What Tom’s Reading
There are only a small handful of books I read and reread. For example, I've "done" Karl Weick's SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF ORGANIZING at least 8 or 9 times, re-underlining each time.
This "vacation" it was my 4th heavily underlined rereading of Stephen Jay Gould's FULL HOUSE. I LOVE STATISTICS AND PROBABILITIES AND THE PROPERTIES OF VARIOUS DISTRIBUTIONS OF DATA. (There, I've said it.) Gould explains phenomena grand and trivial by examining the properties of variations in populations.
"All this" led me to the SUPER HOT "cloning thing." Consider another of my "light reads," Richard Lewontin's THE TRIPLE HELIX. Bottom line: Genetic Determinism is BULL. What matters: The INTERACTION of Genes and Environment and Random Shit that happens.
For more vacation reading, see FICTION, below.
"All this" must be put in the context of a world that's changing at an unprecedented rate. David Schneider & Grady Means, MetaCAPITALISM.
Or, consider one of my favorite topics, The War for Talent. As Stan Davis & Christopher Meyer put it in futureWEALTH, "When land was the productive asset, nations battled over it. The same is happening now for talented people." Talent rules!
And diversity! "Diversity defines the health and wealth of nations in a new century."—G. Pascal Zachary, THE GLOBAL ME: New Cosmopolitans and the Competitive Edge: Picking Globalism's WINNERS AND LOSERS. READ THIS BOOK! The basic assertion is strong.
THE RISE OF THE VIRTUAL STATE, Richard Rosecrance. Solid book. Solid argument. So far ... no one is "in the lead" ... when it comes to creating EducationCentury21.
BANKER TO THE POOR, Muhammad Yunus, Founder of the Grameen Bank. Three hearty cheers to Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank. Yunus' un-secret secret: LENDING TO WOMEN!!!!!!!!!!
Bringing us to my BIGGEST "thing" for 2001. Women! What follows is my short list. There's much more.
I've added ... and added ... and added ... "women's stuff" to my seminars. Gotten more strident. FIRE ALL MALE SALES PEOPLE, I shout, only half in jest, following my interpretation of SELLING IS A WOMAN'S GAME: 15 Reasons Why Women Can Outsell Men, by Nicki Joy & Susan Kane-Benson.
Sally Helgesen, FEMALE ADVANTAGE. I WAS MEZMERIZED. Her logic was compelling.
Helen Fisher, THE FIRST SEX: The Natural Talents of Women and How They Are Changing the World. READ THIS BOOK! The premise is ... exactly ... right.
"It's time for U.S. organizations to act. No other country in the world has a comparable supply of professional women waiting to be called into action. This is America's competitive secret." Strong statement! Competitive secret #1! I AGREE! Judy Rosener, AMERICA"S COMPETITIVE SECRET.
"Would Congress [the Boardroom] be a different place if half the members were women?"—Susan Estrich, SEX AND POWER. Who can resist this title?
THE DIAGNOSIS, by Alan Lightman. The main riff is about the fantastic (truest meaning of that word) 24/7 life many of us now lead. WHICH MAY WELL BE KILLING US.
My next thrilla was Caleb Carr's KILLING TIME. Set in 2023, it depicts a world where the once-benign Internet has made it impossible for any of us to discern truth from fiction. Again, this hit home.
Speaking of thrillas ... I have just found somebody truly as good as Le Carre ... somebody totally unknown to me. I've quickly devoured about 4 of Alan Furst's novels. Such as KINGDOM OF SHADOWS, DARK STAR, and THE POLISH OFFICER.