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50 Basic Phrases of CorporateSpeak
on 4 June 2011
This book contains introductions to 50 topics in management that pepper the presentations and pep-talks of the corporate in-crowd. Read it for one of two reasons. First, it can give you a quick leg-up on the jargon that upwardly-mobile colleagues are using. It might even help you win an informal game of BS bingo in your organization's next all-hands meeting. Its second and more serious purpose is as a concise introduction to the most frequently used management concepts. You might even identify a few you want to learn more about.
Each chapter is self-contained and delivers a two- to four-page capsule treatment of its topic. Most chapters contain definitions of key concepts, relevant historical quotes, and timelines across the bottom of the first two pages. Boxes set off from the text effectively summarize key information. Example boxes include reasons customer relations management campaigns fail (p. 57), the "Ten C's of Employee Engagement" (p. 73), and the product life cycle (p. 90).
Several chapters are particularly informative for such brief introductions. The Five Forces of Competition chapter (p. 84) presents an effective battlefield map of the forces that affect a company's competitive success. The Four P's of Marketing (p. 88) outlines the interlocking effects of product, price, place and promotion on market success. The Innovation chapter (p. 96) distinguishes between technical invention and true innovation, which must have an impact in the marketplace in order to succeed. Finally, the Long Tail chapter (p. 120) is an excellent four-page summary of the Chris Anderson's 2006 bestseller of the same name. It highlights how alternatives to mega-success, mass appeal products have become much more important in our web-business world.
Edward Russell-Walling's book has a good topic index and an adequate two-page glossary, but lacks references to supporting literature. This is an unfortunate omission in an introductory book. Readers should be aimed at further reading when they are most eager for more knowledge. This is a recurring flaw in this series of books.