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The Man Who Broke Capitalism : How Jack Welch Gutted the Heartland and Crushed the Soul of Corporate America—and How to Undo His Legacy by
New York Times Bestseller New York Times reporter and "Corner Office" columnist David Gelles reveals legendary GE CEO Jack Welch to be the root of all that's wrong with capitalism today and offers advice on how we might right those wrongs. In 1981, Jack Welch took over General Electric and quickly rose to fame as the first celebrity CEO. He golfed with presidents, mingled with movie stars, and was idolized for growing GE into the most valuable company in the world. But Welch's achievements didn't stem from some greater intelligence or business prowess. Rather, they were the result of a sustained effort to push GE's stock price ever higher, often at the expense of workers, consumers, and innovation. In this captivating, revelatory book, David Gelles argues that Welch single-handedly ushered in a new, cutthroat era of American capitalism that continues to this day. Gelles chronicles Welch's campaign to vaporize hundreds of thousands of jobs in a bid to boost profits, eviscerating the country's manufacturing base and destabilizing the middle class. Welch's obsession with downsizing--he eliminated 10% of employees every year--fundamentally altered GE and inspired generations of imitators who have employed his strategies at other companies around the globe. In his day, Welch was corporate America's leading proponent of mergers and acquisitions, using deals to gobble up competitors and giving rise to an economy that is more concentrated and less dynamic. And Welch pioneered the dark arts of "financialization," transforming GE from an admired industrial manufacturer into what was effectively an unregulated bank. The finance business was hugely profitable in the short term and helped Welch keep GE's stock price ticking up. But ultimately, financialization undermined GE and dozens of other Fortune 500 companies. Gelles shows how Welch's celebrated emphasis on increasing shareholder value by any means necessary (layoffs, outsourcing, offshoring, acquisitions, and buybacks, to name but a few tactics) became the norm in American business generally. He demonstrates how that approach has led to the greatest socioeconomic inequality since the Great Depression and harmed many of the very companies that have embraced it. And he shows how a generation of Welch acolytes radically transformed companies like Boeing, Home Depot, Kraft Heinz, and more. Finally, Gelles chronicles the change that is now afoot in corporate America, highlighting companies and leaders who have abandoned Welchism and are proving that it is still possible to excel in the business world without destroying livelihoods, gutting communities, and spurning regulation.
Mother of Invention : How Good Ideas Get Ignored in an Economy Built for Men by
An illuminating and maddening examination of how gender bias has skewed innovation, technology, and history--now in paperback It all starts with a rolling suitcase. Though the wheel was invented some 5,000 years ago, and the suitcase in the 19th century, it wasn't until the 1970s that someone successfully married the two. What was the holdup? For writer and journalist Katrine Marçal, the answer is both shocking and simple: because "real men" carried their bags, no matter how heavy. Mother of Invention is a fascinating and eye-opening examination of business, technology, and innovation through a feminist lens. Because it wasn't just the suitcase. Drawing on examples from electric cars to tech billionaires, Marçal shows how gender bias stifles the economy and holds us back, delaying innovations, sometimes by hundreds of years, and distorting our understanding of our history. While we talk about the Iron Age and the Bronze Age, we might as well talk about the Ceramic Age or the Flax Age, since these technologies were just as important. But inventions associated with women are not considered to be technology in the same way as those associated with men. Mother of Invention is a sweeping tour of the global economy with a powerful message: If we upend our biases, we can unleash our full potential.
The Power of Experiments : Decision Making in a Data-Driven World by
How organizations--including Google, StubHub, Airbnb, and Facebook--learn from experiments in a data-driven world. Have you logged into Facebook recently? Searched for something on Google? Chosen a movie on Netflix? If so, you've probably been an unwitting participant in a variety of experiments--also known as randomized controlled trials--designed to test the impact of different online experiences. Once an esoteric tool for academic research, the randomized controlled trial has gone mainstream. No tech company worth its salt (or its share price) would dare make major changes to its platform without first running experiments to understand how they would influence user behavior. In this book, Michael Luca and Max Bazerman explain the importance of experiments for decision making in a data-driven world. Luca and Bazerman describe the central role experiments play in the tech sector, drawing lessons and best practices from the experiences of such companies as StubHub, Alibaba, and Uber. Successful experiments can save companies money--eBay, for example, discovered how to cut $50 million from its yearly advertising budget--or bring to light something previously ignored, as when Airbnb was forced to confront rampant discrimination by its hosts. Moving beyond tech, Luca and Bazerman consider experimenting for the social good--different ways that govenments are using experiments to influence or "nudge" behavior ranging from voter apathy to school absenteeism. Experiments, they argue, are part of any leader's toolkit. With this book, readers can become part of "the experimental revolution."
The Data Detective : Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics by
From "one of the great (greatest?) contemporary popular writers on economics" (Tyler Cowen) comes a smart, lively, and encouraging rethinking of how to use statistics. Today we think statistics are the enemy, numbers used to mislead and confuse us. That's a mistake, Tim Harford says in The Data Detective. We shouldn't be suspicious of statistics--we need to understand what they mean and how they can improve our lives: they are, at heart, human behavior seen through the prism of numbers and are often "the only way of grasping much of what is going on around us." If we can toss aside our fears and learn to approach them clearly--understanding how our own preconceptions lead us astray--statistics can point to ways we can live better and work smarter. As "perhaps the best popular economics writer in the world" (New Statesman), Tim Harford is an expert at taking complicated ideas and untangling them for millions of readers. In The Data Detective, he uses new research in science and psychology to set out ten strategies for using statistics to erase our biases and replace them with new ideas that use virtues like patience, curiosity, and good sense to better understand ourselves and the world. As a result, The Data Detective is a big-idea book about statistics and human behavior that is fresh, unexpected, and insightful.
Creative Conflict : A Practical Guide for Business Negotiators by
Negotiation is stuck. It's time for something new. Almost everything is negotiable. Almost every interaction is a negotiation. And in no field is this clearer than in business, where every day we work with others to get things done. But when we have real differences, is win-win always possible? Or must every negotiation be a zero-sum battle, with a winner and a loser? Over the last half century, two opposing philosophies have ruled the field of negotiation: the win-lose, tooth-and-nail approach of training guru Chester Karrass; and the win-win, "principled" creed of Getting to Yes, developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury. But neither approach fully meets the challenge of today's volatile, disruptive, ultracompetitive business environment, where strategic problem-solving is of critical importance. In Creative Conflict, negotiation experts Bill Sanders and Frank Mobus provide something new. They use a dynamic, dialectical approach to show how negotiations are driven by competition and cooperation at the same time. Counterintuitively, they reveal that conflict lies at the heart of more profitable agreements. They believe that when we tiptoe around conflict, we negotiate in a half-hearted way that limits our results. By contrast, creative negotiators probe and push until they hit a wall of disagreement, and then they figure out how to get past it. The authors construct a clear and useful framework based on three distinct negotiating contexts: Bargaining, Creative Dealmaking, and Relationship Building. They instruct readers on how to skillfully pursue their fair share while simultaneously seeking ways to expand a deal's scope and value for both sides.
How to Be an Ally: Actions You Can Take for a Stronger, Happier Workplace by
An original and insightful roadmap on how to become a more inclusive and empathetic leader All of us can be better allies for each other, creating stronger and happier workplaces together. Allyship is about understanding the imbalance in opportunity and working to correct it. How to Be an Ally reveals that the key to true inclusion, equity, and diversity is allyship. Drawing from her experience as a strategic advisor for tech companies, startups, tech hubs, and governments around the world, Melinda Briana Epler provides valuable insights on how business leaders can create a more equitable workplace by leading the change. You'll learn how to implement big and small changes to build a diverse team and ensure everyone on your team is included, heard, understood, and acknowledged. Building on that inclusion, you'll be able to grow a stronger, more successful organization. Original and insightful, How to Be an Ally humanizes diversity and inclusion, and facilitates greater empathy and understanding between people of all backgrounds, teaching us that each of us can learn to understand the imbalance in opportunity, work to correct it, and help create a better workplace for ourselves and our colleagues.
Assistant Head, Information Services
Assistant Head, Access Services