Congratulations to Geoff Barbaro as 55-Minute Guide #5 hits the press

LONDON – It started as a Jerry Maguire “bad pizza” weekend spent obsessively writing everything I knew about employee communication with no more than 1 page per key topic.  Thanks to Dan Gray, 55-Minute Guide #5 has hit the press. Dan and I had the hypothesis that with business books pointed at CEOs and novices, less might be more.  Far too many business books start with the false premise that offering meaningful insight requires exhaustive detail. They demand a huge investment from readers to wade through all the information provided and draw out what is relevant to them.

In a rapidly changing, time-starved world, it’s an approach that’s getting wronger and wronger. What CEOs and other busy business people desperately need is high-level strategic insight delivered in quick, simple, easy-to-digest packages.

The 55-minute Guides are designed to do this. Instead of some 300-page pseudo-academic tome, they offer fresh perspectives and “must knows” on important topics that can be read from cover to cover in the course of a single morning’s commute or a short plane ride.

In short, they are the antidote to most business books. A quick read, not a long slog. Focused on big ideas, not technical detail. Promoting joined-up thinking, not functional bias. Written to empower the reader, not to make the author look clever.

They’re guided by the simple principle that insight gained per minute spent reading should be as high as possible. No fluff. No filler. No jargon. Just the things you really need to know, written in plain English with clear and simple illustrations.

Current titles include:

  • Live Long and Prosper: The 55-minute guide to brand and sustainability (Or Why Corporate Social Responsibility is Dead and Design for Sustainability is the Next Brand and Competitive Advantage) by Dan Gray.
  • The Talent Journey: The 55-minute guide to employee communications (Or How to Attract, Retain and Develop People Across Strategy, Values, Brand Engagement, Internal Marketing, PR and Human Resources) by Kevin Keohane.
  • From Lincoln to LinkedIn: The 55-minute guide to social media (Or Why Social Media Has All To Do With Technology and Everything To Do With Timeless Principles of Word of Mouth) by Mike Klein.
  • Are They on the Right Bus? The 55-Minute Guide to Talent Management by Ro Gorell
  • The Leader’s Beacon: The 55-Minute Guide to Leadership Communication by Geoff Barbaro
Forgive the flog, but I think the Guides are shaping up to be a great set of assets for business communicators and, importantly, their CEOs.
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