The best business card you’ll ever have is about 200 pages long

12 February 2016 by in Book publishing, Business and finance, Publishing for business

This week’s prestigious Chartered Management Institute Management Book of the Year award has underlined, once again, the value of ideas to business. The winner, Frugal Innovation: How to do more with less by Navi Radjou and Jaideep Prabhu, demonstrates how businesses can grow quickly on limited resources. Management makes things happen. Anyone who doubts this should consider Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove’s short article in Harvard Business Review. Crainer, co-founder of Thinkers50, the world’s most prestigious management guru ranking, points out that the ‘best business books are acted upon, they change the way leaders lead and how managers manage. This is not an idle ambition. The most impressive and successful leaders tend to be voracious readers. They want to know about the latest research and ideas. This is especially true in emerging markets. CEOs like Zhang Ruimin at Haier have used business books as an education in business best practice. There is nothing so practical as a great idea.’

published books make great business cardsAnd, something that is frequently overlooked, there’s nothing so rewarding as being the originator of a great idea. The world’s most sought-after cross-cultural management expert, Fons Trompenaars, has claimed that since publishing influential books like Riding the Whirlwind, The Global M&A Tango and 100+ Management Models his speaking engagements and fees have doubled, his profile tripled and his clients quadrupled. ‘I highly recommend you to get your ideas on paper, particularly if they are unique,’ he says. Trompenaars is quite right to say that if you’ve got interesting ideas you need to record them, but you also need to distribute them, and there is simply no better way to do it than in a book. Why? Because people don’t throw books away. Getting a publisher to commit to your book idea isn’t easy (unless you’re already a well-known author), but self-publishing gives you a product that has far less impact. As, Barry Gibbons, former global CEO of Burger King and author of six books in including If You Want to Make God Really Laugh Show Him Your Business Plan, says, ‘A published book (accent on ‘published’) can bring a string of powerful indirect benefits. It can boost a CV. It can take the place of a business card, with 1000 times the impact. It can open up lucrative speaking or consulting opportunities. It can enhance an author’s reputation in a defined target market.’ Gibbons is a prolific and entertaining speaker who addresses huge conferences from Las Vegas to Bangkok, and there’s no doubt that his books have helped him get to where he is. In fact if you want to be on the speaking circuit and you haven’t got a book published you have a huge hurdle to overcome. Brendan Barns, formerly CEO of Speakers for Business and founder of London Business Forum, insists that having a business book published can give instant credibility to an author, especially if it’s in partnership with a major publisher. ‘This can,’ he says ‘open the door to a lucrative speaking career, especially if the author has some charisma.’

A published book can also have some more subtle effects on the authors profile. Ken Langdon is the author of 20 practical business books (and ghost-writer of several more) and he points out that it massively enhances your search engine profile. A Google search on many business managers wouldn’t throw up much apart from a LinkedIn page which is, of course, their own writing. Google an author, however, and you get their Amazon page along with the publisher’s potted history of the author. (The author may also have written this but it doesn’t look like that.) If you want to see the effect for yourself just type ‘Ken Langdon’ into Google.

How can you make the book you’ve written work for your business?

11 January 2016 by in Book publishing, Business and finance, Publishing for business

Over the years Infinite Ideas has published dozens of books with businesses and the research we’ve done shows that a printed book is a unique promotional tool. We found that out of ten thousand consultants in the UK 72% of respondents claimed that as a result of being published recognition of their brand increased; nearly 60% claimed that they picked up more speaking events after being published and 65% stated that being published gained them more clients. That’s quite compelling, and it supports some of our own anecdotal evidence. One Infinite Ideas author gained a six figure consulting contract as a result of his book being bought at an airport bookshop; another ended up as a speaker at the World Economic Forum at Davos two years in succession.

business booksMany authors think that writing their book is hard work but soon find that writing is the easy part! There’s no point putting all those evening and weekend shifts in on your book if you then fail to work it to increase sales and brand awareness, and that requires a degree of diligence and innovation. Your publisher will (or should) work hard to secure presence in bookshops and generate media coverage but can do very little to access the constituency that has already bought into your brand – your clients, audiences and followers. So here are some tips for maximizing the impact of your book.

  1. Send a signed complimentary copy with a personal, handwritten letter to all your clients and prospects. Explain why you have written the book and how you think it will help them specifically. Individualize each letter as far as you can. Writing it by hand rather than typing strengthens the impression that you have taken the time to think about the person who is reading it and their business or professional needs. Nobody gets excited by a generic template.
  2. Send a copy to each of your media contacts with a note pointing out aspects of the book that you think are newsworthy. In a recent survey 32% of people said they bought a book because they were influenced by reviews in newspapers, magazines and online, so you can’t afford to ignore it. Once again, your publisher should be working the media but you will need to fill in the gaps. So find out what they are doing and work with their PR to generate maximum exposure. Journalists get hundreds of approaches a week so yours needs to stand out and there’s no better way of doing that than by personal contact. If you don’t have any media contacts ask friends and colleagues for theirs and use their names (with their permission) in the subject box of your emails.
  3. If you’re not already on the speaking circuit now’s the time to start. Speaking engagements are a priceless channel for selling your book. Ideally you should build a free copy for each delegate into the fee you get for the event. If that’s not possible take some books to sell (and make sure you have a facility for taking payment). At the very least you should have some fliers available that give your audience details of your latest book, preferably with a discount. If you have impressed your audience many will want a souvenir of the event and what could  firm up your relationship with these potential new clients better than a signed copy of your book.
  4. Social media is (are) vital. Start promoting your book a few months prior to publication on Facebook and Twitter and encourage as many people as possible to become fans and share your book in their networks. These are more fun social networks and designed to give instant gratification. To stay relevant create a hashtag that is unique to your brand and use it every time you post a tweet or an update. This should develop momentum and you will be able to monitor whether people are responding to your contributions. You should also explore Tumblr and Pinterest which are particularly good at being visually stimulating and easily shared. Make sure the pictures you associate with your brand and your book are relevant to the content, otherwise you may end up with the wrong types of followers, those who are not likely to benefit from reading your content. It’s good to link your posts to what is currently trending, but always link back to why that is relevant to your book.

    If your book is designed to promote your business you must engage fully with LinkedIn, which is an essential networking tool. Join groups on LinkedIn that relate to your business. It is an excellent space to share newsworthy items that can help with careers, and members are likely to respond if you write a blog post and share it (always with a link to your book at the end). Promote thoughtful content that gets people to engage with the ideas in your book and engages them in discussion. Reach out to people who you think could endorse your book, such as leaders in your particular field, or an author of a competing title. You don’t get any medals for wanting to do all of this alone.

There’s much more that you can do of course, and I’ll be returning to this subject with more techniques to market your work. Meanwhile we have written two books which are available free on www.infideas.com

Get published: A first-time writer’s guide to publishing 

Guerrilla tactics for marketing and selling your book

We love to talk to authors about their books. If you want to have an informal chat, feel free to email us at info@infideas.com to see how we can help you out.

Fons Trompenaars and the power of publishing

23 November 2015 by in 100+ Management Models, Book publishing, Business and finance, Current events, Nine visions of capitalism, Publishing for business

Last week celebrated cross-cultural management guru Fons Trompenaars rose in the influential Thinkers50 global ranking of business thinkers. Trompenaars climbed to 33rd place partly due to his recent book, written with Charles Hampden-Turner, Nine Visions of Capitalism but mainly, according to Stuart Crainer who created Thinkers50 with Des Dearlove in 2001, due to a significant increase in citations of his work during the last two years.

The Thinkers50 ranking, often described as the Oscars of management thinking, is a celebration of the very best new management thinking as well as those ideas which stand the test of time. Crainer says he is looking for “ideas with a potential impact that extends beyond the business world to address issues ranging from reducing poverty to building a sustainable model of capitalism.”

Trompenaars’ success shows the value to consultants of publishing paradigm-shifting content in an accessible, peer-reviewed context. Self-publishing seems not to have the credibility of commercially published works. Barry Gibbons, former Global CEO of Burger King and author of ten acclaimed business books says: “A published book (accent on ‘published’) can bring a string of powerful indirect benefits. It can boost a CV. It can take the place of a business card, with 1000 times the impact. It can open up lucrative speaking or consulting opportunities. It can enhance an author’s reputation in a defined target market.”

Trompenaars’ ideas on cross-cultural development have been published widely in reviews such as Harvard Business Review and Intercultural Management Quarterly but he has also had a major impact with books like 100+ Management Models: How To Understand And Apply The World’s Most Powerful Business Tools, Servant Leadership across cultures and The global M&A tango: How To Reconcile Cultural Differences In Mergers, Acquisitions And Strategic Partnerships. Most of Trompenaars’ books are jointly published by Infinite Ideas in the UK and McGraw-Hill in the US.

Trompenaars and his team have developed a unique resource in the cross-cultural and other databases they have developed over thirty years. He adopts a measurement and data-driven approach to benchmark, inform, advise and diagnose client problems and provide practical solutions. He maintains that organizations need stability and growth, long-term and short-term decisions, tradition and innovation, planning and laissez-faire. The challenge is to integrate these opposites, not to select one at the expense of the other. You have to inspire as well as listen, to make decisions yourself but also delegate and you need to centralize your organization around local responsibilities. Trompenaars’ work is unique in that his focus has been to use his research on culture to find reconciliation of differences rather than simply identifying them.

John Naisbitt, author of Megatrends, described Nine Visions of Capitalism as “an important and brilliant book. With deep insights on China, it helps us understand a world undergoing extraordinary change.” Trompenaars recently sold his business, Trompenaars Hampden-Turner, to KPMG for an undisclosed sum. It is impossible to calculate the effect of these deep insights in the books and articles on the sale price but it’s fair to say that Trompenaars’ global Thinkers50 ranking which itself depends so heavily on publishing gave it a significant push in the right direction.

Game of Thrones on Business shortlisted for CMI Management Book of the Year

27 October 2015 by in Book publishing, Business and finance, Game of Thrones on Business

Management-Gold_NewInfinite Ideas is thrilled to announce that Game of Thrones on Business by Tim Phillips and Rebecca Clare has been shortlisted in the ‘commuter read’ category for the CMI Management Book of the Year. This award selects the very best in management writing to promote the Management Gold gold standard for books.

We’re thrilled to be on a list among such great writers and publishers. Our inclusion reflects the continuing success of our mission to publish high quality books on business, management and leadership and promote the idea that management writing is essential to good business practice.

Game of Thrones on Business aims to combine popular culture with management lessons. It’s a great book to dip into on the bus or the train on the way to work and offers excellent advice in bitesize chapters. Jon Snow may know nothing but we can guarantee that after reading our book, you will be clued up on how to approach business situations from another angle and tackle problems head on.

Game_of_Thrones_S5_pre

Super Thursday for Infinite Ideas

8 October 2015 by in Book publishing, Current events, Entertainment

It’s Super Thursday in the publishing world, which is a bit like Christmas morning for us. We’re off to the bookshops after work to see all the beautiful, colourful covers adorning the tables like waking up and seeing what Santa has brought us. Naturally we already have bookshelves at home heaving with unread tomes and we look forward to adding to the large stacks that we may take to the beach next year. What can we say, we like choice.

Super thursday

Infinite Ideas does not have a book released this year, however we do have a super exciting Christmas list. There really is something for everyone from business stocking-fillers, to leadership lessons for the business aficionado in the family. However, the title that we are most excited about is all about Christmas or, more precisely, Yule. Catherine Cooper’s new book, The Wichen Tree, will be published at the end of November and is another very exciting Jack Brenin adventure.

Jack, having grown up in Greece, has never seen snow so this Yule is especially exciting for him as well as coming across many magical creatures and places in the lead up to Christmas.

If you’re new to this series, the first book, The Golden Acorn, is available for free on Kindle. There’s just enough time for you to dive into this magical series before the fifth book comes out. We’re nice like that, we thought we’d give you a bit of extra time to get hooked on the series! If you’re already a fan, then there’s still time to put it on your Christmas list and mark it on your calendar as there are just over six weeks until you can get your hands on this great book.

Also, the cover is very cool and very Christmassy, don’t you think? (Not that we’re endorsing getting this excited about Christmas already, but if other publishers are, then we will shamelessly jump on that bandwagon!)

Nine visions of capitalism by Charles Hampden-Turner and Fons Trompenaars

7 September 2015 by in Book publishing, Business and finance, Nine visions of capitalism

9781908984401

Capitalism in crisis: top culture management gurus map the route to a fairer global economy

Capitalism has been in a state of crisis for nearly a hundred years. The effects of the stock market crash of 1929 were felt well into the 1950s. The turbulence in international currency markets in the late 1960s, which sparked worldwide street protests in 1968, was unresolved until the mid-1980s. And the avalanche of financial crises that followed the failure of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 is still falling on businesses, consumers and communities around the world. In the face of such evidence it would be easy to think that capitalism is a doomed system.

However in Nine visions of capitalism: unlocking the meanings of wealth creation authors Charles Hampden-Turner and Fons Trompenaars suggest otherwise. Capitalism does have a future, they say, but only if the standard Anglo-American model of capitalism is radically transformed. As the authors point out, creating wealth is much more than simply making money. They say, “A community is only better off when it creates wealth through the transformation of money into products and services and the transformation of these back into money via revenue received.” The current model of capitalism has led to a situation where the net worth of the world’s top 10 billionaires stands at over $500 billion, enough to end world poverty instantly twice over. But the global economy is not richer for the presence of billionaires if the money in their pockets has simply been transferred from those of other people.

So how can this failing model be fixed? Hampden-Turner and Trompenaars argue that accommodating diversity is a pre-requisite for the reinvention of wealth creation. China’s spectacular growth, the dynamism and flexibility of the Mittelstand of German-speaking economies, Singapore’s hybridization of East and West, the world’s vibrant immigrant communities and the drive for renewable energy offer different aspects of an authoritative and challenging blueprint for the  future of capitalism. Finally, the authors draw on examples of innovation in capitalism such as the Conscious Capitalism movement in the US, the Cambridge Phenomenon in the UK and the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, which has members from Mongolia to Patagonia as well as the US and UK, to demonstrate what can be done to reinvigorate tired models, and provide a realistic, practical and powerful transformation agenda for the global economy.

About the authors
Management philosopher Charles Hampden-Turner was Senior Research Associate at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. The creator of Dilemma Theory and co-founder and Director of Research and Development at the Trompenaars Hampden-Turner Group in Amsterdam, he was Goh Tjoei Kok Distinguished Visiting Professor to Nanyang Technological University in Singapore in 2002–3 and Hutchinson Visiting Scholar to China in 2004. He is a past winner of the Douglas Mc Gregor Memorial Award and has received Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships. Fons Trompenaars is an organizational theorist, management consultant and bestselling author known globally for the development of the Trompenaars’ model of national culture differences. He was awarded the International Professional Practice Area Research Award by the American Society for Training and Development and Business magazine ranked him as one of the world’s top five management consultants. In 2013 he was ranked in the Thinkers50 of the world’s most influential management thinkers. He is the author or co-author of numerous books including Riding the Waves of Culture and 100+ Management Models.

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