Filed under: Innovation
With the recession hanging over our heads in the U.S., everywhere people are looking for ways to make money. On the individual level, folks are trying to figure out how they can turn their skill sets, talents, and even hobbies into money. On the larger, organizational level, companies are busy looking for new, cost-effective products to create to fill the current and future demand for consumers. Sure, if the application you developed for the iPhone fails to sell well on iTunes it’s a bummer, but there’s a good chance that on the individual level it will not break anyone financially. However, on the organizational scale, a product design miss can prove fatal to the bottom line. And in this recession, no organization can afford a miss.
Enter to the scene Phil Baker, who has been involved in product development for the consumer tech market for his entire career. Baker is certainly a smart guy, hailing a B.S. in physics from Worchester Polytechnic Institute, an M.S. in engineering from Yale, and an M.B.A from Northeastern University. And did I mention he holds more than 30 patents?
Baker is also the author of From Concept to Consumer: How to Turn Ideas Into Money, published by FT Press. In the preface, Baker writes, “One thing I’ve learned is that creating a successful product is much more than coming up with the idea; in fact, that’s usually the easiest part. It’s much more about what happens after. It involves a wide range of activities that bring together all sorts of disciplines, everything from engineering to product management to distribution to marketing. Each of these activities is much like a link in a chain. When one link fails, the entire endeavor can fail. … This book covers the new rules that have resulted from how quickly products are developed, their shorter life cycles, the use of outsourcing, and the Internet. All these factors have changed how things are now done.”
This is a truly exciting book to share with you; look for it in our upcoming selection.
Approximately 40 percent of salespeople miss their targets every year. As a sales manager, you want to draw this percent down as much as possible, challenge your sales force effectively, and bring home the bacon—figuratively speaking.
Lucky for you, the co-founder and CEO of Sales Benchmark Index (SBI) Greg Alexander and SBI cofounders and executive vice presidents Aaron Bartels and Mike Drapeau have teamed up and produced Making the Number: How to Use Sales Benchmarking to Drive Performance, published by Portfolio. According to the authors, sales benchmarking takes the guesswork out of sales and turns the sales function into a highly predictable, dependable engine that ultimately increases shareholder value.
Alexander, Bartels and Drapeau walk the reader through their five steps to sales benchmarking—metric identification, data collection, comparing and contrasting, focused action and sustained improvement—however, what might be the book’s real gem is the inclusion of case studies. Reading about how Discover Financial Services and Covad Communications Group used sales benchmarking can give sales managers a better idea if this is a practice that will work with their sales force.
If you’re interested in other good sales books to read, be sure to look into the following:
Exceptional Selling by Jeff Thull: Thull shows readers how to create a different kind of relationship with the customer and use powerful diagnostic principles to reframe the typical sales conversation.
Published in late December, just in time to ring the New Year in, comes personal finance expert and bestselling author Suze Orman’s Suze Orman’s 2009 Action Plan from publisher Spiegel & Grau.
Orman has a huge following, writes a Q&A advice section in Oprah Winfrey’s monthly magazine O, has penned multiple bestsellers and hosts The Suze Orman Show on CNBC. Quite frankly, she definitely seems to know her stuff when it comes to personal finance. And according to Orman, 2009 is the year that none of us can afford to make mistakes with our money.
From the book’s Amazon.com page: “The nation’s go-to expert on financial matters, Suze Orman, believes that 2009 is a critical year for your money. There are safeguards to put in place, actions to take, costly mistakes to avoid, and even opportunities to be had, so that you are protected during the bad times and prepared to prosper when things take a turn for the better. No matter what situation you’re in, you will find a plan of action and the answers to your questions about: credit, retirement, savings and spending, real estate, paying for college, and protecting your family.”
As additional help for readers, Orman has a page on her Web site for online updates to her 2009 action plan. On the same page, readers can find useful 2009 action plan resources, such as a “debt eliminator, an expense sheet, and several more.
Filed under: Personal Development, Uncategorized | Tags: business books, Career Skills, Personal Development
Do you remember the movie Six Degrees of Separation, with Donald Sutherland, Stockard Channing, and a young, pre-Independence Day Will Smith? The concept of six degrees of separation is that “if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is no more than six ‘steps’ away from each person on Earth.” Phew, that was a mouthful!
In January, Soundview offered The 29% Solution: 52 Weekly Networking Success Strategies by Ivan R. Misner, Ph.D. and Michelle R. Donovan as one of its 2009 Best Business Books of the Year.
Well, according to Misner and Donovan, the six degrees of separation isn’t actually applicable for everyone; however, according to the authors: “…with reading, training, and coaching, people can develop their networking skills, increase their connections, and become part of roughly 29 percent of people who are, in fact, separated from the rest of the world by just six degrees.”
We all know how important networking is to our personal success in the business world. We gain friendships, partnerships, and so much more. With The 29% Solution readers learn that in 52 weeks they can pace themselves to become solid, master networkers, ensuring success in their career and personal lives. If you’re looking for more resource tools to boost your success consider our Personal Success Collection.