Make Yourself and Your Company Resilient in the Age of Constant Change
“Today’s world is best described by one word: turbulence. Every leader today knows they need to be nimble, agile and resilient–but how? In this engaging and insightful new book, management strategist and Wharton Fellow Baba Prasad sheds new light on the subject, and offers practical advice for executives, entrepreneurs, and anyone else who’ll need the skills to face the unpredictability, risk, and deep uncertainty that lies ahead. Filled with vivid examples and insights from around the world and throughout history – from the Brazilian rainforest and the “frugal innovation” of 19th century Indian engineers to Ericsson, Lego, Burt’s Bees, and Zara–Nimble reveals what sets the most nimble leaders and organizations apart from the competition, presenting five types of agility that help individuals and companies not just survive but thrive in times of great change”
This book gives readers a guide to becoming more agile in today’s fast-paced business environment. The 5 agilities discussed in the book are:
- Analytical agility – allows a company to change the means and methods of analysis.
- Operational agility – helps the company gain dynamism through its operational resources.
- Inventive agility – enables the generation of new ideas, creative solutions, and alternate uses of resources to solve problems the company has not seen before or to take advantage of new opportunities the company faces.
- Communicative agility – is the skill a company has to persuade its audiences and to convey the value of its ideas through words and speech.
- Visionary agility – allows the company to recognize the long-term impact of the decisions it is making.
Each chapter of the book focuses on one of these agilities, offering a detailed explanation of what it is and why it matters, as well as real-world examples of companies that have successfully developed and leveraged that agility. The author’s use of business examples helps bring these concepts to life, making them more tangible and easier to understand.
The author also includes exercises and activities that readers can use to help them develop their own agility in each of the five areas. These practical exercises help readers apply the concepts to their own lives and businesses.
I recommend this book to anyone looking to succeed in a world that is constantly changing, this book is sure to be a valuable resource for leaders and professionals across all industries. If anything, it’s a great reminder to be agile in business. 3.5 stars
The Resilient Leader
Life Changing Strategies to Overcome Today’s Turmoil and Tomorrow’s Uncertainty
This book is designed as a quick read that presents a good storyline, but falls short in delivering specific tips on leadership. While the book contains some generic advice, it offers nothing new or groundbreaking. However, it does have action points at the end of each section, making it a practical guide for those seeking to apply the advice presented. Overall, while the book is a fast read, it is not suitable for readers seeking in-depth knowledge on leadership or looking to learn new and innovative strategies.
Great Quotes for Great Businesses
Words That Leaders Live By
This book presents a collection of quotes from successful business leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians, and sports stars. While the book has a range of quotes, it is an average read. The book covers different chapters, but there is not much variance in the content. I’m not a huge fan of quotes in general, as there seems to be a quote for everything, even contradictory. While the book provides some inspiration, the content can be repetitive, and some quotes may not be relevant to all readers. Overall, it is an average read but it is what it says it is.
Engineer Your Business
The 6 Proven Steps to Evolve
The book does not delve deeply into any particular concept, but instead offers a diverse range of perspectives on business systems, process, cost savings and more. While some of the sections may be familiar to readers who are already well-versed in this area, there are also some fresh insights and unique strategies that will be useful to readers seeking new ideas. It’s a nice quick read and is easy to flick through to sections you’re interested in. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick and easy read that offers a diverse array of ideas and perspectives on business.
The Prison Doctor
“Dr Amanda Brown has treated inmates in the UK’s most infamous prisons – first in young offenders’ institutions, then at the notorious Wormwood Scrubs and finally at Europe’s largest women-only prison in Europe, Bronzefield. From miraculous pregnancies to dirty protests, and from violent attacks on prisoners to heartbreaking acts of self-harm, she has witnessed it all. In this memoir, Amanda reveals the stories, the patients and the cases that have shaped a career helping those most of us would rather forget.”
I’m always keen to read medical stuff. I’m not quite sure what I expected from this book though. I think I could have had more juicy medical stories in terms of ailments treated, rather than the somewhat introspective tone approach taken here. As the Prison Doctor says though, it’s not her job technically to judge based on the prisoners’ crimes, it’s up to her to treat their medical problems.
Perhaps reading this sharply on the heels of I am a Killer has desensitised me to crime and criminals? They did what they did, now they do their time. Sometimes I wonder whether death would be a kinder sentence, particularly with how many try to kill themselves or self-harm in horrifying ways. We have to remember though that this book only addresses some of the criminals in the system, and the doctor can’t possibly see everyone. That means there’s some people whose stories are hidden – and will continue to have this. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert in criminology.
Are my complaints going to prevent me from reading the next book in the series? Hmm, probably not. I wouldn’t bother purchasing this book though, I’d just find a copy at my local library or borrow from a friend. It’s an easier read, and I’m not judging it for that.
I Am A Killer
What makes a murderer, their shocking stories in their own words
Danny Tipping & Ned Parker
“What motivates someone to take a life? How do murderers remember their lives and crimes? With unprecedented access to high-security prisons all around the country, the creators of Netflix’s I Am a Killer set out to get answers to these questions—by talking to the killers themselves. Most killers will die in prison, but each one speaks openly about their pasts and crimes. Each profile features exclusive photographs, documents, and commentary from the documentary producers to give a detailed and balanced account of the crime, leaving it up to readers to decide what was right.”
I haven’t seen the TV series, and probably never will. True crime isn’t popular in my household, except for what I read. Correction, TV just isn’t popular here. Anyway, I enjoyed reading this book because I didn’t have any backstory and I was able to appreciate both sides of the story without any dramatic editing.
The almost universal theme running through this book is that the most horrible of killers have terrible, abusive childhoods that set them up for failure. Many are also low IQ and have been taken advantage of at some point by people they trust. I didn’t read one story there that didn’t make me feel pretty sorry for the ‘killer’, because it’s clear why they were pushed the way they were. The sad fact is that systems will continue to fail, and children will continue to suffer, and murders will therefore keep happening.
I don’t know whether I agree with Death Row (it’s something that has been outlawed in Australia since 1973), but I agree that abusive people should have /something/ permanently done to them. Whether that’s sterilisation for male paedophiles or a retribution / equal ‘payback’, it’s probably a good thing I’m not involved in making laws!
I picked up this book as a sneaky 50c book from the library rejects pile. I’ve started a tutoring gig once a week, and it happens to be in the library. So far I’ve scored 2x Brandon Sanderson, an Isobelle Carmody and a couple of other nice grabs. And I still have another 6 months of tutoring to go! I can’t wait to see what else I get to get my hands on.
We’ve Got This
Stories by Disabled Parents
“How do two parents who are blind take their children to the park? How is a mother with dwarfism treated when she walks her child down the street? How do Deaf parents know when their baby cries in the night? In We’ve Got This, twenty-five parents who identify as Deaf, disabled or chronically ill discuss the highs and lows of their parenting journeys and reveal that the greatest obstacles lie in other people’s attitudes. The result is a moving, revelatory and empowering anthology.”
I read this non-fiction right on the back of Kay Kerr’s Love & Autism as part of my local library’s promotion for Diversity Month. I found it fascinating how many of the stories featured Queer people. I loved that! At the same time, I possibly felt too seen. This novel forced me to confront some of the assumptions I’ve made about people with disabilities.
I still feel a bit iffy having read it. Some parents I felt that it was totally ok that they had kids (not that I need to ok them having kids!) and others I found myself really uncomfortable. I guess I should identify as ‘a person with a disability’ because I have a mental illness, but I don’t think I’m disabled. While I’ve come to terms with my own problems and identity, I would never want to pass them on to someone else. Medically, I still feel like some disabilities that are heritable are perhaps too cruel. I am seeing many more discussions of how miscarriage is more common and how crippling that can be to potential parents. Is not wanting to avoid miscarriages, still-births and infant deaths not reasonable?
It’s a good thing I try not to judge books by their covers because ugh, look at that thing! It makes it seem like a mass-printed cheap paperback when in fact that’s doing it a disservice. My suggestion is to just jump in, and if the first chapter doesn’t appeal to you, skip to the next one. It’s non-fiction, so no-one is judging you for somehow missing a main character (like in those multi-perspective giant fantasy novels).
I feel undecided about this review. I’ve been brutally honest about my feelings, but I also don’t want to discount other people’s beliefs and feelings too. Please take my review as it is meant, not as offensive.
Love & Autism
“‘Love has always intrigued me, in part because I have carried for a long time a feeling that I am doing love wrong.’ Through the intimate writing of critically-acclaimed autistic author Kay Kerr, Love & Autism presents an uplifting celebration of neurodivergent love, the search for it and a deeper look into the lives of autistic Australians.”
What’s unique about this book? It has multiple, nuanced perspectives of people with autism in Australia. What are the strengths and weaknesses of autistic people when it comes to love? It turns out – a lot of things. The most important part for me was how each of these people learnt to love themselves, even despite or because of loving others. It’s not just romantic love, it’s also love for a family and a friend. Love is diverse, just as autism is diverse.
If you don’t identify as autistic but perhaps have autistic tendencies this may be a confronting read. The author states that it’s actually quite rude to say that ‘you’re on the spectrum’ if you aren’t actually diagnosed, but that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong for some of what you read about to resonate with you.
I never did finish reading ‘Please Don’t Hug Me’ (I received an ARC eBook) because I hate eBooks. … I have to admit that I read Love & Autism as an ebook! I was scrolling through my Borrow Box from my local library and it turns out that it’s diversity month or something. This caused me to stumble onto this, and a couple of other non-fiction in this genre.
I’m really enjoying non-fiction at the moment, so expect a few more reviews from me. It’s strange because I’ve always been a fiction/fantasy reader because I’d rather not know about what bad things are happening around me in the real world. Maybe it’s time to strike a happy medium? I at least know that the ‘main character’ will survive if the author is alive!
The Flying Nurse
“Prue Wheelwright is still in her thirties but she’s already had a fascinating, action-packed career. As a nurse and midwife she has worked in remote Australia as well as parts of the world that are remote to Australia, thanks to her work with Médécins sans Frontières. From treating patients at the most basic bush hospital in Ethiopia to looking after members of the Saudi royal family in Riyadh to the work she has just begun with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Prue has seen the extremes of humanity and has the stories to prove it. Above all this is the story of a woman who is passionate about her work – that work just happens to be in a profession that means she puts her heart on the line, every single day. And she wouldn’t change a thing.”
Is this allowed to be a memoir when its author is still so young? Prue packs a lot into these pages and I am keen to read more! This seems like part 1 of her career, and I can’t wait to read more. There’s plenty of variety in her stories and the opportunities that she’s taken up are mind-boggling in their differences. From letting her mom pick nursing (or teaching) as a career for her, Prue has thrived in the unique environments she’s found herself in.
I was particularly tickled by Prue’s descriptions of her time in Riyadh, which is in a very strict Muslim country. Imagine not being able to treat your patients because they are royalty! Not to mention her creative approach to clothing under the Abaya or niqab in public places…
What I enjoyed about this book compared to Frontline Midwife, was that the author didn’t seem to hold the view that everyone should be able to, and should aim to, have children. It’s also interesting to have another view of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) and how the experiences are similar yet literally countries apart. I’d highly recommend this book as a must-read for anyone considering nursing as a career. I’ve got a niece in mind to give this book to!
It seems to me that medical professionals are some of the most valuable people world-wide. As an educator, I’d like to argue that education is the way forward but basic medical care perhaps has to come first. I’m going to keep living vicariously through these medical memoirs (The Combat Doctor, Frontline Midwife, Aussie Midwives) and know that there is no way I could be a nurse.
Hachette | 29 March 2023 | AU$34.99 | paperback
Still Life with Bones
GENOCIDE, FORENSICS, AND WHAT REMAINS
“An anthropologist working with forensic teams and victims’ families to investigate crimes against humanity in Latin America explores what science can tell us about the lives of the dead in this haunting account of grief, the power of ritual, and a quest for justice. Working with forensic teams at mass grave sites and in labs, Hagerty discovers how bones bear witness to crimes against humanity and how exhumation can bring families meaning after unimaginable loss. She also comes to see how cutting-edge science can act as ritual—a way of caring for the dead with symbolic force that can repair societies torn apart by violence.”
Sections of this book were haunting. The sheer number of atrocities that have occured under government rule and the ones that are still happening today is almost overwhelming. The people trying to identify their
deceased murdered loved ones is heart rending. As Hagerty says, there is no way that all the bones can be identified with the amount of (wo)manpower in the job, and the funding problems and pushbacks of current politicians. It should be a powerful reminder that the story being told is always the one told by those who have gained power – maybe one day a different group of leaders will emerge who make identifying the genocide victims a priority but don’t expect it.
I don’t really know what I expected from this book. Perhaps I was looking for some more scientific / gruesome details. Someone in one of my classes this week showed me a picture of a toe they’d received for molecular testing. I’m always curious about the science, but this book is by a social anthropologist, not a anatomy major! That being said, there were still some interesting points to consider. I really enjoyed the descriptions of how Hagerty drew the stories from the families, and yet she was able to convey the utter shock of accidentally snapping a bone in the next breath.
I’d love to read more by this author – particularly if she starts writing fiction! That being said, this book is honestly horrifying. Humans shouldn’t be able to do that to other humans and get away with it. If reading this book prevents even a single murder, that would be fantastic. If it encourages someone to learn more about forensics and history, that’s also amazing. I highly recommend this non-fiction for anyone who has an interest in history, genocides and forensics.
Hachette | 14th March 2023 | AU$32.99 | paperback
Head and Heart: The Art of Modern Leadership
“Leadership is simply a series of moments and every moment gives you the opportunity to leave a positive legacy for those you lead. In this ground-breaking book, award-winning leadership expert and business leader Kirstin Ferguson has written a much needed practical guide for every modern leader. Whether you are the head of one of the largest companies in the world, supervising a small team or guiding your family, it will be your ability to integrate your head and heart that will influence your success in leading others and navigating our complex world.”
This book is very slow. It spends a good chunk of the start of the book “rethinking leadership” in a modern way. Although I agree that some leaders do need to rethink how they lead, the people that have picked up this book would already agree with the title and modern leadership and do not need to be convinced.
The author’s writing of convincing the reader of modern leadership isn’t really convincing. It makes references to all people who can be leaders even in small ways or as parents. I don’t disagree with this, but I don’t think that it needs to be repeated throughout the book. Each of the eight trait chapters doesn’t explain anything tangible a leader could do to improve that area of themselves.
The examples provided have no depth. They are generic and basically say this person uses their head or heart, with no depth of exactly what they did and how they did it. I also did the test and did not find it helpful at all. It is hard enough to judge yourself but it’s particularly hard when the questions are direct and not in any context such as “Am I very aware of my limitations”. I also feel that the trait “perspective” should be a heart trait as it relates to empathy, but the author has it as a head trait.
Overall, don’t waste your time on this book. It should be titled “anyone can be a leader” as that’s the only point the author has and doesn’t get further than that.The test is like reading a horoscope. You can read whatever you want out of it. I finished it out of duty, but this is only one star from me.
Penguin | 31st January 2023 | AU$34.99 | paperback
The Deming Management Method
“Whether you are the owner of your own small business, a middle manager in a mid-sized company, or the CEO of a multinational, this book aims to show you how to improve your profits and productivity, following the principles of the Deming management method.”
This book is an interesting read, but not for everyone. It is clearly an older book that is written in an older manner, but it is still applicable and not completely outdated. It’s a little dense and takes a while to get into it. I felt that the long introduction / background on Dr Deming was very interesting.
It does go through The 14 Management Methods and 7 Deadly Diseases. However the points are very brief and don’t go into much detail. I thought it was interesting reading about the history and the key takeaway is to focus on quality.Unfortunately it doesn’t explain this in a lot of detail. Along with most other business books, their examples are always product based. I would love to see some service industry examples.
The methods all really common sense and I can’t believe there are still companies out there that do not run like this today. They need this book and the right attitude. Overall a nice story, but not enough depth. 3.5 stars.