We Are Market Basket Now Available on NetGalley

Jacket cover of We Are Market Basket by Daniel Korschun and Grant WelkerWe Are Market Basket: The Story of the Unlikely Grassroots Movement that Saved a Beloved Business by Daniel Korschun and Grant Welker shares the journey of Market Basket employees, customers, and the family behind one of the most admired supermarkets in the country. Journalists, booksellers, book reviewers, librarians, and media professionals interested in learning more about this fascinating story of loyalty, values, trust, and vision are invited to request We Are Market Basket for review.

They weren’t part of a union. They were part of a family. 

What if a company were so treasured and trusted that people literally took to the streets—by the thousands—to save it? That company is Market Basket, a popular New England supermarket chain.

After long-time CEO Arthur T. Demoulas was ousted by his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas, the company’s managers and rank-and-file workers struck back. Risking their own livelihoods to restore the job of their beloved boss they walked out, but they didn’t walk far. At huge protest rallies, they were joined by loyal customers—leaving stores empty. Suppliers and vendors stopped deliveries—rendering shelves bare. Politicians were forced to take sides. The national media and experts were stunned by the unprecedented defense of an executive. All openly challenged the Market Basket board of directors to make things right.

And, in the end, they prevailed.

With its arresting firsthand accounts from the streets and executive suites, We Are Market Basket is as inspiring as it is instructive. What is it about Market Basket and its leader that provokes such ferocious loyalty? How does a company spread across three states maintain a culture that embraces everyone—from cashier to customer—as family? Can a company really become an industry leader by prioritizing stakeholders over shareholders?

Set against a backdrop of bad blood and corporate greed, We Are Market Basket is, above all, a page-turner that chronicles the epic rise, fall, and redemption of this iconic and uniquely American company.

Daniel Korschun is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business and a Fellow at the Center for Corporate Reputation Management.

Grant Welker covered the Market Basket story from the start as a reporter for the Lowell Sun.

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There are a number of different reading options for this e-galley:

Find all of AMACOM’s e-galleys on NetGalley.

You can review how to get AMACOM’s digital galley request approval on NetGalley HERE.

E. Freya Williams on the Business Case for Sustainability

Photo of E. Freya Williams, author of Green GiantsThe following is a guest post from E. Freya Williams, author of Green Giants: How Smart Companies Turn Sustainability into Billion-Dollar Businesses

What’s the business case for sustainability?

Over the past eight years that I’ve spent compiling evidence that brands can both maximize profit and be a force for social good, that’s the question I’ve been asked most often. And it’s one that tends to be on the minds of business leaders each year around Earth Day.

This year that question has a new answer: a billion dollars.

For a generation, influenced by the thinking of economist Milton Friedman, business wisdom has held that purpose and profit are fundamentally opposing forces. But there are now at least nine companies globally that generate a billion dollars or more in annual revenue from products, services, or lines of business with sustainability or social good at their core.

They are the Green Giants. Far from the hemp-wrapped products of yore, they include some of the most sexy and dynamic brands out there today, from relatively new start-ups to business lines incubated within major blue chip corporations. They are Tesla, Chipotle, Nike Flyknit, Whole Foods, Unilever, GE Ecomagination, Toyota Prius, Natura and IKEA’s line of Products for a More Sustainable Life at Home.

These companies cut across the global economy. They make products as diverse as burritos and beauty cream, sports shoes and sports cars, organic kale and airplane engines. They cover a spectrum of price points and spend types, from low-cost and discretionary to big-ticket, corporate purchases. They span B2B and B2C companies.

Yet they share six factors in common. These factors enable them to generate over $100 billion in combined annual revenues from their sustainable business strategies. They are:

  • An Iconoclastic Leader. In each case, the sustainability journey can be traced back to one individual who started it all. He or she is a resident of the C-Suite, and exhibits the 4 Cs of Iconoclastic Leadership – conviction, courage, commitment, and contrarianism. Consider Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever. On his first day on the job, Polman announced that Unilever would no longer provide guidance to Wall Street, and would eliminate quarterly reporting.
  • A Disruptive Innovation. Each of the Green Giant revenue streams is not founded on a slightly greener or more socially conscious version of an existing product, but on an innovation that disrupted a category. Sure, the Tesla Model S is a zero emission vehicle, but it is also the highest-scoring car Consumer Reports ever tested, and set a new record for safety in tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • A Higher Purpose. Paradoxical though it may seem, businesses with a purpose beyond profit tend to outperform the competition on—you guessed it—profit. Research conducted by Jason Denner of the consulting group POINT380 found that the annual returns of publicly traded Green Giant companies have averaged 11.7% higher than their leading competitors over the past five years.
  • Built In, Not Bolted On. For Green Giants, sustainability isn’t just a department; they integrate sustainability into six core structures of their business, including organizational structure, cost structure and governance structure, to enable it to become a revenue driver, not a drag. That’s why Chipotle thrives even though its ethical and humane raw ingredients are more expensive; its cost structure is built to accommodate those higher prices, so it still commands profit margins of 12.1 percent, against a fast food industry average estimated at 4.6 percent.
  • Mainstream Appeal. If your product targets only a Super Green consumer niche, it’s hard to reach $1 billion in revenue because there aren’t enough people who take green values seriously enough to get you there. Green Giants achieve appeal with mainstream customers or consumers. Consider the Prius, which was the world’s 3rd best-selling car during 2013 – not best-selling green car, just best car, period.
  • A New Behavioral Contract. Transparency, responsibility, collaboration: today’s business buzzwords are alive and well at the Green Giants. But it’s more than talk. Corporate reputation today is built through actions, not advertising. Your behavior is your brand. Green Giants are behaving their way to billions – like Whole Foods, which has invested to create ratings systems to ensure you know as much as possible about every item you put into your shopping cart.

Across the economy, new sustainable businesses are springing up that share the Six Factors, and are racing toward the billion-dollar mark. These “Next Billions” include eyewear sensation Warby Parker, hospitality disruptor AirBNB, Chiptole wannabees SweetGreen and Dig Inn, and Hollywood star Jessica Alba’s Honest Company.

Together, the Green Giants and the Next Billions represent a new paradigm for business, and an opportunity the UN estimates at $2.2 trillion by 2020. So maybe this Earth Day is the time to start building your own Green Giant strategy – before your competitor does.

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E. Freya Williams has advised organizations, including Unilever, Coca Cola, Tetra Pak and the UN, on how to incorporate sustainability and social good into their brands. The co-founder of OgilvyEarth, she now serves as EVP of Business+Social Purpose at Edelman. Her expertise has been featured in Newsweek, The Financial Times, and on NPR.

You can follow Freya on twitter: @freya1

A Big Thank You to Your Administrative Assistant

The following is a guest post from Kevin Wilson, co-author of The Administrative Assistant’s and Secretary’s Handbook.

Administrative Professional’s Day is the time to thank your hard-working assistant for putting up with those endless requests from you and your colleagues. This year, rather than a gift card to Starbucks or a spa gift certificate you would like to keep for yourself, how about giving the gift of development. (Or perhaps in addition to a gift card or spa gift certificate!)

Gone are the days when an administrative assistant might work 30 years for the same company, many of those years for the same boss. Corporate restructurings, which have affected hundreds of thousands of people over the past few years, have been a mixed blessing for administrative assistants. In the wake of restructuring, some assistants have to leave their position when their boss leaves, but others are asked to take on greater responsibility, to “take up the slack” as middle managers are phased out. Either situation could be professionally devastating if an administrative assistant is not prepared.

While it is important to offer training on the skills needed for the current job, such as computer skills, it could be strategically helpful to acquire other essential business skills whether or not they are needed right now.  Look for training opportunities in areas such as business writing, research, customer service, purchasing, budgeting, bookkeeping, invoicing, training new employees, presentation skills, and supervising an office staff.  The American Management Association offers a wide variety of seminars on these and other topics.

Having these skills will give your administrative assistant the most flexible preparation to meet any challenge he or she may face—either an on-the-job crisis or a career advancement opportunity.

Another development idea that is more closely related with your assistant’s current job would be to support his or her effort to become certified by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (formerly the National Secretaries Association) as a Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) or Certified Administrative Professional (CAP). This certification is granted only upon the successful completion of examinations in various aspects of secretarial/administrative procedures and skills. Being certified can be a tremendous boost to your assistant’s career.

Giving the gift of development shows you care personally about your administrative assistant’s future and well-being. If you have a limited budget, offer to pay for an adult education course of your assistant’s choice at the local college. There are also many useful online courses that can help your assistant acquire new skills.  And above all, talk with your assistant about what they see themselves doing in the future, and then work together on a development plan that helps them achieve these goals.

Kevin Wilson is the co-author of The Administrative Assistant’s and Secretary’s Handbook and is Vice President of Videologies, Inc., a company that specializes in training administrative professionals in Fortune 500 companies.

Books for National Stress Awareness Day

Today, April 16th, is National Stress Awareness Day. In honor of the holiday, we’ve pulled together some random quotes from our books related to dealing with stress.

Jacket cover of Stress Less. Achieve More. by Aimee BernsteinStress Less. Achieve More.: Simple Ways to Turn Pressure into a Positive Force in Your Life by Aimee Bernstein

       Western culture dangles the idea that not only can we have more, but we are also entitled to it. Keeping up the pace of the “good life” can be just as stressful as recognizing that we don’t have all we were told we should have.

As modern life demands that we attend to more things in less time, we believe we must move faster to accomplish all that life requires. As we do, the pressure builds. Yet, moving faster isn’t the answer. Multi-tasking, neuroscience tells us, compromises our effectiveness. Yet, we race ahead, and before we know it, we have moved away from our center, the place I call “home” 0r “here.” The more we distance our attention from ourselves, the more drained, pressured, and disheartened we feel. Our decisions may become flawed and our relationships stressful. In this state, even when things go our way, life seems hard (page 59).

Jacket cover of Success Under Stress by Sharon MelnickSuccess Under Stress: Powerful Tools for Staying Calm, Confident, and Productive When the Pressure’s On by Sharon Melnick

When Brianna’s thoughts about “I’m not good enough” get activated, she feels bad about herself; she thinks she needs to protect herself from being taken advantage of. That’s why she feels deflated and “loses it.” When Brianna learned this insight, she was blown away. “I am shocked at why I reacted. But I can see that’s definitely true,” she told me. In short, the real reason she snapped was that her husband’s question activated her own doubt (page 166).

And here are some of our titles to help reduce the stress of parenthood

Jacket cover of Stress-Free Discipline by Sara Au and Peter L StavinohaStress-Free Discipline: Simple Strategies for Handling Common Behavior Problems by Sara Au and Peter L. Stavinoha

       As parents, you will have Absolutes—behaviors you absolutely expect from family members. They reflect your values and thus are different for every family. There are no right or wrong items for you and your spouse to put on this list.

Here’s what an Absolute means: You will absolutely not tolerate a behavior and will stop what you’re doing to address that issue immediately, taking decisive action and brooking no explanations. These are the lines in the sand that, when crossed, provoke a reaction that conveys to your child that he has gone too far. Absolute consistent: Every time this behavior happens, you are resolute and take action in response. Coordinate and predetermine your response with any other adult who helps to parent your child.

Keep your family’s list of Absolutes very short. These are things you’re going to go to the mat for, and if you choose too many, you’ll be on the mat too often. You won’t be able to effectively parent with such rigid parameters. For example, in many families, hitting is never tolerated. If you and your spouse determine that will be one of your Absolutes, then every time you see your child hit someone, you always need to react with consequence. Many families use a swift Time-Out in these cases (pages 35 & 36).

Jacket cover of Stress-Free Potty Training by Sara Au and Peter L. StavinohaStress-Free Potty Training: A Commonsense Guide to Finding the Right Approach for Your Child by Sara Au and Peter L. Stavinoha

Praise is not only healthier, but there is an inexhaustible, free supply. We always have some with us. It also gives us parents the chance to specifically target what we really want to reinforce—our kid’s effort, willingness, and interest. Based on our feedback, our children will begin to value the same traits we are reinforcing—persistence, tolerance, overcoming frustration, patience, bravery commitment to a goal, and so on. Reinforcing all of that can be done quickly and efficiently in a statement of admiration or even a quick burst of applause. There is no time like early childhood to start working on the development of an internal achievement-orientation (pages 40 & 41)!

Want to sample other AMACOM books? Check out our Random Quotes from New Books series.

Discovering the Library and the World

The following is a guest post from Managing Editor Andy Ambraziejus about his lifelong love of the library and the important role the library plays in the community.

“The library was a magical place for me.”
“The librarian was my secret ally.”
“Going to the library was a treat.”
“I loved books at an early age, practically living in the library during the summer months.”
“I loved walking to [the library], especially on snowy days.”

Those are some of the comments I got from my colleagues here at AMACOM  when I asked them about what going to the library has meant to them.  As you can see, the bonds many of us developed with libraries were deep.  Formed early in life, they made us think of libraries and librarians as our friends – nurturing, perhaps secret friends, who helped us discover new worlds through the books and other material we found once we started visiting the library.

For me, the library was both a refuge and a place of discovery during adolescence and my teen years. I was raised by parents who were immigrants.  They wanted their children to take advantage of all the opportunities their adopted country had to offer but they were also more than a bit daunted by the confusing choices out there in this sometimes frightening, confusing new country.  So they were very protective, perhaps overly so.

Photo of library circulation desk

CC Image courtesy of C.S. Imming on Wikimedia Commons

For me, the library became a place to escape and learn more about the world that was opening up to me.  Saturday afternoons were golden.  I guess it was a sign back then that I was already the proverbial bookworm who would end up working with books.  While my friends were out playing ball or just hanging around, I went to my local library.  Ostensibly it was to do homework.  But so often that was just an excuse and the homework was put aside.  Wow!  All those magazines to read!  Here were some on travel and foreign countries with gorgeous pictures that made me want to visit those places immediately.  And books and magazines on movies!  And reviews!  I loved movies, too, and now could read what others thought of them.

And best of all: old newspapers on microfilm.  I unrolled spool after spool of headlines and stories about the sinking of the Titanic; World War II, the walk on the moon, and other historical events; and more reviews of movies, plays, and books and other headline-grabbing events that caught my imagination.

Now, of course, much of this material can be found online.  But there is another memory from those Saturday afternoons, a little harder to quantify.  The memory is of a place, a place where I felt at home.  Safe and secure, and away from the tumult of the real world with its responsibilities and sometimes conflicting demands. The quiet hush was not oppressive but nurturing, a place to unwind and relax and start exploring everything the library had to offer. And being surrounded by other people doing the same thing gave added comfort and security.  There were other people like me who preferred this place to hanging out or playing outside.  I wasn’t alone.

Photo of a person browsing library shelves

CC Image courtesy of nathan williams on WikiMedia Commons

There was an interesting article in the New York Times recently about the reconfiguration of a new space for one of Manhattan’s branch libraries, the Donnell.  There is controversy about the space allotted for books.  The architect, defending the new configuration, was quoted as saying, “It [the library] has become more like a cultural space, which is about gathering people, giving people the opportunity to encounter each other…  It’s not really about just being a repository of books.”

A recent study by the Pew Research Center reported in School Library Journal echoes these sentiments even more strongly where children are concerned.  Titled “Why Parents Love Libraries,” the report states that 94 percent of parents feel libraries are important for their kids.  Of these, 84 percent say libraries help inculcate their children’s love of reading and books,  81 percent say libraries provide their children with resources not available at home, 71 percent say libraries are a safe place for children.

With the proliferation of ebooks, social media, and the internet at our fingertips at home, it’s easy to forget how much the library means to so many of us, and how that connection started at a young age.  Yes, at its core the library is a place for storing and borrowing books.  But it’s also so much more.  From the colleague who remembered visiting the library as a post-Hurricane Sandy refuge, which had power and heat, to all those who connected with the new books and authors they discovered there, it was a place not only to discover the world but to begin to find one’s place in it, too.

Andy Ambraziejus is AMACOM’s Managing Editor. He started working for AMACOM in August 1999. He runs the Production Department, which includes the Associate Editors who work on the editorial side of things getting the books copyedited, proofread, index, and designed. You can follow Andy on twitter at @AndyAmbraziejus.

Related Posts:
A Tour of the (Virtual) Library
Andy’s Reflections on the Recent BookExpo America
Frankfurt Dispatches: Andy Discovers Bad Soden
Introducing AMACOM… Andy