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The following 4 books capture decades of experience with leading innovative organizations.

The approaches described in them will guide you as you lead similar organizations.

The talent of the people in these organizations led to to them delivering at levels which far exceeded their performance expectations.

If your life blood as an organization is talent, you cannot manage people in the same way that transaction based organizations do (e.g. financial institutions, insurance companies, manufacturing organizations, utilities, transportation companies, and government and near-government organizations).

If you run a rapidly growing, highly innovative, or creative problem solving organization, no matter what its size, you need to manager your talent resources very differently from the ways in which people are managed by the human resource professionals who work for transaction based organizations.

You need to take a “Total Talent Management” approach to the finding, developing and managing the performance of the people who work for you. Find out what this means in this book.

This is not ‘theory’! Instead, it is the result of decades of leading highly successful innovative organizations that constantly exceeded their performance and delivery targets.

It takes smart people to plan the turnaround of an organization; it takes experienced ones to execute it successfully. The individuals in two crucial roles – the turnaround leader and the change sponsor – need to establish a relationship of trust that carries them through the inevitable turbulence they will encounter.

The turnaround leader must make concurrent change on three levels:

  1. people – finding and inspiring the keepers, bringing in new talent;
  2. process – improving the effectiveness (doing the right things) and then increasing the efficiency (doing the right things well);
  3. tools – cutting the unit costs through technology through to create advantage.

He or she must create constant visible progress, in order to keep up the momentum, continuously reinforcing the feeling of “Yes, we will succeed”. Both the external stakeholders and the inside staff must feel this to stay committed to the change. The entire change program must move along urgently and be complete before people both inside and outside the organization experience change fatigue.

A “hands on guide”, this book will help you carry out the turnaround for which you are responsible, or understand the one your organization is going through.

“Shape the Future,
Don’t Appraise the Past”™

Move from the drag
of performance appraisal
to the clarity
of performance contracting.

When is the last time that you had a performance appraisal that you really helped you to grow personally and to expand your career?

When is the last time that you had a performance appraisal that clearly set out how your work was going to be measured and evaluated in the coming time period?

If your answer to these questions is never, then you are like many other people who work for organizations. Employee satisfaction surveys consistently report the negative feelings that people have about the performance appraisal process, whether they are bosses or subordinates.

There is a better way.  It is called performance contracting.

Instead of worrying about the past, performance contracting shapes your work future. Performance contracting allows your boss and you to clarify what you are expected to do in your job. The two of you negotiate the measures: – the tools you both will use to keep track of how you are doing. If you are the boss, performance contracting will motivate and inspire the people working for you to deliver at their peak.

Performance contracting works all year long,
not just at year end.

This practical guide describes the WHY and the HOW.

(PDF book – contains how to tables, checklists, forms, and schematics).

Organizations, especially rapidly growing, highly innovative, and creative problem solving ones, run on the talent of the people working for them.

The roles in these organizations change rapidly. The people in them  continually adapt to new challenges. Great personal performance is not a nice to have, but a necessity for organizational survival.

But many of these organizations recruit their talent as if they were well-established organizations, with well-defined roles which do not change from year to year.  These organizations do so because most of the recruiting happening today occurs for such large organizations.

But there is a better way for rapidly growing, highly innovative, and problem solving organizations to find the talent they need. This book describes the recruiting approaches which succeeded in finding the talent which allowed a variety of such organizations to excel over a number of decades.

E-Book Pricing: A Balanced Approach

Some of the current trends in e-book pricing bother me. Whenever I am asked to pay a price for an e-book that I is more or equal than the price of that book in a traditional print format, I get annoyed. I believe that one of the functions of technology is to reduce the cost of things for all of us. When I don’t see this happening, I treat it as ‘unfair’ pricing on the part of the publisher of the e-book.

At the same time, as a writer, I know the energy and the effort which goes into writing a book. I have had a number published by traditional publishers and have had to be satisfied with royalty on sales profits of less than 15% most of the time.

When I look at what it costs to produce a traditions book, I thin the costss breaks down like this.

The old world: Print based publishing

  1. Author’s time and creativity – about 25% to 50% of the cost of producing the book.
  2. Traditional printing, distribution and selling costs of print based books  – about 50 to 70% of producing the book.
  3. Cost of marketing the book – first to book retailers, and then the public: about 10 to 25% of producing the book.

I know the numbers don’t add up smoothly to 100%. But I think, depending on the book, costs were in this range.

For this, authors got less than 15% got less than 15% of the cover price at best as royalties.

The new world: Internet based publishing 

  1. Author’s time and creativity – about 50% to 70% of the cost of creating original copy of the book.
  2. Cost of formatting distributing e-copies of the book  – it depends of the book, but for novels it is less than 5% of producing the book. For more complicated book layouts, it can a number of days to properly format the book.
  3. Cost of marketing the book – mostly to the he public: about 30% to 50% of producing the book, but NOW the author is expected to do all of this = more time spent by the author on the book.

The practical consequence for me: how I price my e-books. 

Here is how I set the price for my e-books.

  • First, I think about the old world. What would I sell this book for if it was a traditional print book. Lets use 50 dollars as an example.
  • What do I think is fair reduction to this price, given that Internet has reduced the cost of printing and distributing the books so much. I tend to think that the e-book should be about 1/6 of the price that would have been reasonable in the print days – or about 8.50 for a 50 dollar print book in our example..
  • What do I add because I now need to because I have do my own formatting and marketing. I use about 20% of the new price that I cam up with in the previous step. In the example. that means I add about 1.50 to 8.50. So my new price is $10, or $9.99, based on the psychology of the way that people tend to see prices.

That is the thinking that I use to price my my e-books. Hope that makes sense to you.

 

The Right Talent: Talent Trumps Everything

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