An aspirational and well-grounded management guide.

INCLUSIVE 360

PROVEN SOLUTIONS FOR AN EQUITABLE ORGANIZATION

A comprehensive approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion for organizations.

The importance of DEI affects businesses large and small, and Smith, who owns a DEI consulting firm, recognizes that larger, more progressive establishments may already be advancing initiatives in these areas. As a result, her book specifically targets “organizations beginning their diversity, equity, and inclusion journeys.” She straightforwardly asserts that such initiatives must necessarily touch all constituents of an organization, both internal and external—a notion she characterizes as “360-degree” coverage. The book is appropriately divided into three parts (“Diversity,” “Equity,” and “Inclusion”) that define each concept and provide “Action Steps” toward achieving it as well as resources for further reading. The book also includes a brief epilogue that ties the other three parts together by addressing what Smith calls “the holy grail of the workplace: Belonging”; the author notes that “when an employee feels like they belong in their organization, they’re going to do their best work.” Smith begins the book by making an excellent business case for DEI, enumerating “strong selling points” supported by several research studies demonstrating tangible benefits. She then introduces a problem-solving methodology called “ARC” (“Ask,” “Respect,” “Connect”) and shows multiple illustrations of how it may be applied to DEI goals. Each of the three main sections is rich with detail, examples, and suggestions. While discussing diversity, for example, Smith covers such topics as unconscious bias, setting diversity targets, and hiring with diversity in mind. The author’s discussion of racial inequities is particularly compelling, and she also delves into equitable pay and procurement. Regarding inclusion, Smith offers examples of “Business Resource Groups,” explains how inclusive conversations work, examines the concept of “psychological safety,” and offers an enlightened perspective on employee benefits. Throughout, Smith effectively takes a broad view of her subject, citing DEI examples that include race, gender, LGBTQ+, and disability issues. Overall, the book’s illuminating message is honest, forthright, and timely.

An aspirational and well-grounded management guide.

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-73763-540-6

Page Count: 300

Publisher: Goodnow Flow Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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