May 12, 2011

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects – Decade of Change

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 8:16 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Decade of Change: Managing in Times of Uncertainty, edited by Geoffrey Brewer and Barb Sanford, Gallup Press, 240 pages, $24.95, Hardcover, May 2011, ISBN 9781595620538

We’ve come to expect good things from Gallup Press, and their latest release, Decade of Change, doesn’t disappoint. Unlike their past releases, books like Strengths Finder 2.0 and 12: The Elements of Great Managing that have very specific focus and takeaways, this book is an anthology of material from “Gallup’s most visionary people, as well as the great minds with whom Gallup regularly associates.” So, there is no one great takeaway from the book that I can give you here. Instead, you’ll find many different ideas, lessons, scenarios to consider, and actions to take in many different arenas. The one common focus throughout the book is on management.

The material ranges from interviews of “the father of the Internet” Vinton Cerf and Hurricane Katrina hero Lieutenant General Russel Honoré to an essay about “Global Migration and Job Creation” by Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of Gallup. And each piece has a focus on a particular way the changes of the last decade have brought change into our own lives and businesses—from the housing bubble to the shifting demographics of labor unions and how managers can engage them in today’s economy.

But why pay attention to all of these disparate issues? What does it mean for your business or career?

[W]hile 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, turmoil in the Middle East and Asia, the warmest decade on record, and the collapse of global financial markets tend to be discussed as political and economic issues, they’re also management and leadership issues. For as any forward-thinking senior executive and organizational leader knows, the world’s problems very quickly become business problems.
And while Decade of Change delves into very large issues, such as if money does indeed make us happier and how that affects developing countries, the book also discusses very specific management issues you may be facing right now—how you engage and compensate employees, manage a retail store, lead change in your organization, and even how to improve your wellbeing at work.

This is a fascinating, entertaining and informative read, grounded in the research and statistics you’d expect from an organization like Gallup. Most importantly, Decade of Change is more than a rehashing of past events; it is a discussion about how we can move forward.