Shows real insight into the turmoil of the contemporary workplace; business leaders should take note.




A debut guide offers advice on navigating the chaotic world of work.

As a “workplace culture architect,” Swora believes “the key to the future success of companies is how well networks of teams operate together.” But the challenges faced by groups and their leaders, according to the author, are daunting; they center on volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, identified in this well-crafted manual with the acronym “VUCA.” The book begins with an exploration of the manner in which the workplace is affected by VUCA and how it impacts people and organizations. A somewhat bleak but realistic picture is painted—“people are drowning,” the office is filled with “chaos and unpredictability,” and managers “are just scrambling to keep up.” The solution, writes Swora, is to create a “Purposeful Workplace Experience,” a term she has trademarked. The second part of the book examines the attributes of this experience, referring to Abraham Maslow’s frequently cited hierarchy of needs, which identifies requirements necessary for human well-being. Here, Swora concludes that “performance happens at the intersection of purpose and belonging.” The author perceptively points out that both customers and employees “experience” a company. The worker experience revolves around the organization’s culture—“the shared beliefs, values, understandings and perspectives held by all the employees in your company.” The elements of this culture must be “fully aligned” for there to be trust between individuals and the organization. According to Swora, if these facets are skewed, the Purposeful Workplace Experience can help restore the alignment. Part 3 of the guide concentrates on four “rules” that make up that experience; each of them is explained in detail. The smart, sensible manual puts a novel spin on corporate culture, is well-thought-out, and has a good mix of theory and workplace examples. One example, which threads throughout the book, adds a very personal angle. It is the author’s own heart-wrenching experience facing a crisis in her personal life as she tries to balance it against her work responsibilities.

Shows real insight into the turmoil of the contemporary workplace; business leaders should take note.

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-988179-35-3

Page Count: 226

Publisher: BrightFlame Books

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    


Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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