Random Quotes from New Books This November

The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want by Diane Mulcahy

Jacket cover of The Gig Economy

“Contract and part-time work without benefits used to be largely limited to ‘bad jobs’ in fast food, retail, and other service companies. Now that contractor work is infiltrating core middle-class industries, it’s gaining more attention. An executive assistant used to be a good middle-class job. Now we can hire a virtual assistant, in the United States, India, or anywhere else, by the hour. If we want an accountant or bookkeeper, we can automate most of that function on QuickBooks or hire a contractor via Upwork, LinkedIn, or FlexJobs. Universities already pay teachers by the course as adjunct professors, and those part-time, non-tenured faculty members (of which I am one) now make up a growing minority of teachers at many U.S. colleges and universities. How long will it be before this teaching model moves into our public school system? The more the Gig Economy demonstrates that white-collar and professional work can be restructured, contracted out, and purchased more cheaply, the more disruptive it feels(pages 9-10).

Hard-Won Wisdom: True Stories from the Management Trenches by Jathan Janove

Jacket cover of Hard-Won Wisdom

“I’ve heard many similar complaints about millennials from managers like Sam. They follow the same theme: millennials aren’t loyal, they’re too self-focused, their work ethic is problematic, and they don’t communicate well. My response is always the same: Don’t create self-fulfilling prophecies. The minute you indulge in the stereotypes, you’re doomed to experience what you don’t want. A better idea is to use your millennials as a test case for the concepts and tools I’m sharing in this book. Start with the What/Why Ratio: Every time you tell an employee what to do, explain why, the purpose served by the action. Think of the alternative reference to millennials: Generation Y (as in the one that followed Generation X. Only think of it not as the letter Y but the word why. Make the What/Why Ratio 1:1 and watch what happens to the relationship” (pages 32-33).

Jobs to Be Done: A Roadmap for Customer-Centered Innovation by Stephen Wunker, Jessica Wattman, and David Farber

Jacket cover of Jobs to Be Done

“Let’s look at the grocery industry. A few years back we conducted Jobs research for a client who wanted further insight into people’s decision making about what they took home from the store and why. Through the research, we noted that at least three stakeholder types would have distinct requirements in the shelf-to-table flow: the person buying the product, the person preparing the food, and the person eating the food. Certainly, there was often overlap…But this varied from scenario to scenario. If we had observed only the in-store shopper, we might have assumed that price and fit into established shopping patterns were the most important jobs to satisfy. Had we focused our efforts on the meal preparer, we might have determined that ease of preparation reigned supreme. Had we simply talked to someone who just finished a meal, the level of spiciness might have been top-of-mind insight. Looking too narrowly would have led to a new product that failed to satisfy important stakeholders” (pages 50-51).

Leading the Unleadable: How to Manage Mavericks, Cynics, Divas, and Other Difficult People by Alan Willett

Jacket cover of Leading the Unleadable

Note that you can have terrible form while serving a tennis ball. You might get an ace. However, without truly proper form and follow through, you will find the ace is just an accident.
Sometimes taking the actions prescribed in the previous chapter does work almost like magic. Things get better immediately and stay better. However, without follow through, you will find them to also be happy accidents” (page 83).

november-books-2016

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

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