The Chemistry of Strategy: Strategic Planning for the Not-Yet-Fortune 500 by: John W. Myrna
This book offers readers something they can’t find in today’s most popular business books: a practical, tested perspective and strategic planning process that works for the legions of companies that don’t have the resources of an Apple, GE, or P&G. Readers will gain a deep understanding of what strategy and strategic planning is; why it’s critical to their organization and their own success; and how to create, implement and sustain a strategy that literally turns vision into reality.
Executive teams are searching for the magic elixir of success. The appeal of such alchemical magic is obvious. If a company’s managers do just this one simple thing, or follow this simple, easy plan, they too can enjoy profit margins and stock prices just like the “it” company of the moment.
The process of successfully growing an organization is like mixing chemicals together to create a reaction. Ask the typical executive to name the most valuable tool in the process of creating a chemical reaction, and they’ll offer such answers as the quantity of certain chemicals, the quality of the lab facility, the combination of two or more elements and so on. That’s because we tend to be so rooted in tactical thinking that we miss the larger equation.
The reality is that the most important tool in creating the desired chemical reaction – or growing a company – is the formula that describes its “big picture” results.
The primary formula for strategy is simple enough:
(What + Why + How) → The Future
What do we want the company to look like in the future?
Why do we want to look like that?
How do we get there?
(What + Why + How) = Strategy
This strategic planning approach derives from the author’s own alchemist-like professional search to find the magic formula for transforming the value of companies.
Business Is a Large Target: The Business Owner/CEO’s Complete Guide to Maximizing Results (and Profits) from HR and Employee Benefits by: Jim Edholm
Remember the Lone Ranger? The legendary Masked Man fought evil and stood up for the little guy. But he was generally hated by the authorities. He didn’t fit their mold or play their games. He couldn’t be turned, bribed or stopped … so they treated him as an outlaw. That’s the position of small business owners and executives today. No longer seen as providers of opportunity, creators of jobs, makers of wealth; instead they are seen – at least by most in Washington and many in state capitals – as greedy oppressors of the “working class.” Someone to be jealous of, untrusting of, careful about, watched with a wary eye. And as a business owner or executive, you can either pay attorneys to get you out of the trouble that bureaucrats are just waiting to spring on you – or you can empower your Human Resources person to be the defensive walls in your castle and avoid the trouble in the first place. That one person – generally underappreciated – is the first bulwark of defense against the hostile hoards of bureaucrats eager to plunder your wealth. Jim Edholm is President of BBI Benefits, and he’s been working with entrepreneurial employers for over 30 years. For many of those years, as a group benefits (health, dental, disability, etc.) advisor he primarily focused on helping employers reduce the cost of their benefit programs. But over the last decade he’s seen the ever-encroaching reach of government bureaucracies, and he’s coupled his benefits work with services that empower the employer to help reduce turnover, enhance productivity, and allow the small HR department to have the depth of HR and compliance resources that their much larger competitors have. In this book, Jim reveals his secrets of how that smaller employer (10-150 employees) can fight back and gain the power necessary to prosper.
Risk-Free Technology: How Small to Medium Businesses Can Stem Huge Losses From Poorly Performing IT Systems by: Charles L. Nault
IT has now reached “utility” status everywhere, at least from an expectation standpoint. Just as the utility of electricity is required to power our lights and equipment, and oil or gas insures our heat in the winter, a firm’s network infrastructure MUST be always in place to maintain its Internet access, computerization, phone system and a host of other mission-critical applications.
Contrary to days passed, companies can no longer function without these. Their customers, employees and vendors expect business networks to be fully functional, expeditious, security protected and accessible around the clock.
This book addresses the implications of failing to insure that all your IT functions are “utility-status,” and tells non-technical executives what needs to be done from a managerial perspective to achieve true utility status, as well as how to pro-actively monitor such functions to make sudden catastrophes a thing of the past. The book will provide case studies of companies who have lost money and business because they failed to heed this message.
In the Matter of Michael Vogel by: Drew Yanno
It’s the late summer of 1966 in a small town in upstate New York when the body of eight year old Michael Vogel is found at the bottom of the deep end of the municipal swimming pool four hours after closing.
At first, the townspeople believe the initial reports that it was an accidental drowning, despite the fact that the boy’s body wasn’t discovered when the lifeguards searched the pool earlier in the day after his sister reported him missing. However, when an autopsy reveals an unexpected result, it sets in motion a search for a killer in a town unaccustomed to murder.
The story is told from the perspective of three members of the community: a twelve year old boy with a future he hopes to avoid; a sheriff with a past he wishes to forget; and a forty year old bachelor with a secret he wants desperately to protect. Their stories all come together in a startling and thrilling conclusion that helps to provide a measure of redemption for each of them.