On My Nightstand: How to Work in a Changing World

Book recommendations from Walden’s chief academic officer.

January 2011

As chief academic officer of Walden University, David Clinefelter often thinks about how the Internet and other advances in communications technology are changing the way we work. When he does, he turns to books that help him recognize Walden’s potential and use technology effectively. Although he applies what he learns from these books to an educational setting, their ideas are relevant wherever you work. He recommends them to anyone looking for new approaches and better results.

MONEYBALL: THE ART OF WINNING AN UNFAIR GAME by Michael Lewis

More than a book about baseball, Moneyball offers insights about the culture of organizations and using the right metrics to make sound business decisions. Entertaining and well written, this book can help you understand and improve your own organization.

THE LONG TAIL: WHY THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS IS SELLING LESS OF MORE by Chris Anderson

This is both a cautionary tale for vulnerable industries and a call for optimism for the entrepreneurs among us. As technology causes mass marketers to decline, the “long tail” phenomenon—which accounts for the large number of products that sell in smaller quantities but at a higher profit—allows more people to become producers and profit from smaller markets. Whether you wonder about your industry’s future or want to take advantage of new opportunities, this is thought-provoking reading.

UNDERSTANDING BY DESIGN by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTigue

Although written for K–12 teachers, this book offers practical ideas and timeless principles for educators at all levels and anyone who wants to make better presentations. By stressing the need to start with your desired outcome, it reminds you to focus on what’s important rather than getting dazzled by the abundance of information that technology makes available.

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