Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What I'm reading this week

I'm reading two books right now Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki and How The Might Fall by Jim Collins. It is like Yin and Yang, I read a chapter and switch. Both books are small, big pamphlets really. The text is big, the ideas are straight forward.

From the Amazon reviews -

Kawasaki argues that in business and personal interactions, your goal is not merely to get what you want but to bring about a voluntary, enduring, and delightful change in other people. By enlisting their own goals and desires, by being likable and trustworthy, and by framing a cause that others can embrace, you can change hearts, minds, and actions.

In How the Mighty Fall, Collins confronts these questions, offering leaders the well-founded hope that they can learn how to stave off decline and, if they find themselves falling, reverse their course. Collins' research project—more than four years in duration—uncovered five step-wise stages of decline:

Stage 1: Hubris Born of Success
Stage 2: Undisciplined Pursuit of More
Stage 3: Denial of Risk and Peril
Stage 4: Grasping for Salvation
Stage 5: Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death

I'm thinking about Carbondale and SIU while I read. Where is SIU on Collin's 5 Stage scale? Number 4? Yes, Collins does write about what to do to claw your way back to healthy. Stage 1 - Morris expands to multi-campus system. Stage 2 - U of I has a great physics department, we should try to match them. Throw away the 4 year Voc Tech programs, we are a real university now! Stage 3 - What we worry? I may be seen as negative, but you will not see me denying the risk of doing business.

When thinking about Enchantment. Those big Halloween parties in Carbondale provided some of that. I wonder what SIU can do to get the Enchantment back? Graduating students that know something, would be a good start to enchant the business community.

I wonder if the leadership at SIU is reading Collins? If I knew them, I would send them a copy. Anyone else reading these little gems?


1 comment:

Jonathan Bean said...

Welcome back, Peter! I'll take a look at Collins.

Reminds me of a book by that management writer Peter Drucker: "Managing the Non-Profit Organization" (1990)

One of the Amazon reviews touches on the book's contents:

"It has been said that the non-profit sector has been slow to accept the value of management education and practices basically because of the assumption that "management" means "business management" [SIUC suffers from that knee-jerk attitude!]. This book clearly bridges that gap and explains lucidly what makes for achieving non-profit leaders and effective non-profit institutions. The book is not a theoretical work or an academic one. It is rather an extremely practical show-and-tell about being a great manager in a non-profit organization....