December 2016 |   Volume: 48 |   Number: 12
The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers
ISEs have a plethora of options for learning over the holidays
Compiled by Michael Hughes
"My best friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read." - Abraham Lincoln
The holidays are a time of communing with family and friends. And if you don't have enough friends, take advice from honest Abe and give someone a book.
We've facilitated that process for the industrial and systems engineers and other process improvement types on your potential gift list by compiling some of the best books of 2016. Take a look, learn something and enjoy the process.
Agile Talent: How to Source and Manage Outside Experts By Jon Younger and Norm SmallwoodHarvard Business Press, $32
Companies are gaining a competitive advantage by strategically using external experts, a new capability driven by technology and the globalization of talent. Leaders recognize that "lean," "agile" and "fast" strategies require new ways to access and leverage key talent to fill critical gaps – even if the company doesn't own that talent. Examples abound: Campbell Soup Co. and PepsiCo use anthropologists to help understand customer preferences.
This book delivers a roadmap for managers who want to use nontraditional sources of talent and experiment with ways of engaging these experts. It can help you win the next war for assessing, choosing, attracting, developing, supporting and retaining your external talent.
A Six Sigma Approach to Sustainability: Continual Improvement for Social ResponsibilityBy Holly A. Duckworth and Andrea Hoffmeier
CRC Press, $71.96
Duckworth and Hoffmeier use their decades of combined experience in quality management and product development to define exactly what social responsibility means and introduce SOFAIR, a six-step methodology for achieving sustainability through social responsibility performance improvement. This rigorous methodology uses Six Sigma and other process improvement methods as a basis for maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of your organization's social responsibility performance improvement effort. They illustrate the process of meeting the 2010 international standard on social responsibility (ISO 26000) by leveraging your existing organizational continual improvement efforts, adapting them to focus on sustainability. Four case studies demonstrate the methodology in manufacturing, healthcare, business processes and everyday personal life.
American Manufacturing 2.0: What Went Wrong and How to Make It Right By Steven L. BluePraeger, $37
Blue, a working CEO who increased earnings in some of the companies he led by 400 percent, provides a real-world prescription for prosperity and growth for any company in any industry. The author draws on straightforward principles that apply to a broad spectrum of manufacturing companies. Blue uses case studies and examples from his own experiences to detail lessons in leadership, strategy and change management, distilling them into seven values of ingenuity: innovation, excellence, commitment, community, teamwork, respect and integrity. The book explains how this highly integrated system of operating values can be implemented to turn around a company or to propel it to extraordinary growth.
Creative Design Engineering: Introduction to an Interdisciplinary ApproachBy Toshiharu Taura
Academic Press, $80.75
Design engineering traditionally has worried about how to make things. However, as technology has advanced and society has no shortage of things, today's engineers face the challenge of what to make. This book highlights the basic concerns associated with innovation and an introduction to the theory and methodology of innovative creation through design in the broad sense of designing to meet the desires of contemporary society. Taura draws on research in industrial design, art and cognitive science to present a concept of creativity that breaks free of traditional engineering thinking, examining fundamental questions of whywe design and why we are able to design.
Deepwater Horizon: A Systems Analysis of the Macondo Disaster By Earl Boebert and James M. BlossomHarvard University Press, $39.95
Two senior systems engineers offer a comprehensive account of BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill, where escaping gas and oil destroyed the rig, killing 11, injuring dozens and creating the worst human-made ecological disaster ever in the Gulf of Mexico. The book sifts through the evidence, challenging the common explanation that the crew, under pressure to cut costs, made mistakes compounded by a safety device failure. Instead, individually innocuous corporate and engineering decisions combined to create the disaster. The complex interactions of technology, people and procedures involved in offshore drilling illustrate a systems approach that yields a better understanding of how to prevent similar disasters in the future.
Finding Time: The Economics of Work-Life Conflict By Heather BousheyHarvard University Press, $29.95
As employers demand more employee time, workers continue to ask whether they can get ahead at their job while not leaving their families behind. This book argues that the federal government and businesses largely ignore the connection between individual work-life conflicts and more sustainable economic growth – something that worked in the past, Boushey argues, only because of the American wife, a stay-at-home fixer who has since entered the workforce. Boushey presents detailed innovations to help Americans find the time they need and help businesses attract more productive workers, revealing how economic efficiency and equity do not have to be enemies.
Foundations for Model-based Systems Engineering: From Patterns to Models By Jon Holt, Simon Perry and Mike BrownswordIET, $103.93 (85 British pounds)
Foundations for Model-based Systems Engineering: From Patterns to Models is essential reading for researchers and students of systems modeling in academia. It also is recommended for systems engineers and managers, requirements engineers and managers, software engineers and systems modelers in industry. The book focuses on a set of "patterns" as the basis of a model-based engineering model and their use in today's systems engineering community. Topics covered include defining patterns, interface definition pattern, traceability pattern, test pattern, epoch pattern, life cycle pattern, evidence pattern, description pattern, context pattern, analysis pattern, model maturity pattern, requirements modeling, process modeling, competence modeling and life cycle modeling.
Ignite: Setting Your Organization's Culture on Fire with InnovationBy David J. Neff and Randal C. Moss
Vicara Books, $24.99
According to Neff and Moss, innovation is more science than art. Right now, someone in your company or organization has a breakthrough idea, and you need this innovation field manual to answer the most important question, "How do I find, support and monetize that idea?" Ignite aims to prepare and inspire you to drive results by building and implementing an innovation framework. Case studies and interviews explain the how and the why behind some of the most admired innovation programs and a few of the scuttled failures. The book avoids corporate speak and double talk in favor of actionable advice, relatable examples and compelling stories.
Infusing Innovation into Organizations: A Systems Engineering ApproachEdited by M. Ann Garrison Darrin and Jerry A. Krill
CRC Press, $95.96
Darrin and Krill compile a set of systems engineering processes to apply innovation to operations and introduce an approach that supports an innovative culture and addresses problems using creative, viable solutions. The systemic approach should work within an organization's culture or context. The book describes the principles and practices of innovation, relates these principles to systemic practices and the culture of a research and development organization, and incorporates innovation initiatives that can revitalize organizational performance. Numerous case studies provide relevant background, detail innovative activity, outline indicators of effectiveness and offer an understanding of how to integrate problem-solving and underlying methods and tools into your organization.
The Base of the Pyramid Promise: Building Businesses with Impact and ScaleBy Ted London
Stanford University Press, $25
Billions of people live in low-income markets, and this base of the pyramid represents a great, untapped market. Their desire for a better life coupled with a business community that wants new opportunities for growth creates the potential for mutual value creation. London draws on decades of experience across some 80 countries to offer concrete guidelines for building better enterprises while alleviating poverty. He outlines three key components for success: the lived experiences of enterprises to date (both successes and failures), the development of an ecosystem that is conducive to market creation, and the voices of the poor so that entrants can truly understand what poverty alleviation is about.
Truly Global: The Theory and Practice of Bringing Your Company to International Markets By Anna N. SchlegelFriesen Press, $25.99
Every company that wants to grow beyond its national boundaries needs a globalization team to develop, translate, adapt and promote products to international markets. From your company's website to product interfaces and documentation to telephone and online support, providing culturally specific experience is essential to building a brand across international borders. Schlegel provides an insider's look at how large companies move into international markets to deliver their products across different cultures and languages. It covers who to recruit as members of a globalization team, how to integrate globalization in each department and how to use the team's research to build your brand's presence in new markets.
Why Simple Wins: Escape the Complexity Trap and Get to Work that MattersBy Lisa BodellBiliomotion Inc., $19.95
Lisa Bodell wants you to imagine what you could do with the time you spend writing emails every day. She maintains that complexity is killing companies' ability to innovate and adapt, making simplicity the competitive advantage of our time. Her latest book aims to help leaders and their teams move beyond the frustration of all the unproductive work in today's corporate world by learning how to eliminate redundancies, communicate with clarity and make simplification a habit. So instead of drowning in mundane meetings, emails and reports, you can eliminate these self-created complexities and accomplish tasks that really matter.