Oct 19, 2013

Book Review: Hot Spots by Lynda Gratton

Hot Spots by Lynda Gratton is a book about building well working teams and workplaces. It gives reasons why some teams learn to work together effectively and start create new innovative ideas. Also it tells why some teams don't ever get to this state and why even the most effective teams die away at some point.

I love the idea of the book. I think it is important to try to learn building more effective teams. The theories and ideas in the book are good ones, but still something is missing. Theories and ideas do make sense, but I'm not sure are those more than just theories. It is really easy to like the contents of the book, but still I didn't.

I had hard time to believe the contents of the book. Maybe one reason was the it used Nokia team as one of the main examples in all around the book. I've been working at Nokia for 7 years and I have seen few great teams there, but I didn't really believe the story in this one. It's so easy to use companies like Nokia as example, at the time of the example Nokia was doing so great that even the adequate teams were seen as great.

I didn't really believe any of the other examples in the book. Maybe it was the style those were written, but there was nothing really special on those teams. There was no actual prove that those teams really were hot spots as Lynda Gratton tells us.

I liked the ideas and theories, but I didn't get any actual prove that those really work. Maybe my expectations were just much higher for the book.

I don't really recommend this book. It's much praised and it has been getting good reviews, but I will not give it to anyone to read. There are good insights, but there's nothing that person who have seen many teams couldn't figure out themselves.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Oct 5, 2013

Book Review: Influence - The Psychology of Persuasion

I've had the book Influence - The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini long time in my reading list. That's the reason I had high expectations towards the book. It was a good book, but it didn't quite deliver to my expectations.

This book is a business classic and has been discussed and reviewed so many time in different forums. The contents of it are important dive to the psychology of decision making. Why some are better to sell and persuade than others? What are their techniques and why those work? There are many really interesting and important topics covered.

The thing is that this book is old. It was first published already 1984, nearly 30 years ago. Unfortunately this starts to show. The examples are not from this world and many have gone irrelevant already. The underlying psychological aspects are still relevant, but this book isn't anymore the best way to learn those.

Best part of the book for me, was the section of commitment and consistency. It opened up how giving a smallest commitment tricks you to do many following actions based on your unnoticed commitment.

I feel bit sad to give bad words of such a business classic. It's easy to understand why it had become classic and important book. World just have gone too far from year 1984. Psychology understanding has gone forward from those years, selling and marketing has taken huge leaps from those years and people's behavior is not what it was back then.

As good book as this is, I still don't really recommend it to many. The ones who want to read the business classics, this is a must read. For others, it's a good book, but please be aware that it's an old one.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen