Cheryl offers: I recently heard the rumor that eventually all books will be digital. Down with that idea I say! Call me old fashioned, but I am one of those people who LOVE to hold a book, turn the pages, feel the paper, write notes in the white space, highlight what catches my attention and I want to remember. When I think about great civilizations, not one comes to mind that didn’t have story telling as a part of their culture. In our day, we tell our stories in books. I love the touch and feel of a good book in my hands and my eyes love the print. Reading a screen, be it a Kindle or a personal computer, is not my idea of a good time. It’s hard for me to feel connected to something that disappears at the drop of an electric current or battery. I don’t want it to “come alive” when I want to read and I don’t want to wait for it to “shut down” for the night when I’m sleepy and want to go to bed. I hope this idea of putting all print on electronic media goes away and stays away. Whatever will I do with all my bookshelves? How will I ever find all the ideas I loved at the moment I read them? This all became very clear to me as I read The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. Although I know his words would have been the same, something changed as I held the book in my own hands knowing he wrote this with only a few months to live just last year and now he is already gone.
Sara adds: Just for the record, I love paper and ink books, too. Hey, with as much grey hair as I have – it’s to be expected (!) I think it’s a generational thing. However, I also love the idea of drawing new reading audiences into the world of “other people’s ideas,” into the place of relying on the mind’s eye to create a locale or a tone or spectacular view. We hear so much about the need for innovation in business. Well, I’m here to tell you that without an active imagination, innovation is tough. Reading is way to stimulate the imagination and to practice those muscles that make innovation possible. So let’s make room for technology that encourages reading. Let’s be OK with the fact that it’s designed for a younger generation and their styles. So here’s to Kindles and nooks, Cybook Opus, BeBook and all the others. Let’s encourage younger folk to expand their “electronic horizons” by introducing new ideas in their medium. And then let’s invite them to a join us in a conversation.
“FINALLY! I hear we’re all living in a women’s world now.” So begins the Joanne Lippman article “The Mismeasure of Woman.” On the most e-mailed list at the New York Times for three days, this article states simply that all of the progress made by women may not be as much as people had thought. I encourage you to click on the link and read the article. Here are a couple of excerpts:
For the first time, women make up half the work force. The Shriver Report, out just last week, found that mothers are the major breadwinners in 40 percent of families. We have a female speaker of the House and a female secretary of state. Thirty-two women have served as governors. Thirty-eight have served as senators. Four out of eight Ivy League presidents are women.
Women do have a different culture from men. And that can give us some tremendous advantages. Women are built to withstand hardship and pain. (Anyone who has given birth knows what I’m talking about.) That’s a big benefit at a time like this, with the unemployment rate at 9.8 percent and rising.
Women define success differently; for some it may be a career, for others the ability to stay home with children. They also define themselves differently. I’m in the unfortunate position of witnessing many friends and colleagues laid off over the past year. But the women are less apt to fall apart — and this goes even for the primary breadwinners — because they are less likely to define themselves by their job in the first place.
But evidence is mounting that women have not found the flexibility and advancement that they had hoped for within the corporate world. More and more have to carve out their own entrepreneurially driven companies to really get what they want.
But one specific that really struck me in the article was this:
We can begin by telling girls to have confidence in themselves, to not always feel the need to be the passive “good girl.” In my time as an editor, many, many men have come through my door asking for a raise or demanding a promotion. Guess how many women have ever asked me for a promotion?
I’ll tell you. Exactly … zero.
It is proof of the contention in the terrific book by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide. Here’s a quote from the book:
Women don’t ask. They don’t ask for raises and promotions and better job opportunities. They don’t ask for recognition for the good work they do. They don’t ask for more help at home. In other words, women are much less likely than men to use negotiation to get what they want.
I think the question is very much still an ongoing one – what do women need in the workplace? But this I think I know – as they figure it out, they need to learn to actually ask for what they want and need.
To purchase my synopsis of Women Don’t Ask, with audio + handout), and to purchase the synopsis of their follow up book, Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want, presented by my colleague Karl Krayer, go to our companion web site 15minutebusinessbooks.com.