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SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt SEPTEMBER 28 • 2014
The Risk-Driven Business Model
When business leaders think about game-
changing innovation, all too often they focus
their attention on coming up with new products
and services or modifications to existing ones.
In a commoditised and disruptive marketplace,
competitive differentiation through this type
of innovation is becoming increasingly more
difficult, costly, and risky. This risk can make
or break a business. What leaders should be
looking at instead is how to leverage existing
products, technologies, and markets to gain a
In The Risk-Driven Business Model, authors
and innovation experts Karan Girotra and Ser-
guei Netessine show how assessing and
addressing risk and then making small "tweaks"
to existing business models can minimise risk
and maximise returns. This is the essence of
risk-driven business model innovation (BMI).
Managing the Matrix
Perhaps one of the most frustrating things
for talented and highly intelligent people in
corporate America is watching those who are
less talented and intelligent get promoted. In
fact, it leaves many of them wondering what
they could possibly be doing wrong. It is often
difficult for these people to accept the fact that
it takes more than a high IQ and talent to make
it in life.
There are studies that show that many ele-
ments play into success, and one of them that
is getting some close attention is emotional
intelligence (EI). Some seem to come by this
trait naturally, while others find that they need
to learn it.
In Managing the Matrix, Dawn Metcalfe
explains how people can cultivate emotional
intelligence, as well as why it is such a powerful
component for career growth and success.
Advanced Presentations by Design
Dr Andrew Abela
Thinking, researching, planning, and doing---
all the hard work of putting together a pres-
entation is worth nothing if an audience is not
convinced to act. Unfortunately, in this age
when success depends so greatly on the ability
to effectively communicate complex informa-
tion, presenters are overwhelmed with bad
presentation design advice. In Advanced Pre-
sentations by Design, marketing and commu-
nications expert Dr Andrew Abela offers readers
ten steps to improve presentation impact.
His Extreme PresentationTM method, which
is based on hundreds of empirical studies and
has been successfully tested by several Fortune
500 companies, helps presenters determine
who their intended audience is, what that audi-
ence needs to know, and how that information
should be conveyed to promote action.
The Road to Reinvention
Competition in business today is intense.
The speeds at which the world and technology
are changing and advancing add to the chal-
lenge. The only way to stay relevant and com-
pete is constant reinvention.
In The Road to Reinvention, Josh Linkner
asserts that neglecting to reinvent is one of
the top reasons why companies, individuals,
and communities fail. Those who are com-
fortable with the status quo are the most likely
to fail. Success is not about reaching a goal
and sitting there comfortably, but about con-
stantly striving to hit a moving target again
and again. Luckily, any individual or organisation
can reinvent with a little courage, imagination,
and an open mind.
The Intention Economy
According to Doc Searls in The Intention
Economy, there is a sort of revolution quietly
occurring in the marketplace right now where
customers will be freed from the systems cur-
rently set in the economy to control them.
They will become independent actors in the
marketplace, equipped with all things necessary
to tell vendors what they want and how, where,
and when they want it, outside of vendors
currently established systems.
The fundamental shift of this new kind of
economy is from a customer relationship man-
agement (CRM) to a vendor relationship man-
agement system (VRM), where both parties in
any transaction must agree to the other s terms.
Frank J Pietrucha
Across all sectors, good ideas are overlooked,
projects lose funding, and policy decisions are
distorted because of poor communication. This
is particularly true for specialists, such as engi-
neers, scientists, economists, or lawyers. When
they present ideas to non-specialist audiences---
management, investors, regulators, or other
decision makers---their ideas are often dis-
counted or misunderstood because they do
not adequately communicate their value. Their
characteristically dense and complex content
is more likely than ever to be ignored as the
digital age favours brevity and simplicity.
Effective modern communication requires
"supercommunicators," or people who can
bridge the gap between traditional content
development skills and the changing multimedia
tools and communication standards of the dig-
In Supercommunicator, Frank J Pietrucha
explains how professionals can facilitate a big-
picture perspective, break down complicated
topics into everyday language, become knowl-
edgeable about the multimedia options avail-
able, and connect with their audiences to create
Mila N Baker
In a world of globalisation and ever-increas-
ing connectivity, organisations need to fully
leverage the autonomous, multifaceted capa-
bilities of all employees in order to succeed.
It is no longer effective to artificially designate
"leaders" and "followers." Instead, everyone
must be empowered to take the lead as oppor-
tunities arise and circumstances change. Peer-
to-peer network architecture, based on sharing
of both information and power, offers a
roadmap for building this egalitarian, organic
type of leadership.
In Peer-to-Peer Leadership, Mila N Baker
explains the model s importance, reveals the
source of its power, and describes how any
organisation can use it to create value.
Harvard Business School Publishing
Acquiring a business degree can be a very
important part of preparing to take a seat at
the CEO desk. Colleges and universities have
developed comprehensive programmes to pre-
pare aspiring executives for the responsibilities
they will face. However, the higher up in the
ranks executives go, the more complicated their
Executive decisions often require critical
thinking that no curriculum could anticipate.
Executives, like everyone else, do a lot of learn-
ing by experience, part of which includes is
learning from the experiences of others.
In How I Did It, a collection of essays written
by top executives is presented that provides
wisdom and insights from the executive halls
of a variety of industries outlining a variety of
common business situations and decisions,
giving detail from the perspectives of those
who have experienced these situations.
Financial Fresh Start
For decades, wealthy corporations and indi-
viduals have used professional advisers to keep
them aware of the latest laws and reforms that
enable them to save more of their money. In
Financial Fresh Start, Shari Olefson offers advice
and guidance to help people restore their lost
finances and secure their financial futures. She
also examines the causes of the Great Recession
and presents a guide to common financial
blunders that can help people build peace of
mind for the future.
Mavericks at Work
William C Taylor and Polly LaBarre
William C Taylor and Polly LaBarre, as editors
for Fast Company, have explored hundreds of
In Mavericks at Work they report on the
unconventional organisations they have
encountered in a range of fields. These com-
panies take unique approaches to the problems
of competing, innovating, and connecting with
These companies have also found new ways
to attract, retain, and get the best work from
the most talented people. Although each com-
pany is unique, the authors have determined
that they have traits in common that make
Maverick leaders are willing to let go of intel-
lectual property, tight control of marketing
messages, and the workplace itself. They devel-
op a strong sense of mission and share it with
workers and customers. Over time, these factors
breed loyalty and boost the bottom line.
Top business books
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