Soundview Executive Book Summaries


Start 2012 with Three New Summaries!

As you settle into the first quarter of 2012 you’ll need to stay current with the latest trends in business. To help you achieve your goal, make sure you check out the three newest summaries now available from Soundview Executive Book Summaries:

by Stephen Drotter

The Performance Pipeline by Stephen Drotter: From the co-author of the bestselling book The Leadership Pipeline, comes the next-step resource designed to help leaders at every level succeed in an uncertain business environment. The Performance Pipeline is a groundbreaking book that is based on Stephen Drotter’s forty years of in-depth work with more than 100 companies worldwide. The book defines how work flows from top to bottom and reveals what results each layer must produce and what each layer must pass down to make the layers below successful.

 

 

 

 

by Tom Rieger

Breaking the Fear Barrier by Tom Rieger: In companies, fear can take many forms: fear of not meeting a deadline, of not getting a bonus, of losing decision rights and respect. Fear compels employees and managers to protect themselves by creating seemingly impenetrable barriers fortified by rules and practices that benefit one group while harming others. By learning from the real-world lessons in this book, leaders, managers, and employees can overcome the barriers that plague their company. The results promise to be transformational.

 

 

 

 

by Bradford D. Smart

Topgrading by Bradford D. Smart, Ph.D.: Great companies don’t just depend on strategies — they depend on people. The more great people on your team, the more successful your organization will be. But that’s easier said than done. Statistically, half of all employment decisions result in a miss-hire: The wrong person winds up in the wrong job. But companies that have followed Bradford Smart’s advice in Topgrading have boosted their successful hiring rate to 90 percent or better, giving them an unbeatable competitive advantage.

 

 

 

Don’t forget, Soundview also offers exclusive interviews, Webinars, video content and corporate learning opportunities.

To learn more, visit Soundview’s Web site, Summary.com.

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Book Review: The Invisible Spotlight

by Craig Wasserman and Doug Katz

If you are a manager, you understand the importance of the relationships you have with your employees. They can be the difference between meeting your organization’s goals and coming up short. However, you may not realize the depth to which your connection with your employees goes. Management consultants Doug Katz and Craig Wasserman point out that you (and your actions and interactions) are the subject of your employees’ thoughts on their drive home and their subsequent conversations around the dinner table. Their book The Invisible Spotlight: Why Managers Can’t Hide (now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary) will help you thrive rather than shrink in the unblinking glare of the namesake spotlight.

The authors of this book deliver an incredible amount of valuable content in a small number of pages. They skip lengthy introductions and wandering case studies in favor of tightly written chapters that push ideas gleaned from the pair’s extensive consulting work. Katz and Wasserman deconstruct popular notions of one-size-fits-all management methods. One of the more critical points for any reader is the authors’ emphasis on learning the “role” of a manager as an actor learns a role for a film or play. The expectation that a line worker can be promoted and immediately perform the functions and (more importantly) interactions required of a manager is foolish. Katz and Wasserman are quick to point out that even experienced managers need to consistently practice the skills required for good management. Most important, they advise readers never to fall prey to the perception that managers have “snap judgments.” With each management myth exploded by Katz and Wasserman, readers gain an advantage that will help them excel in their careers.

To get your copy of the Soundview Executive Book Summary of The Invisible Spotlight, visit Soundview’s Web site Summary.com.



A Holiday Gift: Three Great Business Book Summaries

As we approach the last leg of the mad dash toward the holiday season, many people are looking forward to a few well-earned days away from the office. Please notice I didn’t write “days off” because today’s marketplace forces executives to stay plugged-in even when their office lights are off. Time away from the office is a great time to catch up on the latest insights from today’s best business authors. To that end, Soundview Executive Book Summaries has three new releases that should help executives prepare for a prosperous new year.

by Laurie Bassi, et. al.

Good Company by Laurie Bassi, Ed Frauenheim and Dan McMurrer with Larry Costello. Laurie Bassi and her co-authors show that despite the dispiriting headlines, we are entering what they coin the “Worthiness Era.” And in it, the good guys are poised to win. Across the globe, people are choosing the companies in their lives in the same way they choose the guests they invite into their homes. They are demanding that companies be “good company.” The authors created the Good Company Index to look at Fortune 100 companies’ records as employers, sellers and stewards of society and the planet. The results are clear: worthiness pays off.

 

 

by Marcus Buckingham

StandOut by Marcus Buckingham. StandOut introduces the next-generation strengths assessment from Marcus Buckingham, co-author of Now, Discover Your Strengths. The StandOut assessment unveils your two key strength roles and shows you how to find your edge and win at work. Whether you’re an individual who wants to find your edge, a manager trying to fully understand the strengths of your team, or a leader in an organization looking to stay on the cutting edge of the strengths movement, you need StandOut.

 

 

 

by Craig Wasserman and Doug Katz

The Invisible Spotlight by Craig Wasserman and Doug Katz. Based on four decades of experience as management consultants, Wasserman and Katz make a compelling argument that all managers work in the heat of an invisible spotlight where their every word and deed are scrutinized by employees. Remarkably, most executives are unaware of this reality. The authors tell illuminating stories from the trenches about management successes and misadventures that offer a fresh, practical perspective on building sound management relationships.

 

 

 

In addition to this trio of titles, Soundview is providing a fantastic holiday offer. For a limited time, if you purchase one gift subscription to Soundview Executive Book Summaries, you will receive a second gift subscription FREE! Take advantage of this limited-time offer to reward a great client or show your appreciation for a helpful colleague. Click here to get your gift subscriptions while the offer lasts and to see full offer details!

For more information on the latest business books, visit Soundview’s Web site, Summary.com.



What You’ve Been Missing …

Have you heard recent editions of Soundview’s Author Insight Series? If not, you missed some great conversations with today’s best business authors. Each month, Soundview features downloadable interviews with an array of best-selling business authors. These 10-minute audio clips make a great companion to Soundview’s 30 Best Business Books summaries. If you’re a Soundview subscriber, now is a great time to catch up on what you’ve been missing. Here’s a sampling of some of the most memorable quotes from recent guests:

“Clearly you want to know what your core competencies are but if you stick solely to what those competencies are, it’s like driving by only looking in the rearview mirror.” – Stephen Wunker, author of Capturing New Markets.

“The dialogue around innovation has been way too skewed toward differentiation, as if that were the only problem to solve and the answer to all problems, which just isn’t true.” – Geoffrey A. Moore, author of Escape Velocity.

“If you don’t believe in the messenger, you won’t believe the message.” – Jim Kouzes, co-author (with Barry Posner) of Credibility.

“Part of the curse of knowledge [carried by] senior executives is that they will be deeply familiar with ‘the numbers,’ but the numbers just won’t resonate with the rest of the organization.” – Colin Price, co-author (with Scott Keller) of Beyond Performance.

“We have it in our heads that technology distances people … I completely disagree. I think that things like e-mail and Twitter and Facebook have enabled me to have many, many more relationships all over the world.” – Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment.

You can hear more from the best business authors by visiting Soundview’s Web site, Summary.com.



Book Review: The Fifth Discipline

Business books tend to be cyclical. If you look through the hundreds of Soundview Executive Book Summaries available at Summary.com, you can almost predict the year in which a book was published by looking at its subject matter. The past decade is a great example of this concept. At the outset, there were numerous books dealing with globalization, as well as “catch-up” guides for business that were late to the Internet revolution. By the end of the decade, books on surviving economic turbulence and streamlining one’s operation were dominating the virtual shelf space.

Occasionally, a game-changing book is published that defies the ability to be dated. Furthermore, it cements itself as a title that deserves a permanent place on every executive’s bookshelf. Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization is one such title. More than 20 years after its publication, the book remains one of the most influential summaries ever offered by Soundview. For a 10-year period, it topped Soundview’s sales charts every year. Prior to Soundview moving to an all-digital format, tens of thousands of executives ordered printed copies of the summary of Senge’s book.

This month, Soundview is offering a renewed opportunity for executives to delve deep into Senge’s study of learning organizations. The Fifth Discipline is now available in all of Soundview’s multiple digital formats (including iPad and mp3!). Senge will help you explore whether or not your organization suffers from a learning disability, why the Fifth Discipline is the key to fixing the problem, and what are the core disciplines of building your company into a learning organization.

It’s a transformational trip taken by thousands of companies over the past two decades. While Senge has continued to produce memorable, successful works, The Fifth Discipline altered the course of management thinking in a manner shared by only a few authors. Invest in your company’s future by taking this vital trip to the recent past.

To get your copy of the Soundview Executive Book Summary of The Fifth Discipline, visit Soundview’s Web site Summary.com.



Book Review: Escape Velocity

by Geoffrey A. Moore

If you read our recent post about Soundview’s publication of the summary of Stephen Wunker’s Capturing New Markets, you’ll recall that we discussed the difficulty of attempting to continue on a single path of success. In fact, this tendency to become ruler of a single domain can create a situation of diminishing returns. To combat this problem, Soundview has a new summary that makes an excellent companion to Wunker’s book. In Escape Velocity: Free Your Company’s Future from the Pull of the Past, author and tech industry expert Geoffrey A. Moore attempts to help executives stand up to the pressure of repeating their current success story.

One would assume that with Moore’s feet firmly planted in the tech world that his book would be the latest in the steady stream of books that heap praise on Apple and Google and instruct readers to “simply” do what they do. To his credit, Moore recognizes that, for example, an insurance company in Wisconsin can’t base its economic future on developing the insurance equivalent of an iPad. Readers who would hesitate to pick up Escape Velocity for fear that it won’t apply to their businesses should lay those doubts to rest. Moore does an excellent job of structuring his book to launch from its tech industry base into strategies that are applicable to a variety of fields.

At the heart of Moore’s strategy is, as he puts it, a “framework of frameworks.” He instructs readers on the mastery of five powers: Category, Company, Market, Offer and Execution. As with his earlier work Dealing with Darwin, Moore provides numerous tips to give your company both a path to progress and, perhaps of more importance, a way to stand out from the competition.

To get your copy of the Soundview Executive Book Summary of Escape Velocity, visit Soundview’s Web site: Summary.com.



Book Review: Capturing New Markets

by Stephen Wunker

The fight to stay alive in today’s marketplace can be all-consuming for many companies. Achieving quarterly growth, keeping shareholders happy and delighting one’s customer base are activities that leave little time for exploration and development. However, without concerted efforts to discover and capitalize on the growth opportunities presented by new ventures, businesses will inevitably succumb to the law of diminishing returns. The method to find and master the opportunities of the future is the subject of the latest book to be summarized by Soundview Executive Book Summaries: Capturing New Markets: How Smart Companies Create Opportunities Others Don’t by Stephen Wunker.

Wunker has extensive expertise in the area of developing markets. He is the managing director of consulting firm New Markets Advisors. He also worked closely with Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen on the creation of his innovation consulting practice. Capturing New Markets gives readers the equivalent of a personal consultation with Wunker. He progresses through the material in a manner that brings order and clarity to the hazy prospect of understanding new markets.

One can’t-miss section of the book is Wunker’s excellent answer to a common question: “How can we discover a market that doesn’t yet exist?” Wunker guides readers through the process of gauging a market’s value. He also provides a set of eight signs that an industry has the potential to quickly grow. This combination of succinct explanation with strategic takeaways gives Wunker’s book a level of strength that puts it ahead of more theoretical books on the subject of future markets.

To download your copy of Capturing New Markets in any of Soundview’s multiple digital formats, visit Soundview’s Web Site at Summary.com.