A scrupulously researched and expertly organized leadership development manual.



A business-management guide promotes a comprehensive approach to leadership development, steeped in process-oriented strategy.

Using his own and outside research, human resources professional van Dongen (Leadership Development in International Organizations, 2013) lays out a well-integrated, thoughtful plan in his latest book. He rightly emphasizes the need for businesses to focus on developing the next generation of leaders, which he says is a surprisingly neglected aspect of management. His remedy: a four-part, highly structured process that one can measure with a sophisticated auditing system, involving 35 audit questions across eight specific factors. The book is both explanatory and demonstrative as it begins with a short history of leadership theory followed by an explanation of the four phases, or “blocks,” of his development process: “Strategic Embedding” of HR and leadership development; “Defining and Finding Talent”; “Phase-Based Development”; and “Organisational Prerequisites and Low-Hanging Fruits.” The author defines and explores each block in highly detailed text that integrates the aforementioned audit questions. He then visualizes his process with the aid of two key flowcharts: the “Human Capital Roadmap,” a useful overview of the entire HR process, including contact and recruitment, entry and onboarding, performance development, performance-gap assessment, and exit from the company; and the “HEART” model, which puts a graphical face on the four-phase development process above. Together, these charts clearly outline van Dongen’s overall strategy. Accompanying this broader explanation is an in-depth demonstration of how the HEART model works, presented through three detailed case studies. Each one shows exactly how a large company implemented the author’s model, along with a full assessment of its success. This section effectively brings the theoretical aspects of the process down to a practical level. At times, the text can be a bit formal and ponderous, but the overall content may greatly benefit senior executives and HR directors, particularly those in larger companies.

A scrupulously researched and expertly organized leadership development manual.

Pub Date: Dec. 16, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5245-1923-0

Page Count: 274

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: April 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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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. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to...

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A French academic serves up a long, rigorous critique, dense with historical data, of American-style predatory capitalism—and offers remedies that Karl Marx might applaud.

Economist Piketty considers capital, in the monetary sense, from the vantage of what he considers the capital of the world, namely Paris; at times, his discussions of how capital works, and especially public capital, befit Locke-ian France and not Hobbesian America, a source of some controversy in the wide discussion surrounding his book. At heart, though, his argument turns on well-founded economic principles, notably r > g, meaning that the “rate of return on capital significantly exceeds the growth rate of the economy,” in Piketty’s gloss. It logically follows that when such conditions prevail, then wealth will accumulate in a few hands faster than it can be broadly distributed. By the author’s reckoning, the United States is one of the leading nations in the “high inequality” camp, though it was not always so. In the colonial era, Piketty likens the inequality quotient in New England to be about that of Scandinavia today, with few abject poor and few mega-rich. The difference is that the rich now—who are mostly the “supermanagers” of business rather than the “superstars” of sports and entertainment—have surrounded themselves with political shields that keep them safe from the specter of paying more in taxes and adding to the fund of public wealth. The author’s data is unassailable. His policy recommendations are considerably more controversial, including his call for a global tax on wealth. From start to finish, the discussion is written in plainspoken prose that, though punctuated by formulas, also draws on a wide range of cultural references.

Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to work explaining the most complex of ideas, foremost among them the fact that economic inequality is at an all-time high—and is only bound to grow worse.

Pub Date: March 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-674-43000-6

Page Count: 640

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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