"Celebrate what you want to see more of." Tom Peters
This first full week of retail's holiday season is a great time to revisit our chat with an expert on the subject of shopping, Paco Underhill. He's the president and founder of Envirosell, a New York consultancy that does research on shoppers' behavior, shopping environments, layout, and merchandising. We interviewed him back in 2001, a year after publication of his first book Why We Buy: the Science of Shopping, which has since been updated for "the Internet, the Global Consumer, and Beyond." His latest is What Women Want, and his company has done the research. If you're aiming at maximizing sales in this holiday season, you might want to take a look at the book (also an audiobook), or this video from the Envirosell website featuring Paco speaking on the forces guiding shoppers worldwide.
Get started reading with Paco Underhill's Cool Friends interview. And ... Happy Holidays!
One of Tom's favorite topics is the Women's Market, so who better than Marti Barletta to be included in the best of the Cool Friends? Her first book was Marketing to Women, and we talked to her about it in 2004. Her second book was PrimeTime Women, a label she gave to women aged 50 to 70, who needed a better descriptor than "Mature Market." That 2007 interview begins with a discussion of marketers' problem getting their ads onto the screens that people are actually looking at. That discussion continues to this day.
John Maeda became a Cool Friend back in 2006, when he was an MIT professor and a member of the MIT Media Lab. Now, he is president of Rhode Island School of Design. An arts administrator with technology in his background, he is at the forefront of the push to get STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) changed to STEAM (A for Art), a campaign Tom has embraced, as you can see in his recent "What I've Come/Am Coming to Believe" posting. In light of the effort by both Maeda and Tom to gain recognition for the importance of art in education, now is a good time to revisit Maeda's Cool Friends interview.
In keeping with Tom's latest eBook, People First!, we're highlighting a Cool Friend who wrote the book on Talent. Ed Michaels was part of a McKinsey & Co. group who studied the practices of 20 companies that excelled at finding and keeping talented employees. The study resulted in a 2001 book outlining the findings, and Ed Michaels was a coauthor of that book, The War for Talent. Tom's chosen to bring the topic up for discussion a decade later, so it might be a good time to take a look at this Cool Friends interview. You'll find some still useful insights.
Our new Cool Friend, Dan Coyle, is revisiting us to talk about a new book, The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills. It's a follow-up to The Talent Code, which we discussed with him in 2009. Here's what Tom has to say about the book:
It's so juvenile to throw around hyperbolic terms such as "life-changing," but there's no other way to describe The Little Book of Talent. I was avidly trying new things within the first half hour of reading it and haven't stopped since. Brilliant. And yes: life-changing.
New Cool Friend George Kohlrieser is an internationally recognized expert on leadership. He's also an award-winning author, consultant, media commentator, and motivational speaker. Best known, perhaps, for his book Hostage At The Table, he is acclaimed for introducing the hostage metaphor to leadership development. Currently, he is Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at IMD, the International Institute for Management Development, in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he directs the High Performance Leadership (HPL) Program. Shelley Dolley spoke to him about his new book, Care to Dare. You can read his Cool Friend interview here, or visit his website, georgekohlrieser.com, for more information.
With three interviews to her credit, Sally Helgesen is not only one of our favorite Cool Friends, she's tied for first place in frequency of Cool Friends solo interviews (with the prolific Seth Godin!). She also has a section of Tom's Mother of All Presentations devoted to her work. Best known for her 1990 classic, The Female Advantage, Sally has a focus on women's work issues, but her insights are universal—perhaps essential for all who would succeed at work in the 21st Century.
Interview No.1, posted 2000. Book under discussion: The Web of Inclusion: A New Architecture for Building Great Organizations.
Interview No.2, posted 2002, and the book: Thriving in 24/7: Six Strategies for Taming the New World of Work.
We'd suggest you read all three interviews and maybe pick up a couple of Sally's books, too!
One of Tom's favorite topics is innovation, and you'd have a hard time finding a more expert person on the subject than Tom Kelley, General Manager of IDEO. His business is innovation, and we spoke to him twice, following publication of his first and second books. By reading his two interviews (links below) at tompeters.com, you get a very good overview of an innovative organization, and perhaps some tips on making your own organization more so. Best quote: "So part of the message of my book and the message from people like Tom [Peters] is that it's okay to act differently."
Tom Kelley Interview No. 1, following his first book, The Art of Innovation.
Tom Kelley Interview No. 2, following his second book, The Ten Faces of Innovation. Feedback from readers of the first book prompted him to write the second.
If you would like to learn more, we also have an interview with Tom Kelley's brother David Kelley, CEO of IDEO, who describes some of the history of that very cool innovation factory.
One of Tom's frequent themes is the need for all businesses—that is, all, minuscule to gargantuan—to conduct themselves like Professional Service Firms. Furthermore, Tom recognizes David Maister as the world's leading authority on the management of professional service firms. So, in the second of the Best of the Cool Friends series, we'd like to revisit the interview Erik Hansen did with David Maister in October 2000, which contains some very up-to-date insights. If you'd like to catch up with David's more recent work, you can do so at his website, or check out his latest book, Strategy and the Fat Smoker (meaning: some habits are hard to change!).
Tom mentioned Ray Kurzweil in a recent post. We thought it would be enlightening to revisit the Cool Friend conversation Erik Hansen had with Ray back in 2005 about, among other things, Ray's book, The Singularity. Our realization that we wanted to go back and read this interview prompted Tom to suggest that we occasionally highlight a particularly engrossing Cool Friend interview. Thus the Best of the Cool Friends Series was born!
Our new Cool Friend Francis Gouillart has coauthored with Venkat Ramaswamy, The Power of Co-Creation: Build It With Them To Boost Growth, Productivity and Profits. "Co-creation is about engaging people to create more value together. It involves redesigning interactions... [to] unleash the creative energy of people." To find out more, read the interview with Erik Hansen and visit their site.
When we last checked in with Bill Taylor, he had coauthored Mavericks At Work with Polly LaBarre, a book about a generation of executives and entrepreneurs who were "rethinking how some of the basics of business get done." He's taken the challenge of innovation a step further with his new book, Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself. This time around, the focus is on highly successful change agents working in long established organizations who are doing the hard work of reinvention.
Get ready to change the way you think about technology. Our new Cool Friend, Kevin Kelly, is someone we've respected for years and who certainly did not diminish our high regard with this interview. Among many other things, he's the co-founder and Senior Maverick at Wired. His latest book is What Technology Wants. In the interview, Kevin and Erik Hansen discuss the similarities between the evolution of life and the evolution of technology. Both are constantly increasing in complexity, and as Kevin explains, some developments or inventions are inevitable. Why does this matter? I'll let Kevin explain:
In a certain sense, we have an obligation, a social obligation, a moral obligation, to increase the varieties and the kinds of technologies in the world in the hopes that we can make the technology that would really, truly liberate and unleash the creative geniuses of all the people born in the world.
Get a whole lot smarter today, just by reading this interview.
Richard Pascale is the coauthor, with Jerry and Monique Sternin, of The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World's Toughest Problems. Tom was fascinated by this book and highly recommends it. In the new Cool Friend interview, Richard explains to interviewer Erik Hansen that in seemingly impossible situations, there are a few people succeeding with the same set of resources that seem to be failing others. The key to major positive change is finding these positive deviants and showing the community their success in order to get it to spread.
Richard provides examples from reducing neo-natal mortality rates in Pakistan to helping hungry children in Vietnam to reducing deaths in hospitals caused by an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection. We're hoping you'll find this method very useful in making positive change where you are. Read the interview and visit Richard's site for more information.
Cool Friend Steve Shapiro returns to tell us about his new book, Personality Poker: The Playing Card Tool for Driving High-Performance Teamwork and Innovation. He's created a game to help identify—so that you can diversify—the personality types within your organization. The more diverse the personality types, the more fertile the environment for innovation.
Sally's back! She's recently coauthored a book with Julie Johnson called The Female Vision. Sally discusses with Erik Hansen the evolution of the role of women in the workplace in the late twentieth century. Sally sees a major shift starting and explains the signs. She also explains that women have to push past their comfort zones in order to make their organization a place where their vision is valued, and is specific about how.
New Cool Friend Maddy Dychtwald is the coauthor of Influence: How Women's Soaring Economic Power Will Transform Our World for the Better. She and Erik Hansen discuss the increase in women's economic power and her belief that women will be "the biggest change agent of the next several decades." She dispels some myths about women-owned businesses and proposes that we can all help this change along by "fostering financial knowledge, education, and expertise for ourselves and for women and girls."
Tom's great friends and former partners, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, have a new book out called The Truth About Leadership: The No-Fads, Heart of the Matter Facts You Need to Know. They've devoted their lives to leadership, so this is one you won't want to miss.
Bob Sutton has a new book coming out in September called Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best... and Learn from the Worst. Not only that, according to Bob, "we just put together a quiz that people can use to help determine of their boss is good or bad—and whether he or she lives in a fool's paradise."
Don Tapscott also has a book coming out in September called MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World.
David Meerman Scott's new book is Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead:What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History. Tom has quoted Jerry Garcia for years and wholly subscribes to the "give lots away for free" aspect of their marketing philosophy.
Sally Helgesen has a new book out called The Female Vision: Women's Real Power at Work.
If there's a single person we'd recommend you listen to about social media, it's Chris Brogan. Thankfully, he published a handbook this year called Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online.
And someone who never ceases to surprise us with revelations about human behavior, Dan Ariely, has a new book called The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home.
This doesn't fit precisely within the theme of this post, but we want to point you to an excellent resource. Our good friends and colleagues Robert Thompson and Mike Neiss have started a series of podcasts that they cleverly call Thought Grenades. Have a listen.
Who are you serving? How can you best serve? Are you making your unique contribution? Are you getting better every day? These are the four questions central to the book Serve to Lead, by James Strock. Jim is our new Cool Friend. In the interview, he and Erik Hansen discuss how your thinking shifts when you start asking these questions on a regular basis and how they apply to current events. Read the interview and find out more about Jim at ServetoLead.org.
Our new Cool Friend, Anna Bernasek, is the author of The Economics of Integrity: From Dairy Farmers to Toyota, How Wealth Is Built on Trust and What That Means for Our Future. In the interview, Erik Hansen and Anna discuss how a financial system focused on quarterly performance encourages short-term rather than long-term strategies, and the problems that result. Anna explains why, for fiscal and non-fiscal reasons, it's in your self-interest to act with integrity. Read the interview and, to find out more about Anna, visit her site.
When people need help, they often can't articulate exactly what it is they need. Ed Schein's book, Helping: How to Offer, Give, and Receive Help, Understanding Effective Dynamics in One-to-One, Group and Organizational Relationships, offers practical strategies for determining what kind of help is desired. Ed is Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus at MIT, and he's done a great deal of writing and consulting on the subject of culture change. In the new Cool Friends interview, Ed talks with Erik Hansen about how to offer the most effective help. If you call yourself a consultant, I'd call this interview essential reading, and this book, a highly recommended purchase.
Erik Hansen, our Cool Friend interviewer (among the many other hats he wears), recently chatted with Joy Panos Stauber, the woman behind our beautiful banners. They covered design, being a designer, and of particular interest, the design of Tom's new book, The Little BIG Things, which Joy had a significant hand in. You can read the interview here and find out more about Joy here.
Our Cool Friends are always moving and shaking. Here are a few things they've been up to lately:
Sylvia Ann Hewlett just published a study through the Harvard Business Review called "The Globe: The Battle for Female Talent in Emerging Markets."
Lior Arussy has a new book, Customer Experience Strategy: The Complete Guide From Innovation to Execution. Sally Helgesen's new book, The Female Vision: Women's Real Power at Work, will be coming out in June.
Charles H. Green interviewed Chris Brogan and we think you'll enjoy reading it.
Our new Cool Friend Bill Warner was about age 20 when he started his first company. Twelve years later, in 1987, he founded Avid Technology, a company that went on to win an Emmy and an Oscar®—the Oscar being for transforming the editing process in film-making! Currently Bill is working with nonprofits including FutureBoston and Move With Freedom, guiding start-up companies, and working to transform the high-tech scene in Massachusetts. He has acted as an angel investor for eight start-ups and for three nonprofits. Read the interview to learn Bill's thoughts on how intention leads to invention, the difference between intention and vision, and how to keep "your" people happy. There's no book as yet, but we hope there will be soon.
The host of Public Radio's A Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor has written his first-ever Christmas book, and the book tour fortuitously brought him our way. We welcome him to the Cool Friends! He and Erik discuss the book, A Christmas Blizzard (briefly), as the conversation meanders through the creative process. Keillor offers advice to writers ("The first page almost always can go"), artists ("Artists are supposed to be useful"), and speakers ("The audience is going to give you the benefit of the doubt for at least a minute or two. Don't waste that"). We think you should read our first-ever Christmas Cool Friends interview. Happy holidays!
If you're a fan of Tom's first book, In Search of Excellence, don't miss reading this interview with his coauthor, Bob Waterman. We're glad to add Bob as a Cool Friend, and we all enjoyed working on this interview. (Yes, he does share a few secrets about what went on during the writing of the book.) I think the most fascinating aspect is examining another path taken from the same jumping-off point. Bob was no less successful than Tom, just not as publicly. He describes to Erik how ISOE/In Search came to be and what he's been up to since then. Bob also talks about his involvement with the Restless Leg Syndrome Foundation. Funny, both Tom and Bob ended up vacationing in New Zealand, as you can see in the picture above. Divergent paths veered close again after more than 25 years. Welcome to the Cool Friends, Bob!
Think you're prepared to negotiate? Think again. New Cool Friend Hal Movius, author of Built to Win: Creating a World-Class Negotiating Organization, warns you that you should change your approach. It's not about getting the biggest piece of the pie, it's about making sure the pie is big enough so that the other side doesn't walk away feeling robbed. Educate yourself about all the interests involved and you'll be able to not only get what your organization needs but create value for the other side and leave the relationship in a better place. Read his Cool Friends interview and find out more about what Hal Movius and coauthor Lawrence Susskind are up to at the Consensus Building Institute.
Are you making Whuffie? It's the currency of reputation. Are you adding value to the community? Can you be trusted? Tara Hunt is the co-founder of Citizen Agency, which she later left to establish herself as a free agent whose mission is to teach clients how to better foster relationships with the communities they serve, especially through effective use of social media. You can find her blogging at HorsePigCow, on Twitter as MissRogue, on Facebook, in pictures on Flickr, and locate her on Dopplr. Or you could read our Cool Friends interview, where she and Erik discuss her book The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business. Oh, and here's her website, TheWhuffieFactor.
There is debate over the most effective way to eradicate poverty in Africa. Our new Cool Friend Kathleen Colson believes listening to Africans is the first step. She's listened for years, and, as a result, founded the BOMA Fund to put what she's learned into action. Through three programs, the Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP), Agents of Change, and Cows For Kids, BOMA helps groups in northern Kenya learn how to run businesses, become leaders, and start on the road to self-sufficiency. In her interview, Kathleen discusses how foreign aid disrupts African markets and how helping to bring viable new trade to Kenya could lead to a brighter future for people there. Learn more by reading her Cool Friends interview or visiting the website of the BOMA Fund.
This new Cool Friend interview with John Kador will have you re-examining every apology you’ve ever made or heard. Author of Effective Apology: Mending Fences, Building Bridges, and Restoring Trust, Kador explains the most effective ways to apologize as well as some surprising financial implications. When Tom read the book he was getting the apology message from several quarters, and he declared apologizing to be a core competence for everyone who would be effective at business, so fundamental that he included it in the Success Tips as #155. You can read John Kador's Cool Friends interview, or learn more about apologies at his blog, personal website (www.jkador.com), and book website, (www.EffectiveApology.com). John can also be found on Twitter at Twitter.com/jkador.
Author of Retail Superstars: Inside the 25 Best Independent Stores In America, new Cool Friend George Whalin points us to the most remarkable places to shop in this country. Each has its own fascinating story, which Whalin details in the book. In his interview with Erik, he also recounts a story about George Harrison, a stolen guitar, and a Federale in Guadalajara. George Whalin is the founder of Retail Management Consultants, which provides business-building services to retail companies and industry suppliers all across North America. He has worked with companies in every area of retailing from single-store merchants to leading national chains, as well as retail trade associations, franchise organizations, and some of the world's best-known consumer products manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers. You can see what Tom said about Whalin's book in a blog post titled "Guarantee!," or learn more at his Retailer Blog. We welcome George to our group of Cool Friends.
Our latest Cool Friend Diane Hessan is the CEO of Communispace, a social networking company that is a "pioneer in creating online communities to help marketers deeply engage customers." The company has built and managed more than 350 private online customer communities for an impressive collection of Fortune 500 companies. Erik and Diane discuss the company's business, social media, and Tom, whom Diane knows well. Given the business she's in, naturally there are many ways to find Diane online: Twitter, Twitter.com/CommunispaceCEO; blog, Blog.Communispace.com; and website, Communispace.com being only three among them. And, be sure to read her Cool Friends interview.
Matthew May spent eight years consulting to Toyota, during which time he assessed how they got 250,000 employees fired up to come to work every day. At the heart of it was small changes with big impact—"the notion that they're always trying to do more with and for less." Thus he began the studies that led to his latest book—out today!—In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing. He discusses the concept of leaving something out with Erik, in his Cool Friends interview. You can read more at Matt's book website, InPursuitofElegance.com. And, with "less is more" as part of his philosophy, naturally Matt is on Twitter at twitter.com/matthewemay.
Everywhere he goes, Cool Friend Dan Ariely, the behavioral economist, meets people desperate to understand what is going on with the economy and why we were blindsided. In response to this demand he has updated his book Predictably Irrational. On the shelves May 19—today!—you will find Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.
In over 25% of fresh material, Ariely addresses questions we all have, such as:
• Why did people take mortgages they couldn’t afford and why did lenders grant them?
• What caused bankers to lose sight of the economy?
• Did the government underestimate the importance of trust as an economic asset?
• Why didn’t we plan better for the possibility of bad times?
• If a rational approach doesn't protect us, what are we supposed to do in the future?
If you missed his book the first time around, this may be the time to take a look.
Another new book from one of the Cool Friends is Oops! from Aubrey Daniels. Its subtitle says it all: 13 Management Practices That Waste Time & Money (and what to do instead). Check it out and let us know your impression.
Our latest Cool Friend, Daniel Coyle, tells us that people think about talent as a possession, but that's not quite right. He studied hotbeds of talent and found similarities, from which we can learn in order to develop our own skills. In his Cool Friends interview, he and Erik discuss his latest book, The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How. The book is just out (yesterday!), though Tom blogged about it in February (the subtitle has changed since then). You can learn more at his website, TheTalentCode.com, on his blog and Facebook page, or follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/DanielCoyle.
Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore are celebrating an anniversary on April 28, 2009. It's been ten years since they published The Experience Economy. Hard to believe! But when you stop to think about how their book has changed the dialogue for businesses—how common it is for people to discuss the quality of customer experiences—it makes sense. Congratulations, Joe and Jim, on raising the bar for all of us.
They've made it possible for you to share ideas or stories at their website. Join the discussion there; let them know what impact The Experience Economy has had on you!
Our new Cool Friend Chris Brogan is a social media expert. He uses tools like Twitter to help organizations build relationships. In the interview, Chris discusses the advantages of social media tools along with the responsibilities that are associated with having a large audience and how attention is a form of currency. His book, written with Julien Smith and to come out in August is Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust. Here's his interview, and, of course, you can find Chris blogging at his own website and on Twitter at twitter.com/chrisbrogan.
If you've ever spoken in public or want to learn the pitfalls before you take that leap, you'll want to read our new Cool Friends interview. Nick Morgan explains the simple secrets that make all the difference in connecting with an audience. At one time he was a speechwriter for Virginia Governor Charles S. Robb, then he went on to eventually found his own communications consulting company,
Public Words. Now he's one of America's top communication theorists and coaches who's committed to helping people clarify their ideas and engage audiences when they present them. Nick Morgan's latest book is Trust Me: Four Steps to Authenticity and Charisma, which he discusses with Erik in his Cool Friends interview. He also shares his tips freely at his blog, publicwords.typepad.com/nickmorgan/ and on Twitter as nfrodom1.
Launching today, Greater Than Yourself: The Ultimate Lesson of True Leadership by Steve Farber describes how leaders are most successful when they have as their goal to make others better than they are themselves. Through stories, lessons from his work, and suggestions for real-life actions, Steve lays out a plan for you to "change the world for the better, one person at a time."
A new website to accompany the book, GreaterThanYourself.com, adds to your learning potential by offering the story of Steve's own GTY project (with podcasts), an interview with authors Patrick Lencioni and Matthew Kelly (another of our Cool Friends), and a description of Up With People's eventually successful effort to put GTY into practice. Good luck with the book, Steve!
800-CEO-READ specializes in business books, so it's no surprise that its founder, Jack Covert, and its president, Todd Sattersten, eat, sleep, and breathe business books. They took the time to sit down and battle it out about which business books are the absolute best of all time, in their extremely experienced opinions. Together they wrote The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, and How They Can Help You. Read their interview to learn how they made their choices and common themes they found throughout the books. Also, see the 800-CEO-READ website and blogs—there are at least three of them—Daily Blog, Excerpts Blog, and Podcasts Blog for further reading. Jack and Todd have been friends of tompeters.com for a long time. We're happy to now have them as Cool Friends, too!
Why do some ideas spread like wildfire, while others never get noticed? Especially on the Web, news can go around the world in minutes, if not seconds. Our new Cool Friend, David Meerman Scott, has a book coming out in March called World Wide Rave: Creating Triggers that Get Millions of People to Spread Your Ideas and Share Your Stories. In the book, and in his conversation with Erik, David prescribes specific strategies to turn your message into an online viral phenomenon. You can learn more by reading his Cool Friends interview, visiting his website, or catching up with his blog: www.webinknow.com.
We think this is a Cool Friends interview you won't want to miss. Martin Lindstrom's studies are in the field of Neuromarketing. He describes it as a marriage between marketing and science that uses non-verbal expression techniques to make people express what's going on in their subconscious mind. In other words, it predicts buying behavior a customer can't express verbally, because even she may be unaware of what's going on in her subconscious. Sounds useful, right? But, would you want advertising based on the techniques aimed at you? Through his book Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy, Lindstrom takes the discussion of whether this technique should be used, how much it should be used, and when it should be used (in politics, for instance?) to the consumer. He feels that getting the consumer involved in the decisions made in this stage of the discipline's application is of paramount importance. You can read Martin Lindstrom's Cool Friends interview to learn more, or visit his website, www.martinlindstrom.com.
Today, Guy Kawasaki joins our group of Cool Friends. He's been an evangelist for Apple, an entrepreneur who's the co-founder of Garage Technology Ventures and the "magazine rack" website Alltop, a writer with nine books to his credit, a popular blogger—blog title: "How to Change the World"—and an amateur hockey player. It seems that his was the first name on our blogroll, but it took us a while to have a conversation with him. We're glad to be doing it at this time, upon the publication of his newest book, Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition. Erik describes it as a primer for starting a business. Read more in Kawasaki's Cool Friends interview, and at his website, GuyKawasaki.com.
Social media consultant Debbie Weil teaches CEOs about blogging, among other things, and she joins tompeters.com today as Cool Friend #129. Weil, the author of The Corporate Blogging Book: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get It Right, says it's time to ditch "the old marketing mindset of throwing polished morsels of marketing messages to the masses and expecting consumers to accept them." Instead, start a conversation with your customers by blogging. She calls corporate blogging "marketing with content." Weil's advice is that "if you've ever thought about writing a book—and what top executive hasn't—blogging is a great way to get started." Read her Cool Friends interview and don’t forget to check out her blog, BlogWriteForCEOs, of course.
This year has been a prolific one for our Cool Friends. There's been a bumper crop of books from them—see the list below! One of the books is by a Cool Friend's coauthor (but Tom liked it), Sway, by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman. Some of the books are by Cool Friends we haven’t heard from in a long time (such as Harriet Rubin), and others are from those whose names appear in bookstores more regularly (such as, say, Seth Godin). We’re glad to see these great minds at work.
Here's the list, in publication date order. Some of the books are paperback editions of hardbacks published in 2007, but they're included anyway. We left out books by people we interviewed in 2008, however. We apologize to anyone whose book we mistakenly left out. To all our Cool Friends, we wish you success with your latest works! To the rest of you, here's a reading list covering a wide range of Tom-esque topics:
Strategy and the Fat Smoker; Doing What's Obvious But Not Easy by David Maister (2 Jan 2008)
Who's Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life by Richard Florida (10 March 2008)
The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need by Dan Pink and Rob Ten Pas (1 April 2008)
Beyond Bullsh*t: Straight-Talk at Work by Sam Culbert (1 April 2008)
Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder by David Weinberger (29 April 2008)
The Mona Lisa Stratagem: The Art of Women, Age, and Power by Harriet Rubin (29 April 2008)
Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman (3 June 2008)
Saving the World at Work: What Companies and Individuals Can Do to Go Beyond Making a Profit to Making a Difference by Tim Sanders (16 September 2008)
In Search of Bill Clinton: A Psychological Biography by John Gartner (30 September 2008)
The Power of Design: A Force for Transforming Everything by Richard Farson (1 October 2008)
The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up by Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham (2 October 2008)
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin (16 October 2008)
The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't by Robert Sutton (23 October 2008)
We're posting a new Cool Friends interview today to join Inc. magazine in announcing a new book, The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up, written by Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham, long-time coauthors of the Street Smarts column for Inc. Brodsky also joins us today as a Cool Friend. His most important bit of wisdom from the interview is this: "I learned that business was just the means to an end. The question is, what kind of life do you want? You want to better your life for yourself and your family." Learn more by reading his Cool Friends interview. There's also a slides presentation on Inc.com to accompany The Knack:
10 Things Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know.
Howard Mann is a founder of Sideshow Digital, an award-winning strategic design agency. Mann also works with a select group of entrepreneurs, business owners, and executive teams in highly focused workshops dubbed "a day in the brickyard." He tells Erik that we often lose our focus in business, but that doing things as simple as paying bills quickly can make work more fun. Here at tompeters.com, we’re all about having fun at work. As Tom says, if you’re not passionate about what you do, do something else. Howard Mann is our new Cool Friend and the author of Your Business Brickyard: Getting back to the basics to make your business more fun to run. Find out more by reading his interview, or visiting Howard’s book site, BusinessBrickyard.com. Have fun!
Oops! I almost forgot to mention, he offers the whole book as a PDF, if you'd like to download it.
We continue the topic of last month's Cool Friends interview with the latest addition. Once again, Behavioral Economics is the subject of discussion with our new Cool Friend, Richard Thaler. Many people say that he invented the discipline. Thaler is Professor of Economics and Behavioral Science at the Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago, and Director of the GSB's Center for Decision Research. Earlier this year, he and coauthor Cass Sunstein wrote Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness. Erik interviews Richard to find out the difference between a nudge and a noodge, what a choice architect is, and whether libertarian paternalism is an oxymoron. Thaler wants to help people make better choices. That’s why we think you might want to read his Cool Friends interview. You can also explore the website, Nudges.org, or the blog of the same name.
Our latest Cool Friend, Dan Ariely, is a behavioral economist. As such, he studies how people actually act in financial transactions. He observes behaviors such as buying (or not), saving (or not), ordering food in restaurants, and decision making under differing emotional conditions. He is author of the New York Times bestseller Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions, and in our interview he calls the book the evil step-brother of Freakonomics. You can read his Cool Friends interview here, or visit his website, www.PredictablyIrrational.com.
In keeping with our recent Cool Friends posts, here is an MP3 with Three Things from Dan Ariely. Something new, however, we are counting the Cool Friends interviews, and we're proud to say that Dan is #126 in our collection. [Addendum, 3 August 2008: Oops, I can't count. This interview is #125, and I changed the title above.—CM]
What we're talking about on the front page.
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.
What we're talking about
on the front page.