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The Engager "Engaging Comms" (UK)

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Raleigh Twinkle Girl's Bike - 14-Inch, Pink
Raleigh Twinkle Girl's Bike - 14-Inch, Pink

4.0 out of 5 stars Can't fault it, 3 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Functional, safe, transitions well between stabiisers and non mode, bright, tassly, well made, had to buy two as a result......

Tinker Bell [DVD]
Tinker Bell [DVD]
Dvd ~ Mae Whitman
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great series, 3 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tinker Bell [DVD] (DVD)
Entertaining for children and adults alike.
Great stories and interesting characters.
Watched many, many times.
We can recommend them all.

Dream Town Rose Petal Cottage
Dream Town Rose Petal Cottage

2.0 out of 5 stars Far too complex and brittle, 3 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Three different adults have attempted to construct this.
Several of the very many parts snapped and in an age where tent tech has come on in leaps and bounds this is an anacronism I'm afraid and it drives us mad!

Dear Mermaid
Dear Mermaid
by Alan Durant
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, engaging and interactive, 3 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dear Mermaid (Hardcover)
My daughters love this interactive book and return to it time and time again.
Is there anything else to say?

My big fat magical cat goes to France
My big fat magical cat goes to France
Price: £3.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, engaging, educational...what more do you need?, 3 Jun. 2014
Looking to bridge the gap between fantasy and to open your children's eyes to the wonders of our diverse and entertaining world? Well, this series of books achieve this transition extremely well as the magical moggie brings to life the scenes, themes and activities of international destinations while retaining the magic and sense of wonder unique to the questioning minds of children. Great for kids and, yes, fun,entertaining and educational for the mums and dads sharing the stories. An engaging family resource that reaches the parts established travel guides fail to reach.

The Empty Raincoat: Making Sense of the Future
The Empty Raincoat: Making Sense of the Future
by Charles Handy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Visionary - listen up folks!, 14 Jan. 2013
Charles Handy is a rarity to be cherished, a credible business philosopher who is also very "readable" because he practices what he preaches.
This book is all about the search for meaning in life, especially given the demands work places on modern Man!
I defy anyone to read this and remain unmoved or unmotivated to start re-evaluating their priorities.
In fact I would argue that business leaders today would do well to use this as their bible when picking up the pieces of the inevitable crash we're experiencing as capitalism and consumerism tumbles about our ears.
If you like this (and you will) I highly recommend you read this too: Brand Engagement

The Why of Work: How Great Leaders Build Abundant Organizations That Win
The Why of Work: How Great Leaders Build Abundant Organizations That Win
by David Ulrich
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wise words as ever, but not the most engaging of reads and sadly feels out of synch with the times, 9 May 2012
The first response many people will have to the Ulrichs' book title will be to hear the Why and Work words, contrast them with the increasing pressure they probably currently feel simply keeping the show on the road and reach for the Ten Minute Manager or a similarly pragmatic and less esoteric title. I also have a strong suspicion that a considerable cadre of senior managers believe the answer to the question is "because I pay you to",

The Ulrich's have a damn good stab at making yet another business case for why to consider the why. In this regard they're keeping company with many of the major research houses that have come to the same conclusion.They point, as others do, to the market value of intangibles and the track record of business leaders who value soft skills. The trouble is, the market is saturated with studies making the same case. So why are employee engagement levels still at record low levels? Well, clearly, boardrooms, in the main, are still saying one thing and doing another, safe in the knowledge that it's an employer's market "like it or lump it". Will this book change that "dog in a manger" mentality? It may help... a bit. Even if the revolution has to come one leader at a time, that, at least, has to be a good thing.

The most impactful business case for their core thesis that people and businesses are more effective when they understand the why of work comes well into the book, when David shares an anecdote about the banking crisis and counter-capitalist bailout process. When asked his opinion he does point to the elephant in the room namely the glaring absence of actions to address the root cause of the problem: "If the holes are not fixed or people's lives are not put in order, bailouts accomplish little". Wise words indeed. But again, who is really listening? David makes the link between individual behaviour, corporate culture, work and home life. Yet all of the political talk is obsessed with structural and legislative changes.

This book implies that creating a culture in which leaders think as hard about the "how" as they do the "what"; where people create rather than exploit relationships and where colleagues examine their own motivation, values and style as well as the qualities of others can collectively be a route to addressing the root causes of the economic malaise. I can't agree more.

Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl sums this cause and effect relationship up (as he tends to), much more effectively with a single poignant phrase, when quoting Nietzsche "He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how". The worry is that the current focus remains firmly on the suffering rather than enabling and on the "bearing" rather than re-framing and re-focusing the why. And unfortunately, the choice quotes the Ulrichs have selected to illustrate their points are a deal more engaging than the consultancy speak they sometimes use to describe their own methodology. But that shouldn't detract from the core message.

I recently happened upon two choice quotes during the course of my workaday consultancy that illustrate why. The first is from a CEO:

"I have plenty of emotional intelligence...I just choose to ignore that voice most of the time".

The second is from an HR director who confided privately:

"The mistake many people make is that when I say "I understand" they somehow hear "I care".

I think we can all see the dilemma the Ulrichs faced when they wrote a book which is at odds with the prevailing short-termism typifying these times. While I would like to see more of their philosophy role-modelled in the style and structure of their writing, the reader will be left in no doubt that leaders would do well to read this and soak it up attentively and with some quiet humility. Let's face it, few business and political leaders have too much to be arrogant about right now and could, quite frankly, do with all the help they can get.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Top product and value, 20 Dec. 2011
Bright; funky; natty; functional; safe; sturdy; easy to use and high-vis.
My daughter loves it. What more's there to say?

Future Minds: How the Digital Age Is Changing Our Minds, Why This Matters, and What We Can Do About It
Future Minds: How the Digital Age Is Changing Our Minds, Why This Matters, and What We Can Do About It
by Richard Watson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pointing to the elephant in the room (sorry geeks)!, 7 Dec. 2011
Ian Buckingham, author of Brand Engagement and Brand Champions,

Brand Champions: How Superheroes bring Brands to Life
Brand Engagement

says it all in this review taken from the HR Zone website:

"Given the cover and sub-title "How the digital age is changing our minds...", I have to confess that I approached futurist Watson's second book with the same trepidation a twelve year old feels when faced with a Winter cross country run. I expected it to "do me good". But I didn't expect it to be so enjoyably engaging.

This isn't a geek's treatise. I'm pleased to report that Richard is a humanist rather than a techie and a pragmatist rather than a dogmatic zealot perpetuating the marketing myth that life begins and ends with so-called social media; mobile phone functionality and the whims of Microsoft and Apple.

Some time ago I published a piece titled "Facebook will never replace Facetime". It was targeted at the non-sensical hysteria surrounding so-called social media and reminded people of the importance of deep thinking; relationship management and development and the necessity of contact and connections flesh to flesh rather than via an ISP. My treatise is primarily based on experience of facilitating change within organisations. Watson's thesis is based on extremely well researched fact.

Here are some of his challenging observations:

- Gen Y "screenagers" have become better at IQ tests than their predecessors, yet the No1 gripe from employers is a lack of basic reading, writing and arithmetic tests
- The effectiveness of multi-tasking is largely a myth
- Online crowds are drowning out individual wisdom
- The culture of pace for the sake of it and rapid response (reaction rather than reflection) is perpetuating mistakes and half truths
- The anonymity of the web is eroding core relationship skills like empathy and promotes virtual courage over real emotion and accountability
- As so-called social media grows at the expense of true social interactions there are increasingly fewer opportunities for serendipitous encounters (a great phrase)
- The next working generation will be less resilient as they have a "re-boot" mentality
- The increase in on-screen reading at the expense of books and paper may improve the pace and volume of apparent reading but it is already having a detrimental effect on problem-solving & deep thinking
- Handwritten correspondence is staggeringly more successful at engaging recipients than electronic messages
- We have to try harder to allow children to be child-like for longer
- Workplaces are very seldom conducive to generating ideas
- Humour is hugely important to forge relationships and break conventional patterns of thought
- Personalised, intrusive advertising is imminent
- Mental privacy will become one of the hottest issues in the next 30 years
- Expect to see a return to the real and the growth in localism and crafts

These are just a few of the well thought through and provocative arguments which run through this book. Interestingly, many of his points echo similar phases in social evolution like the emergence of the Arts and Crafts movement as a reaction to industrialisation and mass production, for example
But before the tech heads start to cry Tolpuddle martyr, it's important to stress that the ultimate thesis of Future Minds is a plea for balance and a blended approach to technology.

It's clear that Watson believes in the power of so-called new media. But what he does very well in this book is re-visit the biology of thinking as well as the sociology of relationships to appeal for individual and collective responsibility for re-framing how man uses machines "Technology should sometimes be forced to adapt to us" and not the other way round. And he makes a compelling case with the help of a great deal of hard, factual evidence, expert testimonial and provocative, sometimes disturbing case study. Perhaps the most shocking is the couple who let their real baby starve because they were obsessed with caring for a virtual infant online!

Ultimately, this book is a timely reminder that our technology should be an enabler not an end in itself. Actual experiences will always take precedence over virtual ones and we need to determine the technology agenda and set and remain in control of the rules "It seems to me that what people seem to want more than ever these days is the opportunity to be touched emotionally by the thinking and experiences of other people ....What should we do if we are concerned about the invasion of screen culture into our everyday lives? Bluntly, we should think."

Far from being a geek-fest, Future Minds is controversial; thought-provoking; easy to read (I finished it in 1 sitting) and most importantly, entertaining. I never expected to be confronted by a chapter concerned with the Sex Life of Ideas, for example, and the wisdom that "For new ideas to be born you need two or more old ideas to jump into bed and get frisky".

In the ever-evolving debate about existing and emerging technology, it's refreshing to see someone straddle the old school (no pun intended) and the new so very comfortably yet is grounded by an admirable value set and a gift for appreciative critique. I highly recommend you pick up a copy as I've little doubt you'll find yourself nodding in agreement as you turn the pages, at least most of the time, even if it may feel a little heretical to point at the elephant in the room or acknowledge what I'm sure most of us are thinking."

Marketing Metaphors and Metamorphosis
Marketing Metaphors and Metamorphosis
by Philip J. Professor Kitchen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £81.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Insights into Marketing, 5 Nov. 2011
Prof Kitchen is one of the leading marketing visionaries of this age.
He has assembled a very credible and highly eclectic mix of contributors who examine marketing from both an external and internal perspective (check out IP Buckingham's chapter towatds the end for an analysis of internal marketing).
Good for dipping into and sparking fresh perspectives....

Brand Champions: How Superheroes bring Brands to Life

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