I teach a graduate course to professional students in public administration called “Strategic Management in the Public Sector” (the syllabus can be found here).
Despite the very dry course title, this is a really popular (largely because it’s required) and – I think – well-received course.
Very little of the content has to do with classic theories of strategic management, public sector or private (someone will someday explain to me how classic public sector strategic management is any different than policy analysis).
What the course is really about is how to make your organization, those around you, and yourself more … awesome.
The first assignment involves a book review and some “social media engagement”. The book that the seminar participant chooses can be any popular press book related to the course content. Which essentially means most books. The only criteria for selecting a book is that it is: related to the course content; published by a reputable press; and not something the reviewer has read before. (“Steal Like an Artist” was quite popular this time – previously “Start with Why” was). To get an idea of the kind of book I’m thinking of, this suggested list is supplied.
There are four parts to this assignment. Three tweets are sent out while reading the book to provide reflections as they occur and prime the audience for the coming review. We also tag the author of the book if they’re on Twitter – and occasionally they write back!
Then comes the book review itself, publicised with another tweet, and posted to the reviewer’s blog.
After all the reviews have been posted, seminar participant and other readers comment on the blog posts and reviewers attempt to engage in a conversation with their readers.
The final step is called a “report on engagement”: that is, what did the reviewer learn as a result of “writing in the open”. How hard was it to post one’s thoughts publicly, to get people to read their review, and to respond to comments. These reports are usually narrative, but often contain things like Twitter and blog metrics.
Well the reviews are in for the current version of this course, and are listed below alphabetically by book title.
Hope you enjoy reading some of them. And comments are really, really appreciated.
Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Ideas, Insight, and Content, by Mark Levy, reviewed by https://twitter.com/GabrielaA925 | https://gabrielaguirreblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/accidental-genius-review/
Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Ideas, Insight, and Content, by Mark Levy, reviewed by https://twitter.com/PramodkumarAb | https://pramodkumarblogsite.wordpress.com/2017/02/24/pramod-kumars-jsgs-882-blogsite/
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, reviewed by https://twitter.com/huojizhou | https://joehuo.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/first-blog-post/
Crucial Conversations – Tools for talking when stakes are high, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler, reviewed by https://twitter.com/LimbeWezzie | https://wezzie.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/review-crucial-conversations-tools-for-talking-when-stakes-are-high-by-kerry-patterson-joseph-grenny-ron-mcmillan-and-al-switzler/
Drive – The Surprising Truth of About What Motivates Us, by Daniel H. Pink, reviewed by https://twitter.com/TasnimTabbu | https://bordereraser.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/book-review-drive/
The Ethics of Dissent: Managing Guerrilla Government, by Rosemary O’Leary, reviewed by https://twitter.com/dtm315 | https://dmt312.wordpress.com/2017/02/24/the-ethics-of-dissent-managing-guerrilla-government-by-rosemary-oleary/
A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age, by Daniel J. Levitin, reviewed by https://twitter.com/whitehallpolicy | https://jlphd.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/review-a-field-guide-to-lies-critical-thinking-in-the-information-age-by-daniel-j-levitin/
How to create a mind: The secret of human thought revealed, by Ray Kurzweil, reviewed by https://twitter.com/kiyany_a | https://wordpress39145.wordpress.com/2017/02/24/how-to-create-a-mind-the-secret-of-human-thought-revealed/
If We Can Put a Man on the Moon…Getting Big Things Done in Government, by William D. Eggers and John O’Leary, reviewed by https://twitter.com/rayelle_j | http://toilingaway.blogspot.ca/2017/02/a-review-of-if-we-can-put-man-on-moon.html
Liespotting: Proven techniques to detect deception, by Pamela Meyer, reviewed by https://twitter.com/KanyoroSamuel | https://ksk831.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/first-blog-post/
The Myth of Choice, by Kent Greenfield, reviewed by https://twitter.com/Anastasia_J89 | http://anastasiaj89.blogspot.ca/2017/02/the-myth-of-choice-review.html
The Nordic Theory of Everything, by Anu Partanen, reviewed by https://twitter.com/Pplofthebus | https://bpmpa.wordpress.com/2017/02/24/review-the-nordic-theory-of-everything/
The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg, reviewed by https://twitter.com/angie_ceban | https://angieceban.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/the-power-of-habit-by-charles-duhigg-book-review/
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain, reviewed by https://twitter.com/kehindewerty | https://koo297.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/quiet-the-power-of-introverts-in-a-world-that-cant-stop-talking-by-susan-book-review/
Reality is Broken, by Jane McGonical, reviewed by https://twitter.com/RomanMatviichuk | http://romanmatviichuk.tumblr.com/post/157575646489/book-review-reality-is-broken
The Silo Effect:The peril of Expertise and the promise of Breaking Down Barriers, by Gillian Tett, reviewed by https://twitter.com/Kroberts417 | https://katerobertssite.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/first-blog-post/
Start with Why, by Simon Sinek, reviewed by https://twitter.com/KotevaSilvia | https://silviakoteva.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/first-blog-post/
Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, by Austin Kleon, reviewed by https://twitter.com/ly_pham | https://lytpham.wordpress.com/category/book-review/
Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, by Austin Kleon, reviewed by https://twitter.com/LauraRoCruz | https://lauracruz2017.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/steal-like-an-artist-review/
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, reviewed by https://twitter.com/paulbthompson | https://paulbthompson.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/the-path-of-kahneman-public-policy-fast-and-slow/
The Upside of Irrationality, by Dan Ariely, reviewed by https://twitter.com/LynnVikk | https://lynnvik.wordpress.com/2017/02/19/the-upside-of-irrationality-book-review/
The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy, by David Graeber, reviewed by https://twitter.com/christi97663586 | https://christinabeauregard.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/book-review/
A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, by Daniel H.Pink, reviewed by https://twitter.com/pandatracey2015 | https://tracysblogweb.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/a-book-review-of-a-whole-new-mind-why-right-brainers-will-rule-the-future-by-daniel-h-pink/