Tag Archives: book review

3 tips your business could implement to become more competitive

We could review our organization’s performance by using analytical data. If we see the performance report, but don’t take any further action. Nothing will change.

Competing on Analytics: Updated, with a New Introduction: The New Science of Winning

The book author of “Competing On Analytics”, Tom Davenport, suggests readers apply data carefully and gain an advantage through it.

  1. Outperform your competitors:Even in industries where analytical data is prevalent, some cooperations are better at using data and making a smarter decision than others.
  2. Be special: Adjust your marketing position and business models that are hard to be replaced by your competitors. For example, Apple inc., the maker of iPhone, changed its target metrics from the unit sales to installed base of devices. Apple is redefining their marketing position from a hardware company to a service company.
  3. Renewable: In a fast-paced world, no cooperation could remain top. Nokia, once the mobile phone giant, lost its appeal while it overlooked Google and Apple. So every decision-maker in an organization should keep reinventing and renew their business goal for their company.

Seeking solace in Birthright(book review of Birthright: 5 Secrets to Reclaim the Power of You)

BIRTHRIGHT: 5 SECRETS TO RECLAIM THE POWER OF YOU
BIRTHRIGHT: 5 SECRETS TO RECLAIM THE POWER OF YOU

The author, Marga Macias , uses her past personal failures as a bless in disguise to encourage the readers to fight against the apathy. She suggests us FIVE SECRETS that could harness the greatness we were born with.

  • Engage with fearless honestly
  • Own your worth
  • Create the off-beaten path
  • Sink or swim tenacity
  • Invest in a mentor

One of the secrets that moves me is to create the off-beaten path. Marga uses a quote from the book “Not Everyone Will Understand Your Journey” to describe the courage and perseverance that everyone needs toward the destination. “One’s unique road to success is often revealed by the lessons learned from failed attempts to navigate without a path.”

The style of this book is simple and elegant. The depiction of misfortune is perceptible but doesn’t deeply overpower my sensibilities. At a first glimpse of the book title, the five secrets sound like a little exaggerated, but in reality the secrets apply to me and don’t overshadow the fundamental principle. Should you feel you have no purpose or meaning in life, you could read this book.

Book review of “Practice Perfect: 42 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Better”

Book introduction:

“Practice Perfect,” as the title hinted, is a how-to method book. I really enjoyed it and highlighted many notes. However, it couldn’t be half-long. The book chapters are not well-organized. Lemov, the author, breaks the core concepts(rethinking of practice, how to practice, using modeling, feedback, culture of practice and post-practice) into smaller and repetitious portions so that I could not connect every chapter in a straight way.

Below were some of the rules I felt applicable in this book:

Rethink practice and isolate your skills:

Practicing in a hustle and bustle environment sometimes distracts me from recognizing I’m learning in the wrong way. So I participate in the learning workshops or study groups for getting feedback from the other members. I could re-examine what skills to be sharpened through rethinking. Then I break the difficult paths for isolated skill development.

Bright spot:

Focus on your strength. Improving your weakness is a waste of time.

In the past, I tried to learn different domain knowledge and skills for the sake of proving myself. However, these skills didn’t turn out to be a competitive work advantage. As a knowledge worker, you must make effective contributions to your cooperation.

However, honing my weakness only makes me a mediocre worker. Why do I spend more energy    on my strength?

Shorten the feedback loop:

Implementing a small and easy change right away can be more effective than a complex rewiring a skill. So I usually try to post my thoughts on my Facebook after reading.

Replace your purpose with an object:

I love to make a New Year’s resolution to improve myself over the next months. Unfortunately, after only a few short weeks, most of them failed. By writing a reflective journal, I know it’s not realistic. So I adjust my goals to make them specific and measurable. For example, I want to speed up my writing, so I use Excel to record my word count every day.