Most people have been frustrated by rules and policies that make their work more difficult, often transferring time, and sometimes financial, cost to the individual for theoretical benefit to the organisation. Hacking Work attempts to show how people can bypass apparently stupid rules to the benefit of both the individual and the organisation. However, when the hacker does not properly understand the reasons for the rules there can be considerable risks for both the individual and the organisation.
Breaking Stupid Rules for Smart Results
Rarely does a book on economics and finance entertain in the way that Michael Lewis achieves with The Big Short. Not only is it a great read but The Big Short also explains how financial products and practices worked and effectively brought the financial world to brink of total collapse. Michael Lewis has pulled off a tour de force; he has created a financial thriller with a great story of greed, possible fraud and incompetence whilst clearly explaining complex financial ideas. In the end, a few small funds succeed in beating the frighteningly incompetent big financial institutions and for once, it is a true story.
Web sites exist for a wide range of reasons but to be successful search queries must be able to find them and so sites need rank well in search results. Most visitors will find web pages by searching through Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu and others. As result, good search engine optimisation is the tool that maximises the visibility of the site and is the key to generating traffic for the site.
The Art of SEO sets out to demystify search engine optimisation and explain what search engines need to be able to rank web sites properly. SEO is often seen either as an arcane and mystical process or as a battle between web content providers and the search engines. As The Art of SEO explains in the opening chapters it is neither. In reality, search engines and web site owners with original information to share have a common interest in providing relevant information that matches web searches.
Robert Skidelsky wrote the prize-winning three-volume biography of the economist John Maynard Keynes. As he is also Emeritus Professor of Political Economy at Warwick University, he is well placed to review the financial crisis in the context of Keynes’ economic theories and to show how it would have significantly mitigated the causes and impact of the financial crisis. In Keynes, the Return of the Master Skidelsky goes on to show how applying Keynesian policies would be the best way out of the resulting problems. Lord Skidelsky was made a life peer in 1991.
Blue Ocean Strategy was published in 2005 and has been a major best seller since. It is with good reason as it sets out a way of thinking about market strategies to produce major success through differentiation. It argues that fighting for incremental growth in a company’s share of established markets is not the way to achieve business success, even for the existing players in such markets.
What is Blue Ocean Strategy?
In the first of its three parts, Blue Ocean Strategy explains what the authors mean by blue oceans as opposed to the red oceans of existing competitive markets. There are two chapters:
Martin Wilson was brought in by one of the junior departments in a sensitive government programme. As a junior partner the department could not be seen to be disruptive but it had serious concerns about the programme scope. Martin explored the issues on an individual basis with the other parties and especially with the programme director. It showed that all were aware of problems with the programme direction, “the elephant in the room”, but felt powerless to deal with it. In just six weeks of sensitive negotiations Martin was able to generate consensus and get the programme redesigned and heading in a more appropriate direction.
Sometimes a programme or project needs fresh thinking to get it running smoothly; it may be that a health check has exposed issues.
Solidus has considerable experience with putting projects and programmes back on track. Usually it is a case of a project team using Solidus to facilitate an exploration of the challenges. Often the team are too close to the issues, Solidus helps them step back to “see the wood for the trees”. The client can then often resolve matters themselves. In extremis Solidus can take over project leadership until it is running smoothly.