An aspirational and well-grounded management guide.

INCLUSIVE 360

PROVEN SOLUTIONS FOR AN EQUITABLE ORGANIZATION

A comprehensive approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion for organizations.

The importance of DEI affects businesses large and small, and Smith, who owns a DEI consulting firm, recognizes that larger, more progressive establishments may already be advancing initiatives in these areas. As a result, her book specifically targets “organizations beginning their diversity, equity, and inclusion journeys.” She straightforwardly asserts that such initiatives must necessarily touch all constituents of an organization, both internal and external—a notion she characterizes as “360-degree” coverage. The book is appropriately divided into three parts (“Diversity,” “Equity,” and “Inclusion”) that define each concept and provide “Action Steps” toward achieving it as well as resources for further reading. The book also includes a brief epilogue that ties the other three parts together by addressing what Smith calls “the holy grail of the workplace: Belonging”; the author notes that “when an employee feels like they belong in their organization, they’re going to do their best work.” Smith begins the book by making an excellent business case for DEI, enumerating “strong selling points” supported by several research studies demonstrating tangible benefits. She then introduces a problem-solving methodology called “ARC” (“Ask,” “Respect,” “Connect”) and shows multiple illustrations of how it may be applied to DEI goals. Each of the three main sections is rich with detail, examples, and suggestions. While discussing diversity, for example, Smith covers such topics as unconscious bias, setting diversity targets, and hiring with diversity in mind. The author’s discussion of racial inequities is particularly compelling, and she also delves into equitable pay and procurement. Regarding inclusion, Smith offers examples of “Business Resource Groups,” explains how inclusive conversations work, examines the concept of “psychological safety,” and offers an enlightened perspective on employee benefits. Throughout, Smith effectively takes a broad view of her subject, citing DEI examples that include race, gender, LGBTQ+, and disability issues. Overall, the book’s illuminating message is honest, forthright, and timely.

An aspirational and well-grounded management guide.

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-73763-540-6

Page Count: 300

Publisher: Goodnow Flow Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

ECONOMIC DIGNITY

Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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