Thursday, March 3, 2011

Random Readings That Might Interest You

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains
Carr finds that the brain and its connections are indeed plastic and can be changed by our experiences; he cites psychologist Donald Hebb’s well-known rule: “Cells that fire together wire together.” But plasticity does not equal elasticity and bad habits can be learned as easily as good ones. Carr thinks this is what is happening with digital technology: It is expanding our power and control over the world, but in the process it is changing the way our minds work.

Power: Why some people have it and others don't
Power is a how-to manual addressed to an elite, and its lack of balance between means and ends exposes all management academics to the risk of being seen as what historian Loren Baritz called “servants of power” — people who offer powerful tools without concern for the ends to which they are put. In preparing managers to be rulers of hell, this provocative book is an antidote to the Panglossian preaching of so many gurus that counsels them, in effect, to be servants of heaven. If the management academy’s mantra, like that of the medical profession, should be “first, do no harm,” this medication, without more careful prescription, needs a warning label.

Faster Cheaper Better
Read it several times to grasp everything that’s here on how managers misuse metrics and measurement processes — sometimes unwittingly, sometimes purposely to deceive. It’s quintessential Hammer.

Denial: Why Business Leaders Fail to Look Facts in the Face — and What to Do about It
To paraphrase Tolstoy, every company in denial denies in its own way. Established firms, which by definition have enjoyed some measure of success, are more likely to deny new realities because the old ones worked well for them. Young enterprises are not similarly weighed down by the dead hand of history. But that does not mean that they are immune to denial—far from it.

Source: Strategy + Business Book Reviews& HBR