Mohawk College presents Laverne Cox

December 12, 2014

The Mohawk College community is already getting ready for a special guest early next year!  Social Inc. in partnership with the Mohawk Students’ Association, The Well (LGBTQ Community Wellness Centre of Hamilton) and the Sexual Assault Centre of Hamilton and Area present Laverne Cox.

Laverne Coxlaverne cox is well-known for her role on the hit show “Orange is the New Black” and will discuss her life and journey as a transgender actress.  This event will be held at the McIntyre Performing Arts Centre, located at the Fennell campus on March 23rd, 2015.  For more information and tickets, please click here.

Mohawk College Library has resources to help you learn more about the LGBTQ community.  The library has recently acquired the video Beautiful Boxer which  is based on the true story of Thailand’s famed transgendered kick-boxer, Parinya Charoenphol (known as Nong Toom in Thailand).  The book, Transgender people discusses gender identity disorders, the transgender rights movement, and other issues faced by the transgender community.

If you do go to the event, be sure to send us a message on Facebook, Tweet us @mohawklibrary, or send us a picture on Instagram.

How far is it from good to great?

November 12, 2014

goodtogreatMohawk’s new president, Ron McKerlie, is asking how we can move the College from good to great.   It’s a catch phrase proposed by management and leadership guru, Jim Collins, in his 2001 book by the same name which tracked and analyzed the traits of 11 companies over a 5 year period in a rigorous research study.

An early review published in the prestigious Harvard Business Review said: “In fact, so contrarian are its findings that some managers may be tempted to dismiss it out of hand. But that would be a mistake; the book does make the leap to greatness.”   Managers listened;  Collins’ book  has sold millions of copies and still makes the top ten on most best business reads lists.

Need to get your hands on this business bible?  You guessed it!  Mohawk College Library – Cummings branch –  has a copy!  It’s seen a fair bit of action in the last few months 🙂 and may not be available just when you’re ready to read, so join the queue.     While you’re waiting your turn, why not check out Jim’s twelve questions or Inc’s quick and dirty version of his approach?   Join in the conversation: let us know what we can do to move Mohawk from good to great!


The power of the nudge

May 8, 2014

nudge2We’re all in the business of behaviour change.   Whether your focus is a partner, employee, customer, client or patient, having some skills in your toolkit to effect change really makes life much simpler.    In the bestselling book Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth and happiness (found in the Cummings Library, of course), two university professors uncover the evidence that very small tweaks in presentation or setting or context can have a big impact on our choices and decisions.   The business community has jumped on the Nudge bandwagon, recognizing that the possibilities are endless … and lucrative!   Listen to Terry O’Reilly’s Under the Influence segment or view this video from the Rotman School of Business  to learn more about this fascinating concept.

Try “nudging” for yourself and let us know how it works for you!   Is there a cranky child or a lazy workout client or a non-compliant patient in your life?  Maybe a nudge will help!





Become strategic in the bizHUB!

March 19, 2012

When it comes to the “bibles” on strategic planning in business,  there are “oldies but goodies” that still carry  a whole lot of weight.  Check some out this week in the bizHUB.

We’re featuring strategy guru and McGill prof, Henry Mintzberg, who published several tomes on strategic planning in the 90s.  Check out Strategy Safari…which was recently re-released due to popular demand! It attempts to explain the pros and cons of several schools of thinking about business strategy and to cull the pearls of wisdom from each.

In search of excellence by Tom Peters was at every manager’s fingertips in the 80s!  It’s been called the greatest business book of all time and it, too, has been re-released in the new millenium for today’s struggling CEOs. Tom is indeed keeping up with the times…check out his channel on Youtube! You’ll find more on strategy there.

If the design side of advertising is strategic, then our third display item is not only strategic but fun!  Our first issue of Applied Arts magazine just arrived and it’s a real eye catcher!  Advertising students will not want to miss this one!

The week’s weather forecast is looking lovely.  The bizHUB offers great space, great light and great reading!  Hope you have an opportunity to enjoy them all.

Leaders: nature or nuture?

December 9, 2011

We never seem to tire of inspecting, analyzing, ranking and commiserating about the leadership in our lives.   But what actually makes a great leader?  Canadian Business magazine recently published their 2011 edition of  Portraits in leadership in which 20 business leaders reflect upon what it takes to motivate and inspire.  Our final business book display of the year addresses this question from the perspective of researchers who have spent their careers studying the best and the brightest.

Warren Bennis has been an established expert in the field of leadership for over three decades.  He was one of the first researchers to propose that leaders are not born but that good managers can develop into great leaders by acquiring the appropriate competencies.  This book is one of his first and a classic.

The leadership challenge has made a few lists of classic texts on the subject.  Now in its fourth edition, it has been called the “most trusted source on becoming a better leader.”

Leading for innovation brings together the ideas of a number of business thinkers including Jim Collins, Howard Gardner, Charles Handy and Rosabeth Moss Kanter.  Its focus is on the qualities required to lead innovators and to develop a culture of innovation.  Compiled by board members of  the foundation formed by famed management consultant, Peter Drucker, it will likely make the classic lists someday too!

These books are all available in the Cummings Library and will be on display in the bizHUB until December 16.

Mavericks in our midst

November 28, 2011

Rob Guenette has attitude!  He shared it with Mohawk College faculty and students last week in a very entertaining presentation called “Building a business with attitude.”  For those of you who missed it, check out the Taxi Advertising website for a sampling of the attitude Rob and his company bring to their work.  A self described “shit disturber”, Rob shared with us the same bold vision and corporate culture he shares in his book, DOUBT (now available in the Cummings Library!)

In honour of Rob, creativity and innovation are the themes of this week’s business books display in the bizHUB:

Maverick…a great word to describe many of today’s most successful entrepreneurs. Folks with imagination, drive and a pinch of the unconventional, some might even be described as eccentric.  Two former writers from Fast Company provide details on the exciting entrepreneurs whose innovative approaches are changing the business landscape.

Published by AMACOM, this book is written by an “innovation thought leader” and features practical examples and exercises that encourage out-of-the-box thinking.  The author’s 9 step innovation process teaches the ability to spot trends, generate high quality ideas and pitch them successfully. A great resource for students and faculty alike!

While Richard Florida isn’t everyone’s favourite camper, you really can’t beat his creds, Director and Professor of Business and Creativity at the Martin Prosperity Institute, Rotman School of Management, U. of T.   This book put him on the map and his others (check those out in the Cummings Library too!) have maintained his celebrity on the speaking circuit.

Hope I’ve piqued your interest…check these out in the bizHUB Nov. 28 to Dec. 2 along with our e-book feature of the week, Clusters of creativity: Enduring lessons on innovation and entrepreneurship from Silicon Valley and Europe’s Silicon Fen.

‘Tis the season…for shopping!

November 21, 2011

With this post, we’re launching our promotion of great business books available in the Cummings Library.  Each week’s features will cover a different theme.  The books will be displayed in the bizHUB, available for browsing and check out.

This week’s theme is our national pastime, shopping! With just a little over a month to go ’til Christmas, shopping is on the minds of most Canadians.  Have you ever wondered about what goes on behind the cash register or in your head to trigger that impulsive purchase?   Our expert authors have some theories:

In buy-ology,  Martin Lindstrom,  voted one of Time Magazine’s most influential people of 2009, presents the findings of his very large, very costly study on neuromarketing in which he analyzed the brain activity of 2,000 volunteers as they encountered various ads, logos, commercials, brands, and products.  His book has been described as the modern version of Vance Packard’s classic Hidden persuaders.  (Watch for Lindstrom’s latest book in the library soon!)

Retail consultant, Paco Underhill, has been described as a “retail anthropologist” and an “environmental psychologist”…all to say that he knows a thing or two about buying behavior.   In Call of the Mall, he shares his love for the mall environment and his fascination with how we interact with it as shoppers and socialize within it as people.   One of Underhill’s many bestsellers, this is a great resource for students in retailing and marketing.

More on the “mall as community” concept is presented in Retail communities: Customer-driven retailing, written by two Integrated Marketing Communications profs.  The authors take “integrated” to a whole new level and look at the convergence of in-store, out-of-store and online shopping and the new communities of customers born out of  social media and our pervasive digital environment.    Definitely worth a look to help you get a handle on this “transformational marketplace”.

Check these out in the bizHUB from November 21 to 25! 

Shutter Island – not a vacation resort! Book Review

November 25, 2010

shutter island bookToday, we have a special treat for you – a book review of one of the novels in our collection – Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane!

You definitely don’t want to go to Shutter Island for rest and relaxation.  You may know the recent movie called Shutter Island – directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and Ben Kingsley.  Fans of the movie may not be as familiar with the book by author Dennis Lehane.  We have the book at our Fennell location and here is our review.

I haven’t seen the movie so I can’t tell you how closely the movie version of Shutter Island follows the plot of the book, but the book is very cinematic – lots of imagery.  It is no surprise to me that it was made into a movie.  Now, I have to say that this is a very difficult review to write as part of what I have to say can only be said if I do some spoiling.  So this post comes in 2 parts, I’ll give you fair warning when I get to the spoiling part.

First, the plot.  US Marshall Teddy Daniels and his brand new partner, Chuck Aule, have to investigate the disappearance of a patient/prisoner from the Ashecliffe Hospital – a facility that holds the criminally insane.  Not too scary so far right?  Well, before you get too comfortable, know that the hospital is located on an island and the only people on the island are the doctors, nurses, other hospital staff and the “patients”.  The island is sea torn and weathered – a remote and desolate place. Oh, a big storm is coming that may knock out communications and affect the ferry schedule.  Teddy and Chuck have lots of questions and no one seems to be able to answer them.  The reader is sucked right in to their enquiry, right from the start.  The woman who disappeared is a multiple murderess and she has seemingly vanished without a trace in a way that is pretty much impossible.  More and more questions for us and Teddy and Chuck arise.  Are the doctors really conducting dangerous psychological experiments and surgery on the “patients”?  Can Teddy really trust his new partner Chuck?  Is Teddy really looking for the missing patient or someone or something else?  Who is Teddy’s real boss? Suffice it to say that all the questions and quite a few that readers don’t even know they have are answered by the end of the novel.

Next, what’s good and what’s bad?  Let’s look at the good first.  Well, Lehane is a good writer, no doubt there.  His characters are believable – Teddy is a complicated soul and you’re on his side right from the start. Chuck is funny and clever.  The two balance each other well and even though their partnership is brand new, you believe that they’ll be great partners.  (At least you do until doubts about Chuck start to arise.)  The dialogue is snappy and realistic – kind of Stephen King-like; King is a great dialogue writer.  The time period is the 1950’s and it felt authentic to me.  There’s a bit of a “detective noir” thing happening that works really well.  All in all, the book is a well paced thriller, this is not a book you’d read slowly.  If you like thrilling, fast-paced mysteries, I have no doubt you’ll like this book.  I recommend it on this level.

Now the bad – and my spoiler warning.  The spoiling begins here. I will do my best not to totally spoil, but even knowing what follows will change the way you enjoy the book.  So, read no further if you want to enjoy the twists and turns of the plot the way the author intended you to enjoy them.  In some ways it is fun to be strung along and find out that you’ve been fooled by author, it can be cleverly done and for the most part, Lehane has perpetrated a pretty clever sting.  Did I get the name anagrams? No, I didn’t but once they’re revealed, they seemed kind of lame and obvious to me.  I have to admit that I was disappointed that there weren’t dastardly government experiments going on – perhaps that says more about me than the author or the book.  In the end, it just felt like a let down. I really question the whole “sting” approach.   I didn’t believe that psychiatrists would go to such lengths to treat a patient. At the end, I said to myself, “Really? They would do that?”  I think my lack of belief stems from the fact that I wasn’t clued in from the beginning.  If I’d somehow understood more about psychiatry in the fifties and how it was on the cusp of major changes in treatment theory and practice, I would have been able to go along with real story.  I may well be in the minority here, I’ve heard raves about the movie and if it stuck to the plot of the book, then lots of others were more than satisfied by the “real” story.

I still recommend the book, in fact I’d love to hear from you whether you liked the book or not, please chime in.

Giller Prize Winning Book is a Great Read.

November 24, 2008

This isn’t a long, formal book review, just a heads up about a fabulous book.  I am so thrilled that Canadian Meti writer, Joseph Boyden has won the Giller Prize for his novel Through Black Spruce.  through-black-spruceI read it a few weeks ago and was entirely enthralled in a way that I haven’t been, well, since I read Boyden’s last (and first) novel, Three Day Road.  I finished both of them sadly because I just wasn’t ready to leave Boyden’s engaging worlds.

Boyden is young but his writing and story telling abilities are old if you know what I mean.  I can hear his characters’ voices, I can see their faces, I’d know them if I ran into them on the street.  I can see the bush, the town, the buildings and streets of New York, everything is just so well drawn.

If I tell you that that main character is in a coma for most of the book, you may think I’m crazy to be talking about well drawn characters and perfectly described settings, but it’s true.  Boyden brings Will Bird, the Cree bush pilot, to life in every dimension you can imagine.  We learn about Will’s long hard life in Ontario’s far North and we also learn about Will’s niece, Annie.  Annie’s journey of self-discovery and search for her sister, Suzanne, takes her and the reader from the Far North to the streets of New York and the world of high fashion modeling.  Opposite worlds?  Perhaps, but the stories weave together seamlessly.

Since winning the Giller, I’ve heard Boyden on radio several times.  I also attended a reading just before the Giller was announced.  He does say that he is trying to open the First Nations peoples’ and their stories to his readers.  He does so with out being even remotely preachy or moralistic.  The story is for everyone and anyone.

We have three copies of the book in the Library @ Mohawk if I’ve grabbed your interest, take one out.