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Mark Gould "tarnorg"
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No More Consultants: We Know More Than We Think
No More Consultants: We Know More Than We Think
by Geoff Parcell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A handbook for real action, 13 Oct. 2009
Unlike many books in this field, No More Consultants concentrates on doing one thing, and does it well. This new book follows Parcell and Collison's earlier work, Learning to Fly: Practical Knowledge Management from Leading and Learning Organizations, but has a much narrower focus. As a result, I think it is probably even more useful. The premise of the new book is simple. In part it is provided by the subtitle "we know more than we think," but that is just the background. What Parcell and Collinson have done in the new book is to provide a workable framework for organisations to ascertain when and why they can rely on the expertise and experience of their own people, rather than calling in consultants. (Consultants can relax -- the final chapter explains that better organisational understanding can lead to more fruitful engagements.)

Within the basic framework they set out at the beginning of the book, Parcell and Collison spend some time fleshing out a number of key techniques, including facilitation, envisioning future developments, and peer assists. They provide a range of examples of the tools and techniques in use, ranging from development of HIV/AIDS programmes in Africa and India to knowledge sharing between Great Ormond St children's hospital and the Ferrari F1 team. Along the way, they are also able to provide insights into ways of dealing with a number of recurring challenges to change, such as the `not invented here' syndrome.

Despite the fact that the book is an invaluable guide to practical knowledge sharing, it is carefully not positioned as such. Because of this, it is more likely to find a receptive audience beyond the normal KM community. This attractiveness is enhanced by the clarity and concreteness with which its central ideas are expressed.


Cathedral
Cathedral
by Raymond Carver
Edition: Paperback

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good summation of Carver's work, 10 April 2006
This review is from: Cathedral (Paperback)
Like his stories, this collection of Raymond Carver's work leaves us wanting more. It also provides a good overview of his regular themes and illustrates the breadth of his scope.
Before he died in 1988 at the age of 50, Carver had proved himself to be the greatest modern exponent of the short story in America. The stories in this collection include 'A Small, Good Thing', which was awarded the 1983 O. Henry Award. It also includes my favourite Carver story: the title story, 'Cathedral', which is so packed with emotion, clarity of thought, beauty and pain as to leave one breathless with admiration.
In my view, the short story is the pinnacle of prose writing and Carver is one of its few consistently successful exponents. This collection proves both points.


Saturday
Saturday
by Ian McEwan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This won't appeal to everyone, 10 April 2006
This review is from: Saturday (Paperback)
At first I was a bit disappointed that a number of the reviews here rated Saturday so poorly. I thought it was magnificent.
After a little thought, I think I know why this book has polarised opinion so much. It is written by, about, and for the middle-aged male. I am one of those. (It might appeal to women as well, but I can only speak for myself.)
If you have ever felt jealous of (but at the same time admiring) the achievements of your children and their generation, while at the same time resenting (but taking pride in) the careers of your parents or parents-in-law and their generation, you will find something in Ian McEwan's book that speaks to you. If you feel youthful whilst fearing the onset of senility, if you have a Saturday routine that has come to define your week, if you are between 42 and 52, you will understand Henry Perowne.
Even if you are not part of the obvious audience for this book, put aside your concerns about the obviously contrived elements (all the action taking place on one day or the power of Dover Beach to turn the tide of an armed burglary) and enjoy the beautifully constructed prose and characterisation. (And, if you are younger than 42, anticpipate your future.)


Shure E3c Sound Isolating Earphones
Shure E3c Sound Isolating Earphones

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sound, 27 Jan. 2006
I had a pair of Shure E2c earphones and was happy with them, except that they became uncomfortable after an hour or so and then one of the children nicked the cable with a pair of scissors, so I ad to replace them. I decided to upgrade to the E3cs and am glad I did.
I appear to have a fairly small ear canal, which is why the E2cs were less comfortable. They are significantly larger in diameter than the E3cs. When I got the new earphones, I tried each of the fittings in turn and settled on the foam plugs. The others were all a little too bulky, and the foam compresses well. Once in the ear canal it expands to fit snugly.
The E3c listening experience is also improved by comparison with the E2c earphones. Because of the snug fit, I am able to have the volume at a fairly low level, and there is no need to adjust it for different environments -- the sound isolation is very good. I have also discovered that the clarity of recordings is enhanced. This has had the unfortunate side-effect of highlighting the poor quality of some of the older recordings in my collection, but that can be attributed to their character! For me, the earphones provide a very good range of treble and bass.
In conclusion, a worthwhile purchase.


The Time Traveler's Wife
The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

20 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good idea, pushed too far, 19 Jan. 2005
The Good: The basic conceit of The Time Traveller's Wife is an interesting one. For the most part the author deals well with the demands placed on her to maintain suspense while it is clear that at least one character in the book must know how it ends. The writing itself is predominantly deftly managed, and the reader's attention is well-held (the sequence of events around the Christmas visit caused me to miss my stop on the train home, I was so engrossed).
The Not-So-Good: Once finished, it is too clear that this is a first novel -- it reeks of the creative writing class. A number of the episodes did not serve a clear purpose, apart from padding the story out. Also (unfortunately) it is very difficult to empathise with a time-travelling character. I finished the book with a sense of relief, which is an unfortunate emotion.
I would recommend you to read this book, and to look out for future works by the same author. If you can, borrow it from someone (or a library), or find a second-hand copy, rather than buying your own.


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