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New Books on Business and Economics

Click for availability and more information Bull By The Horns: fighting to save Main Street from Wall Street and Wall Street from itself, by Sheila Bair
In her account of how the US government dealt with the financial mess at the core of the Great Recession, Bair, the chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) from 2006-2011, dispels myths and gives her account of the key players' roles. Bair, who grew up on "main street" in rural Kansas, shares her belated qualms about the bank bailouts, and revelations regarding how the government and the big banks' regulator worked to protect them against greater regulation.

Click for availability and more information The Coming Prosperity: how entrepreneurs are transforming the global economy, by Philip Auerswald
Auerswald argues that it is time to overcome the outdated narratives of fear that dominate public discourse and to grasp the powerful momentum of progress. Acknowledging the gravity of today's greatest global challenges--like climate change, water scarcity, and rapid urbanization--Auerswald emphasizes that the choices we make today will determine the extent and reach of the coming prosperity. To make the most of this epochal transition, he writes, the key is entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs introduce new products and services, expand the range of global knowledge networks, and, most importantly, challenge established business interests, maintaining the vitality of mature capitalist economies and enhancing the viability of emerging ones. 

Click for availability and more information Contagious: why things catch on, by Jonah Berger
Why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral? Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger has spent the last decade answering these questions. He's studied why New York Times articles make the paper's own Most E-mailed List, why products get word of mouth, and how social influence shapes everything from the cars we buy to the clothes we wear to the names we give our children. In this book, Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to workplace rumors and YouTube videos. Contagious combines groundbreaking research with powerful stories. Learn how a luxury steakhouse found popularity through the lowly cheese-steak, why anti-drug commercials might have actually increased drug use, and why more than 200 million consumers shared a video about one of the seemingly most boring products there is: a blender. If you've wondered why certain stories get shared, e-mails get forwarded, or videos go viral, Contagious explains why, and shows how to leverage these concepts to craft contagious content. This book provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread--for designing messages, advertisements, and information that people will share. Whether you're a manager at a big company, a small business owner trying to boost awareness, a politician running for office, or a health official trying to get the word out, Contagious will show you how to make your product or idea catch on.

Click for availability and more information The Founders and Finance: how Hamilton, Gallatin, and other immigrants forged a new economy, by Thomas K. McCraw
In 1776 the United States government started out on a shoestring and quickly went bankrupt fighting its War of Independence against Britain. At the war's end, the national government owed tremendous sums to foreign creditors and its own citizens. But lacking the power to tax, it had no means to repay them. The Founders and Finance is the first book to tell the story of how foreign-born financial specialists--immigrants--solved the fiscal crisis and set the United States on a path to long-term economic success. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas K. McCraw analyzes the skills and worldliness of Alexander Hamilton (from the Danish Virgin Islands), Albert Gallatin (from the Republic of Geneva), and other immigrant founders who guided the nation to prosperity. Their expertise with liquid capital far exceeded that of native-born plantation owners Washington, Jefferson, and Madison, who well understood the management of land and slaves but had only a vague knowledge of financial instruments--currencies, stocks, and bonds. The very rootlessness of America's immigrant leaders gave them a better understanding of money, credit, and banks, and the way each could be made to serve the public good.

Click for availability and more information Global Tilt: Leading your business through the great economic power shift , by Ram Charan
The global tilt is nothing less than an irreversible shift of economic power--jobs, wealth, and market opportunities--from a small part of the world to its entirety. It is improving the lives of millions of people around the world, and while it is creating immense opportunities, it is disrupting the world as you know it with dizzying speed. In Global Tilt, Charan gives business leaders the guidance they need to succeed in a tilted world, including gaining an edge by cutting through the complexity of demographics, different forms of government, and even the global financial system, to identify "unstoppable trends" better and sooner than others. Charan discusses challenging your reliance on core competence and the incremental improvement that results. Instead, look "outside-in" and "future-back," determine the capabilities you need to build, and muster the psychological fortitude to make occasional strategic bets that can potentially alter the competitive landscape. For a brief overview, read this recent interview from The Economic Times" with Charan where he discusses discusses the "Global Tilt."

Click for availability and more information The Impact Equation: are you making things happen or just making noise?, by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith
Brogan and Smith offer guidelines for getting customer attention and building community online through social media and social networks. Rather than offering technical details on how to use social media, the authors instead explain how to build ideas, how to move the ideas through a platform so they will be seen and discussed, and how to build a strong human element around those ideas so that people know you care about their participation. You can watch the authors discuss the book on their YouTube channel .

Click for availability and more information Indispensable: when leaders really matter, by Gautam Mukunda
Harvard Business School professor Gautam Mukunda offers afresh look at how and when individual leaders really can make a difference. By identifying and analyzing the hidden patterns of their careers, and by exploring the systems that place these leaders in positions of power, Indispensable sheds new light on how we may be able to identify the best leaders and what lessons we can learn, from both the process and the result. Profiling a mix of historic and modern figures?from Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln to Winston Churchill and Judah Folkman?and telling the stories of how they came to power and how they made the most important decisions of their lives, Indispensable reveals how, when, and where a single individual in the right place at the right time can save or destroy the organization they lead, and even change the course of history. 

Click for availability and more information Leading So People Will Follow, by Erika Andersen
Exploring the 6 leadership characteristics that inspire followers to fully support their leaders, and featuring examples from forward-thinking organizations as Apple and MTV Networks, Andersen, a popular Forbes blogger and renowned leadership coach provides a proven framework that creates loyalty, commitment and results.

Click for availability and more information The Org: the underlying logic of the office, by Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan
The world is full of organizational cynics. Look around, look in the mirror. We sit in our cubes, adjust our chairs, sharpen our pencils and stare at our computer screens with the sense that we're immersed in dysfunction. We could, we're sure, do a far better job of running things if we were given the chance. But we know we won't get the chance and so sink into doubt, distrust, and pessimism. But it doesn't have to be that way. Authors Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan take readers through the logic of organizations using basic economic principles as their guide. Examining why organizations exist in the first place, The Org explores the tradeoffs that every corporation faces-from how to select members to how to inspire and discipline them-and then looks at the components of the whole structure from cubicle dwellers to CEOs. Using the tools of organizational economics, The Org provides readers with a concrete, logical, and practical way of thinking about how organizations ought to work. The insights unearthed in The Org may surprise you and may also explain how, with a few tweaks, the dysfunctional nature of today's office may nonetheless provide the ideal structure for getting the job done. More from the authors on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" here

Click for availability and more information The Physics of Wall Street: a brief history of predicting the unpredictable, by James Owen Weatherall
A Harvard scholar challenges popular beliefs to argue that mathematical models can provide solutions to current economic challenges, citing the pivotal historical contributions of physicists to Wall Street while explaining that the economic meltdown of 2008 was based on a misunderstanding of scientific models rather than on the models themselves. 

Click for availability and more information Vested: how P&G, McDonald's, and Microsoft are redefining winning in business relationship , by Kate Vitasek and Karl Manrodt with Jeanne Kling
What do Procter and Gamble, Microsoft, McDonald's and The Department of Energy have in common? They have all recently implemented a vested relationship with their partners and suppliers, leading to innovation and a better bottom line. Here the authors show how P&G partnered with Jones Lang LaSalle to manage over 14 million feet of facilities in 60 countries and how the Minnesota Department of Transportation turned tragedy into success after the I35 bridge crumbled into the water by rebuilding the bridge with state-of-the-art design under budget in less time than anticipated. Working with partners is the future of business. 

Click for availability and more information The Zen of Steve Jobs, by written by Caleb Melby; concept, design, and illustration by Jess3
An illustrated depiction of Steve Jobs' friendship with Zen Buddhist Kobun Chino Otogawa and the impact it had on Jobs' career. Their time together was integral to the big leaps that Apple took later on with its product design and business strategy. Was the revolutionary circular scroll wheel on the Apple iPod inspired by kinhin, the Zen practice of walking in circles while meditating? Told using stripped down dialogue and bold calligraphic panels, The Zen of Steve Jobs explores how Jobs might have honed his design aesthetic via Eastern religion before choosing to identify only what he needs and leave the rest behind.

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