July 2022 MBR Review The Business Shelf

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Midwest Book Review

Aug 1, 2022, 2:12:15 PM8/1/22
The Business Shelf

Radically Human
Paul R. Daugherty, author
H. James Wilson, author
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
9781647821081, $30.00, HC, 304pp


Synopsis: In their groundbreaking book, "Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI" (Harvard Business Review Press, 2018), Accenture technology leaders Paul R. Daugherty and H. James Wilson showed how leading organizations use the power of human-machine collaboration to transform their processes and their bottom lines. Now, as new AI powered technologies like the metaverse, natural language processing, and digital twins begin to rapidly impact both life and work, those companies and other pioneers across industries are tipping the balance even more strikingly toward the human side with technology-led strategy that is reshaping the very nature of innovation.

Now with the publication of "Radically Human: How New Technology Is Transforming Business and Shaping Our Future", Daugherty and Wilson once again team up to show this profound shift continuing (and fast-forwarded by the pandemic) toward more human (and more humane) technology.

Artificial intelligence is becoming less artificial and more intelligent. Instead of data-hungry approaches to AI, innovators are pursuing data-efficient approaches that enable machines to learn as humans do. Instead of replacing workers with machines, they're unleashing human expertise to create human-centered AI. In place of lumbering legacy IT systems, they're building cloud-first IT architectures able to continuously adapt to a world of billions of connected devices. And they're pursuing strategies that will take their place alongside classic, winning business formulas like disruptive innovation.

These against-the-grain approaches to the basic building blocks of business -- Intelligence, Data, Expertise, Architecture, and Strategy (IDEAS) -- are transforming competition. Industrial giants and startups alike are drawing on this radically human IDEAS framework to create new business models, optimize post-pandemic approaches to work and talent, rebuild trust with their stakeholders, and show the way toward a sustainable future.

With compelling insights and fresh examples from a variety of industries, "Radically Human: How New Technology Is Transforming Business and Shaping Our Future" will forever change the way you think about, practice, and win with innovation.

Critique: With a special appeal to readers with an interest in the advances of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its impact on strategic business planning in the 21st Century, "Radically Human: How New Technology Is Transforming Business and Shaping Our Future" is unreservedly recommended as a core and fundamental addition to personal, professional, community, corporate, college, and university library collections and supplemental Computer Design & Architecture curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, AI developers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Radically Human: How New Technology Is Transforming Business and Shaping Our Future" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.90).

Editorial Note #1: Paul R. Daugherty is Group Chief Executive-Technology and Chief Technology Officer, Accenture, New York. You can find him on Twitter: twitter.com/pauldaugh, at accenture.com/us-en/about/leadership/paul-daugherty, linkedin.com/in/paul-r-daugherty, and on Facebook.

Editorial Note #2: H. James Wilson is Global Managing Director, Thought Leadership & Technology Research at Accenture, San Francisco. Daugherty and Wilson are the authors of Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI (HBR Press). You can find him at: accenture.com/us-en/about/leadership/james-wilson, on Facebook, and at twitter.com/hjameswilson and linkedin.com/in/h-james-wilson.

Digital Marketing QuickStart Guide
Benjamin Sweeney
ClydeBank Media
9781945051098, $24.99, PB, 335pp


Synopsis: Digital marketing is the component of marketing that uses the Internet and online based digital technologies such as desktop computers, mobile phones and other digital media and platforms to promote products and services. Its development during the 1990s and 2000s changed the way brands and businesses use technology for marketing. As digital platforms became increasingly incorporated into marketing plans and everyday life, and as people increasingly use digital devices instead of visiting physical shops, digital marketing campaigns have become prevalent, employing combinations of search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, influencer marketing, content automation, campaign marketing, data-driven marketing, e-commerce marketing, social media marketing, social media optimization, e-mail direct marketing, display advertising, ebooks, and optical disks and games have become commonplace. Digital marketing also extends to non-Internet channels that provide digital media, such as television, mobile phones (SMS and MMS), callback, and on-hold mobile ring tones. The extension to non-Internet channels differentiates digital marketing from online advertising. (Wikipedia)

Digital marketers tap into an unprecedented ability to discover and reach motivated customers at scale. Now more than ever, digital marketing strategies are the key for emerging brands, new and veteran entrepreneurs, and businesses of all sizes to convert customers in digital spaces. With the availability of cost-effective advertising, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing and more, there has never been a better time to connect with customers and grow a business.

In "Digital Marketing QuickStart Guide", author and veteran marketer Benjamin Sweeney distills a decade's worth of marketing experience into a crash course that covers everything from marketing fundamentals to sophisticated digital strategies. The "Digital Marketing QuickStart Guide" equips its readers with the skills and strategies they need to reach customers and grow their businesses.

Critique: Comprehensive and exceptionally well organized and presented, the "Digital Marketing QuickStart Guide" is essential reading for: Entrepreneurs who want to take control of their digital marketing and grow their business; Freelancers and members of the gig economy looking to diversify their service offerings; In-house or agency marketers who want to brush up on digital marketing fundamentals; Business and marketing students who need a digital marketing edge; Influencers, artists, creators, and anyone who needs to sell or connect with more people in digital spaces! While highly recommended for personal, professional, corporate, and community library Business & E-Commerce collections, it should be noted that "Digital Marketing QuickStart Guide" is also available in a spiral bound edition (9781636100272, $32.99), and in a digital book format (Kindle, $0.99, Amazon).

Editorial Note: Benjamin Sweeney is a digital marketer and author with over a decade of digital marketing experience. He maintains a focus on the business sphere that draws from scholarly research and on practical experience from time spent as an entrepreneur and consultant. With well over one million written words under his belt and a marketing role that has him sending more than a million emails a year, Ben knows what it takes to get more customers for a small business, no matter what industry they're in.

Innovation for Entrepreneurs
Marc H. Meyer, author
Chaewon Lee, author
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
9781800375093, $170.00, HC, 256pp


Synopsis: "Innovation for Entrepreneurs" presents a powerful but easy to apply toolkit for innovation and is based upon Professors Marc H. Meyer and Chaewon Lee's decades of experience and expertise as company founders and innovators for corporations around the globe.

This instructive textbook includes guidance for developing new product and service ideas with genuine impact, building teams around these ideas, understanding customers' needs, translating these needs into compelling product and service designs, and creating initial prototypes. It also helps students learn how to scope and size target markets and position an innovation successfully relative to competitors. These methods are fundamental for any new, impactful venture.

"Innovation for Entrepreneurs" is comprised of a series of frameworks and methods that build upon one another to the final deliverable -- an innovation project developed by student teams, solving problems for specific types of users and use cases. Each chapter introduces readers to entrepreneurs and their stories of innovation and venture development, across different sectors of the economy and regions of the world.

Going to a core theme of "Innovation for Entrepreneurs", each of these entrepreneurs has tackled a societal-focused problem and created economic value for themselves and their investors. These are stories of inspiration and achievement -- and they illustrate the major frameworks provided. Each entrepreneur faced a problem or challenge solved by the methods presented in that chapter. The authors' own entrepreneurial and corporate innovation experiences then complement these examples with additional industry applications of the method. Then, each chapter concludes with exercises for students to apply their newfound knowledge to their innovation projects. The book's final chapter then shows students how to best integrate their work from each chapter into a compelling presentation.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Innovation for Entrepreneurs" must be considered as an essential book for all undergraduate and MBA students. Indeed, Students in business schools will find this comprehensive textbook addressing a subject missing in many business school curriculums -- how to design a distinctive new product or service.

At the same time, the methods-based approach combined with its inspiring stories makes this book a great learning platform for engineering and science students thinking about starting their own ventures or working for others upon graduation. All this combines to make "Innovation for Entrepreneurs" an essential and unreservedly recommended addition to corporate, college, and university library Entrepreneurship and Business Management collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and aspiring entrepreneurs that "Innovation for Entrepreneurs" is also available in a paperback edition (9781800375116, $55.00).

Editorial Note #1: Marc H. Meyer, Robert Shillman Professor of Entrepreneurship and Matthews Distinguished University Professor, Northeastern University, US.

Editorial Note #2: Chaewon Lee, Professor of Business and Administration and Provost for International Affairs, Seoul National University of Science and Technology, South Korea.

Leading with Heart
John Baird, author
Edward Sullivan, author
Harper Business
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
9780063052932, $29.99, HC, 288pp


Synopsis: With the publication of "Leading with Heart: Five Conversations That Unlock Creativity, Purpose, and Results", leadership coaches John Baird and Edward Sullivan share hundreds of hours of research and firsthand accounts of guiding leaders at some of the world's most respected big brands and small startups (Apple, Nike, Google, Slack to name a few). Through their coaching and research they uncovered the 5 behaviors transformative leaders engage in to connect authentically with their teams.

"Leading with Heart" underscores the importance of mentors and leaders being: Aware of their people's needs; Helping their people to confront the fears that hold them back; Understanding their own desires & what drives their people; Leveraging their unique gifts & help people find their own; Connecting with their core sense of purpose & helping people find theirs.

The key to achieving these behaviors is asking the right questions and having conversations that connect you and your employees on the deepest human level -- conversations the authors coach you on how to navigate.

At a time when workplaces are struggling to build high-morale and connected cultures, "Leading with Heart" will help leaders to unlock the best version of themselves and those around them with transformative results.

No matter where you are in your career, "Leading with Heart" is your launch point to leading with heart. By encouraging you to ignore outdated "leadership hacks" and embrace introspection and growth, "Leading with Heart" will guide you to ask the right questions and find your own answers. Now you too can create a leadership game-plan that is authentic to you and brings out the best in those around you.

Critique: Offering a complete course of instruction on the subject of becoming an effective business coach and/or mentor, "Leading with Heart: Five Conversations That Unlock Creativity, Purpose, and Results" will also have a special appeal to readers with an interest in business processes, leadership and motivation. Impressively organized and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in presentation, "Leading with Heart: Five Conversations That Unlock Creativity, Purpose, and Results" is especially recommended for personal, professional, community, corporate, college, and university library Contemporary Business Management collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Leading with Heart: Five Conversations That Unlock Creativity, Purpose, and Results" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99) and as a complete an unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798200972760, $41.99, CD).

Editorial Note #1: John Baird is one of the premier executive coaches in Silicon Valley, and over the past twenty-five years he has worked with top leaders at start-up organizations as well as at Fortune 500 firms like Apple, Nike, and Twitter. He founded several companies, including ExecutivEdge, Edgeman Coaching, and the Velocity Group, where he is currently chairman, and serves as a fellow at Sapphire Ventures and on various nonprofit local and national boards. Baird holds a PhD in organizational communication and leadership from Purdue University.

Editorial Note #2: Edward Sullivan is the CEO and managing partner at Velocity Group. His twenty-five-year career as an executive coach and political consultant has taken him around the globe coaching and advising start-up founders, Fortune 500 executives, and heads of state of foreign nations. His work has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Forbes, Fast Company, USA Today, and Nasdaq, among others. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School.

From the Ground Up
Leo MacLeod
Pie House Publishing
9798985682205, $29.99, HC, 208pp


Synopsis: You're one of the firm's go-to people for fixing problems and making clients happy. But you question if you want to take on the tough work of being a leader at the same time as being a doer: the heavier workload, managing performance of other people, the longer hours and stress. Do you really want to take the more challenging path to make a difference in your life and the firm?

Based on twenty-five years of successfully coaching emerging leaders, Leo MacLeod has developed and now published "From the Ground Up: Stories and Lessons from Architects and Engineers Who Learned to Be Leaders", a simple-to-follow program to help you get there -- the place where you are respected as a professional, influence others to do their best work, and maintain sanity.

"From the Ground Up" reveals how to: Organize your day for success; Distinguish between important tasks and urgent tasks; Manage emails and meeting so they don't take over your day; Delegate tasks and manage interruptions; Negotiate new demands on your time; Mentor your team so they don't feel overmanaged; Advocate for what's important to you at the office and in your life.

Comprised of lessons learned and stories from those who have come before you, "From the Ground Up" is an effective DIY guidebook to stepping into your new role as a business manager or corporate executive without leaving yourself behind.

Critique: Exceptionally well written and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "From the Ground Up: Stories and Lessons from Architects and Engineers Who Learned to Be Leaders" will have a very special and relevant appeal to anyone engaged in Business Mentoring & Coaching. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, corporate, college, and university library Human Resources & Personnel Management and Business Management collections and supplemental curriculum syllabus, it should be noted for MBA students, academia, business professionals, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "From the Ground Up" is also available in a paperback edition (9798985682212, $19.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Editorial Note: As owner of Training. Coaching. Pie., Leo MacLeod has guided thousands of new leaders in the AEC industry. A national expert on leadership development and succession planning, he regularly presents for the American Council of Engineering Companies and helped develop the Oregon chapter's popular leadership program. He has an informative website at https://leomacleod.com

Adapt or Die
Thomas H. Douglas, author
THD Press
9798985811926, $19.99, HC, 276pp


Synopsis: What if small businesses could save the world?

With the publication of "Adapt or Die: How to Create Innovation, Solve People Puzzles, and Win in Business" Thomas H. Douglas (CEO of JMARK Business Solutions Inc.) examines the extreme challenges, shifts, demands, and vast opportunities for today's American businesses.

Told through the story of one bold company (People First IT), "Adapt or Die" takes readers through the unparalleled business system known as The Algorithm of Success that has the potential to inspire, ignite, and affect change for all aspects of an organization.

Each individual chapter reveals more of the winning formula that all small and midsize businesses absolutely must have to succeed. Through real examples, research, and practical tools, Adapt or Die unpacks exactly how to create innovation, solve people puzzles, and win in business.

Not your average business management book, "Adapt of Die" is powerfully grounded in key insights, lessons, and the exact strategies learned from Douglas's own experience of building JMARK to become one of the fastest-growing businesses in America, hitting the Inc. Magazine list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies nine different times.

Inspiring, tactical, and deeply insightful, "Adapt or Die" is quite arguably the ultimate guide to embracing true leadership, adapting through change, and succeeding in business that every small and midsize business leader and entrepreneur needs.

Critique: Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Adapt or Die: How to Create Innovation, Solve People Puzzles, and Win in Business" is exceptionally well written and an invaluably 'real world practical' instruction guide that is a critically important, informative, and thought-provoking read for anyone engaged in any kind of small business enterprise. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and academic library Entrepreneurship and Business Decision Making/Problem Solving collection and MBA supplemental curriculum MBA studies syllabus, it should be noted for personal reading lists of MBA students, academia, business managers, and freelance entrepreneurs that "Adapt or Die" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9798985811902, $19.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $0.99).

Editorial Note: Thomas H. Douglas joined JMARK in 1997 after serving in the Navy, where he was recognized with multiple awards. As a level-one engineer at JMARK, he worked his way up the ranks before purchasing the company in 2001. Tom had to make some hard decisions and downsize the company to only six people. Now, with over one hundred employees, JMARK is a leader in its space, having hit Inc. Magazine's list of the top 5,000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America nine consecutive times. He is a trusted technology advisor to a global list of clients and often speaks on topics such as culture, people puzzles, technology efficiencies, and cyber security. He also has a website at https://www.jmark.com/personality/thomas-douglas

The Emergent Approach to Strategy
Peter Compo
Business Expert Press
9781637422618, $28.99 Hardcover/$17.99 Kindle, 330pp


The Emergent Approach to Strategy: Adaptive Design & Execution focuses on business strategy practice in action, eschewing the usual theoretical focus of such titles to match the processes of strategy practices to business best practices and real-world implementation. This allows business leaders and problem-solvers to consider strategy in a different light than most books on the subject, placing it in the realm of agile management and adaptive frameworks to consider its applications and challenges in a dynamic business environment.

Dr. Peter Compo lived his subject. He spent a quarter century at DuPont in working leadership positions in product, market, supply chain, and business management and planning. These roles allowed him to match theory to practical business pursuits, creating the revised emergent approach he presents in this book.

There are differences between theory and execution, both in matching aspirations and change to business environments that may not hold the framework for adaptation, and in fostering an agile environment that requires different design principles for successful execution. Compo employs diagrams, charts, references, and hard-hitting, exact definitions that identify the core reasons why strategic theory often fails in business applications. His attention to detail in clarifying and redefining business frameworks and avoiding many common pitfalls (such as normal probability distribution thinking, where "such distributions are not good representations of the future") makes for a scholarly bridge between theory and applied business design principles.

From analytical metrics to conflicting truths that are half-successful under different circumstances but not fully effective, Compo does an exceptional job of drawing together math, philosophy, business theory, and real-world scenarios in a way business leaders can readily understand.

As a result, The Emergent Approach to Strategy: Adaptive Design & Execution should top the reading lists of any business thinker and leader who wants to better understand (and more successfully employ) emergent approaches to businesses of all size and shape. It's recommended for business and leadership library collections as being a key discussion point that rewards its readers with execution-centered philosophy that addresses and defines chronic strategy problems, creating a new paradigm for understanding and success.


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