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About Robert D. Austin
Robert D. Austin is a Professor of Information Systems at the Ivey Business School at Western University, and an affiliated faculty member at Harvard Medical School. Prior to his appointment at Ivey, he was Professor of Innovation and Digital Transformation at Copenhagen Business School (CBS), and, before that, Associate Professor of Technology and Operations Management at the Harvard Business School (HBS). He has taught extensively in Executive Education, and for nearly a decade chaired the HBS executive program for Chief Information Officers (CIOs). His research focuses on management of innovation processes, especially in creative companies. Professor Austin has published many articles in academic and professional venues, such as Harvard Business Review, Information Systems Research, Management Science, MIT Sloan Management Review, Organization Science, and the Wall Street Journal. His is also the author of nine books, all available on Amazon. He's also had extensive experience as a manager, as Dean of the Faculty of Business at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, as CEO of the largest executive education provider in northern Europe (now called CBS Executive), as chief operations executive for a new business incubated by a major tech company, and at at Ford Motor Company.
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Becoming an effective IT leader and manager presents a host of challengesfrom anticipating emerging technologies, to managing relationships with senior executives, vendors, and employees, to communicating with the board. A good IT leader must also be a strong business leader.
This booknow thoroughly updated with a new preface by the authors and current tech details and terminologyinvites you to accompany new CIO Jim Barton as he steps up to leadership at his company. You’ll get a deeper understanding of the role of IT in your own organization as you see Jim struggle through a tough first year, handling (and fumbling) all kinds of management challenges. Although fictional, the scenarios are based on the authors’ long experience working with real-life companies across industries and sectors.
The Adventures of an IT Leader is both an insightful story and an instructive guidebook. You can read it from beginning to end or treat it as a series of cases, skipping around to different chapters that address your most pressing needs. (For example, if you need to learn about crisis management and security, read chapters 1012.) You can also test yourself and think about how to use the book’s lessons in your own company by reading the authors’ Reflection” questions at the end of each chapter.
This book is your indispensable manual for IT management and leadership, no matter what business you’re in.
This is the digital version of the printed book (Copyright © 1996).
Based on an award-winning doctoral thesis at Carnegie Mellon University, Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations presents a captivating analysis of the perils of performance measurement systems. In the book’s foreword, Peopleware authors Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister rave, “We believe this is a book that needs to be on the desk of just about anyone who manages anything.”
Because people often react with unanticipated sophistication when they are being measured, measurement-based management systems can become dysfunctional, interfering with achievement of intended results. Fortunately, as the author shows, measurement dysfunction follows a pattern that can be identified and avoided.
The author’s findings are bolstered by interviews with eight recognized experts in the use of measurement to manage computer software development: David N. Card, of Software Productivity Solutions; Tom DeMarco, of the Atlantic Systems Guild; Capers Jones, of Software Productivity Research; John Musa, of AT&T Bell Laboratories; Daniel J. Paulish, of Siemens Corporate Research; Lawrence H. Putnam, of Quantitative Software Management; E. O. Tilford, Sr., of Fissure; plus the anonymous Expert X.
A practical model for analyzing measurement projects solidifies the text–don’t start without it!
Jim isn't real: Harder Than I Thought is a novel. But his story--developed in consultation with seasoned, actual CEOs--contains crucial lessons for all chief executives. Walk in Jim's shoes to engage in challenges that include:
1. Formulating and executing strategy
2. Managing financial and labor crises
3. Fostering a culture of innovation and continuous transformation
4. Forging global partnerships
5. Making ethical choices in an increasingly transparent environment
As events in each chapter push Barton to the edge of his abilities, he seeks counsel from a panel of expert advisers. These collaborative reflections invite you to apply the lessons from this story to your own situation.
Experts agree that many twentieth-century leadership practices are inadequate to the stormy twenty-first-century present. This engaging and provocative book equips you with the insights you'll need to rise with the occasion of a rapidly shifting business landscape.
What makes the Apple iPhone cool? Bang & Olufsen and Samsung's televisions beautiful? Any of a wide variety of products and services special? The answer is not simply functionality or technology, for competitors' products are often as good.
The Soul of Design explores the uncanny power of some products to grab and hold attention—to create desire. To understand what sets a product apart in this way, authors Lee Devin and Robert Austin push past personal taste and individual response to adopt a more conceptual approach. They carefully explore the hypothesis that there is something within a "special" product that makes it—well, special. They argue that this je ne sais quoi arises from "plot"—the shape that emerges as a product or service arouses and then fulfills expectations. Marketing a special product is, then, a matter of helping its audience perceive its plot and comprehend its qualities.
Devin and Austin provide keys to understanding why some products and services stand out in a crowd and how the companies that make them create these hits. Part One of the book introduces the authors' definition of plot in this context; Part Two breaks down the components needed to build a plot; Part Three describes what makes a plot coherent; Part Four takes on the challenges of making coherent products and services attractive to consumers. Part Four also presents detailed casework, which shows how innovators and makers have successfully brought special products to market.
Readers will come away with a sensible and clear approach to conceiving of artful products and services. This book will help managers and designers think about engaging with plot, taking aesthetic factors into account to provide consumers with more special things.