by CIO Staff

What We’re Reading from the June 1, 2011, Issue of CIO Magazine

May 26, 20113 mins

Books, blogs and research on IT, management and leadership

The Optimization Edge 

Reinventing Decision Making to Maximize All Your Company’s Assets

By Steve Sashihara

Book  The economy may be on the upswing, but everyone is still looking to do more with less. Sashihara says cutting staff and services isn’t the answer. Instead, the most successful businesses use software that crunches huge quantities of data to decide how best to use their resources. These programs can manage supply chains, handle dynamic pricing and schedule production years in advance. McGraw-Hill, $35

What Makes Business Rock

Building the World’s Largest Global Networks

By Bill Roedy

Book Roedy spent 22 years with MTV, building its networks around the world. He imparts a number of business lessons learned from his successes and mistakes during his years in cable TV, reinforcing the importance of prioritizing and the need to delegate. Of course, the real highlights of the book are Roedy’s many anecdotes, including deflecting P. Diddy’s more outrageous demands, wearing sneakers to meet the Dalai Lama and soothing the Duchess of York’s hurt feelings when rockers swore at her on TV. Wiley, $27.95

Better Under Pressure 

How Great Leaders Bring Out the Best in Themselves and Others

By Justin Menkes

Book Why do some people produce their best results when times are hard while others collapse under the pressure? Menkes says there are three key traits that allow a leader to succeed in tough situations: realistic optimism, unswerving dedication to a goal, and the ability to make sense of multidimensional problems. What’s more, all three traits can be learned, says Menkes, a psychologist who works with CEOs at major companies. He offers tips and warns of pitfalls he’s uncovered from reviewing the résumés of hundreds of CEOs and interviewing dozens more. Harvard Business Review Press, $29.95


By Debra Allison

Blog The VP of IT and CIO of Miami University in Ohio maintains this Twitter feed, where she mostly posts links to interesting IT news stories and adds a bit of her own commentary. Of Microsoft’s plan to acquire Internet phone and video chat company Skype, she says, “Can’t help but think this is the start of Skype’s demise. But watch the debt:earnings ratio.” She mixes in some leadership tips and lighter fare, such as this retweet of @FalseSteveJobs, who weighs in on the iPhone tracking scandal: “You get ‘Find my iPhone.’ We get ‘Find my Apple customer.’ Fair trade.” @MiamiCIO

Bare Knuckle People Management

Creating Success With the Team You Have—Winners, Losers, Misfits, and All

By Sean O’Neil and John Kulisek

Book If you’re sick of touchy-feely leadership books, give this one a try. The writers sort employees—good and bad—into 16 categories, including Steady Eddie and Mr. Inappropriate, and explain how to get the most from each. The book is peppered with sample dialogues, irreverent anecdotes and enough swears to make it read more like a casual chat with a peer than a high-minded lecture from HR. BenBella Books, $14.95