Lessons on Innovation from the CEO of Proctor & Gamble

The Game-Changer: How You Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth With Innovation. By A. G. Lafley & Ram Charan. Crown Business, 2008. 352 pages. $27.50.

As the subtitle (How You Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth) of The Game-Changer indicates, this recent volume by A. G. Lafley and Ram Charan is meant more as . . . → Read More: Lessons on Innovation from the CEO of Proctor & Gamble

Stephen Colbert on Social Inequality

As anyone fond of “truthiness,” humor, or television knows, long time Daily Show member Stephen Colbert has, since October 2005, had his own show: The Colbert Report.

Where Daily Show anchor John Stewart plays it in some ways more conservatively, holding to a tradition . . . → Read More: Stephen Colbert on Social Inequality

Market Fundamentalism: A Word to Us All

An interview with George Soros appeared in the June 2008 edition of Money magazine. Though brief, the interview was both fascinating and useful, as Soros explained why the current financial crisis is so bad and what it means for, well, everyone.

. . . → Read More: Market Fundamentalism: A Word to Us All

The Dark Side of Economic Forces

I don’t know about you, but I grew up reading children’s books. I loved them. From Curious George’s adventures with the man in the yellow hat to cheering for Max in Where the Wild Things Are (let the wild rumpus begin!), I lived and died with these characters. When I . . . → Read More: The Dark Side of Economic Forces

The Animal That Is Competition

The Red Queen among Organizations: How Competitiveness Evolves. By William P. Barnett. Princeton University Press, 2008. 296 pages. $29.95.

There are several pillars to free market economics. Among these are private ownership of property, price regulation though market action and competition among firms for profit. Given the centrality of competition, one would expect many . . . → Read More: The Animal That Is Competition

Barack Obama: Eloquent but Unrealistic

The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. By Barack Obama. Crown Publishers, 2006 (Hardcover) and Random House Audio, 2006 (CD). 384 pages. $25.00 (Hardcover) and $29.95 (CD).

In 2006, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama published The Audacity of Hope. I first encountered The Audacity of Hope as an audiobook read by . . . → Read More: Barack Obama: Eloquent but Unrealistic

The U.S. Economy as One Big Red-Light District

If you imagine the economy as an animal, the characters in Jim Thompson’s The Grifters are either the parasites that leech on that beast or its masters. You may have to read the book to decide.

Yes, you can catch a glimpse of . . . → Read More: The U.S. Economy as One Big Red-Light District

Information at the Speed of Knowledge

Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge. By Cass R. Sunstein. Oxford University Press, USA, 2008. 304 pages. $15.95.

If you’re interested in how organizations and societies process knowledge or how what one individual knows diffuses through a larger social matrix, read Cass Sunstein’s Infotopia. It’s not perfect, but it does a fine job of . . . → Read More: Information at the Speed of Knowledge

The Modern-Day Wealth of Nations?

Revolutionary Wealth: How It Will Be Created and How It Will Change Our Lives. By Alvin and Heidi Toffler. Knopf, 2006. 512 pages. $15.95.

In 1970, Alvin Toffler published Future Shock, an analysis of the accelerating waves of change moving through society. Toffler built on a number of movements already underway both social (the . . . → Read More: The Modern-Day Wealth of Nations?

One of Whose?

Though One of Ours won a Pulitzer Prize for Willa Cather when it first came out, it is not the best known of her works. Instead, Cather is known for works like O Pioneers! and My Antonia. It’s easy to see why Cather might have won a Pulitzer for . . . → Read More: One of Whose?