New Movies for July

July 18th, 2018

Our latest additions to the DVD collection are listed below:

The EndlessWestworld DVD cover
Love, Simon
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Thoroughbreds
Westworld, season 1
The Death of Stalin
Game Night
A Wrinkle in Time

You may browse the entire DVD collection via the library catalog.

Book Review: An American Sickness

July 16th, 2018

Rosenthal, Elisabeth. An American sickness : how healthcare became big business and how you can take it back. Penguin Press, 2017.

book cover imageAn American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back by Elisabeth Rosenthal is a sobering look at the history and current state of the American healthcare system. Rosenthal, a journalist and former physician, paints a bleak picture, but her accessible style and systematic organization make the book an engaging read.

Rosenthal pulls no punches, beginning with “Ten Economic Rules of the Dysfunctional Medical Market” which include “A lifetime of treatment is preferable to a cure,” and “As technologies age, prices can rise rather than fall.” She periodically refers back to these rules when logic and common sense fail.

Each chapter begins with a brief history of a part of the system such as insurance, hospitals, or pharmaceuticals, and then proceeds with an explanation of how each has changed in response to shifting values, to legislation, and to transformation in other parts – for example, how physician practices have affiliated themselves with hospital systems. Rosenthal pairs this overview with stories of patients, families, and doctors to help connect this complex system with personal healthcare decisions. While she presents a system that has moved from advancing patient well-being to delivering maximum profit, she generally absolves individuals; patients and caregivers are cast as victims of a predatory system. This portrayal may be an accurate reflection of the current system, but it is also the result of past decisions by many individuals who abdicated control of their healthcare decisions and dollars.

Rosenthal concludes with her solutions, which seem small and ineffectual against a vast and complicated system that hides true costs and deflects outside scrutiny. Her solutions are two-pronged: things to do immediately – such as asking for the cash cost of prescriptions or for an itemized hospital bill – and changes to advocate for on a systemic level over the long haul. In the appendices, she provides a number of useful tools to put these solutions into action. Rosenthal acknowledges that these solutions seem inconsequential, but encourages them nonetheless, emphasizing the power of numbers. If enough individuals take control of their healthcare and its costs, the system can be transformed into one that is both patient-centered and affordable. The book is a solid, if sometimes simplistic, introduction to a complicated topic.

Also available as an eBook and audiobook on OverDrive.

Book Review: Tribes

June 25th, 2018

An emerging concept in business is the tribe, a group with its own identity and culture and sometimes its own language. With a clear sense of belonging and intense loyalty, a tribe has a clear purpose. A tribe of committed individuals with a common vision and shared values can change the world.

book cover imageJunger, Sebastian. Tribe : on homecoming and belonging. Twelve, 2016.

Journalist, author and film director Sebastian Junger uses examples from his personal experiences as a war correspondent and his research on native Americans to explain that the wealth of modern society has spawned a desperate cycle of work and financial obligation, and also alienation, anxiety and depression. What is missing is a sense of belonging; an ethos that values loyalty and courage; and a fundamental egalitarianism. Junger’s “tribe” is a small group defined by a clear purpose and understanding. Recommended.

Also available as an eBook and audiobook on OverDrive.

book cover imageDean, Will. It takes a tribe : building the Tough Mudder movement. Portfolio/Penguin, 2017.

Will Dean is the founder and CEO of Tough Mudder, a $130M company that offers hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle mud run challenges that push participants to their limits. Promoting values of personal achievement and courage, Tough Mudders are also based on mutual cooperation and fun. Team based events offer a physical rite of passage that fosters loyalty and creates lasting bonds among members of the tribe. This is the entertaining story of the company and its founder.

Also available as an eBook and audiobook on OverDrive.

book cover imageFerris, Timothy. Tribe of mentors : short life advice from the best in the world. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017.

Tim Ferris’s tribe is in name only. Ferris has made a lucrative career on getting the most impact out of the least amount of work. For his latest book, he sent 11 questions to 100 people and collected their shallow responses. Amazon reviewer Pop Tarts?! ROTFL has done my work for me when he sums it up this way: “This book is basically attempting to do what Tools of Titans has already done, but with way less valuable content. Kind of like that awesome blockbuster movie you saw that they made a lame, half-baked sequel to.”

Also available as an eBook on OverDrive.

© Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

New Movies for June

June 20th, 2018

Here are latest additions  to the DVD collection:

AnnihilationAnnihilation Cover
Early Man
Mary and the Witch’s flower
Please Stand By
Red Sparrow
Black Panther
I Kill Giants
Miss Stevens
Wonderstruck

You may browse the entire DVD collection via the library catalog.

Book Review: Never Split the Difference

June 4th, 2018

Voss, Christopher. Never split the difference : negotiating as if your life depended on it. HarperBusiness, 2016.

Never Split the DifferenceNever Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It (2016) by Chris Voss with Tahl Raz explores a wealth of negotiating techniques presented in a framework of topical chapters that are meant to build on and to inform one another.

Throughout the book, Voss shares stories about his work as an FBI negotiator, beginning each chapter with a dramatic kidnapping or hostage situation. These anecdotes make the book hard to put down. The reader’s attention is kidnapped as well until the situation is resolved – and each technique explained.

An over-arching theme of the book is that creating adversarial relationships, quid pro quo bargaining, and compromise – what could be considered aspects of traditional negotiation – aren’t the best techniques or outcomes. Voss instead advocates listening actively, creating empathy, becoming comfortable with “no,” and humanizing your counterpart as just some of the tools of successful negotiators.

Voss teases out each technique, explaining it, showing how it is used in the process and providing tips, tricks, and easily memorized phrases to use. He also points out that negotiation is not a 1-2-3 process but a fluid dynamic where the skilled negotiator uses these tools interchangeably, repeatedly, and with emotional insight to move toward resolution.

The book can be challenging as Voss pushes his reader to understand that negotiation will at times be an uncomfortable and self-conscious process. For example, mirroring – an active listening technique that involves repeating what your counterpart is saying – can seem transparently manipulative, but can also be an effective way to build empathy.

Voss’s success in engaging his reader does falter, especially when he moves away from the life and death FBI negotiations to more mundane negotiations where one party can simply walk away from a deal. Further, his writing is sometimes gratingly self-promoting, as he repeatedly reminds his reader of his prestigious titles and positions. The experiences he relates are already more than sufficient to cement his reputation.

If the reader chooses to set aside these weaknesses, they can enjoy Never Split the Difference, as it delivers the excitement of a thriller with its hostage negotiation stories and presents the practical techniques that made these negotiations successful.

Also available as an eBook or audiobook on OverDrive and on Notable Business Books Kindles.

New Movies for May

May 17th, 2018

Here are our latest additions to the DVD collection:

All the Money in the World
The Commuter
My Friend Dahmer
The Greatest Showman
Hostiles
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Molly’s Game
Peter Rabbit
Phantom Thread
The Post
Proud Mary
Winchester

You may browse the entire DVD collection via the library catalog.

Services and Resources for Alumni

May 15th, 2018

Congratulations on completing your Duke MBA! Whether you’re re-entering the working world, or continuing a job search, Ford Library has provided access to a select set of online databases and services that can help you.

Visit our Library web site and select “Alumni” from the top menu row to browse and access our services and online resources for alumni.

If you have questions about your access to resources not listed on our Library Databases For Alumni page, please visit our FAQ.

And again, CONGRATULATIONS!

Book Review: Blue Ocean Shift

May 14th, 2018

Kim, W. Chan. Blue ocean shift : beyond competing : proven steps to inspire confidence and seize new growth. Hachette Books, 2017.

book cover imagesBlue Ocean Shift (2017) by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne is the follow-up volume to the bestselling Blue Ocean Strategy (2005), which presented the theory that businesses could successfully create both new markets and innovative products simultaneously in highly competitive spaces. In their new book, the authors provide a process for creating and executing the strategy. The first section of the book summarizes blue ocean strategy, emphasizing its distinctiveness and its value, while the second section presents five steps for making a blue ocean shift.

In the course of walking the reader through the five steps, Kim and Mauborgne fill the book with examples and tools to help the blue ocean team – assembled in Step 1 – think outside traditional, competitive business strategy. One of these tools is the Buyer Utility Map, which aids in seeing a product from an outsider perspective. Another is the Six Paths, which encourages the team to look at their product from different perspectives such as across alternative industries or across complementary products, as a way to discover new opportunities. A third is the Eliminate-Reduce-Raise-Create Grid which helps to parse out how an organization might transform a product to provide both innovation and cost savings, opening up the proverbial blue ocean market. These tools are just a few examples of the templates, grids and diagrams that Kim and Mauborgne write about to inspire creative thinking about products and markets.

That said, the book does have some weaknesses. First, the authors state that any size organization can execute a blue ocean shift; however, the five steps are heavily focused on implementation in a large organization. Second, the endnotes don’t extend beyond the first section, and the majority of bibliography cites the authors’ previous work. This sparse scholarship appears to indicate that few beyond the authors have studied the strategy in any systematic way in the twelve years since Blue Ocean Strategy was published. Third, while the authors provide real life examples of organizations that have executed the strategy with success, the five steps are generally presented in an idealized way where all the team members play nice together, they have all the support and resources they need, and they have decided the success of the company and of the blue ocean strategy is their highest good.

In sum, the book’s value lies in challenging readers to think differently about their products, their strategy, and their markets while providing a clear process and a number of resources to encourage that thinking.

Blue Ocean Shift is also available on Notable Business Books Kindles and as an OverDrive audiobook.

Book Review: Summer Reading

April 30th, 2018

Daniel Gross, Executive Editor of strategy+business, advocates looking beyond the quick, hot media on telephones to the slow content in books. In his article “Best Business Books 2017,” he says: “We value the longest forms of content because of books’ ability to take us deep – deep inside narratives and stories, deep inside carefully constructed paradigms and schemas, deep inside brilliantly constructed arguments backed by meticulously complied evidence… We respect and value the labor of gifted writers.”

Here is what authors and thought leaders are reading now:

James SurowieckiBusiness columnist at the New Yorker James Surowiecki recommends Machine, Platform, Crowd, a guidebook to the new world of innovation, “focusing concretely on how organizations can best leverage the new tools the digital age offers… not just innovations that bring new products and services to market, but also innovations in the way we make decisions and solve problems, in the way we collaborate and in the way we organize work.” Also available as an eBook on OverDrive.

Ken FavaroCorporate strategy advisor Ken Favaro nominates If You’re in a Dogfight, Become a Cat by Leonard Sherman, who “argues that companies have to re-imagine what they are and thus what they are capable of… Instead of running faster, you break away from the pack by redefining one or more of the boundaries that historically constrained industry behaviors and by consistently renewing your product and service portfolios.” Also available as an eBook on OverDrive.

Bethany McLeanBethany McLean, contributing editor at Vanity Fair, commends Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, “the rollicking narrative of the rap group Wu-Tang Clan’s notorious efforts to create an album that, rather than being mass marketed, would be valued like a work of art – sold to only one buyer, who would be the only one who could every play it… (because) file sharing and streaming business models have rendered it nearly impossible for most musicians to make money from their work.”
Also available as an eBook on OverDrive.

Sally HelgesenLeadership development consultant and speaker Sally Helgesen nominates The Captain Class by Sam Walker. “This wonderfully written and wildly entertaining study of the most winning sports teams in history has more to say about leadership, engagement, and the chemistry that sparks and sustains extraordinary achievement than a decade’s worth of leadership books.”
Also available as an eBook or audiobook.

Ryan AventAt The Economist Ryan Avent calls The Great Leveler by Walter Scheidel a dark book, but the year’s best. Since the stone age, “societies that manage to create an economic surplus become economically and politically unequal… Over time, elites get better at rigging the system to divert resources toward themselves. Only catastrophe limits the march toward greater inequality – great plagues, state failure, revolution and mass-mobilization warfare.” Also available as an eBook or audiobook.

Catharine P. TaylorMedia thought leader Catharine P. Taylor recommends Superconsumers “for its brevity, its anthropological approach and its power. The book contains compelling examples of what makes the small minority of customers who buy more of, and have a current passion for, a particular product so vital for building businesses… The key is to uncover the larger reason that superconsumers are hiring your product, and use those insights to expand your market.”

Duff McDonaldDuff McDonald, author of the HBS critique The Golden Passport chose Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal as his 2017 WSJ best pick and he has not changed his mind. Kotler and Wheal “have gifted us with a thrilling tour through worldwide efforts to better harness flow, which is defined as an optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best.”
Also available as an eBook or audiobook.

View more books recommended by these business writers.

Congratulations and Best Wishes

April 23rd, 2018

graduation caps

As the warm days of April draw to a close, it is time to say goodbye to our graduating MMS students and 2nd year MBAs.

Congratulations on all you have achieved while at Duke. Job well done! Best wishes for continued success throughout your career and in your life.