What We’re Reading from the October 15, 2010 Issue of CIO Magazine

Books and blogs about IT and management

Glitch: The Hidden Impact of Faulty Software

By Jeff Papows

Book We tend to think of glitches as little more than minor annoyances that come with our wired lives. But some are much more serious—they can cost a company like Toyota billions, invite cyberterrorism or even kill, as did malfunctioning radiation-treatment software Papows describes. The former CEO of Lotus outlines the risks of software glitches and explains how executives, developers and legislators have to work together to reduce their impact on society. Prentice Hall, $24.99

Buy-In: Saving Your Good Idea from Getting Shot Down

By John Kotter and Lorne A. Whitehead

Book Lots of good ideas never get implemented because their proposers don’t know how to counter naysayers effectively. Kotter identifies four categories of obstruction­­—confusion, death by delay, fear mongering, and ridicule or character assassination—and 24 lines of attack used to quash ideas, and gives simple, respectful ways to counter them. Rather than merely getting good ideas approved, he says, this approach will get more people strongly behind them, giving your project a better chance of overcoming implementation snags and actually coming to fruition. Harvard Business Review, $22.00

Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness

By Randal Pinkett, Jeffrey Robinson and Philana Patterson

Book Pinkett is the first African-American winner of Donald Trump’s The Apprentice and the co-founder and CEO of an IT and management consulting firm, so he knows better than most that the rules of the corporate game are subtly different for people of color. He combines general tried-and-true advice with tips for gaining strength from your cultural identity, how and when to fight for what you believe in, as well as how to build your network and address race in mentor-protege relationships. AMACOM Books, $24.95

The Joy of Tech Comic: Laughter Is the Best Tech Support

By Nitrozac and Snaggy

Blog Two self-professed geeks write and draw this webcomic, which is updated three times a week. Together they tackle all things tech, including the Apple-Google clash, Facebook privacy and Prince’s declarations on the fate of the Internet. And with over 10 years’ worth of archives and a similarly themed blog, the site could keep you entertained for a long time. www.geekculture.com/joyoftech/index.html

Giving Voice to Values: How to Speak Your Mind When You Know What’s Right

By Mary C. Gentile

Book We usually know when something isn’t the right thing to do, says Gentile; the tricky part is finding the courage to speak up about it. To help, she combines research and anecdotes to develop general tips—such as recruiting allies—and specific scripts that coach you through delicate situations. One approach Gentile recommends is creating your own narrative of who you are and how that enables you to act on your values, as well as how it puts you at risk. This frames challenges for you to help you decide your course of action. Yale University Press, $26.00

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