Bridging Two Worlds

A conversation about online media and what it means to your organization

Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

Book Review – What Would Google Do?

Posted by AHA Creative on March 3, 2009

Post by: Della Smith of QUAY Strategies

Book Review: What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

Rating: 5 out of 5 Bridges

Read What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis. Jeff’s blog is He deconstructs the thinking behind Google and applies to it doing business today. It’s a perfect roadmap for anyone interested in Bridging Two Worlds and a must read for people who still have not embraced the online world in their business or communications planning. There are great gems of ideas throughout a platform that will make even the most cynical rethink their current corporate or organizational strategies. He is the epitome of the critical thinker, even acknowledging his decision to get his book published as seeming hypocritical. He explains the offer of a big advance and his need to eat justifies the traditional approach. He addresses the concerns about accuracy of information in open sources, such as Wikipedia, and makes a good argument for its leadership and structure. I am sure there will be ad agencies and PR companies who will cringe at his theory that the “middleman is doomed.”  From my perspective this is just a lighthouse of a book, showing us the way through the mist and fog of the online world.

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Best Business Books Of All Time

Posted by AHA Creative on February 9, 2009

Post by: Della Smith of QUAY Strategies 

Last week a friend and colleague suggested I write a column in one of our local papers and do reviews of the business books I read.  I was flattered but thought I barely have time to write blog posts about books I have read. I am a bit of a biz book junkie as I find I always learn something.  Now, thanks to Seth Godin’s blog post, I found the answer for my friend – The 100 Best Business Books of All Time. A “Coles Notes” to business books – what about that?  You might not pick out something salient from your own perspective but at least you get a quick hit and can go buy the actual book if it intrigues you. And, just for the record, I have read all of Seth’s books.

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Book Review – Outliers

Posted by AHA Creative on January 7, 2009

Post by: Della Smith of QUAY Strategies

Book Review:  Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Rating: 3 Out of 5 Bridges

While I loved The Tipping Point, I was totally disappointed in Blink, also by Malcolm Gladwell. I was so disappointed that I hesitated to buy Outliers, his latest bestseller. After hearing Mr. Gladwell on a late night interview talk about his new observations and theories around what makes people successful, I was once again intrigued by this writer’s ideas.

What a relief, Outliers does not disappoint at all.  His analysis of hockey players, lawyers, pilots and high tech gurus based on the time of year they were born, the year they were born, and their cultural environments makes a person step back and rethink how we define the path to success.  

This book makes us wonder about online communication success. Which organizations will succeed in this environment? Our prediction is it will be the companies and people that remain strategic. Good communications, whether online or not, comes from understanding your audiences as much as the vehicles you use to connect with them. Your age and cultural setting will undoubtedly have an impact but we can still be masters of our domain. Being informed and knowledgeable is the first step.

As usual with books of this nature, it lays out the theory, explains how it impacts our lives but does not give anyone a roadmap to change their own situations to become more successful.

Hmmm….sounds like a book idea. 

Editor’s note: In fact, Della has been working on a book for the past few years that does just that. I vote that it’s time for her to make a New Year’s resolution and get that book finished already! Then I can review HER book here!!

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Book Review

Posted by AHA Creative on November 12, 2008

Post by: Della Smith of QUAY Strategies

Book Review: The Opposable Mind – How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking

Rating: 3 Out of 5 Bridges

Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto, was formerly a director of Monitor Company a global strategy consulting firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist at Business Week Online and a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review and the Financial Times.

I heard him speak at the recent Health Care Leaders Conference and was knocked out by the content.

He has studied brilliant leaders and presents their formula of thinking – integrative thinking.  People who try not to make either/or decisions.  Most of us have spent a lifetime inside rigid business thinking models that squelch innovative thinking like this.  Martin believes you can train people to think this way.

Martin works in the corporate arena.  I think he should help governments who are struggling with public demands and limited resources.

In our new integrative world, his book is more than timely. Most leadership books focus on what great leaders do, versus how they think.

His book is chock full of great case studies and definitely worth a read.

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Book Review – Consider The Source

Posted by AHA Creative on October 14, 2008

Post by: Della Smith of QUAY Strategies

Book Review: Consider the Source

Rating: 4 out of 5 Bridges

Consider the Source is a worth a read and it’s worth keeping around as a reference. It lists online sources for news – from Al Jazeera to The Christian Science Monitor. There is a wide range of information available on the Internet and this book helps make sense of it – and provides some information on the credibility and authority levels of each site through a rating system. (Review rating systems work for us. They work so wel that we adopted our own rating system for book reviews – as you can see above.)

The print is a little outdated (it was published in 2007 and we all know that when it comes to current and relevant information online, 2007 is a LONG time ago.) You can, however, go online to which is a great site for updates in the news world. In the big picture, they have done their best to keep the information as current as possible.

I think it’s important to go to news sites that don’t necessarily reflect your opinion, to understand different perspectives and to look at them with an open mind. There is a great deal of information on these sites that you might not normally see. A few I would recommend (and to be clear, I do not necessarily agree with their views) are:

Al Jazeera – the English version of the Arabic language network. This has breaking news and features plus background material that includes profiles and global reactions. This comes to you from a very different perspective than North American media.

Christian Science Monitor – there is a lot of information here that is relevant and valuable to today’s world that has nothing to do with religion or spirituality. This site is a very good source for international stories.

All Africa – there is more going on in Africa than you realize, don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn more about our world – and about a place that is full of news.

AARP – the American Association for Retired Person’s site is full of information. The definition and perception of a retired person has changed over the past few years. This is a lively, informative, relevant news source that speaks to baby boomers and the start of the Gen Xers thinking about the second part of their lives. – one of the leading news communities on the Web, connects people to the information and discussions that matter to them in every North American town and city. A top 10 online newspaper destination (comScore, March 2008), the site links news from 50,000 sources to 360,000 lively user-generated forums. Topix also works with the nation’s major media companies to grow and engage their online audiences through forums, classifieds, publishing platforms and RSS feeds. –  this site offers comprehensive companion websites for more than 1,300 PBS television programs and specials, as well as original Web content and real-time learning adventures. There are than 175,000 pages of content — from news to history and the arts to science and technology

The book is well written and while I didn’t agree with all of the site ratings, I would strongly recommend this book. There is good information here on where to get the news from a global perspective and by using this book and visiting the sites, I would bet you see the world in a bit of a different light. I know I did.

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