The first management books from the Gallup Organization--First, Break All the Rules (1999) and Now Discover Your Strengths (2002)--became bestsellers with more than a million copies in print. Now Follow This Path by Curt Coffman and Gabriel Gonzalez-Molina, offers the same combination of deep research, contrarian findings and lucid presentation. Among its conclusions: Talented people in the right role produce several times as much as poorly slotted people, and unleashing human potential yields 20 to 2,000 percent return on investment within 18 months.
The Gallup Path is a 10-step process for achieving these results. It opens with the recommendation-unusual for a data-driven management manual-to acknowledge emotions' role in business outcomes. By emotionally engaging both employees and customers, the authors contend, you can supercharge productivity, loyalty and profitability in ways unimaginable to number-crunchers. Convincing, practical and clear, this book promises to be at least as useful and popular as the first two in the series.
Physical human needs, such as sex, are surrendering primacy to ethereal concerns like spiritual bliss. Consumers, no longer driven by material wants, are replacing doctors with marketers as healers. Brand glut will resolve itself to a single "choose this lifestyle" choice. If anyone but Melinda Davis made such predictions, she'd be laughed out of the future as well as the present. But the CEO of New York City trend-tracking company The Next Group has shown uncanny ability to tap our national subconscious. In The New Culture of Desire she unveils findings of the "Human Desire Project," a research study underway since 1996. Forecasts are interwoven with practical tools like a "self-administered metaphysical" to see how engaged you are in "imaginational life." She concludes with five principles for adapting to the new environment, the first of which is to "Recognize your primal desire." Grrr.
Austin, Texas, writer Mark Henricks has covered business and technology for leading publications since 1981.