Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Book Review: Wired to Care

September 24, 2009
Dev Patnaik's book, Wired to Care

Dev Patnaik's book, Wired to Care

I don’t recall ever hearing the word ’empathy’ and ‘corporation’ in the same sentence…that is, until I picked up Dev Patnaik’s audio book, Wired to Care.

Through stories drawn from the histories of some of our best known corporations, such as Mercedes Benz, Nike, Disney, IBM, Clorox,  Harley Davidson,  Patnaik illustrates how a deeply empathic knowledge of  one’s market can be utilized to increase customers’ feelings of validation. This, in turn, attracts customers, because they are drawn to that which makes them feeling good about themselves.

The subtitle of this book, How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy, is well illustrated. However, this book isn’t only about prosperous companies, it’s also about making  this world a better place, calling on corporations to embrace a higher standard, and giving meaning to the work we do.

In one of my careers, managing a design studio at a university, and later, in my work as an information architect,  I learned the importance of knowing one’s audience and of always being able to see from their perspective. This is one of the most valuable competencies I have acquired on my career path so far. Many companies hire people for what they know about business rather than what they understand about their customer.

While listening to this book, I got many great work outs on a treadmill, and an elliptical trainer and was so enthralled, I finished reading the book in 4 days.

The audio book version of Wired to Care is available on  Audible.com. If you prefer having a hard copy, you’ll find it on Amazon.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Length : 7 hours, 42 minutes (Unabridged)
Narrator:  Dennis Holland
Release Date: June 2008
Publisher : 2009 Audible, Inc.

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Fast Company’s 30 Second MBA

September 21, 2009

For those of you taking my MBA (Master in Books of Audio) to heart, I just want you to know that I could have some serious competition. FastCompany is now offering a 30 second MBA.  One can listen to the nation’s most respected CEOs,  as they divulge  answers to such questions as “What is the single most important task for a leader?” or “How can teams make better decisions?”.  I’ve watched a few of these 30 second videos, and I have to say that I am not at all threatened.  I’m trying to master business by listening to Audio Books, Fast Company is attempting to make their audience smarter by watching merely a series of 30 Second Videos. Go figure!

I am currently listening to Wired to Care, a book I’ll be writing about in my next book review blog. Although I’ll be listening to a steady diet of audio books during the year ahead, I certainly would choose my own personal MBA anytime over a series of 30-second videos.

One last note, Fast Company, is one of my favorite publications. I subscribe, and even receive the digital edition via email. I did happen to notice that Audible now offers audio editions of Fast Company magazine. Since my life is quite busy I know for certain that I will eventually end up trying this format. When I do I’ll report back to you!

Book Review—The Age Curve: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Storm

September 12, 2009

The Age Curve: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Storm, by Kenneth Gronbach, came highly recommended as a must-hear (or must-read) and is a book for any players in the corporate world, entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations and even parents.

The Age Curve

The Age Curve

Having listened to The Age Curve, I never will look at a news story, business decision or politics in the same way. This book has added to my ability to think critically about trends shaping our country and about business models that exist today. It is one of the best business books I’ve heard or read.  Start to finish, this book is so informative that I have found myself re-listening to some of the sections.

And I wish to give a hand of applause to the author, Kenneth Gronbach.  He actually made a book about demographics that not only is informative, but also is entertaining! I especially appreciate his concise style.

I have a confession to make. When listening to the audio book, I found the subject matter so valuable for considering  long-term career goals  (the next 20 years at least) that I went out and bought the hard cover version for my book shelf. I know I will refer back to it from time to time. And although this is a blog about audio books and exercising the brain and body, I promise to read this hard cover version on a stationary bicycle!

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Length : 6 hours, 6 minutes (Unabridged)
Narrator:  Max Bloomquist
Release Date: June 2008
Publisher : 2008 Brilliance Audio Inc

School’s in Session…Almost

August 26, 2009

It is time to start the MBA that I’ve written about in previous posts. It seems that many kids are starting school and going back to college.  I’m going to master Audio Books and save myself the $20,000 that it would cost to attend Jack Welsh’s Business School.

I started with a book by Brian Tracy, Eat that Frog. My six word summary is this: Stop procrastinating, be unstoppable and amazing. So far I love it. When I finish I’ll write more…maybe a 12 word book review. Just kidding!

What I want to address is the ‘Almost’ part of this blog title. I am a member of 24 Hour Fitness and am having a difficult time showing up at the gym during ‘peak’ hours and competing with their sound system. I have no desire to listen to the ‘top 40′ rock songs that are blasting. Is it fair that when I listen to my book, that 24 Hour Fitness is forcing on me a sound track at the same time, one that I don’t want to hear?

On Monday, after my elliptical workout, I went to a Yoga class. The soothing new age music that was played to a class of Yoga students had to compete with blaring music on the other side of the door. What’s up with that? Tomorrow I am calling two managers at 24 Hour Fitness, the one I worked out at on Monday and the one I worked out at tonight. When I spoke with the clerks, I was told that the music is pumped up during Peak Hours so everyone can hear it, and turned down at other times.

Geez, I shouldn’t have to go deaf if I want to listen to a good book during a workout!

Get your MBA in 1 Year

June 23, 2009

According to today’s Business Week headlines,  Jack Welch is launching an online MBA. Apparently his years as CEO of GE helped to make him the man he is today: wise, knowledgeable, competent and highly respected. Welch’s MBA will cost $20,000.

Although I can’t afford 20 grand,  I’ve decided that I can design my own MBA program.  My MBA will stand for Master of Books in Audio.  What if I were to spend an entire year listening to nonfiction books—mostly business books, books on career, some self-improvement—and reviewed each book on my blog? What would be the results after a year? How would I measure those results?

I am looking for suggestions on ‘good listens’ in this genre, so if you want to recommend any audio books for my MBA program, let me know and I’ll add them to the list. Stay tuned…I’ll start sharing this ongoing list in the upcoming weeks. I will listen during morning walks and will commit to 4 -6 morning walks weekly. For a year.

Oh, and by the way, depending on the source of audio books, my MBA will be practically FREE!!