $33.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0945903375
Catlog: Book (1999-04-01)
Publisher: Write Stuff Enterprises
Sales Rank: 148302
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Book Description

Founded as a fine-chemicals manufacturer in 1849, Pfizer has grown into one of the most innovative healthcare companies in the world. During World War II, Pfizer used its mass fermentation process to mass-produce the wonder drug penicillin, thus saving thousands of Allied lives. Today, with revenues topping $15 billion, Pfizer's drug pipeline is the envy of competitors and its pharmaceuticals for animals and humans make it a leader in its therapeutic categories. In 1999, the company celebrated its 150th year in business, and was named Company of the Year by Forbes Magazine. With information available nowhere else, this book is the result of years of research, countless interviews, and extensive archival review. Illustrated with images from the companys inception to present day, The Legend of Pfizer chronicles the story of a company that has become an integral part of our lives. ... Read more


13. 100 Years of Harley Davidson
by Willie G. Davidson
list price: $65.00
our price: $40.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0821228196
Catlog: Book (2002-10-11)
Publisher: Bulfinch
Sales Rank: 3965
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great history recount
I would recommend this one to any cycle enthusiast; however I did miss:
- More mechanical facts
- A more thorough coverage of all models (e.g. the 800 sporstster is barely mentioned)
Otherwise, a must-have.

4-0 out of 5 stars A century in the life of The Hog
Clearly a grand advertisement & a fine way to take a peek at the transformation of The Hog. Along the way you'll catch glimpses of both ten decades of advertising & dressage styles.

If you're expecting to see the development of the mystique we've come to associate with The Hog, you will be disappointed for those who make The Hog are not necessarily those with whom it is associated. I don't think I've seen so many squeaky-clean, carefree people up close, sans helmets too!

Actually, a fascinating book & certainly one any lover of motorbikes, the open road & social styles will enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Willy G. - American Icon
First class work from the top-shelf Harley Davidson Guy, grandson of the founder. If you buy any Harley book in your life get this. Don't miss the chance to read the rare Harely novel "THE SECOND COMING OF AGE" by: Vedrine. These books will be collectable classics; highly treasured and read at the next centennial celebration.

5-0 out of 5 stars 100 Years of HD by Willie G.
This book is written from the heart and soul of the one and only Willie G. It has great pictures and great stories. No one can tell them like the people who experienced it from within.
An absolute seller, and when you want to collect some 100th Anniv. books this year: this one may not be missed on your shelve.
Get it now!

4-0 out of 5 stars Look Past The Corporate Promotion and...
you'll find a good read. First, the pictures are sensational. They capture the simplicity which is at the heart of H-D's designs since inception. Also, this book explains many of the bike and engine nicknames, that I was always curious about, in an easily understandable way i.e. Shovelhead, Flathead etc....

It also covers most of basic history of the MoCo but does so in a corporate promotional way. The author glosses over the AMF years when the quality of their products were poor. It's a 1 or 2 sentence mention and I think deserved more specifics. This is the only major soft spot in the book in that, at times, it seems like one of their rah rah brochures. Look past that and you'll find a great coffee table book.

One question the book left me with is how much the author is genuinely involved in the design of bikes. He may just wish to support the other people involved (humbly). Otherwise, to read the book it seems his major talent is drawing logos (as it reads). The book wasn't solid on that. ... Read more


14. IT Organization: BuildingA Worldclass Infrastructure
by Harris Kern, Stuart D. Galup, Guy Nemiro, Stuart Galup
list price: $44.99
our price: $36.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0130222984
Catlog: Book (2000-02-15)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Sales Rank: 425285
Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Flawed, but some excellent concepts make it worthwhile
This book has some flaws, such as the table of contents that reminds me of my first c program with pointers going off into the ozone. I managed to eventually become proficient in c. By looking past the book's flaws I managed to discover some valuable concepts and ideas for getting a handle on the thorny problems of aligning IT with business requirements.

One of the most valuable concepts in the book is an IT organization that is defined by technology layers as opposed to products. For example, a compelling arguement is made for organizing the systems administration function as a single group without regard to what brand of system is being administered. The same argurment applies to organizing DBAs, network administrators, etc. in the same manner.

This is a powerful concept that has a lot going for it. For example, in the traditional organization system administration is performed by a number of groups, each focusing on NT, UNIX, etc. This promotes a disjointed and non-repeatable set of processes - if there are processes at all. This, in turn, leads to an IT organization that has no clear internal communications, a cacophony of wildly different processes and methods, and multiple agendas. It reinforces the business side's common complaint that IT of out-of-control, with no unified vision, as well as another often heard complaint that IT provides conflicting advice and are their own worst enemy.

Contrast the above with the organizational model that is proposed in this book: all functions are grouped and held together by a common set of processes and procedures. One easy-to-spot advantage of this type of organization is that service delivery becomes easier. Problems such as synchronizing batch processing (essential to data warehousing), aligned maintenance windows and uniform approaches to problem management become manageable because everyone is on the same team.

Another advantage is a leveling of process maturity. Mainframe administration processes are lot more mature than those employed by your typical NT administrator, who would benefit greatly by "discovering" what was probably in place before he or she was born. And the business - the real reason we IT professionals exist at all - will benefit from the improved and reliable delivery of services and support.

There are gaps in some of the processes and organizational paradigms, as pointed out by other reviewers. These will require some thought on the reader's part to work through and fill. On the whole, however, I found the book to be a valuable source of concepts and ideas. The flaws and gaps are offset by some iteas that I though were excellent. Because I personally gained a much deeper understanding of how to align IT to better meet business needs I gave the book 4 stars (only because I cannot award it 3.5). In spite of the flaws and gaps I do highly recommend this book and hope that potential readers will look beyond the warts and find the enlightening information buried between the covers.

3-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing. Don't expect insights nor explanations...
ABOUT ITS CONTENTS: I bought the book because of its table of contents. Reading the book the first time was very disappointing. After nine chapters I had read several tables containing the same information stated from different points of view, some organizational models that the author criticized without clear explanations. I found lots of recommendations for reading other books the author wrote himself. Sometimes I felt I was reading an editorial catalog. Because of the references I decided to buy some of those books. After reading three other books I decided to rewrite my review. The book has lots of ideas that help reorganizing an IT department, but the book itself is nothing but an update that summarizes concepts that were explained in other books.

ABOUT ITS VALUE: The author has succeed reorganizing IT departments and he wants to write about the importance of applying mainframe administration paradigm to client/server solutions. The book is helpful only if the reader wants to know what could be wrong at the IT Department. Although there is a proposed model, there aren't specific recommendations, choices, roadmaps, deployment guidelines, impact analysis (budget, time, employee morale, issues, risks, etc.). The model isn't complete. The author doesn't explain how to structure and integrate applications development teams, corporate applications administration, decentralized IT support personnel, and outsourced areas among other important functions. The project management function is mentioned but its explanation is avoided.

3-0 out of 5 stars Intro to the series
This book is basically the introduction to "Harris Kern's Enterprise Computing Institute". This book is mediocre, but the rest of the series is very good.

If you really want to build a world class infrastructure look to _IT Systems Management_ by Rich Schiesser. It's also in this series and is everything this book is not.

_IT Systems Management_ does not really cover desktop support/helpdesk issues, its one minor shortcoming. For that look to _IT Problem Management_ by Gary Walker, also in this series.

You'll find both _IT Systems Management_ and _IT Problem Management_ here at Amazon, and they are both highly reviewed and they will be much more helpful than this book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Really, really bad
This book is awful. There were at LEAST 15 comments like: "for more information on this topic, please read our book ....." The fact is, I was reading THIS book, and the information was not there. The length of the book, apart from the appendix, is only 120 pages, and there are so many graphs and charts in here, that there isn't any real meat to this book.

Maybe the authors knew what they were doing by telling us to go read their other books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant concepts
I think that it is the best book for entire IT organizations. It takes you trough the journeys from basic and general concepts to concrete and specific topics of technology field. I sense that the writer has a enormous experience as well as knowledge in many areas of IT infrastructure.
I strongly recommend this book as an asset. ... Read more


15. Leveraging the New Infrastructure: How Market Leaders Capitalize on Information Technology
by Peter Weill, Marianne Broadbent
list price: $32.50
our price: $21.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0875848303
Catlog: Book (1998-06-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 48628
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Imagine thinking about your company's information technology inthe same way that you think about its investment portfolio: as a bundleof assets that--when managed right--will generate revenues and savings. Here's just such a framework for leveraging IT (technology, networks,data, and software)--one that enables business managers to make theimportant decisions about the potentially confounding mix ofhigh-technology that influences near- and long-term planning, affectsthe ability to support customers, and dictates the flow of dailyoperations.This hands-on resource, complete with benchmarks and casestudies, creates the common ground where both management and IT canmeet, communicate their goals, and agree upon the best plan for gettingthere.

Drawing upon their rigorous research with over 100 topmultinationals, the authors present a rich and varied range of examplesof IT investment strategies that have reaped rewards for firms such asCitibank, Honda, Johnson & Johnson, Ralston Purina, the DevelopmentBank of Singapore, and Telstra.They include proven guidelines, alongwith lists of essential questions that managers must ask themselves andtheir IT staff in order to compile a competitive IT portfolio as wellas measure the results.For senior managers seeking to link strategyto their IT investments, Leveraging the New Infrastructure provides thepower to make technology not just a tool, but an asset that generatesvalue. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars REQUISITE READING for Information Age strategists.
Information technology has made possible the Information Age. Today, organizations are wrestling with the monumentally complex decisions about how to invest in this ever-advancing technology-investment decisions that are shaping the competitive destiny of corporations. How such decisions are made and how they should be made is at the heart of this book.

The central theme is linking strategy with a firm's IT portfolio: its total investment in an IT infrastructure. The authors explore four approaches to such infrastructure investment decisions, ranging from none to an enabling view that positions the firm to optimize its IT core competence in a strategically flexible manner. The authors have synthesized the approach market leaders take to leveraging IT. This books reveals how IT creates business value, and how top performing firms use IT in alignment with their current and future needs and goals. The book's concluding section addresses how to manage the IT portfolio for optimum business results. The book includes, among many of its nuggests, a useful grouping of infrastructure services into 8 management clusters.

Reading this book is a delightful educational experience; it is also REQUISITE READING for all strategists. Reviewed by Gerry Stern, founder, Stern & Associates, author of Stern's Sourcefinder The Master Directory to HR and Business Management Information & Resources, Stern's CyberSpace SourceFinder, and the Compensation and Benefits SourceFinder.

5-0 out of 5 stars Strategically investing in IT to achieve the market edge.
Information technology has made possible the Information Age. Today, organizations are wrestling with the monumentally complex decisions about how to invest in this ever-advancing technology-investment decisions that are shaping the competitive destiny of corporations. How such decisions are made and how they should be made is at the heart of this book. The central theme is linking strategy with a firm's IT portfolio: its total investment in an IT infrastructure. The authors explore four approaches to such infrastructure investment decisions, ranging from none to an enabling view that positions the firm to optimize its IT core competence in a strategically flexible manner.

The authors have synthesized the approach market leaders take to leveraging IT. This books shows how IT creates business value and how top performing firms use IT in alignment with their current and future needs and goals. The book's concluding section addresses how to manage the IT portfolio for optimum business results. The work includes a useful grouping of infrastructure services into 8 management clusters. Reading this book is a delightful educational experience; it is also requisite reading for all strategists.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thorough Survey
I found this book quite helpful for my team. It covers the current issues quickly and well. Although it is repetitive, the book presents a tapestry that steers thinking in IT toward strategic alignment. The book lays the foundation for the holistic integration of IT and business strategy, using techniques (though not explicitly) of portfolio management, continuous improvement, teambuilding, and enterprise architecture modeling.

I highly recommend this book. It should be paired with a more enterprise architecture centric book to provide a complete actionable background. That said, the book stands alone to plant the foundation for successful IT/Strategy convergence.

4-0 out of 5 stars start with 20 pages
This book has a tendency to reiterate the same concepts over and over, but they are 'sensible' concepts. Managing the projects and having measurements for the use of infrastructure in todays businesses is critical. More important is the methods used to weigh the benefits of investing more into a global infrastructure vs. a LOB infrastructure. the second half of the book reads faster than the first, but 20-30 pages a day will get you through it in know time and allow you to consume the message.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Two Hi-Liter Book
Super book! This book adds value to something most companies are yet to figure out they have or need--an IT infrastructure. The book makes a case that the infrastructure is the key to competitive edge. Sold! I believe it. Read this book and you'll also be convinced.

Regrettably, some of the readers won't "get it" hence the competitive edge. If you don't get, check your altitude. You may be flying too low. In my view, infrastructure only looks like infrastructure from on high. Think end to end. The secret is to gain enough altitude to see it. Believe me--whether you see it or not--it's there and costing you big bucks! So soar! Gain altitude until you see the infrastructure. Let this book be the wind beneath your wings.

Don't just take Weill and Broadbent's word for it. What is your favorite IT guru saying about this subject?

You will undoubtedly conclude that this book is on target and on the money! Read it. Let it soak in. Then start Leveraging the New Infrastructure. ... Read more


16. Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything
by Steven Levy
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140291776
Catlog: Book (2000-06-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 117491
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The creation of the Mac in 1984 catapulted America into the digital millennium, captured a fanatic cult audience, and transformed the computer industry into an unprecedented mix of technology, economics, and show business. Now veteran technology writer and Newsweek senior editor Steven Levy zooms in on the great machine and the fortunes of the unique company responsible for its evolution. Loaded with anecdote and insight, and peppered with sharp commentary, Insanely Great is the definitive book on the most important computer ever made.It is a must-have for anyone curious about how we got to the interactive age.

"Engaging . . . A delightful and timely book."--The New York Times Book Review

"A holy scripture for loyal clickers of the mouse that may someday result in placement by digital Gideons in all motel rooms (virtual and actual) serving travelers on the information highway." --San Francisco Examiner
... Read more

Reviews (37)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Macintosh Evolution
Insanely Great takes a look at how the Macintosh evolved from a garage with two hippies and a soldering iron into a multi billion dollar company. Unlike what the title suggests this book does not spend a whole lot of time talking about Steve Jobs. Instead, this book focuses on a part of Apple's history that is really, as far as I have seen, not very well documented. It discusses in detail the evolution of the Macintosh from the inside, talks to people directly involved with the project and really shows this part of the computer revolution from the inside out. For those of you who are PC users this book will help you understand the Mac way of thinking. Levy is a true Mac person but writes in a fairly unbiased manner. This book is a great read for anybody who enjoys the history of how computers became what they are, as well as all Mac users.

4-0 out of 5 stars This book is O.K.
Steven Levy's "Insanely Great" features the birth and triumph of the Macintosh personal computer. Levy approaches the history of Apple's Mac by using his own personal experience with the company. He also explains the story by explaining the many people who had contributed to the success of the the Mac. For people who want to know an easy to read story of the birth of the Mac this book is the book to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars I for "Internet"
Once upon a time, a guy named Steve had a vision: to take IBM's place in the computer industry. Not by copying IBM's ideas as Michael Dell did. No. By innovating...
Steve Jobs, a charismatic and driven individual, who wears the same outfit so he doesn't have to waste his time deciding what to wear, and who once was exiled from his own company, came back. Although many critics always thought of Jobs as an opportunistic individual, more than creative and visionary, and labeled him as a "One Hit Wonder" was able to make a "Come Back." This book tells the story of the first Mac, the one that only a few people knew about, and then, it takes you through a journey of one of the greatest companies ever founded: Apple, Inc. The story that almost wasn't told. After years of mismanagements and senior executives not understanding what Apple Computers was all about, Steve Jobs returned not just to save the company, but also to redirect where the company was headed. As many people said, "Apple was off track," and it was, it really was. However, Jobs' return not only brought blood back to Apple, but also put them on the black ink once again.
Before picking up this book, ensure that you have enough time to read it all at once. You won't be able o put it down. If you are a Mac fan, or if you are just interested in knowing a bit more of what Apple has gone through, this book is for you.
Enjoy it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fast, furious, and full of excitement
People who read this are in for an evening of excitement and fun. It's like a pulp fiction story for the silicon age.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sould of a new Macintosh
Steven Levy, author of Hackers, reprises his examination of the high-tech industry with a close-up on the making of the Macintosh. Levy retells the story of the Macintosh's genesis, its influence from research at Xerox PARC, the ill-fated Apple Lisa and finally its painful birth. This is not a classic business book and really doesn't cover the rise and fall of Apple or it's CEOs in any great detail. Instead this is a more intimate story of the people who helped make the Macintosh. If you liked "Soul of a New Machine" you'll love this book. ... Read more


17. Plain Talk : Lessons from a Business Maverick
by KenIverson
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471155144
Catlog: Book (1997-10)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 146365
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A visionary, maverick, and genuine American business hero, Ken Iverson is one of the most closely-watched business leaders in the world. Credited with single-handedly rejuvenating the rapidly declining American steel industry to the status of world-class producer, Iverson is one of the most successful and, as he likes to point out, one of the lowest-paid CEOs in the U.S. In his long-awaited book, Ken Iverson shares his ideas, observations, and the lessons he's learned about what it takes to grow a super-competitive, world-class organization. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars In Headlong Pursuit of a Shared Purpose...
Ken Iverson has truly earned the right to be called a "Business Maverick". In this book he explains how the culture he created at Nucor became "60% of their competative advantage". He explains how breaking down hierarchy and opening the lines of true communication in all directions can propel a business to success.

His unique, but successful, techniques at time agree with, and at times flies in the face of, McGregor, classical management theorists, and others who have studied management, communications and human resources.

In chapters entitled, "A Higher Cause", "Trust Your Instincts", "Destroy the Hierarchy", "A Simple Stake in the Business", "The Virtues of Smallness", "Ethic Over Politics", and others Mr. Iverson relates how you too, if you are willing to work hard enough at it, can "turn a confused, tired old company on the brink of bankruptcy into a star player...", while learning that "many of the so-called 'necessary evils' of life in corporate America are, in fact, not necessary".

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This is a fantastic and priceless book, by a man who turned an almost bankrupt company around, to a company doing over $4 billion a year in business, with much profit. It's an inspiring book, that gives you faith in human nature...all you have to do is appeal to peoples' best impulses to get them to perform well and enthusiastically (the MANAGERS had to rescue a union organizer from the WORKERS, who wanted nothing to do with unions. Imagine that! WORKERS being hostile to the union representative, and MANAGERS, rescuing him from a hostile group!) This may be the greatest business book ever written, frankly!! I'm almost loath to recommend it, God forbid my competitors should read it!....

5-0 out of 5 stars simple, effective framework for a profitable company
Ken details the mechanics of a simple, effective, decentralized framework that aligns the goals of the employees, management, and customers. Base salaries are below industry median. The bonus of a manager depends on the return on equity (capital + equipment + human) that s/he generates. Each team's bonus is tied directly to what they produce.

The higher up the manager (there are four layers including CEO), the higher the proportion of of paycut during down times.

Has simple effective metrics to monitor the health of each decentralized unit (half a dozen including sales, productivity, expenses).

A good mechanism to set goal and measure performance for a business generating tangible goods. Not sure how this could be applied to more intangible value added activities such as IT and software engineering

5-0 out of 5 stars Hits Home
The bottom line? Ken Iverson has essentialy created the magic of Einstein. How? Well Einstein's genius was in the abilty to simplify things, hence E=MC squared. Ken has taken the complicated corporate structure and makes it amazingly simple, but you will have to work.I just bought another 10 copies.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Audio Tape
This is an outstanding audio tape and one that I listen to over and over. Everyone from the CEO down can learn from Ken Iversons insight. This tape offers tried and true methods that can work for any company or organization. All that is needed is the guts to implement them. I only wish I could afford to send a copy of this audio tape to every CEO in America. ... Read more


18. Stetson Hats & the John B. Stetson Company: 1865Ð1970
by Jeffrey B. Snyder
list price: $39.95
our price: $39.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764302116
Catlog: Book (2000-01-01)
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
Sales Rank: 184076
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This fascinating, detailed book provides a sweeping survey of the hats produced by the company whose name is synonymous with cowboys and the Wild West. Surprisingly, though, the John B. Stetson Company was based in Philadelphia and produced all manner of headwear. Over 500 illustrations display never-before-worn Stetson hats (men's and women's alike), hat boxes, miniature boxes, and a surprisingly large number of collectible items associated with this most famous hat company. Original research charts the development of of the company, and individuals closely related with the firm provide their memories. Hat styles from the mid-nineteenth century to the late twentieth get a review, and for those lucky enough to own one of these valuable collectibles, there are tips on how to wear and care for vintage and modern Stetsons. Values for the hats illustrated, an extensive bibliography, and an index are included. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Get this book!
Wow! There is no other book like this out there all about Stetson hats and the Stetson company. Many different hat types are shown from western to city to women's hats (did you know Stetson made women's hats? ). Great history of the company, the people who worked there, and the hats they produced. I know this book is being used for reference by museums. Great for collectors, dealers, historians, anyone interested in the West ... The list goes on. Jeffrey B. Snyder has put together a classic. It will be a long time before another Stetson book this good will be produced. ... Read more


19. Swoosh : Unauthorized Story of Nike and the Men Who Played There, The
by J. B. Strasser
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0887306225
Catlog: Book (1993-04-28)
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Sales Rank: 48711
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The unauthorized national-bestselling sensation revealing the absorbing story of the rise, fall, and recovery of Nike, by a former employee and a Los Angeles Times reporter. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Riveting Narrative
Nike's story is one of the most fascinating in business, especially for those of us that grew up in Nike's prime. The authors did an incredible job of storytelling, starting with a young Phil Knight and his MBA thesis all the way to the early 90's... Lots of inside "dirt" but hardly a gossipy work. You will be amazed at the inner workings of this company.

4-0 out of 5 stars Insider's look at the early workings of Nike
Work hard, play hard, live hard. The founders and early employees of Nike were driven by this philosophy and responded to the competitive nature of business as they had in the sports world. If you have an interest in athletic shoes, you should find it riveting. ... Read more


20. Guide to Analysing Companies, Third Edition
by Bob Vause
list price: $27.50
our price: $18.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1861973918
Catlog: Book (2002-02)
Publisher: Bloomberg Press
Sales Rank: 10084
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Book Description

The definitive guide to how to analyze and assess the strengths and weaknesses of any company.

How do you tell how well run a company is and how well it is doing? Which ratios and benchmarks should you use to assess performance? What can be done to massage company results? How do you recognize danger signs on the corporate horizon? How do you compare companies operating in different sectors or even different countries? All these important questions as well as many more are answered in this clear and comprehensive guide aimed at anyone who wants to make sense and practical use of a company's annual report, measure a business against its competitors, and assess the investment potential of a company or put a value on a company. ... Read more


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