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Michael Jantz oversees “special projects,” a task that corrals any number of imaginable alterations and re-imaginings of the umpteen books 800-CEO-READ so gracefully sells day after day. But never content with the appellations of the common workplace, Michael also now enjoys exploring other avenues of 800-CEO-READ’s enterprise, including reading, writing, design, and lively conversations with those writers whose books the company sells. It is a happy time for Michael, whose love of books and good company has found 800-CEO-READ's office and philosophy to be like nutrient-rich compost to his hungry, burrowing roots.

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Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School

By Michael, published September 5, 2012, at 8:08 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

There is definitely an attraction to that 'rogue' figure in the world of business: the guy who didn't go to business school or who dropped out of college, the woman who had an epiphany while on the clock at her factory job, or the person least-expected to exhibit entrepreneurial tendencies. The very idea of the entrepreneur suggests this rogue-like quality. Whatever the reason for their unique stories, these folks are always more interesting than the (graduates of business school: I apologize in advance) often 'run-of-the-mill' products of the academic systems.

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Man vs. Markets: Economics Explained (Plain and Simple)

By Michael, published August 31, 2012, at 2:06 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

I'm a little embarrassed to admit how ignorant I am of the world of finance. Being relatively young, I will attribute my long period of adulthood ignorance to the reality that is a relatively bad economy and a frighteningly unpromising future for any dollar not kept close to me (literally).   I have a 401(k), but never took much time to understand its deep inner workings.

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Thinker in Residence: Nacie Carson

By Michael, published August 27, 2012, at 5:08 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Say hello to KnowledgeBlocks' newest Thinker in Residence, Nacie Carson. Nacie's work is especially interesting in our current climate of unpredictability in the employment world. Where traditional means of income appear to be dissolving for many, she suggests an overall evaluation of one's skill set and adapting accordingly, just like Darwin's Galapagos finches.

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The Impact Equation

By Michael, published August 22, 2012, at 1:15 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Gaining recognition is hard. You probably know this already. Maybe you realized it when you noticed that none of your 20 followers ever re-tweets you.

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Outside In

By Michael, published August 15, 2012, at 3:14 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Customer experience is it. While it's increasingly difficult to set yourself apart from your competitors with regard to innovation or product offerings, there seems yet to be a huge opportunity for companies to excel in providing a superior customer experience. According to this new book from Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine, there is a lot of money at stake in the customer experience game.

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The Half-Life of Facts

By Michael, published August 13, 2012, at 2:13 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

In chapter 1 of his new book, Samuel Arbesman gets this out of the way early: To be clear: I'm using the word fact in an intuitive way—a bit of knowledge that we know, either as individuals, as a society, or as something about the state of the world. We generally like our facts to be an accurate representation of reality, an objective truth, but that's not always the case. Having digested the above, it becomes pretty easy to see the potentially global application of Arbesman's book.

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How Children Succeed

By Michael, published August 10, 2012, at 2:49 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Paul Tough's new book could be an interesting change of pace from your usual reading list. While none of what Tough is saying will be material for instant application in the lives of every manager, entrepreneur, or salesperson (unless they happen also to be parents of young children), his book provides a unique perspective on how successful people are formed. After all, every notable figure in the world of business was once a child.