Leader as Teachers
We have been lucky enough to see Ed Betof speak on this topic
several times. We have enjoyed both his passion for the subject and
his complete belief in the soundness of using your organization's
best leaders to carry the learning message. The book is an
extension of those presentations that moves beyond why it is a
great idea to how to make it work. Obviously, Betof can call on the
success at Becton Dickinson and Co., where for 10 years he served
as vice president for talent management and chief learning officer.
He is now using that thinking in academia, as the director of
Wharton Executive Education's Executive Program in Work-Based
Learning Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania. Betof
reminds readers that "leaderteachers are often found in places you
least expect. I have recruited [them] in board rooms, classrooms,
offices, hallways on airplanes. The point is to be a constant
advocate for your program."
The Carrot Principle: How the Best Managers Use Recognition
to Engage Their People, Retain Talent, and Accelerate
Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton
In this re-release, the authors use a series of case studies from
iconic organizations - such as Disney, Pepsi, KPMG, and others - to
show that the relationship between employee recognition and
improved performance is not only a good idea, but it can produce
measurable and predictable outcomes. This is all well and good, but
one wonders exactly why we need a full-blown book to make the case.
When does employee recognition cross over into something smarmier?
The book presents simple steps to becoming a "Carrot Principle
manager" and establishing a recognition culture in your
organization. And if that doesn't work? Is there a book for "The
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and
Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein
Yale University Press
Another re-release of a popular title gives us an opportunity to
recommend this book. In an online interview, the authors are asked
about the decision architecture that often affects our lives, and
the small "nudges" that can create big results. The authors
explain: "By a nudge we mean anything that influences our choices.
A school cafeteria might try to nudge kids toward good diets by
putting the healthiest foods at front. We think that it's time for
institutions, including government, to become much more
user-friendly by enlisting the science of choice to make life
easier for people and by gently nudging them in directions that
will make their lives better." "Academics aren't supposed to be
write this well," notes Steven Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics: A
Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. We would
agree with that assessment.
The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational
Yet another fine publication that recently became available as a
trade paperback. Readers of Slate and other works may be familiar
with Harford's off-beat style and subjects, but he seldom
disappoints. Publishers Weekly notes: "Arguing that rational
behavior is more widespread than most people expect, Harford uses
economic principles to draw forth the rational elements of
gambling, the teenage oral sex craze, crime, and other supposedly
illogical behaviors to illustrate his larger point." Maybe most
importantly, Harford suggests that rational behavior doesn't equal
socially accepted outcomes. We have heard this book suggested as
one that would appeal to those who liked Blink and Freakonomics.
We're not sure we buy into that; it is much more relaxed and a bit
more interested in human behavior.