getAbstract Blog


We are pleased to announce that getAbstract will be a sponsor of the Global Peter Drucker Forum 2015 on November 5-6, 2015 in Vienna, Austria.

The 7th Drucker Forum touches a key theme of our time: It will look at the technology Tsunami – with Robotics, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, and The Internet of Things – through the lens of humanity.

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As you know, getAbstract summarizes not only written content such as books, articles or reports but also choice video talks. Our two-page summaries are based exclusively on TED Talks, where eminent thinkers, entrepreneurs and innovators – including Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, Seth Godin and Sheryl Sandberg – inspire a global audience with daring thoughts and enlightening insights.

But TED Talk summaries were just the beginning! getAbstract has widened its scope to include other video talks as well. We screen a vast array of diverse content, looking for cutting-edge material that will pique your intellectual curiosity. Then our authors expertly turn it into concise summaries.

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Years ago, the unemployed really looked forward to Sunday – and not just because they could pray for their luck to change. No, Sunday meant a big, fat newspaper with pages of promising classified ads. You’d bang out a couple of cover letters, fold them into envelopes with your resume, slap on some stamps and head to the nearest mailbox.

Well, with newspapers going the way of the wooly mammoth you’re fortunate if you find a handful of decent want ads these days. What used to be a primary go-to source is essentially an afterthought. Let’s face it – job hunting changed dramatically following the Great Recession. And utilizing career websites, social media and networking isn’t enough to snag a good job. The experts say you need to separate yourself from the field.

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In honor of a new school year, let’s take a quick tour of the Museum of the Obsolete. Just look at all the prehistoric remnants – typewriters, floppy discs, slide rules, three-ring binders and Palm Pilots. Oh, and here is a colorful assortment of ballpoint pens high school and college students actually used to take notes before smartphones and laptops became so popular.

Talk about profound changes. Not only are the physical tools different in the field of education, but also traditional practices and theories are being challenged and transformed. For decades, students sat in neat rows, obediently scribbling notes as teachers lectured from the front of a classroom. Passive learning – most educational professionals now agree – is the least effective way of disseminating information, particularly as attention spans grow shorter and shorter. Memorization still has its place, but the general consensus is that young people must develop critical thinking and analytical skills.

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The wife spent her afternoon at the mall and is excited to show off her purchases. She announces that she’s coming out of the bedroom. The slinky, black number is impressive at first, but soon you realize that a size 6 dress on a size 8 frame comes up a tad short in the flattery department.

“No, sweetheart, I don’t think this outfit makes you look fat,” you reply.

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For the small businessman or middle class employee, meeting your financial obligations is like trying to navigate the Khumbu Icefall at Mt. Everest. You proceed cautiously looking for solid footing, all the while realizing that unpredictable shifts in the terrain can create yawning crevasses into which you can easily plunge. The route is treacherous, intimidating and highly personal. Only another struggling climber can appreciate the difficulty of the journey.

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Eye on the Prize


What on earth can a scholarly meditation of mankind’s fickle journey through history possibly have in common with the characteristics of exponential entrepreneurship; Coca-Cola’s design principles and agility; Baby Boomers not only postponing retirement but also launching businesses; or the role conversations play in the successful implementation of corporate strategies?

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The world is changing faster than ever before. Such volatility and uncertainty is frightening for some and exciting for others. getAbstract falls into the latter category, because changing environments always provide inspiration for great books.  The books getAbstract selects for its library are all relevant to business, but they share one other characteristic: They never advise “business as usual.”

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How is the Answer



When it comes to transforming your organization, good intentions will only get you to the starting line. The “whys” and “whats” of change management are significant, of course, but turning theory into practice requires direction. Therein lies the critical difference between Vlatka Hlupic’s The Management Shift and other books that promise to retool and revitalize your culture. Hlupic, a professor at the University of Westminster and founder and CEO of London’s Drucker Society, provides the “hows,” so you can enhance performance and sustain success.

Like many other business experts, Hlupic agrees that the top-down management paradigm is about as practical as a BlackBerry. While it may work for select organizations, the trend toward innovation, collaboration and inclusiveness is undeniable. Hlupic suggests that if you want to remain competitive and profitable, you better empower your people and unleash their creativity and enthusiasm. Hlupic, an in-demand speaker and consultant, spent some time with getAbstract explaining the essence of The Management Shift.

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“Look, kid,” the big boss says from behind a solid oak desk, smoke billowing from his pungent cigar as his triple chin spills over the Windsor knot in his tie. “I know ya’ got some talent. Come work for me. I’ll give you a nice salary and good benefits. Maybe someday you’ll have your own office.”

The young man accepts the offer – with the tacit understanding that he’ll spend the next 20 years plowing forward with his head down, obeying orders without so much as a whimper. The employer-employee relationship was pretty simple in the old days – and undoubtedly still exists. But it’s a flawed and outdated managerial style. Working folks are looking for more than financial rewards and even job security – they desperately want to matter.

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