Business & Economics

Nincompoopery Why Your Customers Hate You - And How to Fix It

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Find and kill the corporate stupidity that drives customers crazy. CEO and award-winning business writer John R. Brandt offers concrete examples of how any organization--large or small, and regardless of industry--can innovate in ways that delight customers and attract top-level talent.

Nincompoopery--terrible customer service, idiotic business processes, and soul-crushing management practices--surrounds all of us. We lose time, patience, and profits as stuck-in-the-past organizations actively prevent us (and our customers) from getting the value we (and they) deserve.

Can't anybody change this? CEO and award-winning business writer John R. Brandt says we can. In Nincompoopery: Why Your Customers Hate You--And How to Fix It, he leverages research across thousands of companies to show leaders how to find and kill the corporate stupidity that drives customers crazy. More importantly, he offers concrete examples of how any organization--large or small, and regardless of industry--can innovate in ways that delight customers and attract top-level talent.

Brandt has worked with hundreds of companies to help them outwit competitors, and in the blunt (and funny) Nincompoopery, he shares his unique blueprint for success. It usually starts by asking a simple question or two, such as

  • Why should our customers have to rekey their data multiple times to make a single purchase?
  • Why are there four levels of approval just to order basic supplies?
  • Why can't we get qualified candidates for open positions, or provide new employees with decent training?
  • In short: How did we become such nincompoops? And when will we stop?
  • Nincompoopery offers leaders the answers they need--and the profits they crave--with a scoop of humor on the side. Enjoy!

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    RACE FOR PROFIT: HOW BANKS AND THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY UNDERMINED BLACK HOME-OWNERSHIP

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    LONGLISTED FOR THE 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

    By the late 1960s and early 1970s, reeling from a wave of urban uprisings, politicians finally worked to end the practice of redlining. Reasoning that the turbulence could be calmed by turning Black city-dwellers into homeowners, they passed the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, and set about establishing policies to induce mortgage lenders and the real estate industry to treat Black homebuyers equally. The disaster that ensued revealed that racist exclusion had not been eradicated, but rather transmuted into a new phenomenon of predatory inclusion.

    Race for Profit uncovers how exploitative real estate practices continued well after housing discrimination was banned. The same racist structures and individuals remained intact after redlining's end, and close relationships between regulators and the industry created incentives to ignore improprieties. Meanwhile, new policies meant to encourage low-income homeownership created new methods to exploit Black homeowners. The federal government guaranteed urban mortgages in an attempt to overcome resistance to lending to Black buyers - as if unprofitability, rather than racism, was the cause of housing segregation. Bankers, investors, and real estate agents took advantage of the perverse incentives, targeting the Black women most likely to fail to keep up their home payments and slip into foreclosure, multiplying their profits. As a result, by the end of the 1970s, the nation's first programs to encourage Black homeownership ended with tens of thousands of foreclosures in Black communities across the country. The push to uplift Black homeownership had descended into a goldmine for realtors and mortgage lenders, and a ready-made cudgel for the champions of deregulation to wield against government intervention of any kind.

    Narrating the story of a sea-change in housing policy and its dire impact on African Americans, Race for Profit reveals how the urban core was transformed into a new frontier of cynical extraction.







    This Changes Everything

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    The most important book yet from the author of the international bestseller The Shock Doctrine, a brilliant explanation of why the climate crisis challenges us to abandon the core "free market" ideology of our time, restructure the global economy, and remake our political systems.

    In short, either we embrace radical change ourselves or radical changes will be visited upon our physical world. The status quo is no longer an option.

    In This Changes Everything Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn't just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It's an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies. She exposes the ideological desperation of the climate-change deniers, the messianic delusions of the would-be geoengineers, and the tragic defeatism of too many mainstream green initiatives. And she demonstrates precisely why the market has not--and cannot--fix the climate crisis but will instead make things worse, with ever more extreme and ecologically damaging extraction methods, accompanied by rampant disaster capitalism.

    Klein argues that the changes to our relationship with nature and one another that are required to respond to the climate crisis humanely should not be viewed as grim penance, but rather as a kind of gift--a catalyst to transform broken economic and cultural priorities and to heal long-festering historical wounds. And she documents the inspiring movements that have already begun this process: communities that are not just refusing to be sites of further fossil fuel extraction but are building the next, regeneration-based economies right now.

    Can we pull off these changes in time? Nothing is certain. Nothing except that climate change changes everything. And for a very brief time, the nature of that change is still up to us.

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    WHO STOLE MY PENSION?

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    It's estimated that there are over 50 million pensioners--in the United States alone. Like the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Italy, Germany and many other countries around the world are all in big trouble when it comes to the solvency of their pension funds. Who Stole My Pension? was written to give them guidance, resources, and tools so they can take action... and stop the looting. We are in the early stages of the greatest retirement crisis in the history of our nation and, indeed, the entire world. According to the World Health Organization, nearly two billion people around the world are expected to be over age 60 by 2050, a figure that's more than triple what it was in 2000. For better or for worse, never before have there been more elderly people living on planet Earth. One thing is. certain: Doing nothing--sitting back, confident your pension check is "in the mail"--is not an option. That's a risk you can't afford to take. According to Edward Siedle, a former attorney with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and America's leading expert in pension looting, "In the decades to come, we will witness hundreds of millions of elders worldwide, including America's Baby Boomers, slipping into poverty. Too frail to work, too poor to retire will become the "new normal" for many of the aged." Kiyosaki, who like Siedle saw this crisis looming years ago, complements the facts and stats Siedle puts forth with strategies on how retirees can take control--not only their pensions, but their financial futures. Kiyosaki writes about the fact that his father, a highly educated man he calls his poor dad, wasn't poor until he lost his job, his paycheck--and his pension. "His PHD couldn't save him," says Kiyosaki, who has dedicated his life to teaching and financial literacy advocacy. In Who Stole My Pension? the authors focus on the most misunderstood and ignored cause of the pension crisis: mismanagement of pensions and investments. The culprits that are looting the pensions of public school teachers, firefighters, police, as well as private sector workers, are on Wall Street. The Wall Street casinos charging high fees for gambling in risky hedge funds and other speculative investments, outrageous investment-industry conflicts of interest, and outright violations of the law. Who Stole My Pension? is an in-depth assessment of the pension crisis that the world is facing today and what millions around the world--employees who expected to have pension income at retirement--can do about it. The authors recount a history of pension failures, inexperienced boards, gambling, looting and other horror stories--with a focus on action steps workers and retirees can take to quickly determine if a pension is being mismanaged as well as the concrete steps they can take to end decades of pension mismanagement. They detail critical questions retirees can ask--and guidance regarding how to act on what they learn.