New Summaries of the Week

Value Stream Mapping

Value Stream Mapping

Many organizations struggle to succeed because they lack a holistic view and understanding of exactly how their work gets done. Business consultants Karen Martin and Mike Osterling recommend businesses remedy this problem by thinking of their organizations in terms of value streams, or the series of activities performed to fulfill customer requests. By identifying and improving value streams, organizations will ultimately operate in a way that better serves customers and leads to greater success.

Martin, Karen
Tilt

Tilt

It used to be that businesses gained competitive advantage by having the best products and selling them at competitive prices. They focused their efforts upstream—on production processes, materials sourcing, and the development of innovative products. However, in today’s world of product commoditization, outsourcing, and third-party logistics firms, upstream competitive advantage is hard to achieve. The locus of competitive advantage has shifted downstream—to the interactions firms have with their customers in the marketplace.

Dawar, Niraj
Contagious

Contagious

Contagious by Jonah Berger utilizes sociological and psychological studies alongside extensive marketing research to pinpoint the precise reasons why certain ideas and trends catch on and others do not. He breaks down the studies into six STEPPS of contagiousness: social currency, triggers, emotion, public, practical value, and stories. It would be of interest to those in advertising and marketing, as well as anyone who might have an interest in human behavior, psychology, or sociology.

Berger, Jonah
Global Dexterity

Global Dexterity

Today’s global business environment requires business leaders with sophisticated cross-cultural awareness and quality interpersonal communication. In Global Dexterity, professor Andy Molinsky offers a coherent and comprehensive toolkit to practically guide one’s business behavior in new and foreign environments. Molinsky’s tips help translate cross-cultural awareness into profitable cross-cultural business behaviors, a set of skills he identifies as “global dexterity.”

Molinsky, Andy
Marketing to Millennials

Marketing to Millennials

Millennials, those born between 1977 and 1995, have access to more wealth than any other generation, and businesses must learn how to sell to and engage with them in order to keep them as customers. Since Millennials are influencers in regards to media consumption and the use of social media, brands must also adjust their marketing approaches. It is not enough to simply market to Millennials; instead, this is a group of people who are seeking to actively engage with products through social media.

Fromm, Jeff
As We Speak

As We Speak

As We Speak provides the tools and techniques that will help speakers improve their communications with others, whether it be at a meeting, a large presentation, or in one-on-one interactions. By learning to speak with intent and clearly understand what the listener cares about, a speaker can learn to establish a bond with the listener, which is critical if the speaker wishes to influence.

Meyers, Peter
The Little Black Book of Innovation

The Little Black Book of Innovation

The Little Black Book of Innovation is a how-to book for prospective innovators. Scott Anthony defines true innovation and the types of innovation, explains the history of modern thinking about innovation, and makes a compelling case for the need for businesses to innovate. Innovation disrupts and transforms companies and markets. A key to innovation is developing solutions for unidentified or unsolved problems. Anthony uses anecdotes to describe the need for innovation, and business successes and failures when attempting to innovate.

Anthony, Scott D.