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8 Options for your Summer Booklist

By CO Staff @canadaone |

As you plan some summer downtime, you may want to find a book to read while you travel. Here are some of the latest books we are reviewing at CanadaOne, which may make a good read this summer.

How We Decide

Author Jonah Lehrer
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN 0618620117

How We Decide is an engaging book that challenges the idea that we should rely on rational mind when making decisions.

With an interesting combination of anecdotes and science, Lehrer demonstrates that our emotions play an important role in the decisions we make. The author helps the reader understand how we can make better decisions by relying on the right thinking at the right time.


Author Charlene Li
Publisher Harvard Business Press
ISBN 1422125009

While one of the older books on our summer reading list (Groundswell was first published in April 2008), this book is an excellent read for people who sense the power emerging from social media and wants to better understand / use this in their businesses.

The author defines groundswell as "... a spontaneous movement of people using online tools to connect, to take charge of their own experience, and get what they need - information, support, ideas, products, and bargaining power - from each other."

Divided into three sections, Li's book is a collection of fascinating case studies and facts that will leave you better equipped to deal with changes that are impacting virtually every business ecosystem. If you plan on reading any books about social media, Groundswell belongs at the top of your list.

Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive

Author Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, Robert B. Cialdini, Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, Robert B. Cialdini
Publisher Simon & Schuster
ISBN 1416570969

What simple words, actions or images can shift public thinking and turn a no into a yes? This book, divided into 50 bite-sized ideas, presents emerging behavioural science to teach the reader how he or she can be more persuasive, whether in personal communications or business marketing and advertising.

For example, the book explores several ways that hotels can increase the number of times guests reuse their towels. As it turns out, the typical card asking people to reuse their towels does not make a big impression. However, when hotels linked that message to a social motivator - other guests were likely to have reused their towels at least once during their stay - more people opted into the program.

Yes! is very easy to read and its ideas are clearly presented. If you would like to use science instead of instinct and guesswork to improve your persuasiveness, you should find this to be a valuable read.

Everything I Know About Business I Learned from McDonald's

Author Paul Facella
Publisher McGraw Hill
ISBN 0071601414

McDonald's, which started as a small hamburger shop in southern California, set a new standard for franchising when Ray Kroc took over as its national agent in 1954.

In this book the author explores the inner workings of a successful business based on his experience as a former employee. Facella first worked for McDonald's when he was 16 years-old; it was his first "real" job. His career with McDonald's saw him fill many roles: he was a crewperson, licensee, store manager, director of operations and ultimately, a regional vice president.

This book explores the systems and ideals that have helped the company thrive in good times and survive during the bad times. It is an easy, insightful read that peers into the inner workings of one of the world's most successful franchise companies.

Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom

Author Matthew Fraser & Soumitra Dutta
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
ISBN 0470740140

This is a very dense book, with no illustrations or visual breaks, that packs a great deal of information about how social media is changing our society. This book is a blueprint written to help senior managers and executives, who often recognize the power of social media but not its context, understand the nuances of this powerful new wave.

This book is packed with information and fascinating stories that illuminate social media issues, both positive and negative. Yet I found the structure, with densely packed text, distracting as it prevented me from skimming and quickly picking up concepts. This books needs to be read, word after word, an odd paradox given that one aspect of Internet use is that people are now more likely to skim read to gather their information.

The Financing Toolkit for Small & Medium Businesses

Author Gary A. Fitchett
Publisher Chartered Accountants of Canada
ISBN 1553853873

This book is an excellent primer on how you can finance your business. It explains various financing methods, including term loans, mezzaine debt, equity financing (e.g. venture capital), government financing, leasing and factoring.

What is particularly useful is that in addition to providing basic information, the book also outlines the tax implications of different financing options from a Canadian-perspective. The book also comes with a CD that contains 6 planning checklists.

The Financing Toolkit for Small & Medium Businesses is not a light summer read, but if you want to learn more about your financing options this is a must-have for your business bookshelf.

Cats: The Nine Lives of Innovation

Author Stephen C. Lundin
Publisher McGraw Hill
ISBN 0071602216

Cats is a book about personal innovation and how we, like cats, can explore our curiosity with the process of innovation mapped out into 9 ways or "lives". It outlines the four challenges that block innovation and then describes the 9 lives that can be used to overcome these stumbling blocks.

The book is written in a creative, fun tone. Some may be turned off by the overuse of the cat metaphor, but if you want to become more innovative and like a light and flippant tone you should enjoy this book.

Peaks and Valleys

Author Spencer Johnson

Simon & Schuster

ISBN 1439103259

This new book from Johnson, the author of Who Moved my Cheese, is an extremely light read (it can be read in well under an hour) that tells the story of a fictional young man trying to find his way through the peaks and valleys in life. The metaphors are easy to follow and may be inspirational to some. Nuggets of wisdom are separated onto their own full page and include things like "You can have fewer bad times when you appreciate and manage your good times wisely."

If you are finding it difficult to cope with the economic changes, this book may inspire you to refocus on the things that will help you get through a difficult time. However, I found the ideas in the book more of a reminder than original insights and to be lacking in depth overall.

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