White Papers for Free & E-Books to Purchase
Part I - White Papers for Enlightening Evening Reading
Part II - The Bridges Challenge
Part III - Editorial Policy
I. WHITE PAPERS FOR ENLIGHTENING EVENING READING
"Reflection is the bridge between experience and wisdom." *
1) E-books to Purchase
The free content on this website is of a general nature. It is intended (1) to have you consider Bridges strategy coaching and (2) to encourage you to purchase the E-Books we offer with specific content. Brief explanations of them are given on their subpage.
If you puruse one paper, and one paper only, then we urge you to make that one The Ant Fable with Happy End!
2) Prefer Summaries?
Go to Google and type in "business summaries." Perhaps a dozen websites will appear offering summaries in various formats (pdf, etc.). They typically reduce a book to eight or ten pages. Annual subscription rates (2010) range from $70 to upwards of $200. There is also a free site: www.squeezedbooks.com. However there is relatively little content on it compared to the commercial ones.
3) Prefer Videos?
- Guy Kawasaki, entrepreneur, author of eight books and founder of the venture capital firm Garage Technologies Inc. in Silicon Valley:
http://academicearth.org/lectures/entrepreneurs-then-and-now (length 9:50)
http://academicearth.org/lectures/to-get-an-mba-or-not-kawasaki (length 2:38)
- Marshall Goldsmith, an outstanding executive coach who bills on a results basis (cf. Eminent Referrals), "Leadership@Google series:" www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WBeGAAYWg8 (length 65:47)
- Harvey Mackay, the "Mr. Make-It-Happen" CEO and author of the classic Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive: "Overcoming Obstacles:" www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQATpYOgSc (length 1:39)
- Chris Zook, eminent strategy authority at Bain & Company, "Focusing on the Core:" www.bain.com/bainweb/media/video/chris zook interview video.asp (length 3:40)
II. THE BRIDGES CHALLENGE
The Bridges White Papers are not static essays presenting the “received wisdom” from an ivory tower. They are dynamic working papers. They are subject to continual revision by line managers out there in the trenches. Comment, corrections and content from CEOs and managing partners are especially welcome. Let us co-achieve an outstanding, user-friendly strategy resource in English.1
The Bridges Strategic Growth E-Textbook website should above all useful for the line manager, the CEO, with verifiable information. We respect intellectual property and try to be accurate with our citations. Therefore we think requesting reciprocity is fair, as explained at Copyright/Citation below.
1) Cutting Edge Papers - the Gordian Knots, §
These papers, in draft form and incomplete, are designated with a §, representing a Gordian Knot.2 Cogently completing them is an intellectual challenge. We hope some perusers of this website rise to the challenge!
2) Concept Papers
These, in their own subsection, present only a suggested title, concept, outline, idea or a diagram as points of departure, a catalyst, for an article for which Bridges seeks a lead author or co-author. Submission guidelines are also given.
III. EDITORIAL POLICY
The basic model of having readers update and improve the white papers is taken from Wikipedia, the free multilingual on-line encyclopedia. The first three points below explain how our editorial policy differs from that of Wikipedia.
Contributors are not anonymous. You will be properly identified, for a short comment with a footnote, for a longer contribution with a couple of sentences, similar to the way the writers for Harvard Business Review are identified. The contributions remain the property of their creators (trademarks and copyrights), but their submission to Bridges constitutes consent to Bridges exercising its editorial discretion and to their being freely distributed.
Original research is not prohibited.4 In fact, we welcome not only supporting – or contradicting – anecdotes, evidence and case studies but also “theory building empirical research” – if it is easy – better yet, entertaining -- to read. Contributions should not only be informative and thought provoking but also enjoyable. Business bestsellers and the best of Harvard Business Review are your role models, not arcane academic journals enumerating angels on the head of a pin.
We do not take a “shotgun” approach to information, covering continent sized territories. Rather we “rifle” in on aspects of strategy, a dense jungle of hundreds of square miles in of itself.
The leading management consultancies (Bain, BCG, McKinsey, etc.) on the one hand and Wikipedia on the other make for contrasting benchmarks of “maximum delivery” for, respectively, information on a specific subject, business, and information in general. The English language websites of the leading consultancies, 1000+ pages, offer a tremendous amount of business (management, marketing, finance, production and strategy) information. However these sites tend towards “information overload." Navigation is fraught with peril (lost time from inefficient searching).
In contrast the orders of magnitude larger Wikipedia offers articles about virtually everything, while at the same time being extremely “user-friendly." A possible downside is that the information may not been subjected to the same level of scrutiny, of due diligence, as most of what is on the websites of the management consultancies. However Wikipedia is impressive indeed, as the following quote (lightly edited) from its home page illustrates:
“Since its creation in 2001,Wikipedia has grown rapidly into one of the largest reference web sites, attracting 78 million visitors monthly. There are more than 91,000 active contributors working on more than 17,000,000 articles in 270 languages. As of today (23.04.11) Wikipedia is published in ten major languages with 3,618,903 articles in English, making up 23,798, 451 pages.”
The statement made at "About Us" bears repeating: Bridges does not use copy protected pdf files. Within reason3 feel free to use content from this website. We only ask you properly to cite Bridges and, if applicable, the original copyright holder, and not to change the material. ("Reason" is defined in footnote 3 below.)
6) Submission Guidelines
6.1 - Submission of changes to existing Bridges content
Just cut and paste the article to a word doc. Highlight in yellow the sections you think should be deleted or changed. Add in red print your own comments. If your contribution is long, then just flag it with an introductory and closing comment in red. The body of the article will then be amended accordingly, or your comment posted at the end of it as a blog (respecting, of course, the bounds of propriety and relevance). We reserve the right to edit submissions -- up to and including omitting them! To avoid misunderstandings, test the waters with a short submission.
6.2 Submission of new content
Brief guidelines are given at the subpage "Concept Papers."
1 German treatments of the White Papers for the forthcoming German language website are also desired. "Treatment" means "translation plus" -- adding one´s own research and idea.
2 An oracle had foretold that the next man to enter the city of the Phrygians would become their king. When a peasant named Gordian drove into the city on an ox-cart, he was declared king by the priests. His son Midas dedicated the ox-cart to a Phrygian god, and secured it with an intricate knot. By the fourth century BC Phrygia had become a satrapy (province) of the Persian Empire.
When Alexander the Great arrived in 333 BC, en route to conquering the Persian Empire, the ox-cart still stood in the king´s palace. When Alexander could not find an end of the knot to untie it, he cut it in half with his sword. Then he could produce the required ends, the so-called "Alexandrain solution." That night there was a violent thunderstorm. It was interpreted as a sign that Zeus was satisfied with Alexander´s solution. (Wikipedia, 2011).
3 You are not allowed to sell the material, not matter how you repackage it! Do not make any changes without the express written permission of Bridges. That means you should be sure to include any (third party) copyrights the material incorporates. Note that the images are licensed and should not be downloaded other than for personal use. The License Agreements prohibit other usage, including republication, retransmission and reproduction. The indication of the sources should be clearly visible.
4 Quote from the homepage (2010): "Wikipedia does not publish original research or original thoughts. This includes unpublished facts, arguments, speculation, and ideas; and any unpublished analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position. This means that Wikipedia is not the place to publish your own opinions, experiences, arguments, or conclusions.”
* © The statement is ours. The photograph is by Corrina de Marchi, www.vagabondando.it Flickr, Getty Images; Gayan Web Design 2010