February 16th, 2010 (kt.v2) There are 11,000 business books published each year which represents an overwhelming amount of information for busy busin

KeenThinker WIP

February 16th, 2010 (kt.v2)

There are 11,000 business books published each year which represents an overwhelming amount of information for busy business people to sort through.

To solve this problem, we wrote a book to help business people know which books are worth their time and money. And we were thrilled to celebrate the first birthday of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time on Friday, February 5th!

We hope you've gotten a chance to look through the book, and we certainly hope it has given you some ideas on where to get the best business information for your buck.

In this edition of The Keen Thinker expect to find the same kind of valuable information on the newest books you should be reading (both publisher recommendations and our own), current trends in business thought, advice to make your work life more successful and satisfying, and the chance to win a copy of Your Brain at Work by David Rock.

Your friendly neighborhood editor, Sally, and all your friends at 800-CEO-READ.


What's News...

Pecha Kucha?

A brief "Wha...?" accompanied by raised eyebrows is usually the reaction when we mention Pecha Kucha. The name Pecha Kucha is Japanese for "chit chat" and "it rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds. It's a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace."

800-CEO-READ is the lucky keeper of the Pecha Kucha franchise in Milwaukee, and at our Sixth Pecha Kucha Night you'll hear and watch fast-paced presentations on making beer, the global impact of coffee, green homes, why people don't (and do) like to dance, technology and sausage, the fact that humans actually have three brains, and much more!

My Favorite Business Book

We launched My Favorite Business Book in March of 2009 to allow anyone to share the story of their favorite book and make the case for why others should read it. You can browse the site or download the e-book which is a compilation of some of the best comments left on the site. Or add your story! We'd love to hear about your favorite business book.

800-CEO-READ's Annual Awards Event

On January 25th, we threw a party in New York City to celebrate the winners of the 2009 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards. Click here to read our other winners and runners-up.

See the video of Andrew Sorkin's wife accepting his award for Too Big to Fail. (Sorkin was out of the country and we were honored to have his wife attend). Click here to see more pictures from the event.

Fixed to Flexible: An e-Book

Our former president and co-author of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time has written his first big independent project. We think it is a stellar introduction to pricing and the challenges companies big and small face in this Wild, Wild West of 21st Century business. You can download Todd's e-book here and follow the discussion here.

Q & A

Our general manager did a brief Q&A with Jason Fried at 37signals in advance of his highly anticipated book, Rework which he co-wrote with David Heinemeier Hansson. Even these few answers reflect the type of clarity, purpose, and down-to-earth approach that the book reveals in greater detail.

Check out the interview here, pre-order the book for your whole team, and watch what happens.


Publisher Picks

From the Publisher: To explore and explain fascination's irresistible influence, Sally Hogshead looks beyond marketing, delving into behavioral and social studies, historical precedents, neurobiology and evolutionary anthropology, as well as conducting in-depth interviews and a national study of a thousand consumers, to emerge with deeply rooted patterns for why, and how, we become captivated.

What We Think: Sally Hogshead's Fascinate is fascinating. I certainly can't be or won't be the only reviewer to use that too-easy line, but I will forge ahead with it because it serves my purposes here. Hogshead has written a book that is the perfect hardcopy example of her theories within. In other words, she walks her talk. Reminiscent of a more instructive Freakonomics, Hoghead presents a ripping, intriguing, and most importantly, cogent approach to identifying and then harnessing the seven triggers that inspire people to want-- to want to buy, to have, to do. Hogshead's writing is friendly and clever, and her examples are contemporary and unexpected. Everyone's fascination triggers are different, but I have a hard time believing anyone will find Fascinate less than fascinating.

From the Publisher: In this groundbreaking book, Emily Nagle Green, president of Yankee Group, a leading global connectivity research firm, charts a course for the future by explaining the components of ubiquitous connectivity and how they will combine to transform the nature of business.

What We Think: I'm not a fan of jargon of any sort. I think, if you can't explain something in terms any layperson can understand, well, then why share it with the layperson? I've gotten over feeling embarrassed when I don't understand something technical; instead, I ask, "What do you mean by X?" making it the job of my conversation partner to do some explaining. There is a lot of jargon that rises to the surface during conversations about technology even when the Internet has made everyperson an expert in, well, the Internet. Anywhere makes the discussion about global connectivity approachable, in part because of Green's well-balanced writing which showcases a confidence with her subject with her "breezy" (as described in the intro by Don Tapscott) tone, evidenced even in the title of the book, Anywhere. Portability, accessibility, immediacy. These should be your top considerations for innovation in the next 10 years, says Green, and Anywhere will jumpstart the charge.

From the Publisher: Indispensable by Monday outlines the profit-producing behaviors that distinguish workers who add value from those who don't, such as reducing company costs, increasing income, improving key processes, bringing back lost customers and more.

What We Think: In this time of cut-backs and lay-offs, we see an uptick in the books that advise employees on how to be at their best. While Seth Godin is challenging readers to become a Linchpin, Larry Myler, formerly of the organizational training company, VitalSmarts, presents us with a guide to make profitability, your company's main priority, your own main priority. Being Indispensable by Monday is all about being valuable, bringing dollars to your company's bottom-line, and Mylar's book offers plenty of methods for doing just that. While this book may seem inapplicable to people not in sales, marketing or development, it is actually ideal for those who need to show their value through their own productivity or customer service and not by easily calculable revenue streams.


ChangeThis: Issue 67

ChangeThis is on a mission to spread important ideas and change minds by creating a new kind of media. A form of media that uses existing tools (like PDFs, blogs and the web) to challenge the way ideas are created and spread. Read this month's ChangeThis manifestos written by some crazy-smart and inspiring people by clicking on the links below.

How To Fascinate: Why Your Brand Should Do A Shot Of Jägermeister by Sally Hogshead

"With sales increasing up to 40% per year since 1985, Jägermeister is the most popular drink nobody likes."

How to Read a Business Book by Todd Sattersten

"The problem? 11,000. That is the number of business books published in the United States every year."

Found In Translation: The Case for Pictures in Business by Dan Roam

"While good speaking is engaging and inspiring, we need to recognize the limitations of our words. Let’s be clear: there’s nothing wrong with words. What’s wrong is that they’re not enough.”

The Laws of the Econosphere by Craig Thomas

“[T]he Econosphere is our social environment, where we work, live, raise our families, and govern ourselves. We need to start thinking about the economy as a holistic, natural system."

The Myth of Overnight Success by Barrie Bergman

"We want to believe the myth that success is easy to come by. But success in business takes time, energy and hard work—lots of all three.”

The Best Communicator in the World by Jon Wortmann

"If you feel shy, nervous, or afraid, you’re not crazy, you’re not alone, and today is the day you stop letting ugly communication damage your relationships."


Jack Covert Selects - February

jack couch pic

Jack Covert Selects recommends and reviews three current business books a month, books that Jack believes are must-reads.

Follow the links below to read the February 2010 Jack Covert Selects reviews:

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Chip and Dan Heath won the inaugural 800-CEO-READ Business Book of the Year Award with their first book, Made to Stick. When the publisher sent me the advance copy of Switch, I was concerned about the “sophomore slump” that happens in sports and music, whether due to a true drop in quality or critical backlash due to expectations. I can reassure you that Switch might even be better than Made to Stick.

Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It by Marshall Goldsmith

There are people on this planet who are scary smart, people who look at the world differently and help us see our own lives in a clearer light. Seth Godin is one. Marshall Goldsmith, a highly sought-after speaker and executive coach, is another. Goldsmith has written many books, but What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There from 2007 was a stand-out. Mojo is Goldsmith’s latest work.

Denial: Why Business Leaders Fail to Look Facts in the Face—and What to do About It by Richard S. Tedlow

Professor Richard Tedlow has written a book that tells memorable stories of business leaders who were in denial and whose businesses (think Sears, Coke) were subsequently affected by their inability to see the forest for the trees. Tedlow’s Denial looks at why so many companies get it wrong.


Who is 800-CEO-READ?

We are business book experts. There is no better way to say it. We sell, promote, read, review, and LOVE business books. For 25 years. And we do it better than anyone else. Our goal, then, is to spread our knowledge to you through as many channels as we can create. Here's a sampling:

Read our book: The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, and How They Can Help You by Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten
Follow us on Twitter @800ceoread and Facebook.
Visit us at 800ceoread: We Sell Business Books and Promote Great Ideas
ChangeThis: Spreading Ideas, Changing Minds
InBubbleWrap: Free Business Books sent to you in, you guessed it, bubble wrap.
Meet us here. And drop us a line with comments or suggestions.

Why beans and brains? Ours is a humble coffeepot to be sure. Not a sexy Braun or Breville, and it doesn't make espresso or froth any milk. Utilitarian works for us, because we drink a lot of coffee around here. Since you can't be here in person to have a cup with us, we're serving up The Keen Thinker, a monthly pick-me-up for your business brain for you to read at your leisure.

What We're Listening To (and you should be too):


What is a business book seller doing recommending music?

The pre-business-book-expert Jack owned a record store, and even though Jack changed careers long ago, it's no surprise that music--both listening to it and making it--is an important part of our office culture. We wanted to give you a peak at what we're listening to so that you can both get to know us better, and learn about some interesting new music to listen to while at work.

Sally recommends The Sea by Corinne Bailey Rae
Jon recommends Richard Skelton
Mel recommends 100 Days, 100 Nights by Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings
Meg recommends The Tallest Man on Earth.
Roy recommends Josh Zuckerman
Dylan recommends Elvis Perkins In Dearland.
Aaron recommends Estil C. Ball and Missisippi Fred McDowell


Free Books? Ya, you betcha!

Win FREE business books and prizes, wrapped in --you guessed it-- bubble wrap. Visit InBubbleWrap every Tuesday for a new giveaway.

This week on InBubbleWrap, we are giving away 20 copies of David Rock's Your Brain at Work.

David Rock, a consultant and leadership coach, writes about a fiction couple, an average Joe and Jane with two kids who keep them on the run while they both face challenges at work, to exemplify the myriad obstacles we face each day when trying to be productive and organized.

Your Brain at Work endeavors to make us all more alert to how we are processing information and what our reactions to that information are, why multitasking leads to poor results, why our instincts (arousal, threat response, desire for status) often get in the way of our productivity. Once you understand how to maximize your brainpower, the closer you will be to performing up to your top, dare I say Olympian, standards.