Kate Minchin claims her entire career has been built on a mountain of coffee beans. Which sounds a bit precarious, but you get the idea: getting the best out of people is based on getting to know them, and that means getting out of the office and into conversation.
While there are stacks of business books written for leaders and entrepreneurs, relatively few are aimed at frontline managers (same goes for training, interestingly), and Kate wanted to right this wrong. The result is Always Time for Coffee: A Down-To-Earth Guide for Frontline Managers, Team Leaders and Supervisors, full of real-life wisdom and tactical, practical tips for happier and more productive teams.
She had an interesting personal reason for writing the book too. And I can think I can safely say this is probably the only podcast episode that ever has and ever will include the phrase 'non-zombie-specific stuff'.
Fresh [sic] from the London Book Fair 2019, where Practical Inspiration Publishing was an exhibitor, this week's episode is a reflection on the big themes of the Fair, and the Quantum conference that preceded it (and of which I was a Chair).
Listen up for the latest on:
the growth of non-fiction - why we're all trying to make sense of a world gone mad
the audio explosion - how audio books, podcasts and voice-first discovery are shaping the new publishing landscape
independent publishers - why they're increasingly shaping the agenda
bookshops - how they defied expectations to remain relevant in the age of Amazon, and how they're working with publishers like us to bring readers and authors together
discoverability - what it is, why it matters, and some great new tools to help books get found
And very, very, VERY little on Brexit. Promise.
'Our events are a bit like a business book; a business book should give you new ideas, cutting edge content, stuff that you haven't thought about before. But great business books can do it in a way that makes learning fun, that is entertaining to read, that also inspires the reader.'
London Business Forum do events a bit differently. You don't get Tom Peters in boxing gloves at your run-of-the-mill business presentation. In this episode, LBF founder Brendan Barns talk about what makes a great talk, and why laughter is such a powerful tool for engaging attention and communicating ideas.
Spoiler alert: Creating a great talk is not so different to creating a great book.
Amazon has revolutionised retail, and it's showing no signs of stopping. To understand the Amazon effect, and consider what might be coming next, we need to analyse it through two lenses - retail strategy and technology. Which is why retail analyst Natalie Berg and technology journalist Miya Knights decided to combine their perspectives and co-author their new book Amazon: How the world's most relentless retailer will continue to revolutionise commerce.
In this conversation we talk about the Amazon effect itself (always fascinating for a publisher!) and the future of retail, but also what it takes to collaborate on a book, the difficulty of writing about a moving target, and how to fit the writing alongside the day job.