Both/and thinking : embracing creative tensions to solve your toughest problems book cover

Both/and thinking : embracing creative tensions to solve your toughest problems

Wendy K. Smith

Nonfiction, Business

"Life is full of paradoxes. How can we each express our individuality and be a team player? How do we balance work and life? How can we take care of ourselves while supporting others? How can we manage the core business while innovating for the future? For many of us, these competing and interwoven demands are a source of conflict. Since our brains love to make either-or choices, we choose one option over the other. We deal with the uncertainty by asserting certainty. There's a better way. In Both/And Thinking, Wendy Smith and Marianne Lewis help readers cope and thrive with multiple, knotted tensions at the same time. Drawing from more than twenty years of pioneering research, they provide an actionable framework for transforming these tensions into opportunities for innovation and personal growth. Filled with practical advice, groundbreaking research, and fascinating stories, Both/And Thinking will completely change the way you approach your most vexing problems."--

Melody's picture

I love this book! It might be focused on large institutions solving highly complex problems, but it does so in a way that it pulls apart the different values held by stakeholders and finds win-win situations for the best solution possible. Those who have to negotiate or mediate problems among multiple interests should give this a read. -Melody

Meet me by the fountain : an inside history of the mall book cover

Meet me by the fountain : an inside history of the mall

Alexandra Lange

381.11 /Lange
Nonfiction, Business, History

Since their birth in the 1950s, malls have been temples of commerce. Amid the aftershocks of financial crises, a global pandemic, and the rise of online retail, abandoned shopping centers have become one of our era's defining images. Lange chronicles the postwar invention of the mall, and shows how the design of these marketplaces played an integral role in the cultural ascent. She shows that they are environments of both freedom and exclusion, of consumerism but also of community. --

Candice's picture

Oh wow, when I first saw this title, every remnant of my teenaged self reached for the Aqua Net and whatever dayglo clothing I could find! The mall was such a feature of my adolescent years, the word was synonymous with both fashion and social life. Now that I'm older and the wants and ways of people and buying have changed, the mall takes on a bittersweet/wasted space element. Lange's book, however, not only looks back at what the mall was, but also forward, finding ways to repurpose and make equitable the space and resources they provide. Is there hope for the mall yet?? Find out! -Candice

Nazi billionaires : the dark history of Germany's wealthiest dynasties book cover

Nazi billionaires : the dark history of Germany's wealthiest dynasties

David de (Journalist) Jong

943.086 /Jong
History, Business

A groundbreaking investigation of how the Nazis helped German tycoons make billions off the horrors of the Third Reich and World War II--and how America allowed them to get away with it. In 1946, Günther Quandt--patriarch of Germany's most iconic industrial empire, a dynasty that today controls BMW--was arrested for suspected Nazi collaboration. Quandt claimed that he had been forced to join the party by his archrival, propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, and the courts acquitted him. But Quandt lied. And his heirs, and those of other Nazi billionaires, have only grown wealthier in the generations since, while their reckoning with this dark past remains incomplete at best. Many of them continue to control swaths of the world economy, owning iconic brands whose products blanket the globe. The brutal legacy of the dynasties that dominated Daimler-Benz, cofounded Allianz, and still control Porsche, Volkswagen, and BMW has remained hidden in plain sight--until now. In this landmark work of investigative journalism, David de Jong reveals the true story of how Germany's wealthiest business dynasties amassed untold money and power by abetting the atrocities of the Third Reich. Using a wealth of untapped sources, de Jong shows how these tycoons seized Jewish businesses, procured slave laborers, and ramped up weapons production to equip Hitler's army as Europe burned around them. Most shocking of all, de Jong exposes how America's political expediency enabled these billionaires to get away with their crimes, covering up a bloodstain that defiles the German and global economy to this day.

Anne M's picture

An eye-opening investigation into how many of Germany's largest firms and wealthiest families gained their wealth through collaborating with the Nazi Party and the Third Reich, from benefiting from confiscated property from Jewish businesses and families to using forced labor in concentration and prisoner of war camps. de Jong does not stop there. He further investigates why these companies and their leadership were able to keep their businesses and wealth, while many of their government counterparts faced trial at Nuremberg. The content might not make this an easy read, but de Jong reveals how many of these companies have not grappled with or answered for their participation in such brutal and horrific acts. -Anne M

The practice of adaptive leadership : tools and tactics for changing your organization and the world book cover

The practice of adaptive leadership : tools and tactics for changing your organization and the world

Ronald A. (Ronald Abadian) Heifetz

658.4092 /Heifetz
Nonfiction, Business

"The Practice of Adaptive Leadership will help you think more clearly and execute better in a constantly shifting environment. It offers a comprehensive and systematic approach to candidly assessing the situation and yourself, and then taking action. Its wisdom and advice are drawn from the experiences of people like you, committed to advancing what you care about most." "The book is anchored in the framework of adaptive leadership, but goes beyond the theory to provide a practical set of stories, diagrams, techniques, and activities that will help you both assess and address the toughest challenges that lie ahead. Dozens of tools and tactics are presented in an exciting, clear, and reader-friendly design."--BOOK JACKET.

Melody's picture

I'm reading this book to reinforce my knowledge of problem solving and organizational change. It's like an easily readable textbook for MBA students, but the advice is applicable to any knowledge worker needing to unpack thorny problems. Adaptive Leadership theory taught me the term "work avoidance," something I consider each time I find myself delaying tasks I need to be doing. This book also teaches one how to consider defining problems. Is it a technical problem that has a clear solution? Or is it an adaptive problem that requires learning and working with stakeholders? Sometimes, a change in approach is all you need. -Melody

All ages welcome : recruiting and retaining younger generations for library boards, friends groups, and foundations book cover

All ages welcome : recruiting and retaining younger generations for library boards, friends groups, and foundations

Lina Bertinelli

021.82 /Bertinelli
Business, Political, Nonfiction

"With hands-on worksheets, brainstorming activities, checklists, and more, this planner provides practical tools for libraries to grow and strengthen their recruitment, retention, and training of trustees, Friends, and foundation members"--

Mykle's picture

Boomers have experience but Millenials and Gen Z have vested interest and they should be allowed/encouraged to create the future they'll have to live in. This book is good advise for seeking out younger board members but I think it can also serve as a call to younger adults that they're valued and desired. -Mykle

Joy at work : organizing your professional life book cover

Joy at work : organizing your professional life

Marie Kondō

650.1 /Kondo
Nonfiction, Business, Self Help

"The workplace is a magnet for clutter and mess. Who hasn't felt drained by wasteful meetings, disorganized papers, endless emails, and unnecessary tasks? These are the modern-day hazards of working, and they can slowly drain the joy from work, limit our chances of career progress, and undermine our well-being. There is another way. In Joy at Work, bestselling author and Netflix star Marie Kondo and Rice University business professor Scott Sonenshein offer stories, studies, and strategies to help you eliminate clutter and make space for work that really matters. Using the world-renowned KonMari Method and cutting-edge research, Joy at Work will help you overcome the challenges of workplace mess and enjoy the productivity, success, and happiness that come with a tidy desk and mind."--Amazon.

Amanda's picture

I’m a big fan of the KonMari method, and this book broadened my understanding of how it can be applied to work life as well. This is a great follow-up to her Tidying Up title, and a worthy place to Spark Joy! -Amanda

Leadership strategy and tactics : field manual book cover

Leadership strategy and tactics : field manual

Jocko Willink

658.4092 /Willink
Nonfiction, Business

"In the military, a field manual provides instructions in simple, clear, step-by-step language to help soldiers complete their mission. In the civilian sector, books offer information on everything from fixing a leaky faucet to developing an effective workout program to cooking a good steak. But what if you are promoted into a new position leading your former peers? What if you don't get selected for the leadership position you wanted? How do you overcome imposter syndrome, when you aren't sure you should be leading? As a leader, how do you judiciously dole out punishment? What about reward? How do you build trust with your both your superiors and your subordinates? How do you deliver truthful criticism up and down the chain of command in a tactful and positive way? These are all questions about leadership-the most complex of all human endeavors. And while there are books out there that provide solid leadership principles, books like Extreme Ownership and The Dichotomy of Leadership, there is no leadership field manual that provides a direct, situational, pragmatic how-to guide that anyone can instantly put to use. Until now. Leadership Strategy and Tactics explains how to take leadership theory, quickly translate that theory into applicable strategy, and then put leadership into action at a tactical level. This book is the solution that leaders at every level need-not just to understand the leadership game, but also how to play the leadership game, and win it"--

Melody's picture

I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked up this book. I just thought, "I like leadership. I like strategies and tactics. This book is for me!" Jocko Willink is a former Navy Seal and allllll the metaphors he waxes are military ones. And you know what? It works. It is surprisingly applicable to most organizational scenarios I've been in. If offers practical advice (the tactics) and helps you think about looking up and out at bigger strategic possibilities. You might read the phrase "up and down the chain of command" a lot, but you don't have to be in the military to get something out of this book. You just have to be a member of a team and want to do great things. -Melody

Getting to yes : negotiating agreement without giving in book cover

Getting to yes : negotiating agreement without giving in

Roger Fisher

158.5 /Fisher
Nonfiction, Business

"Since it was first published in 1981, Getting to Yes has become a central book in the Business Canon: the key text on the psychology of negotiation. Its message of "principled negotiations"--finding acceptable compromise by determining which needs are fixed and which are flexible for negotiating parties--has influenced generations of businesspeople, lawyers, educators and anyone who has sought to achieve a win-win situation in arriving at an agreement. It has sold over 8 million copies worldwide in 30 languages, and since it was first published by Penguin in 1991 (a reissue of the original addition with Bruce Patton as additional coauthor) has sold over 2.5 million copies--which places it as the #10 bestselling title overall in Penguin Books, and #3 bestselling nonfiction title overall. We have recently relicensed the rights to Getting to Yes, and will be doing a new revised edition--a 30th anniversary of the original publication and 20th of the Penguin edition. The authors will be bringing the book up to date with new material and a assessment of the legacy and achievement of Getting to Yes after three decades"--

Melody's picture

This book is a contemporary classic! Written by members of the Harvard Negotiation Project, you will find this book in political science classrooms around the U.S. Or at least, that was my exposure to it--in a class on international politics and peacekeeping. It's great to re-read any time you need to negotiate an agreement with someone. Buying a car? Taking the iPad away from your child? This book contains secrets to let both sides save face and find the next best option. -Melody

Bring your brain to work : using cognitive science to get a job, do it well, and advance your career book cover

Bring your brain to work : using cognitive science to get a job, do it well, and advance your career

Arthur B. Markman

650.1 /Markman
Nonfiction, Business

Few people really understand their own minds or the minds of others. Over the past decade, there has been increasing attention to what psychology can teach us about work. Research has focused on improving decision-making practices, influencing colleagues, and effective thinking. The problem is, general-interest books on these topics typically include only a smattering of business and career examples, tantalizing readers without providing real, constructive help. Bring Your Brain to Work changes all that, bringing current cognitive science insight to specific workplace challenges. The book focuses on three elements of success: getting a job, excelling at work, and finding your next position. Professor, author, and popular radio host Art Markman expertly illustrates how cognitive science brings important perspective and insight to each of these elements. Integrating the latest research with engaging stories and examples from across the professional spectrum, Bring Your Brain to Work will help readers understand themselves and the people around them, providing evidence-based insight and advice on three crucial aspects of success--

Melody's picture

Lately I have been enjoying books about professional development and improvement. This one has very practical advice about managing your work and time. It reads quickly and doesn't feel like a slog to get through. -Melody

The checklist manifesto : how to get things right book cover

The checklist manifesto : how to get things right

Atul Gawande

Nonfiction, Business

We live in a world of great and increasing complexity, where even the most expert professionals struggle to master the tasks they face. Longer training, ever more advanced technologies—neither seems to prevent grievous errors. But in a hopeful turn, acclaimed surgeon and writer Atul Gawande finds a remedy in the humblest and simplest of techniques: the checklist. First introduced decades ago by the U.S. Air Force, checklists have enabled pilots to fly aircraft of mindboggling sophistication. Now innovative checklists are being adopted in hospitals around the world, helping doctors and nurses respond to everything from flu epidemics to avalanches. Even in the immensely complex world of surgery, a simple ninety second variant has cut the rate of fatalities by more than a third. In riveting stories, Gawande takes us from Austria, where an emergency checklist saved a drowning victim who had spent half an hour underwater, to Michigan, where a cleanliness checklist in intensive care units virtually eliminated a type of deadly hospital infection. He explains how checklists actually work to prompt striking and immediate improvements. And he follows the checklist revolution into fields well beyond medicine, from disaster response to investment banking, skyscraper construction, and businesses of all kinds. An intellectual adventure in which lives are lost and saved and one simple idea makes a tremendous difference, The Checklist Manifesto is essential reading for anyone working to get things right.

Melody's picture

Stories about the most universal of productivity tools: The Checklist. Listen for some inspiration! -Melody