Words On Words

The Miami Herald's Business Monday Book Club.
Click here for information.

Music Reviews and Features
Dion Dimucci

Lester Bangs in Buffalo

Lester Bangs in "Almost Famous"

The Cure In Concert

Peal Jam In Concert

History of Warner Brothers Music

Creolina's Cajun/Creole

People's Bar-B-Que and Soul Food

Originally published September 2, 2002 in The Miami Herald.

Pound for Pound, Goleman's Book is the Best Around.

Business: The Ultimate Resource. Daniel Goleman et al. Perseus Publishing. 2,200 pages.

rpachter@wordsonwords.comBuy it now!

Chances are, you're never going to read this book, but that's all right, I haven't read it either - at least not the whole thing. But if you buy this giant compendium of business wisdom, you'll probably refer to it on a daily basis.

Created by an international team of writers, editors and authorities on a variety of aspects of business and management, this authoritative and comprehensive volume is encyclopedic in scope. Old business, new economy - it's all here, with contributions from Warren Bennis, Peter L. Bernstein, John Seely Brown, Jim Collins, Charles Handy, Thomas Petzinger Jr., David Weinberger and many others.

Goleman, the putative frontman for this ambitious endeavor, which is a collaboration between American publisher Perseus and the United Kingdom's Bloomsbury, offers a thoughtful explanation of the rationale - and practical value - behind this huge undertaking. He writes ``business literacy [is] a working familiarity with the key thinking and writing that business people need to keep up with. Given the thousands of books and articles published each year for business people, it's virtually impossible to keep current with the explosion of new ideas and concepts - not to mention weeding out the quickly fading fads of the moment. The majority of that unwieldy mass of ideas and insights offered up each year will fall away like leaves in autumn. But year after year there are thinkers whose insights prove worthwhile, because they make a practical difference - they add to business intelligence, and prove their worth by ways they matter at work. Business advantage is gained by harnessing smart ideas - not just amorphous data, the latest technology, or a larger-than-life CEO. As each of us goes through the ups and downs, crises and triumphs, of a life in business, the brain automatically extracts lessons for confronting similar situations in the future. Over the years we each build up a set of tacitly learned decision rules - life's lessons - which constitute the sum total of our wisdom on the matter. But each of us has only a specific, limited set of life experiences - and so a restricted set of lessons - informing our business wisdom. We can each benefit from expanding the pool of lessons learned, given the unpredictable nature of challenges we will face tomorrow.''

This 2,200-page extravaganza is loaded with all kinds of interesting and useful sections, including a world almanac covering 26 industry-sector surveys, profiles of the United States and 150 other countries and every U.S. state; dozens of best-practice essays; biographies of business leaders like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Peter Drucker, Adam Smith, Henry Ford, Estée Lauder and others; digests of what the editors consider to be the 70 most influential business books; a lexicon of business terms; an anthology of quotations; and backgrounders on dozens of topics like accounting, intellectual property, mission statements, team building, venture capital and (as they say) much, much more
All in all, it's an extremely well done effort. Pound for pound, in fact, it may be the best purchase one could make for a business library.

Like business books? Join the club.