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December 20, 2006

News & Opinion: ChangeThis: Reflecting on 2006

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 4:00 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

2006 was, appropriately, a year of change here at ChangeThis. I became Managing Editor (otherwise known as Editor on the Loose around here) in February after 8 years of working almost every position at 800-CEO-READ. My background made this a natural transition for me. Prior to joining 800-CEO-READ, I had earned a Masters degree in creative writing and worked as an adjunct instructor teaching writing. Then, at 800-CEO-READ, I spent time selling some of the best business books on the market and interacting with some of the top business thinkers (which, in addition to our authors, include our very own braintrust of Jack and Todd). Needless to say, I was excited to have this chance to meld these two professional experiences into this new adventure as editor of ChangeThis. In addition, my new role as editor allowed me the flexibility I needed to adapt to my challenging new role as a parent. For me, this year has been life-changing.
And really, that is what ChangeThis is all about. We are committed to providing you with the tools to change your life. Whether you yearn to tap into your creativity, be motivated to start your own company, make more of your work day or more from your money, or even just be able to write a more concise emailvisit ChangeThis to get excited again, excited enough to do something different, make a small change that could just change your life.
Id like to raise my glass to each author who submitted a manifesto, each person who voted on our manifesto proposals, and especially to every reader who downloaded a manifesto to dig in to. My goal for the coming year is to get to know you all better and help facilitate the spreading of great ideas in the form of quality manifestos. We have plans in the works to make ChangeThis even more accessible to all of you, including a new content management system and even a compilation of our best manifestos.
But no end of year is complete without a Best of review. You can certainly visit the ChangeThis site and discover for yourselves which manifestos are most popular, so this is my chance to emphasize some of the manifestos that I feel were exceptional. Plus, Im a sucker for awards shows, so here are my winners, in no particular order, from 2006.
Most fun: Beyond Snobbery: Grammar Need Not Be Cruel to Be Cool by June Casagrande (Clever, well-written, with a great voice, there is more here than just a lesson on grammar.)
Most well-written: The Power of the Marginal by Paul Graham (If youre reading ChangeThis, youve probably spent some time in the margin, taking a risk, looking at life differently than your officemates. This manifesto includes diverse cultural references and spot-on insights sure to keep you off the beaten path.).
Most useful: Management Advice: Which 90% Is Crap? by Bob Sutton (What we love about Bob Sutton is that he tells it like it is. This manifesto offers a common sense lesson on how to filter anything we hear with a knowledgeable (cynical?) ear.)
Most life-changing: Working Mothers Manifesto by Carol Evans (One of the toughest challenges we faceman or womanis how to make money while raising our children. Carol Evans presents practical advice on how to do both by asking for a little compromise from both sides. Really, this is a Working Persons Manifesto).
Most intriguing: Know the Codes by Clotaire Rapaille and Getting Out of Embed by Michael Mauboussin (Both authors use psychology to illuminate how we make every day decisions. Youll never look at yourself the same way again.)

Most overlooked:
Non-Geeks are Not Morons by Pip Coburn (If you didnt read this one, I take full responsibility for a limiting title. Pips theory on change isnt reserved for technology, but can and should be applied across the board. Once you read about it, youll use it to better understand just how and when to make change.)
Most socially responsible: Beyond Sustainability by John Ehrenfeld and The Declaration of Independents by Stacey Mitchell (Both authors present arguments on how we need to change the way we behave in the world in order to change the world.)
And just because I think they are worth your time because they are so good: The Rewritten Rules of Management by Tom Ehrenfeld, Never the Same by Charles Halton and Strategy and the Fat Smoker by David Maister
Cheers!
Sally

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.