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A. Michaelides "Dimis Michaelides" (Nicosia, Cyprus)
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Creativity at Work: Supercharge Your Brain and Make Your Ideas Stick
Creativity at Work: Supercharge Your Brain and Make Your Ideas Stick
by Ros Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Creativity at Work - this book is alive!, 18 Nov. 2013
This book is alive, it talks and breathes and yes, it listens!

Supported by over one thousand interviews, Ros Taylor brings together views on creativity from laypeople and experts, examining role models and sources of inspiration, creative styles for individuals (including a self-assessment), team dynamics, organizational dynamics and much more. A section on tools clarifies the good practice of brainstorming and other creativity techniques. I loved the part about the brain - scientific perspectives on thinking, impediments to creative thought and then more insights on creative thinking.

The book is all the more vibrant because individual experiences are shared in short stories - her own and those of persons interviewed - and because she offers wise and practical tips at the end of each chapter. Creativity after all is not (only) about Newton and Beethoven, it's about you and me and all of us working people.

Ros Taylor constructs a most intelligent bridge between theory and organizational reality in the form of a survey of different parameters impacting a company's innovation potential. Is it surprising that, according to the people surveyed, only 30% felt that UK companies are doing anything about creativity? There are great chapters also on the environment for creativity, including the value of diversity ("the outsider") and creative process, including a presentation of the author's own CREATE method to creatively confront challenges.

The book is rich in insights and perspectives, practical, action-oriented and highly readable. Buy it, you will love it!


Uncommon Sense, Common Nonsense: Why Some Organisations Consistently Outperform Others
Uncommon Sense, Common Nonsense: Why Some Organisations Consistently Outperform Others
by Jules Goddard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 8 Sept. 2013
Challenging corporate orthodoxy is a fun thing to do. However most popular management literature tends to reinforce orthodoxy. Occasional foraging in provocative territory is rarely profound and often ends at the catchy title or undue generalization of some special case or other. This book is an exception. Goddard and Eccles argue that prevalent management models are dated and dangerous and provides delightfully contrarian perspectives in the form of brief assertions, that the authors skilfully defend. Here are my favorites:

* Firms outperform their competitors by aiming to be different, not better
* Losers look to competitive benchmarks rather than their own imagination for their model of success
* Success is best measured by added value not profit
* The greatest threats to corporate performance are internal not external
* A strategy is not a plan of attack but an idea under study
* Strategy belongs more naturally to the crowd than to the professional
* Strategy is more dependent on courage and humility than talent and charisma
* The need for extraordinary management suggests a poorly designed organization
* Everything important happens at the end of chaos
* Companies underestimate the power of intrinsic motivation
* Tapping the collective intelligence of the organization creates value
* Statements of corporate values trivialize ethics and demean employees
* Firms underestimate the collective wisdom of their employees
* Firms would benefit from becoming more open societies.
* Conversations rather than meetings are the units of organizational effectiveness
* Learning how to learn more effectively is the challenge of our times
* Listening without judging creates the context for organizational learning

Every one of the above is controversial. That's the very point of the book.

The authors are deliciously sarcastic on what fosters a culture of compliance and its buzzwords such as organizational alignment, professional standards, financial incentives, shared values, competitive benchmarking, best practice, operational excellence (which they call doorknob polishing!). They argue that although global forces are calling for less management, companies are slow in taking in the changing nature of work. They provide an excellent defense of the discovery process, open and subjective agendas and plenty of inspiring corporate examples.

Highly recommended.


Confidence at Work: Get It Feel It Keep It
Confidence at Work: Get It Feel It Keep It
by Ros Taylor
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be cool, be bold, brand yourself, 28 Jan. 2012
Ros Taylor has written a business book about the important stuff at work, about you and me, not profits and losses. It really does begin with you and me and a simple questionnaire on how we experience our own confidence. Then a highly readable review of some sensible theory from scientists not shamans, including Seligman's learned optimism and a self-assessment. To illustrate Ros Taylor offers us autobiographical clips from her childhood and family and from her experience as a clinical psychologist - cases of prisoners and institutionalized people - and as an executive coach - cases of CEOs and senior executives. And a hint on why the best confidence tricksters are first and foremost likeable people!

The book is peppered with intelligent tips. Simple, not simplistic. Tips on doing, tips on being. Be cool. Be bold. Brand yourself. What if you were a car, what's your favorite color?

A book on leadership that first gently urges you, as did the ancient Socrates, to know yourself. Then understand how you relate to others. Recognize the impact of first impressions. Be conscious of the "image" that you are broadcasting with your words and your movements.

And Ros Taylor's penmanship flows beautifully too.

You will love this book!


The God Delusion
The God Delusion
by Richard Dawkins
Edition: Paperback

16 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply brilliant!, 23 July 2007
This review is from: The God Delusion (Paperback)
Dawkins' case against god and the various types of "theisms" is clearly presented. Dawkins distinguishes between shades of belief and disbelief and does not take the facile route of trashing fundamentalism. Can one still be a believer after seriously reading this book with an open mind?

Simply brilliant!


The Innovative Leader: How to Inspire Your Team and Drive Creativity
The Innovative Leader: How to Inspire Your Team and Drive Creativity
by Paul Sloane
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An action-packed book!, 22 July 2007
Aspiring creative leader, let Paul Sloane's "The Innovative Leader" be a guide for your actions, for your business, for yourself. It's a great book!

It's fun. It's serious. It's one hundred and seven things to do for yourself, for your company, with your people. Each section is between half a page and three pages. It's organized under six headings: Leading Innovation, Problem Analysis, Generating Ideas, Implementing innovation processes, Building a creative culture, Personal creativity.

It's practical. It's simple. It's a list of things to do and be. Don't tell, ask. Keep fit. Train for innovation. Try weird combinations. Tell stories. Be passionate. Encourage dissent.

It's challenging. It's disruptive. It's high energy.

Aspiring creative leader, will you really do this stuff? Or some of it? You should. It's simple. Not easy. Try. You have nothing to lose but your rusty chains to obsolescence. You have a world to win.


The Leader's Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills: Unlocking the Creativity and Innovation in You and Your Team
The Leader's Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills: Unlocking the Creativity and Innovation in You and Your Team
by Paul SLOANE
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, some unconventional wisdom!, 7 Mar. 2007
At times when management literature abides with dos and donts based on conventional wisdom, here is a powerful defender of the values of unconventional wisdom. Paul Sloane makes a strong case for innovation and lateral thinking in business, where doing new, different things in new, different ways is more important than doing the same things more efficiently. The book is rich with examples from the real world where creative thinking and action have led to astonishing successes (even after numerous failed attempts)and examples where conservatism and conventional thinking have led to obsolescence or catastrophe. The author argues that creative skills can and should be developed at the individual level, the team level and the company level and the book abounds with tips and techniques to help people and organizations expand their potential for innovation. Lateral thinking puzzles placed at the end of each chapter, help reinforce the fact that we all think "in boxes" with assumptions and preconceptions that do not always correspond to reality. An excellent book.


Leader's Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills: Powerful Problem-solving Techniques to Ignite Your Team's Potential: 22 (Leaders Guide)
Leader's Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills: Powerful Problem-solving Techniques to Ignite Your Team's Potential: 22 (Leaders Guide)
by Paul Sloane
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, some unconventional wisdom!, 24 Oct. 2004
At times when management literature abides with dos and donts based on conventional wisdom, here is a powerful defender of the values of unconventional wisdom. Paul Sloane makes a strong case for innovation and lateral thinking in business, where doing new, different things in new, different ways is more important than doing the same things more efficiently. The book is rich with examples from the real world where creative thinking and action have led to astonishing successes (even after numerous failed attempts)and examples where conservatism and conventional thinking have led to obsolescence or catastrophe. The author argues that creative skills can and should be developed at the individual level, the team level and the company level and the book abounds with tips and techniques to help people and organizations expand their potential for innovation. Lateral thinking puzzles placed at the end of each chapter, help reinforce the fact that we all think "in boxes" with assumptions and preconceptions that do not always correspond to reality. An excellent book.


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