Never Mind the Bosses
Robin Ryde. John Wiley. €22.99
The death of deference – and why this is so important – is the key theme of the book. It references instances such as the punk music explosion of 1976, relationships between men and women, the revolutions in the Middle East, the dynamics between doctor and patient and the change in hierarchical countries such as India and China.
Systems of deference create “them and us” cultures and they divide rather than unite people. They quieten the voices of potential innovators, who then refrain from offering their ideas, their discretionary effort and their emotional commitment.
The more deference there is, the narrower the band of judgments exists on which organisations rely. Deference acts like the fatty deposits that clog arteries.
The book outlines how organisations can change their ways. This starts with revisiting the psychological contract that exists between management and workers.
Question that need to be addressed include the type and level of contribution to change workers should expect to make, the level of challenge invited and valued and the position the organisation really takes on deference.
Once a Customer, Always a Customer
Chris Daffy. Oak Tree Press ebook. €7.99
The new, revised and expanded version of this book, now available in ebook and Kindle versions, aims to make business people view their organisations and customers in a new light. It shows that exceptional customer service can be the difference for companies in beating their competitors.
Daffy provides practical advice and a whole host of case study examples on service strategies and techniques to make businesses stand out.
Daffy argues many businesses would be better to stay off the web until they can figure out and fund an effective e-business strategy.
Most e-enterprises lose money during the first year of trading, break even over the second year and move into profit in year three if they are lucky, he notes. Add to this the fact that currently 40 per cent of e-business customers are defecting before the break-even point is reached and this all adds up a serious conclusion about e-service. Keeping e-customers loyal is a business imperative that will have a dramatic effect on the survival of many e-traders. If you’re one already, or are intending to become one, make sure that service and loyalty are at the top of your list of key strategic goals, he advises.
Being More Confident
Robert Kelsey. Capstone. €14.99
Poor confidence is a symptom of low self-esteem, which is concerned with the evaluation we have of ourselves. Every event is interpreted as supporting evidence of negative self-beliefs.
Author Kelsey is frank here about his own self-esteem issues, which he attributes to early childhood experiences. Confidence is something you develop from birth based on your relationship scripts, which can condemn you to a life playing the same role. While no instant cure exists, it is possible to reverse the direction of travel, he says.
A key attribute is to develop a growth mind-set in which we accept that nothing is fixed and that life is about learning. Kelsey doesn’t underestimate the challenge, however, and suggest a range of tools and approaches should be employing, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT works on confidence through what is known as the “exposure technique” that builds on the things you already do well.
Kelsey has produced a thoughtful and easily accessible book. While it will be of interest to a broad audience, its focus on preventing hubris and achieving potential should resonate with managers.