Book Review: Two Books on Business Improv

January 2nd, 2018

Comedic actor Bob Kulhan, founder and CEO of Business Inprov, explains that if people know anything at all about improv, it is the basic technique – the use of two words: Yes, and… “Yes” shows that an idea has been heard; “and” builds on that idea. Yes, and there are two books about improvisation in business that employ those words: Yes, And by two Second City executives; and the book, Getting to “Yes And” by Kulhan himself.
 
book cover imageKulhan, Bob and Chuck Crisafulli. Getting to “Yes And”: The Art of Business Improv. Stanford Business Books, 2017.

Bob Kulhan is the instructor of Fuqua’s week-long MBA Workshop on Managerial Improvisation that begins at Fuqua on Jan. 8. He begins his book Getting to “Yes And” by demonstrating how the art of improvisation is used in business. When faced with rapidly changing circumstances, managers use their knowledge and experience to explore possibilities, synthesize information and create a quick response. While performing in the moment, these managers react rapidly yet deliberately, drawing on intellect, focus and training to make swift decisions about what actions to take.

Most of Kulhan’s book reveals what he teaches in his course, including fundamental communication skills: how to use improv to listen, influence and inspire others; how to develop a personal brand; how to improve business meetings. He also shows how to ramp up physical and mental energy; how to use improv to guide a team; and how to break down silos within a company. Near the end of his book, Kulhan thanks several Fuqua faculty members and congratulates the Fuqua School for being ahead of the curve in using improv for business.

book cover imageLeonard, Kelly and Tom Yorton. Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration… HarperBusiness, 2015.

“Business is one big act of improvisation,” according to two executives of Second City, Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton. Their book describes how improv training increases innovation, creativity and confidence, while reducing judgment. Yes, And covers some of the same topics as Kulhan’s book, but the many stories from Second City make for lighter fare and more amusing reading. Descriptions of exercises used in improv theater, such as One-Word Story, Follow the Follower and Silent Organization, are included.

Leonard and Yorton admit, “We don’t believe that any one book holds the whole truth, and there are a variety of interesting and worthwhile paths one can take when reaching for goals.” Agreed. These two books are complementary and both are recommended for readers interested in business improv.

Yes, And is also available as an eBook on OverDrive and as an audiobook on OverDrive.

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

New Movies for December

December 14th, 2017

Here are the December additions to our DVD collection:

Atomic Blonde
Cars 3
The Glass Castle
The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Jungle
Leap!
The Limehouse Golem
Logan Lucky
The Secret Scripture
Unlocked
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
The Villainess
Wind River
Your Name

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

Book Review: The Richest Man Who Ever Lived

December 6th, 2017

Steinmetz, Greg. The richest man who ever lived : the life and times of Jacob Fugger. Simon & Schuster, 2015.

book cover imageThe November issue of Money magazine features “The 10 Richest People of All Time.” Bill Gates is #9, the only living super-rich person on the list, his net worth totaling $87 billion. Two other Americans are on the list — Andrew Carnegie, #6 with an inflation-adjusted net worth of $404 billion, and John Rockefeller #7 with $385 billion. Several names on the list are unfamiliar, including Money’s #1 richest man of all time, Mansa Musa, the king of Timbuktu, a West African kingdom.

Nowhere on Money’s list is Jacob Fugger who, according to journalist Greg Steinmetz’s calculations, was truly the richest man who ever lived. Fugger lived in the dawning days of international trade, banking and capitalism, of mining and industry. It was the time of Columbus, Isabella and Ferdinand; of Machiavelli, Martin Luther and King Henry VIII. Fugger financed Magellan’s iconic voyage around the globe. He financed the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I and the Habsburgs’ rise to power. As “God’s Banker,” he financed the Vatican. His shady deals provoked Martin Luther to write his 95 Theses, triggering the Protestant Reformation.

Jacob Fugger is the subject of Steinmetz’s book, The Richest Man Who Ever Lived. Fugger started life in 15th century Germany as a commoner and ended up the preeminent financier in Europe. His family lived in Augsburg (now in Austria) and were prosperous textile traders. When he was a teenager, Fugger’s mother arranged an apprenticeship in Venice, at the time the most commercial city in Europe, where banking and accounting were new inventions. He returned to Austria to expand into the profitable new industry of the era – mining – and he developed into an aggressive businessman with a talent for managing customers, a tolerance for risk and a genius for negotiation.

Fugger’s approach to business was modern. He understood monopoly power and tried to corner the market in precious metals. Investing in research and development, he pioneered new technology. He knew the power of market-sensitive information and created a news service, couriers who raced between cities with market tips and political updates. He maintained special relationships with kings and emperors and bought political favors. He surrounded himself with lawyers and accountants. By monitoring his accounts closely, he understood his financial exposure at every moment.

Greg Steinmetz is a gifted storyteller. Characters and events in the book come alive. His Jacob Fugger is a champion of private property and unfettered markets, the first modern businessman to pursue wealth for its own sake. But he also shows Fugger as a ruthless capitalist, who squeezes his workers and bullies his family. Fugger’s life illustrates the founding of today’s world economy.

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

Finding Market Research

December 1st, 2017

If you look for market research via a search engine; you’re going to miss sources already available to you via Ford Library!

Here is a quick list of our databases that provide outstanding market research.

BCC Market Research – BCC’s market research reports explore major economic, scientific, and technological developments in industrial, pharmaceutical, and high technology organizations. Duke currently subscribes to all report categories. Select a topic under the “My Categories” section after connecting to browse reports.

eMarketer Total Access – eMarketer Total Access aggregates and analyzes e-business and high tech market research from over 1600 sources worldwide. Includes charts, tables, statistics & articles for download in PDF, PPT, and Excel format.

Forrester Research – Contains market research reports and data for the online economy with a focus on the impact of IT developments on businesses and consumers.

IBISWorld – Provides an extensive collection of industry market research and industry risk ratings on U.S. industries. Reports focus on industry performance, outlook, products & markets, competitive landscape, major companies, operating conditions, and key statistics. Duke’s subscribed content includes: Core NAICS US Industry Market Research Reports, iExpert Summary Reports, US Specialized Super Niche Industry Reports (Current & Future), and China Industry Reports.

MarketLine Advantage – Contains full text market research reports focusing on companies and broad industry sectors: consumer goods, energy, finance, healthcare, and technology. Market analysis and forecasting looks at major issues and threats for each sector with analytical commentary and data.

MarketResearch.com Academic – Includes full-text market research reports on : Consumer Goods, Heavy Industry, Service Industries, the Public Sector, Life Sciences, Technology & Media, and Demographics. Our subscription includes reports from the following publishers: Packaged Facts, Kalorama Information, Simba, Freedonia, and Mind Commerce.

Mintel Academic – Adds over 600 market research reports into European, UK-specific and US consumer markets every year. more details here

Passport (fka Euromonitor GMID) – A source of demographic, economic, and marketing statistics and research reports for over 200 countries. Provides volume and value market size data for 330 consumer products across 49 countries.

SimplyAnalytics (fka SimplyMap) – a web-based data mapping application that lets users quickly create professional-quality thematic maps and reports using powerful demographic, business, and marketing data.

Statista – Provides access to downloadable statistics and studies gathered by market researchers, trade organizations, scientific publications, and government sources on over 600 industries.

You can also find these resources listed in the Library catalog and on our web site’s A-Z Database List.  And don’t miss our Database Subject Finder, either!

 

Wall St. Journal Best Bets

November 16th, 2017

Each week, the Wall Street Journal publishes a list of Business Best Sellers. Some books, such as the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team or Emotional Intelligence 2.0, stay on the list for years. Others are new works by CEO’s, journalists, academics and other thought leaders.  These four new books are on this week’s WSJ Business Best Sellers list and the Ford Library just loaded them onto our Notable Business Books Kindles. As you head out on Thanksgiving break, take home a Kindle collection.
 

book cover imageKim, W. Chan and Renee Mauborgne. Blue ocean shift : beyond competing. Hachette Books, 2017.

In this follow-up to their 2005 bestseller, Blue Ocean Strategy, two faculty members at INSEAD draw on 30 years of their own research into strategy in large and small organizations to reveal how to move beyond competing in existing crowded markets to creating new market opportunities. Using just 5 steps, they show that success is not about dividing up an existing pie, but about creating a larger economic pie for all.

Also available on Notable Business Books Kindles.

 

book cover imageDalio, Ray. Principles. Simon and Schuster, 2017.
 
Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio shares his personal journey from commodity trader to hedge fund titan, including his reflections on lessons learned from his investment and management mistakes.  He shares his process for making choices and achieving his goals, explaining concepts such as Radical Truth and Radical Transparency. He advises readers to be clear about what they want in life and to design a plan to attain it. Radical Truth: disappointing.

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

 

book cover imageGalloway, Scott. The Four : the hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. Portfolio/Penguin, 2017.

In this rambling monologue interrupted by napkin sketches, entrepreneur and NYU marketing professor Scott Galloway analyzes Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google — their strengths and strategies, their economic models, their ambition, innovations and risks, and their social consequences. In the second half of the book, he dispenses career and business advice based on his experience with start-ups.

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

 

book cover imageBurchard, Brendon. High Performance Habits. Hay House Inc., 2016.

Using research on individual and team performance, author-coach Brendon Burchard identifies six habits that when practiced consistently lead to exceptional long-term results across multiple domains of life. Perhaps most salient are the first and last habits. The first is to seek clarity — know yourself and what you want. And the last is to demonstrate courage — stand up for yourself, your ideas and others.
 

Also available on Notable Business Books Kindles.

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

New Movies for November

November 15th, 2017

Here are the latest additions to our DVD collection:

Baby DriverInconvenient Truth DVD cover
The Beguiled
The Dark Tower
Girls Trip
An Inconvenient Sequel : Truth to Power
Kidnap
Maudie
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
A Very Sordid Wedding
War for the Planet of the Apes
American Gods, season one
The Emoji Movie
Spider-Man: Homecoming

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

Book Review: Sharing the Work

November 1st, 2017

Strober, Myra. Sharing the work: what my family and career taught me about breaking through (and holding the door open for others). MIT Press, 2016.

book cover imageWelcome participants in the Duke MBA Weekend for Women! You are already on the road to achieving power and purpose in your life, a road that was not always open to women. Those who came before you struggled to open the gates at work and at the university. While there are challenges ahead, you must achieve your dreams and break through the remaining barriers for others who will walk your road in the future.

Myra Strober is one woman who opened the gates in academia. In her 2016 memoir Sharing the Work, Strober completes a PhD in economics from the “quintessentially male” MIT in the 1969 and accepts a teaching position at the Univ. of MD. She follows her husband to Palo Alto, where he has a medical residency and assistant professorship at Stanford. Strober is offered a teaching position at Berkeley in 1970, but as a lecturer not assistant professor, because she is a woman. Soon after, the U.S. Labor Dept. begins investigating discrimination against women at universities and she is offered assistant professorships at both UC Berkeley (Economics) and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, although at a low salary.

When Strober joins the all-male faculty at Stanford GSB, she finds her colleagues to be polite, but they exclude her from their informal networks. When she presents her research on the economics of the childcare market, they pronounce her arguments as outrageous. They take umbrage at having to move the annual faculty retreat away from a male-only club. She teaches macroeconomics to MBA students but the men who make up 98% of the class behave in a hostile manner.

Strober’s research on gender and employment is published in A-list journals and books. She develops an interdisciplinary course on women and work, which she teaches for 40 years. She launches and leads the successful Center for Research on Women at Stanford. She organizes conferences. But when she comes up for tenure, she is denied. Not long after, Strober accepts an offer from the Stanford School of Education as a tenured faculty member.

When this reviewer earned a BA in economics and an MBA in the 1970’s, all of my instructors in economics and business were men. Since that time, opportunities for women in academia and in the corporate world have improved, but more change is needed. Women need to open the remaining gates for themselves and for those who will follow.

Also available as an eBook.

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

New Movies for October

October 19th, 2017

Here are the latest additions to our DVD collection:

2:22Wonder Woman DVD cover
Queen of the Desert
Transformers: The Last Knight
Wonder Woman
All Eyez on Me
The Big Sick
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
The Hero
Lowriders
Megan Leavey
The Mummy
Paris Can Wait

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

Book Review: Popular

October 17th, 2017

book cover imagePrinstein, Mitch. Popular: the power of likability in a status-obsessed world. Viking, 2017.

There are many likeable people on the Ford Library staff, and this summer one of the most likeable of all heard an interview on NPR featuring the author of a new book titled Popularity. Our librarian was sure that the book would become a runaway best seller but that has yet to happen. No matter, this engaging book shows how popularity profoundly effects people every day and offers insights on how to experience a happier life.

UNC chaired psychology professor Mitch Prinstein begins his book by explaining that there are two types of popularity, status and likeability, but only one of them is valuable. Status involves being well-known and influential. In high school, cheerleaders and athletes have status. In adult life, this group includes CEO’s and celebrities, but also ordinary people who strive for prestige, wealth and beauty. Sadly in later life, status-seeking individuals tend to be troubled by discontent, anxiety and depression.

Prinstein explains that the other type of popularity – likeability — confers lifelong benefits. More than intellect, ambition, or socioeconomic status, likeability is associated with future happiness and career success. Behaviors that make children likeable – being helpful, cheerful and kind — directly translate into how satisfied, successful and physically healthy they will be decades later. Likeability is also associated with close and caring relationships as well as personal growth. Likeable adults have more friends and higher self-esteem.

Likeable people live in a different world than their unlikeable peers – one of their own making. Choosing to be more likeable begins with small adjustments in current behavior, such as a friendly hello to a student in the mallway, a single act of kindness, or a smile. These small social cues will be picked up by others and reflected back. We both influence and are influenced by others’ likeability in a feedback loop all day long. If everyone were more likeable, they would be treated better every day. And Fuqua would become a better place for all.

Also available as an ebook on OverDrive and as an audiobook on OverDrive.

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

Book Review: Dark Money

September 25th, 2017

book cover imageMayer, Jane. Dark money : the hidden history of the billionaires behind the rise of the radical right. Anchor Books, 2017.

A post script to my recent review of Nancy MacLean’s new book Democracy in Chains:

In her new book about the radical right’s covert plan to restructure American shareholder capitalism and public policy, Duke history professor Nancy MacLean cited the work of investigative journalist Jane Mayer, who reported that the Koch brothers and other wealthy right-wing donors poured more than a $100 million into a “war against Obama”. These political contributions were given to groups and candidates who supported their ultraconservative core beliefs, but also benefited the donors’ powerful business interests, including corporate deregulation, lower personal and corporate taxes, cuts in social spending, and reduced oversight of the environment.

Termed “dark money,” this political spending is untraceable by law, but it is treated as a charitable contribution for tax purposes. Dark Money is also the name of Jane Mayer’s new bestselling book that portrays a network of archconservative families, who use political donations to influence how Americans think and vote. Most prominently featured are right wing multibillionaires Charles and David Koch, but Mayer also includes short portraits of other ultra-conservatives such as Richard Mellon Scaife, heir to the Mellon banking and Gulf Oil fortunes; the DeVos family of Michigan, founders of the Amway marketing empire; and NC discount store magnate (Roses) Art Pope.

Dark Money was named one of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year.

Also available as an audiobook on OverDrive and as an eBook on OverDrive.