A Century of Difference

Amazing how much has changed in such a short period of time.

However, I do believe that the principles which people shared, and the way the Circle of Impact can be applied has not changed.

The reality is that our needs for clarity of thought, being present in our relationships, and, genuine leadership are more needed now that ever.



The other day I asked the following question as my Facebook status update.

Just thinking about how different the 21st century is compared to either the 20th or 19th. Working on a post about this. What would you all say is the difference? I'm curious.

It is an important question if we are to effectively lead into the future. Here are some of the ideas shared. (Thanks Jenni, Pat, Richard & F.C.)

The social aspect... communication in a heartbeat

The entirety of the gross data and factual information within the world is within your 1.5lb. laptop.

Less face to face social interaction. Less informal group social interaction. More social interaction at a wire's length.

Too many businesses have forgotten ... being the people business.

19th more face to face ... 20th letters and telegrams ... 21st email, mobile phones and social networks - instant responses, less thought - little or no opportunity to convey intent except by emoticons that have become part of the language. This is a change so significant that I think it's as big as the printing press being developed.

In summary, these friends are seeing changes in technology, relationships and communication. I agree. These are the core differences that are impacting us daily.

If we use my Circle of Impact framework, we can identify others. This is a valuable exercise because it helps us in two ways. First, in seeing the transition over the past two hundred years, and second, to give us an idea of where to put our energy and resources for the future.

Circle of Impact

Using the Circle of Impact to Identify Change

Ideas: The Importance of Clarity.

Today, ideas matter more than ever. In the past, the communities and places of work were fairly homogeneous, not as culturally diverse as today. Now we need to be very clear about our values and purpose, and be able to effectively communicate them in visual and tangible ways.

In the past, we could measure our business by the bottom-line, and have a pretty good idea about whether we were succeeding. Today, if we are not clear about the impact we are creating, the purpose of our businesses / organizations seem vague. Impact is the difference that matters, and distinguishes us from others in the same industry. The core meaning of impact is the change we are seeking to create, and how we know when we have.

Lastly, is having a vision that is clear about what each person brings to the mission of the organization, and by that I mean, understanding what is their potential contribution. Then knowing how it is aligned with the operating structure to produce impact. And thirdly, each member of the organization being able to articulate that vision from their own place within the organization. Same vision, different expressions of it.

Relationships: The Importance of Being Present

Today, the person who is prejudiced, condescending and exclusive toward people and other cultures is viewed as backward, narrow and insecure. Openness and welcome are important behaviors that leaders and their organizations need to exhibit.

This mindset, so to speak, is really just an entry level attitude toward relationships. At the core, what made for a healthy relationship two hundred years ago, does so today. A year ago in a post, Honor and the Lost Art of Diplomancy, I wrote,

Diplomacy is the practice of respect applied in places of diverse cultures. It is the ability of one person to be able to empathize with another person, even though their cultural, ethnic and philosophical backgrounds are not similar. ...

This type of respect is a form of humility that places the dignity of the other person ahead of one's own perogatives. It is what I see missing in much of the social and civic interaction that takes place in our society.

This aspect of relationships has always been true. The difference today is that it has to be treated as one of the strategic initiatives of the business. How the business relates to the person and the culture will have a huge impact upon how well they do.

In addition, the importance of respect, honor, dignity, and trust are now functioning within a social environment where technology mediates our relationships more and more. This is one of the most significant changes of the past two hundred years. And as one of my Facebook friends noted,

... instant responses, less thought - little or no opportunity to convey intent except by emoticons that have become part of the language. This is a change so significant that I think it's as big as the printing press being developed ...

This means that the quality of our relationships is really a matter of the person we are. Our character, integrity and values matter more than ever. They do because with many people we only have a moment to convey the depth of who we are. If we come across as shallow, narcissistic, unempathetic, or distracted, then we may never have a chance to change that impression. 

The impact of all this change in relationships and social context is that we must constantly be present with our best selves, if we hope to build relationships for the long term. To be present means that our first inclination is not to tell our story, but to ask questions to identify their story. When we know who they are and what they value, then, with genuine integrity, we can tell our story. We are able to do this when we truly approach each person with dignity, respect and trust.

Structures: The Importance of Leadership

A major change over the past two hundred years is in how businesses organize themselves. In the past, the industrial model depended upon a standardized, formal structure. Today, the complexity of doing business has placed a greater burden on workers to be problem solvers and initiative takers. The expectation that workers take greater responsibility is changing what it means to be an employee. In effect, this shift is a change in what is leadership.

In the past, leadership was a position, a title which often was personalized into a heroic narrative of the senior executive. Today leadership has become the impact that each person has within the business structure. It depends upon their ability to communicate, problem solve, relate well to others and contribute in ways beyond their job description. In effect, the skills of leadership are now the skills of an entrepreneur, and are needed by everyone within the structure.

With this shift, a company where more and more employees have the capacity to take initiative to lead, the quicker the company will adapt to changing situations with customers and in their industry.

The Difference that Matters

Here are five actions we can take.

1. Be clear about the Four Connecting Ideas of Values, Purpose/Mission, Vision and Impact. Develop an elevator speech for each, so that when the moment arises you have something clear to say.

2. Develop Ideas in Conversation. Identify three to five people with whom you work, and often have lunch, and begin to share your ideas with them. You may want to share this post with them, and see where the conversation goes. The idea is to learn through collaborative reflection.

3. Volunteer with an Organization that Serves People in Need. I have found that working with people who have lived through or are living in hard times gives me perspective on myself. I learn to appreciate what I have and gain the ability to respect those whom I may have not been able to see any value. The resiliency and adaptability of people who are in need provides us a window into our own capacity to change. 

4. Develop a Set of Questions to Ask Everyone You Meet.  What sparks your curiosity? This is how the Circle of Impact was developed. I asked questions of everyone I met. Once the Circle became clear, I began to use this as a framework for my discussions with people. Now it is printed on my business card. Do this is to take initiative because your desire is to make a difference.

5. Go Slowly on Beginning to Take Initiative. Yes, leadership is an initiative taking function. But not all organizations have embraced this idea. In fact, many think that relinquishing control over employee freedom to lead ends with chaos and confusion. It certainly can if there is poor communication and coordination between members of a team or department. Understand, therefore, that leadership in this perspective needs alignment between the three dimensions of leadership - Ideas, Relationships and Structure.

The last thing to say is that while the changes over the past two centuries have been great, the core attitudes and behaviors that make for effective leadership remain the same as always. The primary difference are the changes in the social and organizational contexts that have come through technological innovation and the growth of life and work on a global scale.

The Picture of the Future in a Box - Update

Update: Ross Dawson writes about the importance of 3D printing in his post - How 3D printing will transform the retail industry: the opportunities.

This post is a continuation of the ideas presented in The End and The Beginning. In this one, I want to focus on three culture shifts that impact what leadership means in the 21st century.

A picture of the future in a box

Let me begin with this picture. 3dsystems-RapMan-Students-6

Here is a student using a three-dimensional printer. The blue object in the middle of the picture is being printed. This is a kit that individuals can buy for around $1,300.

All you need is a basic CAD program to begin to create prototypes of your ideas. 

I recently saw this model, RapMan 3.1, and the BFB-300 3D printer demonstrated at Hatchfest in Asheville. Rajeev Kulkarni, Vice President of Global Engineering for 3D Systems spoke on the uses of 3D printing.  His presentation described a extremely wide spectrum of application for this technology. The most impressive use of 3D printing is to create human organs from the cells of the recipient. See Antony Atala's TED2011 presentation to grasp the magnitude of this innovation in medicine.

This picture of innovative technology points to the social change that is occurring because of the advance of technology. Besides lowering the cost of prototyping and manufacturing new products, people can now take their ideas from conception to market in a shorter period of time.  Kulkarni spoke about what used to take months to produce that now can be done in a matter hours or days.

Three Shifts

As I listened to Rajeev Kulkarni's Hatch presentation, I realized that in these printers I saw three significant social shifts. When the cost of manufacturing and production time are reduced, and the technology becomes affordable for individual use, then we are moving through a transition period from one era to the next.   The shifts that I see taking place are:

1. From consumers to creators / producers

2. From mass market to mass customization

3. From a mass culture to a local culture

 Let me describe each.

1. From consumers to creators / producers

With the use of basic design software and the RapMan 3d printer, any individual can become a producer of products for sale. The materials that can be used in the printing process are extensive. So, no longer will people have to depend on the marketplace to provide the products that he or she needs. With some ingenuity and business sense, they can make a shift from being a consumer of products to being the creator and producer of them.

Of course, six billion people will not automatically shift from being consumers to creators / producers. And every producer needs consumers to buy her product. Yet, it does not take many people embracing this shift in culture to dramatically impact it. The picture above is of an school girl in England using the RapMan printer.

Imagine every school in your school district having a 3d printer to complete a learning process of idea creation to product completion. Imagine the change of mind that comes to the students in that school when they can create, and not just consume.  Imagine a generation of men and women who think of themselves as creators and producers, as leaders, rather than just consumers of other peoples' creative output. 

One of the first realizations I had about 21st century leadership was that it was about personal initiative, not about roles. Leadership begins with personal initiative. Tools like these 3D printers place into the hands of people the opportunity to initiate, to create, and to produce products and solutions that can make a difference. 

2. From mass market to mass customization

The nature of product development cycles used to be months, even years, necessary to bring a product to market. As a result, it required that product to have as wide an appeal and as long a shelf life as possible. With the advent of technologies, like 3D printers, this is changing. Now in a matter of a few hours, a specialize part can be designed and produced for a customer.

There are a couple implications for this shift.

First, it changes how a company relates to the marketplace. In a one-size fits all world, the marketplace is the lowest common denominator. In a mass customized world, the individual is the market. Marketing to individuals is different than to a mass culture. This is the insight that Chris Anderson wrote about in his book The Long Tail.

Second, it makes the relationship between manufacturer and consumer more important. I've learned this as a consultant. I cannot approach any project as if there is a formula that applies to every other organization in their industry. I have to build a relationship of interest, inquiry and adaptive response to meet not only their expectations, but their needs. I enter into their organizational setting with a set of tools, not unlike a 3D printer, though I don't have one, and use my tools to address the needs that they have.

In a mass customized world, relationships matter, and that is a key to managing the shifts that I'm identifying here.

3. From mass culture to local culture

Prior to the 20th century, life for most people from the beginning of time was experienced in small towns. I remember my grandfather telling me near the end of his long life that the most significant invention in his life time was the radio. When asked why, he said, "Because it showed us what life was like in other places."

The 20th century was a century lived on a global scale, with World Wars and multi-national corporations, and, with institutions that were designed for a mass culture. It was a perspective where one size fits all, and that all people are to be treated a like. Individuality was rebellious and conventionality was the norm.

Those days are slipping away as innovations, like 3D Systems printers, make it possible to create a business that serves customers globally from an office in a small town with an internet connection.  It is the twin developments of innovation for individual productivity and the failure of large organizations to function in a one-size fits all world.

As a result, the meaning of global and local is changing. It is less about a mass market culture of sameness, and more about a culture of relationship where I can serve you, regardless of where you or I live. We can be connected. We can communicate, collaborate and coordinate our projects from wherever we sit today.

It isn't just that we live in a time of the long tail, or that technological innovation provides a basis for mass customization or a better foundation for individual initiative. Each is true. At a deeper level, it means that any individual with a minimum investment can pursue their own sense of calling as a person, and do it in a social context of others who share their vision and commitment. This is an emerging reality that will seriously impact the nature of leadership and organizational design in the future.

One way of understanding this development is to see this as the ascendency of the local. I've written about it here, here and here.

The key to making a local orientation work is openness. For many people, local is just another word for provincial, or closed. However, if local is less physical place, and more a relational space, then we can begin to see that my local can include colleagues in Japan, Pakistan, England, Canada, and my neighbors nearby in Asheville.

In a local community, you share a concern for people, for families, for education systems, the business community and for those less fortunate. It is a concern for the whole person, not just for the transaction.

For example, I can share a concern that my friends in California have for the economic and social conditions of their small coastal town, and feel that as their community grows, that I contribute to their growth.

A local community orientation can function in any social or organizational structure. It is the heart of team work. It brings personal initiative, shared responsibility, and common goals and values together.

Leading Through These Shifts

The implications of these shifts for organizational leaders is fairly simple. It means that instead of being organizational process managers, we must become culture creators. The culture that forms from our leadership provides an open environment for individual initiative, relationship building, and shared responsibility.

The local in this sense is like the ancient Greek polis as described by Victor Davis Hanson in his fascinating book, The Other Greeks: The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization. He writes in the introduction,

The early Greek polis has often been called a nexus for exchange, consumption, or acquisition, but it is better to define it as an "agro-service center." Surplus food was brought in from the countryside to be consumed or traded in a forum that concurrently advanced the material, political, social, and cultural agenda of its agrarian members. The buildings and circult walls of a city-state were a testament to the accumulated bounty of generations, its democratic membership a formal acknowledgment of the unique triad of small landowner, infantry soldier, and voting citizen. The "other" Greeks, therefore, were not the dispossessed but the possessors of power and influence. Nor is their story a popular account of slaves, the poor, foreigners, and the numerous other "outsiders" of the ancient Greek city-state. The real Greeks are the farmers and infantrymen, the men and women outside the city, who were the insiders of Greek life and culture.

The rise of independent farmers who owned and worked without encumbrance their small plots at the end of the Greek Dark Ages was an entirely new phenomenon in history. This rougly homogeneous agrarian class was previously unseen in Greece, or anywhere else in Europe and the surrounding Mediterranean area. Their efforts to create a great community of agrarian equals resulted, I believe, in the system of independent but interconnected Greek city-states (poleis) which characterized Western cutlure.

The shifts indentified in this post, to me, point to a similar opportunity that the early Greek farmers had. Through their collaborative relationship of shared responsibility, together they created the Greek polis that remains as the model for what cities and communities are in the West.

The ascendency of the local will come as a result of these shifts. And with it a new conception of leadership as more personal, more collaborative, more focused on impact, will emerge to provide it descriptive power that inspires innovation.

Technological advantage

This video of one of Conan O'Brien's guests captures one aspect of the current financial crisis.

The challenge before us is less financial, though that is where we feel the recession, than it is about the choices we must make each day. If I approach life from an attitude of entitlement, luxuriating in the wealth of technology available to me for my amusement, then I'm going to have a difficult time coping with hard financial times.

If, however, I view technology as providing me the tools to succeed in an environment of disruptive change, then I will find a way to deal with the financial crisis without fear or denial. From that attitude will come the courage and persistence to find a way through this crisis each day.

There are still opportunities to make a difference. For this to happen requires us to act in ways that build strength in our relationships with people in our businesses and communities. Without the technology that we have at our disposal, this would be much more difficult.

HT: Dan Pink

My Wireless Leash

Right now, I'm sitting in the passenger seat of our family's care headed to Nashville for Family Weekend at our son's school. My wife is driving, and I'm blogging. It is so cool listening to the business news on the radio, and being able to check websites as we motor along at 70mph.

How is this possible? My ATT Wireless Broadband Card in my new Dell XPS computer. I'm amazed at how well this works. Hardly a hiccup. I'm not an early adopter of technology,but I am a beleiver in it being the great equalizer for those of us whose small businesses employ fewer than 2 people.

The View from Doc Searl's Porch

Doc Searls is an interesting guy. Shel Israel interviews him for a SAP report.  If you want to stay at least somewhat current on what is happening in the online/internet/web, etc world, you have to listen to Doc's observations.
Here's the interview. Read it through to the end.

Here's what I found most intriguing.

5. How has business fundamentally changed because of social media? How will it change in the coming years?

The walls of business will come down. That's the main effect of the Net itself. Companies are people and are learning to adapt to a world where everybody is connected, everybody contributes, and everybody is zero distance (or close enough) from everybody else. This is the "flat world" Tom Friedman wrote "The World is Flat" about, and he's right. Business on the whole has still not fully noticed this, however.

HT: Gaping Void & Doc's weblog

Don't Think Relationships Matter? Read this!

USAToday has a story about research conducted at Duke University that "Americans have a third fewer close friends and confidants than just two decades ago — a sign that people may be living lonelier, more isolated lives than in the past."

This is not surprising to me at all. I have beeen aware of the relational decline of America all my life.  I think the study's numbers are conservative. 


Because our standards have lowered, and as a result what is acceptible today, was not a generation ago. 

Is this dire? Yes. Is it a hopeless situation? No.

Remember when the
The Cluetrain Manifesto came out?  You don't?  Then you better get in touch with one of the conceptual benchmarks of the 21st century.  You can read the entire book online here. The Manifesto  begins with the now familiar statement

  1. Markets are conversations.
  2. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.
  3. Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.
  4. Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting arguments or humorous asides, the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived.
  5. People recognize each other as such from the sound of this voice.

 Here is one of first statements to reintroduce the human element into discussion about business.  The idea is that relationships matter, and that internet technology makes it easier for relationships to form and function. I agree.

As Ron Burt points out in his book, Brokerage and Closure, our social capability has not caught of with our technological capacity.

Now, the problem the Duke University study describes really isn't technological.  It is easy to blame, as Robert Putnam does, this prevalence of loneliness and isolation on suburbia.  Suburbia can't fix it.  Suburbia is an intellectual construct.  It is an idea, and inanimate idea. It is also a type of technology, a tool that people use to achieve certain goals.  As with any technology, there are assets and liabilities, benefits and problems.  Suburbia is a technology that makes relationships more difficult, but that doesn't mean that they are impossible.

We live, in the words of Christopher Lasch, in a culture of narcissism.  If you have never read Lasch, you should, especially The Culture of Narcissism: Amercian in an Age of Diminishing Expectations.  We live in a culture that rewards people for gratifying their own desires first.  Other people are tools, mechanisms, technology, means toward that gratification.  If the tools fail, there is no introspective reflection that looks within for the cause.  The problem is always external, and the solution is too. This is the thrust of the Arbinger Institute's fine book, Leadership and Self Deception.

Unless the individual has become totally emotionally stunted, the need for close, intimate, caring, mutual relationships grows in magnitude.  The problem, and here is where putnam is correct, is that our institutions are not organized for the support of those kinds of relationships.  As a result, people  journey through the social experiences of their lives in organizational ill-equipped to deal with people's loneliness and isolation.

Just so we don't miss this point.  I am not talking about those socially inept, misfit souls that pass through our lives.  I see this issue in the lives of leaders who have excellent people skills, but are emotionally alone in their role of leader.

Ultimately, the issue gets resolved on a personal basis.  You have to determine in your mind and heart to make the commitment to change.  If you expect others to change for you, then you'll be disappointed. You have to take the initiative. And those who are also taking the personal initiative will find you. 

Simplicity and Enablement, at the Intersection of technology and my calendar

Grant McCracken writes on the intersection of antropology and economics.  I'd like to suggest that he writes on the cultural intersection of the two, rather than the abstract theoretical intersection of them. However, that is beside the point. This intersection is captured well in his posting on a reading of Adam Smith.  Here the text is about the effect of technology, or as Smith describes it, "a multitude of baubles."

Smith is writing about the effect of a watch on the owner.  McCracken comments,

"The view of the object (watch or PDA) treats it as a statement of the owner's enablement or potentiality.  And clearly the other Scottish philosopher was on to something.  Objects add enablement to the owner.  Without apology or hesitation, we claim this enablement as our own.  Nice work, Mr. Smith.   The utility is not (only) the function.  The utility is not (only) the enablement.  The utility is (also) that new confidence that in a world of astonishing complexity and dynamism, we are enabled."

This topic is real immediate for me.  Six weeks ago I purchased a Blackberry 7100.  I originally wanted to have everything at my disposal. Phone, calendar, addresses, files, web-acess and email.  I held off on the web-access and email until I felt comfortable with the phone and PDA functions.  I'm pleased with my Blackberry. To the point that I have no need for web-access and email.  I have found that by just adding the PDA functions that it has simplified my daily life to the degree that I am more relaxed and in control of my most horrendous pressure point, my schedule.  I don't have to carry a paper calendar.  I don't have to update my Outlook calendar, and then print off a hard copy every week. It's all there with me 24/7.  I don't have to write down on little slips of paper appointments, that I then put into my Outlook calendar.  I just punch into to my Blackberry. 

I feel like the man in the Adam Smith quote who went from a watch that gave okay, approximately good time, to a watch that was absolutely dependable.  A little handheld device has now simplified the most important aspects of my organizational life.

This reminds me of philosopher Albert Borgmann's thinking on information in a postmodernism world.  He makes the following distinction.
The signs that we pick up from Nature provide us Information about Reality.  Reports about that reality, like a menu or a recipe provide us a Cultural perspective that is Information for Reality, and in the modern / postmodern era Technology has become Information as Reality

My Natural life is the series of scheduled interactions and tasks that fill my days.  My old paper calendar helped to organize that information in a manner that helped me make decisions, instead of merely reactivelyh responding to the natural information that is before me at any moment.  The beauty of the kind of technology we find in Blackberry's and Treo's is that the very experience of managing our schedule changes how we perceive and experience our schedule and life. 

I love the fact that I can take notes with my Blackberry.  I'm sitting in a coffee shop reading a magazine, waiting for an appointment, and I find myself entering a quote in my Outlook Notes function.  I copy Mapquest directions into a note file, and there it is to guide me a day later.  I know that some of these devices can do more, but to do more means less simplicity. 

What I find at the intersection of human life and technology are a set of choices about to what degree to we want the technology to become our life, or less intrusively, enhance and simplify it.  This is a question of balance.  And I'm comfortable with the balance and enablement that I have found with my Blackberry. 

There is another piece I want to add that comes from British journalist G.K. Chesterton.  He writes about the effect that a lovely walking stick has.  The quote is at the office, and I'll post it as an update as soon as I can get to it.  So come back in a couple days.

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How should leaders respond to technological advances that increase human connectivity and communication immediacy?

The Culture of Connectivity and Immediacy is an excellent panoramic picture of the course of modern communications technology.  Dean Landsman has captured well the social changes that accompany the personalization of technology.  It really is amazing to think how much has changed in such a short period of time.

The question that I have concerns the human dimension.  The social aspect is part of it, but not the whole.  What interests me is how our relationships change.  Are they changed for the better when our communication comes in multiple fragmants of thought/sentences, rapidly, in an increasingly accelerated pace?  How dos this affect people's sense of identity.

I remember hearing an interview a number of years ago with some academic who celebrated the phenomenon of people having multiple online identities.  She saw identity as not something fix or real, but created, in my terms, an artifice, a marketed persona, something unreal.  The assumption is that experimentation with differing identities leads towards some sort of world identity.  At least that is how I took this notion.

For leaders, this requires a lot of adjustment.  Decision-making has to take place in a context of immediacy, without time for reflection.  Increasingly, it will take place in a context of continuous communication with people. 

What this means is that clarity about the purpose, mission, values, strategies, goals, methods, etc. has to be worked out, not merely assumed.   Ironically, this means more planning, rather than less.  And the planning has to be the sort that builds capacity in the relationships for enhanced communication, so that when fragmented conversations occur there is a better chance that both sides of the conversation understand and are understood.

It is an interesting time.

Best Business Books 2004 - Strategy + Business

Strategy + Business magazine has published their best books of 2004.

Here's the list.

Best Business Books 2004: Index


Confronting Reality: Doing What Matters to Get Things Right
by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan
(Crown Business, 2004)

The Future of Competition: Co-Creating Unique Value with Customers
by C.K. Prahalad and Venkat Ramaswamy
(Harvard Business School Press, 2004)

Strategy Maps: Converting Intangible Assets into Tangible Outcomes
by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton
(Harvard Business School Press, 2004)


A Bias for Action: How Effective Managers Harness Their Willpower, Achieve Results, and Stop Wasting Time
by Heike Bruch and Sumantra Ghoshal
(Harvard Business School Press, 2004)

Managers Not MBAs: A Hard Look at the Soft Practice of Managing and Management Development
by Henry Mintzberg
(Berrett-Koehler, 2004)

Predictable Surprises: The Disasters You Should Have Seen Coming, and How to Prevent Them
by Max H. Bazerman and Michael D. Watkins
(Harvard Business School Press, 2004)

The Real Thing: Truth and Power at the Coca-Cola Company
by Constance L. Hays
(Random House, 2004)

The Seven-Day Weekend: Changing the Way Work Works
by Ricardo Semler
(Portfolio, 2004)

The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer
by Jeffrey K. Liker
(McGraw-Hill, 2004)

The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual: Battle-Tested Wisdom for Leaders in Any Organization
by the Center for Army Leadership
(McGraw-Hill, 2004)

IT & Innovation

The Business of Software: What Every Manager, Programmer, and Entrepreneur Must Know to Thrive and Survive in Good Times and Bad
by Michael A. Cusumano
(Free Press, 2004)

Does IT Matter? Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage
by Nicholas G. Carr
(Harvard Business School Press, 2004)

Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity
by Lawrence Lessig
(Penguin Press, 2004)

The Keystone Advantage: What the New Dynamics of Business Ecosystems Mean for Strategy, Innovation, and Sustainability
by Marco Iansiti and Roy Levien
(Harvard Business School Press, 2004)


Alexander Hamilton

by Ron Chernow
(Penguin Press, 2004)

Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value
by Bill George
(Jossey-Bass, 2003)

The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill
by Ron Suskind
(Simon & Schuster, 2004)

Ready to Lead? A Story for Leaders and Their Mentors
by Alan Price
(Jossey-Bass, 2004)

Testosterone Inc.: Tales of CEOs Gone Wild
by Christopher Byron
(John Wiley & Sons, 2004)

Why CEOs Fail: The 11 Behaviors That Can Derail Your Climb to the Top — and How to Manage Them
by David L. Dotlich and Peter C. Cairo
(Jossey-Bass, 2003)

Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value
by Bill George
(Jossey-Bass, 2003)

Back to the Drawing Board: Designing Corporate Boards for a Complex World
by Colin B. Carter and Jay W. Lorsch
(Harvard Business School Press, 2004)

Corporate Governance and Chairmanship: A Personal View
by Adrian Cadbury
(Oxford University Press, 2002)

The Naked Corporation: How the Age of Transparency Will Revolutionize Business
by Don Tapscott and David Ticoll
(Free Press, 2003)

The Recurrent Crisis in Corporate Governance
by Paul W. MacAvoy and Ira M. Millstein
(Palgrave MacMillan, 2003)

Change Management
Building the Bridge as You Walk on It: A Guide for Leading Change
by Robert E. Quinn
(Jossey-Bass, 2004)

Change Without Pain: How Managers Can Overcome Initiative Overload, Organizational Chaos, and Employee Burnout
by Eric Abrahamson
(Harvard Business School Press, 2004)

Changing Minds: The Art and Science of Changing Our Own and Other People’s Minds
by Howard Gardner
(Harvard Business School Press, 2004)

The Bubble Origins of the Crash: The Great Bubble and Its Undoing
by Roger Lowenstein
(Penguin Press, 2004)

Rational Exuberance: Silencing the Enemies of Growth and Why the Future Is Better Than You Think
by Michael J. Mandel
(HarperBusiness, 2004)

Behavioral Economics

The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life
by Paul Seabright
(Princeton University Press, 2004)

The Economy of Esteem: An Essay on Civil and Political Society
by Geoffrey Brennan and Philip Pettit
(Oxford University Press, 2004)

The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less
by Barry Schwartz
(Ecco, 2004)

The New Consumer
Call of the Mall: The Geography of Shopping
by Paco Underhill
(Simon & Schuster, 2004)

On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense
by David Brooks
(Simon & Schuster, 2004)

The Substance of Style: How the Rise of Aesthetic Value Is Remaking Commerce, Culture, and Consciousness
by Virginia Postrel
(HarperCollins, 2003)

Blogging and the future relevance of newspapers

Alan Nelson at the Command Post blog has posted a presentation he gave to a group of Managing Editors at newspapers about the relation of blogging to the future relevance of journalism. As both a blogger and a newspaper columnist, I find his presentation on the money, and worth the time to read and absorb.

His story is worth considering as it demonstrates the power of the internet to spread information far more quickly than any vehicle ever.

It points to the importance of technology in accelerating social change. What technology does, when appropriate applied, is unconcentrate and distribute power to people more broadly. As the cost of access has gone down, the effect has grown. This is part of what Alan is saying. It is an important lesson for any industry or institution that hopes to monopolize power and control.