by CIO Staff

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

Feb 23, 2011

Books and blogs about IT, management and leadership


Using Brain Science to Get the Best From Your People

By Edward M. Hallowell, MD

Book  If workers seem listless, this psychiatrist argues, it may not be because they or their jobs are inherently dull. The brain can train itself to work better, so Hallowell suggests a five-step process to help staffers achieve peak performance: Managers must ensure employees’ jobs suit them well, help overcome the digital disconnect with face-to-face interactions, engage workers’ imaginations, get them to practice the skills they need, and praise their success. Harvard Business Review Press, $26.95

Being the Boss 

The Three Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader

By Linda A. Hill and Kent Lineback

Book Being in charge is tough. You’re responsible for the work other people do. You have to work with people to help them improve while remaining clear-eyed enough to know if the attempt at development isn’t working. You have to cultivate personal relationships without giving up authority. The three keys to managing these competing duties, according to the authors, are managing yourself, your network, and your team. They advise against trying to be friends with all your employees, but also against relying on authority alone to get people to do what you want. They also include a number of self-evaluation questions to help you understand your management style. Harvard Business Review Press, $25.95

Candid CIO

By Will Weider

Blog Weider is CIO of the Ministry Health Care and Affinity Health System in Wisconsin. Fellow healthcare CIOs will find much of interest here, as he delves into the intricacies of healthcare law and its effects on IT, especially electronic healthcare records. About every third post is of more general interest­­—for example, he talks about leadership, the importance of change management, and what bugs him about that new series of Microsoft commercials where people exclaim, “To the cloud!”

Thinking of as Your Key to the Cloud Kingdom?

Ask the Smart Questions

By Alok Misra and Ian Gotts

Book Ever get the nagging feeling there’s something important you’ve overlooked? This book can help make sure you’ve thought everything through before you jump into the cloud. After a quick overview of and some implementation hypotheticals, the book moves on to page after page of questions to consider before jumping in. They’re divided into broad categories, such as necessary changes to the organization, and each question is accompanied by a brief explanation of why the answer matters. Smart Questions, $30.99

Not for Free

Revenue Strategies for a New World

By Saul J. Berman

Book Everyone’s looking for a way make more money out of things they’re doing anyway, and IT has to be prepared to support those efforts. The book’s discussion of “componentization”—breaking up something, such as software, to sell its parts individually—is likely to be especially relevant. This kind of move is likely to require adapting programs and may call for a different kind of customer support. Harvard Business Review Press, $29.95