Authoritative, all-encompassing, and richly detailed; a highly valuable partnership playbook.



A business consultant touts cross-sector partnerships as the best way to meet major challenges.

In the Introduction to this intriguing debut book, the author relates the story of the unexpected symbiotic relationship between global food conglomerate PepsiCo and a poor farmer in India whom the company depended on to supply potatoes. As Schmida writes, “We can start to see why increasing productivity and the incomes of farmers in the company’s supply chains is important to PepsiCo.” This dramatic example sets the tone for a work that explores why partnerships are vital to attempting to solve the world’s “wicked problems,” which have “economic, social, and environmental dimensions that interact with one another in ways that are ever-changing and unpredictable.” The volume first describes the nature of cross-sector partnerships, how they work, and their importance. It then delves very thoroughly into the nuts and bolts of building and managing such alliances. One of the more compelling aspects of the book is the way the author integrates stories into the realm of global partnerships. Virtually every chapter begins with a captivating anecdote, each from a different part of the world, that illustrates and supports the content of that section. This technique is effective because cross-sector partnerships are by their very nature intricate. For example, a project to introduce “affordable broadband internet to rural communities” in Sri Lanka is a springboard for exploring a partnership framework called LABS (Learn, Align, Build, Scale/Sustain). In describing the Sri Lanka project, Schmida is able to fully explain the individual components of LABS, relate them directly to the project’s phases, and demonstrate the practical application of a conceptual framework.

Throughout the engaging text, the author continues to utilize a well-honed, case study approach—setting up a difficulty, discussing its complexity, showing why the problem could not be solved without the help of partners, and looking at the collaborators. Schmida does a superb job of covering all aspects of partnerships: examining types, identifying high-potential ones, forging and managing a collaboration (including a seven-step process), securing commitments, effectively structuring an alliance, negotiating, and writing agreements. He also deftly addresses how to get things done with partners, citing and dissecting “the six attributes of successful partnership implementation” as well as how to track and measure results of the collaborative efforts. Not surprisingly, partnerships often tackle projects that begin with a pilot and grow exponentially. A chapter entitled “Moving Up or Moving On” discusses conditions surrounding the scaling of projects as well as sustaining a partnership’s results and, if need be, responsibly ending an alliance. In a concluding chapter, Schmida offers his expert counsel on the personal qualities required of individuals who want to excel at building and managing partnerships. In addition, he clearly portrays the specific roles individuals need to play in a partnership: networker, champion, project overseer, organizational sage, relationship manager, and, if benefactor agencies are involved, donor navigator.

Authoritative, all-encompassing, and richly detailed; a highly valuable partnership playbook. (charts, appendices)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-9790080-8-5

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Rivertowns Books

Review Posted Online: April 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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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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Gucci demonstrates all the bravado and ferocious self-confidence that he counsels—and the photos are a nice bonus.


A hip-hop star who went on his first international tour wearing an ankle monitor explains how to succeed.

“The words you are about to read can help you,” writes Gucci. “That’s because there is truth in them. These are words of wisdom, like the Bible and its proverbs.” Unquestionably, Gucci likes to aim high, as many of his proverbs attest: “Stop Underestimating Yourself”; “Whatever You’re Thinking, Think Bigger”; “Nobody Cares. Work Harder”; “When They Sleep, I’m Grinding”; “Do More, Get More.” And never forget, “Women Are Brilliant.” Gucci not only shares his recipes for success. As in a cookbook that shows pictures of the end result, the author includes dozens of dazzling photos of himself and his beautiful wife, among them a series on his surprise wedding proposal at an Atlanta Hawks game. After the success of his bestselling debut, The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, Gucci has realized there is money to be made in the book business. In addition to the Bible, he has his eye on Malcolm Gladwell and his reported $5 million advances. While he is “cool with Malcolm Gladwell being more celebrated than me as an author…the difference between Malcolm Gladwell and me is that I’m going to make more money because I’m going to make so many books for my following….You can enjoy this book or not, but I’m going to make my fifty-second book, my hundred and eighth book.” Many readers will hope that one of them will be a diet book, as the 100-plus pounds Gucci has lost and kept off are a frequent topic—alas, he doesn’t reveal his weight loss secrets here. Until the next book, try to live the Gucci Mane way. “Avoid lazy and miserable people,” and “Find something to be excited about every day.”

Gucci demonstrates all the bravado and ferocious self-confidence that he counsels—and the photos are a nice bonus.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982146-78-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

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