Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

This is my review of Talent Magnetism, by Roberta Matuson, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2013

This is the book any strategic business leader needs to position his or her organization to attract, select, and keep the best people possible. As a consultant myself, I work on a daily basis with companies and organizations that struggle with finding and retaining excellent employees. In fact, human capital is so important that it can actually make or break strategy and other business plans.

Matuson has taken a great tack. Instead of just throwing money at the challenge of attraction and retention, she has created an entire framework of strategies and tactics for positioning a company or organization as an employer of choice. Think of how Apple, Google, and other global success stories have become a magnetic pole of attraction for top-flight talent around the world. The author shows business leaders how to do the same thing for themselves.

This book isn’t just for HR types however. Senior executives, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and other core business operators will want to read this book so they can start applying their business savvy not just to their customers, but also to their employees. The chapters on branding and leadership as key attraction factors are fascinating and go well beyond the usual bromides about happy work places. People want challenge, advancement, and — YES — great leadership!

I recommend this book to anyone struggling with building great teams and human capital. I will also be recommending it to my own clients who are looking at ways to raise their employer brand.

© 2014 Richard Martin

“Richard, you have written a comprehensive book that translates to a battle plan for success for anyone in business.  Of particular note is the section on expanding into new markets, where I happen to be with the company I manage, and our push forward towards victory. As you and I both know, there is great synergy between military doctrines & leadership and the business world.  If we apply military leadership competencies (principled values, virtues, wisdom, etc.) to a corporate environment, the ideas shared in your book will absolutely guide professionals to victory.  Drawing from your military knowledge and experience, you have done a great job of encapsulating the principles and tenets of the military to its application to business.  Congratulations and thank you for doing that.”

Dale R. Wilson, Business Manager, quadax valves inc.

There is a tendency in human nature to see the present moment as worse than the past and that things are going steadily downhill. We seem to have an instinct for overemphasizing gloom and doom while downplaying the positive.

The ancient Greeks believed they lived in the Age of Iron, and that the Ages of Gold, Silver, and Bronze were in the past, never to be recovered. If you listen to the climate doomsayers, temperatures are heading up, up, up! A few years ago, we were running out of oil and gas, now the US is entering a period of fossil fuel self-sufficiency, and may even become a net exporter of energy by the end of the current decade.

There is supposedly an old Chinese saying, “May you live in interesting times.” Given my observations, it would appear that all times are trying, if not interesting. This is why it’s essential to look at our situation with a critical eye, to see the negative, but also the positive, the threats and risks, but also the opportunities and potential rewards. It is the only antidote to gloom and doom.

Luckily, there are books that show how fortunate we are to be living in the present moment, and that things, believe it or not, appear to be getting steadily better. The Rational Optimist, by Matt Ridley, shows how civilization and human learning have progressed—though in fits and starts—throughout history, and that we are currently living longer and better than ever before. Written in 2010, he devotes a whole chapter to the current ‘pessimisms,’ notably the situation of Africa.

What we are seeing in Africa however is that it is finally entering the modern age, though not without difficulties. One sign of this growth is the progress of business and education. As but one illustration, Bombardier Aerospace is planning to open a sales office in Johannesburg, because the company sees opportunity and fabulous growth where most see gloom and doom and endless misery. A further example of African development is that IQs have been growing by leaps and bounds for the last few decades, and are finally catching up to those in the developed world. This shows that education, improved nutrition, and health care are contributing to massive human development.

In Abundance, Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler show that currently envisaged technologies and techniques will continue to make life better and longer into the foreseeable future. Of course, this depends on maintaining the current rates of discovery as well as political, economic, and social freedom. The one specter that everyone rightly fears is war and violence. After more than 10 years of the War on Terror, thousands of more people have died, and there seems to be no end in sight.

This may be the case, but as Steven Pinker argued in his masterful The Better Angels of Our Nature, the world is more peaceful and non violent now than it has ever been in history. To those who think that our ancestors lived in an idyllic past of peace and comfort, archeology, anthropology, ethnology, and history have shown that people were just as likely to die violently in the past as to die of so called natural causes. Pinker shows, with ample statistics, graphs, and other hard evidence, that the human species has been growing progressively more peaceful, tolerant, and perhaps even more intelligent.

All of these conditions represent more opportunities and lesser threats. The risks and rewards we face are increasingly non vital. In other words, our mistakes are less likely to lead to illness, physical injury, and death. Conversely, our rewards are more likely to be ‘philosophical’ and lead to self-fulfillment and self-actualization.

This is the business environment today. Yes, we have to be on the lookout for threats and risks of all kinds. But we live in an age when we have the time and wherewithal to identify and combat these with savvy risk management and contingency planning. But this kind of ‘negative’ planning can only protect us, and keep us in defensive mode. We must have an offensive mindset, looking for the opportunities for growth, investment, and development.

© Alcera Consulting Inc. 2013. We encourage the sharing of this information and forwarding of this article with attribution. All other rights reserved

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/management/a-military-approach-to-business/article10197913/

My new book, Brilliant Manoeuvres: How to Use Military Wisdom to Win Business Battles, is now available for purchase through my website. It will also be available through all the major online retailers around the world.

It’s a bit more expensive if you order the book through me, but I will ship you a signed copy. If you’re in Canada, the shipping is included in the price. For bulk orders, just drop me a line at 514-453-3993 and we can discuss special pricing.

About the book

“There are quite a few books about parallels between military strategy and corporate strategy. Richard Martin’s Brilliant Manoeuvres makes a difference by not only focusing on the conceptual but also on the operational side of the equation. This book is a hands-on guide to a brilliant corporate strategy.”
Prof. Dr. Guido Quelle, Managing Partner, Mandat Consulting Group, Dortmund, Germany

Brilliant Maneuvers is Sun Tzu’s Art of War combined with Drucker’s The Effective Executive.”
Alan Weiss, PhD, Author of the bestselling Million Dollar Consulting and The Consulting Bible

“Richard explains the reasons behind the military concepts, backing them up with diagrams and historical and personal examples. He then shows how to apply them in a business context. I highly recommend Brilliant Manoeuvres to beginners and advanced users alike.”
Pierre Bergevin, President & CEO, Cushman & Wakefield Canada

Business executives and entrepreneurs see themselves as modern day warriors and generals, fighting off competitors and conquering new markets. They talk about attacking competitors, defending turf, firing warning shots, establishing beachheads, bypassing the competition, digging a protective moat, and so on. Brilliant Manoeuvres – How to Use Military Wisdom to Win Business Battles is for those executives and entrepreneurs who are looking to create and sustain competitive advantage and to lead their teams in the face of determined competition and rivalry. Based on the author’s experience as a soldier, a business consultant and an entrepreneur, the book explains how and why military leaders and planners actually think and operate. It then translates this into terms that business people can readily apply to their own reality so they can survive and thrive. In other words, this book is a practical guidebook, and not just another set of exhortations to “lead from the front” or to “win without fighting”. In particular it demonstrates how some military methods cannot be applied in management.

“With Brilliant Manoeuvres, Richard Martin has produced a guidebook that gets back to the basics of strategy, management, and leadership. We tend to forget the fundamentals because we think they’re too simple or that we’ve outgrown them. Richard demonstrates the linkages between military and business wisdom and shows that these concepts are fundamental and essential. In the process they gain a new relevance and freshness to help in meeting today’s business challenges.”
Louis Gabanna, President, Colas Canada

About the author

Richard Martin is founder and president of Alcera Consulting Inc. Prior to launching his consulting business, Richard attended the prestigious Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean as an officer cadet and then served for 21 years as an infantry officer in the Canadian Army. Richard is the only member of Alan Weiss’s Million Dollar Consulting Mentoring Hall of Fame with extensive military experience. He brings his business and military leadership experience to bear for organizations and executives in both the private and public sectors seeking to exploit change, maximize opportunity, and minimize risk.

Regards,

Rich

Richard MartinPresident/Président
Alcera Consulting Inc./Alcera Conseil de gestion inc.
Author of the forthcoming book

Brilliant Manoeuvres: How to Use Military Wisdom to Win Business Battles
Published September 2012 by Global Professional Publishing.

Brilliant Maneuvers is Sun Tzu’s Art of War combined with Drucker’s The Effective Executive.” — Alan Weiss, PhD, Author of the bestselling Million Dollar Consulting

1324 Perrot, Notre-Dame-de-l’Ile-Perrot, QC, J7V 7P2
T: 514-453-3993
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See my Blog on Exploiting Change: www.exploitingchange.com
Visit my Website: www.alcera.ca
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Linked In Profile: Richard Martin

My new book, Brilliant Manoeuvres: How to Use Military Wisdom to Win Business Battles, is now available for purchase through my website. It will also be available through all the major online retailers around the world.

It’s a bit more expensive if you order the book through me, but I will ship you a signed copy. If you’re in Canada, the shipping is included in the price. For bulk orders, just drop me a line at 514-453-3993 and we can discuss special pricing.

About the book

“There are quite a few books about parallels between military strategy and corporate strategy. Richard Martin’s Brilliant Manoeuvres makes a difference by not only focusing on the conceptual but also on the operational side of the equation. This book is a hands-on guide to a brilliant corporate strategy.”
Prof. Dr. Guido Quelle, Managing Partner, Mandat Consulting Group, Dortmund, Germany

Brilliant Maneuvers is Sun Tzu’s Art of War combined with Drucker’s The Effective Executive.”
Alan Weiss, PhD, Author of the bestselling Million Dollar Consulting and The Consulting Bible
“Richard explains the reasons behind the military concepts, backing them up with diagrams and historical and personal examples. He then shows how to apply them in a business context. I highly recommend Brilliant Manoeuvres to beginners and advanced users alike.”
Pierre Bergevin, President & CEO, Cushman & Wakefield Canada
Business executives and entrepreneurs see themselves as modern day warriors and generals, fighting off competitors and conquering new markets. They talk about attacking competitors, defending turf, firing warning shots, establishing beachheads, bypassing the competition, digging a protective moat, and so on. Brilliant Manoeuvres – How to Use Military Wisdom to Win Business Battles is for those executives and entrepreneurs who are looking to create and sustain competitive advantage and to lead their teams in the face of determined competition and rivalry. Based on the author’s experience as a soldier, a business consultant and an entrepreneur, the book explains how and why military leaders and planners actually think and operate. It then translates this into terms that business people can readily apply to their own reality so they can survive and thrive. In other words, this book is a practical guidebook, and not just another set of exhortations to “lead from the front” or to “win without fighting”. In particular it demonstrates how some military methods cannot be applied in management.

“With Brilliant Manoeuvres, Richard Martin has produced a guidebook that gets back to the basics of strategy, management, and leadership. We tend to forget the fundamentals because we think they’re too simple or that we’ve outgrown them. Richard demonstrates the linkages between military and business wisdom and shows that these concepts are fundamental and essential. In the process they gain a new relevance and freshness to help in meeting today’s business challenges.”
Louis Gabanna, President, Colas Canada

About the author

Richard Martin is founder and president of Alcera Consulting Inc. Prior to launching his consulting business, Richard attended the prestigious Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean as an officer cadet and then served for 21 years as an infantry officer in the Canadian Army. Richard is the only member of Alan Weiss’s Million Dollar Consulting Mentoring Hall of Fame with extensive military experience. He brings his business and military leadership experience to bear for organizations and executives in both the private and public sectors seeking to exploit change, maximize opportunity, and minimize risk.

© 2012 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes permitted with full and proper attribution.

My good friend Roberta Matuson, human capital and leadership strategist extraordinaire, has been interviewed by David Dalka about her book Suddenly In Charge. You can check out the interview in the following link.

http://www.daviddalka.com/createvalue/2012/07/25/suddenly-in-charge-roberta-chinsky-matuson-book-interview/

© 2012 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes permitted with full and proper attribution.