· 1 min read · Features

July book reviews


Personal Brand Essence and The Magic BlackBerry

Personal Brand Essence

Author: Steve Connell
Publisher: Management Books 2000
Price: £12.99
Stars: 4 out of 5

A business, writes Steve Connell, would never go to market confused about what it is, and what it stands for, so why do so many employees? When put like this, the notion that workers need to be aware of the light their own brand casts in their organisations and among the people around them, suddenly seems compelling. Connell threads together the ideas of Stephen Covey (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) and others, as well as producing some nice ideas of his own to design a toolkit for planning your personal self-development, and your own sense of who you are and where you want to be, or how to get yourself seen. It's not HR-specific, but perhaps it will resonate with those who find themselves sidelined, and who need some advice about how to make sure they are taken seriously in organisations.

If nothing else, the book will tell you the HR profession can tolerate the differences (or 'brand essences'), of people. You don't all have to be machines.

The Magic BlackBerry

Author: David Thompson
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Price: £8.99
Stars: 3 out of 5

Do you surreptitiously smuggle your BlackBerry in with your sun cream when packing for your summer hols? Are you incapable of leaving the office behind? If you answer yes to both of these, you need The Magic BlackBerry, the cautionary tale of Jack Logan who, compelled to respond to every email that bleeps into his inbox, soon treads a path to self-destruction.This is 21st century fable that warns of the dangers of constant connectivity, and Thompson has successfully created a new type of narrative - providing the sort of self-help and coaching you'd expect in management books but in short story form. At just over 130 pages you can whiz through it, and learn while sunning yourself - mobile phone-free - on the beach. Oh, and before you ask, the story still works if you own an iPhone instead. iPad, though, that's another story ...

Peter Crush.