A few exceptionally well-informed and far-seeing individuals manipulated events in the aftermath of the Second World War, so that they gained control of a public relations machine of unprecedented power, according to Richard Milton in his book The Ministry of Spin: How Politicians Became Addicted to the Power of PR. The Ministry of Information had been created by the British Government at the start of the Second World War to counter German propaganda, but it was supposed to be wound up after the war, rather than being appropriated for peacetime political use.

The book describes how Herbert Morrison, the deputy prime-minister in Britain’s post-war Labour Government, secretly re-purposed much of the Ministry of Information machinery, using its propaganda abilities to push through the Labour party’s nationalisation program. Hundreds of skilled media professionals were pressed into service to promote the government’s social engineering schemes.

Although the author also describes how Anthony Eden’s conservative government used similar propaganda techniques to induce support for an unjustified war with Egypt over the Suez Canal, most of the book is devoted to describing the machinations of Clement Attlee’s government and how the mostly sincere believers in social reform justified the use of propaganda, funded at public expense, to persuade the public to support their programs.

It is an interesting tale, demonstrating a strong correlation between government public relations and misuse of public resources. The production of large numbers of government films including animated films forms an interesting part of the story. The book provides a fascinating insight into the misdeeds of a government more than 60 years ago, and leave one wondering how writers in 60 years’ time will view the misdeeds of current governments.

In a world of ever-expanding online opportunities, it is essential that we stop treating the Internet as a distraction to be resisted and instead see it as an ally in the battle for focus, productivity, and personal effectiveness. But the Internet can only be your ally when you know how to use online tools effectively: when you start by thinking about your priorities and working style, and then customize your digital toolkit accordingly, according to Alexandra Samuel in her book Working Smarter with Social Media: A Guide to Managing Evernote, Twitter, LinkedIn and Your Email.

My full review of the book is available at my business book reviews website.

Professional services firms have to recognize that they are no longer in business just to provide technically excellent products and services; they need to go the extra mile to anticipate, understand and deliver commercial solutions to their clients, in a manner and style that not only resolves their clients’ challenges, but also delivers a great experience in the process, according to Nigel Clark and Charles Nixon in Professional Services Marketing Handbook: How to Build Relationships, Grow Your Firm and Become a Client Champion.

My full review of the book is available at my business book reviews website.

Does a leader’s character really contribute to the organization’s bottom line, or are strong business results simply a reflection of a solid business model and positive macroeconomic forces? That is one of the questions asked by Fred Kiel in his bookReturn on Character: The Real Reason Leaders and Their Companies Win. The findings of the book are based on a large number of surveys of employees of substantial organizations, concerning their leaders, as well as interviews with the leaders themselves, and also financial information relating to those organizations.

My full review of the book is available at my business book reviews website.

The U.S. economy is increasingly run by a “visible hand” instead of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand.” Large sectors of the economy are guided by a few powerful companies. The question is whether the visible hand runs these sectors with Smith’s “enlightened self-interest” or with just “self-interest”, according to Philip Kotler in his book Confronting Capitalism: Real Solutions for a Troubled Economic System.

My full review of the book is available at my business book reviews website.

Brands operate in sectors, and each sector is a separate playing field, according to Kartikeya Kompella in his book The Brand Challenge: Adapting Branding to Sectorial Imperatives. So, instead of trying to write a book on branding principles which are applicable to all industries, he assembled contributions from experts in a number of different sectors, to explain how branding in their sectors works.

My full review of the book is available at my business book reviews website.

The most important thing in launching a crowd funding project  is to plan your pre-launch preparation properly, according to Johnathan Leow in his book Crowd Funding Checklist: The 90 Day Action Plan for Turning Your Idea Into a Best-Selling Kickstarter Launch. You will have to do many things, such as crafting your product message, setting up the campaign page, and building a base of interested audience prior to launch.

My full review of the book is available at my business book reviews website.

Digital tools allow digital disruptors to come at you from all directions—and from all ages, backgrounds, and nationalities; your competitors probably won’t come from within your industry—they could come from any industry, or from one that doesn’t exist yet, according to James McQuivey in his book Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation. Equipped with a better mindset and better tools, thousands of these disruptors are ready to do better whatever it is that your company does.

My full review of the book is available at my business book reviews website.

Never before have so many people had access, through mobile, social and digital technology, to so much data, knowledge and collective brainpower; this connectedness gives us power to solve big problems, turn dreams into realities, create amazing products, upgrade survival to prosperity, change social policy, discover life-saving medical cures and much, much more, according to Erica Dhawan and Saj-Nicole Joni in their book Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence.

My full review of the book is available at my business book reviews website.

Where do the most compelling strategy presentations come from? The answer, of course, is from top tier management consulting firms, according to Dave McKinsey in his book Strategic Storytelling: How to Create Persuasive Business Presentations. So the author uses slide decks prepared by McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group and Accenture to demonstrate his principles, bearing in mind that strategic storytelling is mostly about what you do before you actually speak to a group.

My full review of the book is available at my business book reviews website.