January 30, 2009

Change the Way You Lead Change

For many people, one of the most difficult aspects of life is change. It certainly presents complex challenges for leaders. Anecdotal evidence suggests that less that 1 out of 4 initiatives to make a change is successful. Why? Research into corporations suggests that change is often managed poorly or ineffectively. To Herold and Fedor, this was not surprising. Most books on change advocate managing it as a step-by-step process. Yet, when they talked to corporate executives who have lived through organizational change, most stated that they are unable to manage just one change at a time. Instead, they described their organizations as roller coasters, constantly experiencing many changes at the same time. In this environment, it seems easy for one initiative to be sent off course or pushed aside by other change initiatives. Based on their research, Herold and Fedor developed a holistic model for change that takes into account the abilities of those who are leading change, those carrying it out, and the context in which the proposed change will occur. This model includes discussion of leadership skills, strengths, and preferences, peoeple's motivation and capacity for change, and complex organizations who have many leaders, many followers, and multiple pathways along which activities take place.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Change the Way You Lead Change: Leadership Strategies that Really Work
David M. Herold and Donald B. Fedor
HD 58.8 .H485 2008

Infrastructure to 2030

Infrastructure is critical to modern societies and economies. Without transportation networks, people and goods can't travel from place to place. Telecommunications and electricity are necessary for our communications, appliances, and much more. Water, of course, seems essential to so many aspects of life--agriculture, drinking, cleaning, bathing, waste, transportation, energy--just to name a few. This book discusses these critical infrastructures, particularly in the context that considerable investments into them must be made in the near future for maintenance projects and further development. OECD asserts that this will be true across the world, but will be particularly challenging to developing nations who have neglected these infrastructures in the past. Chapters highlight the complexity of infrastructure issues, how they are affected by funding, population growth, urbanization, and environmental change. This OECD report also speculates on how both public and private sector organizations will evolve and participate in this challenge over time.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Infrastructure to 2030: Telecom, Land Transport, Water and Electricity
Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development
HC 70 .C3 I643 2006

January 28, 2009

Emerging Forces in Environmental Governance

Environmental governance is increasingly complex. Not only are nation states and international institutions major players, but NGOs, social movements, scientists, businesses and industry also have views and are involved in policy discussions. The pattern that is emerging is that groups of actors must now work together in order to facilitate changes in environmental policy on multiple levels simultaneously--international, national, regional, and local. This book describes the avenues in which these change agents operate and describes the different roles and functions that each plays in the policy and governance process.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Emerging Forces in Environmental Governance
ed. by Norichika Kanie and Peter M. Haas
GE 170 .E48 2004

Rules to Break & Laws to Follow

Peppers and Rogers believe that most businesses allow their short-term successes to limit their thinking. Instead, they advocate focusing on long-term strategies and establishing trusting relationships with customers. The book is organized to focus on one assumption or business "rule" in each chapter. Some of these "rules" are reinforced or modified to align with current business technologies and corporate cultures. Other "rules" are thrown out, replaced by the current realities of customer expectations. This book discusses a wide range of topics, from winning and retaining customer trust, the "value" of an organization, the roles of innovation, order, and dissent, and the tension between leadership, management, and decentralization.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Rules to Break & Laws to Follow: How Your Business Can Beat the Crisis of Short-Termism
Don Peppers & Martha Rogers
HF 5386 .P472 2008

January 26, 2009

Generation Blend

This book delves deeply into two issues that all organizations today are facing--rapid changes in computer technologies, particularly Web 2.0, and the generational shift taking place among their employees. This book examines how generational attitudes toward technology affect a wide range of workplace issues, from recruitment and retention, training, decision-making, collaboration and teamwork, information sharing, and even every day work activities. Because this is a complex question, chapters address each component before their relationship is considered. First, the author discusses how work is changing, skills that are required, and the role that technology plays in those changes. Next, generational attitudes, behaviors, and work styles are discussed. As Baby Boomer, Generation X, and Millenial groups are identified, their relationship to technology is discussed specifically. However, technology is only one component of what each group expects from the workplace. Final chapters discuss how to capitalize on the strengths of each group to use technology effectively, to plan for the future, and to develop strategies in which each generation serves as an important component for the organization's overall success.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Generation Blend: Managing Across the Technology Age Gap
Rob Salkowitz
HD 6279 .S25 2008

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

Bossidy and Charan state that it is essential for a leader to be engaged in an organization, involved in running the operation from day to day, rather than just articulating a "vision" and leaving the responsibility for carrying it out to others. They assert that the most important job that a leader does is selecting and evaluating the people that work with him--a task that should never be delegated to someone else. Why? They explain that by selecting the right people for the right jobs, the leadership team works collaboratively to dream up and select the strategies that are most appropriate for the organization and those that can most realistically be executed by it. Once the right people are combined with the right strategies, they believe, operational processes can be put in place that set the organization on the path to implementing successful programs, acting effectively, and being accountable for the outcomes. This book outlines the building blocks that are required to develop the right leaders, link together people, strategy, and operations, and to review the process so that improvements can be made.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done
Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan
HD 31 .B626 2002

Beyond Sputnik

Science and technology are responsible for many of the advances in modern living. However, science is not all about research and discovery of new facts or better understandings of the way things around us work. Public policy has a tremendous impact on science. Policy often determines what research is funded, which discoveries are permitted to be pursued and developed, and the direction that industry pursues in order to create new products which are economically viable. This textbook-like study provides in-depth case studies of a wide range of scientific topics, from cloning and stem cell research to the technologies involved in homeland security, demonstrating how policy issues have an effect on science and technology.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Beyond Sputnik: U.S. Science Policy in the 21st Century
Homer A. Neal, Tobin L. Smith, and Jennifer B. McCormick
Q 127 .U6 N398 2008

January 8, 2009

There Is No Such Thing as a Natural Disaster

This book explains how and why natural events like Hurricane Katrina also become social catastrophes. While the storm and flooding were devastating to New Orleans, the social inequalities and racism that existed in the city at the time caused the poor and people of color to suffer disproportionately. This collection of essays shows the complex and multifaceted social implications of natural disasters in urban areas. It also offers suggestions for urban planning, politics, and future development in New Orleans and other places where people are victims of nature and social structures.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

There Is No Such Thing as a Natural Disaster: Race, Class, and Hurricane Katrina
ed. by Chester Hartman and Gregory D. Squires
HV 636 .L8 T44 2006