Wednesday, November 05, 2008

New Business Books - Don Tapscott and Shel Holtz

This week I learned about three new business books that have just been released that you should know about. I have one in my hot little hands, and the others two I have ordered from my favourite business bookstore, Books for Business.

Monday night I attended the book launch party for Don Tapscott's latest offering, Grown Up Digital. Long-time readers of this blog will know I "crashed" his last book launch for Wikinomics almost two years ago. This time around I didn't have to resort to such drastic measures since invitations were going around Facebook. (As an aside, when I search for "Tapscott" on my blog, I discover how deep this fandom really goes).

This book is a follow-up to his previous book Growing Up Digital. The premise is that those currently between the ages of 11 and 30 (the "Net Generation") have new ways of thinking and interacting. This is going to have an impact on society, so it is in the interest of all of us to understand this change. After all, this age group was the differentiating factor in getting Obama elected U.S. president last night. Tapscott and his team interviewed almost 10,000 people in putting this book together. I was fortunate to be able to purchase a copy and have him sign it, so have started working my way through it already. For more information, see the website

Tuesday night I attended a special Toronto Third Tuesday dinner for corporate communications celeb Shel Holtz. He was in town to speak at a conference, and a group of us were privileged to have him tell us about the work he did on his new book Tactical Transparency that he wrote with John C. Havens. He explained that companies are reluctant to embrace transparency because they believe this means giving away their business secrets. On the contrary, he explained there are areas that do need to stay confidential such as client information, business intelligence, personal information and health information, and that keeping these confidential is very different than acting in a transparent way.

You can find more information on the website. I am particularly impressed they have shared the audio of the interviews they conducted with 50 business executives for the book at I'm looking forward to reading and listening through all that and sharing my thoughts over on Connections, my Crosby Group blog.

Finally, during his talk Shel also mentioned another book coming out from his publisher Jossey-Bass that sounds of interest, The Credible Company: Communicating with a Skeptical Workforce by Roger D'Aprix. Essentially it looks to be about internal communication during difficult times of change. On the one hand I wonder if there are ever any times of change that are not difficult, but on the other hand acknowledge that we are coming into particularly difficult times. A book like this that can help show management the way to working with staff to ease the stress at a time when morale may be low is particularly well-timed.

What new business titles are you excited about? Please share with us!


Anna said...

I've been reading and enjoying slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations, which isn't exactly a business book, but it's certainly something business people should be looking at.

Connie said...

Hi Anna:

That would be a business book in my books. :-D

Thank you! Will have a look.

Ann Kingman also recommended Buy-ology by Martin Lindstrom over on Twitter.