Warning: This is one of my few posts NOT related to web conferencing. You can safely stop here if you don't want to waste your time, and I'll be back on topic shortly.
There's a game floating around the blogosphere these days called "What's On Page 123?" If you are part of the cognoscenti, you might refer to it as a meme (a word I personally hate, but as a proponent of "webinar," I'm not in a position to throw stones).
The deal is that a blogger gets called upon ("tagged") by another blogger. You have to write about the book you are currently reading, citing the 6th through 8th sentences on page 123. Cece Salomon-Lee tagged me in a post on her "PR Meets Marketing" blog, so I am bound by the law of the jungle to join in and keep the cycle going.
[Aside. In doing a bit of research, I found that some versions of the game say to pick up the book nearest to you and quote from that. The book nearest to me right now is "The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary", which has a page 123, but no sentences!]
I just came back from a short vacation cruise, where I had the time to disconnect from all work and relax with some mindless fiction paperbacks. My novels of choice on the cruise were war thrillers. I read a submarine warfare novel and an espionage cat and mouse book. I left both on the ship for others to enjoy, and I can't even remember the titles. I picked them up at a tent sale of "Books By The Pound" or some such.
Given that lofty literary disclosure, I'd better go back a bit to a real business book that might benefit someone. I recently read "Smart Enough Systems" by James Taylor (no, not that James Taylor) along with Neil Raden. I worked with James back at Fair Isaac Corporation (and several other company names in a mad shuffle of Silicon Valley acquisitions and brand changes).
We were in charge of product marketing for software to help companies automate and improve the decisions that drive everyday operations. Analyze your data, create segmentations, build predictive models, and implement business rules to carry out the right actions at the right time. James and Neil put it all together in a book that lays out the components and their practical applications in many different business situations.
Page 123, sentences 6-8 are not the most vibrant and engaging in the book:
Problems have arisen, however, in processes customized for major customers. Managing all these different processes is complex, even though almost everything in a process is the same. SmartEnough also found that the benefits, which were published in a major IT magazine, wore off quickly after major inefficiencies were eliminated, because there were still too many manual referrals and too much waiting for decisions.
At least these sentences illustrate the use of real-world case studies sprinkled throughout the book.
I suppose since I mentioned James and he has a blog, it is only logical to tag him as the next victim on this list. I'm also tagging Sue Pelletier, just because I enjoy reading her Face2Face blog on the world of meeting management and organization.