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Phil Gott "Peopleism Ltd" (Milton Keynes, UK)

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Tomorrow's Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future
Tomorrow's Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future
by Richard Susskind
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.79

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must read' for anyone involved in the management of law firms, 22 Jan. 2013
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In this latest book, Richard Susskind describes the radical changes taking place in the legal profession and how they demand a new approach to the design and delivery of legal services (and the way firms need to change to achieve this).

This is a thought-provoking book for anyone involved in the management of law firms as well as Susskind's originally intended audience of young lawyers embarking on a career in a sector that is in the process of transformation. Furthermore, this is not a book to put on the shelf until you have time to read it. Despite the title, the book's themes demand urgent attention. It helps that the book is easy to read and short (165 pages).

Citing three major changes (clients demanding more from less, liberalisation and IT), Susskind presents a reasoned approach to how legal providers can succeed in this challenging environment (and how they will fail if the forces for change are ignored). For example, firms should accept that there will be limited appetite for expensive re-inventing of the wheel and therefore actively progress services from bespoke through a process of standardising, systematising, and packaging before those services ultimately are likely to become commodities. As Susskind points out, many practitioners will agree with the general logic of this but are in danger of seeing their own particular discipline as different. Susskind also suggests 'decomposing' services (such as litigation) into elementary units (such as document review, legal research, etc) and searching for the best way to source each of those elements (including co-sourcing, crowd-sourcing and 13 other sources identified in the book).

All this will inevitably demand changes in the way lawyers are trained and deployed, including new roles such as the 'legal technologist' and the 'legal risk manager'.

The book also tackles challenges faced by in-house counsel and likely changes in legal process (including virtual courts and online dispute resolution).

Highly recommended reading.

Meatball Sundae
Meatball Sundae
by Seth Godin
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another thought-provoking book from Seth Godin, 11 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Meatball Sundae (Hardcover)
Here is another thought-provoking book by leading contemporary marketing expert Seth Godin. The message is that businesses have a transformational opportunity by completely redesigning themselves around new marketing approaches made possible through web technologies - using social networks, YouTube viral videos, blogs, wikis, etc.

However, as Godin illustrates, many businesses merely try to lay these new approaches on their existing business models and end up creating something wholly ineffective (as messy and disgusting as a meatball sundae).

The book describes 14 trends and uses ample examples and case studies to show how they can be turned to advantage by businesses prepared to fundamentally rethink.

The easy to read style might wrongly lead some readers to the conclusion that Godin's ideas are lightweight. Yet there is more wisdom in this little book than in many a weighty marketing tome. Don't dismiss it.

Small Is the New Big: And 183 Other Riffs, Rants, and Remarkable Business Ideas
Small Is the New Big: And 183 Other Riffs, Rants, and Remarkable Business Ideas
by Seth Godin
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read from Godin, 25 Aug. 2006
This is another excellent book from marketing thinker Seth Godin. The book is actually a compilation drawn from Seth's blog, books and e-books written over the past few years. It is none the worse for that.

Its purpose (which it achieves admirably) is to kick start the reader into doing something to move with the enormous changes sweeping the business world.

There is no logical thread to the book. It consists of almost 200 short pithy chapters loosely organised in alphabetical order. This makes it easy to read at numerous short sittings which I found to be an advantage.

A few of these chapters frankly did nothing for me. The majority were interesting and an enjoyable read. A few others were deeply thought-provoking (and obviously these were the most valuable for me). I don't know but I suspect that other readers will have a similar experience but that each of us will gain from different chapters.

Don't be put off by the title of the book "Small is the new big". This is not just another small is beautiful manifesto. It covers loads of topics that should matter to just about any individual or organisation trying to build a career or a business.

All in all it is a book well worth reading, as are Seth's earlier books (particularly Permission Marketing, Unleashing the Idea Virus, Purple Cow, Survival is Not Enough and All Marketers are Liars).

Pricing on Purpose: Creating and Capturing Value
Pricing on Purpose: Creating and Capturing Value
by Baker
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £52.50

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone involved in pricing decisions, 9 April 2006
Ron Baker's latest book confirms him as a thought leader in the field of value pricing. The topic is a crucial one for all business organisations. This is not just a specialist book about pricing and billing though. The content of the book is better summed up by its subtitle: "Creating and Capturing Value". That also sums up what business should be about, which is why this is such an important book.
Baker argues that value is created outside the firm in the hearts and minds of customers and is largely independent of the time or effort taken to create it. The focus for pricing decisions therefore has to be the customer's perception of value - what would customers willingly pay for this product or service? Getting it too high will lead customers to walk away. Getting it too low will damage customers' perceptions of value.
Baker rightly dismisses those who bemoan that their services have become a commodity. They have merely failed to create value for their customers. That value depends not only on the function of a product or service but on the whole design of the customer experience or transformation (ie demonstrated outcome).
Everything - at every point of contact with customers - must act to create a perception of value. Baker lists the 5 Cs of value:
1. Comprehend value to customers
2. Create value for customers
3. Communicate the value you create
4. Convince customers they must pay for value
5. Capture value with strategic pricing based on value.
Different customers will have different perspectives on value and this justifies differential pricing. Baker examines various strategies for ethical differential pricing such as skim pricing where a relatively high price is set initially (to capture early adopters willing to pay more) before lowering prices, perhaps with a slightly different product, for the mass market -think of hardback books, the newest mobile phones and iPods.
For me the most important question in the book is "Who is in charge of value in your firm? If your answer to that question is "everyone" then it might as well be no-one. Two organisations - both accountancy firms - have taken a lead in appointing a Chief Value Officer.
Baker argues his case well with a thorough analysis and sound theoretical underpinning. Notwithstanding this, it is very readable (I read it during a five-hour flight) with extensive quotes and illuminating examples.
I for one am looking forward to Ron's next book in his series on intellectual capitalism which will deal with key performance indicators for value and pricing competence.

The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion Through the Art of Storytelling
The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion Through the Art of Storytelling
by Annette Simmons
Edition: Paperback

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful and interesting book, slightly light on "how to", 14 Feb. 2006
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If you have you ever wondered why seemingly irrefutable logic failed you in your attempts to persuade, then this timely book may help. It highlights the importance of stories to influence others and shows the essential elements of an effective story.
There is no doubt that the age-old art of story telling is making a major comeback. The reason is that stories - even short one-liners - can evoke emotional responses and engage people at a deeper level, when facts just leave them cold.
Simmons details six types of stories that prove useful in influencing others:
1 - "Who I am stories"
2 - "Why I am here" stories
3 - "The vision" story
4 - "Teaching" stories
5 - "Values-in-action" stories
6 - "I know what you are thinking" stories.
Of course, facts can also be used to support your case. But Simmons wisely points out the importance of sequence. Facts should only be used once you have presented a story-based framework to aid interpretation of the facts. Otherwise you risk the facts being dismissed, discredited or distorted to support a different conclusion.
Simmons uses stories in the book to illustrate her points. In one she shows how stories can help to deal with difficult "bear trap questions". She recalls being asked: "so you are saying that we should always tell the truth". Her story: 'I once worked in an advertising agency. We were for ever making presentations. Andrew, a new account executive was about to deliver his first important presentation. He wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed and he didn't seem well prepared for his presentation. Just before he walked in he turned to me and asked if I thought he was going to do well. If I told him the truth I would have had to say no, I didn't think he was going to do well, but it was neither the time nor the place to say so. I smiled lopsidedly and said "sure, you'll be great"'. This story, she explains, helps to show that some situations are too complex for a simple yes or no.
If I have any criticism it is that I leave the book with a feeling that I need to get to know more about the practicalities of story-telling - rather than that it has already fully satisfied my thirst for knowledge. Even so, I recommend it.

All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World
All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World
by Seth Godin
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book from Seth Godin, 15 Sept. 2005
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This is a must read book for anyone trying to make themselves heard in a busy marketplace.
This book builds on Godin's earlier books and, if you haven't already read any, I would recommend starting with Purple Cow (and possibly Free Prize Inside) before this one.
The book drives home the point that you first need to have a truly remarkable product that appeals to a narrowly defined group of early adopters who are ready to "lie" to themselves (ie convince themselves) that your offering is outstanding in some way. They will then spread the word for you in a way that you simply could not do as a marketer (because no-one would believe you) until your product or service becomes mainstream.
Seth uses some excellent examples but you will quickly come up with your own ideas of products and services that have followed exactly this path.
Seth Godin also takes his own advice in the way he packages and propagates his remarkable ideas (so don't be put off by the quirky title).
Buy these books now, before they become mainstream!
Phil Gott

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