The Fabric of the Cosmos PDF Summary

The Fabric of the Cosmos PDFHow many times have you encountered upon a book whose subtitle or blurb claims that everything you know about something – success, economics, the world – is altogether wrong?

Chances are: too many to remember them all!

Well, “The Fabric of the Cosmos” doesn’t need a subtitle or a blurb with such a claim (though it does have the later).

But we guarantee you that’s what you’ll be saying to the many people to whom you’ll give this book as a gift.

In other words: prepare to be shaken to your very core!

Who Should Read “The Fabric of the Cosmos”? And Why?

You may be one of the many people believing that physics is not about everybody and that only those who understand equations should dabble with it.

“The Fabric of the Cosmos,” however, is so abundant with perfect analogies and appropriate metaphors that, in addition to being “a must-read for the huge constituency of lay readers enticed by the mysteries of cosmology,” it should also be a comprehensible read for almost anyone.

Be warned, though:

If you have come here without at least some average understanding of physics, then your whole worldview is about to be radically altered.

Bear in mind that very few things in this book are scientific speculations (and, obviously, they all come with an appropriate footnote).

Most of it is cutting-edge science.

And it’s thought-provoking and, well, breathtaking!

Brian GreeneAbout Brian Greene

Brian Greene is an American theoretical physicist and string theorist, dubbed by “The Times” as “the new Hawking, only better.”

After graduating from Harvard University in 1980, Greene earned a doctorate from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar seven years later. Ever since 1996, he has been a professor at Columbia University.

Published in 1999, his first book, “The Elegant Universe,” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize nonfiction and earned a Royal Society Prize for Science Books.

“The Fabric of the Cosmos” appeared five years later, followed by the children’s book “Icarus at the Edge of Time” (2008) and “The Hidden Reality” (2011).

“The Fabric of the Cosmos PDF Summary”

“The Fabric of the Cosmos” is a gargantuan 5-part 600 pages’ long exposition on the nature of the Universe and some of its most eluding secrets.

So, don’t expect a summary which will do the book enough justice.

We’ll just take a brief look at two of the concepts Greene explores – space and time – and tell you why this very sentence is wrong.

On the flip-side, just like Greene’s previous book (“The Elegant Universe”), NOVA adapted “The Fabric of the Cosmos” into a 4-part documentary series hosted by Greene himself.

As you can see from the full playlist, Greene discusses a few more things:

You may know Sir Isaac Newton as the guy who robbed God of his job when he rendered all motion comprehensible and predictable through his laws of motion.

However, that wasn’t the only thing Newton did.

Among the many other, he also initiated the great debate on the nature of space and time.

In Newton’s opinion, space and time were basically axioms, things which exist in and of themselves as absolutes, “without reference to anything external.”

Newton’s life-long archrival, German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, couldn’t disagree more: “space” and “time,” in his opinion, were no more than language tricks, just convenient words to talk about ordering and positioning.

In other words, according to Leibniz, space and time are relational categories, and we can’t think of them in the absence of objects.

It would be as if we’re talking about an alphabet without letters!

Both parties traded blows, but then, in 1689 Newton delivered the most damaging one: the water bucket argument.

The argument is relatively simple: take a bucket filled with water and hung it by a cord. Then twist the cord tightly on itself and release. The bucket should start spinning rapidly.

Now, even though the relative motion at the first stage is the greatest, the surface of the water will remain flat.

After a while, however, as the water starts to spin in the bucket, its surface will become concave. And it will remain so even when the bucket is stopped.

The conclusion?

The concave surface can’t be the result of a relational interaction between the bucket and the water since the water assumes different shapes regardless of whether the bucket is spinning or not.

Leibniz conceded defeat:

I grant that there is a difference between absolute true motion of a body and a mere relative change of its situation with respect to another body.

However, as we found out about two centuries later, Leibniz shouldn’t have: it seems he was the one who was in the right.

First Ernst Mach, in the second half of the 19th century, decided to join the discussion by reintroducing Leibniz’s concerns.

In his opinion, Newton’s experiment doesn’t prove that space and time are absolute, but merely that the water is not moving in relation to its immediate surrounding, i.e., the bucket.

But it can be moving in relation to something else – the fixed stars, for example:

Newton’s experiment with the rotating vessel of water simply informs us that the relative rotation of the water with respect to the sides of the vessel produces no noticeable centrifugal forces, but that such forces are produced by its relative rotations with respect to the mass of the earth and other celestial bodies.

And then came Albert Einstein and simply blew everybody away when he proposed that not only Leibniz and Mach were right, but also that the relativeness of space and time was linked and relational to an absolute: the speed of light.

Think of it this way:

You can measure the speed of an object if you divide the distance it travels over an interval by the duration of that same interval.

However, all experiments suggested that the speed of light is always 671,000,000 mph in a vacuum with respect to any reference frame!

But, how can that be?

Shouldn’t the speed of light from the lights of a moving car be faster than the one from the light bulb over your head: the former moves over a greater distance for a shorter period of time.

Strangely enough – it is not.

And as Sherlock Holmes says, “once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

After Einstein, the thing which remained was that space and time must work together to adjust so that the speed of light remains the same!

And that’s how the idea of spacetime was born, a continuum in which space and time are relative, but together they form an absolute.

The consequences of this are too numerous and mind-blowing to list them in a sentence or two.

But be sure the check them out!

Key Lessons from “The Fabric of the Cosmos”

1.      Spacetime Is as Real as You
2.      Gravity Is a Warp in the Spacetime Continuum
3.      Quantum Mechanics Is Incredibly Strange

Spacetime Is as Real as You

Brian Greene has picked just the appropriate title for his work: “The Fabric of Cosmos.”

Why?

Because one of the things we’ve realized during the past century or so is that spacetime is real, i.e., there are billions and billions of particles all around you constantly coming into existence and disappearing.

So, thinking about spacetime as fabric may mean something more than a simple analogy!

Gravity Is a Warp in the Spacetime Continuum

Gravity itself is a consequence of the curvature of spacetime, i.e., a warp in the spacetime continuum created by anything that has some mass and energy.

It is gravity which gives us weight.

So that means that if you put a scale under the feet of an object in free fall, the scale won’t register any weight.

Quantum Mechanics Is Incredibly Strange

We didn’t even get to speak of quantum mechanics.

But that may be for the better, because if we speak of it, who knows – we may disturb the whole field.

Just joking!

But appropriately:

Believe it or not, quantum particles assume characteristics only when observed!

For now, let’s leave it at that.

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“The Fabric of the Cosmos Quotes”

Absolute space does not exist. Absolute time does not exist. But according to special relativity, absolute spacetime does exist. Click To Tweet

Observers moving relative to each other have different conceptions of what exists at a given moment, and hence they have different conceptions of reality. Click To Tweet

Our entire existence - everything we do, think and experience - takes place in some region of space during some interval of time. Yet science is still struggling to understand what space and time actually are. Click To Tweet

Scientists have now established that, through the wonders of quantum mechanics, individual particles can be – and have been – teleported. Click To Tweet

The quantum uncertainty ensures that the microworld is a turbulent and jittery realm. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

According to the “Science” magazine, “The Fabric of the Cosmos” is the best exposition and explanation of early 21st-century research into the fundamental nature of the universe as you are likely to find anywhere.

In addition, writing for “The New York Review of Books,” Freeman Dyson – a guy we’ve mentioned here, in relation with another great science communicator – recommended Greene’s book “to any nonexpert reader who wants an up-to-date account of theoretical physics, written in colloquial language that anyone can understand.”

One of the very best books you’ll ever read on any scientific subject.

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Towards a Reskilling Revolution PDF Summary

Towards a Reskilling Revolution PDFA Future of Jobs for All

Are you afraid that robots may take your job?

If not, unfortunately, you should be: it’s only a question of time before that happens.

But, where does that leave you? Can you do something to adapt?

It turns out you can.

The World Economic Forum – in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group – guides us “Towards a Reskilling Revolution.”

Who Should Read “Towards a Reskilling Revolution”? And Why?

In 2013, Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne published one of the most important studies of the last decade, titled “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerization?”

The study includes an appended table which ranks over 700 different occupations, “according to their probability of computerization,” starting with the least computerizable (probability 0.0028), recreational therapists, and ending with the most computerizable (probability 0.99), telemarketers.

After a while, BBC translated the study into a very neat tool which can help you find out how much your job is threatened by the rise of the machines in one second.

Ready?

Click here, type your job (or select the most similar one from the full list) and find out how easily you can be replaced.

If it’s anything above 50% – then you really, really need to read this article.

Sorry to say, but there’s 1 in 2 chances that it will be.

World Economic ForumAbout the World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Geneva-based non-profit foundation, “committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.”

The Forum is most famous for its annual meeting in Davos, at which over 2,500 of the most influential people in the world discuss “the most pressing issues facing the world.” These include Nobel Prize-winning economists, political and business leaders, journalists, and even celebrities.

The people who attend the Davos meeting are usually called pejoratively “Davos men,” which should mean something along the lines of “wealthy supranational members of the global elite.”

“Towards a Reskilling Revolution PDF Summary”

Whether you like it or not, ever since the Internet revolution, the global labor market has been changing by the day.

Opportunities for finding stable, meaningful work that provides a good income have increasingly become fractured and polarized.

You may have had the luxury to ignore this so far – going about your business and all – but with the advent of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, everybody agrees that it’s only a matter of time before these changes start affecting you personally.

So, it’s better to think now and act fast than have to act when there’s no option B.

Say you’re a taxi driver!

With Uber, Google, and Tesla all constantly working on perfecting autonomous vehicles – are you really still sleeping on both ears and doing nothing to counteract the inevitable?

And what if you are a telemarketer or anything which includes calling people as part of your most important job activities?

Even worse: at Google Duplex, the Internet giant just demonstrated that they’ve perfected the Google Assistant to a level which makes it all but indistinguishable from a human!

How long before you’re told that you’re obsolete – by every single company in the world?

If you want to remain employable, you need to do something about it now; obviously, by something, we mean learning a new, more relevant skill:

The individuals who will succeed in the economy of the future will be those who can complement the work done by mechanical or algorithmic technologies, and ‘work with the machines.’

Leaders and CEOs, governments and policy-makers, mustn’t turn a blind eye as well: the future of companies and countries may depend upon “reskilling and retraining the existing workforce.”

And that’s where this article comes in handy.

Its authors have developed a new tool which uses bid data to find solutions for job disruptions and map appropriate “job transition pathways and reskilling opportunities” whether for individuals or whole occupations.

The tool is US-based and employs two distinct sources: the list of 958 job types prepared by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Information Network (O*Net) and Burning Glass Technologies’ database of over 50 million job postings in the US over the last two years.

Using them, the authors of this article were capable of quantifying the viability and desirability of a job transition between numerous possible pairs of jobs.

A viable transition is a transition between jobs which requires minimal training and education; a desirable one is in a direction which offers enduring stability and a wage similar to the one the worker is currently receiving.

The article is rife with tables and analyses which should help many different people orient themselves better in a highly volatile job market.

For example, if you’re working on an assembly line, it’s a good idea to start thinking about finding a new job in construction and extraction.

Also, if you are an inspector, tester, sorter, sampler and/or weigher, then think about becoming a production, planning and expediting clerk.

Some of the links are surprising!

For example, who would have guessed that if you are a printing press operator, you should reskill for becoming a farm/ranch manager!

Be sure to check out the article and find the most relevant to you.

Key Lessons from “Towards a Reskilling Revolution”

1.     The Job Market Is Changing by the Day
2.      A Robot Wil Probably Take Your Job in the Next Decade
3.      Reskill Without Much Effort in the Desirable Direction

The Job Market Is Changing by the Day

IT has changed so many aspects of our lives for the better, that we’ve all but forgotten about the one which may change them for the worse: the job market.

Namely, it’s only a matter of time before a substantial percentage of the world’s jobs are irretrievably replaced by machines.

In fact, the process has already started: think about autonomous vehicles and phone assistants!

A Robot Wil Probably Take Your Job in the Next Decade

According to a 2017 report by the McKinsey Global Institute, 800 million jobs will be automated by 2030 – and the rest are not safe in the long run.

Which means that at least 1 in 5 people will have to find a new job – most probably in another sphere – during the course of the next decade.

Are you that person?

Reskill Without Much Effort in the Desirable Direction

“Towards a Reskilling Revolution” presents a data-driven tool which analyzes all 958 jobs registered by the O*Net and uses one of the most advanced databases of job market opportunities to quantify the viability and desirability of a job transition between any pair of jobs.

So, if you live in the US – don’t be afraid to use it!

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“Towards a Reskilling Revolution Quotes”

The path to a good life appears increasingly difficult to identify and attain for a growing number of people. Click To Tweet

Data-driven approaches can bring speed and additional value to reskilling and job transitions. Click To Tweet

It is our hope that Towards a Reskilling Revolution will become a valuable tool to move beyond the current impasse of polarized job prospects. Click To Tweet

The data-driven approach… may help to created greater transparency and choice for workers. Click To Tweet

No single actor can solve the job transition and reskilling puzzle alone. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

In assessing reskilling pathways and job transition opportunities in such detail and at such scale, write the authors of “Towards a Reskilling Revolution” in the article’s preface, “we aim to move the debate on the future of work to new—and practical—territory.”

It’s difficult to overemphasize how important

Everybody knows that automation is here to change the job market radically and irretrievably, but nobody likes to bother explaining how that affects the average Joe.

This article does exactly that.

And we can only wish that someone else follows in its footsteps.

(Eagerly awaiting the subsequent publications which, if we are to believe the authors’ promises, should extend the methodology “to include additional perspectives and geographies and applied in collaboration with government and business stakeholders to support workers.”)

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How Complicated Is Your Company? PDF Summary

How Complicated Is Your Company? PDFNot satisfied with how productive your employees are?

Willing to restructure processes in order to make them more efficient?

Well, authors Reinhard Messenböck, Yves Morieux, Jaap Backx, and Donat Wunderlich from the Boston Consulting Group believe that you should start with a simple question:

“How Complicated is Your Company?”

Who Should Read “How Complicated Is Your Company?”? And Why?

As a rule of thumb, the more complicated your company is, the less productive and satisfied your employees are.

However, going simple is not as easy as it sounds.

Hence, this article should be a must for every owner, CEO, upper-level manager and leader of a company who knows he/she should keep things simple but doesn’t know how to do that.

About Reinhard Messenböck, Yves Morieux, Jaap Backx, and Donat Wunderlich

Jaap Backx

Reinhard Messenböck and Yves Morieux are both involved in several projects at the Boston Consulting Group as senior managers.

Donat Wunderlich

Jaap Backx is currently one of the leading partners of the organization where Donat Wunderlick absorbs the role of a principal.

“How Complicated Is Your Company? PDF Summary”

In the words of Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, “productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run, it is almost everything. A country’s ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker.”

Now, many factors can influence productivity – everything from erratic political instability to predictable business cycles – but, none of them have been found to properly explain the global economic decline of late.

in the opinion of Reinhard Messenböck, Yves Morieux, Jaap Backx, and Donat Wunderlich – global management consultants at the Boston Consulting Group – “the underlying cause of the recent slowdown has been the ongoing, long-term rise of complicatedness.”

Its definition?

Complicatedness is… the increase in organizational structures, processes, procedures, decision rights, metrics, scorecards, and committees that companies impose to manage the escalating complexity of their external business environment.

A wide-ranging survey of executives and employees at over 1,000 companies led the authors of “How Complicated Is Your Company?” to few interesting conclusions.

First of all, that complicatedness can be found in eight different dimensions and that, consequently, there are at least eight ways to simplify an organization.

#1. Leadership
#2. Strategy and Transformation Agenda
#3. Structure
#4. Activities and Roles
#5. Processes, Systems, and IT
#6. Decision Making
#7. Performance Management
#8. People and Interactions

Leadership is, by far, the most crucial dimension, since it “binds together and affects each of the other areas.”

Leaders often create complex procedures and structures which seriously affect productivity.

If you want to simplify, the best way to do this is via leading by example when hiring, promoting and firing. This reinforces desired behaviors in your employees and inspires cooperation and transparency.

In the area of strategy and transformation, the key objective is to “translate strategy into concrete must-win initiatives,” since that’s the only way to ensure consistency between overall goals and lower-level initiatives.

As far as the company’s structure is concerned the solution one should be a no-brainer: simply remove unnecessary layers.

This streamlines top-to-down communication and, moreover, it gives low-level managers just enough freedom, empowering them to make minor decisions quickly and independently.

Eliminate duplication of activities and roles: be sure that each and everyone of this adds value to your company by itself.

It’s the 21st century, so it should be fairly easy for you to completely abolish handoffs between departments and streamline processes and systems via IT.

This simplifies and speeds up communication and boosts end-to-end responsibility.

Give each and every one of your managers strictly delineated area of responsibilities and mandates so that you are able to take decision making back to first principles.

Not only this promotes understanding and cooperation, but it also eliminates conflicts and accelerates the workflow.

So that you can help your managers lead and ensure appropriate recognition for the most cooperative employees, you must master the art of performance management.

Introduce proper collaboration-fostering KPIs should be a great start!

If you want to maximize the output of your employees, then silo mentality is one of your worst enemies!

So, to simplify things in the people and interactions dimensions, try eradicating silos altogether, by creating an unhostile work environment.

The key word – if you ask us – is fun.

In conclusion,

Rooting out complicatedness is possible but only with a structured and focused simplification effort. Business leaders following this road will harvest the fruits of improved productivity and gain a competitive advantage for their companies.

Key Lessons from “How Complicated Is Your Company?”

1.      Productivity Is Stifled by Excessive Complicatedness
2.      Complicatedness Can Be Found in Eight Dimensions
3.      The Simplified Four-Step Simplification Solution

Productivity Is Stifled by Excessive Complicatedness

Even though many factors can affect productivity, it seems that one of the most important ones – if not “the underlying cause” – in relation to the recent economic falloff is the growing complicatedness of companies.

It’s easy to blame external factors, but a survey of the executives and employees of over 1,000 companies has pinpointed complicatedness as the main obstacle to faster growth.

And this is especially true for companies which operate in regulated environments, such as the healthcare industry and the public sector.

Those in the IT world are much simpler and, consequently, agiler.

Complicatedness Can Be Found in Eight Dimensions

Complicatedness can take root in any of eight different dimensions: leadership; strategy and transformation agenda; structure; activities and roles; processes, systems and IT; decision making; performance management; and people and interactions.

The Simplified Four-Step Simplification Solution

The authors recommend “a four-step approach to implementing a lasting solution” for complicatedness-related problems:

#1. Smart Start. Identify the complicatedness dimensions which need to be remedied by, for example, conducting belief audits.

#2. Diagnosis. In-depth employee interviews should help you understand the root causes of unproductive behavior.

#3. Solution Design. Develop appropriate interventions which address the root causes. We’ve gone over some sample actions in the summary above to help you understand how this part works.

#4. Implementation. Now, apply the interventions.

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“How Complicated Is Your Company? Quotes”

The underlying cause of the recent slowdown has been the ongoing, long-term rise of complicatedness. Click To Tweet

Complicatedness is… the increase in organizational structures, processes, procedures, decision rights, metrics, scorecards, and committees that companies impose to manage the escalating complexity of their external business environment. Click To Tweet

Companies that develop strategies and design processes to respond quickly and effectively to their complex business environments can gain a significant competitive advantage over their peers. Click To Tweet

Striving for simplicity involves more than addressing a single dimension of complicatedness. Click To Tweet

Rooting out complicatedness is possible but only with a structured and focused simplification effort. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Since it addresses a complex problem, “How Complicated Is Your Company?” is too simple for its own sake.

True, companies should streamline processes and structures, but this is not as innovative as the article makes it sound.

And, somehow, we are not convinced that complicatedness is “the underlying cause” for the economic decline.

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The Lost Art of Closing PDF Summary

The Lost Art of Closing PDFWinning the Ten Commitments That Drive Sales

It’s said that a great product sells itself, and finding the right channels comes naturally.

Marketing efforts only add to the overall quality and provide the users with an amazing experience.

We try to present the key findings in a way that you’ll understand what it takes to close a sale.

Who Should Read “The Lost Art of Closing”? And Why?

It really is an art, or perhaps a skill crafted for special occasions. Anyway, it’s not something that can’t be learned or digested!

The Lost Art of Closing” emphasizes the 10-step process for converting skeptical prospects into long-term collaborators.

It really is something you wouldn’t want to miss, especially if you are a salesperson in the making.

About Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino

Despite being a writer, Anthony Iannarino is also the founder of The Sales Blog.

He is also a part-time teacher at Capital University School of Management and Leadership.

“The Lost Art of Closing PDF Summary”

Let’s get this straight: Without these 10 commitments it’s literally impossible to close sales:

  1. The commitment for time – Breaking that ice requires psychological readiness, especially when it comes to scheduling a meeting. Experienced salespersons realize that e-mailing is not the best option for this endeavor. Instead, you should prefer a phone call to ask only for time, and don’t get into details about the product. Ask no more than three times and stick to what’s been agreed prior to the meeting.
  2. The commitment to exploring – Salespersons love the image of a business-person and can’t stand being labeled as pushy; interested in nothing other than commission. Your job is to make the client more comfortable with your presence and gradually reduce the aversion towards change. In these first contacts, you should avoid pitching about the product and rather focus on the threats of remaining rigid in a fast-paced environment.
  3. The commitment to change – Why would anyone be interested in buying what you’re offering if the service they use instead is satisfying their needs to the limit? It makes no sense, so your job is to ask the right questions and see where the problems are and how your service/product can help them capitalize on these pitfalls.
  4. The commitment to collaborate – The fundamentals in this step, revolve around a simple statement – change your solution into a “Solution.” In other words, don’t deliver your final product without even taking into account the clients’ needs. Adjust your solution to be their weapon, which they would use to accomplish their goals. The salesperson and the client must become strategic partners, both carrying for each other’s interest!
  5. The commitment to build consensus – Sometimes the sales solution is wrapped in a complex B2B network including multiple stakeholders. In such a situation, finding general agreement is a must. At first, your job would be to single out all major stakeholders and put yourself in their shoes. Such a decision may help you understand the big picture and define a proposal that may eventually develop into a win-win situation. If you can’t reach out to them, the least you can do is explain your contact why is important to build a relationship with them. But not all are willing to hear your battle cry.
  6. The commitment to invest – Every sales process encompasses several parties which must invest their time, energy and capital. Your position, on the other end of the tunnel, is to discuss the price after several meeting sessions. You have to beware of a bidding war with your competitors and to avoid such a scenario; it’s advisable that you present your price early on. This approach will help you weed out all unprofitable prospects.
  7. The commitment to review – When the time comes to showcase your presentation skills, you have to gear yourself up with mental sharpness. Don’t skip any step and secure a commitment from the client to find a generally acceptable proposal. To do so, you need to solicit feedback from all the stakeholders in the process and then form the final solution.
  8. The commitment to resolve concerns – The bottom line is – clients don’t fear your product, but the changes deriving from it. So, basically you must encourage them to share their concerns to close the sale. For instance, do you think that your clients are eager to implement your solution if the service you are providing is only a slightly better option than the one already in place? – No! Because it’s not worth the effort! Tackle their fears by offering something 5x times better and provide support during the enforcement of the new idea.
  9. The commitment to decide – The 9th commitment arrives spontaneously if you have successfully executed all previous 8. Securing a commitment from the client is not a straightforward task, especially when it comes to making the final decision. If you succeed, the relationship will reach a whole different level.
  10. The commitment to execute – A sale that is not able to deliver a product of unparalleled quality, damages the reputation of the salesperson and puts him/her in an inferior position. Not satisfying the clients to the full extent, may obstruct the process of winning additional sales. Therefore, you must make an effort to present the offerings straightforwardly, and provide the users with valuable info on how to utilize all the features contained in the product. This final step can be marked as a commitment to execute.   

Key Lessons from “The Lost Art of Closing”

1.      Secure the necessary commitments in the shortest timespan possible
2.      Embrace gradual transition from one stage to the next
3.      Integrate clients’ needs into the development of a solution

Secure the necessary commitments in the shortest timespan possible

Sales managers are duty bound to supervise the process and gauge possible deals.

The execution of the 10 commitments will serve as a backbone for nurturing lucrative relationships with clients and other key personalities.

Embrace gradual transition from one stage to the next

It’s no secret that not a small portion of salespeople opt for skipping some of the commitments to get the part where they can actually earn money.

For them, the process can be reduced to 4-5 key steps, and all the extra stages are just adding to the complexity.

Don’t become one of them!

Integrate clients’ needs into the development of a solution

Use your business expertise to pain a partnership picture; don’t opt for a one-way communication style.

In other words, increasing customer retention by 5% can generate roughly a 75% increase in profits!  

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“The Lost Art of Closing Quotes”

You can’t wait until your dream client experiences the negative impact of not changing before you decide to help them. You have to be…helping them understand the need to change. Click To Tweet Your dream client wants…problems to be solved, challenges overcome, opportunities pursued and greater outcomes obtained. Click To Tweet Although you may think that your client is only buying the value in your product, service or solution, the truth is that you are the larger part of the value proposition. Click To Tweet Sales can be a very rewarding career because, properly done, it requires that you help people get results they couldn’t have achieved without you. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We are always on the lookout for practical and applicable tips that present an actionable solution. This book is the embodiment of such a reality.

We were really thrilled to participate in something so profound and share our thoughts on the topic!

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Is the American Dream Alive or Dead? It Depends on Where You Look PDF Summary

Is the American Dream Alive or Dead? It Depends on Where You Look PDFIn “Guns, Germs, and Steel,” Jared Diamond first championed the notion that geography has had a profound influence on the distribution of human wealth.

Now, in the appropriately titled report “Is the American Dream Alive or Dead,” the Economic Innovation Group demonstrates that the American reality of today can be described along the same lines.

Which is a scary notion.

But, unfortunately, is backed by data.

Who Should Read “Is the American Dream Alive or Dead? It Depends on Where You Look”? And Why?

Whether you believe in the American dream or not, this article is certainly a wakeup call – for the latter to see their fears validated by the available data, and for the former to realize that, even if still alive, it’s all but a nightmare for millions.

Economic Innovation GroupAbout the Economic Innovation Group

The Economic Innovation Group (EIG) is a bipartisan public policy organization founded half a decade ago with the mission “to advance solutions that empower entrepreneurs and investors to forge a more dynamic economy throughout America.”

To do that, EIG combines research and data-driven approaches to thoroughly examine some of the most pressing economic challenges facing the United States.

The organization considers itself “a leading voice in bringing geographic inequality into the national conversation.”

“Is the American Dream Alive or Dead? It Depends on Where You Look PDF Summary”

Ever since being both invented and overused ad nauseam by Horatio Alger Jr. in the second half of the 19th century, the nature and the reality of the American Dream have been explored by a host of great American writers in some of USA’s essential works of literature.

However, whether it’s F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Great Gatsby” or Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men,” Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” or Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” – these books all seem to have in common a profound distrust in Alger’s vision, neatly summed up in George Carlin’s famous quip: “it’s called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

Well, many still do, George: if you work hard enough – they think – you can reach the top of the ladder, no matter how many steps you need to climb on the way to there.

In EIG’s report “Is the American Dream Alive or Dead?”, we learn that things are not as pink.

On the contrary, in fact: the American Dream is unequivocally at risk, since “more than half of all U.S. counties [exert] a negative impact on children’s future earnings.”

You heard that right:

Basically half of America can only sleep through the American Dream!

Why?

Because they live in the wrong counties.

Really:

Place matters. While many like to think of the United States as a country where anyone willing to work hard can succeed, the reality for many is more complicated. The American Dream lies far out of reach for young people across much of the country not due to any individual shortcomings, but due to the unique mix of social, cultural, and economic forces at work in their communities—forces that condition and affect, if not always determine, lifetime outcomes.

Based on data coming from 2,869 US counties, EIG has discovered that “economic prosperity and economic mobility are positively and meaningfully correlated.”

Meaning: upward mobility is possible in prosperous counties, but unlikely in the poor ones which suffer from high rates of inequality as well!

The ratio is staggering:

Three out of five children under the age of 18 (so, 60% of underage Americans) live in counties where the American Dream is all but a nightmare.

If the American Dream is a “twofold promise of prosperity and mobility,” then “neither is in good health,” since both promises are alive and well in only 420 (i.e., one-seventh) of the examined counties. These are mostly located on the East Coast and the metropolitan areas on the West Coast, as well as the upper and the industrial Midwest and Texas.

The Southeast, on the other hand, and the remote desert Southwest (populated by Native Americans), abounds in counties in which the American Dream is merely a distant prospect.

Most of the counties have less than 100,000 people, “but altogether 14.5 million Americans live in these corners effectively vacated by the American Dream.”

In between these extremes, EIG analyzes two more groups of counties: such where mobility is possible, but the upward move doesn’t mean prosperity as well (the American dream is within reach) and such which are prosperous, but immobile (the American dream is fenced off).

The American Dream is fenced off in 28% of USA’s prosperous counties where 47.5 million Americans live in wild inequality.

On the other hand, the American dream is within reach against the odds for about 1.4 million Americans living in the few counties “that are still able to reconcile distress with mobility.”

The conclusion?

If the American Dream is to become more accessible, the country needs a more geographically inclusive pattern of growth, and it needs to tackle the determinants of mobility at their roots, neighborhood by neighborhood, at the same time.

Key Lessons from “Is the American Dream Alive or Dead? It Depends on Where You Look”

1.      The American Dream Is a Twofold Promise of Prosperity and Mobility
2.      The Four States of the American Dream
3.      The Stats Behind the American Dream

The American Dream Is a Twofold Promise of Prosperity and Mobility

By definition, the American Dream promises two things: that if you work hard, you’ll be able to move up the social ladder and become rich.

EIG’s report studies the data of almost 3,000 counties to see in which condition is the American Dream in relation to these two promises.

The Four States of the American Dream

After studying the data, EIG then categorizes each county in one of the four possible categories: prosperous and mobile counties (the American Dream is alive and well), prosperous and immobile (the American Dream is fenced off), distressed and mobile (the American Dream is within reach) and distressed and immobile (the American Dream is a distant prospect).

The Stats Behind the American Dream

Overall, over 60 percent of Americans under the age of 18 are growing up in counties which are geographically and environmentally incapable of fostering economic mobility.

The American dream is alive and well in 72% of USA’s prosperous countries examined by EIG (about 71 million people), mostly located in the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains.

The rest 28% (which encompass 47.5 million people) lack policies capable of translating prosperity into mobility and are, thus, fencing off the American Dream from many dreamers.

Against the odds, about 10% of America’s distressed counties (only 1.4 million people) still manage to foster upward mobility, rendering the American Dream within reach.

However, for the rest of the Americans living in USA’s poor counties (14.5 million), the American Dream is merely a distant prospect.

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“Is the American Dream Alive or Dead? It Depends on Where You Look Quotes”

The American Dream can be summed up as a two-fold promise of prosperity and mobility. Neither is in good health. Click To Tweet

Overall, the majority (51 percent) of counties in the United States exert a negative impact on the economic mobility of low-income children. Click To Tweet

Fewer than 10 percent of the country’s distressed counties manage to provide disadvantaged children with a ladder to higher incomes in adulthood. Click To Tweet

Altogether 14.5 million Americans live in… corners effectively vacated by the American Dream. Click To Tweet

The American Dream does indeed exist; our task is to expand its reach. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

The concluding sentence of EIG’s report may be the most important you’ll read this year if you still believe in the American Dream or, at least, in some things such as compassion and humanity:

The American Dream does indeed exist; our task is to expand its reach.

We’ll just leave it at that.

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Woo, Wow, and Win PDF Summary

Woo, Wow, and Win PDFService Design, Strategy, and the Art of Customer Delight

Everybody wants to please the customer nowadays.

The point is – to delight him!

Thomas A. Stewart and Patricia O’Connell give the full details in “Woo, Wow, and Win.”

Who Should Read “Woo, Wow, and Win”? And Why?

By its own profession, “Woo, Wow, and Win” is a thorough investigation of the “what, why and how of service design and delivery.”

Consequently, it’s a book which specifically targets the service sectors.

So, if you are in retail or banking, health care or other public services – do consult this book and try employing the strategies it offers.

About Thomas A. Stewart and Patricia O’Connell

Thomas A. StewartThomas A. Stewart is the Executive Director of the National Center for the Middle Market at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.

A summa cum laude Harvard graduate, Stewart is a respected management thinker, ranked #17 in European Foundation for Management Development’s “Thinkers 50” list in 2005.

He has authored two more books: the 1997 seminal classic, “Intellectual Capital” and the 2003 “The Wealth of Knowledge.”

Patricia O’ConnellPatricia O’Connell is a writer and the president of Aerten Consulting.

In addition to this one, she has co-authored (with Neil Smith) one more book: “How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things.”

“Woo, Wow, and Win PDF Summary”

For all intents and purposes, Disney is the paragon of customer service.

And Thomas A. Stewart could only back this claim when he arrived, exhausted after a long flight, at a Walt Disney World hotel in Orlando, Florida.

He couldn’t wait to go to his casita to lie down a bit, so he was more than grateful to see how much the front-desk clerk was professional and how quickly he was able to register.

And then came the problems: in the absence of markings and employees, Thomas Stewart wandered for more than 20 minutes around the hotel in an attempt to find his room.

This had nothing to do with customer service, though – that part was excellent; however, it had everything to do with customer experience, which almost all companies neglect.

Even though it may seem like they the same thing, customer service and customer experience are pretty different; in fact, even though you’ve read hundreds of books about the former, chances are you haven’t read one about the latter.

Well, “Woo, Wow, and Win” is interested in changing that – in addition to your mindset regarding customer service and experience.

What Walt Disney World lacked in the case just described above was something Stewart and O’Connell dub “service design and delivery,” or SD2, for short.

In the words of Victor Ermoli from the Savannah College of Art and Design:

Service design is a system for developing the relationship between an entity – a bank, a law firm, a health care system, a store, a church – and its customers.

And this system starts with a simple equation:

Ahhh + Ow = Aha

An Ahhh moment is the moment your customers experience something positive enough about your company to instill in them confidence that you are going to provide them with the experience they asked for – and some more.

An Ow moment is the very opposite of an Ahhh moment, i.e., the moment when your customers realize that “something is broken.” True, they may complete the deal – and may even come back – but the bittersweet feeling guarantees that they will never recommend you.

Finally, an Aha moment is the result of your analyses of all Ahhh and Ow moments you’ve noted. An Aha moment, should be followed by an appropriate remedy, and Stewart and O’Connell believe that they have a panacea:

SD2.

It’s based on ten elements and five principles.

The ten elements of SD2 form a neat mnemonic: E10!

They are:

#1. Empathy – put your customers first.
#2. Expectation – understand what you are expected to deliver and what you can realistically deliver.
#3. Emotion – never take the customer’s emotions out of the equation.
#4. Elegance – take a lesson from Steve Jobs’ book: make everything clean and simple.
#5. Engagement – include your customers in the design.
#6. ExecutionDon’t be a politician: deliver on your promises.
#7. Engineering – your products and services should always demonstrate technical excellence.
#8. Economics – don’t exaggerate with your prices.
#9. Experimentationtest and innovate.
#10. Equivalence – may your customers be happy as much as you and vice versa.

The five principles of SD2 are the following:

#1. The Customer Is Always Right – Provided the Customer Is Right for You
Basically, the first principle boils down to THIS: focus on your most valuable customers. Don’t spend any of your time on retaining demanding clients.

#2. Don’t Surprise and Delight Your Customers – Just Delight Them
Surprises are fine for birthday parties; but not for customer service. Simply meet the expectations of your customer over and over again.

#3. Great Service Must Not Require Heroic Efforts on the Part of the Provider or the Customer
Your goal is to provide service which is “efficient, effective, scalable and, if not error-proof, error-resistant.” Which means: minimal effort with maximum results. Think of the intuitiveness “designed into an iPad” – that’s great service.

#4. Service Design Must Deliver a Coherent Experience Across All Channels and Touchpoints
“Wherever and however you choose to play, you must play well.” It’s pointless to have a great telephone customer service, but a bad online platform.

#5. You’re Never Done
SD2 is a cycle. Constantly check your service against its 10 elements and improve wherever possible.

Key Lessons from “Woo, Wow, and Win”

1.      In Service Design, Ahhh + Ow = Aha
2.      Make Yourself a Report Card Using the 10 Elements of SD2
3.      Always Heed the Five Principles of Service Design

In Service Design, Ahhh + Ow = Aha

Your customers experience either ahhh or ow moments in relation to the products you offer.

The former are a signal of positive experience and should inspire you to improve in the same direction.

The latter indicate trouble, and you should correct the areas which have caused them.

Analyzing the ahhhs and ows results in your aha moment.

Make Yourself a Report Card Using the 10 Elements of SD2

Give yourself a score on a zero-to-four scale in each of these 10 categories and see how well your service ranks on an SD2 scale: empathy, expectation, emotion, elegance, engagement, execution, engineering, economics, experimentation, equivalence.

A score about 30 means that you’re doing a good job; but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t improve until you score 4 in each of the categories.

Always Heed the Five Principles of Service Design

No matter what you do, always adhere to these five principles:

#1. Focus all your energy on your most valuable customers.
#2. Delight your customers by meeting all their needs – don’t surprise them even if you think it’s for the better.
#3. Always aim for minimum effort on the part of your customers – and try to achieve this with minimum effort on the part of your employees as well.
#4. Be coherent – offer the same quality of service across all checkpoints.
#5. You’re never done: always modernize and improve.

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“Woo, Wow, and Win Quotes”

Service design presents an exciting opportunity to explore something that is new to management thinking, new to business practice, new to many business leaders. Click To Tweet

Companies that apply the principles of service design will create…strategic strength. Click To Tweet

The three foundational questions of strategy – where to compete, what to sell, how to win – are inextricably bound up with design. Click To Tweet

What are you doing about your customer capital? Are you growing it, or are you living off it? Are you actively managing it or letting it fend for itself, like money in a checking account? Click To Tweet

When you make it hard for employees, they take shortcuts – and customers leave. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Woo, Wow, and Win” may have a somewhat silly title and an unattractive cover, but it’s actually a pretty great manual to have on hand if you are in the service sector.

To quote Steve Case, the author of “The Third Wave,” “Woo, Wow, and Win” is “a roadmap for success in a landscape being rapidly transformed by technology and entrepreneurship.”

Don’t be afraid to use it.

 

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Mapping Innovation PDF Summary – Greg Sattel

Mapping Innovation PDFA Playbook for Navigating a Disruptive Age

With the digital revolution, a new era of innovation begun, brutally and succinctly summed up in the dictum “innovate or die.”

In “Mapping Innovation,” Greg Satell provides a lifeline for the companies on their deathbeds or in the maternity ward, by systematizing “the strategies of the world’s most inventive startups, corporations, and scientific institutions.”

Your only job: to apply them.

Who Should Read “Mapping Innovation”? And Why?

“Mapping Innovation” is not especially innovative in its first part – where it counters innovation “Eureka” fairytales with stories of collaboration and combination – but it is satisfactorily novel in Parts 2 and 3, where it offers a powerful framework for mapping innovation space and introduces you to the challenges of innovating in the digital age.

Read the first part if you are interested in the history of innovation and memorable anecdotes; read the latter two for their applicability and practical value.

Greg SatellAbout Greg Satell

Greg Satell is a bestselling author and innovation advisor.

After spending a decade and a half building and managing business in Eastern Europe (Poland, Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey), he got a job as SVP at Moxie Interactive, a division of Publicis Groupe.

He is currently a regular contributor to “Inc” and “Harvard Business Review.”

“Mapping Innovation” is his first and, so far, only book.

“Mapping Innovation PDF Summary”

On December 9, 1968, something miraculous happened at the Association for Computing Machinery / Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (ACM/IEEE) in San Francisco.

About thirty years later – when, retroactively, many could see the revolutionary significance of the event – Steven Levy (in his book about the life and times of the Macintosh, “Insanely Great”) would dub the happening “the mother of all demos.”

So, what was it?

Some Dr. Strangelove-inspired Doomsday weapon capable of trouncing the Soviets in a second? A Vietnam-related report which resulted in the Vietnamization program? The key insight which helped NASA go from Apollo 8 (about to be launched) to Apollo 11 in half a year?

No, of course not – you would know if it was one of those!

And, believe it or not, “the mother of all demos” was something even more notable.

Namely, a demonstration of “augmented human intellect” by “a mild-mannered engineer” named Douglas Engelbart.

To understand the context, just don’t forget that it is 1968 and that, in those days, very few people had ever seen a computer, let alone used one. To almost everybody on the planet, computers were about as mysterious then as, say, quantum physics is today.

But here was Engelbart, dressed in a short-sleeved white shirt and a thin black tie, standing in front of a 20-foot-high screen and explaining in his low-key voice how ‘intellectual workers’ could actually interact with computers. What’s more, he began to show them. As he began to type a document on a simple keyboard, words started to appear, which he could then edit, rearrange, and add graphics and sound to, while all the time navigating around the screen with a small device he called a mouse. Nobody had seen anything remotely like it before.

Unsurprisingly, the people present in the audience were fascinated.

Two of them – Bob Taylor and Allan Kay – would use Engelbart’s ideas to develop the Xerox Alto, which, when introduced on March 1, 1973, became the first computer capable of supporting an operating system based on GUI, aka, the first truly personal computer.

Six years later, in exchange for Apple stocks, Steve Jobs would receive a demonstration of the technology behind the Xerox Alto, and, with great fanfare, the Macintosh was launched in 1984, 16 years after the mother of all demos!

Add to all of this the fact that Engelbart himself was inspired by Vannevar Bush’s 1945 essay “As We May Think” which, in turn, could have only been written at the time John von Neumann was working the Von Neumann architecture model and only after Alan Turing devised the concept of the “universal computer.”

We could go on, but the point should be already blatantly obvious by now:

Innovation is never a single event, and… rather than following a linear path, effective innovators combine the wisdom of diverse fields to synthesize information across domains. If a problem is difficult enough, it needs to borrow from multiple fields of expertise. Innovation, more than anything else, is combination.

As Walter Isaacson has beautifully shown, rather than a recent radical event in the mind of a single intellect, the digital revolution was actually a process lasting for more than two centuries and needing the brilliance of “a group of hackers, geniuses, and geeks.”

Ironically, owing to the success of this very same revolution, now you and your company don’t really have the luxury of innovating (or recognizing innovation) with such a slow pace anymore.

On the contrary, you have to act as fast as possible.

And “Mapping Innovation” offers a few valuable tools which can help you do that.

We look over them in our “Key Lessons” section.

Key Lessons from “Mapping Innovation”

1.      Innovation Is All About Defining the Problem
2.      The Four Innovation Domains
3.      The Innovation Playbook

Innovation Is All About Defining the Problem

As Greg Satell notes, “it is only by framing problems effectively that you can find the approach most likely to solve them.”

Consequently, all innovation starts with you defining the “innovation space” particular to your needs and expertise, by giving an answer to the question: “How well is the problem defined?” Only then you can answer the second question of crucial importance: “Who is best placed to solve it?”

For example, the iPod was invented when Steve Jobs relayed his personal vision to the Apple team with the sentence: “I want to carry 1,000 songs in my pocket.”

This, obviously, meant two things: a hard drive small enough to fit in a person’s pocket, but with sufficient space for 1,000 mp3 files. One company – Toshiba – could provide that, so Apple formed a partnership with the Japanese conglomerate.

The rest is history.

The Four Innovation Domains

Once a problem is identified, its solution should be assigned to the most appropriate innovation “domain” your company has.

In the optimal case, it should have four:

#1. Basic research. Unlike, say, IBM and Microsoft, most firms don’t have the money to establish this domain, which is not really a problem, since basic research is constantly done by scientists and academics, so companies are able to simply monitor it. Use either strategy.

#2. Sustaining innovation. If you want to stay competitive, you need to constantly upgrade your technology. “New and improved” is the modern way of saying “we’re still in the game.”

#3. Breakthrough innovation. Charles Darwin formulated the theory of evolution under the influence of Thomas Malthus, and Albert Einstein was inspired by David Hume for his theory of relativity. IN a nutshell, everything evolves – but some of the steps along the ladder spell “breakthrough.”

#4. Disruptive innovation. Clayton Christensen devised the concept of “disruptive innovation” in his 1997 classic “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” demonstrating that successful companies may lose their market leadership even if they do everything right, on account of some other less successful startups capable of offering brand-new business models through their products.

The Innovation Playbook

You can build your own innovation playbook, but, when doing that, be sure to adhere to these six basic principles:

#1. Actively seek out good problems. As we stated above, innovation is all about defining the right problem.

#2. Choose problems that suit your organization’s capabilities, culture and strategy. There’s no point in copying someone just because that someone is successful.

#3. Ask the right questions to map the innovation space. Then, just choose the right domain.

#4. Leverage platforms to access ecosystems of talent, technology and innovation. In that order.

#5. Build a collaborative culture. You need a cross-disciplinary team. Emphasis on both words.

#6. Understand that innovation is a messy business. Or: you’ll fail many times before you reach a breakthrough. To quote Thomas Edison: “If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”

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“Mapping Innovation Quotes”

A disruptive strategy is fundamentally iterative. It is not a purposeful march toward a set of tangible strategic objectives but thrives on experimentation and agility. Click To Tweet

It takes more than a single big idea to change the world, and it can take decades after the initial breakthroughs for the true impact of an idea to become clear. Click To Tweet

Big thoughts are fun to romanticize, but it’s many small insights coming together that bring big ideas into the world. Click To Tweet

We teach people that everything that matters happens between your ears, when in fact it actually happens between people. (Via Sandy Pentland) Click To Tweet

Our brains are, in fact, a billion times more efficient than today’s computer architectures. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Mapping Innovation” is a pretty neat innovation manual that should be helpful to both start-ups and large firms.

And it’s well-written, so you should have no problems differentiating theory from practice or understanding which parts of it refer to your needs specifically.

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Lose the Resume, Land the Job PDF Summary

Lose the Resume, Land the Job PDF Almost Everyone Gets It Wrong. This Is How You Can Get It Right.

Experiencing problems while looking for a job?

Even more when trying to find the job?

Gary Burnison says:

Lose the Résumé, Land the Job.”

Who Should Read “Lose the Resume, Land the Job”? And Why?

The way you know them, resumes are a thing of the past – not because they are not important, but because they have transformed into something better: the story of you.

As “The New York Times Book Review” writes in its review” “Lose the Résumé, Find the Job” breaks down every aspect of job hunting, explaining what matters and what doesn’t.

As such, it should help everybody who has problems finding a job. And even those who do have one, but it is not really the one of their dreams.

This book has strategies for that as well! 

Gary BurnisonAbout Gary Burnison

Gary Burnison is the CEO of Korn Ferry International, with 2,500 employees across 40 countries, the world’s largest executive recruiting company.

After joining Korn Ferry in 2002 as CFO, Burnison served as COO for four years, before becoming the company’s CEO in 2007.

In 2011, he published “No Fear of Failure,” the first of his five books, which also include “The Twelve Absolutes of Leadership,” “Lead,” and “The Leadership Journey.”

“Lose the Resume, Land the Job PDF Summary”

You wonder why you got an automatic reply to your application or, even worse, that nobody called you even though you have such a great résumé?

Well, do you know that 98% of the candidates for a job position are eliminated basically before the employing process even beings, their CVs not given a second look, their résumés thrown in the trash can barely few minutes after they arrive?

Why, you ask?

Simply put, because nobody wants to lose his time and money.

And it’s not like there are five applications for a job!

Also:

The cost of replacing a manager six to 12 months after he or she is hired is equal to 2.3 times that person’s annual salary.

In other words, companies can’t afford to risk.

So, the process of choosing the right applicant is actually a fairly serious process (monitoring, background checks, testing, etc.) on the part of those who choose.

Consequently, it should be a serious process on your part as well!

And what do you think a company is most interested in when hiring you?

Turns out: it’s your passion.

Use Burnison’s ACT strategy to find out how much of it you have for the position you want to apply for – and save yourself the trouble of applying if it turns out that you have none.

ACT stands for:

Being authentic – which means that lying isn’t going to get you far! After all, you’re certainly present in the online world, so you can be sure that if there is some discrepancy between the information you give about yourself to a company and the ones you share with your closest friends – it will be used against you!

Making a connection. If things go well, you are going to stay at the company where you’re applying for a job for at least a couple of years. The painful truth is that nobody wants to work with someone who doesn’t make a good first impression. This works both ways!

Giving people a taste of who you are, what you can do best, and how much of a contribution you can make.

Speaking of which:

Your résumé should concisely and compellingly illustrate one major message point: This is how I made things better for my employer while I was there.

Résumés are not as important as you think; in fact, as we hinted above, they are merely a small part of a large package which includes your online presence and even – if it gets to an interview – your body language.

Since hiring managers rarely have time to cast more than a look or two on your CV, if you want to make it effective, then you need to follow certain résumé-writing rules:

#1. Don’t lie!
#2. Avoid buzzwords and clichés: when everybody is a “team player” and “innovative,” nobody is.
#3. Don’t leave any unexplained time gaps in your experience!
#4. Tell your story: it matters more than the layout.
#5. May your objective be discernible from your story: don’t state one instead.
#6. List your experience and accomplishments in the middle – and in reverse chronological order.
#7. Use most of this space (three-fourths of it) to describe your current job.
#8. Tell three relevant stories from your current job in the format challenge-action-outcome; use bullet points.
#9. Ask for some feedback from a professional before sending the résumé.
#10. Always – always – be prepared to provide references.

Once you’re finished with the résumé, it’s time to clean up your online media presence. Which boils down to at least a few no-brainers:

#1. Polish your LinkedIn profile and embellish it with a relatively recent photo of the well-groomed smiling you.
#2. Delete all inappropriate photos and tweets you can find.
#3. Investigate how often you post: excessive posting means you’re not that busy; the opposite that you are too passive.

Since it abounds in practical advice, we’ve reserved our “Key Lessons” section for three more important messages from this book.

Key Lessons from “Lose the Resume, Land the Job”

1.      Assess Yourself with the KF4D Test
2.      Be a Connector to Be Connected
3.      Avoid the “Deadly Sins of Interviewing”

Assess Yourself with the KF4D Test

Korn Ferry’s Four Dimensions of Leadership test is a useful tool which assesses four areas of utmost importance:

#1. Traits. These are your personal qualities. In a nutshell, the ones which companies usually search for should be pretty obvious: engaging people with a vision who can act and influence others.
#2. Drivers. Ask yourself: what drives you in life? Don’t work for a company which doesn’t address this drive.
#3. Competencies. Everybody has his own strengths and weaknesses. Find yours.
#4. Experiences. What have you done in the past that proves you can do the job you apply for in the future?

Be a Connector to Be Connected

“The biggest misconception,” writes Gary Burnison, “is that networking is about you. It’s the opposite. It’s about the other person.

It’s as simple as the golden rule: help other people, and you’ll be helped too when the time comes.

Connect friends to other friends (not for your own, but for their benefit), and, soon enough, you’ll be part of a large circle of people.

When networking, don’t think about anything past this.

Do it because you want to see the people you like happy.

Avoid the “Deadly Sins of Interviewing”

Most of these are fairly obvious, but you’ll be surprised at how many people have lost a job opportunity because of simple mistakes.

So, without further ado:

#1. Don’t lie! (We can’t overemphasize this!)
#2. Dress appropriately.
#3. Don’t be late!
#4. Research the company beforehand.
#5. Don’t talk too much, but don’t talk too little either.
#6. When asked if you have any questions, be sure to have them. “Replying, ‘I’m good, thanks’ as if someone had offered to refill your iced tea, shows a lack of preparedness and engagement.”
#7. Reiterate your enthusiasm and passion for the job before leaving: the last impression counts almost as much as the first one.
#8. Treat every interview as if it is your first – even if it’s your fifth for the day.

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“Lose the Resume, Land the Job Quotes”

Be honest and transparent about who you are, your background, your current job and responsibilities, and your current compensation. Never lie or exaggerate. Click To Tweet

The best time to find a new job is when you have a job. Click To Tweet

The often-quoted statistic is that people form an impression about others within seven seconds. But it may be even shorter than that. Click To Tweet

To be skilled at anything requires some knowledge and know-how. But more than that, you must possess the ability to adjust, adapt and respond. Click To Tweet

The workplace world is always smaller than you think. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Lose the Résumé, Land the Job” has a somewhat misleading title; fortunately, the misleading part is the first half of it.

Because almost everything that Gary Burnison says is applicable in the real-world, so we seriously believe that heeding his tips may help you land the job you like.

Worst-case scenario: you’ll do your best.

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The Cambridge Analytica Files PDF Summary

The Cambridge Analytica Files PDF‘I Made Steve Bannon’s Psychological Warfare Tool’: Meet the Data War Whistleblower

Since about two months ago, Cambridge Analytica Ltd. Is a “was.”

Specifically, on May 1, 2018, the now notorious consulting firm and its parent company (SCL Group) filed for insolvency and announced publicly that they are closing their operations.

We have no doubts that you know why!

But do you know the whole story?

In “The Cambridge Analytica Files” (aka “I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool”), Christopher Wylie, its main protagonist, reveals it all.

Who Should Read “The Cambridge Analytica Files”? And Why?

If you are feeling a bit left out of the story behind the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal and you think that – for once – the relevant Wikipedia article is not structured well (or substantial) enough, then this article in “The Observer” is just for you.

As a bonus, here you’ll hear the story straight from the horse’s mouth – Christopher Wylie – framed beautifully by the investigative journalist who lift the lid on the matter first, Carole Cadwalladr.

Carole CadwalladrAbout Carole Cadwalladr

Carole Cadwalladr is a British investigative journalist and novelist.

Twice shortlisted for the British Press Awards, Cadwalladr is a former “Daily Telegraph” journalist who is currently a features writer for “The Observer,” most famous as the author of a series of articles on Brexit and the 2016 US Presidential elections, for which she recently (June 2018) won “The Orwell Award.”

She is also the author of one well-received novel, “The Family Tree,” which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize back in 2006.

“The Cambridge Analytica Files PDF Summary”

Christopher Wylie was born on June 19, 1989 – which means that about a month ago he celebrated his 29th birthday.

Even so, he’s already one of the most famous whistleblowers in history!

We wonder if he could have predicted that when he was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia as a child or when he became a high school dropout a decade later.

Well, based on how he described his “probable destiny” in his school yearbook at 16, not really:

Politician. Well, that, or just another dissociative smear merchant peddling backroom hackery in its purest Machiavellian form.

One year later, Christopher was working for Michael Ignatieff, the former leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. At 19, he taught himself to code, and the very next year he came to the United Kingdom to study law at the London School of Economics.

Soon after, he was recruited by the Liberal Democrats to help them with voter targeting.

He felt quite comfortable in this new-found career of his, and, by the age of 24, Wylie was already studying for a Ph.D. in fashion trend forecasting.

Unsurprisingly, it was at this time that he was offered a job as a research director by a company specializing in defense and elections operations.

The company’s name?

SCL Group, one of whose subsidiaries, SCL Elections, would go on to found the much more infamous Cambridge Analytica.

However, as Carole Cadwalladr says, “for all intents and purposes, SCL/Cambridge Analytica are one and the same.”

Wylie accepted the job.

How could he not?

SCL Election’s CEO Alexander Nix told him that he would have total freedom and be able to test out all of his crazy ideas!

Retrospectively scrutinizing the chronology, it’s easy to see how things went from bad to worse when Wylie was introduced to Steve Bannon, then editor-in-chief of the “alt-right” news network Breitbart, and it was through him that Wylie met one of Breitbart’s and Cambridge Analytica’s main donors, Robert Mercer.

Now, Wylie had already devised

a plan to harvest the Facebook profiles of millions of people in the US, and to use their private and personal information to create sophisticated psychological and political profiles. And then target them with political ads designed to work on their particular psychological makeup.

What the plan needed to function was money.

And Robert Mercer, a pioneer in AI and machine translation, had lots and lots of it!

Together with Nix, Wylie pitched Mercer his plan, and soon enough, the wheels were in motion.

The final piece of the puzzle?

Aleksandr Kogan, a Moldovan-born Cambridge-based research psychologist, whose company Global Science Research (GSR) had already used apps to obtain personal profile information of hundreds of thousands of Facebook users for academic purposes.

After reaching a deal with Cambridge Analytica, Kogan replicated the effort: he invited people to participate in a (supposedly) scientific personality survey, which resulted in GSR obtaining the information of 320,000 survey participants, in addition to all of the profiles of their Facebook friends.

This information was passed to Cambridge Analytica, which meant that now a political consulting firm had full access to the personal profiles of about 50 million Facebook users!

Facebook’s fault?

In the words of Swiss-based data expert Paul-Olivier Dehaye:

It has misled MPs and congressional investigators, and it’s failed in its duties to respect the law. It has a legal obligation to inform regulators and individuals about this data breach, and it hasn’t. It’s failed time and time again to be open and transparent.

The worst thing is that Cambridge Analytica – if we trust Wylie – are “mercenaries” and will “work for pretty much anyone who pays.”

And work they did: first for Senator Ted Cruz, then for Brexit, then indirectly for the Russian oil company Lukoil (i.e., Putin, it’s always Putin) and then for Donald Trump!

Now, to be fair, there’s no way to know how much microtargeting voters profits those who employ it.

However, it’s all but obvious that it is an unfair advantage.

And that, moreover, it should be unlawful – since it presupposes manipulating with the personal data of millions and millions of unsuspecting people.

Key Lessons from “The Cambridge Analytica Files”

1.      The Cambridge Analytica Files Scandal Was a Serious Breach of Privacy
2.      Facebook Is “Abusive by Design”
3.      Silicon Valley Has Turned on Itself

The Cambridge Analytica Files Scandal Was a Serious Breach of Privacy

Christopher Wylie was a 24-year-old research director at SCL/Cambridge Analytica when he pitched his idea of microtargeting voters through the use of their Facebook profiles to Steven Bannon and Robert Mercer.

Soon enough, Cambridge Analytica partnered with Aleksandr Kogan and through its company, Global Science Research (GSR), it was given access to the profiles of millions of Facebook users under the premise of using them for psychological research.

The data was instead used by Cambridge Analytica to target voters on behalf of its clients: Ted Cruz, the Russian oil company Lukoil, the Brexit campaigners, and Donald Trump.

Facebook Is “Abusive by Design”

None of this would have happened if Facebook cared for the privacy of its users.

However, time and time again, it has demonstrated that it doesn’t care one bit.

In fact, in the opinion of Christopher Wylie, the Facebook project has been allowed to exist and “become as vast and powerful as it has because of the US national security establishment.”

Because it’s obviously designed in a way which makes it, for lack of a better word, easily 2hackable.”

Silicon Valley Has Turned on Itself

Silicon Valley became what it is today due to substantial government investments during the Cold War. And it is only natural that the government will have an interest in its products, Facebook being one of the most powerful.

However, Christopher Wiley notes,

It’s a form of very deep but soft power that’s been seen as an asset for the US. Russia has been so explicit about this, paying for the ads in roubles and so on. It’s making this point, isn’t it? That Silicon Valley is a US national security asset that they’ve turned on itself.

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“The Cambridge Analytica Files Quotes”

Millions of people’s personal information was stolen and used to target them in ways they wouldn’t have seen, and couldn’t have known about, by a mercenary outfit, Cambridge Analytica, that, Wylie says, ‘would work for anyone.’ Click To Tweet

The Facebook data is out in the wild. And for all Wylie’s efforts, there’s no turning the clock back. Click To Tweet

It showed these odd patterns. People who liked 'I hate Israel' on Facebook also tended to like KitKats. Click To Tweet

If you do not respect the agency of people, anything you do after that point is not conducive to democracy. Click To Tweet

Facebook has denied and denied this. It has failed in its duties to respect the law. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Cambridge Analytica Files” – more properly titled “’I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower” – is an article which, we believe, everyone should read.

Also – one which will be quoted over and over again in the recent future.

Hopefully, we’ll also learn something from it while quoting it.

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The Four Lenses of Innovation PDF Summary

The Four Lenses of Innovation PDFA Power Tool for Creative Thinking

Want to become an innovator?

The trick is to look at the world a bit differently.

And Rowan Gibson says that all you need to do that are “The Four Lenses of Innovation.”

Who Should Read “The Four Lenses of Innovation”? And Why?

There’s an innovator inside all of us,” writes Rowan Gibson, adding that “literally everyone on Earth has the potential for creative thinking because it’s an innate human capability.

“The Four Lenses of Innovation” attempts to awake this innate capability and is for everyone who wants to make the world a more advanced or, simply, a better place.

Rowan GibsonAbout Rowan Gibson

Rowan Gibson is a consultant and bestselling author, one of the world’s leading experts on business innovation.

Labeled “Mr. Innovation,” “the Innovation Grandmaster,” and “the W. Edwards Deming of innovation” Gibson has delivered keynote speeches and seminars in over 60 countries and has authored three books translated into over 20 languages.

In addition to “The Four Lenses of Innovation,” these are “Rethinking the Future” and “Innovation to the Core.”

Gibson is also the co-founder of http://innovationexcellence.com/, one of the world’s most popular innovation websites.

“The Four Lenses of Innovation PDF Summary”

Most ancient cultures had no discernible concept of genius whatsoever.

In fact, that’s why we don’t know the name of the author of, say, “The Epic of Gilgamesh,” the very first work of literature in history.

It’s not that it was difficult to put the name of the poet above the first line of the work!

However, according to the Sumerians and many other cultures throughout history, this would have been all but a blasphemy.

After all, talents were the very definition of divine gifts, and presenting something that doesn’t belong to you as yours, is certainly not something people would admire.

Hell, even the Ancient Greeks weren’t that much above this notion!

Plato specifically, who not only didn’t like poets but also believed that it is quite easily demonstratable that they had absolutely no control over their artistry, being nothing more than simple “instruments of the Muses.”

The Romans inherited this belief, modifying it a bit and eventually ascribing all creative powers of an individual to his tutelary deity suitably named genius, i.e., household guardian spirit.

Put simply, the Romans believed that each person is part human, part divine, and that, logically, his divine nature (the genius) is the one responsible for all great works of the mind or the heart.

After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Catholic Church ruled most of Europe for the following ten centuries, now appropriately remembered as the Dark Ages.

Following the Judeo-Christian tradition, the Catholic Church made sure that it transformed into vice all of the things we now consider virtues: individuality, originality, innovation.

During this period, it was sinful not to conform, and it was egotistic to think that you are capable of creating something: God was the only Creator, and artists and scientists were merely mediums of His Will.

And then the Renaissance came and radically changed everything!

Suddenly, God stopped being the center of the Universe, and inventiveness, all-embracing curiosity and a yearning for to-the-ends-of-the-world exploration became highly desirable traits:

Whereas the medieval mind had been severely suppressed, the Renaissance mind was set free to discover the beauty and the wonder and the significance of every possible phenomenon.

It is to the great thinkers of the Renaissance that we owe the four modes of innovative thinking or, as Rowan Gibson labels them, the four lenses of innovation which you can still use today to break through the known barriers.

These are: “challenging orthodoxies,” “harnessing trends,” “leveraging resources” and “understanding needs.”

Let’s have a look at each of them.

Key Lessons from “The Four Lenses of Innovation”

1.      The First Lens: Challenging Orthodoxies
2.      The Second Lens: Harnessing Trends
3.      The Third Lens: Leveraging Resources
4.      The Fourth Lens: Understanding Needs

The First Lens: Challenging Orthodoxies

Etymologically, “orthodoxy” means “right opinion” or “right belief” – and there’s a reason why it was considered reasonable to be orthodox for millennia.

Orthodoxies codify concepts, ideas, and best practices and they work great on the collective level.

After all, why should you question the way something is done if millions of people before you have used the same method to do it?

Orthodoxies eliminate the need to think which is great if you like to preserve mental energy for something else.

However, it is obviously not if you want to be an innovator.

And this is where many innovators start: challenging conventional modes of thinking.

Have this in mind every time somebody says that “some things are done certain way for a reason.” Analyze: what could that reason be? Is there any other way to do it? Has technology changed in the meantime to make this other way a feasible solution?

And that crazy idea that guy had some time ago… well, let’s see if it was crazy enough to work!

The Second Lens: Harnessing Trends

You don’t have to be the first to be the best.

The iPhone, the iPod, the iPad, the Apple Watch – these are all merely adaptations of products which existed before them.

And, don’t know if you remember, but Yahoo was here before Google.

The point – in many cases – is to recognize the emerging trends and focus your attention in their direction.

Innovators have been doing this for centuries: in the 1870s, no less than 23 people worldwide worked on inventing the light bulb!

In other words, be perceptive!

Analyze the trends and discover which product seems most likely to revolutionize and/or disrupt an industry.

Then, simply go for it!

The Third Lens: Leveraging Resources

They say that necessity is the mother of invention for a reason!

Case in point: when Steven Spielberg realized that he didn’t have enough money to make a mechanical shark, he decided to film the action of “Jaws” from its viewpoint!

The result?

Some of the scariest scenes ever filmed!

Similarly, even though Corning developed its Ribbon Machine process to make light bulbs, soon it started using it to make radio vacuum tubes.

So, reevaluate your resources, reexamine your skills and assets!

See what you have and whether some of the things you already own or have devised can be readapted in a way which will help you take advantage of the new markets.

More often than not, you’ll be surprised to see how much of your potential you’re not using!

The Fourth Lens: Understanding Needs

Understanding needs basically means “innovating from the customer backward.”

Or: instead of using the third lens – selling what you already have – you can also use the fourth one: providing what the others would buy.

After all, that’s why even McDonald’s is not the same everywhere: in India, you can buy Paneer Wraps from its restaurants, and in Japan there’s also a chicken veggie burger on its menu!

Why?

Because the Indian and the Japanese people said so!

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“The Four Lenses of Innovation Quotes”

Creative ideas don’t just occur to us spontaneously. (Our minds actually build them from a unique chain of associations and connections, sometimes over a considerable period of time.) Click To Tweet

Our brains save mental energy by learning and storing familiar patterns for automatic recognition and use. Click To Tweet

Many executives are afraid of the kind of reflective thinking that could lead to disruption. Click To Tweet

Try to identify and systematically question the fixed patterns that exist inside your own company and across your industry. Click To Tweet

Innovators try to solve common problems and frustrations in ways that make life easier, more convenient and more enjoyable for the customer. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Four Lenses of Innovation” demystifies innovation as something much more methodical and systemic than it is usually thought and presents itself as a power tool for creative thinking.

That may be true, but we kind of feel that it treats innovation as something much simpler than it actually is and that it inadvertently starts from a position it takes someone years to achieve.

Namely, the position of the highly competent and skillful intellectual with at least some kind of a vision for the future.

And that is not everyone.

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