THE NEW PIONEERS by Jr. Petzinger


The Men and Women Who Are Transforming the Workplace and Marketplace
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Wall Street Journal columnist Petzinger explores the world of the small- and mid-size business entrepreneur’s and finds that business these days is, on the whole, a Good Thing. With myriad anecdotes about clever entrepreneurs, from the oldest operating business in America (a cymbal maker, of all things) to the pocket-protector crowd at Lucent Technologies, from the employer of women weaving at home looms to some health care workers who won hospital patients the right to wear underwear (notably during eye surgery), Petzinger demonstrates the effectiveness of new ways to do things. Though IBM isn’t discussed, that firm’s succinct motto, “Think,” may have had it right all along. As innovative thinking advances, the author demonstrates, so does effective commercial practice. Business and biology are, it appears, not so different. We evolved from the primordial ooze to become CEOs, after all, passing through the Industrial Age to the Information Age and a step up on Maslow’s hierarchy. “People who once did business on a handshake were starting to do it on a hug, for Pete’s sake!” The author will concede that there are such blights as telemarketers. But, generally, the ecology of commerce is increasingly beneficent. Small enterprises thrive when they extend themselves to serve customers and eschew old rigidity. Loyalty, as well as money, is an incentive. Family considerations need not be overwhelmed by the demands of a well-run organization. Cooperative back-scratching and everyday decency, the author finds, nurture success. Indeed, values are the foundation of successful pioneering ventures. The book stresses the operations of small businesses, which clearly outnumber the giant enterprises. A new kind of feel-good primer on the ascent of man (business department) that might well be titled “How to Win Friends and Influence People for Management.” (Author tour)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-684-84636-5
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1999


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