Books about process

For “business processes and procedures” amazon(dot)com returned 1,800 titles. “business process management” yielded 26,000 books. 

And “business processes” led to over 490,000 book titles.

Four hundred and ninety thousand. That’s a lot of books. Does this mean than Americans consider internal processes critical to the success of companies?

“A work of art”

Penguin. An American publishing house (a part of Random House, which was acquired by Bertelsmann). A flyer tucked into one of their books purchased via Amazon. Quotes by reviewers about some of those other Penguin books: 

“A work of art. One of the greatest political biographies ever written.”; “How non-fiction should be written.”; “Magnificent. I finished it with a sense of exaltation.”; “One of the world’s most original and provocative thinkers.”; “A mind-altering book.”; “The most important book on the Second world War in decades.”; “When you read it, you feel like you can topple giants.”

Constructive Criticism

Critique: A detailed analysis and assessment of something, especially a literary, philosophical, or political theory. Derived from mid 17th century from French, based on Greek kritikē tekhnē ‘critical art”.

Constructive criticism is legitimate criticism – fair, objective, well grounded. It is constructive when its purpose, tone and spirit aim to help the other person recognize, understand and then correct their weaknesses. Constructive criticism is helpful.

Employee evaluation helps management to measure performance while maintaining motivation and reducing employee turnover. It has three components: praise work well done; address areas of improvement; recommend improvement measures. Employee evaluations also serve as documentation of future goals to be reviewed at a later date.

There are 58,885 books on self-improvement on Amazon.com. The most popular areas for self-improvement are money management, healthy living, attitude, speaking skills, time management, and interpersonal relations.

Popular titles include “The Power of Self-Coaching: The Five Essential Steps to Creating the Life You Want” by Joseph J. Luciani, “The Secret Art of Self-Development: 16 Little-Known Rules for Eternal Happiness & Freedom” by Karl Moore, “50 Self-Help Classics: 50 Inspirational Books to Transform Your Life from Timeless Sages to Contemporary Gurus” by Tom Butler-Bowdon, and “I Had It All The Time: When Self-Improvement Gives Way to Ecstasy” by Alan Cohen.

It’s Always Personal

It’s Always Personal. Random House. 2013. Author Ann Kreamer writes about emotions in the workplace, especially during evaluations formal and informal. Statements about the book from amazon(dot)com:

“Ms. Kreamer comes down on the side of accepting and expressing one’s authentic feelings, though in sensible and constructive ways. It’s a stimulating read bolstered by snippets of some of the best recent work on emotional intelligence and the science of happiness.” The Wall Street Journal

“Kreamer demonstrates why emotion matters so much in the workplace–and, with practical advice, she identifies ways to be happier and more effective at work.”  New York Times

“What’s the role of anger, fear empathy, anxiety and tears?  This book explains them in ways that will make you a better worker, boss and human being.”  Walter Isaacson, President and CEO, The Aspen Institute and former CEO of CNN

 “Kreamer makes a solid case for her philosophy in the most compelling way possible, by appealing to rationality and the bottom line.”

— Publisher’s Weekly Review 

Performance Appraisals For Dummies

amazon(dot)com listed 22,000 books about „giving feedback“, 62,000 titles on „performance reviews“ and a total of 127 how-to books alone about „performance review phrases“, including Performance Appraisals and Phrases For Dummies. 

Its profile states:

„Whether you’re a manger looking to implement employee appraisals for the first time, concerned with improving the quality and effectiveness of the appraisal process, or simply trying to save time and mental anguish Dummies provides the tools you need to save time and energy while presenting fair and accurate evaluations that foster employee growth.

This convenient, portable package includes a full-length appraisal phrasebook featuring over 3,200 spot-on phrases and plenty of quick-hitting expert tips on making the most out of the process.“

A reviewer commented:

„… This book gave me ideas on how to properly phrase what I was trying to communicate during the review process. There is a scenario for just about everything you’d cover in a employee review and it was so very helpful when I knew what I wanted to say, but wasn’t quite sure how to write it clearly….“

MBWA

Management by walking around (MBWA) was an idea made popular by the 1982 book „In Search of Excellence“ (Tom Peters, Robert Waterman) emphasizing the need for senior-level management get back in touch, or to be in closer touch, with their organizations.

MBWA recommended unscheduled visits by managers to their teams, in their operations, in order to ask questions, offer support, and to answer questions „at the ground level.“

Although thought by many readers of the book to be something new, MBWA, like so many other business management fads in the U.S., has been practiced by Americans in leadership positions for many generations.

“in the same light as a machine”

In his 1893 book The Distribution of Wealth economist John R. Commons used the term human resource. The term was then used in the 1910s and 1920s. Workers were seen as a type of capital asset. E.W. Bakke revived “human resources” in its modern form was in 1958. Adam Smith defined human capital as follows:

“The acquisition of such talents, by the maintenance of the acquirer during his education, study, or apprenticeship, always costs a real expense, which is a capital fixed and realized, as it were, in his person. The improved dexterity of a workman may be considered in the same light as a machine or instrument of trade which facilitates and abridges labor, and which, though it costs a certain expense, repays that expense with a profit.”

“… in the same light as a machine.”

Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie (1888-1955) was a lecturer, writer and developer of courses on self-improvement, salesmanship, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. His How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936) was a record-breaking bestseller which remains popular today.

His books and Dale Carnegie Training courses focus on building self-confidence, strengthening people and communication skills, as well as developing leadership traits. Carnegie believed that it is possible to change other people’s behavior by changing one’s own interaction with them.

How to Win Friends and Influence People is number 509 in Amazon.com’s top book list and has over 1,060 customer reviews on the website with 4.6 out of 5 stars rating.

Additionally, it is one of the top 20 “Best Sales Book” on Monster.com. Operating in over 75 countries, Dale Carnegie Training has been in business since 1912, with clients among the world’s most successful global companies.

Credible and intelligent

“If you care about being thought credible and intelligent, do not use complex language where simpler language will do. Couching familiar ideas in pretentious language is taken as a sign of poor intelligence and low credibility.”

From Thinking, Fast and Slow. Daniel Kahneman, 2002 winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics.

Business Storytelling

Business Storytelling for Dummies. Author Karen Dietz. What does amazon(dot)com say about the book in order to promote it?

Learn to: translate data, facts, and figures into rich, captivating messages; harness the power of good storytelling to influence and motivate employees; effectively convey messages to buyers and funders; connect with your audience and drive your business to new heights; use storytelling to influence people and move them to action

Use stories to tap into their imaginations and translate sterile facts and stagnant case studies into exciting concepts they can identify with.