A valuable volume for the senior leader of any group, business, or organization who wants to build a collaborative culture.

Break Through to Yes

A book thoroughly examines the power of successful collaborations.

Canadian collaboration expert Savage (a contributor to Ready, Aim, Excel, 2012) offers a work that couldn’t be more timely. While it addresses organizational collaboration, this book could be interpreted more broadly as a treatise on building a cooperative culture within families, groups, businesses, and government. In a collection of concise chapters, Savage leads the reader through a discussion of the meaning and value of collaboration. The author supplements his own experiences over more than four decades with extensive quotes from experts and results from surveys that he conducted; in effect, he collaborated far and wide to garner input for this volume. Part One lays the groundwork by first exploring reasons for collaboration, why it fails, and what is required for effective collaboration. Part Two explores “The Discipline of Collaboration,” addressing such issues as why collaboration is misunderstood, how to involve stakeholders, and why the practice demands “opening the mind…opening the heart…and opening the will.” This section also delivers a useful assessment tool to determine the state of an organization’s “collaborative ecosystem.” In Part Three, Savage provides a comprehensive road map via 10 specific steps for implementing organizational collaboration. Beginning with “Step 1: Set Intention and Declare Your Purpose,” and concluding with “Step 10: Make It So: Positively Change the Energy and the Future Together,” the book systematically details each step and then summarizes to facilitate implementation. Part Four (“Break Through”) offers a discussion of circles and teams, and explains the rise of the “Chief Collaboration Officer” as a senior position, which, Savage writes, is “the greatest advance in organizational productivity in the knowledge economy.” This engaging volume’s Appendices contain additional worthy information, including quotes from experts (from Bryce Medd/Wealthy Tortoise Financial, British Columbia: “In the financial services realm, if the intention is to create one plan, a road map for a client, then only by collaboration can all of the various disciplines come together for the best interest of the client”). The Appendices also include an itemized list of “roadblocks to collaboration,” and vital lessons the author has learned from some less-than-successful collaborative engagement startups. Highly readable, informative, and well-organized, this insightful work acts as a short-form textbook on the best practices in collaboration. 

A valuable volume for the senior leader of any group, business, or organization who wants to build a collaborative culture.

Pub Date: March 22, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-943425-15-0

Page Count: 184

Publisher: Elevate

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

more