A well-organized, nimbly written, and insightful book that should be a key resource for corporate leaders.

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CLASH OF THE GENERATIONS

MANAGING THE NEW WORKPLACE REALITY

A useful playbook for managing an intergenerational workforce.

Corporate consultant Grubb (Planes, Canes, and Automobiles, 2015) draws on her management experience at numerous firms to focus on the challenge of employing people from different generations in the same company. She aptly points out, for example, that managers must respect each person as an individual rather than assigning him or her to a generational stereotype. She also mentions the phenomenon of baby boomers “prolonging their time in the workplace,” which can result in a “generational culture clash” with younger staff. Grubb delves deeply into distinct generational characteristics to provide managers with clear understandings of various age groups; the book’s chart of “Generational Influences and Attributes” offers a tidy overview of how baby boomers, Generation Xers, millennials, and Generation Zers think, feel, and act in a workplace. For instance, boomers are said to be “team oriented,” “optimistic,” and “informal,” while Generation Xers are “self-reliant,” “cynical,” and “informal.” This kind of valuable insight from an executive who’s managed multigenerational teams brings a practical, hands-on perspective to the book as a whole. In addition to making a strong case for “creating an age-diverse culture,” Grubb offers specific advice for managing and motivating employees. Readers will find a portion of this material, including discussions of goal-setting, evaluating employee performance, and managing employee expectations and career development, to be familiar from more general management books, but the author does a solid job of slanting the content to address generational divides. Some of the more engaging sections address “managing workers older than you,” recognizing different styles of learning and communicating, and highlighting the difference between “work-life blending” and work-life balancing. Six case studies at the end of the book depict how specific companies have addressed issues surrounding company culture, recruitment, career development, and benefits as they relate to employees of all ages.

A well-organized, nimbly written, and insightful book that should be a key resource for corporate leaders.

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-119-21234-8

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Wiley

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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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

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A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.

CAPITAL AND IDEOLOGY

A massive investigation of economic history in the service of proposing a political order to overcome inequality.

Readers who like their political manifestoes in manageable sizes, à la Common Sense or The Communist Manifesto, may be overwhelmed by the latest from famed French economist Piketty (Top Incomes in France in the Twentieth Century: Inequality and Redistribution, 1901-1998, 2014, etc.), but it’s a significant work. The author interrogates the principal forms of economic organization over time, from slavery to “non-European trifunctional societies,” Chinese-style communism, and “hypercapitalist” orders, in order to examine relative levels of inequality and its evolution. Each system is founded on an ideology, and “every ideology, no matter how extreme it may seem in its defense of inequality, expresses a certain idea of social justice.” In the present era, at least in the U.S., that idea of social justice would seem to be only that the big ones eat the little ones, the principal justification being that the wealthiest people became rich because they are “the most enterprising, deserving, and useful.” In fact, as Piketty demonstrates, there’s more to inequality than the mere “size of the income gap.” Contrary to hypercapitalist ideology and its defenders, the playing field is not level, the market is not self-regulating, and access is not evenly distributed. Against this, Piketty arrives at a proposed system that, among other things, would redistribute wealth across societies by heavy taxation, especially of inheritances, to create a “participatory socialism” in which power is widely shared and trade across nations is truly free. The word “socialism,” he allows, is a kind of Pandora’s box that can scare people off—and, he further acknowledges, “the Russian and Czech oligarchs who buy athletic teams and newspapers may not be the most savory characters, but the Soviet system was a nightmare and had to go.” Yet so, too, writes the author, is a capitalism that rewards so few at the expense of so many.

A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-674-98082-2

Page Count: 976

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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