by Edited by Carol Zarrow

CIO Bookshelf: Making It Personal: How to Profit from Personalization Without Invading Privacy

Jan 01, 20023 mins

How to Get Personal

Making It Personal: How to Profit from Personalization Without Invading Privacy

By Bruce Kasanoff

Perseus Publishing, 2001, $26

Bob was thrilled when his favorite online bookseller recommended a new auto-racing book based on his past purchases. He was not nearly as thrilled when his auto insurance provider used the same book-buying data to label him a potentially reckless driver and raise his rates by 10 percent.

In Making It Personal, technology and customer marketing consultant Kasanoff examines the promises and pitfalls of personalization. Hopes that personalization will lead to increased profits might lure your company into using customer data, but what do you offer people in return for invading their privacy?

Kasanoff shows he has a knack for making abstract discussions relevant to actual business practices by generously sprinkling anecdotes throughout the book. A “thought exercise” at the end of each chapter invites readers to clarify its concepts by connecting the material to their own experiences. Except for a portion of the final chapter, however, don’t expect a lengthy treatment of actual privacy law. This book is a good starting point, but by no means a detailed or technical privacy discussion.

-Tara Liloia

How to Change

Conquering Organizational Change:How to Succeed Where Most Companies Fail

By Pierre Mourier & Martin Smith

CEP Press, 2001, $18.95

“You won’t find any lofty theories about change in this book, just commonsense recommendations” about how to effect organizational change, write Mourier and Smith, both management consultants. A how-to guide to change in companies, this book includes planning guides, checklists and tactics. The most valuable thing about this slim book, however, is its approach to the concept of change. Rather than viewing change management as the province of executives and management consultants, the authors define change broadly as the stuff that happens in many companies much of the time: business growth or contraction, new technology and new computer system implementation, process changes, mergers and acquisitions, and so on. As such, organizational change involves most everyone in the business world. And most everyone could benefit from this book’s step-by-step guide to achieving change.

-Edward Prewitt

CIO Best-Seller List

5. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

by John C. Maxwell

Thomas Nelson, 1998

4. Now, Discover Your Strengths: The Revolutionary Program That Shows You How to Develop Your Unique Talents and Strengths?And Those of the People You Manage

by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton

The Free Press, 2001

3. Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results

by Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen

Hyperion, 2000

2. First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently

by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

Simon & Schuster, 1999

1. Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life

by Spencer Johnson

The Putnam Publishing Group, 1998

SOURCE: Aug. 19, 2001-Nov. 19, 2001 data, compiled by Powell’s Books, Portland, Ore.

Book Talk

“If you want to be a leading provider then you’ve got to be with leading users, and those are not usually the regular firms. They’re people operating at the fringe. They’re not on most radars because they’re smaller groups. They’re experimenting, and they’re looking for people who can come up with solutions to their problems.”

-From a CIO Radio ( interview with Stephen C. Harper, author of The Forward-Focused Organization: Visionary Thinking and Breakthrough Leadership to Create Your Company’s Future (Amacom, 2001)