Archive for the 'Book Review' Category

Inside Apple – Beyond Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs has been an Icon when alive and brought up the legendary IT Product Company ” Apple ”   from an idea to an IT Behemoth over a period of 15 years to become the World’s largest IT Company in 2011 , shortly before he passed away on 5th November 2011, one day after the launch of iPhone4S .

While the end of Steve Jobs was expected for some time due to his prolonged illness , the market was full of speculations about the fate of the 360 Billion Dollar Company after he leaves the scene . The enigma called Steve Jobs cannot be replaced , according to some analysts and they predicted a doom spiral lurking around the corridors of Apple .

Steve Jobs did not follow any of the well known Management and Leadership covenants when alive , and in fact , he broke many of them to good measure but achieved spectacular results all the same . Many called him a narcissist , dictator , maverick , egoist and proud to the extent of a publicity maniac .

It was in this context that Adam Lashinsky of Fortune magazine wrote and published his well researched book titled -Inside Apple  – The Secrets Behind the Past and Future Success of Steve Jobs’s Iconic Brand , recently this year [John Murray – ISBN 978 1 84854 744 5 ] . The publisher rightly labels this seminal work as a deep dive into one unique company , the lessons about Jobs, leadership , product design and marketing .

While Steve Jobs is not with Apple any more  , his entrepreneurial spirit and the resultant enduring ” Apple Magic ” will keep the organization not only afloat but but will grow the company , let us hope ,  from strength to strength using an excellent integration and blending of Art and Technology with unique product development and marketing strategies for years to come .

The book is a ” Must Read ” for all Leadership Practitioners and Business community .

The Winning Way

Anita and Harsha Bhogle have published a great book titled ” The Winning Way -Learnings from Sport for Managers” . I  really enjoyed reading through the pages especially the parallels through live examples from sports to corporate work.

Harsha has been working with cricket players and cricket for more than two decades  globally and his personal encounters helped him getting into the minds of some of the greatest among them  during his interactions both on the arena and in the dressing room. The insights coming out of such dialogue are invaluable to both sportsmen and corporate leaders.

The book is eminently readable and has captured the spirit of sportsmanship both during crisis and winning situations over the last 20 years or so.The chapters on the Winning Triangle – Ability , Attitude and Passion ,The Burden of Winning and  Team Building give invaluable lessons to Corporate Managers and Leaders.

I would strongly recommend this book to all our Leaders and Managers in the Corporate World .

Publisher -Westland Ltd , Chennai , ISBN 978-93-80658-32-2  . Cover Price Rs 200/-

CATS – The Nine Lives of Innovation

It is said that curiosity killed the CAT .  But have you ever seen one die of Curiosity ? – Asks Stephen C . Lundin , Ph.D.  the author of the recently published book titled  ” CATS  The Nine Lives of Innovation ”  .  The cover also states the core theme of the book ” Companies don’ t Innovate . People do . ”  Lundin ,  coauthor of the famous fun [serious fun] book ” FISH ! ” has done it again . While Fish dealt with the theme  ” work place as a fun place  ”  , CATS  The Nine Lives of Innovation  deals with the topic  Innovation from a ”  CAT ‘s eye view  ” , explaining how to get  every employee – no matter what level –  to think and act in innovative ways .

IDEO in the US is well known as the Innovation factory and we have authors like Tom Kelley of  IDEO [ The Art of Innovation ] , Tony Buzan [ Mind Mapping  ] and  Edward de Bono who is credited with many books  on Lateral Thinking as a tool for Creativity and Innovation . However , Lundin ‘ s book stands out as a unique contribution  in demystifying   Innovation both at work and at the personal level  initiating the reader through a simple step by step process  through the Four Basic  Challenges of Innovation [ Distractions , Normal , Failure  and Leadership ] followed by the Nine Lives of Innovation , creating a friendly environment , preparation , know innovation isn’ t normal , welcoming physical – social and intellectual provocation ,  fascination ,  failing early and failing well and using Wranglers  to provide leadership with natural energy .

Part 2 of the book deals with sustaining a CAT ‘s life of Innovation through a personal review  with a taxonomy for Personal Innovation . The icing on the cake is the open invitation to earn CAT belts in Innovation by working with  <> .

A highly readable book cum work book  both for the uninitiated and the expert in Innovation   ,  this book grows on you as you go through the chapters and the simple exercises  laced with CAT pauses and CAT nips . Believe me I faced many Eureka moments while reading the book and I could come out with a few innovative solutions at work and at home  which  I never thought I will be capable of .  I strongly recommend this book for all potential CATS !!

References – CATS  The Nine Lives of Innovation by Stephen C .Lundin , Ph.D ., published in India in 2009 by Tata  McGraw -Hill  , ISBN – 13 :978-0-07-067097-6.