New Movies for June: Part 1

June 13th, 2013

Here are the first new DVDs for the month of June:

Identity Thief
The Num8ers Station
Side Effects
This Is 40
Warm Bodies
Switch : Discover the Future of Energy

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

Book Review – Exposure: inside the Olympus scandal

June 3rd, 2013

Exposure cover imageWoodford, Michael. Exposure : inside the Olympus scandal : how I went from CEO to whistleblower. Portfolio/Penguin, 2012.

In 1991, W. Edwards Deming was a distinguished speaker at Fuqua.  Students packed into Geneen Auditorium to see the tall and frail 90-year-old man, who was credited for engineering the “Japanese economic miracle” with his theories on statistical process control.  Japanese products were highly valued for their design, quality and reliability, and companies like Sony, Canon and Panasonic had already overpowered the U.S. electronics industry.  Honda and Toyota were taking market share from GM and Ford, once considered impossible.  At universities, MBA courses covered Japanese management techniques, such as lean production and continuous improvement (kaizen), as well as Japanese business culture, including a long-term strategic orientation, agreement by consensus and lifelong employment for employees. But soon after Deming’s visit, the Japanese economy entered a deep recession that lasted 20 years.  In 2011, China replaced Japan as the world’s second largest economy.

This is the environment that Michael Woodford faces in 2011 when he is named CEO of Olympus Corporation, a Tokyo based company that manufactures imaging and medical devices that use cameras, such as endoscopes.  In Exposure, Woodford tells the story about what happened to him and to this once revered Japanese company after he is named president, one of the first Westerners in history to lead one of Japan’s iconic corporations.   For Woodford, a 30 year employee and head of Olympus’s European operations, this assignment is the pinnacle of his career.

Months after his appointment, Woodford receives a tip about questionable mergers and acquisitions that cost millions of dollars.  As he tries to investigate the losses, he discovers a cover-up involving the firm’s chairman, other key executives and members of the board.  Eventually he uncovers evidence of an accounting fraud totaling $1.7 billion, but instead of supporting their president, the board of directors forces him out. At a special board meeting, the directors uniformly vote for his dismissal  to avoid exposing their losses.  After Woodford hears rumors of Japanese mob ties to the fraud, he flees the country, fearful for his life.  He contacts the Financial Times and blows the whistle on his own company.

The well-told story is highly recommended to anyone interested in international business, corporate governance, Japanese culture or business ethics. As a memoir, Woodford writes with candor about the scandal and about confronting Olympus’s chairman and board of directors.  His escape from Tokyo is filled with tension. As a book on business culture, Woodford illustrates key differences between Japanese and Western businesses.  The close relationships among the leaders of Japanese companies, as well as the relationships between Japanese companies, the banks that finance them and the media, create an insular environment that is resistant to change.  And regarding business ethics, by the end of the book, the author’s commitment to integrity, while admirable, is also personally costly.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved. Site Maintenance

May 24th, 2013

Frost & Sullivan will be moving to a new web site host; and will experience significant down time over the Memorial Day weekend (May 25 – May 27).

Here is the text of their email to local client administrators.

To provide better service to our customers and users of, we have decided to relocate our website hosting, planned for this weekend, May 25th – 27th. No action is required on your part.

Please note that will be unavailable for the entire weekend, starting early Saturday morning through Monday morning, May 27th.

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience caused during this move but hope this will provide better service for all of our users.

New Movies for May: Part 2

May 23rd, 2013

Here are the last of the new May DVDs:

Broken City
Hemingway & Gellhorn
Ice Age: the Meltdown
The Oranges

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

New Movies for May: Part 1

May 20th, 2013

Here are the first of the new May DVDs:

A Monster in Paris
Not Fade Away
Silver Linings Playbook
The Details
Django Unchained
Gangster Squad
The Guilt Trip
The Impossible
Jack Reacher
Promised Land
Safe Haven

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

Book Review: Trust me, I’m lying

May 20th, 2013

Holiday, Ryan. Trust me, I’m lying : the tactics and confessions of a media manipulator. Portfolio, 2012.

In late March, a red billboard appeared on Battleground Avenue in Greensboro, NC. Claiming to be from a scorned woman who caught her husband with another woman, the billboard slowed down traffic on one of Greensboro’s major thoroughfares. The story was picked up and replayed by local and national TV news. Some people immediately suspected that the billboard was actually a marketing trick, perhaps to get the name Nikon (or the unnamed American Express) in front of the public — on TV, radio and newspapers, as well as on blogs, Twitter and Facebook – all for the cost of a small town billboard.

cheating spouse billboard

(Click to view a larger image of the billboard)

Author Ryan Holiday would agree with those who find the billboard suspect. He often uses marketing tricks to sell products. His day job is marketing director for American Apparel, but he also orchestrates deceptions to sell products for other clients. He creates and shapes news for them. In his new book Trust Me, I’m Lying, Holiday explains how marketers use deceptive tactics like fake billboards to manufacture news that draws attention to the products and services that he represents. News is then filtered up, from small blogs to larger sites to national media.

Holiday’s book describes what goes on behind the scenes in the worlds of blogging, PR, and online news and he reveals the methods used to manipulate bloggers and reporters. Bloggers in turn sensationalize stories because the headlines that get the most clicks generate the most money. He reveals bloggers who create artificial content, fabricating outrageous stories out of nowhere or distorting a video until it is completely a lie. He gives several examples, including Andrew Breitbart’s news clip about Shirley Sherrod.

In the end, Holiday offers no easy solutions. When the incentive is pageviews, bloggers will lie, distort and attack. Holiday hopes that his book will encourage the public to pay for news that is trustworthy. He calls on traditional news agencies to work harder to report the truth and to verify their stories. He also calls for stronger libel and defamation laws. Recommended.

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

Classic Business Titles Now on Kindles

April 25th, 2013

Through the years there are titles, ranging from Getting to Yes to Predictably Irrational to 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which our readers return to time and again.  Now with our new Kindle Project, we’ve made these titles available as a takeaway library.  These classics, available April 25th, are sure to be popular with our traveling patrons.  Make sure to check yours out now and enjoy the classics with the Ford Library.

  • 48 Laws of Power
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Blink:  The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
  • Drive:  The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
  • Five Dysfunctions of a Team:  A Leadership Fable
  • Freakonomics:  A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
  • Getting Things Done:  The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
  • Getting to Yes:  Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
  • Goal, 20th anniversary edition
  • Good to Great:  Why Some Companies Make the Leap–And Others Don’t
  • Great by Choice:  Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck:  Why Some Thrive Despite Them All
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • Influence:  The Psychology of Persuasion
  • Intelligent Investor:  The Definitive Book on Value Investing
  • Lean Startup:  How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
  • Liar’s Poker
  • Mindset:  The New Psychology of Success
  • Outliers:  The Story of Success
  • Predictably Irrational
  • Steve Jobs
  • Strengths Based Leadership:  Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow
  • Think and Grow Rich
  • Thinking Fast and Slow
  • Tipping Point:  How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
  • Total Money Makeover:  A Proven Plan


Book Reviews: Rainy Brain + Search Inside

April 22nd, 2013

book cover imagesIt is time to sing Goodbye, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu to our graduating students and to wish them much success wherever life takes them.  Students bring energy and excitement to our life at the university, and so it is with mixed feelings that we say Goodbye.   As a farewell gift to our students, here are short reviews of two new books that focus on getting the most out of life.

Fox, Elaine. Rainy brain, sunny brain : how to retrain your brain to overcome pessimism and achieve a more positive outlook. Basic Books, 2012.

This tour of recent research in brain science concludes that optimists generally have better health and wellbeing; are more emotionally resilient; and experience greater success in life.  While a typical self-help book attributes optimism to a positive mindset, brain scientist Elaine Fox explains that optimists’ better lives result from something more than attitude.  Those with sunny brains are primed to undertake beneficial actions to achieve the things they want.  Optimists stay focused on their goals in spite of setbacks.  More than having the right mindset, optimistic people are fully engaged in life.

Fox explains that is possible to train your brain to be more optimistic.  Human brains are flexible and can be reshaped throughout life through changes in cognition.     People who are fearful and anxious can learn to regulate their emotions by reinterpreting distressing thoughts.   Fear can be also controlled through techniques using language or focused attention.   Fox shows that to thrive, people need to experience positive emotions in their lives every day.  People who get the most out of life have at least 3 positive emotions for every negative.  These positive experiences include compassion, contentment, gratitude, hope, joy and love.

Tan, Chade-Meng. Search inside yourself : The unexpected path to achieving success, happiness (and world peace). HarperOne, 2012.

In Search Inside Yourself, Chade-Meng Tan briefly cites many of the same brain studies discussed in Elaine Fox’s Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain. Tan’s book is the more pragmatic of the two, with numerous exercises and examples designed to develop inner strengths that contribute to the reader’s  sense of well being and  happiness.  Tan explains that enhancing our ability to pay attention can improve how we respond to our emotions, and he begins by training readers in mindful attention.   After readers have deepened the calmness and clarity of the mind, Fox then trains readers to recognize their physical reactions to emotions. These skills are foundational to the emotional intelligence that leads to successful work, meaningful relationships and true happiness.

Chade-Meng Tan is one of Google’s earliest engineers, responsible for the team that monitored Google’s search quality.  His current job description at Google is to “enlighten minds, open hearts, create world peace.”  He first designed Search Inside Yourself for a course he teaches at Google to enhance productivity and creativity, to make work more meaningful and to experience fulfillment in life.

Both of these books are well worth reading.  Recommended.

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

Movie Recommendations

April 19th, 2013

Here are a few older DVDs worth checking out:

  • Gosford Park–Written by Downton Abbey scribe, Julian Fellows, this film is a murder mystery set at an English country estate. The upstairs/downstairs class division present even inthe 1930s facilitates director Robert Altman’s penchant for overlapping dialogue and numerous subplots. This Academy Award winner won Best Original Screenplay and features an all-star cast including Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith, Emily Watson and Kristin Scott Thomas.
  • Bleak House–Not a movie, but a Masterpiece Theater production, this miniseries features Charles Dance (Game of Thrones, Lord Tywin Lannister) and Gillian Anderson in Dickens’ indictment of the Victorian legal system. Plot twists, a murder mystery and an infamous inheritance are at the center of this multi-character epic.
  • Death at a Funeral–Featuring a key role by another Game of Thrones favorite, Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), this  drawing room comedy features plenty of sight gags. At the funeral of the family patriarch things get off to a bad start when the wrong corpse is delivered, and things go downhill from there. A far funnier film than the American remake.

The Fuqua Book Exchange

April 18th, 2013

book exchange imageThe Fuqua Book Exchange is taking place now through May 15th. Donate your gently-used books to other students, staff, faculty and the library. Fiction is accepted for this event. It is bring a book, take a book. Free!

Drop off your book donations at the Ford Circulation Desk. Books for exchange will be housed in a special book shelf in the Career section at the back of the library.  Any unclaimed or leftover at the end of the event will be donated to Better World Books (CFO, Paul Sansone, Fuqua Alumnus, 1992) or the Durham Public Library.