Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

‘Scaling Up Excellence’ Scales Up

Congratulations to GSB Profs Huggy Rao and Bob Sutton!  Their recent book  Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less  (call number HD58.8.S887 2014) has been selected by Library Journal as one of the best business books of 2014. Books are chosen by the magazine’s reviewers and columnists. To give you an idea of the company they’re keeping, Thomas Pitketty’s international sensation Capital in the Twenty-first Century is also on the list.  Some of you may recall that Prof Sutton spoke on Scaling Up Excellence at the last Library Speaker Series event in Bass Center.  Be sure to check the Popular Business Books rack in the Library for available copies.

Warren Bennis (1925-2014)

Warren Bennis, noted author on leadership, died Thursday at the age of 89. A professor at the University of Southern California for more than three decades, Bennis was the author of more than 30 books. As a consultant he provided advice to corporate figures, such as Howard Shultz of Starbucks, as well as American presidents like John F Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan. As a boy Bennis saw his father summarily dismissed from his job and grasped the power of organizations and their impact on lives; this set him on the path of exploring organizational behavior and leadership. He was also influenced by his experiences in World War II.

Faculty books highlighted

GSB faculty authors  now have their recent books showcased on our Popular Books racks, just inside the Library entrance. Currently on display, for example, is The Bankers’ New Clothes: What’s Wrong With Banking and What to Do About It, by GSB Prof Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig. This book asks the question ‘What is wrong with today’s banking system?’  The authors argue that we can have a safer and healthier system without sacrificing any of the benefits, and at no additional cost to society. Banks are not as fragile as they are because they must be, but because they want to be, the authors declare. The book calls for ambitious reform and outlines specific steps that can be taken immediately.  Says Eugene Fama of the University of Chicago, “A must-read for concerned citizens … should be studied and memorized by lawmakers and regulators so they won’t be duped by false claims in the future.”

Bob Sutton (Good Boss, Bad Boss) and Huggy Rao (Market Rebels) have teamed up to examine what it takes to build and identify pockets of exemplary performance and spread them to others in the organization in Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less.  Drawing on extensive research and inside accounts from a number of industries, the authors identify the key scaling challenges that confront every company. “Scaling Up Excellence is one of the finest business books you’ll ever read,” enthuses Daniel H. Pink (To Sell is Human).

Market Liquidity: Asset Pricing, Risk and Crises by GSB Prof Haim Mendelson, Yakov Amihud and Lasse Heje Pedersen presents the theory and evidence on the effect of market liquidity and liquidity risk on asset prices and on overall securities market performance, demonstrating the important role of liquidity in asset pricing. Stanford’s Darrell Duffie comments “This collection places the best available work on the topic between two covers. It must be read by anyone following this subject area,” while Nobel Laureate Robert Engle opines, “The liquidity of financial markets has never been a more important topic of research and policy and this book gives a very accessible way to understand both the traditional and current research.”

And finally, Absolute Value: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information, by Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen. Going against conventional wisdom, this book reveals what really influences customers today, and offers a new framework — the Influence Mix — to help managers develop effective marketing strategies.  Chip Heath (Made to Stick) opines, “Every marketer is going to have to read this book (if only not to feel left out when everyone else is talking about it)”, and Ravi Dhar of the Yale School of Management says “Pay attention to this book. It offers important insights into changing consumer behavior and presents new rules for success in the marketplace of the future.”

Faculty Book Talk Series: First Call

At 5:15 PM on April 17 in the Great Room, 4th floor Bass Center, Prof Bob Sutton will speak on his new book Scaling Up Excellence, co-authored with Prof Huggy Rao. Chip and Dan Heath, authors of Switch and Made to Stick, comment  “If you want your organization to expand and grow without losing what makes you special, this is the book for you.  Sutton and Rao have written a must-read handbook for scaling.” This will be the second in the Library’s book talk series. Cheese and wine will be offered as refreshments. We invite the Stanford community to join us in the beautiful Great Room for this exciting event!

5 Deans event video available

The Library-sponsored event An Evening with Five Deans on Feb 26 was a great success. A large crowd of alumni, faculty and others in Cemex Auditorium heard former Deans Arjay Miller, Robert Jaedicke, A. Michael Spence and Robert Joss respond to questions presented by moderator and current Dean Garth Saloner. Together these gentlemen represent decades of management experience at the GSB, so it was quite fascinating to hear them comment on their personal challenges and triumphs.

It takes a little work to take a vacation

Have trouble tearing yourself away from the office for a little R&R? A recent NYTimes article covers the vacation-prep basics for small business owners (and managers alike). Being unwilling to get away (AND unplug!)  “can be bad for the health of both the owner and the business.”

How to take a real vacation (and not stress promptly upon return):

  • Prepare you staff
  • Manage client expectations
  • Plan around slow periods
  • Set a schedule

Read the NYTimes, WSJ, Washigton Post, and more newspapers for free via GSB Library resource – Factiva.  Happy 4th of July!


It’s just not fair

Well I shouldn’t be surprised that the CEOs of the big Wall Street banks are about to get big bonuses and the lower level employees are getting much smaller bonuses than a year ago. You can read and then rant silently to yourself, especially if you work in one of the aforementioned banks here.

If you’re curious about how much money you’re not making and others are, check out the library’s research guide, Wage and Salary Surveys.


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