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    It is easy being green: simple steps to help your business help the world
    By Jean Cannon
    Messenger Publishing, 2007, 139p
    In recent times, we have become accustomed to government and industry voicing concern at the cost of implementing environmentally-friendly changes and monitoring systems. Jean Cannon has spent the last thirty years convincing businesses to become more environmentally responsible, before it became fashionable. ‘It is Easy being Green’ is focussed specifically on what businesses (as especially SMEs) can do to negate their environment impact.
    Instead of firing off broadsides against government and big business inaction, she offers a range of practical strategic advice for implementing environmental management systems. Cannon displays an understanding of the bottom-line reasoning and how altering current practices can deliver financial gain. The underlying theme rings clear: there is scope for all of us to do more.
    Review by David van Iersel
    Speak easy: the essential guide to public speaking
    By Maggie Eyre
    Exile, 2007, 220p
    Few people can give a compelling speech and even fewer can look comfortable doing it. In her book “Speak Easy: the essential guide to public speaking” Maggie Eyre aims to drain the terror from what is most often cited as people’s number one fear. Eyre covers every facet of making a convincing and professional speech. These include dress and presentation, how to relax pre-speech, how best to utilise feedback to improve your performance, and the importance of researching the subject you are presenting on.
    Quotes taken from accomplished orators are used throughout the book to reassure readers that everyone feels the same pressures before and during a speech. The book is comprehensive, perhaps to the point of oversaturation. However Eyre’s vast experience and knowledge of the subject matter means she is the ideal author for such a work.
    If you are worried about the next time you are asked to prepare a project proposal or a touching eulogy, you could do worse than have a copy of Speak Easy handy.
    Review by David Kearney
    The First XI: winning organisations in Australia
    By Graham Hubbard, Delyth Samuel, Graeme Cocks and Simon Heap
    John Wiley & Sons, 2007, 448p
    There is no shortage of books focussing on the ingredients for commercial success. However, nearly all focus on the US or European market. The general ambiguity of what defines a winning organisation, coupled with a lack of focus on Australian organisations, led the authors of First XI to research how success can be measured.
    First XI identifies 11 of Australia’s long-term top performing organisations. The book is much more than just a list of successful companies; the authors have comprehensively researched the 11 organisations that came out on top and from their findings have distilled nine general principles that they believe lead to long-term success in Australia. The second edition revisits the ‘Winning 11’ organisations and reviews their performance over the five years since the release of the first book. It details how the companies have performed over the period and if they still deserve their place among the First XI.
    The book isolates the fundamental drivers of successful organisations so that the lessons learned from them can be adapted for the benefit of others. Worth a read.
    Review by David van Iersel