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The Extraordinary Business Book Club

Alison Jones, publisher and book coach, explores business books from both a writer's and a reader's perspective. Interviews with authors, publishers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, tech wizards, social media strategists, PR and marketing experts and others involved in helping businesses tell their story effectively.
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Now displaying: June, 2018
Jun 25, 2018

Think that what you say on the internet has no impact? Euan Semple says think again. 

'An avalanche only ever happens because the last snowflake falls. If it doesn't, an avalanche doesn't happen. Each of our conversations could be a last snowflake.'

Despite the fact that he's been blogging for 16 years and has written several successful books, he still recognises the resistance we all feel: 'this is obvious', 'who am I to write this', 'who's going to read this', 'who cares'... But his answer is simply this:

'Just sit down and write it and let other people work at whether it's worthwhile.'

Because not only does the process of writing force you to clarify what you think, putting that writing on the internet turns you from a passive consumer to an active participant in shaping our world.

(There's also some incredibly practical tips on structuring your book and muscling through procrastination, and possibly the best tagline for this show EVER if I can just summon up the courage to use it...)

Jun 18, 2018

The gig economy - flexible and empowering, or exploitative and uncertain? Sarah Kessler is fascinated by how work is changing, and her book Gigged follows five very different people over three years and tracks their experiences - good, bad and downright terrifying. 

In this week's conversation, we discuss the difference in writing an article (Sarah is also a reporter at Quartz, and before that Fast Company and Mashable) and a book, with the sustained timeline that implies, and the opportunity to explore not just the stories, but the context in which they're taking place. 

'I wanted to have relationships with people over a long period of time rather than just talking about the hot new thing they were working on for this month.'

Sarah also has some great advice for writers which involves NOT writing. This might just be my favourite tip so far. 

Jun 11, 2018

Former ad man, CEO of both the Granada and Conran Groups and Chairman of Citigate, Roger Mavity is also a renowned author, artist and photographer. 

In this conversation we explore the twin struggles of creativity and specifically of writing: the private struggle to articulate the idea, and the public struggle to broadcast it.

And if it's true as Roger argues that 'Virtually everything in the world that happens that's any good happens because there's one really bright person that lights the blue touch paper', how does this Promethean vision of creativity play out in our organisations and collaborations? 

A fascinating conversation with one of the world's most colourful and creative business experts.

 

Jun 4, 2018

We've been stuck on the idea of competitive advantage as the key to strategy for a long time now. Paul Skinner thinks it's had its day. 

'Where competitive advantage assumes that the way to succeed is by being better than others, I believe the way to succeed is by supporting others and sharing the value that you can create with them.'

Collaborative Advantage is what Paul describes as his 'book-worthy' big idea, and in this conversation he explains how it's unfolded from a principle that he's applied and developed through the various initiatives and enterprises he's worked with over the years into book form. 

There's also great advice on creating stories where the customer, not your business, is the hero. Because those are the stories that change lives. 

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