A true tale of high adventure in the South Seas.
The tiny island of Run is an insignificant speck in the Indonesian archipelago. Just two miles long and half a mile wide, it is remote, tranquil, and, these days, largely ignored.
Yet 370 years ago, Run's harvest of nutmeg (a pound of which yielded a 3,200 percent profit by the time it arrived in England) turned it into the most lucrative of the Spice Islands, precipitating a battle between the all-powerful Dutch East India Company and the British Crown. The outcome of the fighting was one of the most spectacular deals in history: Britain ceded Run to Holland but in return was given Manhattan. This led not only to the birth of New York but also to the beginning of the British Empire.
Such a deal was due to the persistence of one man. Nathaniel Courthope and his small band of adventurers were sent to Run in October 1616, and for four years held off the massive Dutch navy. Nathaniel's Nutmeg centers on the remarkable showdown between Courthope and the Dutch Governor General Jan Coen, and the brutal fate of the mariners racing to Run-and the other corners of the globe-to reap the huge profits of the spice trade. Written with the flair of a historical sea novel but based on rigorous research, "Nathaniel's Nutmeg" is a brilliant adventure story by a writer who has been hailed as the "new Bruce Chatwin" ("Mail" on Sunday).
More than 15 million people in this country earn their livings by serving clients, and their numbers are growing every day. Unfortunately, far too few develop the skills and strategies needed to rise to the top in a world where clients have almost unlimited access to information and expertise. Supported by more than one hundred case studies and wisdom gleaned from interviews with dozens of leading CEOs and prominent business advisors, Clients for Life identifies what clients really want and lays out the core qualities that distinguish the client advisor -- an irreplaceable resource -- from the expert for hire -- a tradable commodity.
- Experts are specialists; advisors become deep generalists who have broad perspective.
- Experts are for hire; advisors have selfless independence, balancing client devotion with objectivity and detachment.
- Experts have professional credibility; advisors develop deep personal trust.
- Experts analyze; advisors synthesize and bring big-picture thinking to the table.
- Experts supply expertise and information; advisors are educators who provide insight and wisdom.
Portraits of history's most famously successful advisors, including Machiavelli, Sir Thomas More, and J. P. Morgan, underscore these timeless qualities that modern professionals need to develop to excel in today's competitive environment.
Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning.
But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?
For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?
Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.
The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?
Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- why some companies make the leap and others don't.
The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include:
- Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness.
- The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence.
- A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology.
- The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.
"Some of the key concepts discerned in the study," comments Jim Collins, fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people."
Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?
- Are you burdened with the tax debt of a current or former spouse?
- Have you just received an IRS computerized or correction notice?
- Are you in danger of having your property seized?
- Has your tax return been selected for an audit?
- Is the IRS knocking on your door?
If you've answered yes to any of these questions, you're not alone: more than twenty-five million taxpayers are faced with the terrifying prospect of dealing with audits, assessments, or other IRS problems every year. But with all the books devoted to how to prepare your taxes, there's never been one that explains how to get yourself out of trouble easily, legally, and inexpensively -- until now. With The IRS Problem Solver, veteran tax expert Dan Pilla offers the first comprehensive guide to dealing with the most common IRS problems taxpayers confront, from face-to-face audits to fraud penalties. Pilla's book is an indispensable preventive tool for all who file their own taxes--and a necessity for anyone who's just received a notice that the wolf is at the door.
Presented in 23 compact lessons, The Art of Profitability features an ongoing tutorial between two fictitious individuals: the old and wise teacher, David Shao, the business master, and his pupil, Steve Gardner, a young and ambitious manager. Along the way, Zhao goes through a number of business models and pushes his student to examine how a variety of businesses go about making money. Through Zhao's teachings, Steve begins to see how profits can be improved simply by taking a step back and gaining a new perspective.
In The Reengineering Revolution, Michael Hammer and Steven Stanton build on this foundation to share with readers their experiences in successfully implementing reengineering in companies around the world. In an easy-reading, anecdotal style, the book offers behind-the-scenes stories of reengineering successes and failures; practical techniques for key aspects of reengineering, from breaking long standing assumptions to managing change; and insights into the new ways of thinking that reengineering requires.
Just as Reengineering the Corporation shot to the top of the bestseller charts, so has The Reengineering Revolution. It is the practical guide for which business people have been waiting to help them achieve the dramatic improvements -- in speed, productivity, quality, service and profits -- that reengineering promises.
A journey back in time to the movie theatres of the past and the days when those theatres were as exotic and exciting as the movies on screen. John Margolies has been documenting theatres and drive-ins aross America. Emily Gwathmey's introduction traces the evolution of the movie theatre.