Next Book: How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Here's the author's website:

From the publisher: Every day, seemingly intelligent and successful companies make headline news for poor decisions that can cause their business to stumble and make many of us scratch our heads in wonder. Why would such a successful business make ”that” strategic decision? Neil Smith, with more than 20 years of experience leading large-scale performance improvements, reveals the hidden barriers that limit excellent companies from reaching their potential, and cause even the smartest managers and leaders to falter. During his experience transforming some of the top global businesses, Smith has identified 8 barriers that exist in every organization and prevent them from implementing literally thousands of ideas to improve the way they work:

  • Avoiding Controversy
  • Poor Use of Time
  • Reluctance to Change
  • Organizational Silos
  • Management Blockers
  • Incorrect Information and Bad Assumptions
  • Size Matters
  • Existing Processes
Rich with anecdotes and case studies, Smith identifies the ways in each of these barriers interrupt your own business. He then outlines a fast and proven process in which 12 principles of business transformation can break down the processes that hold companies back. What Smith offers his readers is the same thing he offers every day to the major companies he works with,  A PROMISE that by following his insights, the company will be able to increase communication, simplicity, and profit to levels never before attainable.

Throughout the book, Dr. Richard Levak contributes personality and organizational insights that shed light on why an individual or an organization behaves in contrary ways, giving you a better sense of why these internal walls exist and how to be aware of your actions in your day-to-day life.


Review: SuperFuel

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

SuperFuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future by Richard Martin. Palgrave Macmillan. 272 Pages.

Review by Richard Pachter
As a kid, I loved science fiction. Approaching teen-hood, reading SF (never "Sci Fi" — ugh!) seemed like a natural sequé from the comic books, I'd devoured since I was about six. I also enjoyed my father's Popular Science magazines and even had my own subscription for a while. I liked science in elementary school, too, but as I got older, I found it to be a challenging subject and lost interest. Blame Chemistry (and chemistry, i.e. raging hormones) if you like. Oh well.

But I've always enjoyed speculative fiction, as some SF was called, and even though my interest and grasp of the facts upon which the conjectures are based may be precarious or nonexistent, the "hard" science fiction of Heinlein, Asimov and Clark made my early membership in the Science Fiction Book Club a thoroughly rewarding experience. It was also not too hard on my allowance, which helped, too.

I don't read very much of that these days, as the cheery utopias and grim futures are less appealing in context with our current reality.

But the old SF fan in me might have been the trigger that led me to SuperFuel.

Richard Martin takes a very serious, complicated and highly technical subject and spins a very readable and entertaining text. You can read and/or download an excerpt here.

His premise — that Thorium would be a cleaner, safer and more efficient fuel for nuclear power — is presented in a convincing and lucid manner. The science and specifics are above me. My fault, since Martin does his best to avoid unnecessary jargon and math, instead focusing on the macro, rather than the micro. Though I suspect that if you have a more solid grounding in science, you will come away with a much deeper and meaningful experience and insights.

In addition to his explanation and advocacy, Martin looks at the political and commercial landscape and offers solid suggestions for dealing with any potential roadblocks with "next steps."

I have no clue as to whether or not Thorium is, indeed, the answer to our fuel problems but Martin does a fine job of making its case. SuperFuel is an interesting and entertaining book — even for old SF fans and Popular Scientists.


  © Template by 2008

Back to TOP