Book Review: Conversational Design

Conversational Design by Erika Hall

Conversational Design by Erika Hall (New York: A Book Apart, 2018. 134 pp) Erika Hall has been working in web design and development since the late twentieth century. In 2001, she cofounded Mule Design Studio, where she leads the strategy consulting practice. Her enthusiasm for evidence-based decision-making led her to write Just Enough Research. She speaks frequently to international audiences on topics ranging from collaboration and design research to effective interface language. Her current talks explore the limits of using quantitative data to make design decisions. Computer Talk It feels like a couple of years ago society hit a fulcrum, and conversation shifted dramatically. Where communication between people often occurred verbally, communication with machines happened largely through code or writing…. Read More →

Book Review: Practice What You Preach

Practice What Your Preach

Practice What You Preach: What Managers Must Do to Create a High Achievement Culture by David H. Maister (New York: Free Press, 2001. 272 pp) David Maister is a former Harvard Business School professor, writer, and expert in business management. Maister earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Birmingham, his Master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and his doctorate from Harvard Business School. After an acclaimed career in the academy, Maister consulted full-time until his retirement in 2009. Good Idea The world is full of good ideas. And yet, how often do we see a business, artist, or leader execute on that idea? Stated differently, discussions over a beer include many “what ifs.” This could be a… Read More →

Book Review: Institutional Intelligence

Institutional Intelligence

Institutional Intelligence: How to Build an Effective Organization by Gordon T. Smith (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2017. 224 pp) Gordon T. Smith is the president of Ambrose University and Seminary in Calgary, Alberta, where he also serves as professor of systematic and spiritual theology. He is an ordained minister with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and a teaching fellow at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia. He is the author of many books, including Courage and Calling, Called to Be Saints, Spiritual Direction, and The Voice of Jesus. Where Have You Gone, Institutional? As the 2017 roller coaster comes to a complete stop, a variety of circumstances fight for the label of a year’s defining moment. The world feels miles different… Read More →

Book Review: The Art of War

The Art of War by Sun-tzu

The Art of War by Sun-tzu; translated by Ralph D. Sawyer (New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1994. 375 pp) Sun-tzu was a Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher who lived in the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China, traditionally believed to have lived from 544 BC to 496 BC. It’s Not All About Warfare Even though I must admit I was the typical teenager playing the standard first-person shooter games, the older I get, the less inspired I become with the war metaphor. While Tom Clancy can scratch that puerile itch for action and black-and-white narratives, the world’s complexity makes it difficult to sit within the us-versus-them mindset. From a business perspective, the warfare metaphor runs deep. We… Read More →

Book Review: Strategy

Strategy by Lawrence Freedman

Strategy: A History by Lawrence Freedman (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. 768 pp) Lawrence Freedman studied at Whitley Bay Grammar School, Victoria University of Manchester, University of York, and University of Oxford. Freedman has held positions at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Royal Institute of International Affairs, and currently as Professor of War Studies at King’s College London. He was elected Fellow of the British Academy, appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George. What’s It All Mean Anyway? There’s a lot going on in the world. Be careful or you might get run over. With millions of people attempting to… Read More →