New Summary Available for Overfished Ocean Strategy

In Overfished Ocean Strategy, Nadya Zhexembayeva outlines principles for business survival in a new world. The planet is running out of resources for production, as well as space for the trash generated by the current linear, throw-away economy. The free market will self-destruct unless people transition to a circular economy, in which waste becomes a resource. Those who respond to this new reality with disruptive innovation gain a significant competitive advantage. Zhexembayeva sidesteps “green” businesses, advocating instead an entire economy that emulates the ultimate recycler: nature. Instead of fixating on the competition, businesses must think in terms of the global value chain. Businesses will sell solutions instead of products, and lean, flexible business models will replace cumbersome business plans. Interdepartmental power games must disappear, yielding to an organization-wide mindset. Business innovators have already begun the transition.

Nadya Zhexembayeva blames the linear, throw-away economy of the Western world for the current environmental and economic predicament: dwindling resources and overflowing landfills. She calls for a paradigm change producing disruptive innovation, but paints a hopeful vision of the future–if enough businesses insure their survival by adopting the five principles of her Overfished Ocean Strategy:

  1. Line to Circle: imitate nature by treating waste as a resource, not trash.
  2. Vertical to Horizontal: shift focus away from the competition and concentrate on the global value chain.
  3. Growth to Growth: stop measuring growth by quantity of products sold, and concentrate on selling value and meaning.
  4. Plan to Model: abandon rigid business plans and develop an innovative, resilient business model.
  5. Department to Mindset: override compartmentalization with a new mindset in which everyone, at every level of the organization, strives toward the same goal.

Overfished Ocean Strategy offers a solid model for business survival in a resource-deprived, over-trashed world. The book is best read straight through, however, chapter overviews make skipping around easier. Each chapter contains insights from other sources; chapters three through seven each end with a list of resources for further information. Graphs, charts, illustrations, and the occasional photo clarify points. Case studies of more than 30 companies, from several continents and representing widely varying fields, illustrate Zhexembayeva’s principles. The book is a must-read for business leaders interested in the environmental impact of innovation as it relates to the success of their companies.

Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva is professor of sustainable development at IEDC-Bled School of Management in Slovenia. She is also a business owner who stays active in real estate, investment, and consulting. ENRC PLC, Erste Bank, Henkel, Knauf Insulation, and Vienna Insurance Group are among her recent clients. She is also vice president of Challenge: Future, a global youth think-DO-tank. She earned a doctorate in organizational behavior from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management. Dr. Zhexembayeva is a native of Kazakhstan.

Book Review – Results Now by Mike Schmoker

Author Mike Schmoker followed up his two other “Results” books with the best and most motivating yet.

This book pleads with educators and administrators to assist in the immediate transformation of American schools. He describes in detail the “buffers” that American schools have created which have led to the illusion that a high percentage of American schools are actually effective (which he points out in detail, actually are not). This “buffer” that Schmoker describes has led to teacher isolation, lack of quality instruction, and to the reality that administrators are virtually devoid of influence when trying to effect the quality of instruction. This is a sample of some of the startling statistics Schmoker presents, (page 18):

o “Classrooms in which there was evidence of a clear learning objective: 4 percent”

o “Classrooms in which there was evidence of higher-order thinking: 3 percent”

o “Classrooms in which non-instructional activities were occurring” 35 percent”

(Note: to get specifics on this research-based study, visit his book)

One of the most motivating features of this book is that the author reminds educators of how much they already know about effective teaching practices, especially as a collaborative group. Often educators are fixated on new programs, more materials, more workshops and the need for more money. This quote is an example of this idea, “We have relied far too much, with miserable results, on a failed model for improving instructional practice: training, in the form of workshops or staff development.”

Chapter 8 of this book entitled, “Professional Learning Communities” is a pro-active approach to reforming schools and demonstrates Schmoker’s true value of educators.

As for administrators, don’t feel left out because Schmoker is fully aware of your limitations, boundaries and lack of support. Again keeping pro-activity in mind, Schmoker suggests several solutions which will change educational leadership and its effect on instructional quality.

This is one of the very few books that doesn’t try to state the issues with a politically correct point of view. His writing style is blunt yet lacks negativity. In fact, this book has the effect of challenging educators to make some simple and high effective changes TOMORROW, that can produce immediate results.

This ending quote from Results Now demonstrates why I give this book 5 stars (on a 5 point scale) for educators and educational leaders and as guessed, is suggested as a MUST READ.

(From Page163’s CONCLUSION, “WHY NOT US WHY NOT NOW”): “With so much at stake, is there any decent reason to postpone what could be education’s greatest moment?”

Note from me : This book is startling when you first read it mainly because of the statistics he shares and what was found inside our American classrooms, but these startling revelations are what truly should provoke all educators, leaders, and parents too, to make serious changes in the American school system.

Classroom Under Construction

Didactic Read… Recommended… 4 stars

The Review

Classroom Under Construction Building the Foundation for Creative Classroom Instruction is a 107 page, 12 chapter hand book for the new teacher, the tired teacher and all those in between. Practical ideas to pep up and boost instruction as well as celebrations for all the good things teachers do are offered on the pages of this work designed to help teachers improve their classroom effectiveness.

Writer Grimes presents his ‘workshop in a book’ with chapter 1 Beliefs and Decision-Making. A teaching philosophy is essential to support and frame underlying teacher practices. Grimes says a teaching philosophy is a personal vision and sense of purpose for teaching.

Chapter 2 What’s in a Name? Names and what teachers do with them is important. Asking a child what name he prefers is a good way to attack the name issue.

Chapter 3 Pouring the Foundation Grimes tells us that the classroom is a happening place, it is busy, bustling and noisy. It is characterized by joy or anxiety, boredom or stimulation, uproar or silence.

Chapter 4 Time Is Your Friend – And Your Foe Grimes discusses a well known truth to all teachers TIME RULES THE SCHOOL, the day, the week and the year.

Chapter 5 The Doctor Is In Grimes points out that never before in our history has so much been expected of teachers, and it is expected that teachers will willingly educated themselves and be under compensated even as they may be berated by non teachers. 1903 George Bernard Shaw set the tone: He who can does, and He who cannot teaches has been quoted often and loudly by many. Grimes also points out Shaw was not a teacher and did not know what a teacher is about.

Chapter 6 Making the Grade Grimes states that grading mechanisms, including rubrics are needed, however they are mechanical tools. Grimes points out that while student attendance may be a requirement of law, his attention is not and that teachers must be able to create meaningful compelling work for students. Grimes suggests that D and F grades be done away with and material re-taught until students achieve A B or C grades.

Chapter 7 This Class Sucks Grimes affirms that when students act out the reason for their behavior may have nothing at all to do with either the class or the teacher. Teacher’s must be perceptive to what is happening with their students, not jump to conclusions, and address problems in a win-win mode rather than blaming and creating problems where had existed before.

Chapter 8 The Dog Won’t Eat My Homework the issue of homework is often fraught with emotion and irritation. Grimes provides a peek into how homework may be incorporated successfully into the learning process and offers a description of how homework impacts students, teachers, and parents.

Chapter 9 Cooperation In Learning And Living Grimes discusses the importance of cooperative learning as a time when children are working in concert with their teachers and one another while providing a degree of civility to the competitive forces that are inherently present in schools.

Chapter 10 You Make The Call Grimes addresses those grey areas when good decisions must be made based on judgment, understanding of school law, and common sense.

Chapter 11 Lest We Forget Grimes offers teaching strategies and activities that will facilitate perpetuating the memories of people and events important to our national history. We stay connected as a culture when we know, share and remember our shared heritage.

Chapter 12 Get A Life Grimes discusses the need for balancing professional and personal aspects of life. He points out that teachers who work in a year round setting tend to have a more positive outlook about themselves, their homes and social lives and their teaching than do teachers who teach in a traditional setting.

Rich Grimes’ Classroom Under Construction speaks to the core of successful teaching practices. Grimes discusses procedures meant to aid teachers as they bond with each student with the understanding that teacher-student bond is predictable as a requirement for student’s academic success. He explains how the teacher’s personal belief system will dictate the teacher’s attitude toward students, toward assigning of homework and toward presenting grades. Grimes presents suggests teachers are like to attain more success with their students by learning the correct pronunciation of the student’s name and using it often when speaking with the student.

I like his idea of homework that goes beyond the student and includes getting parents and other family members involved, energized and motivated because family interest in school and child is a definite contributor to student incentive for learning and doing well. Grimes offers a number of activities that promote student participation.

As a teacher I found Classroom Under Construction to be a valuable tool for beginning or not so beginning teachers. I do have 3 suggestions to make the book more useable: spiral binding will aid in keeping the book open to a particular page, larger print and darker print will be useful for those who may have older eyes. Many new teachers are not 20 somethings, they are part of the over the hill bunch who are looking into a second career. The book has so many valuable suggestions it is a pity it may be cast aside simply because print size and boldness of letters make it more difficult to read.

A must have for every beginning teacher of any age Classroom Under Construction has much to offer those of us old war horses who have been at it for a while. I was sent a trade paperback for review. And will be keeping this edition for my own library, if a spiral bound comes along that will be even better. I will suggest this book for my student teachers as they come to my classroom.

Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.