01 Dec 2018
Alumni and Faculty Books for December 2018Topics:
Love Coming Home: Transform Your Environment. Transform Your Life
by Jennifer Adams (OPM 51)
Beyond Words Publishing
Rather than sacrificing to save enough for an eventual dream home, Adams recommends looking for the potential in the places we are living in right now. She offers step-by-step, room-by-room guidance on how to create a welcoming and functioning space that expresses your unique individuality.
Breaking Through: Leadership Disciplines from Top Performing Staffing Firms
by Mike Cleland and Barry Asin (MBA 1988)
Charted Path Learning Series
With over 19,000 staffing firms in the US, why have only 140 companies been able to exceed the $100 million mark? What do these firms do differently from the rest? Do they have a better strategy or talent? Are they simply beneficiaries of good fortune? While each of those factors may play a role, they pale in comparison to the greatest success factor: disciplined leadership. The authors relate the stories of executives who have successfully broken through the barriers of growth to identify what they all have in common. They supplement these findings with decades of industry expertise.
Presidents of War
by Michael Beschloss (MBA 1980)
This book is a fresh, intimate look at a series of American Presidents who took the nation into war and mobilized the country for victory. It brings us into the room as they make the most difficult decisions that face any President, sending hundreds of thousands of Americans to their death. They struggle with Congress, the courts, the press, their own advisors, and antiwar protesters; seek comfort from their spouses, families, and friends; and drop to their knees in prayer. Beschloss interviews surviving participants in the dramas and examines original letters, diaries, once-classified national security documents, and other sources to show how far we have traveled from the time of our founders, who tried to constrain presidential power, to the present day, when a single leader has the potential to launch nuclear weapons and destroy much of the human race.
How Change Happens: Why Some Social Movements Succeed While Others Don’t
by Leslie R. Crutchfield (MBA 2001)
Why do some changes occur, and others don’t? What are the factors that drive successful social and environmental movements, while others falter? Crutchfield examines the leadership approaches, campaign strategies, and ground-level tactics employed in a range of modern social change campaigns: tobacco control, gun rights expansion, LGBT marriage equality, and acid rain elimination. He also examines recent campaigns that seem to have fizzled, like Occupy Wall Street. By comparing successful social change campaigns to the rest, Crutchfield reveals powerful lessons for change-makers who seek to affect society and the planet for the better.
Corporate Diversification: Opportunities Created by the Winds of Change
by Brooks Fenno (MBA 1962)
Are your core corporate growth opportunities limited? Do you seek new avenues for expansion? Is the timing opportune to consider such a quest? Fenno includes a broad range of diversification options supported by numerous practical examples of companies of all sizes that have embarked on a strategy involving diversification. He lists various types of diversification (vertical, horizontal, and tangential) available for growth and explains how they might be identified, evaluated, and effectively pursued. He also addresses the opportunities and risks of each category.
Choosing the Positive: From Belvedere to Budapest via Ballymote, Boston, and IIB Bank
by Paddy McEvoy (MBA 1970)
The story of one man’s journey from the early 1940s to the present day. It is a reflection on how choosing the positives and taking advantage of life’s opportunities can lead to good fortune and self-fulfillment. It is also an acknowledgement of the author’s debt to Belvedere College and the Jesuits as the great influence on his life philosophy and life choices. McEvoy also reflects on how Irish banks morphed from being customer oriented, conservative, dull, and profoundly honest in the 1950s to the very different cultural profile seen today.
by Patrick Moffett (AMP 111)
After the protagonist’s wife is murdered, he begins a series of vigilante killings and, as a result, is invited to join an organized covert operations unit, rather than face life in prison. Given a new name and a new identity, he begins a new life as a trained assassin, working directly for the South African government to take down prominent political players when requested to maintain national security and apparent order.
Join the Dots
by Patrick Moffett (AMP 111)
A team of highly trained undercover operatives is engaged in a race against time, working for the underground agency IA3. When a child-trafficking ring is exposed, the IA3 team enlists the CIA’s aid with local police services in a dangerous mission to unearth the ring-leaders. But the team’s investigation leads them far beyond the borders of South Africa. What is the connection to the gangs of Soweto, and how is the nefarious and powerful Imam Abed Al-Kumein involved? What is one of the largest investment banks in South Africa’s role and who is the mysterious hacker, Vladimir Al-Masri? To conclude this mission successfully, the team must join the dots of these disparate actors.
Architect of Prosperity: Sir John Cowperthwaite and the Making of Hong Kong
by Neil Monnery (MBA 1987)
London Publishing Partnership
In the fifty years from the end of the Second World War to its handover to China in 1997, Hong Kong developed from a barren island with few natural resources, a small, destroyed manufacturing base, and income per capita less than a quarter of Britain’s to one of the most prosperous nations on Earth. By 2015 its GDP per capita was over 40% higher than Britain’s. How did that happen? Unlike most of the world’s postwar governments, which were turning to industrial planning, Keynesian deficits, and high inflation to stimulate their economies, Hong Kong’s civil servants rejected the idea that governments should play a role in industrial planning, the idea of spending more than the government raised in taxes, and the idea of high taxes. This strategy was implemented by a handful of men over those fifty years, most important among them John Cowperthwaite, who ran the trade and industry department after the war and then spent twenty years as deputy and then actual financial secretary before his retirement in 1971. More than anyone, he shaped the economic policies of Hong Kong for the quarter century after the war and set the stage for a remarkable economic expansion. This book examines the man behind the story and the successful economic policies that he and others crafted with the people of Hong Kong.
Setting the Tone from the Top: How Director Conversations Shape Culture
by Melinda Muth (MBA 1981) and Bob Selden
Australian Institute of Company Directors
The authors examine how director conversations shape organizational culture. They provide board members with techniques, tips, and strategies for conversing effectively with each other, with executives and stakeholders, to ensure all views on key topics such as conduct, risk and strategy, are canvassed, heard and evaluated. While Part 1 is mainly about why directors should be concerned with culture, Part 2 examines how directors play a part in setting the tone at the top, by understanding the impact their words and language have on tone through their conversations in the boardroom and with key stakeholders. Part 3 introduces specific strategies, techniques, and tactics for directors. And Part 4 shows how directors can apply the conversational processes covered in Parts 2 and 3 to specific, challenging boardroom conversations: for example, giving critical feedback to the CEO or handling a difficult media conversation.
Delivering Alpha: Lessons from 30 Years of Outperforming Investment Benchmarks
by Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg (DBA 1976)
For many investors, alpha—risk-adjusted returns above benchmarks—is akin to the Holy Grail, particularly challenging to achieve even with a sound strategy. The author reveals the principles and methods employed in her investment strategies, along with insights drawn from her personal life. She provides practical advice on creating successful decision-making governance to reduce errors and correctly assigning responsibilities and incentives; dealing thoughtfully and effectively with governance challenges; building the right policy portfolio, specifying desired allocations to each asset class; structuring asset classes and adding value-oriented or other opportunistic “tilts”; measuring and managing risks, avoiding common mistakes, and more.
The Soul of a Patient: Lessons in Healing for Harvard Medical Students
edited by Susan E. Pories, Samyukta Mullangi (MBA 2015), and Aakash K. Shah
Gordion Knots Books
This is a collection of casebooks written as part of Harvard Medical School’s Mentored Clinical Casebook Project. The project pairs a first-year medical student with a clinical mentor and a patient to follow closely for one year. The students spend time with their patients, both in and out of clinical settings, with the goal of trying to understand the patients’ life and relationship with their illness as completely as possible. They go to appointments with them, have coffee, visit their homes, meet their families, and also meet the doctors caring for them. The students keep a written record of the interactions with the patients and also do research to understand the scientific, socioeconomic, and cultural issues that influence the patients’ experience. They come away with a newfound appreciation for all sides of these complex situations. They have been assigned patients with chronic and sometimes terminal illness and have the opportunity to witness the bravery and courage that facing these circumstances requires. For this collection, the editors chose to emphasize the personal struggles associated with illness and the connection and communication with the caregiver that is so important to patient-centered care.
Compassionate Management of Mental Health in the Modern Workplace
by John A. Quelch (DBA 1977) and Carin-Isabel Knoop (MBA 1994)
This guide brings the relationship between work life and mental well-being into sharp focus, surveying common challenges and outlining real-life solutions. The authors posit that managers are the chief mental health officers of their teams, offering both a science-based framework for taking stock of their own impact on the workplace and strategies for improvement. Areas for promoting mental wellness include reducing stress and stigma, building a safe climate for talking about mental health issues, recognizing at-risk employees, and embracing diversity and neurodiversity. Questions for managers to ask: How am I doing, and how can I do better? How are my people doing, and how might I help? How do I manage my team? What is constantly changing in the environment? And how can I have a greater impact?
by Michael Roberto (MBA 1995; DBA 2000)
Roberto explores the creative process and how organizations can clear the way for innovation. In many organizations, creative individuals face stubborn resistance to new ideas. Managers and executives often reject innovation and unconventional approaches due to misplaced allegiance to the status quo. In this climate of stifled creativity and inflexible adherence to conventional wisdom, potentially game-changing ideas are dismissed outright. Roberto offers effective methods and real-world examples of how the most successful organizations create cultures of innovation and experimentation. He examines how to break barriers to spark creativity and foster new ideas.
52 Things We Wish Someone Had Told Us about Customer Analytics
by Alex Sherman and Mike Sherman (MBA 1986)
Amazon Digital Services LLC
This book provides 52 real-life anecdotes that illustrate important learnings about customer analytics. It draws from the worlds of big data and customer insights to help managers do a better job using customer analytics (what to do and what not to do) so that the analytics actually makes a difference. Books on customer analytics exist mainly in two categories: academic texts, which discuss theoretical approaches to data analysis problems, and technical texts, which teach the statistics or computer programming required to conduct an analysis. What’s missing are real-life, practical stories, tying analysis directly to business value. That is the objective of this book. By tying impact to tools and techniques, through real-life stories, the authors hope to help decision makers better understand how to use customer data while helping data analysis providers understand how to create output that end users will value.
Culture.com: How the Best Startups Make It Happen
by Robert Stringer (MBA 1966)
Crimson Seed Capital Publishing
When entrepreneurs seek expert advice to help them put together a compelling business plan, they turn to product gurus, technology experts, and folks with sales and marketing, fund raising, or operations backgrounds. But for guidance on how to create and sustain a high-performance company culture–the softer side of startup strategy–rarely will entrepreneurs find a source of advice and counsel. This book fills that void. It is a research-based exploration of what it takes to build and sustain a winning startup culture, providing practical advice, insights, and diagnostic tools for would-be entrepreneurs, seed capital investors, and board members. Entrepreneurship is all about innovation. Stringer identifies the seven critical dimensions of winning startup cultures and describes the leadership practices required to support breakthrough innovation.
Becoming Ageless: The Four Secrets to Looking and Feeling Younger Than Ever
by Strauss Zelnick (MBA 1982)
Zelnick offers an easy, effective program for everyone that will help them flatten their stomachs and become healthier than they ever thought possible; delicious, healthy, and easy-to-make recipes for hearty breakfasts, easy-to-make lunches, filling dinners, and even desserts; a full workout plan that will sculpt your body and help you prevent back pain and sleep better; and a holistic mind-body approach that really works.
Varieties of Green Business: Industries, Nations and Time
by Geoffrey Jones
Edward Elgar Publishing
Published at a time of ever-increasing warnings that the pace of climate change and other environmental changes risk making the Earth unsustainable within our lifetimes, this book looks at the past of green business to identify lessons for the future. It shows the deep historical origins of endeavors to create for-profit businesses that were more responsible and sustainable as well as how these strategies have faced constraints, trade-offs, and challenges of legitimacy. The industries covered range from sustainable finance and solar energy to organic food and wine, ecotourism, and outdoor clothing. Strategies pursued range from incremental shifts toward sustainability to abandoning for-profit business entirely and re-wilding and conserving millions of acres of lands in Latin America. The book’s distinctiveness lies in the use of original empirical data and the willingness to engage with both successful and unsuccessful cases. The wide geographical coverage includes not only the United States and Europe but also less studied settings, including Chile, Costa Rica, New Zealand, and Japan. The book serves as a warning against facile beliefs in the potential of win/win solutions as business tries to reduce its environmental impact or even save the planet. The lesson of history is that making business sustainable is a hard journey, littered with system-wide roadblocks, but it is a journey that is possible and one that is urgently needed.
Compassionate Management of Mental Health in the Modern Workplace
by John A. Quelch (DBA 1977) and Carin-Isabel Knoop (MBA 1994)
This guide brings the relationship between work life and mental well-being into sharp focus, surveying common challenges and outlining real-life solutions. Positing that managers are the chief mental health officers of their teams, the authors offer both a science-based framework for taking stock of their own impact on the workplace and strategies for improvement. Areas for promoting mental wellness include reducing stress and stigma, building a safe climate for talking about mental health issues, recognizing at-risk employees, and embracing diversity and neurodiversity. Questions for managers to ask: How am I doing, and how can I do better? How are my people doing, and how might I help? How do I manage my team? And how can I have a greater impact?
Unlocking the Customer Value Chain: How Decoupling Drives Consumer Disruption
by Thales Teixeira
Teixeira shows how and why industries are disrupted, and what established companies can do to respond as well as what potential startups must master if they hope to gain a competitive edge. There is a pattern to disruption in an industry, whether the disruptor is Uber, Airbnb, or a dozen other startups that have shaken up incumbents and threatened the status quo. For disruptors to pose a threat to an industry, they have to successfully break the link in choosing, purchasing, or consuming a product or service. Upstarts do not try to compete with or overtake a reigning incumbent company entirely. Instead, they work to peel away a portion of the consumer decision-making process, the way Birchbox offered women a new way to sample new beauty products from a variety of cosmetics and fragrance companies, without having to go to the Revlon or Estée Lauder store. In a narrative filled with case studies and stories, Teixeira shows how startups successfully disrupt industries and what industry leaders must do to avoid being disrupted and protect their domain.