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E. Smakman

E. Smakman Netherlands Member Since 2007
HELPFUL VOTES
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  • "Fantastic framework for strategy + ..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A book that sounds a bit 'dorky' like this one I normally leave alone for fear of empty words. But I am very happy to have picked this one up!

    Rummelt is a very senior strategist to big and smaller firms, and have seen where they can go wrong: confusing objectives with strategy ("our strategy is to grow revenue"), strategy with excel sheets or (worst of all, and very hot right now) confusing leadership ("a will to succeed") with strategy.

    Instead, he outlines a simple yet powerful method of building a strategy:
    1. diagnose the situation and determine the key challenge for the organisation/firm
    2. develop/create a guiding policy (Porter would say, competitive strategy) to overcome the challenge or reap the opportunity
    3. develop and execute a coherent action plan.

    He goes on the enrich each of these parts, which to a certain extent have been discussed elsewhere (Porter, Ansoff, Hamel, Kaplan) but not in such a concise and easy to follow way.

    The strength of the book is not only in how strategies should be build and executed, but also how many companies go wrong: e.g. that your strategy needs commitment from the organization is ruthlessly attacked: if the entire organisation agrees with the strategy, there is no 'hard' choice involved. A strategy that pleases all in the end does not deliver. Though provoking and pragmatic at the same time.

    What I personally found most pleasing is that Rummelt does not say that planning is better than execution, or leadership is superior or not, but that all are parts in a chain that need to fit together. You need strategy AND execution AND leaderhip AND creativity/innovation AND ...while simultaneously focusing your energy.

    If you are in a leadership or management position in any organisation, private or public, I highly recommend this book for its framework, coherence and ease of understanding, combined with its focus on the essential elements and pitfalls.

    More

    Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Richard P. Rumelt
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (194)

    Developing and implementing a strategy is the central task of a leader, whether the CEO at a Fortune 100 company, an entrepreneur, a church pastor, the head of a school, or a government official. Richard Rumelt argues that the heart of a good strategy is insight - into the true nature of the situation, into the hidden power in a situation, and into an appropriate response. He shows you how insight can be cultivated with a wide variety of tools for guiding your own thinking.

    E. Smakman says: "Fantastic framework for strategy + how to fail"
  • "Delivering: a recipe for organizati..."

    Overall
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    Story

    I had heard of Zappos as the online shoestore, but never as the company that sees its culture as its core competence. The book outlines Tony Hsieh's (the owner/CEO) personal business biography and combines it with the steps he and his team took to build Zappos.

    Tony shows that success is also a matter of luck: Zappos hovered on the brink of bankruptcy for a few years and only his own wealth prevented it until finally some investors put money on the table, and even then it took 4-6 years before Zappos was out of the danger zone.

    The book is a very nice story, and although Tony is not a narrator (he speaks a bit fast) his enthusiasm and personal touch make him the ideal storyteller nonetheless. I am not much for biographies, so the book for me became really interesting when he starts to describe how he build the culture of the company step by step. Not planned or methodical, because that's not how it works, but purposeful with deep commitment from his colleagues, co-workers and the extended Zappos family.

    For any organisation that wishes to strengthen (or make explicit) its culture, this book gives plenty of ideas and suggestions on how to do it and what might result from it. Not only for startups or internet companies, but for any organisation bigger than 25 people. Some ideas that Tony shares:
    - hire only people that share your values: that way, the live what the company stands for instead of following their own agenda
    - teach company values in a intensive introductory training
    - live the company values also with your suppliers (it is easier with your customers)
    - have your employees co-determine the values of your organisation. Re-iterate them regularly, to see if the culture is still where you want it to be. A 'culture book' helps to both verify the culture as well as share it with new employees
    - encourage community and getting to know other employees outside your own department: this fosters a 'we' feeling (instead of departmental kingdoms)
    - share, commit and take risk also as managers.

    The culture of Zappos might not be the culture you wish or have, but that is not the point. The key is that a strong culture can strengthen your position and can be purposefully built. Try it yourself!

    More

    Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Tony Hsieh
    • Narrated By Tony Hsieh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2349)
    Performance
    (1405)
    Story
    (1427)

    In this, his first audiobook, Tony Hsieh - the widely admired CEO of Zappos, the online shoe retailer -explains how he created a unique culture and commitment to service that aims to improve the lives of its employees, customers, vendors, and backers. Using anecdotes and stories from his own life experiences, and from other companies, Hsieh provides concrete ways that companies can achieve unprecedented success.

    Ben says: "Do one thing exceptionally"
  • "lean startup - lean innovation - le..."

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    Apparently, the 'lean startup' has a large following. I had never heard of the book or the concept, but lean inspired me ever since Jeff Liker's book about Toyota.

    The Lean Startup in my opinion is a totally different approach, although it borrows the concept of waste. But how waste is avoided is a different route altogether.
    First, it is 'lean' under a cloud of uncertainty. The more uncertain the future (of sth) is, the better this approach works. Basically, to avoid waste is to have a clear understanding of your key assumptions, and then testing these assumptions as fast and with as little effort as possible. And of course, with a good monitoring system to understand the results of what you tested. Topline growth is not. Cohort/group and split testing is.

    The book is written as a guide to startups, but it is valid with anything innovative. And thus for any business that tries to innovate something, anything. Many organisations are dissatifsfied with their innovation efforts, and this book guides you to how to improve the process.

    Well worth the read. The author is not really a narrator, though. He should have left this to a professional. Not bad, but not great either.

    More

    The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Eric Ries
    • Narrated By Eric Ries
    Overall
    (1815)
    Performance
    (1507)
    Story
    (1493)

    Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

    Zed says: "Great book, fascinating ideas"
  1. Good Strategy/Bad Strateg...
  2. Delivering Happiness: A P...
  3. The Lean Startup: How Tod...
  4. .

A Peek at S. White's Bookshelf

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USA 4 REVIEWS / 5 ratings Member Since 2012 0 Followers / Following 0
 
S. White's greatest hits:
  • The App Millionaire: How to Make 'Sleep Money' with a Micro-Business

    "Ugh...Reads like an infomercial."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The App Millionaire better?

    Well I haven't got through the first half of it, but it's driving me nuts. If I hear the words "App Millionaire" one more time... I'm only dissappointed you can't throw an audiobook across the room like you can a regular book. It reads like a bad info-mercial "You too can be an app millionaire but it takes hard work and be organized...bla bla bla... If you're that kind of person you can be an app millionaire (tm)...

    That far into the book and literally NOTHING that will actually help you start a business based on mobile applications.

    Less fluff and more meat. And stop saying "App Millionaire." It's not a witty catch-phrase. After the first 20 times or so... It's like fingernails on a chalk board.


    What was most disappointing about Greg Shealey’s story?

    I don't care about your dad's business. I don't care about how you moved from construction contracting to application development. --actually I might be interested in "how" but so far all I'm hearing is "that" you did. I don't need to know what apps are, or that they're "revolutionary" beyond a really short introduction paragraph.

    So far the only "how" you have in the first third of the book is that you drew out on paper what you wanted your first app to do then hired someone to make it. Gee I would have never thought of that!

    What I DID want to know was something that would help me with ideas I might not have thought of... not "be organized" and "work hard" with long drawn out anecdotes to support those obvious-isms.

    I find the book patronizing and devoid of any real substance with the words "App Millionaire" thrown in ad nauseum. Now maybe the details are in the last half of the book but I honestly can't get through the first half, I'm sorry.


    What three words best describe Greg Shealey’s performance?

    Very well spoken.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The App Millionaire?

    The words or sentences containing "App Millionaire"


    Any additional comments?

    The reading was good. But this kind of patronizing "self-help" book is just not useful to me.

Marty

Marty East Thetford, VT, United States 01-23-11 Member Since 2008

Marty Jacobs consults in the areas of strategic planning, board governance, leadership development, and community engagement.

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  • "Intelligence for the 21st Century W..."

    5 of 5 helpful votes

    In his first book on emotional intelligence, Daniel Goleman focuses on education and how we teach emotional intelligence. In this book, the focus is on the work world and how critical emotional intelligence is for organizational success. Goleman reviews the five dimensions of emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and handling relationships) and lists 25 emotional competencies, highlighting which of those competencies lead to business success and which determine the success or failure of an executive.

    Throughout the book, Goleman supports his argument for the need for emotional intelligence, noting that organizations going through the greatest change need emotional intelligence the most and that EI accounts for ninety percent of what's required for effective leadership. Moreover, he lauds the concept of learning organizations because they increase emotional intelligence, particularly in the areas of building trust and improving communications and dialogue. He closes the book with the statement that lack of emotional intelligence is the corporate equivalent of a weakened immune system - not necessarily deadly but ultimately affecting productivity and competitiveness. In this day and age, it's not a situation that many organizations can afford to find themselves in.

    More

    Working with Emotional Intelligence

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Daniel Goleman
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    (40)

    Do you work for an emotionally intelligent organization? In his phenomenal best seller Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman, Ph.D. mapped the territory where emotional intelligence meets I.Q. - where we apply what we know to how we live. In Working with Emotional Intelligence, Dr. Goleman shows why emotional intelligence has become the new yardstick of success for CEOs and junior hires alike. Also, in abridged.

    Gary says: "One of the most important books I've encountered"

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  • null

    Audible Fast Company, September 2014

    • HIGHLIGHTS (1 hr and 58 mins)
    • By Fast Company
    • Narrated By Ken Borgers
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    "Rebooting YouTube": Susan Wojcicki built google into a 5 billion dollar advertising giant. Now she’s running YouTube. Her job – do it again. "The Multimillion Dollar Quest to Brew the Perfect Cup of Coffee": Coffee crusaders, backed by caffeine-buzzed venture capitalists, are taking aim at Starbucks with a seven-dollar cup of joe. "How Flashy Hotelier Sam Nazarian Is Shaking Up Las Vegas": A nightclub impresario has teamed up with a series of big names in an effort to rethink the hospitality business. "Back to Square One": An update on a startup that promised to transform the credit and finance industry with a sweeping, digitized vision of the future.

  • Managing People: Maximize the Strengths and Skills of Your Employees with the Principles of People Dynamics Management (






UNABRIDGED) by Marsha Norman Narrated by Michelle J. Gonzalez

    Managing People: Maximize the Strengths and Skills of Your Employees with the Principles of People Dynamics Management

    • UNABRIDGED (56 mins)
    • By Marsha Norman
    • Narrated By Michelle J. Gonzalez
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    Do you want to learn how to successfully manage people? Are you interested in maximizing the resources of your staff? Would you like to learn proven philosophies and techniques of Human Resource management to achieve this? Managing People introduces a philosophy and strategy of human resource management called People Dynamics Management. With People Dynamics Management, the foundation of HR is based on valuing people as your best resource.

    JRH says: "Good title, light on substance"
  • Lean in Construction: Key to Improvements in Time, Cost and Quality (






UNABRIDGED) by Ade Asefeso, MCIPS MBA Narrated by Forris Day, Jr.

    Lean in Construction: Key to Improvements in Time, Cost and Quality

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Ade Asefeso, MCIPS MBA
    • Narrated By Forris Day, Jr.
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    Lean Construction is a way to do more and more with less and less; less effort, less equipment, less time and less space whilst providing customers with exactly what they want. A Lean system, process, and organisation is one that is waste free. Lean is not about size or number of people employed. A reduction in employees may cut costs, and eliminate the waste of those employees, but does not decrease the proportion of waste to value adding within the organisation or process.

  • Leading on the Edge: Extraordinary Stories and Leadership Insights from the World's Most Extreme Workplace (






UNABRIDGED) by Rachael Robertson Narrated by Lucy Paterson

    Leading on the Edge: Extraordinary Stories and Leadership Insights from the World's Most Extreme Workplace

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Rachael Robertson
    • Narrated By Lucy Paterson
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    In Leading on the Edge, successful business speaker and consultant Rachael Robertson shares the lessons she learned as leader of a year–long expedition to the wilds of Antarctica. Leading 18 strangers around the clock for a full year - through months of darkness and with no escape from the frigid cold, howling winds, and one another - Robertson learned powerful lessons about what real, authentic leadership is.

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  • Above the Line: How to Create a Company Culture That Engages Employees, Delights Customers, and Delivers Results (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Henderson Narrated by Glen McCready

    Above the Line: How to Create a Company Culture That Engages Employees, Delights Customers, and Delivers Results

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Michael Henderson
    • Narrated By Glen McCready
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    Position your organisation's culture to attain new heights, Above the Line: How to Create a Company Culture that Engages Employees, Delights Customers and Delivers Results offers all leaders a handbook for leveraging an organisation's culture to engage staff, increase customer satisfaction and streamline business performance. A groundbreaking work, this book reveals what it takes to achieve optimum results from your organisational culture without employing the use of external consultants.

  • Make an Ethical Difference: Tools for Better Action (






UNABRIDGED) by Mark J. Pastin Narrated by Vic Doucette

    Make an Ethical Difference: Tools for Better Action

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Mark J. Pastin
    • Narrated By Vic Doucette
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    People are often skeptical that there is anything they can do to raise society's ethical level. Mark Pastin begs to differ. We can make a difference, and we don't need ethics "experts" to tell us what to do. He argues that we all have an innate ethical sense - what he calls an "ethics eye". He offers tools for sharpening the ethics eye so we can see and do the right thing ourselves, particularly in the workplace, where our decisions can affect not just ourselves but coworkers, clients, customers, and even an entire organization.

  • Labor Unions, Management, and Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology: Comparison to Economics and Sociology (






UNABRIDGED) by Steven G. Carley Narrated by Al Remington

    Labor Unions, Management, and Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology: Comparison to Economics and Sociology

    • UNABRIDGED (43 mins)
    • By Steven G. Carley
    • Narrated By Al Remington
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    Comparing to the history of economics and sociology is the United States history of I/O psychology in investigation of this hypothetical viability. The conclusion is for the neglect of labor union issues by applied psychologists are for two crucial reasons to exist being the dark of early pro-union psychologists and the reluctance of I/O psychologists to address the presence of conflict among employees and employers.