Corporate Eye

Summer Reading


Suppose you wanted to take some books to the beach and catch up on the latest ideas and the best practices in corporate website design, employer branding, and online recruiting . . .

Okay, use your imagination!  You might want to do that, and if so, here are some candidates for your bookbag:

The latest edition of a great annual showcase, American Corporate Identity 2008, presents examples from companies that are noteworthy in a variety of categories, from logos to websites to print to packaging.  You can also see examples and browse other volumes online at American Graphic Design & Advertising.

Though I haven’t read Brand for Talent:  Eight Essentials to Make Your Talent as Famous as Your Brand, I respect the authors (brand experts Mark Schumann and Libby Sartain), and I like their rationale for using the much-abused term talent”:

While the employer brand must resonate with people on the inside of a business, the talent brand must attract segments of workers to join, stay, and engage.

FYI:  There’s a Kindle edition for those lucky folk who can take a thousand books to the beach in one bag.

A book I have read (and love) talks about branding in a much more general sense.  The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes, by Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson, takes a story-based approach to the topic of brand creation and offers fascinating advice that can be applied to any aspect of the enterprise.   At the very least, it will make you think about the topic in a new way.

On the cutting edge, I like the looks of Get Connected:  The Social Networking Toolkit for Business, by Starr Hall and Chadd Rosenberg.  It’s not even published yet (forthcoming September 1, according to Amazon) and I’ve never heard of the authors.  But the table of contents covers all the right material and the approach looks both organized and interesting.

Barely off the press is The Green Workplace: Sustainable Strategies that Benefit Employees, the Environment, and the Bottom Line, by Leigh Stringer. Chris Hood, Program Manager for the HP Workplace, says “This is one of the most useful books I have ever read,” and Alicia R. Martin, Sustainability Manager for Sprint, calls it “A must-read for any company, regardless of its place on the green spectrum.”  So I’m cautiously optimistic.

And–you can download a free excerpt at The Green Workplace blog.

If you’d rather close your eyes and tune into the MP3 player, download an interview with Talent Synchronicity’s mastermind, Susan Burns.  Or you could watch this video interview with Susan on your netbook.

Let me know if you love/hate any of these items, and/or if you have other suggestions for summer reading!

(Thanks to Giulio Nepi for capturing the great feel of reading at the beach.)

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Cynthia Giles has followed a serpentine career path from academia to publishing to marketing and design to information technology and corporate communications. There’s plenty of detail about this journey at, but briefly--the common theme has been ideas, and how to present them effectively. Along the way, she became an accidental expert on data warehousing and business intelligence, and for the past ten years she has combined corporate contracting with an independent consulting practice that focuses on marketing strategy for smaller businesses and non-profits. Having spent quite a bit of time looking for work, and anywhere from two weeks to two years inside a wide variety of American companies—she has given much thought to what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to creating a great employment fit.