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An enthusiastic road map for taking work outside the office.

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A management consultant advises companies to embrace remote work in this business book.

Razzetti, the author of Stretch Your Team (2018), counsels business executives on embracing a pandemic-driven shift toward doing work outside of an office setting: “Until recently, working from home was seen as the exception,” he notes. “Very soon, working from an office will be the exception.” If it’s done thoughtfully and deliberately, he argues, remote work can increase employee satisfaction and productivity while also strengthening corporate teams and a company as a whole. Razzetti explains how many of his clients, along with a growing number of business leaders around the world, have calculated that remote work is a net benefit and why many others will likely see the same results. The book addresses the mechanics of such work, with an emphasis on establishing frequent, asynchronous communication strategies that don’t require excessive real-time meetings, and then takes readers through a multistep process of developing a strong corporate culture when employees are working from a variety of locations. Razzetti offers advice on creating a robust knowledge base; avoiding meeting fatigue; giving feedback in a remote context; and building an environment of psychological safety in which employees can share ideas widely, make decisions effectively, and work efficiently. Each chapter concludes with a guided exercise intended to help readers understand how to make remote work compatible with their company’s needs. Razzetti is a remote-work partisan who understands that many in leadership are still unpersuaded, and the book successfully balances making a case to skeptics and giving practical advice to adherents, rendering it useful to a wide range of readers. (However, those who manage or work in location-dependent roles may feel frustrated by the book’s advocacy for a trend from which they’re excluded.) Plenty of specific examples—of companies that have succeeded at communicating across time zones, for example—allow the book to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

An enthusiastic road map for taking work outside the office.

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-9990973-8-0

Page Count: 328

Publisher: Liberationist

Review Posted Online: June 9, 2022

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

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. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

A helpful guide to working effectively with people from other cultures.

“The sad truth is that the vast majority of managers who conduct business internationally have little understanding about how culture is impacting their work,” writes Meyer, a professor at INSEAD, an international business school. Yet they face a wider array of work styles than ever before in dealing with clients, suppliers and colleagues from around the world. When is it best to speak or stay quiet? What is the role of the leader in the room? When working with foreign business people, failing to take cultural differences into account can lead to frustration, misunderstanding or worse. Based on research and her experiences teaching cross-cultural behaviors to executive students, the author examines a handful of key areas. Among others, they include communicating (Anglo-Saxons are explicit; Asians communicate implicitly, requiring listeners to read between the lines), developing a sense of trust (Brazilians do it over long lunches), and decision-making (Germans rely on consensus, Americans on one decider). In each area, the author provides a “culture map scale” that positions behaviors in more than 20 countries along a continuum, allowing readers to anticipate the preferences of individuals from a particular country: Do they like direct or indirect negative feedback? Are they rigid or flexible regarding deadlines? Do they favor verbal or written commitments? And so on. Meyer discusses managers who have faced perplexing situations, such as knowledgeable team members who fail to speak up in meetings or Indians who offer a puzzling half-shake, half-nod of the head. Cultural differences—not personality quirks—are the motivating factors behind many behavioral styles. Depending on our cultures, we understand the world in a particular way, find certain arguments persuasive or lacking merit, and consider some ways of making decisions or measuring time natural and others quite strange.

These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

Pub Date: May 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61039-250-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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