AI For Marketing And Product Innovation by A K Pradeep, Andrew Appel and Stan Sthanunathan

The Blurb On The Back:

AI For Marketing And Product Innovation offers product innovators, creative talent and marketing professionals a hands-on and highly accessible guide to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).  The authors (a team of experts at the intersection of neuroscience, technology, insights, and marketing) reveal how to harness AI and ML to accelerate product innovation and marketing.  These two powerful new tools stand poised to revolutionize the way we sell products and make innovative breakthroughs.

This vital resource explores a wide range of business-related topics, from innovation, branding, pricing and promotions, creative storytelling to the future of market research and advertising agencies.  All the techniques presented in the book have become algorithms and serve as real-life examples of AI and ML at work.  In addition, the authors outline the resources, the skills, best practices, terminology, and metrics required to harness the unparalleled and rapidly expanding power of these twin technologies.  AI For Marketing And Product Innovation provides an in-depth look at what AI is, what it can – and cannot – do, and contains practical ideas and insights on ways in which to apply that knowledge to your business and career development.

Throughout the book, the authors neither resort to mathematical mumbo-jumbo nor do they present an endless array of irrelevant case studies.  Instead, they challenge us to “Think Different”.  AI For Marketing And Product Innovation is filled with the information needed to understand the practical business implications of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.  In clear terms, the book shows how to put them to work to gain a competitive advantage in today’s increasingly digitally-driven economy.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas

The Blurb On The Back:

What explains the spreading backlash against the global elite?  In this revelatory investigation Anand Giridharadas takes us into the inner sanctums of a new gilded age, showing how the elite follow a ‘win-win’ logic, fighting for equality and justice any way they can – except ways that threaten their position at the top.

But why should our gravest problems be solved by consultancies, technology companies and corporate-sponsored charities instead of public institutions and elected officials?  Why should we rely on scraps from the winners?  Trenchant and gripping, this is an indispensable guide and call to action for elites and citizens alike. 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

The Happiness Fantasy by Carl Cederström

The Blurb On The Back:

In this devastatingly witty new book, Carl Cederström traces our present-day conception of happiness from its roots in early-twentieth-century European psychiatry, to the Beat generation, to Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.  He argues that happiness is now defined by a desire to be ‘authentic’, to experience physical pleasure, and to cultivate a quirky individuality.  But over the last fifty years, these once-revolutionary ideas have been co-opted by corporations and advertisers, pushing us to live lives that are ever more unfulfilling, insecure and narcissistic.

In an age of increasing austerity and social division, Cederströmargues that a radical new dream of happiness is gathering pace. There is a vision of the good life which promotes deeper engagement with the world and our place within it, rather than the individualism and hedonism of previous generations.  Guided by this more egalitarian worldview, we can reinvent ourselves and our societies. 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

The Empowered Manager by Peter Block

The Blurb On The Back:

When the first edition of this book was published, the United States was in a time of recession, financial crises and growing unemployment.  Sound familiar?  Many companies rose to acclaimed success from these conditions by improving the quality of their products and services by shifting control from top management to employees closer to the work.  This revised and updated edition of The Empowered Manager casts fresh eyes on the theory and practice of optimizing the human system in your organisation in the context of how today’s businesses are changing at the speed of technological innovation.

Business has changed a lot in thirty years, but the philosophies and practices managers use to lead teams are still stuck in a patriarchal mindset.  This brilliantly reimagined Second Edition is for everyone who wants to be a force for change and improvement in a stagnant workplace culture where safety, advancement, control, and the desire to hold someone else responsible is forefront on people’s minds.  The potent blend of theory and actionable practices provides a clear path for embracing the technology eliminating the tedious tasks from employees’ job descriptions and empowering them with the abilities to better serve customers. Whether you’re a manager or an employee, the inspiring guidance inside lets you step out of the negative office politics fuelling the status quo and gives you the skills to act with autonomy and compassion in service of a vision in order to “own” the performance of your team.

Bring out the entrepreneurial spirit in your entire team and get them invested and excited about the work by:

  • creating a unit that exemplifies your deepest personal beliefs about your employees and the organisation and puts in place the systems to make it a reality
  • developing high-integrity strategies for neutralising adversaries, motivating fence sitters and focusing mostly on allies
  • mastering practical tips for aligning your vision with everyday practice, including how to handle meetings, restructure teams, and manage communications.

The Empowered Manager, Second Edition gives you a clear path to becoming the leader your organisation needs to positively impact performance, build accountability and enhance job satisfaction for everyone – including top management. 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

Do Central Banks Serve The People? By Peter Dietsch, François Claveau and Clément Fontan

The Blurb On The Back:

In the wake of the 2007 financial crisis, central banks injected trillions of dollars of liquidity – through quantitative easing – to prevent financial meltdown and stimulate the economy.  The untold story behind these measures is that they have come at a considerable cost.

Central bankers argue we had no choice.  Using examples from Europe and the US, this book shows why this claim is false.  It outlines why we should worry about the role played by central banks since the crisis and what could be done about it.  Not only do central bank policies drive economic inequality, they have also become worryingly dependent on financial markets.  Far from applying neutral and scientific solutions, their expertise is often biased in predictable ways.

This book is a sobering and urgent wake-up call for policy makers and anyone interested in how our monetary and financial system really works. 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

Lean Six Sigma For Leaders by Martin Brenig-Jones and Jo Dowdall

The Blurb On The Back:

Outstanding quality control and continuous improvement shouldn’t be complicated and burdensome.  Now, you can quickly understand and practice the next-level solution to operations management with Lean Six Sigma For Leaders.

Written by industry influencers with a long, brilliant record of producing high-performing teams, this practical manual opens up the world of Lean Six Sigma in a way senior management can immediately use to create the optimal environment for improving operations every day.

A diverse collection of illuminating case studies reveal how organisations in several industries succeeded or failed using the Lean Six Sigma approach.  First-hand insights from the managers leading the initiative offer valuable advise on what they learned and might do differently next time.

Start your new path to ever-increasing levels of excellence with Lean Six Sigma For Leaders

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

Will Big Business Destroy Our Planet? by Peter Dauvergne

The Blurb On The Back:

Walmart, Coca-Cola, BP, Toyota.  The world economy runs on the profits of transnational corporations.  Politicians need their backing.  Non-profit organizations rely on their philanthropy.  People look to their brands for meaning.  And their power continues to rise.

Can these companies, as so many are now hoping, provide the solutions to end the mounting global environmental crisis? Absolutely, the CEOs of big business are telling us: the commitment to corporate social responsibility will ensure it happens voluntarily.

Peter Dauvergne challenges this claim, arguing instead that corporations are still doing far more to destroy than protect our planet.  Trusting big business to lead sustainability is, he cautions, unwise – perhaps even catastrophic.  Planetary sustainability will require reining in the power of big business, starting now. 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

Small Money, Big Impact: Fighting Poverty With Microfinance by Peter Fanconi and Patrick Scheurle

The Blurb On The Back:

Small Money Big Impact brilliantly illustrates what microfinance is, how it works and all the ways microloans and impact investing can be a socially and financially rewarding asset class.

Impact investing is a global megatrend and is reshaping the way people invest as pension funds, insurance companies, foundations, family offices and private investors jump on board.

However, more than two billion people still lack access to basic financial services so opportunities abound.  This first-of-its-kind guide offers in-depth, yet accessible coverage to making a social and environmental impact, while benefitting from competitive, consistent and uncorrelated returns.  Returns that have proven themselves for well over a decade.

Gain expert-level understanding of both the processes and investment vehicles used in microfinance as well as an awareness of the power this asset class has to enrich the impoverished.

– Explore the global impact investing phenomenon.

– Learn how microloans work, and how they make a difference.

– Discover why investors are increasingly leaning into impact investing.

– Consider the factors that inform impact investing decisions.

Small Money Big Impact has your complete solution to using a small amount of capital to make the world a better place and sustain a robust portfolio. 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

The Ascendancy Of Finance by Joseph Vogl

The Blurb On The Back:

The global financial crisis of 2008 ushered in a system of informal decision-making in the grey zone between economics and politics.  Legitimised by a rhetoric of emergency, ad hoc bodies have usurped democratically elected governments.  In line with the neoliberal credo, the recent crisis has been used to re-align executive power with the interests of the finance industry.

In this important book, Joseph Vogl offers a longer perspective on these developments, showing how the dynamics of modern finance capitalism have always rested on a complex and constantly evolving relationship between private creditors and the state.  He argues that over the last three centuries, finance has become a ‘fourth power’, marked by the systematic interconnection of treasury and finance, of political and private economic interests.

The Ascendency Of Finance provides valuable and unsettling insight into the genesis of modern power and where it truly resides.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

What Everyone Needs To Know About Tax by James Hannam

The Blurb On The Back:

What the taxman hopes you won’t find out.

What Everyone Needs To Know About Tax is an entertaining and informative guide to the tax system in the United Kingdom.  This easy to understand explanation of tax and tax policy is written for the layman, with no accounting or legal background necessary.  It lifts the fog surrounding the latest political arguments and public controversies over taxation, including the effect of Brexit, whether multinational companies are unfairly avoiding their dues, the special privileges of the ultra-wealthy non-doms and more.

Tax expert and historian James Hannam gives insight on every aspect of the tax system, along with practical case studies illustrating how taxation functions in the real world.  He shows how taxes are kept as invisible as possible, why there are so many different taxes and how they almost all end up being paid by ordinary people.  Having read this book, you will:

–           Find out how much of your money goes in taxes without your noticing it

–           Understand the logic behind the wrinkles and foibles in the UK tax system

–           See through the cant of politicians and the media on the subject of tax

Above all, this book shows how, when it comes to tax, there are no easy answers.  May yourself a better-informed voter and taxpayer by reading What Everyone Needs To Know About Tax!

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »